Monday, September 29, 2008

UHI: In 1984 INPO told NRC's AEOD that it had no concern with stored gases.

It is just as well that INPO told the NRC that it had no interest. I've looked at the report that NRC's now defunct office of Analysis and Evaluation of Operating Data (AEOD) sent to INPO. Below is INPO's letter to NRC dated November 26, 1984.

And next is the abstract of the ORNL report.
ORNL found that if Nuclear Power Plants complied with "... well-known and established ..." methods, the nuclear power plants would have no problems in this arena. ORNL apparently complied with AEOD specifications in producing its report that was completed in April 1985 although INPO was invited to review a draft on November 9, 1964. AEOD's specifications to ORNL should have included UHI accumulators and ECCS accumulators. However, such a specification was beyond the experience. insight and talent at AEOD.

I've checked the NRC's Public Document Room and I find no evidence that EPRI's NSAC was invited to review the ORNL document even though there was a Memorandum of Understanding that such documents would be discussed with NSAC. Of course, even if NSAC would have been invited to look at the ORNL report, it is unlikely that I would have had a shot at it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lightning: The cover-up continues. INPO SER 76-84

Yesterday I sent the Chairman NRC and others my latest appeal for INPO 76-84. There are other e-mail exchanges below. My latest request is in red. The feds are wild about covering-up for INPO while they claim to love their tax-paying public. And the stubborn INPO refuses to release INPO 76-84. *#&%^!

FW: Please send me INPO 76-84
9/19/2008 5:15:20 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time
Reply To:

Mr. Leyse;

Your request has been forwarded to the FOIA office. Thank you.

Scott Burnell

From: [] Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:59 PMTo: CHAIRMAN Resource; Scott Burnell;;

Subject: Re: Please send me INPO 76-84

The NRC claims that INPO has met the requirements for showing that INPO 76-84 is covered by FOIA Exemption 4:

"Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential."

It is highly unlikely that INPO 76-84 has one bit of Trade secrets and commercial or financial information that are privileged or confidential.

However, for the time being, let me refine my request. In this refined request, I am seeking public disclosure of those aspects of INPO 76-84 that discuss the Salem lightning strike of June 8, 1980.

I reported this event as a significant event on August 12, 1980, when I was with NSAC. Within hours of my report, INPO objected to my submittal. I insisted that my submittal should stand. A long time later, March 11, 1982, I found out that NSAC had indeed buried my report.

I was way ahead of my time. It was not until 1985 that NRC issued the following:

November 5, 1985

Information Notice No. 85-86:


Description of Circumstances: A number of plant trips and instrumentation problems attributable to lightning have occurred over the past 6 years. Since solid state circuitry designs are being increasingly employed in safety related systems, the impact of lightning induced line surges on those circuits is emphasized in this notice. Descriptions of several of the more significant events are presented below. Events involving lightning strikes of switchyards and the consequential impact on power distribution systems are not covered by this notice. However, INPO SER 76-84 covers this latter subject as well as summarizing earlier INPO documents dealing with lightning strikes at nuclearpower plants.

Note the public reference to INPO SER 76-84. Very likely this INPO SER 76-84 includes the Salem lightning strike of June 8, 1980.

So, for the time being, what I am asking for is the coverage of the Salem lightning strike of June 8, 1980 that is in INPO SER 76-84.

In its final response to my FOIA, the NRC told me that under its agreement with INPO, described as a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 10, 2007, the NRC is required to protect INPO documents from unauthorized disclosure when they contain proprietary information.

I have read the Memorandum of Agreement dated December 10, 2007, and I find that the NRC is not legally required to do anything: I read on page 1;

This Memorandum is not intended to be an enforceable agreement or contract on either party ... Since this Memorandum is not legally binding, the Commission may depart from its terms whenever it deems it necessary or appropriate to do so ...

Well, it is highly unlikely that INPO SER 76-84 contains any proprietary information regarding the lightning strike at Salem on June 8, 1980. Indeed, I doubt if INPO SER 76-84 has any information that is in greater depth than Salem LER NO. 50-272/80-031.

So, for the time being, I would like to see the aspects of INPO 76-84 that describe the events at Salem on June 8, 1980.

I have also provided the attachment, Memorandum of Agreement, December 10, 2007, that has the text of this forwarded e-mail.

In a message dated 9/17/2008 8:47:47 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, writes:
Mr. Leyse;

Thank you for your e-mail to Chairman Klein's office. As the FOIA office indicated in its original determination and reply to your appeal, INPO has met the requirements for showing INPO 76-84 is covered by FOIA Exemption 4:

"Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential."

The NRC therefore cannot provide INPO 76-84 to anyone outside the agency. Thank you.

Scott Burnell
Public Affairs Officer
Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Petition for Rulemaking Submitted on September 7, 2008: Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning Under 50.59

Here is an update onNovember 3, 2008. NRC sent the following letter. It is logical. It will take me some time to respond.

And here, on November 3, 2008, I am posting 10 CFR 50.59:
§ 50.59 Changes, tests and experiments.
(a) Definitions for the purposes of this section:
(1) Change means a modification or addition to, or removal from, the facility or procedures that affects a design function, method of performing or controlling the function, or an evaluation that demonstrates that intended functions will be accomplished.
(2) Departure from a method of evaluation described in the FSAR (as updated) used in establishing the design bases or in the safety analyses means:
(i) Changing any of the elements of the method described in the FSAR (as updated) unless the results of the analysis are conservative or essentially the same; or
(ii) Changing from a method described in the FSAR to another method unless that method has been approved by NRC for the intended application.
(3) Facility as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) means:
(i) The structures, systems, and components (SSC) that are described in the final safety analysis report (FSAR) (as updated),
(ii) The design and performance requirements for such SSCs described in the FSAR (as updated), and
(iii) The evaluations or methods of evaluation included in the FSAR (as updated) for such SSCs which demonstrate that their intended function(s) will be accomplished.
(4) Final Safety Analysis Report (as updated) means the Final Safety Analysis Report (or Final Hazards Summary Report) submitted in accordance with Sec. 50.34, as amended and supplemented, and as updated per the requirements of Sec. 50.71(e) or Sec. 50.71(f), as applicable.
(5) Procedures as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) means those procedures that contain information described in the FSAR (as updated) such as how structures, systems, and components are operated and controlled (including assumed operator actions and response times).
(6) Tests or experiments not described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) means any activity where any structure, system, or component is utilized or controlled in a manner which is either:
(i) Outside the reference bounds of the design bases as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) or
(ii) Inconsistent with the analyses or descriptions in the final safety analysis report (as updated).
(b) This section applies to each holder of an operating license issued under this part or a combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, including the holder of a license authorizing operation of a nuclear power reactor that has submitted the certification of permanent cessation of operations required under § 50.82(a)(1) or § 50.110 or a reactor licensee whose license has been amended to allow possession of nuclear fuel but not operation of the facility.
(c)(1) A licensee may make changes in the facility as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated), make changes in the procedures as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated), and conduct tests or experiments not described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) without obtaining a license amendment pursuant to Sec. 50.90 only if:
(i) A change to the technical specifications incorporated in the license is not required, and
(ii) The change, test, or experiment does not meet any of the criteria in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(2) A licensee shall obtain a license amendment pursuant to Sec. 50.90 prior to implementing a proposed change, test, or experiment if the change, test, or experiment would:
(i) Result in more than a minimal increase in the frequency of occurrence of an accident previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);
(ii) Result in more than a minimal increase in the likelihood of occurrence of a malfunction of a structure, system, or component (SSC) important to safety previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);
(iii) Result in more than a minimal increase in the consequences of an accident previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);
(iv) Result in more than a minimal increase in the consequences of a malfunction of an SSC important to safety previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);
(v) Create a possibility for an accident of a different type than any previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);
(vi) Create a possibility for a malfunction of an SSC important to safety with a different result than any previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);
(vii) Result in a design basis limit for a fission product barrier as described in the FSAR (as updated) being exceeded or altered; or
(viii) Result in a departure from a method of evaluation described in the FSAR (as updated) used in establishing the design bases or in the safety analyses.
(3) In implementing this paragraph, the FSAR (as updated) is considered to include FSAR changes resulting from evaluations performed pursuant to this section and analyses performed pursuant to Sec. 50.90 since submittal of the last update of the final safety analysis report pursuant to Sec. 50.71 of this part.
(4) The provisions in this section do not apply to changes to the facility or procedures when the applicable regulations establish more specific criteria for accomplishing such changes.
(d)(1) The licensee shall maintain records of changes in the facility, of changes in procedures, and of tests and experiments made pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. These records must include a written evaluation which provides the bases for the determination that the change, test, or experiment does not require a license amendment pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(2) The licensee shall submit, as specified in § 50.4 or § 52.3 of this chapter, as applicable, a report containing a brief description of any changes, tests, and experiments, including a summary of the evaluation of each. A report must be submitted at intervals not to exceed 24 months. For combined licenses, the report must be submitted at intervals not to exceed 6 months during the period from the date of application for a combined license to the date the Commission makes its findings under 10 CFR 52.103(g).
(3) The records of changes in the facility must be maintained until the termination of an operating license issued under this part, a combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, or the termination of a license issued under 10 CFR part 54, whichever is later. Records of changes in procedures and records of tests and experiments must be maintained for a period of 5 years.
[64 FR 53613, Oct. 4, 1999, as amended at 66 FR 64738, Dec. 14, 2001; 72 FR 49500, Aug. 28, 2007]

As of today, October 2, 2008, the NRC has not acknowledged that it has received this PRM.

Re: Petition for Rulemaking
Date: 9/7/2008 3:54:49 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time
Reply To:

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionWashington,
DC, 20555-0001
Attn: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff

Petition for Rulemaking

NRC must augment its regulations in order to halt the widespread misapplication of 10 CFR 50.59. For example, the process, ultrasonic fuel cleaning, has been effectively licensed at several nuclear power plants in the United States of America via licensee application of !0 CFR 50.59. Several sites have installed and operated the equipment and the sites have performed reviews under 50.59. The NRC has thus effectively licensed ultrasonic fuel cleaning via 50.59 as its site inspectors have ruled at several sites that the 50.59 documents are within the purview of the site license and that they have been satisfactorily prepared. It is also significant that NRC approval under 50.59 is an after-the-fact approval; the equipment may be installed and operated without the awareness of the NRC or its public.

This petitioner is concerned that ultrasonic fuel cleaning has been deployed at several sites without an in-depth review and acceptance by specialists at the NRC. Ultrasonic fuel cleaning is an involved process that is beyond the licensed capabilities of the sites to review and accept under 10 CFR 50.59. It is also likely that modifications of ultrasonic fuel cleaning will proceed without the necessary NRC oversight. This petitioner is not listing all of the potential areas of modification; however measures to speed up the process in the areas of fuel handling, chemical addition, waste disposal, and other changes appear likely within the present mode of licensing ultrasonic fuel cleaning.

It appears that the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI); the developer, patent assignee, and promoter of ultrasonic fuel cleaning, has succeeded in having its process deployed at several nuclear power plants as the sites have applied the 50.59 process. EPRI has promoted its ultrasonic fuel cleaning and has made its consulting services available to the sites as it has bypassed review of the ultrasonic fuel cleaning by the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, the Office of New Reactors, the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research and the ACRS.

Robert H. Leyse
P. O. Box 2850
Sun Valley, ID 83353

Larry Hochreiter

Sent: 9/4/2008 2:20:06 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time
Subj: Dr. Larry Hochreiter

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we share the news of Dr. Larry Hochreiter's passing.
Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends.

Thermal Hydraulics Division
American Nuclear Society


Lawrence E. Hochreiter, 67, of State College, PA, died on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008 at the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College. He was born in Buffalo, NY; his parents were Lawrence H. Hochreiter (deceased) and Margaret Boland Hochreiter MacVicar who resides in Buffalo, NY. He married Susan Alice Novak in 1966 at W. Lafayette, Indiana where both were students at Purdue University. He is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Sarah L. Hochreiter of Somerville, NJ; and son, Paul L. Hochreiter, of State College, Siblings are Gerald E. Hochreiter and his wife, Joanne of Brockport, NY and Marie E. Hochreiter of Buffalo, NY.

Dr. Hochreiter received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Buffalo, and M.S. and Ph.D degrees from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. Upon graduation he was employed by Westinghouse Nuclear Energy Systems in Pittsburgh, PA attaining the position of Consulting Engineer, the highest technical management position in the company. While in Pittsburgh, he served as an adjunct Professor at Carnegie-Mellon University teaching graduate courses in Reactor Engineering. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at Penn State and taught graduate courses in the Penn State/Westinghouse Mechanical Engineering Program.

In 1997 he joined Penn State, University Park, as a full-time professor of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering. He taught both undergraduate and graduate nuclear engineering courses and mentored many students. He took the lead in establishing a new distance education program offering a Master of Nuclear Engineering degree and acted as the Distance Education Student Academic Advisor.

Of the many achievement awards he received throughout his careers at Westinghouse and Penn State, he was most appreciative of the Outstanding Teacher award he received from Penn State in 2005. He loved teaching and was very proud of the awards his students received from the ANS student design competitions.

Dr. Hochreiter was appointed by the Governor of Vermont to serve on the Public Oversight Panel tasked with reviewing, on the public’s behalf, the reliability assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power facility which is pursing an extension of their operating license.

Larry enjoyed building his 0-gauge model train layout; collecting stamps; playing his guitar (he played in a folk music band in college); and restoring and refinishing antique furniture.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Koch Funeral Home at 2401 South Atherton Street, State College, PA; phone 237-2712. Calling hours are Sunday, Sept 7, 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Monday, 11:00 am, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 120 W. Lamb Street (corner of Lamb & N. Allegheny in Bellefonte) with The Venerable Reverend Daniel Selvage as celebrant; assisted by The Reverend Alexander Dyakiw, Deacon. Memorial contributions can be made to the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Penn State University, 132 Reber Building, University Park, PA 16802.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lightning: NRC final denial of Leyse FOIA request for INPO 76-84

The NRC says I may go to Federal District Court. Well, that is not free! At least I have learned that the INPO SER 76-84 has 4 pages, however, I still do not know the date. In the prior entry on this blog, I list dozens of INPO documents, and those dates are listed in several, but not all cases.

Leyse requests that NRC release dozens of INPO documents to its Public Document Room


The following public document, NEDO 33262, written by General Electric Company and its foreign affiliate, references dozens of documents from INPO and/or NSAC. NRC likely has these documents in its files. Under this FOIA I am requesting that NRC place these documents into its PDR for access by the public. The public needs these documents in order to assess NEDO-33262.
Submittal of ESBWR Licensing Topical Report NEDO-33262, ESBWR Human Factors Engineering Operating Experience Review Implementation Plan (OER), Revision 2.

The following list of INPO, NSAC and NSAC/INPO documents is compiled from NEDO-33262. These documents must be placed in NRC’s PDR under this FOIA.





INPO Significant Operating Experience Reports

INPO Significant Operating Experience Report 84-7, Pressure Locking and Thermal Binding ofGate Valves, December 14, 1984.

INPO Significant Event Reports

INPO Significant Event Report xx-9 1, - In Preparation - Inventory Drain Down, 1991.

INPO Significant Event Report 26-89, Loss of Residual Heat Removal Capability Due ToCommon Mode Failure of Flow Control Valves, October 4, 1989.

INPO Significant Event Report 11-89, Inadvertent Introduction of Hydrogen Into The Instrumentand Station Air Systems, April 11, 1989.

INPO Significant Event Report 5-89, Lack of Control of Testing Disables or Challenges SafetySystems, March 3, 1989.

INPO Significant Event Report 36-88, Loss of Residual Heat Removal Due to Misleading VisualIndication of Water Level, November 30, 1988.

INPO Significant Event Report 35-87, Non-lsolable Reactor Coolant System Leak, November12,1987.

INPO Significant Event Report 3 5-86, Extended Loss of Shutdown Cooling due to Steam Bindingof Shutdown Cooling Pumps, October 24, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 31-86, Loss of Residual Heat Removal Flow Due To InadvertentDraining Of The Reactor Coolant System, September 3, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 23-86, Loss of Decay Heat Removal Due To Inadequate ReactorCoolant System Level Control, July 3, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 17-86, Loss Of Shutdown Co. , Flow, May 27, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 79-84, Loss Of Shutdown Cooling Due to Inaccurate Level Indication, November 14, 1984.

INPO Significant Event Report 71-84, Residual Heat Removal Pump Damage Caused ByOperation With Suction Valve Closed, October 2, 1984.

INPO Significant Event Report 60-83, Loss of Residual Heat Removal (RHR) Cooling DuringReactor Vessel Drain Down, August 30, 1983.

INPO Significant Event Report 59-83, Residual Heat Removal (RHR) Pump Suction ValveClosure Due To Control Circuitry Design, August 18, 1983.

INPO Significant Event Report 13-83, Unplanned Radioactive Release and Loss of ShutdownCooling, February 25, 1983.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 95-81, Automatic Valve Closure Causing Loss ofShutdown Decay Heat Removal, November 25, 1981.

NSAC/1NPO Significant Event Report 91-81, Steam Voiding in the Reactor Coolant SystemDuring Decay Heat Removal Cooldown, October 6, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 89-81, Level Instrumentation Oscillations Due ToReference Leg Flashing, October 23, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 87-81, Inadequate Reactor Coolant System (RCS) WaterLevel Indication, October 19, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 78-81, Erroneous Indication. Reactor Vessel LevelCauses Loss of RHR, October 1, 1981.

INPO Nuclear Network, WE 655 ENR PAR 90-061, Residual Removal Flow FluctuationsDuring Drawing of Vacuum in the Reactor Coolant System, September 19, 1990.

INPO SERS 42-81 and 5-89.

INPO SERS 17-88 and 36-87

NSAC Report. 146.

INPO/NSAC Significant Operating Experience Report 80-5, Potential Loss of Coolant Accident(LOCA) From A Single Electrical Failure, September 23, 1980.

INPO Significant Experience Report 11-88, Inadvertent Disablement of The Automatic StartCapability For All Site Diesel Generators, May 6, 1988.

INPO Significant Experience Report 25-85, Emergency Diesel Generator Failed To SupplyEmergency Bus Due To Non-emergency Trip, June 3, 1985.

INPO Significant Experience Report 73-83, Loss of All AC Power (Blackout), October 27, 1983.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 56-81, Loss of Station and Reserve Auxiliary Power,August 56, 1981.

INPO SOERs 87-2 and 85-1

NSAC Reports 52 and 43

INPO SOER 82-4, and SER 31-81 and SER 5-90.

INPO SER 38-85

INPO SER 72-84




INPO SER 63-84 and 2-82

INPO Significant Operating Experience Report 87-2, Inadvertent Draining of Reactor Vessel toSuppression Pool at B WRs, March 19, 1987.

INPO Significant Operating, Experience Report 82-4, Improper Alignment of Spray System ToResidual Heat Removal System, May 19, 1982.

INPO Significant Operating Experience Report 82-2, Inadvertent Reactor Pressure VesselPressurization, Apr. 28, 1982.

INPO Significant Event Report 7-91, Failure to Control Valve Lineup Status Resulting in aReactor Vessel Coolant Drain Down, April 2, 1991.

INPO Significant Event Report 19-90, Monitoring Plant Evolutions Using Inoperable ControlBoard Indications, November 21, 1990.

INPO Significant Event Report 5-90, Premature Lifting and Excessive Blowdown of ResidualHeat Removal Relief Valves, February 3, 1990.

INPO Significant Event Report 39-87, Undetected Loss of Reactor Coolant Due To Release ofDissolved Gases, December 29, 1

INPO Significant Event Report 4-86, Internal Flooding of An Emergency Core Cooling System(ECCS) Pump Room, January 6, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 37-83, Supplement 2, Inadvertent Draining of Reactor PressureVessel To Suppression Pool, October 9, 1985.

INPO Significant Event Report 37-83, Inadvertent Draining of Reactor Vessel to SuppressionPool, June 9, 1983.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 85-81, Inadvertent Discharge From Reactor CoolantSystem to Containment Sump, September 25, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 64-81, Reactor Coolant Leak Due To Technician's Error,August 14, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 31-81, Inadvertent Containment Spray, April 29, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 1-81, January 16,1981.

INPO Nuclear Network Entry WE 496, EAR TYO 90-005, RPV Was Pressurized at Low VesselMetal Temperature Condition During Refueling Outage, March 1, 1990.

NSAC Report 129


INPO SER 9-86, 51-81, 72-84, 92-84, 9-86, 31-88

INPO Significant Operating Experience Reports

INPO Significant Operating Experience Report 87-2, Inadvertent Draining of Reactor Vessel ToSuppression Pool at BWRs, March 19, 1987.

INPO Significant Operating 'Experience Report 85-1, Reactor Cavity Seal Failure, January 10,1985.

INPO Significant Event Report 1-91, Spent Fuel Pool Overflow Events. January 4, 1991.

INPO Significant Event Report 17-90, Reactor Coolant System Temperature Below AnalyzedLimit for an Extended Time Period, October 24, 1990.

INPO Significant Event Report 15-89, Internal Flooding Resulting From Freeze Plug Failures,June 9, 1989.

INPO Significant Event Report 31-88, Reactor Cavity Seal Failure From Deflation andInadequate Design, October 27, 1988.

INPO Significant Event Report 3-88, Inadvertent Draining of Reactor Vessels Due ToProcedural Content and Usage Deficiencies, February 12, 1988.

INPO Significant Event Report 7-87, Pressurization of Vessel During Cold Shutdown, March 19,1987.

INPO Significant Event Report 4-87, Pipe Break and Condensate Storage Tank Draining, March9, 1987.

INPO Significant Event Report 40-86, Spent Fuel Pool Leakage, December 24, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 8-86, Inadvertent Drainage of Refueling Shield Tank, February24, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 41-85, Containment Spraying Events, September 19, 1985.

INPO Significant Event Report 38-85, Reactor Vessel Partially Drained Due To InadvertentActuation of the Automatic Depressurization System (ADS) While in Shutdown, August 12, 1985.

INPO Significant Event Report 92-84, Partial Drain of Spent Fuel Storage Pool To Spent FuelShipping Cask Pit Due To Deflated Seal, December 27, 1984.

INPO Significant Event Report 72-84, Reactor Cavity Seal Ring Failure, October 3, 1984.

INPO Significant Event Report 72-84, Supplement 1, Reactor Cavity Seal Ring Failure, April18, 1985.

INPO Significant Event Report 72-84, Supplement 2, Reactor Cavity Seal Failure, February 13,1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 63-84, Over pressurization of Reactor Vessel During ColdShutdown, Aug. 30, 1984.

INPO Significant Event Report 46-83, Inadvertent Initiation of Low Pressure Coolant Injection(LPCI), July 1, 1983.

INPO Significant Event Report 2-82, Cold Pressurization of Reactor Coolant System, January 7,1982.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 76-81, Loss of Primary Coolant To reactor BuildingSump, September 25, 1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 61-81, Inadvertent Spent Fuel Pool Overflow, August 12,1981.

NSAC/INPO Significant Event Report 51-81, Spent Fuel Pool Watertight Gate Seals, July 28,1981

INPO Nuclear Network Entry OE 4629, Low Level in Spent Fuel Pool due to Loss of Air toTransfer Canal Weir Gate Bladder, June 4, 1991.

INPO SER 17-90.

INPO SER 15-83

NSAC Report 129

INPO Significant Event Report 1-88

INPO Significant Event Report 21-86

INPO Significant Event Report 59-81

INPO Significant Event Report 31-83

INPO Significant Event Report 31-83

INPO Significant Event Report 5-86

INPO Significant Event Report 15-91, Fuel Mispositioning Events DL3 to Fuel Bundle SelectionErrors, June 11, 1991.

INPO Significant Event Report 10-88, Fuel Assembly Lifted With Upper InteMal, April 21,1988.

INPO Significant Event Report 5-86, Dropped New Fuel Assembly, January 15, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Rep~rt 21-86, Dropped Fuel Assembly, June 16, 1986.

INPO Significant Event Report 31-85, Inadvertent Fuel Bundle Movement, June 27, 1985.

INPO Significant Event Report 31-83, Irradiated Fuel Assembly Dropped From Fuel HandlingCrane, June 6, 1983.

INPO Significant Event Report 15-83, Fuel Handling Error, March 11, 1983.

INPO Significant Event Report 43-82, Fractured Fuel Assembly Guide Tubes, July 19, 1982.

INPO Significant Event Report 59-81, Dropped Fuel Assembly, August 11, 1981.

INPO Nuclear Network Entry OE 4167, Fuel Assemblies Withdrawn With Upper Intenals,October 5, 1990.

INPO Nuclear Network Entry OE 4112, Fuel Assemblies Withdrawn With Upper Internals -Update to OE's 4167, 4177, and 4187, October 26, 1990.

INPO Nuclear Network Entry OE 4113, Fuel Assemblies Withdrawn With Upper lnteMals -Update to OE4167(message replaced OE 4177), October 27, 1990.

INPO Nuclear Network Entry OE 4114, Fuel Assemblies Withdrawn With Upper Internals -Update to OE4167 and 4177(message replaced OE 4187), October 27, 1990.

Robert H. Leyse
P. O. Box 2850
Sun Valley, ID 83353

Saturday, September 13, 2008

GE consultants squealed and Rickover's offspring took over everywhere.

Oh well, GE consultants at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station did not did not get along with the reactor plant operators. So they squealed here and there. A consulting outfit got involved. That consulting outfit apparently is either now defunct or bought out.

INPO, operating in its standard mode of indoctrination, talked everywhere and ultimately a lot of good men got stabbed and the nuke business has been a good place to stay away from ever since (unless you have an aptitude for playing along with the games of indoctrination). Anyway, the good men were forced out of the scene after they “confessed.” The reactor plant operators wound up in uniforms that highlighted their rank. And, the press had a field day as they made good dough by catering to Rickover’s offspring.

So, here is the New York Times in action over 20 years ago when they were already adept at producing fiction. I’ve put paragraphs in bold that refer to INPO. Otherwise, this copy is unadulterated.

The Peach Bottom Syndrome


Published: March 27, 1988

THEY came to work in jeans and T-shirts, and passed the hours with magazines, video games and rubber band fights. Often, they took turns sleeping, and sometimes everyone on the shift was dozing.

The scene was not an obscure back office operation, but the control room of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station here, 65 miles west of Philadelphia and 45 miles down the Susquehanna River from Three Mile Island.

When the sleeping on the night and weekend shifts was finally discovered, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shut Peach Bottom, the first time a nuclear power plant had been closed by the agency for a non-mechanical reason.

That was a year ago, on March 31, 1987, and the intervening months have been tough ones for the four utilities that own the plant. Led by the Philadelphia Electric Company and the Newark-based Public Service Electric and Gas Company, which each hold a 42.5 percent stake, the four have been spending about $14 million a month for replacement power, most of the cost borne by stockholders.

Philadelphia Electric, which was already facing a financial squeeze from another nuclear plant that it is building, has taken other, even harder lumps as Peach Bottom's operator: its president and chairman both announced their early retirement this year following a scathing report by an industry group. The group, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, called Peach Bottom ''an embarrassment to the industry and to the nation,'' and said the fault lay in the very culture of the company and how it was managed.

For the industry, however, the episode is not a simple embarrassment but rather the most dramatic sign to date of a basic shift in safety concerns since the accident at Three Mile Island nearly a decade ago.

Where once regulators focused on machinery and backup systems to insure ''fail-safe'' operations, they have now come to stress the importance of the human operator in anticipating problems and solving them before they become disruptive.

NOW the message seems to be that faulty operators will not be tolerated any more than faulty equipment, and that top management will be held more accountable when there is a human problem.

The shutdown of Peach Bottom was ''a wakeup call for the nuclear industry,'' Senator John Heinz, a Pennsylvania Republican, said at the time.

As the first anniversary of the shutdown nears, questions remain about just how responsible upper-level management was for fostering an atmosphere in which sleeping at the nuclear switch became possible. Most regulators and critics within the industry say that top management should have known of the problems and acted to cure them, and that lower-level management did know and did not care.

They also note that the problems were not confined to control room personnel. Four Philadelphia Electric workers and two contract employees elsewhere in the plant were indicted last fall for drug dealing. Two were acquitted and the others were convicted or pleaded guilty. Just last week, Philadelphia Electric announced it had discharged or suspended 17 employees who the company said had been using drugs, including the four who had been indicted.

Now the industry is watching closely as Philadelphia Electric, after floundering for much of 1987, tries to re-engineer its culture and convince Government officials that the management problems have been solved and that Peach Bottom 2 and 3, the two reactors at the plant, should start operating again.

PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC, known as Peco, has not been the only utility with troubles in its control room. The Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison Company was fined in 1980 when two of its operators were caught sleeping on duty in its Dresden plant near Morris, Ill. The following year, the Florida Power and Light Company was fined after its operators left a control room unsupervised while a reactor was running at full power. And last August, four and a half months after Peach Bottom was shut down, an operator was removed by the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company from its Susquehanna plant for sleeping on the job. Even the General Public Utilities Corporation, owner of Three Mile Island, discharged a shift supervisor last November who had repeatedly slept on duty.

But these incidents apparently have been isolated. At Peach Bottom, for at least five months, they were the norm. The lax environment here was ironic in light of the plant's special role in the industry's development. Peach Bottom 1, which opened in 1966 and is now retired, was one of the first commercial reactors in the United States, making Philadelphia Electric one of the nation's most experienced nuclear operators and a pioneer in developing safety rules.

A variety of reasons have been offered to explain how the staff's alertness in Peach Bottom's pioneer days turned into the kind of dangerous overconfidence that put operators to sleep. Management and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were more concerned with the problems starting up the company's new Limerick plant, 50 miles to the northeast, than with changes going on at Peach Bottom, investigators say. In addition, Limerick drew personnel away from Peach Bottom, creating a shortage of operators and a need for excessive overtime.
But most of all, according to the N.R.C. and the Atlanta-based Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, there was a break in the chain of command that kept critical information from going to headquarters, and no one there seemed to notice.

Indeed, the problem with the sleeping technicians was finally brought to light by outsiders, six General Electric engineers with frequent access to the control room, who went to the N.R.C. with their complaints after two levels of Philadelphia Electric executives at the plant turned deaf ears.
After the shutdown, the company's top executives found flaws far down the chain of command. Referring to tighter safety rules implemented after the Three Mile Island accident and other mishaps, Philadelphia Electric's departing chairman and chief executive, James Lee Everett 3d, said, ''The attitude of some of our operating force to enthusiastically receive and endorse these new requirements has been less than the best.''

But in its report, given to Mr. Everett in January, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations implied that the executives at the top should quit, referring to ''grossly unprofessional behavior by a wide range of shift personnel'' that ''reflects a major breakdown in the management of a nuclear facility.'' The institute said that both Mr. Everett, 61 years old, and the company's president, John H. Austin Jr., 59, had failed to understand basic aspects of the problem.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also found fault at the top, and gave Mr. Austin and Mr. Everett a public dressing-down of a kind seldom seen in the industry. At a commission hearing in Washington last Sept. 14, Lando W. Zech, the N.R.C.'s chairman, argued that problems with corporate management were as serious as those at the plant.

AT the hearing, Mr. Everett and Mr. Austin presented a 100-page plan for re-starting the plant. The plan noted that 12 of the 36 operators and supervisors in place at the time of the shutdown had been assigned to other jobs or had retired and the rest were enrolled in an extensive retraining program. Many new people with strong technical backgrounds were being trained as replacements, it pointed out. And it listed 300 separate hardware improvements in the works, and said it was well on its way to a complete change in the corporate culture that had been so heavily criticized.

It was apparently not enough for Mr. Zech, a retired admiral who was the chief of technical training in the Navy for two years. ''You've told us a lot of things,'' the chairman said. ''You've got to get to the next layer. What does it mean? What are your real commitments to excellence?''
Many in the industry thought Mr. Zech simply wanted some heads to roll. They finally did in February, when Mr. Austin announced his retirement. Early this month, Mr. Everett said he would step down, too, effective April 13. Joseph F. Paquette Jr., 53, a 30-year man at Philadelphia Electric who spent the last two years at the Consumers Power Company in Michigan, was brought back to replace Mr. Austin and will also be given Mr. Everett's titles.
In the utility industry, where succession is usually planned years in advance, and at Philadelphia Electric, where posters and in-house publications refer to ''The Peco Family,'' the changes of the past year amount to a painful revolution. But they may pay off soon.

''For the first time we're starting to hear realistic estimates of how long it's going to take'' to reopen the plant, William Russell, the N.R.C. administrator for the region covering Peach Bottom, said last week. ''They're no longer talking about reopening this summer. They're talking about the first of the year, and it's positive that they realize what they have ahead of them.''

The company is expected to disclose its latest schedule to reopen the plant on April 8.
WHAT is happening now at Peach Bottom is something of a nuclear novelty. Where the documents for restarting a reactor might once have spoken of neutron fluxes and rod insertion times, they now talk about beliefs, values, missions and vision. What Philadelphia Electric offers now is not apology, but anthropology.

Culture is the buzzword. The N.R.C. and plant management have taken to using that term to describe the shared attitudes of operators, their supervisors, their supervisors' supervisors and so on, all the way up the chain of command to the chairman.

Corbin A. McNeill Jr., a former chief of the Navy's Nuclear Power School and Philadelphia Electric's new senior vice president for nuclear operations, one of seven new senior executives brought in to clean up the company, speaks of giving the operators a new culture. The company's plan for restarting the plant even lists as a basic cause of its problems that ''the station culture, which had its roots in fossil and pre-Three Mile Island operations, had not adapted to changing nuclear requirements.''

Those requirements have evolved over the years since Philadelphia Electric ordered the reactor from the manufacturer, the General Electric Company, in November 1958. The N.R.C., with its stricter views, replaced the Atomic Energy Commission in 1975, and at plants around the country the fires, ruptures, leaks, procedural errors, instrument failures and other mishaps over the years gave hints of the pitfalls of the new technology.

With a growing appreciation of what can go wrong, what it can cost to fix and how much radiation exposure is potentially involved, the culture that the N.R.C. is trying to foster takes a much more aggressive stance on safety. For example, at first the N.R.C. sought assurances from plants that the automatic shutdown systems would stop a reactor if any of 100 pieces of equipment malfunctioned. Now, each such shutdown is considered a black mark, to be avoided by preventive maintenance or anticipation of problems before they occur.

THERE was change here, too, at the foot of Atom Road: Peach Bottom 1, a small 40-megawatt reactor, was retired in 1974 and replaced with Units 2 and 3, twin reactors each producing 1,035-megawatts, enough power to light all of Philadelphia.

But memories of the early days were still strong. That was a time before each control room contained a cross-indexed looseleaf notebook three feet thick to provide the operators with a procedure for every eventuality. ''We invented some of these procedures,'' said Raymond R. Betz, an operations support superintendent who was one of Unit 1's first reactor operators.
Long-time employees like Mr. Betz, who is 54 and has been at Peach Bottom for 25 years, view themselves as pioneers and take pride in that. But for some workers, according to recent studies, the pioneer mentality turned to complacency.

Another problem was Peach Bottom's remoteness from Philadelphia. About four miles north of the Mason-Dixon line, in a bucolic, agrarian setting, Peach Bottom was not much on the minds of the corporate executives, and vice versa.

Headquarters was preoccupied with other problems, notably those at Limerick, another twin-reactor project for which ground was broken in 1967. After extensive cost overruns, the state Public Utilities Commission in Harrisburg told the company that $369 million of the overrun was an imprudent expense, incurred because of mismanagement, and that it would not be allowed to recover that portion from ratepayers.

Limerick's Unit 1 is now running and the ratepayer ruling is under appeal, but Unit 2, almost 90 percent complete, has had an uncertain course. Rapid shifts in construction costs and a start-stop pattern in the rate of growth for demand for power had Philadelphia Electric begin work on Limerick 2, suspend it and then start again. In addition, environmentalists have blocked construction of a pumping station along the Delaware River that is needed for cooling water if the Limerick reactors are to run at full power in the summer.

IN the Peco family, Peach Bottom had become a quietly troubled adolescent that was being neglected in favor of a seriously ill younger sibling. Making things worse, Peach Bottom was giving its sibling transfusions, sending some of its most talented and ambitious personnel to Limerick, where the possibilities for promotion were greater.

Operations at Peach Bottom began to suffer. ''We should have changed management at the plant a lot earlier than we did,'' said Mr. Everett in an interview last week. ''We should have recognized the kind of attitude problems we had.''

The bombshell did not hit until last March, but there were telling signs earlier. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations had told the company in December 1984 that it found ''clear evidence of declining performance'' by station personnel and in January 1986 that ''standards of performance at the station are unacceptably low.''

Presaging events to come, at 6:05 A.M. on June 10, 1985, an N.R.C. inspector entered the control room at Peach Bottom and spotted a reactor operator with his head tilted on the back of the chair, his eyes closed, according to an agency report. After much discussion with company officials, the N.R.C. decided that it would not pursue disciplinary action because the inspector was not able to prove that the operator was sleeping.

Another indication of trouble was fines by the N.R.C. on six separate occasions since 1981 for a variety of rule infractions. But the signs apparently were not being picked up at corporate headquarters or at the plant, where plaques hung on the walls to mark reliability and electric production records in past years.

''We thought we were doing a great job,'' said one of the reactor operators, John S. Deni. ''One year we set an all-time record for what a generator could do.''

Mr. Deni was one of two operators made available by the company for an interview. He is one of the 24 operators undergoing lengthy psychological screening and retraining.

While Philadelphia Electric concluded that ''essentially all'' of the control room personnel had slept on duty or had been inattentive, none were discharged. Those who are being kept on as operators have been through an ''enforcement conference'' with the staff of the N.R.C., a quasijudicial procedure. They face a possible loss of license, fine or reprimand, but a decision on sanctions has been postponed, presumably because it will be linked to the decision on reopening the plant itself. If the operators are suspended, it could delay the plant opening beyond the end of the year.

Philadelphia Electric executives, asked why the operators were not simply fired, pointed out that they are the cream of the station's staff, each trained at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars over many years. In addition, licenses are plant-specific; that is, operators from Limerick or other reactors could not be brought in to run the Peach Bottom plant without first being extensively retrained.

And a nuclear reactor is like a jet liner that never lands. Even when all the fuel is removed from the reactor vessel, as has been done at Peach Bottom 3 for repair work, licensed operators must still be present in the control room 24 hours a day, monitoring equipment that prevents the release of radiation.

Besides, the new executives at Philadelphia Electric say, sleeping on the job is not something for which the operators should take all the blame. ''If everybody's been driving 60 in a 55 mile per hour zone, you haven't explained to them what the speed limit really is,'' said Dickson M. Smith, a retired rear admiral and former senior military staff assistant to Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, who was hired late last year to go to Peach Bottom as plant manager and then promoted to vice president. ''Right or wrong, it was something that was acceptable,'' said Mr. Smith, who is still based at the plant.

Mr. Deni described a hunkered-down mentality in the control room in the months before the shutdown. Part of the problem, he and others said, was a shortage of personnel. ''We were down to maybe 10 guys to cover the two units, and we circled the wagons,'' he said.

If someone fell asleep, Mr. Deni said, ''it seemed natural to cover for each other.'' He added: ''We thought we had a handle on things, and it was hard for anybody to give us any input.''

The report by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations also hints at poor relations between the reactor operators and employees of G.E. This may eventually have spelled the operators' downfall.

THE other operator provided by the company for an interview, J. Michael Weaver, who has since been promoted to shift supervisor, pointed out that even if the overtime was excessive, it was attractive. An operator who worked eight-hour shifts on two consecutive scheduled days off would earn time-and-a-half for the first shift and double-time for the second. Reactor operators earn about $20 an hour. In that setting, sleeping became the norm, and a very lucrative one.

The remedy offered by the company has concentrated on group dynamics and a retraining course, ''People, the Foundation of Excellence,'' that was developed by the Management Analysis Company, a consulting firm based in San Diego with wide experience in the nuclear field.
The operators seem to be developing a new self-image. Eschewing jeans and T-shirts, they are instead wearing - voluntarily, they insist - gray slacks and color-coded shirts: light gray for reactor operators, blue for senior reactor operators and white for shift supervisors. It enhances their authority, they say.

The entrance to the plant is dominated by a banner promoting ''The Power of Excellence,'' a slogan selected from employee nominations by a jury of employees. In an effort to make employees feel more a part of the operation, Mr. Smith has installed suggestion boxes, which have drawn more than 1,100 responses. Some were trivial and quite a few were colorful, but only two, according to papers filed with the N.R.C., were outright hate mail.

Workers at the plant say that much has changed, often citing the sheer volume of personnel transfers that have left them with new supervisors and upper-level managers. They also talk about a different mood. ''My job has changed,'' said Michael R. Smith, an instrumentation and control engineer who has been here for two years. ''It used to be day to day, to get through the day and get the job done. Now it's to streamline efficiency, to improve quality.''

Managers are changing their style, too, according to the company. The Philadelphia Electric plan for re-starting the plant refers to several new strategies, including ''management by walking around.''

HOW much attitudes have really changed among the 3,000 people at the plant - more than 1,000 are Philadelphia Electric employees and the rest work for contractors - is difficult to tell, management concedes. Mr. McNeill, the new head of nuclear operations, drew an analogy to the change in attitudes that came when racial segregation ended in schools. ''You can't change everybody's attitude but you can change behavior,'' he said.

And old procedures are also giving way. Formerly, there was little regular maintenance work reserved for the night shift. Now some maintenance activity is deliberately scheduled for the ''back shift'' to keep the operators occupied.

The company is also trying to relieve the problems of shift work itself. ''If you're a shift worker at a generating station, you're a shift worker until you retire or die,'' said James Lange, president of the Independent Group Association, an organization that represents employees in negotiations with management but does not have collective bargaining status.

Now, however, Philadelphia Electric, according to its plan for restarting the reactors, is providing some shift personnel with ''alternative career paths.''

Perhaps more important, the company has cleaned house on a grand scale. Of the 21 highest-ranking officials in the company, a third got their jobs this year. Essentially all the management at Peach Bottom was reassigned, beginning with the shift superintendents, the level at which Philadelphia Electric says the problem was allowed to fester.

It was a dead-end job, investigators concluded later, and the men in it were therefore unmotivated. According to Mr. McNeill, they were ''put in a position where they didn't consider themselves true management personnel, yet they knew they were different from the operators.''
New management says the company will not rush the process of re-opening the plant, but that Peach Bottom has turned the corner. Yet after all the departures, there is still a touch of defensiveness.

Mr. Lange, of the employees' association, described the going-away party for Mr. Austin, the retiring president, as ''like a wake,'' with hundreds of people lined up to shake his hand. ''There's no reason either of them should feel disgraced,'' he said of Mr. Austin and Mr. Everett.

BUT they left amid criticism that even after the shutdown, they had not recognized their role in the problems. For example, Zack T. Pate, the president of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, argues that even months after the shutdown, the two men were insisting that the problem was at Peach Bottom and not in headquarters' response.

In a letter to the chairman of a special committee of Philadelphia Electric's board, Mr. Pate described a meeting with Mr. Austin last Sept. 10. According to Mr. Pate, Mr. Austin said that Management Analysis, the consulting firm, had concluded ''that the problems were unique to Peach Bottom, and were not rooted in the corporate organization.''

But the next day, Mr. Pate related, the president of Management Analysis telephoned and said that ''he was concerned because the problems at Peach Bottom had their roots in the Peco corporate organization, and that management corrective actions were aimed principally at the plant.''

In his letter, Mr. Pate wrote, ''This is another example of Peco senior management's inability or refusal to face up to and deal with problems in their corporate nuclear program.''

Mr. Everett, in the interview last week, said that Mr. Pate may have misunderstood what Mr. Austin was telling him. Mr. Austin declined requests for an interview.
Mr. Everett said that ''our priorities were, let's fix what's wrong at the plant, then sit back and really do a deep study of corporate management, and try to organize to go forward in the future. If we had been smarter, in hindsight, we would have put that reorganization up front, at least while we were fixing up the plant.''

But Mr. Everett said that he did not feel that he was hounded from office, and that he was leaving the company in good shape, with enough generating capacity on hand or near completion to meet its needs until the mid-90's. ''This company is positioned extremely well,'' he said.
The new chairman, Mr. Paquette, has acknowledged that his predecessors did not properly define the problem, but he stops short of blaming them. ''It doesn't matter whether they were guilty or weren't guilty,'' he said. ''We're starting fresh.''

''Everyone in the direct line from the former chairman, the former president and all the people in charge of the nuclear division at headquarters are no longer in those positions,'' he said. ''That's a very, very telling, dramatic point to make.'' THE FINES Civil penalties by Nuclear Regulatory Commission against Peach Bottom 2 and 3.

Two violations that would have allowed radiation to spread in case of accident, one violation that interfered with a reactor automatic shut-down system, and multiple violations of radiation protection procedures.
A violation that would have increased the spread of radiation in an accident, and failure to re-set valves properly on a test line.
Five violations of rules set in the plant's operating license.
Radiation protection violations.
Violations of operating procedures and poor management supervision involving four licensed reactor operators.
Firing of a contractor's employee who complained about radiation exposure.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning: AREVA, EPRI, Westinghouse, Dominion and more

Go to GOOGLE and enter Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning. Hunt a bit and you will find a lot: Areva, EPRI, 50.59 game,
Following is the text of Areva's advertisement, minus the photographs.

Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning

Effective fuel cleaning technology to help assure performance and improve safety. AREVA NP offers patented Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning (UFC) to prevent uneven crud deposits that can negatively affect fuel performance. With proven performance in applications at several domestic U.S. utilities, UFC can also reduce dose rates on primary components contaminated by the migration of activation products from core surfaces. Plus, we are an official EPRI licensee authorized to supply UFC equipment and services to nuclear stations worldwide. We can provide UFC for your next outage.

UFC was developed by EPRI to eliminate in-core flux depression by effectively removing deposits from fuel assemblies during refueling outages. Ultrasonic waves cause small particles of crud to release from the fuel assembly. Fuel pool water cools the fuel and transports particles to the filter banks where they are collected for final disposal. The system employs disposable filters to remove radioactive corrosion and activation products. Customers can store the filters in their fuel pool or process them for immediate shipping.

Cleaning Chamber Ensures Even Distribution A special cleaning chamber, similar to a fuel rack, holds ultrasonic transducers positioned on each face of the fuel assembly in an overlapping pattern. This configuration ensures even distribution of the ultrasonic energy into the fuel assembly. Reliable Console Controls the Process An operating console, located on the refuel floor near the edge of the spent fuel pool or reactor vessel, controls the process. The operator can easily observe the cleaning parameters and performance of the filtration unit. Underwater Filters Capture Removed Deposits. The underwater filters contain removed deposits while maintaining radiation to acceptable levels. A variety of filtration system designs are available to provide custom optimization.

BWR or PWR application
Effectively removes crud
Improves fuel flux distribution
Improves fuel utilization
Reduces radiation source term
Reduces primary system dose rate

And here is the notice of EPRI's R&D award, also on GOOGLE:

EPRI's Patented Nuclear Fuel Cleaning Technology Receives R&D 100 Award; Award Reception Slated for Oct. 20
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 5, 2005--The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), three member companies, AmerenUE, Exelon Corp., and South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co., and Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI) have earned a prestigious 2005 R&D 100 Award for ultrasonic cleaning of nuclear fuel, a promising new technology that safely removes deposits from irradiated fuel assemblies in nuclear power plants.
The annual awards are given by R&D Magazine for the most outstanding technology developments with commercial potential. The award reception will take place Thursday, Oct. 20 in Chicago; EPRI Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Ted Marston is scheduled to attend.
"The future of the energy industry relies on pursuing innovative technologies that advance efficient, reliable and environmentally sensitive power generation and transmission," said EPRI CEO Steven R. Specker. "I applaud our team and member companies for their contribution towards this end."
The technology awarded delivers a patented process for removing corrosion products deposited on irradiated nuclear fuel pins using a unique form of ultrasonic technology. The technology was first applied at their nuclear power plants by the three EPRI member companies noted above, using equipment supplied by DEI.
"We were pleased to hear that our technology received an R&D Award," said Christopher J. Wood, a technical manager in EPRI's Nuclear Sector. "This breakthrough technology allows the full potential of current nuclear fuel designs to be achieved while maintaining excellent fuel reliability. Availability of a safe, reliable cleaning technology will also now allow utilities to further optimize fuel performance, core design, and reduce radiation fields and electricity generating costs."
This unique technology, developed in EPRI's Fuel Reliability Program, solves a significant emerging problem by removing deposits from nuclear fuel assemblies in nuclear power plants. Enhancing the performance of nuclear fuel is crucial to continue the improvement in electricity production from nuclear units. Over the past decade, nuclear power production has increased by over 20 percent, but this has placed additional demands on the fuel, as fuel temperatures have increased.
Some of the potential problems with fuel reliability result from the buildup of deposits on the surfaces of the fuel elements, which produces an insulating layer that could result in corrosion of the fuel cladding material at increased fuel pin temperatures. Until EPRI's developed technology, there was no effective way of removing these deposits during the working life of the fuel. Including early development demonstrations, this ultrasonic fuel cleaning technology has been used successfully eight times at nuclear power plants in the USA through 2004, and has been licensed worldwide. Seven additional commercial applications have taken place in 2005, including one in Spain. The technology used cleans all the fuel elements in every fuel assembly without any adverse effects. The cleaning process does not extend the schedule of routine refueling outages and is very cost-effective in pressurized water reactors. It is expected to result in a major reduction in radiation fields in boiling water reactors.
About the Electric Power Research Institute
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), with major locations in Palo Alto, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina, was established in 1973 as an independent, nonprofit center for public interest energy and environmental research. EPRI brings together member organizations, the Institute's scientists and engineers, and other leading experts to work collaboratively on solutions to the challenges of electric power. These solutions span nearly every area of power generation, delivery, and use, including health, safety, and environment. EPRI's members represent over 90% of the electricity generated in the United States. International participation represents nearly 15% of EPRI's total R&D program.

And here is how NRC accepted Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning under 50.59!

And here we have EPRI, way back in 1999, highlighting its Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning Process at Callaway as a 1999 payoff:

And, during September 2003, Westinghouse advertised its ultrasonic fuel cleaning service. "As a result, the plant safety review committee granted the application 10 CFR 50.59 approval."

Ultrasonic cleaning means fast, safe removal of fuel-assembly crud buildup

Crud — corrosion products that accumulate on fuel surfaces — can break loose and spread to other parts of the system, causing radioactive buildup. Over time, crud that builds up on fuel surfaces becomes activated by neutrons to form radioactive nuclides, making crud cleanup a high priority.
Ultrasonic fuel cleaning can break up crud deposits during normal refueling, trapping particulates in filters for storage in the fuel pool. Designed by Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI), and patented by EPRI, the technique blasts crud with ultrasonic transducers.
Ultrasonic cleaning reduces the risk of fuel damage and takes a fraction of the time required by other methods. Controlling crud and other particulate inventory reduces out-of-core radiation fields and lowers radiation dosage levels.
Eliminating crud also mitigates local in-core flux supression and decreases the likelihood of axial offset anomaly (AOA) caused by lithium and boron concentrations. Ultrasonic cleaning also helps prevent crud-induced power shifts that can reduce output by as much as 20 percent.
Ultrasonic fuel cleaning was first used and verified at the Callaway plant in Missouri in 2001. After a year, no evidence of core-wide AOA was found, and early ex-core dosage was reduced significantly with no impact on critical path time. Measurements of assemblies before and after cleaning, and of particulate discharge at the filters, showed that ultrasound cuts crud deposits by about 80 percent. As a result, the plant safety review committee granted the application 10 CFR 50.59 approval.
Ultrasonic cleaning is fast, too. During routine refueling, an assembly scheduled for reuse can be cleaned in as little as seven to ten minutes. Westinghouse is the first vendor to use this technique commercially. Our partnership with DEI gives utilities access to ultrasonic cleaning with minimal incremental costs.

Dominion (DEI), the inventors of Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning, may have discussed this at a very recent meeting of PWR operators.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
PWR ALARA Association Board Meeting - Board Room
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
General PWR Session – Day 2
10:00 Ultrasonic Fuel Cleaning Process/Success – Dr. Robert Verrin (Dominion Engineering) Tentative