A. Gundersen ACRS Testimony 11-14-05
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Public Service Board, an expert hired by Entergy and Vermont Yankee acknowledgedthat this nuclear power plant would be less reliable after the EPU power increase. Theindustry record of EPU power increase related failures is replete with five steam dryerfailures, two cracked turbine generator shaft failures, and numerous other failures ofaging equipment after much smaller uprate power increases than that which is currentlyproposed for Vermont Yankee.However, we need not look to other reactors to identify that age related equipmentfailures are already impacting Vermont Yankee's performance.
Vermont Yankee's steam dryer has 40 new cracks since only 18 months ago,
the Main Steam Isolation Valves are no longer able to meet their original leakcriterion, and
the condenser is so old that Entergy itself has stated that Vermont Yankee
scondenser is "lucky to withstand gravity"!Remember last year's fire that shut down Vermont Yankee for almost three weeks? In adirect quote to the NRC about what really caused the fire, Vermont Yankee employeesstated, "The root causes of the event were determined to be inadequate preventativemaintenance…and failure to monitor age related degradation." The evidence showsthat the preventative maintenance issues to which Vermont Yankee refers in itsstatement were known as critical preventive maintenance issues throughout the nuclearindustry since 1990, and yet, still ignored by Entergy as late as 2004 in its rush to putVermont Yankee back on line.That fire confirmed what I stated back in October 2003 in formal testimony beforeVermont's Public Service Board, that there is "growing evidence that aging managementprograms aren't working." My question remains the same in 2005. "What will breaknext in a very old plant under very new EPU increased power stresses?"If the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is indeed as robust as Entergy claims, thereis a reliable scientific and technical method to test the plant under the additional stressof the proposed EPU power increase, called Full Power Transient Testing. The NRC