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TN_Erwin_future_mess

[ Was reading this article. ]  

20181015 | |  Scientists: Study Reveals Uranium In Nolichucky |
https://www.greenevillesun.com/news/loca...dad36.html
    By Lorelei Goff Sun Contributor Oct 25, 2018

Visiting scientists Dr. Michael E. Ketterer and Scott C. Szechenyi presented findings Tuesday at the Jonesborough Public Library from studies that detected low levels of enriched uranium in the Nolichucky watershed, including the Nolichucky River and area drinking water.

Ketterer and Szechenyi discussed their analysis of hundreds of water, soil and sediment samples collected from sites downstream of the Nuclear Fuels Services site in Erwin and Aerojet Rocketdyne in Jonesborough, including drinking water in Greeneville.

---------------------

[ background on NFS ]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Fuel_Services

NFS is a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc.

[ According to the Wikipedia entry, NFS has two main functions. (1) Supply reactor fuel for the nasty nuclear navy and (2) process weapons grade uranium (HEU) into commercial reactor fuel, called downblending, specifically for Tennessee Valley Authority. ]  

[ From the ENs we get this info. ]
Facility: NUCLEAR FUEL SERVICES INC.
RX Type: URANIUM FUEL FABRICATION
Comments: HEU CONVERSION & SCRAP RECOVERY
                   NAVAL REACTOR FUEL CYCLE
                   LEU SCRAP RECOVERY

Facility: BWX TECHNOLOGIES
RX Type: URANIUM FUEL FABRICATION
Comments: HEU FABRICATION & SCRAP

---------------------

[
On May 12, 2008 the NRC dumped 58 previously unpublished ENs spanning a period from Jan 2004 to Oct 2007 relating to (1) TN_Erwin (NFS) and (2) VA_Lynchburg (BWX Technologies ).  

25 of the reports are for Erwin. 33 for Lynchburg.

]

https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...512en.html

40485     THE LICENSEE RECEIVED A PACKAGE CONTAINING Cs-137 WHICH EXCEEDED EXTERNAL RADIATION LIMITS
40750     (1) 91-01 BULLETIN - LOSS OF CRITICALITY SAFETY CONTROLS
>40782     24-HOUR NOTIFICATION - [DELETED] CRITICALITY DETECTOR FAILED ROUTINE TEST
[*]
>40840     (1) Retract REMOVABLE SURFACE CONTAMINATION GREATER THAN THE LIMITS
>40901     (1) [DELETED] FIRE IN OFF-GAS SYSTEM
41097     (1) SAFETY RELATED NEEDLE VALVES IN INCORRECT POSITION
41149     (1) FAILURE OF SAFETY SYSTEM CAUSING UNFAVORABLE GEOMETRY
>41197     (1) WET OFFGAS (WOG) LINE CALCULATION WAS NOT PERFORMED.
41274     (1) CRITICALITY CONTROL
41316     (1) FAULTY PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC CONTROLLER (PLC) FOR OXIDE DISSOLUTION OPERATION
41341     LOSS OF FIRE MONITORING CAPABILITY
41427    EXTERNAL RADIATION LEVELS EXCEEDED THE TRANSPORTATION INDEX (TI) LIMIT OF 10.
41523     (1) EQUIPMENT PIECE FOR STORAGE RACK NOT IN PLACE FOR SAFE STORAGE OF SNM
41609     CONCURRENT REPORT UNDER PART 70 APPENDIX A FOR OFFSITE NEWS RELEASE
>41651     (1) INADEQUATELY CONTROLLED OR ANALYZED PATHWAY FOR MATERIAL ACCUMULATION
41686     PACKAGE ABOVE EXTERNAL RADIATION LIMITS
41697     MEDIA INQUIRY RESPONSE - CONCURRENT EVENT
41722     CONCURRENT REPORT UNDER PART 70 APPENDIX "A" FOR OFFSITE NEWS RELEASE
41740     CONCURRENT REPORT UNDER PART 70 APPENDIX "A" FOR OFFSITE NEWS RELEASE
>41822     SAFETY EQUIPMENT FAILURE
>41839     (1) SMALL FIRE IN WASTE (CALCINER) FURNACE
41841     Retract EMERGENCY DECLARED DUE TO CRITICALITY ALARMS
>41843     FIRE ALARM COMMUNICATION SYSTEM FAILURE
>42047    (1) Retract CRITICALITY ALARM SYSTEM INOPERABLE IN THE NDA/LOADING DOCK AREA DUE TO DETECTOR FAILURE
42089     (1) DISCARD OF CAUSTIC SOLUTION TO WASTE TANK WITHOUT SAMPLE AND ANALYSIS
42131     (1) EXCEEDED MASS LIMIT REQUIREMENTS
>42133     (1) POTENTIAL DEGRADATION OF GLOVEBOX OVERFLOW DRAINS UNDER CERTAIN VACUUM CONDITIONS
42191     (1) Retract APPARENT LOSS OF NATURAL THORIUM SHIPMENT
>42244     (1) MONITOR SETPOINT IMPROPERLY SET
>42314     ALARM RESOLUTION IN URANIUM RECOVERY UNIT - 24 HOUR NOTIFICATION
>42351     ALARM RESOLUTION IN URANIUM RECOVERY UNIT - 24 HOUR NOTIFICATION
>42352     24 HOUR NOTIFICATION - POSSIBLE UNANALYZED CONDITION DUE TO A FIXTURE FAILURE
42393     (1) UNANALYZED CONDITION OF CRITICALITY CONTROLS
42411     (1) POTENTIAL UNSECURED ACCUMULATION POINT IDENTIFIED
>42442     (1) PRODUCT MASS DIFFERENT THAN ANALYZED
42480    (1) FITNESS FOR DUTY REPORT INVOLVING LICENSEE SUPERVISOR [ alcohol ]  
42502     (1) FAILURE OF A FITNESS FOR DUTY TEST [ drugs ]
>42612     (1) CRITICALITY EVACUATION ALARM FAILURE
>42629     SMALL CHEMICAL SPILL INTO ENVIRONMENT
42655     SEWER MANHOLE OVERFLOW TO CATCH BASIN REPRESENTED A BYPASS PER DISCHARGE PERMIT
42718     MEDIA INQUIRY REGARDING TRITIUM LEAK FROM YEAR 2000
42723     MEDIA INQUIRY
>42761     PROCESS UNIT 3 ALARM THRESHOLD EXCEEDED
42809     TECHNETIUM-99 CONTAMINATION DISCOVERED ONSITE
>43090     (1) FAILURE OF GAMMA SPECTROMETER WASTE MONITOR
43204     (1) Retract POTENTIAL DEGRADATION OF SAFETY SYSTEMS
>43244     MATERIAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTING PROCESS MONITORING ALARM RESOLUTION
43255    POSSIBLE UNANALYZED CONDITION OF MASS-MODERATOR CONTROLLED GLOVEBOX
>43310     UNFAVORABLE GEOMETRY CONTAINER BELOW LIMIT IN URANIUM RECOVERY GENERAL PURPOSE AREA
>43330     FAILURE OF A SAFETY RELATED ACID DUMP VALVE TO PASS A WEEKLY TEST
43350     Retract ALERT DECLARED DUE TO A FIRE IN THE SUPER COMPACTOR FACILITY WITH A POSSIBLE RADIOACTIVE RELEASE
>43389     24-HOUR REPORT INVOLVING AN ITEM RELIED ON FOR SAFETY (IROFS)
43426     INFORMATION REPORT REGARDING DEGRADATION OF MONITORING AND DETECTION OF BOUNDARY
>43490     UNATTENDED VACUUM CLEANER IROFS
>43528     UNANAYLZED CONDITION - UNFAVORABLE GEOMETRY CONTAINER
>43616     DEGRADATION OF ITEM RELIED ON FOR SAFETY
>43661     Retract NOTIFICATION TO DEQ OF POTENTIAL AIR POLLUTION LIMIT VIOLATION
43728     REPORTABLE QUANTITY OF WASTE ACID RELEASED ONSITE

[ These ENs are the current notices for the date reported. ]

44189     LOUISIANA AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - PERSONNEL OVEREXPOSURE
44195    MANUAL REACTOR TRIP DUE TO HIGH STEAM GENERATOR LEVEL [ NJ_Salem_2 ]
44196     LOST C-14 SOURCES
44197     LOSS OF NUCLEAR CRITICALITY DETECTION SYSTEM FOR TWO AREAS CAUSED DURING MAINTENANCE
44198     BOTH TRAINS OF RHR DECLARED INOPERABLE [ KS_WolfCreek_1 ]
44199     EMERGENCY SIREN OUT OF SERVICE
44200    LOSS OF SAFETY FUNCTION DUE TO BOTH RHR TRAINS BEING INOPERABLE DURING MODE 3 [ KS_WolfCreek_1 ]

-----------

[ The NRC added this note to the 58 previously hidden ENs as justification for them being withheld. ]

THIS IS NOT A NEW REPORT.

This event report was originally withheld from public release under the NRC's policy for protecting sensitive unclassified information.
The NRC has reevaluated this policy and is now making this event report available to the public with suitable redactions.

[ Of the 58 reports only 27 have any redaction's. ]
 
-----------

[ Instead of [Redacted] they used [DELETED] to signify info that has been withheld. ]

[ Here's an example of that. ]

[ This is the first EN in the sequence that actually has something [DELETED]. ]

Event Number: 40782     

24-HOUR NOTIFICATION - [DELETED] CRITICALITY DETECTOR FAILED ROUTINE TEST
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en40782


24-HOUR NOTIFICATION - [DELETED] CRITICALITY DETECTOR FAILED ROUTINE TEST

"At approximately 19:00 P.M. on May 27th, one of two criticality detectors for [DELETED] failed a routine source check.
The failure resulted in the detector not being able to give a High alarm, which resulted in a loss of criticality detector coverage for [DELETED] at the [DELETED] at BWX Technologies.
This situation presents no risk to the public or workers, since the [DELETED] have not had any fuel since February 20, 2001.
The last time the [DELETED] criticality detectors were source checked (successfully) was on April 11, 2004.
However, [DELETED] was authorized for fuel operations, therefore, criticality detectors were required to be functional.
This loss of criticality detector coverage is required to be reported to the NRC within 24 hours per 10CFR70.24 and 10CFR70.50(b)(2)."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

[ I put the text thru a redaction recovery program that extracts the original binary image. ]

24-HOUR NOTIFICATION - [REACTOR] CRITICALITY DETECTOR FAILED ROUTINE TEST

"At approximately 19:00 P.M. on May 27th, one of two criticality detectors for [RADIATION] failed a routine source check.
The failure resulted in the detector not being able to give a High alarm, which resulted in a loss of criticality detector coverage for [RADIATION] at the [REACTORS] at BWX Technologies.
This situation presents no risk to the public or workers, since the [REACTORS] have not had any fuel since February 20, 2001.
The last time the [REACTOR] criticality detectors were source checked (successfully) was on April 11, 2004.
However, [REACTOR] was authorized for fuel operations, therefore, criticality detectors were required to be functional.
This loss of criticality detector coverage is required to be reported to the NRC within 24 hours per 10CFR70.24 and 10CFR70.50(b)(2)."

[ Or maybe I just took a good guess as I read the text. ]

[ So BWX has ( or had ) reactors on site that were defueled. ]
[ So that's interesting but hardly worth withholding, it's not the first time there's been a surprise reactor. ]
[ Bet the local residents probably would have like to have known there was a potential Level 9 life direction altering machine nearby. ]
[ This EN is for the NPS ( Nuclear Polluted Site ) in Lynchburg, Virginia and the leadi-n article is for Erwin, Tennessee so let's look at some of those. ]

-------------------

[ This is the first EN in the batch that concerns the Erwin facility. ]

Event Number: 40750

91-01 BULLETIN - LOSS OF CRITICALITY SAFETY CONTROLS
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en40750

[ Doesn't appear to reveal much of anything, no redaction's, this EN describes the failure of a process probe, so why it was withheld doesn't appear to meet the criteria of the stated reason for withholding. ]

-------------------

Event Number: 40840

REMOVABLE SURFACE CONTAMINATION GREATER THAN THE LIMITS
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en40840

Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) received a shipment of natural uranium [DELETED] from CAMECO [DELETED].
Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) received a shipment of natural uranium [YELLOWCAKE] from CAMECO [DELETED].

[ CAMECO has two production facilities in the US, Crow Butte in    Nebraska and Smith Ranch-Highland near Douglas, Wyoming, but the material could have come from it's operations in Canada. ]

When the receipt survey was begun, one of the 55-gallon drums was found to be contaminated on the bottom.
The survey result was 455 disintegrations per minute (DPM)/100 square centimeters. [The limit is 220 DPM/100 sq cm.]
Access to the drum was restricted by placing it into a roped off area.

The remaining drums are being surveyed.
[DELETED] drums were received and four have been surveyed.
[ 160 ] ( std 40 ft flatbed capacity ) drums were received and four have been surveyed.
http://www.skolnik.com/trailer_capacity

Access to all of the drums has been restricted until they are surveyed.

Since the contamination was found after the delivery truck had been released,
the consignor has been notified of the event and has been requested to check the truck for contamination.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector and the State of Tennessee.


* * * RETRACTED ON 7/1/04 AT 1641 EDT FROM GILBERT ROSENBERGER TO GERRY WAIG * * *

"Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) wishes to withdraw the Notification of an Event which was made on June 24, 2004 at 1852 hours.
The event number was #40840.

"The immediate event notification was made because NFS' procedure required an immediate notification in the event a package was received
and was found to be contaminated in excess of 220 DPM/100 square centimeters of alpha activity.

This procedure was intended to implement the requirements of 10 CFR 20.1906(d)(1).

"The material involved in this event was natural uranium, which is a low toxicity alpha emitter as defined by
49 CFR 173.403. 49 CFR 173.443, which is referenced by 10 CFR 71.87(i) which in turn is referenced by 10 CFR 20.1906(d)(1),

gives the non-fixed radioactive wipe limit for this material as 22 DPM/square centimeter.

[ Oops, looks like there was a math problem. ]

This limit converts to 2,200 DPM/100 square centimeters of alpha activity,
which is considerably more than the 455 DPM/100 square centimeters of alpha activity which precipitated this incident.

A repeat survey confirmed this contamination level and found no other elevated shipping packages.

"To prevent a recurrence of this notification, NFS is revising procedure NFS-HS-A-50, rev. 12
to provide a differentiation between alpha emitters and low-toxicity alpha emitters.

The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector (via email and voice mail) and the State of Tennessee.

Notified R2DO (Carolyn Evans) and NMSS EO (Scott Moore).

------------

Event Number: 40901     

[DELETED] FIRE IN OFF-GAS SYSTEM
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en40901

[DELETED] FIRE IN OFF-GAS SYSTEM
[FILTER] FIRE IN OFF-GAS SYSTEM

Ignition of off-gas process line during disassembly of processing equipment.
[ Did they forget to purge the lines? ]

[ This sounds like they saw the flame in a glovebox. ]
A small flame occurred for a period of several minutes inside ventilated containment.
The fire was extinguished by Operations personnel.
Slight damage occurred to plexiglass surface and prefilter element.
Filtration in ventilation system is intact and operational.
Radiological hazard involved a quantity of highly enriched Uranium > 0.2 microCuries.

There was no loss of containment and no injury to personnel.

Health Physics, Fire Safety, and Nuclear Criticality safety personnel responded and performed evaluation to ensure safe shutdown of operation.

Repairs are being made to the off-gas [DELETED] involved and recovery is underway.
Repairs are being made to the off-gas [FILTERS] involved and recovery is underway.

All surveys showed no evidence of occupational exposure, contamination, or environmental release.
Investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the fire and the [DELETED] other off-gas process [DELETED] will be inspected for similar problems.
Investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the fire and the [DANGEROUS] other off-gas process [SOMEDAY] will be inspected for similar problems.

Licensee notified NRC Resident Inspector.
Licensee does not intend to make any State, local or other Federal notifications or issue any press release at this time.
[ In other words they are trying to keep this event under wraps. ]

-------------------

Event Number: 41316

FAULTY PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC CONTROLLER (PLC) FOR OXIDE DISSOLUTION OPERATION
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en41316

The Nuclear Fuel Services, License # [DELETED], reported that ...

[ Why redact the license number from the text body when it's contained in the EN report header? ]

License #: SNM-124

-------------------

Event Number: 42480

FITNESS FOR DUTY REPORT INVOLVING LICENSEE SUPERVISOR
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en42480

FITNESS FOR DUTY REPORT INVOLVING LICENSEE SUPERVISOR

The licensee reports that a facility supervisor has been found to be in violation of the fitness for duty program procedure (NFS-HR-08-001A)
due to failure to adhere to a 5 hour alcohol abstinence requirement before reporting to the site The individual's site access has been denied.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.
Contact the HOO for additional details.


Event Number: 42502

FAILURE OF A FITNESS FOR DUTY TEST
https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-colle...ml#en42502

A non-licensed employee supervisor had a confirmed positive for illegal drugs during a random fitness-for-duty test.
The employees access to the plant has been terminated.
Contact the Headquarters Operations Officer for additional details.

The licensee will notify the NRC Resident Inspector.

[ So add this part of the industry to the FFD stack, previous FFD reports have shown us that the people building
reactors (ref GA_Vogtle) have FFD problems and the operators also.
]

-------------------

[ There's plenty of other examples of miscues and problems detailed in the ENs if you care to look. Some of the redaction's look like they are trying to keep 'proprietary process info' confidential.  'proprietary process info' in this context means how they can keep making a nuclear mess and still cash fat paychecks.  While the lead in article shows us that uranium contamination is emanating from the Erwin facility, the ENs show us why. ]

-------------------

[ So let's go back to the little disclaimer blurb. ]

THIS IS NOT A NEW REPORT.

This event report was originally withheld from public release under the NRC's policy for protecting sensitive unclassified information.
[ "protecting sensitive unclassified information" = keeping the public from finding out what an incompetent industry we are ]

The NRC has reevaluated this policy and is now making this event report available to the public with suitable redactions.
[ "suitable redactions" = meaningless redactions to create cover story to support first statement ]