NRC says low level gas might’ve escaped from San Onofre – Other damage is unusual

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks said radioactive gas “could have” escaped the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on the northern San Diego coast.

Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander told The Associated Press the amount would have been “extremely small” and possibly not detectable by monitors.

The company and federal regulators say the release would not have posed a safety risk for the public.

“It would have been very, very small, low level, which would not pose a danger to anyone,” Dricks said.

 

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However, the company has found damage to other tubes, Dricks said.

“The damage that they have found to many other tubes is unusual, and they are attempting to identify the reason,” Dricks said.

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Power Reactor Event Number: 47628
Facility: SAN ONOFRE
Region: 4 State: CA
Unit: [ ] [ ] [3]
RX Type: [1] W-3-LP,[2] CE,[3] CE
NRC Notified By: DOUG FOOTE
HQ OPS Officer: JOHN KNOKE
Notification Date: 01/31/2012
Notification Time: 22:58 [ET]
Event Date: 01/31/2012
Event Time: 17:30 [PST]
Last Update Date: 01/31/2012
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) – RPS ACTUATION – CRITICAL
Person (Organization):
JEFF CLARK (R4DO)
SCOTT MORRIS (IRD)
LOUISE LUND (NRR)
Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
3 M/R Y 100 Power Operation 0 Hot Standby
MANUAL TRIP DUE TO A PRIMARY TO SECONDARY LEAK GREATER THAN 30 GAL/HR

“At 1505 PST, Unit 3 entered Abnormal Operation Instruction S023-13-14 ‘Reactor Coolant Leak’ for a steam generator leak exceeding 5 gallons per day.

“At 1549 PST, the leak rate was determined to be 82 gallons per day. At 1610 PST, a leak rate greater than 75 gallons per day with an increasing rate of leakage exceeding 30 gallons per hour was established and entry into S023-13-28 ‘Rapid Power Reduction’ was performed.

“At 1630 PST, commenced rapid power reduction per S023-13-28 ‘Rapid Power Reduction’. At 1731 PST, with reactor power at 35% the Unit was manually tripped. At 1738 PST, Unit 3 entered Emergency Operation Instruction S023-12-4 ‘Steam Generator Tube Rupture’.

“At 1800 PST the affected steam generator was isolated.”

All control rods fully inserted on the trip. Decay heat is being removed thru the main steam bypass valves into the main condenser. Main feedwater is maintaining steam generator level. No relief valves lifted during the manual trip. The plant is in normal shutdown electrical lineup.

Unit 2 is presently in a refueling outage and was not affected by this event.

The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector. The licensee has issued a press release.

Source: NRC Event Notifications

 

Source: Mercury News

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