APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

H.B. Robinson 2 fire cause released

A report to the IAEA by Progress Energy, who owns and operates HB Robinson 2 down in South Carolina has appeared which explains the fire incidents I commented on in this blog a while back.

You can find the report easily enough, and the cascade of events is understandable - although the initial assessment of Level 1 has been upgraded retrospectively by the NRC to Level 2 or "Incident." The alarming thing in the whole event chain is the fact that indicating lights for control power to a bus tie breaker "had not been illuminated in months." This isn't burned out bulbs - it's loss of control power. This loss of control power to a breaker made it unable to open on fault and naturally this made the event far worse than it should have been.

While there were other problems encountered it's immediately obvious to me that no one was concerned enough about a potential loss of control power to a breaker. Didn't they have intermittent or no indication of downstream or tailpiece temperature on the pressurizer relief valve at TMI-2 that stuck open? I think they did. These are the sorts of things nuclear energy doesn't need right now. Or ever.

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