From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
Subject: Technical details on near-catastrophe at Davis-Besse are profoundly disturbing
To: Concerned scientists
From: A concerned citizen
Re: First Energy Corp. B&W PWR Nuclear Power Plant, Oak Harbor,
Location: 21 miles ESE of Toledo, OH, on Lake
Erie. Any and all places downwind: That means, depending on prevailing winds,
Sandusky, OH, Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh, PA, Washington DC, Toronto, Canada, Virginia,
West Virginia, New Jersey, NYC, Long Island, New England, Maryland, Delaware,
Date: Discovered March 11th, 2002 during inspection.
What: Pre-existing leaks in nozzles (LARGE flanges) and transition
welds, which sounds a lot like Dr. Edward Seigel's warnings in his prescient paper
(Jnl. Magnetism & Magnetic Materials, 7, 312 (1978) originally given while
an employee (and whistleblower) at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
Vienna, Austria; given originally at the International Conference on Magnetic
Alloys and Oxides (ICMAO) at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa,
Israel). See details in attached open letter to Congress, 11/01, by Seigel
of a generic/endemic (so-SELF-called; so-MARKETED; so-CLAIMED) "super"
alloyS' Wigner's disease (Ostwald Ripening; Spineodal Decomposition;
OVERaging Embrittlement; Thermal Leading to Mechanical INStability; "sensitization"
(meaning very susceptible to overaging embrittlement); ...) Often very sudden
and nasty, as witness Monju (Anderson was the consult to help the Japanese correct
Monju) (see below) and Lei paper (referenced below), Figure 2, Y axis.
Severity: Quoting Seigel in a telephone conversation: "It most probably
might -- may / could have been worse than Chernobyl".
had a massive explosion of a 2,500 PSI primary containment vessel! This
isn't just some tiny leak -- if the inner liner was ruptured it would blow a hole
in the reactor which would spew super-heated water, flashing over to super-heated
steam, destroying and sucking out the radioactive core and fuel elements (like
shooting a bullet at a SCUBA tank). It would be more dangerous than a CORE
MELTDOWN because instead of going into the ground and sinking down perhaps a quarter
of a mile, the molten-hot uranium would go UP AND OUT into the air, to be carried
by the winds to any and all who would like breath of fresh air instead.
Had the Davis-Besse pressure vessel exploded outwards (fatally rupturing the containment
dome), it most certainly would have been blamed on terrorists, rather than on
its true cause: "Super" Alloy age, component age, plant age, lack of
proper maintenance, lack of proper timely Non-Destructive Examination (NDE)
(See references to Lofara reports from DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory, funded
by DOE/NRC, below) (Davis-Besse came online in 1977, and didn't run full-tilt
the whole time, with refueling and other outages along the way, so it may be very
close to Seigel's 17 +/- 3 year prediction, coincidentally coinciding with Robert
Pollard's last report at the Union of Concerned Scientists about embrittlement
of 304/304L stainless steel skirts in GE Boiling Water Reactors (like the on-going
Hamaoka 1 accident (see current Japan Times articles given below)).
(denied access to nuclear plants since 1977) guessed, during a phone inquiry,
that most probably what happened, is that when the nozzle leaks were examined
(this is a flange, and THE key joint between two parts of the reactor), they saw
that the boric acid leaked into some pre-existing cracks which SHOULD HAVE BEEN
DETECTED years ago using NDE.
Seigel says "THE standard textbook
on metalloids is (and always has been) by H. J. Goldschmidt, called Interstitial
Alloys, Pergamon Press, a classic by 1970.", which Seigel used extensively
in his predictions 1977, 1978, and many other relevant papers: Physica Status
Solidi, 1971; Scripta Metallurgica, 1972-1974; Semiconductors and Insulators,
1979 - 1 paper about Fracture of Transition Metalloids: Carbides, Nitrides, and
Borides, (focusing on TiC), connecting mechanical and fracture properties to --
of all things -- superconducting properties (witness announcement January 1, 2001
by Aki Matsu et. al., and postdeadline special session at American Physical Society,
March meeting, 2001, about MgB2, the then-new surprising higher-temperature super-conductor
from which Seigel's contributed abstracts were purposefully deleted by same American
Physical Society. Seigel draws attention to the fact that TiB2 is right
next to MgB2. Suggests all look at his last flow-chart figure in that paper
(regarding fracture). (He "almost" predicted it!).
figures 3 and 4 are THE FIRST experimental discovery of GIANT magnetoresistence
(GMR); the current disk drive standard worldwide, usually credited to Fert et.
al. (Grenoble, France) in 1988: 77 <<< 88. In the same issue of
the ICMAO / Technion / Haifa (1977) conference, another short theoretical
paper by Seigel predicted colossal magnetoresistence (CMR) -- the soon-to-be successor
to GMR in computer disk drives worldwide.]
(formerly of Connecticut)
Attachments: Technical specifications on Davis-Besse (from DOE web
site; note description of it's status); related report by Dr. E. Seigel (includes
partial resume); links to more items by Dr. Seigel; news articles about the Davis-Besse
accident. Technical experts receiving this document should note the many
technical errors in the newspaper accounts, especially in the NC Times article
shown at the bottom.
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 17:42:32 -0800
To: "Edward Siegel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
The Davis-Besse plant is a single unit reactor located
east of Toledo in Oak Harbor, Ohio on the shore of Lake Erie. The site covers
954 acres of which 733 acres is leased to the U.S. government for a National Wildlife
Refuge. Safety-related problems in its early years tarnished its reputation, but
its sale to new owners has brought about a recovery. The site is licensed for
dry storage of spent nuclear fuel and had 3 casks as of March 2000.
FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co.
Owners: Cleveland Electric Illuminating
Company (51.4%), Toledo Edison Company (48.6%)
Reactor Supplier: Babcock
Capacity: 873 net MWe
Reactor Type: Pressurized
Date of Operation: April 1977
Electricity Produced in 2000: 6.70 billion kWh
2000 Average Capacity Factor: 87.32%
Cc: "Russell D. Hoffman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: BEWARE Price-Anderson Act RENEWAL vis a vis GENERIC ENDEMIC FRAUD
& Possible Terrorism Against Nuclear-Plants!!!
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 22:02:38
(1) BEWARE Price-Anderson Act upcoming renewal vote limiting nuclear utilities'
legal liability in the face of:
(2) Ongoing GENERIC ENDEMIC massive
FRAUD by nuclear utilities, their vendors, their contractors, their suppliers,
and with complete collusion of NRC and DoE!!! (see below)
susceptibility to possible terrorist attacks, using this verysame GENERIC ENDEMIC
FRAUD, as a tool for making ~103 US nuclear-reactor power-plants into readymade
weapons of mass destruction (WMD), nuclear (so called) "accidents" WAITING
I would most strongly urge you to please read carefully
this somewhat technical expose of multigenerational multidecade covered up GENERIC
ENDEMIC FRAUD on nuclear-reactor power-plant (civilian and military) (so called)'
"super"alloys' metallurgy [same (so called) "super"alloys
as those which fail in gas-turbine and jet engines (remember the jet-engine combustion-chamber/"burn-can"
explosions in the 1980's: Milwaukee, Manchester, Japan, (~1985-6)..., the Challenger,...?)]:
design, component fabrication, construction, inspection, maintainance, certification,
licensiing, quality assurance, quality control, reinspection, license renewal,
(many old reactors FRIGHTENINGLY in the last year/recently being purchased to
be relicensed to run far beyond their most optimistically intended maximum lifetimes!)
and ask your staff to gather the articles highlighted below, and to contact the
corroborating experts listed and highlighted below, MOST of who live and/or work
in the Washington, D. C. area thus being LOCALLY almost immediately available
to you, your staff, the members of and staffs of both House and Senate committees
which oversee the: NRC, DoE, Price-Anderson Act renewal (and its debate!?).
Gentleman and Ladies:
As you Senators and Representatives reconsider and vote on the Price-Anderson
Act extension, limiting the legal and financial liability for nuclear-reactor
power-plants to relatively nothing compared to the actual cost of any possible
nuclear "accident" (waiting to happen!!!), and (too!) many reactors
with (so called) "super"alloys' GENERIC ENDEMIC FRAUDULENT advanced
age overageing-embrittlement [the technical subject/metallurgy of this letter;
"osteoporosis" (very analogous to an old woman's bones
geting ever more brittle with age with NO possibility of reversal whatsoever!!!),
and its strong possibility of vertually guaranteeing the success of any possible
terrorist attack(s) upon nuclear-reactor power-plants lurking,
Please feel free to
RSVP as soon as possible as you may see fit with any: questions?, comments?
Most Sincerely and Respectfully,
Dr. Edward Siegel
Metallurgist & Physicist
[Ph. D., Metallurgy, MSU (1970);
M. S., Physics,
U. of Michigan (1969),
attended: NYU (Physics) & U. of Pennsylvania (Metallurgy);
B. S., CCNY (1965)]
[Fired, Westinghouse APD/NES, Sr. Materials Scientist (1974)
Fired, P. S.
E. & G. Chief Matallurgist & Mgr., NDT/E (1976)
Fired, I. A. E. A.
Federal False Claims Act/"Qui Tam" Lawsuits
NRC (twice), mid-late 1990s, DoE (mid-late 1990s)
at very end)
FOR B E T T Y A N N B O W S E R and/or PBS Newshour
VICTORIA CORDERI and/or NBC Dateline
(re: 11/1 Datelione NBC
and 11/2 PBS Newshour segment on
Nuclear-Reactor Safety Against Terrorism)
cc: Editors and Investigative Reporters:The: New York Times, Washington
Post, Los Angeles Times,...
11/1 NBC Dateline and 11/2 PBS Newshour segment on possible upcoming terrorist
attacks against nuclear-reactor power-plants great probability of success, Rep.
Edward Markey was dead right,
N. R. C. Chairman Meserve a bit to a lot wrong,
and Mr. Beadle an outright liar!
Why? Because, even IF the reinforced-concrete
(a.k.a. "rebar") containment-structure could withstand impact of a fuel-laden
jet, the (determined by: time at temperature determines it, like cooking a pizza
in a microwave-oven) overageing-embrittled/"spinodally-decomposed"/"Ostwald-ripened"/
(analogous to osteoporosis in your grandmother's
of (so called) "super"alloys (Nickel-based: Inconel-600
piping, INCO-182/82 piping-to-flanges/"nozzles" transition-welds,
Hastelloy-X core-internals, Iron-based: 304 & 304L stainless-steels (like
your elevator doors at NBC or PBS), etc. etc.,... ) are INfamous for becoming
with age, at fabrication and then ambient temperatures, VERY VERY BRITTLE hence
SHOCK/"notch"-sensitive, would crack like eggshells.
Where to attack? NOT the concrete containment, BUT the: EMBRITTLED: PIPING, FLANGES
(like a person's lips), "NOZZLES" [as recently cracked at Oconee PWR
in South Carolina (read on)], and STEAM GENERATORS!!! They would ALL LITERALLY
SHATTER LIKE "GLASS" [see Roman Rollnick article quoted below: in The
European, week ending 1/14/92-front page,
about this happening to PIPING in ALL
E. C. (46 PWRs in Germany, ..., 56 PWRs in France, = 102+ PWRs in E. C. by 1992].
Why should our US reactors': same designs, same (so called) "super"alloys
but OLDER (i. e. MORE AGE) be any different? (Because we're good loyasl blond
haired blue eyed Americans? I think not!)
These are even MUCH
MORE VULNERABLE than spent-fuel pools if the reactor is critical/ i.e., on!!!
[you might want to read a layman's book: "Nuclear
Power: From Physics to Politics", by Lawrence Pringle (~1979),
seemingly about me; in addition Keith Snow, a noted environmental journalist,[c/0
(413) 268-7458] has writen most of a book about this and me]
Mayo (still writing for NYTimes part time?), The Village Voice, p. 40, 8/21/78
article about me "If Leaks Could Kill", in her "Geiger Counter
Column" (then), about my work, Journal
of Magnetism & Magnetic Materials 7, 312 (1978)
LOCAL D. C. REFERENCES:
[the first four are in their 60's-70's, have been around alloy metallurgy/physics
for a very long while, and are all VERY FAMOUS in metallurgy!]:
Lydon Schwartzendruber, Metallurgy Division, N. I. S. T. /DoC, Gaithersburg,
(2) Prof. Lawrence Bennett (Lydon's former boss; NIST ret.),
Materials Science Dept., George Washington (?) or Georgetown(?) Univ., D.C.
(3) Prof. (ret.; Simon Fraser Univ., B. C., Canada) Anthony
Arrott, World's Best Alloy Magnetism expert, LIVES IN D.C. (202) 364-6044
and eaches at some Northern VA. state university.
(ret.; Univ. of Illinois Materials. Science & Physics Depts., & Case Western-Reserve
Univ. also) Wendell Williams (217) 344-5180 &/or (winter
escape; FL.) (941) 349-4218
(5) Dr. Kevin Aylesworth, [used
to work for Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-IA)] and in D.C. phonebook - spent quite a bit
of time with me and talked extensively about this when both in Boston (~1994-~1996)
(who some of you may know personally, having been a Senate staffer for nearly
a decade now!)
(see pdf version very short/very limited layman's
summary of Lofaro Brookhaven National Laboratory/DoE/NRC nuclear "incidents"
statistical/actuarial (as in "time until death"!; do to overageing-embrittlement)assessment
or, even better, do a Google search under "Robert Lofaro" and wade through
his/Brookhaven National Laboratory's/DoE's/NRC's veryown MANY VERY NEGATIVE nuclear-reactor
component/systems failures predicted FRIGHTENING RISK-ASSESSMENTS!!!
you may not have been aware of)
[or, for more/to be complete, have your staff(s)/commitee(s)
gather together ANY/ALL Lofaro (MANY) reports from Brookhaven National
Laboratory throughout the 1980s and 1990's]
Dr. Richard Meserve,
cc: Mr. Hugo Bell,
Auditing Division, Inspector General's Office,
Agents George Mulley and
Inspector Generals Office,
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Dear Dr. Meserve,
I just heard about
the Ocone, South Carolina ("8/01") PWR "nozzles" and piping
transition-weld cracking, which sound a lot like the San Onofre, CA. "nozzles"
and piping cracking problem!
This is EXACTLY what I tried to leave
for you at the Hyatt Islandia in San Diego last November that American Institute
of Physics CEO "Dudsky" or "Broadskii" "porloined"
(unless the documents simply just "walked away themselves"?). Maybe
you should have known about it a year ago? It would have helped you with this
Attached please find a (not so!) humerous article
about nuclear-reactor,... (and LOOK UP ALL REFERENCES!!!) GENERIC Fe-based
"austenitic" (FCC crystal structure) (a.k.a. stainless-steels) and Ni-based
"austenitic" (FCC crystal structure) (so called) "super"alloys:
Inconel-600 (control-rod sleeve tubes), Hastelloy-X (core internals), and INCO-182/82
(FCC "austenitic"to BCC "ferritic" pressure-vessel steels)
Especially the latter I was THE FIRST to discover
and call attention to.
Magnetism & Magnetic Materials 7, 312 (1978);
see also article about my warnings: Ana
Mayo, "Geiger Counter Column", The Village Voice, p. 40, 8/21/78]
For INCO-182/82 worldwide transition-weld standard for decades (1950's-1990's),
I found that it takes ~ 17-22 years, which sounds EXACTLY like what is happening
in South Carolina ("now") and nearby San Onofre unit here.
Since it happened in ALL
E. C. PWRs [see
R. Rollnick, The European (weekly), week ending 1/14/93
- front-page and flip-side] and in MANY Japanese PWRs, I ask:
HOW CAN IT
"NOT" BE HAPPENING IN US PWRs HERE???
All it takes is
(like heating up a pizza in a microwave) time at temperature, and OURS are OLDER!!!
OF COURSE it IS, NOT just "now" and NOT just "only"
in South Carolina, but most probably VERY WIDESPREAD and well covered up, or simply
ignored and not recognized by: utilities, energy-companies, NRC, DoE!
since ~1988 a HUGE amount of money has been spend by NRC on studying this phenomenon;
just ask NRC public information service to do an NRC/DoE literature search under
superalloy embrittlement, Wigner's-disease, Ostwald-ripening, spinodal-decomposition,
overageing, ageing, overageing-embrittlement, "sensitization", ... and
you'll see the NRC/DoE CRASH program on this for perhaps ~13 years!)
[See Jonathan Pollard's
last UCS report (I believe 9/95?) on
stainless-steel skirts SUDDEN embrittlement at ~ 17-20 years in G. E. BWRs! There
the culprit is 304 stainless steel. They use 304L ("L" meaning low-carbon,
to slow down this overageing-embrittlement) and it failed too!]
[See also Lai's Met. Trans.
AIME, 9A, 827 (1978) reference figure 2 on Hastelloy-X for just HOW FAST this
can happen: 100 hrs.( = 4 DAYS!)/~2years = < 1% of intended lifetime!
[this is what fails and explodes, combustion-chambers in GE & P&W jet-engines]]
The GENERIC problem is called: Wigner's-disease,
Ostwald-ripening, spinodal-decomposition, ageing, overageing, overageing-embrittlement,
Ask any machinist.
When it happens in tool steels (drills or lathe cutting-tools), it's called "streamers"
(NOT the cut metal chips), stringd/chains and sheets of brttle-carbides that
grow in a more ductile tool-steel matrix. And the tools delaminate, literally
crack apart, JUST LIKE for (so called) "super"alloys in PWRs and BWRs!
I hate to say "I (at least tried in 11/00 to) told you so",
(Q: just how did I sneak into the South Carolina PWR and cause this???
A: It MUST be going on in ALL US PWRs and BWRs for MANY KINDS of DIFFERENT
(so called) "super"alloys in many different components!!!)
Have you ever read Robert
Lofaro's (BNL) [see below] "bean
counting" INPO incidents actuarial projections? Based upon past INPO/NRC
documents, Lofaro (no metallurgist) predicted ~ 1990-1992 at the ?th
Light Water Reactor Safety Conference,
summarized in the Journal
"Failure Analysis" quarterly in ~1991-2,
and in a sequence of BNL
reports probably right there in your
NRC library, something like a ~73(!!!)% probability
of failure due to (this) (so called) "super"alloy GENERIC (OVER)-"ageing"
[a. k. a.:
Wigner's-disease, Ostwald-ripening, spinodal-decomposition, overageing,
(this latter decidedly
NOT meaning sitting around a campfire and singing "Kumbaya",...
leading to EXPONENTIAL(!!!) reactor systems failure probability!
k.a. technically "chaos"!!!)
Please RSVP if
you need any consulting help
(from someone who can be HONEST with you about
this GENERIC problem you've inherited, and, because he discovered it in INCO-182/82
transition-weld alloy 25 years ago,
KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON!
Dr. Edward Siegel
Metallurgist & Physicist
ThermAlloy Technology Ltd.
[Ph. D., MSU (1970),
M. S., U. of Michigan (1969), attended: NYU & U. of Pennsylvania; B. S., CCNY
[Fired, Westinghouse APD/NES, Sr. Materials Scientist (1974)
Fired, P. S.
E. & G. Chief Matallurgist & Mgr., NDT/E (1976)
Fired, I. A. E. A.
The "U. S. S. KURSK":
Endemic Navy (SSN, SSBN, CVN) /
Utility NUCLEAR "ACCIDENTS"
WAITING TO HAPPEN!!!
(Courtesy: Westinklouse, G.-E., P.
& W./U.-T., A.B.B./C.-E., B. & W., Inco, Haynes, Cabot, Prudential...)
"SeŮor AdmirŠlŪssimo El Exigente ("OsamaBin")von"
Dr. Edward Siegel
Metallurgy and Alloy Physics
ThermAlloy Technology Ltd.
("Avenger of U.K.
Admiral Sir Walter Raleigh s 1492 Vanquishing of the Spanish Armada")
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
∑ very recent Oconee, S.
C. PWR "niozzles" severe cracking, mirrored in San Onofre, CA. PWR "nozzles"
cracking (which the NRC refuses to order inspected, muchless nationwide in ALL
PWRs (and BWRs), and the utilities (like San Onofre's owner, nearly bankrupt Southern
California Edison, refuse to do!, and actively lobby against!)
recent (5/19/00; Gibraltar/Algericas Bay) H. M. S. Tire"
SSN nuclear attack-submarine
(San Diego Union Tribune, p. 2, 10/22/00)
but "amazingly" in no other national U. S. paper: neither:
N.Y.T., nor L. A. T., nor W.-P.,...-talk about managed news!!!]; [also: in
El Pais (Madrid, Spain major daily (10/31/00) - on WWW) & on B.B.C. News,
[N.P.T.V.; KPBS-Ch.15 (10/31/00), in which Spanish Prime Minister demanded to
British Prime Minister that the U.K. "tow it our of Iberian
waters forthwith!"], now renamed the H. M. S. "Aged"
& Tired) and dry-dock/inspections of whole
rest (12) of U.K. SSN nuclear attack-sub fleet, necessitating
U. S. Navy guarding of their U. K. whole SSBN nuclear fleet ballistic-missile
boats & G.-E.-KAPL core-meltdown diagnosis (518) 587-3245 / Jackshal@aol.com
plus older French nuclear attack-submarine SSN Emeraud steam-"leak"
killing Captain and Nine Crew (Boston
Globe, p.25, 3/31/94 ),
plus recent dire warning on Internet by John. P. Shannon and Bob
Stater, [G.-E. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
(KAPL) retired Nuclear Engineers, Former Health and Safety Manager, designers
of Navy nuclear-reactor cores for some thirty years; @ 262 Jones Rd.,
Saratoga Springs, N. Y. 12866 / tel: (518) 587-3245 / Jackshal@aol.com] that the
less"d , with no
loss-of-coolant (LOC) emergency-core-cooling-system (ECCS) [as do all other nuclear
Navy ships of any/all types and any/all countries similarly lack] actually suffered
a loss-of-coolant-"accident" (LOCA; "China-Syndrome")
on 5/19/00 and is now stuck powerless and unmovable in Gibraltar/Algereicas
Bay, and that ...
ALL 57 U.S. SSN attack-submarines nuclear-reactor cores
(which they designed for 30 years) should be
as susceptible to and hence suffer similar LOCA "China-Syndrome" problems
in the future!!!
early unheeded by both nuclear Navy(ies)/commercial nuclear utilities metallurgical
warnings of "super"alloy generic endemic overageing-embrittlement
thermal-instability in-fabrication / in-service problems warnings:
(the) Dr. Eugene P. Wigner (Nobel Laureate,
physics, who took Einstein s letter to Roosevelt),
Jnl. Applied Physics 17, 857 (1946)
& Magnetic Materials, 7, 312 (1978)@
ICMAO, Technion, Haifa
Ana Mayo, the
Village Voice, "If Leaks Could Kill", Geiger Counter Column, p. 40 (8/21/78)
Dr. G. Lai, Metallurgical
Transactions AIME, 9A, 827 (1978) - especially unbelievable Fig. 2/y-axis!!!)
Dr. J. R. Kattus, Code
# 4112, U. S. DoD Aerospace Structural Materials Handbook, Battelle (1983)
- OFFICIAL DoD WARNINGS!!!
Siegel (in abstract)
- prediction of Monju,
Japan Breeder Reactor
(Japan Times, front page
(12/10-12/95) & thereafter - on WWW in English)
E. C. (esp. France & Germany) mandatory commercial nuclear-reactor pressure-vessel
heads and cooling piping replacements due to
(R. Rollnick, The European,
(1/14/93) front page headlines)
E. Savage and E. Nippies, Jnl.
Welding (1963-67) -
many technical papers on "super"alloy welds generic embrittlement
Howard Richards(RIP), metallurgist, PSE&G (largest utility/N. J.) suppressed
dire multi-decade warnings
Professor W. B. Pearson, renowned Canadian metallurgist, University of Waterloo
- multi-decade dire warnings of generic
"super"alloy overageing-embrittlement catastrophic-failures in nuclear
H.M.S.S. Titanic, (W.
Broad, New York Times, reprinted in San Diego Union Tribune, p. E2, (2/4/98))
which sank because of (closely related) metallurgical
embrittlement of steel bolts and hull plates,...
Portents, Continuing / Ongoing Disasters, and Trends are Clear / Undeniable!!!
Do the Governments have the
courage to ACT NOW???
Dr. Edward Siegel
(best: A. M. & Nights - 7 days- PACIFIC-time - NO-voicemail)
challenging position in alloy metallurgy/NDT/ceramics/materials/process engineering/
utilizing my diverse heuristic skills: problem-solving, incisive
analysis, and optimization, reasoning with: ambiguity, uncertainty, analogy,
induction, deduction, via insightful disambiguation for decisive implementation
with applications in: metallurgy/NDT/ materials/process-engineering: failure-analysis,
troubleshooting, yield-enhancement, reliability, testing, QC, QA
in both fab/R.& D. environments.
Skills-Set and Accomplishments
of: utility power-plants (nuclear and fossil), pipelines: gas, water, naptha,
Implementing Yield-Enhancement of: utility
power-plants (nuclear and fossil), pipelines: gas, water, naptha, hydrogen,....
Troubleshooting of development and fab
process bottlenecks; in-process testing during
within organizations on materials/process-specific problems in development and
Developing real-time Q.A. and interactive
Q.C. during processing for process yield-optimization.
international-programs including: planning, reporting, staffing, vendor-liaison,
foreign-government liaison, consulting, troubleshooting, failure-analysis, yield-enhancement,
Q.C., Q.A., databases,..., in both fab, and R.& D.
ferrous/nonferrous alloys in high stress and/or high corrosion environments fabrication
techniques and quality parameters
Qualifying selection of optimum
materials of construction/fabrication practices for commodity items to maximize
cause and required remedial action for metallurgical failures in electrical/gas
distribution/ transmission components: pipelines, valves, pumps, rotating/reciprocating
equipment: compressors, structural facilities, pressure vessels,...
Anticipating potential alloy metallurgy problems: corrosion, stress corrosion
cracking, fracture, hydrogen embrittlement, hydrogen sulfide cracking, brittle
failure, plastic collapse, cyclic fatigue, corrosion fatigue failures.
Managed/Directed failure analysis of electricity/gas generating/transmission
Qualified/Monitored/Recommended Changes to existing:
weld-alloys, welding-procedures, welder- qualification practices, industry codes/methods
Provided support to operations: maintainance/engineering/design/fabrication/construction
firms on large capital intensive generation/transmission plants/facilities
Developed/Qualified alloy processing: welding, machining, forging,
casting, powder-metallurgy: ball-milling, hot pressing, cold isostatic pressing,
Managed/Performed: failure analysis
of failure mechanisms corrosion, environmental cracking, fatigue, brittle failure,
appropriate analysis methods: fracture mechanics,
metallography, macrophotography, SEM, EDAX, mechanical testing, NDT (especially
testing/inspection methodology: component analysis
methods, destructive and non-destructive testing (radiography, acoustic-emission,
ultrasonics, magnetic particle, dye penetrant,...
corrosion: testing, prevention, mitigation engineering via corrosion resistant
fab/construction materials: metallic/ceramic/polymer/composite/cermet coatings
for corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement, hydrogen sulfide
cracking, corrosion fatigue deceleration/prevention
fracture mechanics: Charpy V-notch/ CTOD testing, brittle failure prevention,
plastic collapse failure criteria, corrosion-damage, mechanical-damage,..., especially
superalloy (INCO-182/82), HASTELLOY-X,... magnetic-testing discovery/calibration
and heat-treatment reversal
Managed international transnational
ANSI, API, NACE, codes/standards compliance.
new-ventures/start-ups and CONSULTANT
[ Silicon Valley, CA.: Dysan, Memorex, I.B.M., Systron-Donner,...,
MA: Trillenium, and E.C. (Italy & Vienna): I.A.E.A./I.C.T.P., OPEC, Petrobras,
A. G. A., Proton-Diamant, Excalibur, Eureka, and in former Eastern Bloc, ]:
"Digit-counting" QA/QC/Auditing on-average statistical
inter-digit correlations logarithmic-law ["fraud detection"]
inversion and expansion to reveal its/digits hidden quantum-physics with
extensive applications to: auditing, Q.C., Q.A., accounting, fraud-detection,
systematic-bias error-detection, digital-computing correction, quantum-computing
[popular refs: M. Browne, N.Y.T.
(8/4/98)-front page/Science section; T. Hill, Am. Sci. (7-8/98); R. Mathews, New
"Fuzzyics" & "Rough-Stoffe" Fuzzy-Logic
& Rough-Sets Artificial-Intelligence packages.
real-time/during processing Q.A. and interactive Q.C. for yield-enhancement optimization.
Proton-Diamant: Proton-in-Diamond optimal heat-sink ion-implantation/diffusion
Solar-Hydrogen-Water: solar-energy production of water
via hydrogen/hydride-storage and gravity.
superalloys/Fe-based stainless-steels thermal overageing-embrittlement catastrophic-failure
preclusion via magnetic-N.D.T. real-time Q.A./alloy-rejuvenation heat-treatment
Q.C.for forced-outage/maintenance/accident minimization process yield-optimization.
"Excalibur": earthquake sub-Hertz sub-audio infra-sonic/electromagnetic
early-warning alarm sensors.
Automatic Optimization via "Fuzzyics" & "Rough-Stoffe"
"Bucky-Ball" Fullerine/Fulleride versus Cuprate High-Temperature
Bioelectronic nerve pain-analgesia, cardiology-therapy,
DNA-control by 1/f-noise nonlinear-dynamics
National Research Council, Space Agency, S„o Paulo, BRAZIL
Petrobras, S„o Paulo, BRAZIL
Queen Mary College, University of London, UK
ELECTROCHEMIST, Molecular Energy
Research Co, Westwood, NJ
International Atomic Energy Agency, INDONESIA/ AUSTRIA.
Public Service Electric & Gas. Co., Newark, NJ
Atomic-Power/Electronic-Device Div., Pittsburgh, PA
General Motors Technical Center, Manufacturing Development, Warren, MI
Ford Motor Company Scientific Research Staff, Dearborn, MI.
Weston Instruments Div.of Schlumberger, Newark, NJ
ENGINEER Dewey Space Physics
Laboratory, NY, NY
MANAGER Silicon Transistor Corp.,
Carle Place, NY
ENGINEER US Army Materials Research
Agency, Watertown, MA
DOCTOR OF ENGINEERING
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI Metallurgy
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Physics.
[ attended: University
of Pennsylvania Materials-Science ; New York University Physics ]
City College of New York (C.C.N.Y.), NY,NY Physics.
[ attended: Colorado
School of Mines, Golden, CO Metallurgy, Mineralogy, Geophysics ]
Three more items by Dr. Seigel:
BEWARE Price-Anderson Act RENEWAL
vis a vis GENERIC ENDEMIC FRAUD & Possible Terrorism Against Nuclear-Plants!!!
FOLLOWUP to & Short Succinct SUMMARY to: "BEWARE Price-Anderson
Act By Rote Automatic Renewal Upcoming VOTE!!!":
Followup #2: Sources for additional information:
Date: March 5th, 2002
Tests spot 5 defects in safety devices at Davis-Besse
Davis-Besse flaws on repair schedule
BLADE STAFF WRITER
OAK HARBOR - Five of 69 primary safety devices used to help control FirstEnergy
Corp.ís Davis-Besse nuclear plant have been operating with cracks in them, possibly
The flaws, discovered by ultrasonic tests, caught the utility
by surprise yesterday. The latest round of visual inspections only days ago revealed
no problems, and neither did visual inspections during refueling outages every
two years since at least 1996, Richard Wilkins, FirstEnergy spokesman, said.
Barring any complications, the defects will be repaired during the plantís
biennial refueling and maintenance outage, which began in mid-February and is
to conclude at the end of this month. The additional cost was not known, he said.
The danger of ignoring repairs isnít so much a radiation leak as it is compromising
the integrity of devices that are essential to helping control-room operators
shut down the plant in the event of an emergency.
The plant is along
Lake Erie in rural Ottawa County, about 25 miles east of Toledo.
report on the matter is expected to be completed today or tomorrow. Among the
first to be notified will be officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissionís
headquarters in Washington and its Midwest regional office in Lisle, Ill.
Regulators from that agency last year expressed concerns about Davis-Besse
and a dozen other nuclear plants that have pressurized water reactors, because
a similar plant in South Carolina was found to have circumference-type cracks
in devices known as control rod drive mechanism nozzles. Those nozzles are long,
vertical tubes in the reactor head that serve as passageways for rods that control-room
operators use to absorb excess neutrons in the reactor core, thereby keeping the
plant running as it should.
Plants can operate safely if the metal tubes
get a tiny vertical crack. The NRCís anxiety grew because it had not previously
seen nozzles crack in a circular manner, leading regulators to envision scenarios
in which the metal could further weaken.
During the first week of December,
the NRC considered issuing FirstEnergy a rare government order to shut down Davis-Besse
for an emergency inspection - something that hasnít been done anywhere in the
country since 1987.
The agency backed off, largely because FirstEnergy
offered to move up its refueling and maintenance outage about six weeks ahead
The ultrasonic tests were the first on Davis-Besseís reactor
nozzles in the plantís 25-year history.
Preliminary results that came
back from a laboratory yesterday showed three nozzles with defects that warrant
immediate repairs. Another two nozzles had cracks so tiny they could be inconsequential
from a safety standpoint. But the utility will repair all five, Mr. Wilkins said.
None of the nozzles shows evidence of the dangerous, circumference-type crack
that worried the NRC, though one "looks like it was starting to go around,"
Cracks can take years to develop, Mr. Wilkins said.
NRC officials were not available for comment last night.
Co.ís Fermi II nuclear plant in northern Monroe County was not identified last
year as being susceptible to nozzle cracks, because it has a different type of
reactor. It has a boiling-water reactor.
Date: March 6th, 2002
No leaks found in Davis-Besseís cracked nozzles
By TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
OAK HARBOR - None of the five cracked nozzles on top of FirstEnergy Corp.ís
Davis-Besse nuclear plant reactor appears to have leaked.
The U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission confirmed yesterday there was no salt-like buildup of boric
acid on the exterior of metal tubes known as control rod drive mechanism nozzles,
a sign that the cracks were confined to the interior of the devices.
Itís also a sign that the utility was able to head off the problem before it could
have evolved into a greater safety risk, Jan Strasma, NRC spokesman, said.
Davis-Besse and other nuclear plants with pressurized water reactors have
69 such nozzles penetrating their reactor vessel heads.
The nozzles -
essentially metal tubes - are considered part of the primary safety system because
they help control-room operators plunge neutron-absorbing rods up and down the
reactor core. That keeps the plant running as it should.
are not uncommon and typically take years to develop. They need to be fixed, though,
so that they donít create more obstacles if thereís a need for an emergency shutdown,
Mr. Strasma explained.
The cracks were diagnosed by a series of ultrasonic
tests - the first in the plantís 25-year history. The fact they were confined
to the interior of the nozzles helps explain why they went undetected in visual
inspections during refueling outages every two years since 1996, the latest of
which was completed in late February. Those inspections cover only the exterior
of the nozzles, he said.
FirstEnergy has impressed regulators by not
only making plans to fix the cracked nozzles - but with its plans to install a
new reactor head during the plantís next refueling outage in 2004, complete with
69 new nozzles.
The project will be enormous: Dome-shaped vessel heads
are 14 feet wide and made of solid steel, some four feet thick in the middle.
FirstEnergy declined to provide cost estimates for that project, as well
as its latest round of repairs.
New vessel heads cost on the order of
$15 million to $20 million - approximately $5 million to $8 million to build,
plus another $10 million to $12 million for expenses such as design and installation,
according to Melanie Lyons, spokeswoman for the nuclear industryís Washington-based
trade group, the Nuclear Energy Institute.
The utility will be the first
in the NRCís seven-state Midwest region to bring in a whole new vessel head, according
Mr. Strasma, who described it as a "prudent move on their part."
The utility wants to start fresh with a new reactor cover to avoid more expensive
repairs when the plant gets older and more nozzles become susceptible to cracks.
"Thatís certainly one of the factors and a strong one," Richard Wilkins,
FirstEnergy spokesman, said.
Another is the companyís hope that Davis-Besse
has more years left in it, he said. The plantís 40-year license expires in 2017,
but company officials notified the government several months ago that they intend
to seek a 10-year extension.
Mr. Wilkins said that the plant always will
need various parts replaced but that it has been running in good shape: It set
an internal record of 639 days - nearly two years - of continuous operation until
shutting down for refueling Feb. 16.
"The only way you can do that
is to have confidence in the equipment you have," Mr. Wilkins said.
Date: March 7th, 2002
Davis-Besse, Fermi II pass safety evaluations
Toledo areaís two nuclear plants received passing marks in their latest government
FirstEnergy Corp.ís Davis-Besse plant in Ottawa County and
Detroit Edison Co.ís Fermi II plant in Monroe County were notified by the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week that they "operated in a manner that
preserved public health and safety and fully met all cornerstone objectives."
Letters acknowledging the results were posted on the government agencyís
Internet web site yesterday. Both plants are about 25 miles from Toledo.
A public meeting is set for April 3 at the Davis-Besse administration building
to discuss that plantís results. No meeting is scheduled to discuss Fermiís results.
Date: March 20th, 2002
Regulators issue acid-damage alert
BLADE STAFF WRITER
OAK HARBOR - Although the latest discovery of corrosion on top of FirstEnergy
Corp.ís Davis-Besse nuclear reactor could be less serious than what was found
last week, federal regulators want all other nuclear plants to check for similar
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent a bulletin
outlining Davis-Besseís reactor head damage to the nationís 103 nuclear plants
with special instructions to 69 that have pressurized water reactors.
Davis-Besse, in Ottawa County, has a pressurized water reactor. Detroit Edison
Co.ís Fermi II nuclear plant in northern Monroe County is a different type of
structure: It has a boiling water reactor.
All plants with pressurized
water reactors are being required to submit detailed information on how the structural
integrity of their reactor vessel heads has been examined recently. The information
will be used to determine if any of them need to be shut down for emergency inspection,
NRC spokesman Jan Strasma said.
Fermi II and other plants with boiling water
reactors were provided the bulletin for informational purposes only.
A similar thing happened last year after Duke Energy Corp. found unusual circumference-type
cracks in two nozzles on top of that utilityís Oconee 3 reactor in South Carolina.
Those type of cracks made regulators believe the nozzles could eventually split
open and impede use of the control rods.
Major corrosion discovered last
week at Davis-Besse - described as the most severe of its type ever found on top
of a U.S. nuclear reactor head - did not pose an immediate radiation threat to
the public because no steam escaped from the reactor.
Even if it had,
safety systems were designed to immediately kick in and help cool the reactor.
Any steam that would have escaped would have been trapped by thick concrete walls
of the reactorís containment building.
The NRC was stunned by the corrosion
because of how deeply it had penetrated the reactor head. In the bulletin it sent
to nuclear plants, the NRC stated that degradation of the reactor head or other
portions of reactor coolant pressure boundary "can pose a significant safety
risk if permitted to progress to the point that their integrity is in question
and the risk of a loss of coolant accident increases."
from the reactor leaked through at least two devices known as control rod drive
Acid from one of those nozzles burned through all
six inches of carbon steel that makes up the reactor capís upper layer, leaving
a cavity four inches wide and about seven inches across. The only thing stopping
it from burning a hole through the reactor head was a thin layer of stainless
steel, which is about three-eighths of an inch thick or roughly the width of a
pencil eraser. That type of steel is impervious to boric acid.
the NRC was awaiting more information yesterday about the latest discovery of
corrosion, FirstEnergy doesnít believe itís as extensive as that found last week.
Richard Wilkins, utility spokesman, said the corrosion measured around a
second leaking nozzle penetrated about four inches of the carbon steel and left
a cavity that extended only about a quarter-inch from the side of the nozzle.
The damage was limited to a section of the nozzle that measures about 15/8 inches
across, he said.
The two most problematic nozzles are among 69 welded
into the reactor head. Five were found to have tiny cracks shortly after the plant
was shut down for normal refueling and maintenance Feb. 16.
of those five nozzles - three altogether - is believed to have a crack which goes
all the way through it. More tests are being done to see if acid made it through
that nozzle, though Mr. Wilkins said there has not yet been the most tell-tale
sign: the formation of salt-like boric acid crystals on the outside of the tube.
The cost to repair all damage could reach $10 million. The utility hopes
to have the work done by late June, though the NRC wonít allow the company to
restart the plant until it is satisfied that sufficient repairs have been made.
FirstEnergy hopes to avoid a repeat of the problem by installing a reactor
head with 69 new nozzles when Davis-Besse is shut down for its next biennial refueling
outage in 2004. Such project typically costs up to $20 million. Those costs canít
be passed on to customers.
Date: March 12th, 2002
Boric acid leak eats 6-inch hole in cap of Davis-Besse reactor
By TOM HENRY
OAK HARBOR - FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse nuclear plant became
the focus of a national investigation yesterday after officials learned that acid
from the plant's reactor ate a half-foot chunk out of a steel cap that covers
Described by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the
utility as the most extensive corrosion ever found on top of an American nuclear
plant reactor, the radioactive boric acid came within a half-inch of burning a
hole through the huge vessel head - a domelike structure that is 17 feet wide
and made primarily of two types of steel.
The corrosion, missed in previous
inspections, prompted the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory to immediately notify the nation's
102 other commercially operated nuclear plants to be on the lookout for a similar
"It's a very significant degradation of the vessel head,"
Jan Strasma, NRC spokesman, said. "It's certainly very unusual. ... Certainly,
it's a deterioration of a very important safety feature."
the cracks caused an immediate threat to the public, because Davis-Besse is shut
down for normal refueling and maintenance since Feb. 16.
had hoped to restart the plant by the end of March, but said the corrosion problem
- to be addressed by a team of 50 scientists, technicians, and nuclear experts
from all parts of the country - will keep the plant idle until at least late April.
Mr. Strasma gave no assurances that the utility will be able to stick to
"They'll develop a repair procedure and we'll see
if that is sufficient to deal with the problem," he said.
amounts of boric acid, which the reactor creates during the nuclear fission process,
are believed to have dribbled for a long time - possibly years - from at least
one of 69 extended, vertical tubes called control rod drive mechanism nozzles.
The nozzles, which operators use to maneuver control rods and keep the plant
running safely, are permanently implanted into the reactor head and are supposed
to be welded airtight.
Somehow, acid escaped.
It burned through
all six inches of carbon steel that forms the outer layer of the reactor head
and made contact with the stainless steel on the cap's innermost side. The stainless
steel layer is only about three-eighths of an inch thick- about the size of an
eraser head - but the corrosion did not penetrate it because that type of metal
is impervious to boric acid, said Richard Wilkins, FirstEnergy spokesman.
The corrosion created a cavity four inches wide and five inches long around
the most troublesome nozzle, he said.
"We were not expecting to
see that extent of corrosion," he said. "This has not been seen in the
FirstEnergy is repairing five of the 69 reactor
nozzles which are believed to have cracked sometime during the plant's 25-year
Two are now thought to be leaking - something which wasn't previously
The reactor head's corrosion appears linked to at least one of
those two leaking nozzles or to aging weld seams surrounding them, Mr. Wilkins
Even if it had been operating, the reactor does not make direct
contact with the environment. It is sealed off in a separate building designed
to trap radiation that might escape from the vessel.
The utility also
believes operators would have had plenty of time to shut down the plant if an
emergency had arisen. There was never any hint of a problem: The plant ran at
full power for months, without any noticeable loss in reactor pressure, Mr. Wilkins
The NRC wants the cracks repaired so that they do not ever impede
efforts to shut down the plant.
FirstEnergy plans to install a new reactor
head during the plant's next refueling outage in 2004, complete with 69 new nozzles,
Mr. Wilkins said.
The reactor head cannot be installed now, because it
will take months to build it and transport it to Davis-Besse, he said.
Projects of that magnitude can cost as much as $20 million, according to the Nuclear
Energy Institute in Washington. The utility has declined to say how much it expects
to spend on that or on its immediate repairs.
The plant's 40-year license
expires in 2017, but company officials notified the government several months
ago that they intend to seek a 10-year extension.
Date: March 14th, 2002
Outage at Besse extended 2 months
head repair to cost up to $10M
BLADE STAFF WRITER
OAK HARBOR - FirstEnergy Corp.ís
Davis-Besse nuclear plant likely will be idle at least two months longer than
originally thought because of extensive corrosion on top of the plantís reactor
head that will cost $5 million to $10 million to repair.
yesterday announced its revised timetable and gave an estimate for how much it
expects to spend on the repairs. Thatís all subject to change, however, depending
on what a team of about 50 experts from throughout the country learn as they probe
deeper into the cause of the corrosion.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
the government agency that regulates the nuclear industry, wonít let the plant
resume operation until it is convinced it is safe, regardless of what timetable
the utility hopes to meet, NRC spokesman Jan Strasma said.
team got on the site and began its inspection yesterday [Tuesday]," he said.
Davis-Besse was shut down for normal refueling Feb. 16 for what was supposed
to be a six-week outage.
But serious corrosion was discovered following
a series of ultrasonic tests and follow-up inspections: In one area of the top
of the reactor head, measuring about four inches wide and five inches across,
boric acid from the reactor had dripped out and burned through six inches of carbon
steel. The only thing left in that part of the reactor head was the bottom layer
of stainless steel, which is less than a half-inch wide.
The acid escaped
via a device called a control rod drive mechanism nozzle. There are 69 such nozzles
implanted in a typical head covering a pressurized water reactor. At Davis-Besse,
five of those nozzles have cracked and one near the center of the reactor head
appears to be troublesome.
The utility announced Monday that the outage
would continue through late April instead of late March. It now appears more likely
the plant will remain shut down until at least late May or late June, assuming
it can stick to its latest timetable and get the NRC to sign off on repairs, FirstEnergy
spokesman Richard Wilkins said. The delay was necessitated largely because the
large team of experts the utility assembled to look into the problem wants to
explore a number of options, he said.
The utility acknowledged an outside
possibility it might keep the plant shut down for several more months and wait
for a replacement reactor head in lieu of repairing the one that has covered the
reactor since the plant opened nearly 25 years ago.
FirstEnergy has put
in an order for a new reactor head, but the dome-shaped device - 17 feet wide
and made of steel - will take months to build. The utility still plans to install
it in 2004, during its next anticipated refueling outage, unless repairs go beyond
June and the manufacturer can reduce the time it takes to build the new one, Mr.
Replacing the reactor head is a massive project some industry
experts in Washington said costs $15 million to $20 million. FirstEnergy wonít
say how much it expects to spend, nor will it verify the industry estimate, Mr.
The costs will not be passed along to consumers. The utility
has contingency money set aside for improvements, and is bound to existing rates
in its deregulation agreement with the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. "The
bottom line is, they [customers] arenít going to see rate increases because of
this," Mr. Wilkins said.
Though the shutdown could extend to the
beginning of summer - when electricity usage peaks - FirstEnergy expects to continue
meeting the energy needs of its customers.
Bulk power will be bought
from other companies if the utility canít generate enough from its other two nuclear
plants - the Perry plant east of Cleveland and the Beaver Valley plant in western
Pennsylvania - as well as the companyís eight coal-fired plants. Contracts with
other companies give FirstEnergy legal assurance to get any additional power it
needs to make up for a deficit, Mr. Wilkins said.
935 megawatts of electricity when running at full power - roughly the same amount
used by the Toledo metropolitan area and half of the utilityís northwest Ohio
service base, he said.
Members of nuclear watchdog groups said the leak
is a clear sign that federal regulators are not properly monitoring the industry.
Critics of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission questioned the agencyís decision
to allow the Davis-Besse plant to keep operating even though cracks had been found
at another plant a year ago. "It underscores the many problems and risks
in letting these older plants forge ahead when theyíre already showing problems,"
said Hugh Jackson, a policy analyst at Public Citizen in Washington.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Date: March 14th, 2002
A scare at Davis-Besse
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station near Oak Harbor is getting unwanted national
attention after officials discovered serious corrosion problems in a critical
safety device. But the sudden federal scrutiny is certainly warranted to reassure
an apprehensive public.
The corrosion was caused by a leak of radioactive
water that dripped unnoticed, apparently for years, onto the top of Davis-Besseís
massive reactor vessel. The acidic water ate a hole all the way through a six-inch-thick
carbon steel wall on the reactor vessel. It did not, however, breach a thinner
protective stainless steel liner below.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
officials said such corrosion has never been seen before, and convened a 50-person
task force of experts to study the problem. The NRC also immediately alerted owners
of the other 102 operational nuclear reactors to be on the lookout for a similar
The NRCís actions certainly were justified.
vessel, a sealed vault 17 feet in diameter, is one of the first lines of defense
in preventing release of radioactive material to the surrounding environment in
the event of a serious accident. It is located under yet-another protective layer,
the thick reinforced concrete dome that is one of Davis-Besseís exterior signatures.
Thankfully, the problem was detected in time, while the reactor was shut
down for maintenance. There was no release of radioactivity and no harm to the
public or plant workers.
Even if an emergency had arisen while Davis-Besse
was in operation, the plant could have been shut down safely, FirstEnergy officials
Nobody knows whether the corrosion was an isolated problem limited
to Davis-Besse, or a generic problem that affects other nuclear plants. NRC should
resolve that question quickly, for these are critical times for the nuclear power
President Bushís new energy plan envisions a renaissance of
nuclear power, which produces electricity with abundant supplies of domestic uranium
fuel. Public opinion also showed signs of improving, since nuclear fuel is abundant
and does not release air pollutants that contribute to global warming.
Public confidence, however, remains a major barrier to increased use of nuclear
NRC should give particular emphasis to the implications, if any,
for relicensing aging nuclear power plants. Many nuclear stations, including Davis-Besse,
are moving toward the end of the 40-year life span for which they were designed.
Like other owners, FirstEnergy plans to ask the NRC for permission to continue
operating for an additional 10 years. The NRCís studies indicated that plants
generally can continue operating safely.
The public needs reassurance,
however, that hidden corrosion - and other problems unforeseen by the NRC - are
not lurking in nuclear powerís future.
Date: March 19th, 2002
More damage found on Davis-Besse reactor
BLADE STAFF WRITER
OAK HARBOR - More damage has been found on top of FirstEnergy Corp.ís Davis-Besse
nuclear plant reactor.
Boric acid from the reactor is now believed to
have escaped through two points of the dome-shaped, 17-foot-wide steel lid that
covers the vessel, Richard Wilkins, FirstEnergy spokesman, said last night. In
each case, the acid has gotten through cracks in long steel tubes known as control
rod drive mechanism nozzles.
The nozzles, welded into the reactor head,
are primary safety devices because they help operators control what goes on inside
The latest inspection revealed the same type of evidence
that led to last weekís initial discovery of massive corrosion: Salt-like deposits
of boric acid on top of the reactor head next to a cracked nozzle, Mr. Wilkins
Officials have described the corrosion found around one nozzle
last week as the worst of its kind on a U.S. nuclear reactor head.
acid burned through all six inches of carbon steel on top of the vessel head,
creating a cavity about four inches wide and five inches across. It was stopped
by only a half-inch of stainless steel, which is impervious to that type of acid.
The extent of the damage of the latest discovery wonít be known for about
two weeks, in part because the nozzle in question is hard to remove. Much of the
work will be done by robotic equipment, Mr. Wilkins said.
spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissionís Midwest regional office
in Lisle, Ill., was not available for comment last night.
The plant has
been shut down since Feb. 16, when it was taken off line for refueling. The utility
brought in about 50 experts from across the country to discuss what repairs should
be made after the initial corrosion was found.
The government agency
sent in its own team of inspectors, and notified all other nuclear plants to be
on the lookout for similar problems. FirstEnergy announced last week that the
plant could remain idle until the end of June, possibly three months longer than
originally planned. It was not immediately known if the discovery of additional
corrosion will cause a further delay, Mr. Wilkins said.
Date: March 20th, 2002
operators asked to examine reactor vessels
SAN ONOFRE ---- Federal regulators announced Tuesday they have
asked all operators of nuclear reactors such as the two at San Onofre for new
information about the strength of their reactor vessel heads.
The heads are
where control rods, instrumentation nozzles and vents penetrate the solid steel
of the vessels to reach the nuclear fuel inside. Welds around those penetrations
have been found to leak water at some nuclear plants.
A leak discovered this
month at the Davis-Besse plant at Oak Harbor, Ohio had allowed a large amount
of boric acid to accumulate on the reactor head. The boric acid ate a 6-inch-deep
hole in the pressurized steel container and nearly penetrated the head. A second,
smaller hole in the top of the same reactor was reported Tuesday.
operators routinely add boric acid to the water that flows through reactors because
the chemical helps control the nuclear reaction. A form of the element boron,
boric acid absorbs neutrons the same way a lead shield does. Any water that escapes
through a leak quickly evaporates leaving behind the boric acid and any other
minerals carried in it.
"Boric acid has long been found on reactor vessel
head for different reasons," said Linda Smith, an engineer at the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission's regional headquarters in Arlington, Texas.
different here ... is the corrosion rate," she said. "Almost all the
carbon steel was gone. That's not been seen before."
Boric acid deposits
had never caused any significant corrosion before, Smith said. This time the boric
acid had eaten almost all the way through the thick layer of carbon steel to the
thin internal layer of stainless steel, which is impervious to the acid. Without
the backing of the carbon steel, she added, the reactor's internal pressure had
begun to stretch the stainless steel liner outward at the point of the corrosion.
Federal regulators are studying the corrosion at Davis-Besse, discovered
during routine maintenance work, to learn more about what caused it.
break in the pressurized reactor vessel could allow large amounts of contaminated
water and steam to escape from the vessel, although U.S. nuclear plants are built
with concrete and steel domes designed to contain any such leaks and prevent contamination
from reaching the outside environment.
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
operators examine their vessel heads for leaks and corrosion during the refueling
and maintenance work done about every two years for each of the reactors.
"In the past we have found very small residual deposits (of boric acid),"
said plant spokesman Ray Golden, adding that no significant corrosion has been
found at San Onofre.
Each of San Onofre's two operating reactors has 102
different penetrations of the reactor vessel head, he said. Ninety-one of those
penetrations are for control rods, 10 are for instruments, and one is a vent.
San Onofre's reactor vessel heads are due for their most detailed inspection
ever during their next refuelings, which are scheduled to start in May for Unit
2 and January for Unit 3. The plants began production in 1983 and '84.
insulation that covers a portion of the head will be removed and replaced, Golden
said. While the insulation is off, inspectors will be able to see portions of
the head and nozzles that were inaccessible before.
Federal regulators sent
their request for more information to all operators of pressurized water reactors,
in which the water that circulates through the reactor is not allowed to turn
The United States has 102 operating commercial nuclear reactors,
of which 69 are pressurized water reactors. The others are boiling water reactors,
in which the water that cools the reactor turns to steam.
Contact staff writer
Phil Diehl at (760) 901-4087 or email@example.com.
THE NEXT GROUP OF ARTICLES REFERENCE AN ONGOING NUCLEAR ACCIDENT IN JAPAN:
Onagawa's third nuclear reactor goes onstream
(Kyodo) The third nuclear reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s Onagawa power
station in Miyagi Prefecture went into commercial operation Wednesday, adding
825,000 kw of power to the Tohoku Electric grid.
Tohoku Electric officials
said the boiling-water reactor, which has been under test-operation since last
April, was switched to commercial operation under authority from the Nuclear and
Industry Safety Agency.
With a third reactor on line, the Onagawa nuclear
power station, which straddles the towns of Onagawa and Oshika in northeastern
Miyagi Prefecture, has a total output capacity of 2.174 million kw, raising the
share of nuclear power at Tohoku Electric from 8.9 percent to 13.5 percent.
The commercial operation of the No. 3 Onagawa reactor, the 52nd operating reactor
in Japan, came 4 1/2 years after the last newly built reactor -- the No. 4 at
Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture -- went on
There are only three other reactors being constructed in Japan -- at
Higashidori, Aomori Prefecture; Hamaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture; and Shiga, Ishikawa
The government has said Japan needs another 10 to 13 reactors
by 2010 under the nation's long-term electrical power plan, but nuclear industry
experts suggest the goal is unlikely to be met.
Analysts say the nation's
power industry faces two major hurdles in building more nuclear plants -- objection
by local residents in close proximity to the sites and slumping demand for electricity.
Six pending nuclear plant construction projects nationwide have stalled due
to local opposition and other reasons.
Tohoku Electric said it expects a
fall in electricity demand in the current business year, blaming the slump on
the economic downturn as well as energy-saving initiatives by consumers.
The utility plans to give priority to building nuclear plants, saying they emit
less carbon dioxide than thermal plants.
But Keiichi Makuta, president of
Tohoku Electric, admits that even nuclear plant construction could be put on the
back burner if power demand remains so sluggish.
The Japan Times:
Jan. 31, 2002
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Probe into reactor leak branches out
(Kyodo) Too much heat during welding, poor water quality and inferior materials
are being examined as possible causes of a radioactive water leak at a nuclear
reactor in Hamaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Chubu Electric Power Co. said Tuesday.
The Nagoya-based utility said the mistakes may have caused a welded part
at the bottom of a pressure vessel in the 540,000-kw plant's No. 1 reactor to
crack, leading to a leak in early July that averaged 80 liters of radioactive
water each day.
The leak was not discovered until November.
reported the findings Tuesday to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which
is a branch of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
said it will send samples from the welded part to a facility linked to Toshiba
Corp. for further investigation.
The welded part and others surrounding it
will be replaced, the officials said. The weld links one of the reactor's 89 control
rod driving units to the bottom of a pressure vessel.
Officials said the
task will likely be difficult, since it has never been done before in Japan.
Fumio Kawaguchi, president of Chubu Electric Power, visited the town of Hamaoka
on Tuesday afternoon and apologized to Mayor Yoshiaki Honma for the accident.
"I once again want to apologize for causing great worries to town residents
and others," Kawaguchi said.
Radioactive steam was discovered leaking
from a pressure-injection system at the Hamaoka plant's No. 1 reactor on Nov.
The Japan Times: Dec. 26, 2001
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High pressure burst nuclear pipe
suspect hydrogen combustion behind rupture
A steam pipe at Chubu
Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture ruptured instantly
under enormous pressure last month, causing a radioactive steam leak, the plant's
operator and the government's nuclear body said Thursday.
The utility firm
and the Nuclear Safety and Industrial Agency, which have been looking into the
cause of the Nov. 7 accident, said a "ductile fraction" caused the rupture,
as characteristic dimples were detected in a cross section of the carbon steel
A ductile fraction -- in which the pipe is stretched to breaking point
-- has never occurred before in Japanese nuclear plants, according to the company.
Masatoshi Sakaguchi, deputy head of the Hamaoka plant, said the phenomenon
was "never expected."
Chubu officials said they suspect the pressure
was due to explosive hydrogen combustion inside the pipe.
The pipe may also
have ruptured as a result of shock caused by the flow of water within, they said.
The utility released the results of its analysis of the cross section, which
is 15 cm in diameter 1.1 cm thick.
The officials said a microscopic examination
was conducted on 17 pipe fragments at a facility affiliated with Toshiba Corp.
and the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute.
It did not show signs of
metal fatigue or corrosion, they added.
Hydrogen could have been generated
in the pipe as radiation split water molecules in the reactor, the agency said.
Agency officials also said it is difficult to pinpoint the cause of the rupture
due to the lack of direct evidence.
Steam containing a small amount of radioactive
material leaked from a pressure injection system at the plant's 540,000-kw No.
1 reactor on Nov. 7.
Three days later, radioactive water was found to be
leaking inside the reactor at the rate of about 60 milliliters per hour.
The Japan Times: Dec. 7, 2001
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Reactor leak traced to rupture in weld
(Kyodo) The leak in November of radioactive water at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power
Station in Shizuoka Prefecture came from a 2-cm rupture in a welded part, according
to the plant operator, Chubu Electric Power Co.
The Nagoya-based power company
found the rupture in a tube connecting one of the 89 control-rod driving units
to the bottom of the vessel, a Chubu Electric Power spokesman said.
the first time water had leaked from that part of a nuclear plant in Japan, nuclear
In a test, air bubbles were detected from both the lower right
and left sides of the tube, leading experts to believe the cracks had allowed
radioactive water to leak from the pressure vessel in the 540,000-kw No. 1 reactor,
the spokesman said.
The 4-meter control-rod drivers were attached to the
14-cm-thick vessel by the tubes in 1972. The drivers, connecting tubes and inside
of the vessel are made of alloy, including nickel.
The company will study
the part to see whether workers used excessive heat when welding it to the vessel
bottom, or failed to weld the parts properly.
Chubu Electric Power said on
Nov. 10 that small amounts of radioactive water had leaked inside the reactor
in the Hamaoka plant, following a leakage of radioactive steam three days earlier.
The water leaked at a rate of about 60 ml per hour.
The Japan Times:
Nov. 28, 2001
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Leak may have begun in July
only spotted problem last week
NAGOYA (Kyodo) Operation data at Chubu
Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear power station in Shizuoka Prefecture indicate
that a water leak from its No. 1 boiling-water reactor could have gone unnoticed
for months, the power firm said Thursday.
Chubu Electric said it will remove
all fuel from the 54,000-kw reactor to investigate the cause of the leak, in an
unusual step that may keep the reactor off-line for some time.
The fuel will
be removed after a pressure vessel is opened today to pinpoint the location of
the leak, the Nagoya-based utility firm said, noting that it is a "grave
According to the firm, water could have started leaking
from the No. 1 reactor in July or August.
The government plans to question
officials at the plant to determine how the utility could have failed to detect
the water leak for such a long period.
An increase in the amount of water
was observed from July through September in a local cooler, which is used to store
water coming out of the pressure vessel, according to the utility.
were no changes in radiation levels, and Chubu Electric concluded the increase
was a phenomenon peculiar to summer and did not represent an anomaly. It did not
look into the possibility of water leakage while the reactor was operating.
The reactor was manually shut down Nov. 7 after a steam leak was detected. Chubu
Electric initially said the water leak began after the reactor was shut down.
A water leak had earlier taken place at the same reactor in September 1988.
The government's Nuclear Safety Commission is scheduled to carry out an on-the-spot
inspection of the accident site at the reactor today.
The Hamaoka Nuclear
Power Station has four boiling-water reactors that generate about 3,617,000 kw.
Chubu Electric on Wednesday shut down the No. 2 reactor, which has a similar piping
structure as the No. 1 reactor, to carry out an emergency inspection.
third reactor is currently undergoing a regular inspection and the fourth is running,
according to the firm.
According to officials at the Ministry of Economy,
Trade and Industry, fuel from pressure vessels is removed once every three to
four years as part of regular checks. The procedure extends the typical 40- to
50-day inspection period by around 30 days.
It is unclear how soon the Hamaoka
plant can resume operations, they added.
The steam leak occurred following
a rupture in a pipe in the emergency cooling system. While looking into that,
investigators found water leaking around a control-rod driving unit below the
The Japan Times: Nov. 16, 2001
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Reactor leaking radioactive water
leak is second at Hamaoka plant in three days
SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) A
leak of water contaminated with radioactivity has been discovered at a nuclear
reactor in Hamaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Chubu Electric Power Co. announced Saturday.
The leak was discovered in the No. 1 reactor of the Hamaoka nuclear power
plant around 3 p.m. Friday, and was reported to the Shizuoka Prefectural Government
and other neighboring local governments around 11:30 p.m., the firm said.
The problem is in the same nuclear reactor that experienced a rupture in a carbon
steel pipe on Wednesday. The crack in the pipe resulted in the release of steam,
containing some radioactive material, from a pressure-injection system in the
No. 1 reactor.
Chubu Electric Power said the two incidents are not related.
The water leak discovered Friday occurred within a containment facility surrounding
the reactor and there is no danger of radiation leaking outside the nuclear plant,
the company said.
The source of the leak was around a unit that manages one
of 89 control rods.
As a result of this latest discovery, the company plans
to conduct a range of emergency checks, especially around the lower part of the
control rod system.
According to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency,
a division of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the leak was in the
order of a single drop of water every few seconds.
The level of radioactivity
in the leaked water is 323 becquerels per cubic centimeter and some 60 milliliters
of liquid are escaping each hour, according to the company.
The leak is the
second problem of its kind in the No. 1 reactor since September 1988.
Japan Times: Nov. 11, 2001
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LEAK AT SHIZUOKA REACTOR
Ruptured pipe blamed for 'anomaly'
SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Enormous pressure may have suddenly cracked a
carbon steel pipe at a nuclear reactor in Hamaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, resulting
in a leakage of steam and some radioactive material in a pressure-injection system,
the government said Thursday.
The leak occurred Wednesday during testing
of a startup system for a high-pressure core injection system at the No. 1 reactor
unit in Chubu Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear power plant, the Nagoya-based
The HPCI system is designed to cool the reactor core in the
event of an emergency.
It is the first time such a pipe has cracked, according
to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade
and Industry, adding it intends to order all similar pipes be inspected at plants
across Japan if necessary.
The agency has dispatched four inspectors to the
plant to investigate the cause of the incident.
The carbon steel pipe, which
is 1 cm thick and 15 cm in diameter, carries 290-degree steam under 70 atmospheres
of pressure, according to the agency. The pipe ruptured at one of its elbows,
The company checks the HPCI system every month and conducts annual
overall inspections to look for leaks but had found no problems, it said.
The agency said the accident was provisionally designated Level 1, or "anomaly,"
on the International Nuclear Event Scale and was a deviation from operational
Level 1 is the second category on a scale of 8 that begins
at zero. It is more serious than a Level Zero "deviation," which is
of no safety significance, and less serious than a Level 2 "incident"
that involves a significant spread of contamination or worker overexposure.
Other Level 1 accidents in Japan include a 1995 sodium leak at a prototype fast-breeder
nuclear reactor in Fukui Prefecture and a massive coolant water leakage in 1999
at another Fukui reactor.
In the 1995 accident, 2 to 3 tons of liquid sodium
compounds used as a coolant leaked from the Monju reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture,
forcing the plant to shut down.
In the July 1999 event, an estimated 89 tons
of radioactive coolant water leaked from the No. 2 reactor at Japan Atomic Power
Co.'s Tsuruga plant. An 8-cm crack was found in a pipe in a plant containment
Japan's worst nuclear accident, at a uranium processing plant in
Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, in September 1999, was designated Level 4, which
is classified as an "accident without significant off-site risk."
On Sept. 30, 1999, a self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction occurred at
the plant 120 km northeast of Tokyo, killing two people and exposing more than
600 others to radiation.
In the latest mishap, Chubu Electric estimated the
level of radioactive material leaked to be 400 becquerels per cubic cm.
added it had completely shut down the reactor by early Thursday.
system stopped operating during a test run at around 5 p.m. Wednesday after smoke
alarms in the building went off, it said.
No fire was reported at the site,
and the alarms may have been activated by the steam, local government officials
The plant operator immediately began a manual shutdown of the reactor
to pinpoint the cause of the trouble. The No. 1 unit houses a boiling-water reactor
capable of generating up to 540,000 kw of electricity.
The company is cleaning
up radioactive materials remaining in the residual heat-removal system. When the
removal is completed, plant employees will investigate the cause of the rupture,
the utility said.
The company reported the accident to the national government,
the Shizuoka Prefectural Government and five towns surrounding the plant.
There is no risk of the radioactive materials leaking out of the plant and no
employees were confirmed to have been exposed to the radioactive material, it
The Japan Times: Nov. 9, 2001
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