Nuclear Information and Resource Service {Federal Register} : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) is denying a petition
for rulemaking (PRM-50-67) from the
Nuclear Information and Resource
Service (NIRS). The petitioner
requested that the NRC amend its
regulations to require that nuclear
facilities ensure the availability
of backup power sources to power
safety systems of reactors and other
nuclear facilities in the event of
a date-sensitive, computer-related
incident resulting from a Year
2000 (Y2K) issue.

. . .

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
recognizes that date-sensitive
computer programs, embedded chips,
and other electronic systems that
perform a major role in distributing,
allocating, and ensuring
electric power throughout the United
States may be prone to failure
beginning on January 1, 2000. Loss of
all alternating current
electricity from both the offsite
power grid and onsite emergency
generators (commonly known as
``station blackout'') long has been
identified by NRC as among the most
prominent contributors to risk
for atomic reactors.

. . .

The petitioner commented that NRC has
long recognized that the loss of all
alternating current from both onsite
and offsite systems, known
generally as ``station blackout,'' is
the most important contributor to
risk at most atomic reactors.

. . .

The petitioner asserted that the
emergency diesel generators (EDGs)
used at atomic reactors have proven
unreliable and are often out of
service. The petitioner claimed that
the unprecedented condition posed
by the Y2K problem, coupled with the
demonstrated and ongoing failures
of EDGs, constitutes reasonable doubt
that EDGs can be relied on.

. . .

The petitioner discussed the
likelihood and the potential
consequences of a failure of all
or a portion of the electric power
grid in the United States. The petitioner
recognized that the failure
of all or a portion of the electrical
grid as a result of Y2K issues is
well beyond the scope of NRC's authority.
However, the petitioner
stated that the extended failure of all
or a portion of the electrical
grid would place severe stress on the
current EDG system of backup
power supply and that the failure of
EDGs at one or more reactor sites
could result in extended station blackouts
and nuclear catastrophes.

. . .

In order to ensure that sufficient
electric power is available
during an extended loss of offsite
power to safely shut down a nuclear
plant and cool the spent fuel pool,
enough diesel fuel should be
available at the site for periods
extending from 60 days to 160 days to
whatever the time period that offsite
power is not available.

. . .

On at least one occasion, a
nuclear power plant licensee
falsified data relative to the
reliability of EDGs. The concern is that
other nuclear utilities may not
provide reliable data for their EDGs to

This petition was denied!

Federal Register

-- spider (, December 20, 1999


May Heaven, help us all........

-- Just Another (, December 20, 1999.


It's six months old but still relevant.

-- spider (, December 20, 1999.

This petition was a deliberate effort to force the shutdown of the plants for the NIRS anti-nuclear agenda.

Their "supposed safety" steps were not needed (from a design or safety standpoint) and could not have been safely accomplished in the time demanded. Trying to implement these re-designs into existing plants would no thave increased safety margins, and would force "hurry-up," unneeded, poorly designed changes in safety systems that are working fine right now.

Their fundemental claims (assumptions actually, about the fuel pool cooling, about emergency diesel generators, and about off-site power losses) are simply incorrect.

-- Robert A Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, December 27, 1999.

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