Nuclear execs discuss the industry’s past, present & future

No. 6


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Volume 6



Failure of Isolated Phase Bus System


A look inside an iso bus failure at Callaway Automated callouts reduce wait times Lasers cut decommissioning dangers
Photo courtesy: IAEA , Fukushima Nuclear Plant

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Building the World’s Energy Future
Bechtel is among the most respected engineering, project management, and construction companies in the world. Bechtel operates through _ive global business units that specialize in power generation; civil infrastructure; mining and metals; oil, gas and chemicals; and government services. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries on all seven continents. Today, our 53,000 employees team with customers, partners and suppliers on diverse projects in nearly 50 countries. We stand apart for our ability to get the job done right—no matter how big, how complex, or how remote.



nuclear and coal (the coal industry obviously disagrees with that point. but you’re projecting out the technology prices performance of have been falling Renewables need nuclear to the nuclear plant. as long as we can live in harmony.help support the grid when Fertel said. but the claws come out when anyone tries to determine if one source is “better” than the other. “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” The above verse was written about how differences in people should not matter in the grand scheme of life. and non-emitting Marvin Fertel. It’s a well-known fact that the nuclear energy and renewable energy industries have a love-hate relationship.” – WAR. tant. though prices. CEO of the Nuclear sources of energy.ENRICHMENT NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 3 BY SHARRYN DOTSON. newables and nu. or if financial incentives are unfairly given out to one source over the other. – such as Kewaunee in Wisconsin he color of your skin don’t matter to me. EDITOR Why Can’t We Be Friends? plants since gas prices are low. natural gas. the number of lowand tax incentives.the wind isn’t blowing or This isn’t to say clear pay for them. said in the Nuclear at how nuclear and renewable energy Executive Roundtable (pg. Both industries understand that all power generating sources will be necessary to reliably keep the lights on. but if the foments through fuel SO2 and particulates around cus is to increase cost savings. credits the world. but I won’t get into that in this column). While he did not mention nuclear specifically. Upfront costs of new nuclear builds tend to push utilities to build natural gas-fired power “T . Re.the sun isn’t shining. but the words can also apply to the relationship between nuclear and renewables in the grand scheme of power generation. using renewables. mercury. then we must look Energy Institute. ural gas because of the major upfront Adverse market conditions are costs of a new nuclear power plant causing some nuclear power plants are not looking at the big picture. while “I think part of the reason for that renewable energy costs are brought is you’re looking at a 60-year asset down with the help of financial inand you’re projecting out not only gas centives such as tax breaks.S.levels of carbon. and that natural gas selves in the long nuclear needs renewables and coal are not run through their to help in the reduction of equally as imporreturn on invest. 14) that can work together instead of vying critics who turn from nuclear to natfor the top spot. Critics of renewables say they are not reliable sources of energy.” for some time. President Barack Obama proposed an all-inclusive plan to cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 in the U. it is needed to keep the grid stable and provide much-needed. noemissions baseload power. cost too much to build and maintain and are environmentally unfriendly. and anti-nuclear folks say just about the same thing. The disparities in the sources essentially come down to cost.

transmission and distribution projects to handle loads from both sources and getting landowners on board with the amount of land required to build a new project. So what do you say we put aside our differences and embrace the fact that the world’s power supplies need all hands on deck? It won’t be all puppies and rainbows. emissions and are a great combo for the bigger power generation picture. . if any. Both countries are shutting down nuclear power plants due to the accident in Fukushima.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > ENRICHMENT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 4 and Vermont Yankee in Vermont – to shut down. However. Of course. wind or other renewables on the same site (check out Florida Power & Light’s Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center as an example). they need each other: Renewables need nuclear to help support the grid when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. but it’s not coming along very smoothly. such as what we are seeing in Japan and Germany. Renewables can be installed faster than a nuclear power plant and both can be a hedge against gas prices that are certain to fluctuate in the future like they have in the past. To be honest. Both emit very few. pushing some grid operators to rely more on natural gas. Just as some natural gas-fired projects are adding solar. Not to say that it can’t be done. but they are realizing that it’s not so easy to build enough renewable energy plants to replace all of the lost capacity. but it is a possibility that nuclear and renewables could be good buddies in the long run. such as environmental approvals. SO2 and particulates around the world. there are many issues that need to be ironed out. and nuclear needs renewables to help in the reduction of levels of carbon. This is why nuclear and renewables need to work together. increasing dependence on those kinds of plants leads to an increase in emissions and electricity rates.and coal-fired power plants to pick up the slack. maybe one day the same can be done with nuclear and renewables. mercury.

” said Lennie Daniels. Pressurizer heaters are used in pressurized water reactors to provide the heat required to maintain pressure during transient conditions. and proactive physical mitigation with welding is also a viable option. and the heater is welded to the sleeves. our plant configuration made the repair option more viable. including vessel replacement and lower hemisphere repair.” CENG devised a first-of-a-kind weld repair. it also enhances worker safety through improved radiation protection. Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) has pioneered the development. and continues to challenge materials management programs across the industry. the innovation has the added potential of saving electric utilities—and their customers—hundreds of millions of dollars in future uses. testing. In conferring the award. “After detailed analysis. the heater sleeves can leak. machining equipment.FUEL FOR THOUGHT NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 5 Innovation Up My Sleeve BY BRIAN SCHIMMOLLER. the NEI noted that because the operational efficiencies achieved through the process also yield cost savings. senior project manager at CENG. CONTRIBUTING EDITOR S tress corrosion cracking in nuclear power plants has resulted in significant maintenance expenses for repair and replacement. The tooling – which included weld heads. CENG received the Nuclear Energy Institute’s “Best of the Best” Top Industry Practice (TIP) Award for this accomplishment earlier this year. These heaters are inserted in pipe penetrations into the vessel called heater sleeves. Much can be done through materials selection and water chemistry to avoid such cracking. with the ability to function reliably 30 feet off the . “We considered several options for this issue. and nondestructive evaluations (NDE) equipment – had to be built to work inside small-bore piping. and application of a proactive welding process to repair heater sleeves. The sleeves are welded to the vessel during original fabrication. The process reduces welding time by 80 percent and weld volume by 90 percent. Over the past several years. If cracking occurs in the welds. The new tooling and the processes had to be developed and proven to meet ASME requirements. The two welds comprise the pressure boundary for the system and are susceptible to stress corrosion cracking. potentially leading to unplanned unit downtime. Initial application of the process occurred in 2012 at CENG’s Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland.

For more information. Westinghouse provides comprehensive. and a specific number In all. visit us at www. If alignment was not maintained. such as bottom-mounted nozzles. of weld layers had to be made to ensure compliance with the codes and to meet the required thickness for the repair process. The project was completed a day ahead of schedule and at less cost than the other options considered. they had to be machined to meet the surface finish requirements for the NDE inspections. was that the tooling was designed to be operated remotely. and no leakage occurred. Personnel contamination incidents were 75 percent lower than project goals. the project came in far below planned dose levels. We provide state-of-the-art solutions for spent fuel services and for the treatment and handling of radioactive waste. the heater could not be inserted into the pressurizer. Daniels believes the technique could be adapted to other components in a nuclear plant. about 35 percent lower than the project goal.” said Daniels. CENG repaired 119 heater sleeve locations at Calvert Cliffs. integrated services and solutions to the decommissioning and dismantling (D&D) and waste management industries.” Once the welds were deposited.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 6 WESTINGHOUSE DECOMMISSIONING AND REMEDIATION SERVICES floor. This minimizes the need for workers to be directly exposed to radiation. according to Daniels. which means that both the welding and NDE could be perfomed from outside the protected area. GLOBAL PROJECT EXPERIENCE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY CENG repaired 119 heater sleeve locations at Calvert Cliffs without leakage. We have extensive experience in the dismantling of nuclear installations from uranium mill plants to nuclear power plants. In fact. The entire process was controlled to ensure proper alignment of the heater sleeve to the support plates. “Each weld head had to be placed in a specific location.and high-level waste.westinghousenuclear. The first-of-a-kind weld process is not expected to be a “one and done” application. Westinghouse offers proven solutions for the interim storage and final disposal of low-. Our dedication to a cleaner environment extends to servicing existing nuclear power plants and managing by-products in an environmentally responsible manner. “Process control was extremely important. One of the main benefits. NDE consisted of remote visual inspection via cameras mounted directly on the weld head. intermediate.com WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC FUEL FOR THOUGHT .

Top10 tailor-made solutions from an industry leader. to face several criminal Every nuclear plant is unique. And with 30 years serving the industry. BWR & PWR Internals CELEBRATING The NRC said that their Run/Repair/Replace Decisions Fatigue Management actions offsite demonstrated Seismic Revaluation Underground Pipe & Tank Integrity that they could not be relied Materials & Corrosion PWSCC/Alloy 600 & IGSCC Vibration upon to follow NRC requireY E A R S Nondestructive Examination 1983-2013 License Renewal Support ments to protect the plant and public safety.NEWS NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 7 SWEDEN’S RINGHALS POWER PLANT Nuclear power plant workers banned from sites after attempted carjacking Nov. charges pending against him. we know nuclear. some plant personnel knew of Buhrman’s plant to commit the crime and did not report him.structint. to assist.S. Landon E. (NYSE: EXC) for an incident involving violations of the Behavioral Observation Program at the plant. The order was issued as a Structural Integrity provides customized solutions to meet your plant’s unique needs. according to the Chicago Tribune. Exelon agreed to abide hended for aggravated vehicular carjacking and fled the country when he was released on bail. Brittain had fled to Venezuela but was caught and extradited back to the GO BEYOND THE COOKIE CUTTER U. 877-4SI-POWER (877-474-7693) Scan the QR Code for more information www. Buhrman instead pointed a gun at a woman in a store parking lot and result of the Alternative Dispute Resostole her vehicle. NRC staff issued a confirmatory order to Exelon Generating Co.com/npi . In addition. but THE POWER was caught in Texas on Nov. Brittain. NRC says senior reactor operator Michael J. He was tried and sentenced to 40 years in YOU GENERATE absentia this past May. Buhrman was apprelution process. Ask us about some of our top customized services. We start every day with an open mind and an eye for innovation – and we never shy away from a challenge. 1 Two former workers at the Dresden nuclear power plant in Illinois are banned from working in nuclear power plants after they were accused of attempting to rob an armored car and carjacked a woman. WE’LL GENERATE THE SOLUTIONS 1. You likely need more than a cookie-cutter approach to keep yours running smoothly. Buhrman planned to rob an armored car in May 2012 and recruited another senior reactor operator.

Many of the reactors were shut down due to parts that were supplied with forged documents. the group carried out what Greenpeace called a “peaceful stress test. and one down for scheduled maintenance.875 USD by a district court Thursday for entering a Swedish nuclear plant to expose alleged security flaws. NSA to help with decommissioning of uranium enrichment facility Nov. 1 or Nov. Two other activists who carried out the same action at the Forsmark power plant. Others used a ladder to scale the fence. the contractor that is decontaminating and decommissioning the facility for the Department of Energy. according to the article. Korea nuclear reactor approved to restart Oct. near Gothenburg. Sweden has three nuclear plants that produce 35 percent of the country’s energy. The decontamination and decommissioning process includes 134 buildings with more than 10 million square feet under roof. were never found and only left the plant after two days. according to Reuters. Hanbit No. Production ended in 2001. north of Stockholm. the article said. NSA will continue performing safety work and supporting Fluor B&W Portsmouth. providing training to staff on the revision and evaluating the effectiveness of the training. were fined between $775 to $3. including three that have been down since May to replace cables supplied with fake documents. 2. In October 2012. 1 Seven Swedish and two Norwegian Greenpeace activists. 1 Nuclear Safety Associates (NSA) was awarded a five-year contract from Fluor-B&W Portsmouth LLC to provide nuclear and criticality safety engineering S. Nuclear fuel rod removal at Fukushima to begin in November Oct. five men and four women. despite a 1980 referendum result in favor of winding down nuclear power. 31 South Korea’s Nuclear Safety & Security Commission approved the restart of a nuclear reactor after a two-month maintenance shutdown. on Sweden’s west coast. including enhancing the behavioral observation program procedure at all Exelon nuclear plants. Five other reactors remain offline. A sixth reactor was shut down Oct. The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant was built in the 1950s and produced enriched uranium for military submarines and weapons and provided fuel for commercial nuclear power plants in the U. two managed to stay inside the grounds of the plant until the next day. Sweden fines trespassers at nuclear plant Nov. a source from Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power said in the article.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NEWS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 8 by the conditions of the order.S. The country faces power shortages in the upcoming winter and summer due to shut downs of the 23 reactors. according to an article posted on The Local’s website.” aimed at proving that anybody could enter Ringhals power plant. one awaiting a license extension. In 2010 the Swedish parliament passed a government proposal allowing the replacement of nuclear reactors at the end of their life span. 30 Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gave final approval for operators at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to remove fuel rods from the Unit 4 fuel . 1 will restart on Nov. Several protestors simply walked or cycled through the entrance and were arrested shortly after. 30 to check welding work. professional services at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Ohio.

Removing the fuel rods is the first step in the decommissioning process. according to the Associated Press. in-depth articles and features about electric utilities around the world. An official warned in the article that removing the fuel rods would be difficult because of the debris that fell into the pool during the explosions. the article said. Get the facts for free as they’re posted — dim is never in. Unit 4 was offline when the earthquake and tsunami wrecked the plant in March 2011. the article said. The NRA said Tokyo Electric Power Co. bringing the number of shut down reactors to seven. Swiss nuclear plant to close by 2019 Oct. Officials did not give a time as to when the reactor is expected to return to service. according to Reuters. The Unit 4 cooling pool was suspected to have dried up early on in the crisis.67 million) to maintain and upgrade the plant over the next six years. 23 South Korea’s nuclear regulator said it is shutting down a 950 MW nuclear reactor in the country. the article said. About 200 of those rods that are unused are expected to be removed first. but there was actually enough water to cover the rods and prevent them from melting down. can begin removing the rods in November as planned. the article said. Korea Oct. Three others were shuttered after forged certificates for reactor parts were discovered.533 fuel rods. Seventh nuclear reactor to shut down in S. Available NOW APP FEATURES: on the iTunes® App Store! Read ad the Latest News N from Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International Sort by Most Viewed Watch Editor in Chief Teresa Hansen’s “Weekly Energy News Wrap-up” Read Kathleen Davis’ “Eye on the Grid” blog Sign up for e-newsletters Save your favorite articles Share with friends Brought to you by: Published by: . The Nuclear Safety & Security Commission decided last month to cease operations at the reactor in Yeonggwang County to perform welding quality tests in the steam generator. An unenclosed pool on the unit’s top floor reportedly contains 1.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NEWS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 9 pool. TEPCO plans to empty the Unit 4 pool by the end of 2014. according to Reuters. State-owned power company BKW said it would shut down the Muehleberg nuclear power plant due to high operating costs and scrutiny following the 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two were closed for scheduled maintenance and one had reached the end of its life span. but the reactor building was damaged by hydrogen explosions and fire. the article said. 30 A nuclear power plant in Switzerland is scheduled to close in 2019. the article said. The reactor is the seventh in the country to be shut down out of 23 total reactors. The completion of two new nuclear reactors have been delayed due to the fake document Introducing the All-New iPhone/iPad App WATTS HAPPENING? Plug into breaking news. BKW said it would spend approximately 200 million Swiss francs ($222.

CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NEWS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 10 OLKILUOTO POWER PLANT scandal. EPR’s polar crane. which led to the arrest of 100 individuals. AREVA is working with more than 300 Finnish suppliers on the unit. The closures renew worries of power shortages in the country since nuclear power generates one-third of the country’s electricity. according to the Wall Street Journal. The project will also assess the education and training needed for a workforce to produce the reactors. The installation was completed using the Small modular nuclear reactor research gets $1. and Ameren Missouri to research the 225 MWe integral pressurized water reactors. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2016.000 MW VVER unit may happen by the end of the year. 23 AREVA announced that the nuclear reactor vessel head was installed at the Olkiluoto 3 power plant in Finland. the funding will be used for the development of a supply chain. the article said. 21 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a preliminary report saying that the Japanese government made good use of advice from an October 2011 mission trip. The companies are working on a pilot test plant at Ameren Missouri’s Callaway Energy Center. logistics and . but there is still work to be done at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and surrounding areas. 23 The University of Missouri will receive a $1.8mn boost Oct.8 million grant from the U. 22 India began operations at a Russianbacked nuclear power plant after several delays.000 MW reactor is scheduled to come online by June 2014. The school is working in collaboration with Westinghouse Electric Co. According to the Associated Press. marking the completion of the installation of heavy equipment for the Finnish European Pressurized Reactor (EPR). and food safety measures had protected the public and improved consumer confidence in produce. infrastructure needed to manufacture SMRs. The first of two nuclear reactors at the Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu state was connected to the grid and supplied 170 MW of electricity. India nuclear power plant connects to power grid Oct. The IAEA mission team said good progress had been made in the remediation of farmland. The team also praised the government for handing out dosimeters to Major milestone reached at Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant Oct. The unit was originally supposed to be online seven years ago but faced numerous delays from anti-nuclear groups and IAEA: Nuclear remediation work is progressing in Japan Oct. The vessel head installation also makes the Olkiluoto unit the first EPR with a fully equipped reactor vessel. which allows heavy components to be moved around within the reactor building. the article said.S. A second 1. Full commercial generation of the entire 1. Department of Energy to help develop small modular reactors (SMRs). court cases. the article said. India is working to increase its nuclear capacity to 63 GW over the next 20 years from 47 MW currently.

click here. 15 Korea Electric Power Co. on the project. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation and World Health Organization.” in which consumers will not pay extra if wholesale prices go above an agreed strike price. International Commission on Radiological Protection. In remediation situations. Costain. The APR-1400 is an evolutionary .K. and China National Nuclear Corp. 18 South Korea said it will delay completing construction on two nuclear reactors to replace cables that were supplied with fake documents. which is expected to take 10 years to complete. The forgeries led to the indictment of 100 people. Hinkley Point C will offer predictable prices through a “Contract for Difference. operate Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant Oct.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NEWS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 11 residents so they can measure their radiation dose rates.com. Oct. The Chinese companies will have a 30 to 40 percent share.S. any level of individual radiation dose in the range of 1 to 20 mSv/y is acceptable and in line with international standards and the recommendations of the relevant international organizations such as the IAEA. Officials said they are delaying the start of operations by a year to 2015 and 2016 in order to replace the cables at Shin Kori Nos.S. To read the full preliminary report from the October 2013 trip. That brings to six the number of reactors that are currently shut down until control cables are replaced after officials found they were supplied with forged certificates. the company that made and supplied the questionable cables. 3 and 4. The mission team said the government must improve its efforts to explain to the public that its long-term goal of achieving an individual radiation dose of 1 millisievert per year (mSv/y) cannot be done in a short time by decontamination work alone. and the customers will not pay anything until the plant is operational. 21 Electricite de France SA signed a comprehensive set of agreements with the U. China General Nuclear Corp. The team also encouraged the relevant institutions in Japan to assess the role that the Nuclear Regulation Authority could play in the independent review of the remediation activities. and allow for their independent review. the generator will receive a top-up payment. the article said. the article said. Total costs are expected to reach 16 billion pounds ($26 billion). (KEPCO) and its unit Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power applied to the U. including a former chief executive at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) and a vice president at Korea Electric Power Co (KEPCO). If it falls below the strike price. EDF Group will partner with AREVA SA. government to build and operate two new nuclear reactors at the Hinkley Point C power plant in England. company would likely manufacture the replacement cables and that the country was planning to sue JS Cable of South Korea. and encouraged the relevant organizations to conduct safety assessments of the facilities and activities for the long-term management of contaminated materials. KEPCO applies to license its nuclear reactor design in the U. with appropriate consideration of the prevailing circumstances. according to Nasdaq. EDF to build. The energy minister said in the article that a U. Korea says two new nuclear reactors to be delayed Oct. EDF will own a 45 to 50 percent share of the project and AREVA will own 10 percent. Alstom and AREVA. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for certification of its APR1400 reactor design.S. S. the article said. Suppliers for the project include Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke. according to Reuters.

Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America and POWER-GEN International Financial Forum converge in 2014 to form Power Generation Week. is also supplying four APR1400s for its The fuel is designed to provide an first export project to the United Arab increase in power output while exEmirates. lot fabrication facility to demonstrate (B&W NE). USA >> www. B&W NE and online in 2017. signed a the fuel rod fabrication capability. Oct. a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Co.powergenerationweek. NUCLEAR POWER International. The 1400 MW APR1400 nuclear reactor design is currently under construction at Shin Kori 3&4 and Shin SHIN KORI NUCLEAR PLANT Hanul 1&2 in Korea.com Owned & Produced by Presented by Supported by . FL.com Covering every aspect of the power generation industry. Lightbridge team to develop metallic nuclear fuel project DECEMBER 7-11. panel discussions. Kepco metallic nuclear fuel. over 70 conference sessions.powergenerationweek. POWER-GEN International. Gain access to nearly every facet of the market – all under one roof. with the first scheduled to come tors. (NYSE: BWC). three exhibition days and multiple networking events. technical tours. 2014 >> ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER >> ORLANDO. Benefit from five days packed with pre-conference workshops. B&W. memorandum of understanding with They could sign a definitive agreeLightbridge Corp. The Westinghouse System 80+ was certified by the NRC in 1997. 15 Both companies will choose a piBabcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy Inc. Under the MOU.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NEWS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 12 pressurized water reactor with its origins in the CE System 80+ design. to jointly develop a ment early next year if the teaming demonstration project usingLightbridge’s arrangement proves to be feasible. Lightbridge agree to perform scoping studies relating to the pilot fabrication facility and explore teaming arrangements. Two units are currently untending the operating cycle length der construction there at the Barakah in existing pressurized water reacsite. Learn more at www.

Vice President of Nuclear with the Electric Power Research Institute. VICE PRESIDENT OF NUCLEAR. ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE MARVIN FERTEL. isn’t in “Pandora’s Promise. CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Marvin Fertel. Neil Wilmshurst. what did you think of it? If you haven’t seen it. and I thought it was pretty well done. CEO of AREVA Inc. but I also thought the movie did a very good job of showing a practical dimension around radiation that is difficult subject to capture. an increase in the use of renewable energy and the high upfront costs of nuclear have dominated the headlines. I thought it was also very indicative of a whole bunch of former very prominent environmental icons who have recognized the important role that nuclear energy plays. and Joe Zwetolitz.” but he is prominent. why didn’t you? Marvin Fertel: I saw it. not only in climate change. Power Engineering sat down with several nuclear industry executives about the current state of nuclear and its future. but many in the nuclear industry believe these are just temporary setbacks.NUCLEUS NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 13 Nuclear Executive Roundtable BY SHARRYN DOTSON. North America. Mike Rencheck. I would echo what Marv said. if so. but in clean air overall. who is the founder of Greenpeace. Mike Rencheck: I have seen it as well. PE: Has anyone on here seen “Pandora’s Promise” and. CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute. CEO OF THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY MIKE RENCHECK. Participants include Bill Johnson. It was very nice to see someone put a film together that collectivelyshowedanumberofprominent environmentalists and what they thought. CEO OF THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE JOE ZWETOLITZ. President of Nuclear Energy with Babcock & Wilcox. NORTH AMERICA NEIL WILMSHURST. EDITOR L ow natural gas prices. PRESIDENT OF NUCLEAR ENERGY WITH BABCOCK & WILCOX . CEO OF AREVA INC. and there’s a whole bunch of others that have come out over the last five years. Patrick Moore. I thought the use of the meter guy around different places in BILL JOHNSON.

which is climate control . By that. like what we are seeing at Vogtle and Summer. For us. I can tell you that it was showing at the IAEA General Conference last week on Friday. Vogtle and Summer are obligated to. they’d probably suffer some of the same problems as in the past. they continue to find that. you can see that over time. over the life of the plant. For us. Neil Wilmshurst: Unfortunately. I end up going somewhere. Bill can probably talk about this. it’s not just simply an economic consideration. but you’re projecting out the performance of the nuclear plant. and I think the film is doing a great job of trying to dispel the rumors and replace them with facts so that the right decisions can be made about nuclear power. and if everybody were to go to gas today. As the price is low. that everybody’s accustomed to. We just don’t think long-term enough. as Marv was alluding to. which creates problems for the quality of service. it’s about not putting all your eggs in one basket. and the cost of a new nuclear power plant running in the billions. . I mean you have a clear idea of what your objective is . PE: With the price of gas so low and the price of solar panels dropping. but still very expensive and they have the limitations of intermittency. you’re the right person to respond to this from an overall industry perspective and I agree completely. Up through the last review that they did. Joe Zwetolitz: I thought what was interesting about it was the debates with Patrick Kennedy and the whole idea that the film is spurring a serious debate about what the facts are. When you turn the switch on. Not just with gas. which is natural gas. if you look at renewables. I think part of the challenge is the upfront capital costs. In other words. it’s going to save their customers at Vogtle at least $4 billion over the next best alternative. what is the financial argument for nuclear? Fertel: You mention Vogtle and Summer. I haven’t seen it. I thought that brought it forward in a matter that made it easy for a layman to understand. there’s relatively very little volatility due to swings in fuel pricing. on a continuous basis almost. to inform their public utility commission of the economic value of Vogtle and Summer to their ratepayers and customers in Georgia and South Carolina. Gas is cheap today. but we’ve seen the price go up and down in the past. nuclear fares pretty well. I think part of the reason for that is you’re looking at a 60-year asset and you’re projecting out not only gas prices. at least in the United States. it’s also a diversity and long-term consideration. When you couple that with the ability of uranium as a fuel being only 5 to 15 percent of the cost of operating a unit. so I was really impressed by how they did that from a technical perspective. a lot of voltage control and frequency control comes from these very large machines that you simply can’t get from a natural gas plant or a renewables offering right now. Bill Johnson: I would describe it as an exercise in consistency of internal thinking. What came of that is the fact that there’s still a lot of misperceptions and misunderstandings. because every time I get close to seeing it. he’s probably seen it. the power is there whenever you need it. and if you would. you would have to add other components into the system making it much more expensive. They’re becoming more cost-effective. but if you look at customers over the long term.and the recognition that the best path to get there has to include nuclear power. but you have to maintain your options in the future. so it’s getting tremendous global air time as well. Rencheck: There’s some other aspects when you look at the operation of a grid where nuclear isn’t fully compensated for its entire support of the grid. it’s very attractive to build gas. But. Zwetolitz: Marvin. there’s obvious technical challenges with renewables.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 14 the world really gave a good showing of something that you can’t see.

The business community in Germany is really starting to complain about the electricity rates going up. we’re obviously the lowest. and there’s a lot of cracks starting to be seen in that strategy. obviously. I think if anybody can do it and make it work. is safe. I think there’s still a strong case to be made for nuclear going forward. So. The issue is everybody else should be paying for what they should be paying for. Zwetolitz: I do want to make one other point. A couple of things we think about with nuclear. Really. From the waste standpoint. junk the experiment and get back to making sure they had a reliable grid at lower prices. Wilmshurst: Obviously. Mike Rencheck makes an excellent point in the importance of large rotating masses in the frequency control. but they’re going to have some struggles and it’s going to be a challenge to be able to get there. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. that turns out to be really important in making sure the transmission system is stable. I think it’ll be interesting to see how Germany does with their experiment. For residential customers. PE: In light of the recent court decision ordering the NRC to finish looking into Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste storage site. this comes down to power density transmission support and low price when you spread it over 60 to 80 years of the assets. General concept of balance of the portfolio. 96 percent of a fuel assembly is reusable. they probably can. the amount of waste produced is very small. We’re not sure they’ll get money to do very much more because of Senator (Harry) Reid. So. Fertel: To Joe’s point. and we would like to see our waste program go forward. but. To your question of how does it hurt us competitively. or at least the person who is in charge of running a power system. and I would agree with all those comments. so I’m not sure how much movement we’ll see on that. either through new reactors or recycling technologies. So for us. because you can recycle the fuel assemblies. it had gone up into the 46 or 47 cents per kilowatt-hour range and that was unacceptable. The Journal had an article this weekend where the business community apparently sent a letter to (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel just before the election emphasizing the fact that costs in the business community had doubled from about 12 or 13 cents to 25 cents. we would like to see all costs fairly internalized for everybody. Just looking at gas around the world. we think that they’ll be able to finish the safety evaluation report. I think. Rencheck: Just to comment on the waste statement. in essence. is the fuel diversity. it hurts us a little bit because we’re paying for it. at least from the staff standpoint. the waste . which is a fine point of physics. I have also read stories recently about the experiment in Germany where they decided to get out of nuclear and replace almost entirely with renewables. which we expect will demonstrate that Yucca Mountain. And there won’t be any crisis because we will continue to do that.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 15 Johnson: I think I am the customer representative in the group. fundamentally. then I’m sure we can continue to improve on those processes. we’re in it for the long haul. It’s done with technologies in use today and if we spend more R&D efforts on it. but that’s only part of the issue. part of the blessing and the curse for us is we manage the waste so safely and securely at our sites that-quote-there’s no crises-unquote-and that’s why the government can steal $30 billion and not fulfill its obligation. They were basically telling her to. where do we stand with respect to waste storage? How big of an impact does the waste storage issue have on the nuclear industry’s ability to be competitive? Fertel: First of all. and so nuclear becomes a lot more competitive around the world. The environmental benefits over a 60year period of the cleanest technology we have.

geographical assessments. We’re involved in a number of efforts. and actually consider disposal before we build a program.and this was true in Wisconsin with Kewaunee you’re basically going to lose some units and you’re not going to be replacing them very easily. are saying “We’re being advised by IEA to consider the whole fuel cycle. doing about it?” People are looking at us as an example. All of that converging around 2018 or 2019 to have a design certification document in hand. both . probably in Oak Ridge.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 16 confidence discussion going forward is important. One observation: I was in Vienna last week at the IEA General Conference. drilling. The operational construct for SMRs is going to be different than we’ve been doing with the large reactors for a long time. I think there’s a lot of work going on in the background to keep the confidence for the safe storage of the waste. and then have a public meeting sometime in October. and this was in his 2012 State of the Market Report. So. which we were awarded. Its application has been longstanding in various forms. meteorological data. We have the agreement with the Department of Energy in terms of the funding opportunity. The latest action from us is preparation of a Notice of Intent to submit a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on construction. nuclear? What can be done to change that? Fertel: First I would say yes. a game changer in the nuclear industry.S. if you’re not paying people correctly for the capacity that they have there . I’ll quote from the Market Monitor in ISO New England. so things like core boring. Johnson: Let me talk a little about what’s going on at Clinch River. so design is going on to support the DCA. We had a recent increase in the amount that has been provided under that agreement. So. we think. there’s a lot of work going on in the design and development of applications to the NRC. It’s not clear yet what the right solution may be. There’s prep work going on at the site. He said “it is unlikely that significant generation investment will occur until capacity clearing prices increase significantly. those kinds of things going on. we hope to have a construction permit application submitted at that time. for instance. you guys haven’t figured it out yet. working with TVA.” Basically. I don’t think anyone has any doubts about the technology itself. technology that’s going to be. it’ll take a number of years going through the NRC process to support that. The NRC is going to have an important role to play here in sorting through the differences and see how this is going to come to fruition. We are looking for a goal of next year to have our design certification application being submitted to the NRC sometime in the late part of 2014.S. As Joe said. So. And then in 2015. We look at this as an excellent opportunity to work with the federal government to develop U. PE: Entergy recently said that the power market was partially to blame for the closing of the Vermont Yankee plant. like “Well.S. and all of that in support of a goal of having two SMR mPower units running at Clinch River in the 2021 timeframe. to discuss these things. it’s having a negative impact. we have detailed design going to continue after that. countries like Vietnam and Turkey. long-term storage and the long–term viability of the existing dry cask storage facilities. why should we figure it out before we start?” PE: What is the status of the mPower small modular reactors and the SMR project at the Clinch River plant site? Zwetolitz: We’ve been in the design phase for the SMR for a number of years. so that’s already underway. including the demonstration of high burn-up. even though there’s a lot of them out there. What is the U. Do you feel that the markets are having a negative impact on U. This is going to come down to is it a commercially viable technology. and a number of the new entry countries we’re observing.

We recognize it as a challenge that we think we’re up for the challenge as an industry. We have taken cybersecurity very seriously. from various agencies. who. working with all the different players in the industry to come up with a document called NEI 08-09. to be able to apply a product.and it’s clean capacity. NEI then followed suit for the industry. So we are heavily engaged in this every day. it doesn’t clear the market because of short-term economic or supply dynamics. the NRC issued a new cybersecurity rule outlining how the protection of digital computer and communications systems should be done. but then look at the nuclear power plant’s assets and then be able to provide monitoring systems and protection systems for those units. and I think the industry has as well. if natural gas is up around $4. including nuclear. In March of 2009. agreeing with Marv and Mike. like frequency support for the grid. We think we’re being very proactive in cybersecurity space. that would be used to assist utilities and folks like us in looking at our stations and figuring out what assets need protecting and how best to go about protecting them. Johnson: I don’t have any experience in operating in those markets. both of those plants would have been in the money. from the military. assessing security features. and AREVA has a cybersecurity offering where we have teamed up with Northrup Grumman. That’s also something that maybe should be looked at with the intermittency of renewables now entering the market and not having to bear those costs.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 17 the VY case and the Kewaunee case. So. which is certainly not outrageous for where it is today and where people think it will go. VY was just about $50 per megawatt-hour and Kewaunee was. We follow the NEI standard. and we’re able to keep our plants safe and operating well. I think a little longer view here would probably have been helpful. we’re really deeply engaged and involved in the entire spectrum of the cybersecurity effort. so there are dysfunctions in the market. the . doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases . but I would say there is a significant problem here if we are going to retire assets in a market that doesn’t give a capacity signal to build new ones. which EPRI is providing as part of its partnership with DOE for the entire electric infrastructure. worked with us and established an organization called NESCOR. over the years. Rencheck: I would also add that the baseload nuclear is also not being paid for all of the ancillary services it provides. which is not outrageous as far as the price of electricity. I think that process is being implemented very effectively at the plant sites now. An observation from afar is I think there may be an inadequate price signal on the capacity piece here. NESCOR works collaboratively with the DOE. the National Electric System Cybersecurity Organization Resource. I don’t know the actual internal workings of the plants or the economics of it. with the way the market treats them for the capacity that’s there all the time . Homeland Security and other national assets. this obviously is a topic that has gotten a lot of interest from the Congress. PE: A new and vitally important security frontier is cybersecurity. Johnson: From the operating systems side. has provided a number of different tools for the Department of Defense. and what protections are you offering to your customers? Rencheck: We build digital control systems. who several years ago was fully aware of the need for worker and cybersecurity.it makes it hard for single units to survive. and the federal agencies on enhancing cybersecurity. like. Wilmshurst: The Department of Energy. When you have an existing asset that is baseload and is providing ancillary services. Right now. looking at R&D priorities and disseminating those best practices. $52. for both VY and Kewaunee.50. What is your company doing in their own business to protect themselves. Fertel: Just to Bill’s last statement.

this Friday with DOE. and it carries throughout our workforce. It dropped to 46 percent immediately after the accident and recovered up to 65 or 66 percent. if it did. The only thing I would add is right now. but creating significant barriers for individuals when they’re traveling with their accessed information and protection of information on all of their devices. but maintains a minimum threshold for everybody. because we have such a variety of activities within our company. which was right at the height of a lot of the Fukushima information on their water leaks in the tanks and other places. not just for our nuclear plants or our electricity system. We actually have a meeting with about 20 CEOs from across the industry and the associations that involves us. We have a very strong awareness program internally and externally. American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Zwetolitz: Yeah. Do you think the latest headlines will influence public opinion in the U. For my company. as Bill says. So. It’s a significant issue. for quarterly meetings that we have with them to go over cyber issues as well as a briefing that they will be giving. essentially isolating them from the outside world. so it’s a real challenge in our mobile work environment. FBI and every other acronym you can think of. We actually had one in the field Sept. which is basically what it was before the Fukushima accident. and I think the good guys are thinking about that. too. PE: The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been in the news again for several large leaks of radioactive water.S. no matter what you do. We have a number of what we designated as critical digital assets in our plants. Our folks. The problem with this topic is the threat evolves. I think that everybody has summarized a lot of things that are being done. EEI (Edison Electric Institute) is now the Secretariat for the Electric Sector Coordinating Council. as we’re talking. this is a threat that’s very significant for our country. they’re always trying to get ahead of you and this is one of the harder issues that I’ve seen in my long time in the business. I agree with that. The challenge. and we have to continue to be on our toes because. Fertel: As Joe and Bill just said. and so on. . obviously. There’s a whole frame of these standards that require. information systems protection and physical security. were concerned that would influence the outcome of the opinion survey and. that would be good input for us. So. against nuclear power? How does the industry combat that? Fertel: This is coincidence. It actually didn’t. but those are certainly being protected. I think Bill articulated it very well. but we do a couple of surveys a year on public opinion. We don’t have that many that really have safety consequences if you lost it. B&W. I was told. is the bad guys keep thinking of new things they can do. We defend the facilities quite well. Most of them have no consequence from a safety standpoint.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 18 NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards. so it’s hard to get ahead of the strong thinking of the bad guys here. our security working group is actually in town today meeting with NRC on issues like cyber and what do we need to do that maybe we haven’t. there’s a tremendous amount of high-level and working-level energy going into protecting our grid and our plants from a cyber standpoint. we have two Category 1 fuel cycle facilities where we handle strategic nuclear material. 5th through the 15th. DHS. And we have a tremendous challenge fortifying those operations against cyber attacks. We had an event recently where we had to respond to a rather aggressive attack. the threats are going to continue to evolve and we have to be ready for them. The presence of those two Cat 1 facilities has created a level of security that has to necessarily vary across the company. The favorability towards nuclear was 69 percent. We’ve instituted very strong and very fortified IT defenses. they do have a consequence from a reliability and operations standpoint. Everybody’s doing what they need to.

PE: Over the course of the next decade we’ll need to bridge a rather large generation gap among workers in the nuclear industry. I think the visit from all the U. Zwetolitz: I think the key to keeping the support in the public is information. CNO’s to Fukushima organized by INPO. A lot of the schools. the Fukushima issues didn’t really seem to influence their opinions. especially in science. or if you want to go into the engineering ranks. One of the questions that they asked was “Do you think that we learned from what happened to make plants safer?” And 83 percent of the public said yes.. Really. industry. Eighty-four percent of the public thought that you ought to go forward with license renewal. the education is out there in the general public and even starting with young folks. so Bill is right on with that. Rencheck: I think in the U. So. through the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.S. just to echo what’s been said about the work of INPO and NEI. So there’s some greater familiarity that comes with a level of trust. We got to see up close and personal the Fukushima event. it was acceptable. The public is generally more informed and it’s reflected in those survey results.S. were safe. Technology. where the industry is self regulating and uses peer pressure and peer reviews to establish best practices. Wilmshurst: I’m just back from Ja- pan. have gone a long way to ensuring the public confidence has been maintained throughout the events at Fukushima. the websites of various utilities. they supported it. All the other key things that we looked at were really good. The reason I say that is because when you look at this. there’s about 4 million students who typically enter the ninth grade. By the time they graduate from college. but sobering.000 with a STEM degree. Marv is right that public support continues to be strong. a welder. Jobs that are truly middle class or higher that you can have a career and raise a family with.S. we are fortunate to have a regulator in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that is transparent and open with the public and also. 77 percent of the public said that they believed plants in the U. We think STEM outreach is not only important for the nuclear industry. 70 percent of the public said if you needed more electricity and you wanted to build a new nuclear power plant site where one exists. Also.S. I think one reason is that the public generally trusts us. the curriculums. and 60 percent said yes. they did ask a question very relevant to yours. an electrician. taking a STEM – Science.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 19 It’s now at 69 percent. When you look at the number of jobs that the nuclear industry has to offer. Fertel: You’re right on. CNO’s to the plant and the communications that’s starting to come out from the videos. When you look at our industry needing . I was fortunate to be a participant in a trip by all the U. but it’s also important for the country. a mechanic. Engineering and Math – education is very important. are going to go a long way to communicate the magnitude of what happened and show the genuine kind of response and the serious reflection within the U. that’s up from 73 percent in our earlier survey in February. NEI has done a great job since the Fukushima event with really communicating what’s happened and what’s been going on.. because I still have children in schools. They asked have you heard anything about nuclear in the news recently.S. reminder of our responsibility everyday. What is being done to address the vacancies that will be left when as much as 40 percent of the nuclear workforce will reach retirement age by the middle of the decade? Rencheck: We’re doing a lot in the area of STEM outreach in the communities in which we’re present to be able to go into the various school systems starting in the elementary schools.S. I think the opportunities are there whether you want to be a craft worker. these are good paying jobs. So. we’re at about 167. in the ninth grade. Johnson: Just an observation on the public perception in the U. are including pretty in-depth discussions on nuclear energy. and working our way through the community colleges and the universities. That’s a good. has confidence in us and believes that we will protect them.

I suppose. just to help people maybe learn faster and learn quicker and learn differently. some efficient way of experienced transfer so that when these new workers show up. the opportunities will be there for jobs and for well-paying jobs. given the operational nature of our business. Today. We’re also doing a lot of work to retrain the existing workforce. In our current workforce. the typical things. developing web-based training packages.000 jobs by 2016. the weapons side. but they’re coming out with the right skills and the right backgrounds to be able to do this kind of work. ask somebody and get an answer. the folks of our generation did. What I’m amazed about is the fact that these efforts are starting to pay off with the quality. The younger folks coming in. which are being shared through INPO. I do agree with Joe that the people we see today are generally better educated. We are doing all the usual things in outreach in the community colleges. Fertel: The only thing that I would add is that you should have the impression that we are taking both sides of the issue very seriously. showing significant payoff. there is a tremendous amount of operational engineering and other knowledge that is more experienced-based than education-based. and it’s starting to pay off. our capacity factor was in the mid50s. the new generation workers. they’re training for new roles and different roles within the nuclear industry. I’m really not as concerned about finding the workforce as I am about the loss of experience in the current workforce. it’s the recognition that the new people coming in may actually behave a lot differently in how they learn and how they work. Not only are they young. we can train them up not just with qualifications but with the experience of the past generation. Zwetolitz: I agree with Bill. so as people have been in this industry and have the background. Not that we’re there yet. I think that’s going to be key as well to bring on the new generation quicker. One thing that was prevalent in the 1980s was that when you were a young engineer starting. Wilmshurst: Just following on from Bill’s comment. I don’t think we realize how much we are leaning on those experienced folks. But if you think about the history of the industry. and one of the ways that we got there was we made every mistake possible and figured out how to do it right. You see maintenance techs out there with iPads with all of their procedures. but we were talking a little about the 1980s before the call. Johnson: I have a little different view. better trained and ready to go to work. but we at least recognize it. And as Neil just said. that they are giving the same amount of attention to these very challenges that our industry has. and I think that will attract people back into the STEM programs at various universities. using videos and gaming technology. we’re in the process now of working with a number of utilities to deploy electronic work packages. Zwetolitz: I agree with Mike. So. . in the 80s. which is aging. and other things. for me. and that’s also paying off as well. We. And that’s. I agree with all of that. I wish I had as much confidence in the noncommercial part of the nuclear industry. perhaps. It’s attracting the right people and it’s the knowledge transfer because of the loss of the people we currently have. they can actually stop. they learn differently. have been involved in partnerships with the local schools and community colleges and universities. I think our biggest challenge here is knowledge transfer. Rencheck: I’d like to add one comment. they’re in the mid-90s. potentially. when they have a question. so we’re having those kinds of programs bearing some fruit. Delivering knowledge through apps. Mike and Bill and Marv were talking before about how old we’re getting and we’re reminded by that when we walk around our organizations and see the many young faces that are out there. you really didn’t have anybody to ask questions to because the whole industry was in an infancy state.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 20 to replace about 50. like many in the industry. It’s going to be an eye opener. So. the regulatory side. That will make a difference in these folks getting up to speed a lot quicker then.

. the control room operators notified the NRC of the closeout of the “Unusual Event. 2013. MANAGING MEMBER. the 13. on July 27. an area to sequester all damaged parts for evidence while esdamaged by the event was the main tablishing the scope and parameters generator IPB system. CROWN ELECTRIC ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING AND MARK D. and establish recovery activities related to the event..8 kV service busses. The root cause team defined A WORKER INSPECTS THE FAULTED ISOLATED PHASE TAP. or IPB) cooling fans. Plant operators continued their event response to the reactor trip by employing the prescribed emergency and operating procedures. At 1:01 pm. which includes necessary to ensure that obtaining all its spur auxiliary tap bus and the evidence.m. This monthly procedure insures that the run time between the redundant systems is equalized. pictures.m. the plant fire brigade was dispatched in reaction to a smoke condition permeating throughout the turbine building coming from a cable’s burning insulation and a nearby oil collection pan fire. All four reactor coolant pumps and all three circulating water pumps tripped due to the momentary 13. the main generator field circuit breaker and the main turbine. The reactor tripped from 100 percent power as a result of the turbine/generator trip. electrical power from the plant’s main The plant’s sub-system that was generator to the main step-up (GSU) . on July 26. NUCLEAR SERVICES. At 11:49 p. At 11:37 p. BOTH PHOTOS COURTESY AMEREN MISSOURI. HAAG.” Workers at the Callaway Plant assembled a forced outage response team to manage assessment. inspections needed for the root cause Iso phase bus is the super highway that analysis were exhaustive and impletransports the plant’s high amperage mented.NUCLEUS NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 21 Callaway Turbine Trip .Failure of Isolated Phase Bus System BY BRUCE HACK.m. At 11:33 p. PRINCIPAL DESIGN ENGINEER. At 12:56 a.. A report from the field identified one to two feet of water in the condensate pump pit.8 kV busses under-voltages. AMEREN MISSOURI A t 11:19 p. a significant water leak was identified at the condensate polishers due to a rupture disk failure creating flooding in the turbine building. 2013. massive electrical faults caused protective relaying to initiate trip signals to the switchyard main generator output breakers. Reactor operators isolated all the condensate polishers from the control room.m.. repair. Extensive damage to the plant’s iso phase bus at the iso phase tap point for the unit auxiliary transformer and at the main generator neutral connection box had occurred. the unit auxiliary transformer feeder breakers.m. assessments and main generator neutral connection box. the shift manager declared an “Unusual Event” and began the process of making appropriate notifications. Callaway Nuclear Plant operation technicians performed the monthly swap-over of the dual redundant isolated phase bus (iso phase bus. 14 minutes after the swap over.

the main generator neutral connection box. Ohio. robust. A forensic examination of the failed components was made to determine the sequence of failures and the potential physical causes. and the “B” iso phase bus duct above the unit auxiliary transformer. The IPB system operates at medium voltage levels transporting 33. but a single fault to ground should not initiate such a response in iso phase bus. Results of Root Cause Evaluation The root cause evaluation was performed using multiple techniques. As the blade flew through the IPB’s “B” phase. This final massive short circuit led to a turbine/generator and reactor trip. Callaway’s forced outage response team reached out to Crown Electric Eng. Lower amperage iso-phase tap connections to the main iso phase bus provide power to the plant’s auxiliary transformer and excitation transformer. Forced cooled iso phase bus duct systems incorporate large heat exchangers (often water cooled. One of the back-draft damper blades had broken free and entered the “B” phase of the iso phase bus duct. The damper blade breaking free was problematic enough.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 22 transformer. & Mfg. Crown Electric had previously assisted Callaway. What happened? To assist in assessing the damage and then emergency fabricate the iso phase bus and its ancillary components. Then the process starts anew. a company rooted in the old Westinghouse iso phase bus plant in Cincinnati. it caused repeated short lived phase-to-ground electrical faults. Callaway’s cooling skid heat exchanger assemblies employ so-called “back-draft” dampers located on the fan discharge. Chilled forced air from the cooler enters the “B” phase of the iso phase bus duct and splits so as to bi-directionally flow toward the main generator terminal box and towards the main GSU transformers. Therefore. The extensive damage at each failure location rendered definitive conclusions about the exact failure modes impossible. Ultimately.000 amps. all potential causes were uncovered and corrective actions chosen in such manners as to address them in their entirety. forced air) to remove the heat associated with the I2R losses from the large currents flowing in the IPB system. Photographic evidence was combined with design drawings to allow the team to draw conclusions based on the positions of equipment and the damage that was caused by the event. low in maintenance requirements and highly reliable. This forced cooling creates a composite system less static than their self-cooled counterparts. it is common to employ forced cooling for the iso phase conductor. the condition cascaded into a massive electrical fault of 180. LLC of Middletown. providing 100 percent mechanical backup against failure or during periods of scheduled maintenance. Iso phase bus systems are normally static. In cases where power plants generate output currents around or exceeding 20. cooling coils and associated dampers make up the cooling skid assembly. A fault tree analysis was completed to determine the most likely causes of the mechanical failures of the iso-phase cooler backdraft dampers. and the team knew that Crown Electric possessed a full onsite services division offering direct user support that is tied back to its engineering and IPB manufacturing capabilities. Fully redundant fans. Detailed inspections were performed throughout the iso phase bus ducts for additional evidence to support or refute various theories. Organizational and programmatic factors that led up to the failure that caused the unit trip were conducted via a review of the history of the operation . Air crossover plenums can be located at each end-of-run point to allow the “B” phase cool air to split and return the airflow to the coolers’ suction side through the IPB’s A and C phases. The returning air then passes over the water-cooled heat exchanger to remove the absorbed heat and moisture.000 amps rms at both the IPB seal off bushing for the auxiliary transformer’s “B” phase tap as well as at the main generator neutral connection box.000 amps of current when operating at full power.

think comet tails . Deionizing baffles are large stacks of thin aluminum metal plates spaced about an inch apart that allow the forced air to flow over their large accumulative surface area. An oscillography from the 311/G generator protection relay captured one neutral voltage spike of 13. The air flow change caused during the monthly swapping of the fans carried the thrown damper blade into a position that caused arcing in the “B” phase of the IPB.1 kV. Arcing. Callaway Engineering believes backdraft dampers should have a more robust design for this intended application.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 23 of the iso-phase cooling system and the main generator neutral connection box Since the plant’s original construction. the de-ionizing* screen filter that was installed between the generator output bushing enclosure and the neutral connection box was painted. including those within the main generator neutral connection box. De-ionizing baffles are grounded so that any ionized air molecules in the cooling air stream pass over the baffles giving up their charge to the ground plane. Additionally. Callaway Engineering considers a number of initial plant parameters could have had larger safety margins designed into sub-systems.are winging through the IPB system. Over time this metal vapor cloud. pitting and damage as it was blown around the iso phase duct during a 14-minute operational period.000 cfm. Neutral bus currents during these initial faults were limited to 12. More accurate data on the specifics of the system’s operation would have likely pointed to the need for corrective actions to be taken in a more timely fashion. providing a grounded shield on the neutral grounding cable. (*Forced cooled iso phase bus systems include a sub-assembly known as de-ionizing baffles. The last momentary arc was caught in the pre-fault data initiated by the protection relay lockout. The flying damper blade is suspected of intermittently causing short duration arcing. the air flow rates from the iso-phase cooling fans were higher than the design ratings of the iso-phase cooler backdraft dampers. creep distance on the neutral grounding cable. The elevated flow rates through the backdraft dampers increased the risk of damper failure. and removal of any sharp corners and exposed bolt ends which could contribute to the generation of corona. Callaway’s design placed a smaller version of this functional device between the generator output bushing’s enclosure and the neutral bushing enclosure. flow rates were estimated to be as high as 40. One example of the damper’s weak link was that plastic retaining clips served as bushings to allow operation of the damper blades. in part. ferrous conduit parts. Back in January 2005. Air flow measurements were taken in May 2007 and found to be 34. The dislodged damper blade that flew and arced along the IPB vaporized along its trajectory. This fault then clears itself as evidenced by the VN voltage dropping back to zero. pitting and associated damage was found periodically through a 40-foot section of the iso phase bus work. Clouds of ionized gas and metal vapor . eliminating its effectiveness.8 Amps through the neutral grounding transformer. These collective factors produced conditions that were more likely to create an electrical fault if the neutral connection box was ever challenged by a high voltage potential.000 cfm. completing a round trip every 13. These locations present cooler surfaces and are both points in the air stream system . These include increased air gaps. The effectiveness of this de-ionizing screen is considered to have been compromised due to inappropriate painting). collects on the cool porcelain surfaces of both the “B” phase iso-phase seal off bushing for the unitauxiliary transformer and at the main generator neutral connection box.5 seconds.

The damper blades settled into their as-found locations with no more damage created. even when new. the neutral connection box under the generator had compromised de-ionizing baffles. which. It is noted that there are no de-ionizers in the flow path between the arcing location and the unit auxiliary transformer connection location. The electrical faults that occurred resulted in a turbine/generator trip and a reactor trip. Oscillography offers verification of the iso phase bus phase-B intermittently going to ground.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 24 which are deadened zones not seeing full forced air flow. Not surprising. Further. This was most likely due to the continued movement of the arcing damper blade resulting in additional gas cloud generation and potentially resulting in blowing an arc down the ductwork. but none were ejected The Callaway incidence response into the bus ductwork. Multiple blades were dislodged. some well bent inwards towards the fan and some simply fell into the fan after breaking off. were found bent in. These massive electrical fault currents generated a subsequent devastating blowout pressure wave at both fault locations. Such an event had the potential to challenge systems important to safety. the damper blade lodged in the T-tap pocket of the seal-off bushing for the “B” phase IPB connection to the unit auxiliary transformer. the pressure waves induced catastrophic failure of both sets of backdraft dampers. was classified as “uncomplicated” and team with Crown Electric inspected the all safety systems performed properly. were never designed to handle anything more than typical IPB system created ionization loads. the event is effectively over. At this point. The compromised main generator neutral (in the neutral connection box) and the unit auxiliary T-tap are both co-faulting directly to ground. iso phase bus to determine the extent Repair or replacement of multiple of damage. Multiple off-line damper blades faults and subsequent plant event. The reactor trip THE FAILED GENERATOR NEUTRAL ENCLOSURE BUSHING. Four of the blades in the duct were found with minor arc burns from having gone down the duct towards the generator while it was spinning to rest and still providing some fault current. the fault is no longer fed. Together. The damper blade is now easily jumping out the bushings line to ground integrity. At some point. This ground loop completely bypasses the generator neutral resistor connection resulting in a solid line to ground fault on the generator 220 kA. Two of these blades required prior to the safe restart of the worked their way across the duct work reactor on August 16. 2013. They certainly were not designed for the amount of ionization created by electrical arcing of foreign material such as that developed by a dislodged and vaporizing damper blade. As the turbine/generator winds down. Crown Electric damaged components associated with and Callaway detailed dimensions for all the secondary side of the plant was failed component parts and/or verified . The post-event inspection of the resultant damage at the generator neutral connection box and unit auxiliary transformer’s tap bus connection was eye opening. No one and landed down the outlet of the offwas injured as a result of the electrical line fan.

dampers. Owned & Produced by: Presented by: Supported by: . clean and safe option for meeting demand around the world.COM Global demand for energy continues to grow. the neutral copper. The seal-off bushings were cleaned or replaced and tested. they are and should fall under the same general maintenance schedule and replacement schedule as any large motor. Crown Electric produced a replacement neutral bushing enclosure. FORWARD THINKING FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS { SAVE THE DATE } DECEMBER 9-11. Flow testing in the system was performed. NUCLEAR POWER International 2014 provides the nuclear power industry the perfect venue to gather and exchange information about nuclear power’s role in today’s changing world. Each bus was thoroughly inspected and all identified foreign material was removed. FLORIDA WWW.nuclearpowerinternational. So do concerns related to reliability. Iso phase should be inspected regularly enough to insure insulator integrity and proper torque values of any bolted connections from bushings to flex braids. Filters were replaced. The iso phase bus with all its support insulators was completely cleaned. Bus and insulators should be cleaned on an appropriate schedule for that specific location to protect its voltage withstand capabilities. reliable electrical sub-system to be found in any power station.CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NUCLEUS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 25 them from existing drawings. replacement aux transformer tap bus and ancillary parts all in a few days. baseload nuclear power can be a viable option to address these concerns and meet growing demand for energy. A Flawed Defense The inspections that were intended as a barrier to identify blade degradation prior to failure of the iso phase cooler backdraft dampers were not sufficient to prevent backdraft dampers from being ejected into the B iso phase bus duct. For some of the potential backdraft damper failure modes.NUCLEARPOWERINTERNATIONAL. In the case of forced cooled IPB. it would be improbable that there would be visible indications that could be used to predict failures. it should be remembered that even though these coolers are attached to an IPB system. greenhouse gas emissions and the environment. bus insulators. Iso phase bus is about the most rugged. shipping serially as production was complete. bushings. The iso phase bus was then Hi-Pot tested. Now in its eighth year. and deionizers were provided and replaced as necessary.com for a preview of the 2014 event. Nuclear energy remains a viable. 2014 | ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER | ORLANDO. New backdraft dampers with modified catch screens were installed. fan or cooler in the power station. Emission-free. Visit www. The inspections were performed with a borescope and could not see enough detail to accurately identify wear of the components that were most likely to fail. flex braids.

ARCOS INC. though. also use the automated system. It’s not surprising. in some cases. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s emergency categories. the system activates pagers. the processes work. power plant owners such as Dominion. we had DOMINION’S NORTH ANNA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT USED ARCOS’ CALLOUT SYSTEM AFTER THE 2011 EARTHQUAKE. on the surface. risk is at the core. the day a 5. manager of Nuclear Fleet Emergency Preparedness for Dominion Resources Services Inc. Duke Energy and Salt River Project are finding a more efficient. the plant’s operators quickly declared an alert.” said Jason Russell. and Wisconsin. plants have well-worn processes in place for handling these situations. immediately after the August 2011 earthquake. Gum. Dominion’s other nuclear stations in Connecticut. Most plant managers would argue against investing in new technology for callout or emergency notification because.8-magnitude earthquake struck.CASE STUDY NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 26 Nuclear Plant Automates Calls for Help BY BRUCE DUFF. With the push of a button. They then ensured a safe shutdown. Some savvy power plant operators have begun improving the efficiency and reliability of callouts. CEO. smartphone or tablet. Virginia. But inefficiency and. the second lowest of the U. and then heard and felt the shaking continue. According to Dominion. In the case of Dominion’s North Anna Power Station.” said Clarence L. PHOTO COURTESY: DOMINION had a new. “Since September 2010. When it comes to power plant operation. a control room supervisor on duty at Dominion’s North Anna Power Station in central Virginia on August 23. phones and describes what type of . callout and emergency notification are rarely thought of until needed. fully automated emergency notification system in place that could alert up to 750 of our people about an emergency at the North Anna site. reliable way to get workers when and where needed. By studying what’s at the core of callouts and emergency notifications. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers defines a callout as an order to report for emergency or special work at an unusual time or place. “T he first thing we heard was the rumbling and then we felt the shaking. 2011. the technology in place since 2010 is a web-based software system that the North Anna Power Station’s security control center can activate by PC.S.

CONTINUED NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > CASE STUDY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 27 emergency is happening and where employees should respond.org/Conferences/BWR-VentOrder-Implementation-Workshop 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 12-14 . For instance. Building a Case for Automation also becomes more predictable. allowing supervisors to meet other plant needs while consistently managing the process. Before 2010. which respectively employ more than 200 people. a lengthy callout process could potentially force a unit shutdown and trigger the startup of a more costly unit to meet customer demand.. D. regardless of fuel source (i.. If your site’s callout process averages 30 minutes. the duration of callouts NOVEMBER S M T W T F S 1 3 10 17 4 5 6 7 8 2 9 10-14 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 11-14 2013 ANS Winter Meeting and Nuclear Technology Expo Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington. the name of Dominion’s operator had to match a database of approved workers. For example. http://www. an operator in Dominion’s security center would have to call a service to launch an emergency notification via pager to all required employees. Although a rarity. But one factor to take into consideration is the number of employees required to operate and maintain the plant.newnuclearinternational. When the service representative received the call. normal operating conditions.e. especially because every minute counts in an emergency.” added Gum. UAE http://www. initiating a callout at the Crystal River Energy Complex now happens in three to five minutes.nei. measure the duration of your existing callout process and determine existing bargaining unit callout requirements to determine the variance if any. Abu Dhabi. NUCLEAR EVENTS The best approach to building a business case for callout automation is with data. and the timely response of Dominion’s Emergency Response Organization. automating your process may give your supervisors back as many as 27 minutes per callout to focus on other important work. a 30-person combined cycle plant generating 150 MW is going to have different emergent callout demands than Crystal River or NGS. Improving callout and emergency notification processes are critical to ensuring plant operations return to safe. Along with this. ACA drills).org/meetings/winter/ 2013 New Nuclear International Conference Goodnight Consulting and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp.ans. Preventing these types of forced “derates” are as important as searching for efficiencies.com/ NEI: BWR Vent Order Implementation Workshop Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore. MD http://www. For example.” Dominion measures the effectiveness of its automated emergency notification system with Augmentation Capability Assessments (i. oil or nuclear).e.C. can automate callout and emergency notification. Any plant. Eliminating the Potential for Error “We realized that if we brought a newly hired operator on duty and he wasn’t yet in the database. “That wasn’t acceptable. The plant periodically conducts these drills to determine the effectiveness of the automated notification system. gas. then extra minutes might go by before his identify was verified by the service representative. Automation makes the callout process quicker.

robot. whilst meeting the high safety requirements of the nuclear decommissioning industry. Section Manager – Laser and Sheet Processes with TWI. Jon Blackburn. but TWI is working with companies to demonstrate the technology in active environments in the near future. which are referred to as “process heads.” don’t exactly shoot a laser beam. and an array of technologies that help to demolish radiological sites quickly and safely are being developed. meters away and is fiber-delivered to the gun. further projects have and are being performed. Testing so far has been performed in lab-based environments. The guns.” said Dr. The actual deployment technology will depend upon the geometry. While the lasers are a fun topic of discussion. a United Kingdom-based independent research organization. which “guides” the laser to where it needs to shoot. The cutting could be done in situ or in a bespoke size reduction cell. EDITOR “H igher-power lasers are predominately used for fabrication. but sometimes we use them for slightly off-the-wall applications. pipework and I-beams either underwater or on dry land. TWI. The laser is actually located outside of a processing cell up to 100 THE GUN “GUIDES” THE LASER TO ITS TARGET. all of which shoot laser beams—sort of. One of those off-the-wall applications is the use of lasers in decommissioning nuclear power plants. was awarded a one-year contract from the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in 2009 to develop prototype equipment and demonstrate the processes of laser concrete scabbling and laser cutting for remote use in nuclear decommissioning projects. where TWI has developed and demonstrated a handheld gun. and guns which may be mounted on a snake A SNAKE ROBOT “SHOOTS” THE LASER.TECHNOLOGY NUCLEAR POWER INTERNATIONAL > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 28 Using Lasers in Decommissioning BY SHARRYN DOTSON. . location and radioactivity of the structure. Because of strong industrial interest. The technology could potentially be used for processes like the cutting of metallic structures. Blackburn said. a gun that can be used underwater. they are being designed for a serious matter: reducing the cost of decommissioning.

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