Thursday, June 16, 2011

"All 3 cores to some degree are ex vessel"

So, yesterday, June 15, 2011, Borchardt of NRC told his commissioners and the public that according to the IAEA, "... all three reactors, the cores, to some degree are ex-vessel ..."

JUNE 15, 2011
9:30 A.M.

Following is copied from the transcript

from Borchardt:

Early last week, the government of Japan released its IAEA report 14 on the event. The report indicates that all three reactors, the cores, to some 15 degree, are ex-vessel. The NRC staff has contemplated this scenario for some 16 time, due to the duration of each of the reactors went without core cooling. 17 However, it's still too early to tell, and we don't have specific evidence to show 18 the exact condition, and how much of any of the cores went ex-vessel in those 19 three units. And it's important to realize that, as more and more new information 20 comes available, and I think this will continue for months to come, our 21 understanding of the specific events and what actions need to be taken will be 22 further refined.

Virgilio talked and disclosed an industy effort, EPRI, NEI and others but no details, as follows:

Finally, what I want to do is recognize that the nuclear industry 8 developed their strategic plan for following up to the Fukushima events. They 9 developed that strategic plan and established a steering committee consisting of 10 representatives from EPRI, IAEA, NEI, and others. And we'll continue to monitor 11 those activities and continue to consider their input, along with the input of all the 12 stakeholders, as we move forward in the longer term effort. That's all I wanted to 13 say in terms of the background, and let me now turn it over to Charlie Miller.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

NRC, INPO, DOE, Naval Reactors, and GE

Following are excerpts from an ACRS transcript (Fukushima). It turns out that about 10 weeks after the March 11 tsunami, NEI and the DOE talk about a lot of running around, but nobody seems very adept at cutting into the fundamentals. Of course, resolution of PRM-50-93 would be useful, however, those efforts have not proceeded, or remain unreported. Well in advance of Fukushima, the NEI and NRC insisted that tools such as the Baker-Just and Cathcart-Pawel were well founded. I wonder what tools the "experts" deployed in the alleged analyses of "Hydrogen produced from zirconium oxidation of the fuel cladding."

I found out that NRC had "extended" its deadline for reviewing PRM-50-93 during ACRS and NRC staff discussions at the meeting of the ACRS Thermal Hydraulics Subcommittee on October 18, 2011. Following are a few of my remarks to Full ACRS on May 26, 2011. I have corrected the reference to PRM-50-93.

Now today we heard NEI tell us that while
4 we take this Fukushima act on we don't ignore what
5 else is going on. I would advise ACRS to be get into
6 PRM 50.93 as well as the NRC. NRC once had it as a
7 high priority item until a rather otherwise useless
8 meeting back in October of the Thermohydraulic
9 Subcommittee.

But it's a fact that made any sense what
12 Mark Leyse and myself discussed. You went through the
13 whole thing and never got into zirconium or how it
14 would react in a loss of coolant accident. Instead
15 you listened to endless presentations from Penn State
16 and others that really don't bear on what's going on
17 today or was potentially going to go on.
19 MR. LEYSE: End of comments. Thank you.

Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards
Subcommittee on Fukushima
Location: Rockville, Maryland
Date: Thursday, May 26, 2011

DR. KELLY: So there is some
2 interconnection. That may explain the mystery of
3 Unit 4, so -- but basically, what I wanted to talk
4 about was, you know, what kind of happened in those
5 first days. Of course, you know, we know the NRC
6 stood up their Emergency Operations Center. They
7 deployed people to Japan.
8 They formed this reactor safety team that
9 was really there to provide advice to the Ambassador
10 and the government as questions came in. And it was
11 principally on the -- managing the reactors and spent
12 fuel pools. I mean, that's what the NRC team was
13 principally focused on.
14 But they initiated this consortium call
15 that was twice a day, daily, you know, it was very
16 frequent, that it had participation from NRC, INPO,
17 DOE, Naval Reactors, and GE, other industry partners.

18 So there was a call that was discussing basically that
19 the appropriate accident management guidelines, as we
20 are gathering data and looking ahead, as to what was
21 next.
22 Dr. Lyons, my boss, and Chairman Jaczko
23 got together with INPO and discussed, how are we going
24 to deal with all the industry's interest in assisting
25 Japan? And so INPO agreed to be the coordinating
point for that, and they sent -- ended up sending
2 people both to -- to Japan as well as coordinating
3 things here in the U.S.
4 And so this really was a great idea,
5 because it helped get our capabilities, which are
6 great in terms of many of these areas, channeled in
7 the right direction, so that they could be deployed
8 more rapidly.
9 MEMBER CORRADINI: So INPO was the point
10 of focus, the point of contact to TEPCO.
11 DR. KELLY: Yes.
13 DR. KELLY: And for all interesting in
14 assisting, it was -- INPO served as a clearinghouse
15 for that.

DR. KELLY: I was at the GE Emergency
8 Center on like the 13th of March. It turned out the
9 PSA conference was held in Wilmington. So I took the
10 opportunity to go over. I know that was really good.
11 So we've established that liaison, too. So that when
12 we need information on the GE plants we've got that
13 network in place.

Immediate Response


􀀀Activated its Emergency Operations Center

􀀀Immediately deployed personnel to the U.S.
Embassy in Japan to support the Reactor Safety
Team (RST)

􀀀Provided expert advice to the U.S. Ambassador d
and Government of Japan ministers

􀀀Set up and coordinated consortium call that
involved NRC, INPO, DOE, and Naval Reactors

U. S. Department of Energy

􀀀 Activated its Emergency Operations Center
focused on monitoring radiation release and
impact on U.S. citizens (both in Japan and the

􀀀 Deployed Airborne Monitoring System aircraft
and sensors

􀀀 Provided additional DOE Embassy reps to the
two already assigned to the U.S. Embassy

􀀀 Deployed national laboratory reps from INL,
involved NRC, INPO, DOE, and Naval Reactors
PNNL and Sandia to provide technical assistance

􀀀 Assigned NE personnel to stand watch in the DOE<>R&gt;DOE EOC


􀀀Organized nuclear industry technical response to
assist TEPCO

DOE has provided a significant
response to the events at Fukushima

􀂄 During the first several weeks after the massive earthquake in
Japan, DOE provided a significant and diverse set of analysis to
support the events at Fukushima-Daiichi

􀂄 This response involved a broad set of institutions with over 200
people contributing
– DOE: Offices of NE, SC, NNSA, EM
– Laboratories: ANL, BNL, INL, LANL, ORNL, PNNL, and SNL
– Numerous universities
– Individual consultants – Secretary’s external science experts

Background on Unit 4 SFP Explosion

􀂄 Unit 4 explosion Occurred March 15, 6:00 am – Approximately 90 hours after
earthquake (Full core offloaded into pool, high heat load (~2.3 MW))

􀂄 The Unit 4 Explosion was originally attributed to hydrogen, but it has not be possible to definitively conclude this.

􀂄 An assessment of possible causes of the explosion was performed resulting three
primary causes:
– Hydrogen produced from zirconium oxidation from the fuel cladding (or other fuel assembly and storage rack structures) in the fuel storage pool
– Ignition of other flammable materials in the unit 4 building that were possibly being used for maintenance work (such as acetylene)
– Hydrogen that was transferred through the stack vent lines from the hydrogen produced in unit 3

􀂄 There were additional possible causes that have been proposed by others, but not
– Hydrogen production from radiolysis
– A proposed scenario based on material blockage preventing convective flow coupled with extreme boiling

Jaczko and the Government of Japan

Of course, this is all over the place, but I do not want to lose track, so I copied it here.

Office of Public Affairs Telephone: 301/415-8200
Washington, D.C. 20555-0001
E-mail: Site:
No. 11-102

June 10, 2011


We had very productive talks about our joint interest in nuclear safety, and the support being provided to Japan by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in dealing with the on-going situation at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. Mr. Hosono expressed his sincere gratitude for the assistance the NRC provided following the accident. Chairman Jaczko extended sympathy to the people of Japan in dealing with the difficult circumstances. The NRC and the Japanese authorities have a long record of extensive cooperation in nuclear safety.

Chairman Jaczko briefed Mr. Hosono on NRC’s ongoing review of U.S. nuclear plants, and Mr. Hosono discussed the Government of Japan’s (GoJ) continuing efforts to deal with the challenges posed by the damaged Fukushima reactors and the report the GoJ recently submitted to the IAEA.

We look forward to further discussions and cooperation as this situation progresses and additional dialogue between the two Governments at the IAEA, and emphasize the importance of learning the lessons from TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident to further the common cause of nuclear safety.

Office of Public Affairs Telephone: 301/415-8200
Washington, D.C. 20555-0001
E-mail: Site:
No. 11-102
June 10, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Draft Regulatory Guides DG-1261, DG-1262, DG-1263

OK, I listened to the following item via the bridge line. I'll add to this when I read the transcript and that will be online in a week or so. Someone discussed 1200 degrees centigrade. THERE IS NO WAY THAT A REALISTIC SPECIMEN MAY BE PREPARED AT 1200DEGREES CENTIGRADE. What I heard was the production of yet more Regulation by Myth. I'll write more after I have the transcript.

AGENDA 584th ACRS MEETING June 8-10, 2011
1) 8:30 AM - 8:35 AM Opening Remarks by the ACRS Chairman (Open) (SAK/EMH)
1.1) Opening Statement
1.2) Items of Current Interest
2) 8:35 AM - 10:30 AM Draft Regulatory Guides DG-1261, "Conducting Periodic Testing for Breakaway Oxidation Behavior," DG-1262, "Testing for Postquench Ductility," and DG-1263, "Establishing Analytical Limits for Zirconium-Based Alloy Cladding" (Open) (JSA/CLB)
2.1) Remarks by the Subcommittee Chairman
2.2) Briefing by and discussions with representatives of the NRC staff and Electric Power Research Institute regarding draft Regulatory Guides DG-1261, "Conducting Periodic Testing for Breakaway Oxidation Behavior," DG-1262, "Testing for Postquench Ductility," and DG-1263, "Establishing Analytical Limits for Zirconium-Based Alloy Cladding"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thermal Hydraulics at NRC, ACRS and Elsewhere

Stephen M. Bajorek has been with the NRC as Senior Technical Advisor for Thermal-Hydraulics approximately ten years, where he is involved in development of the TRACE code, advanced reactor analysis, and the NRC's thermal-hydraulic test programs. Prior to joining the staff he was a member of the faculty at Kansas State University in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. He has 15 years of industrial experience at Westinghouse Electric Corp., where he was involved with the AP600 Design Certification, thermal-hydraulic code development and licensing of the Westinghouse Best Estimate LOCA methodology. Dr. Bajorek received his Ph. D. from Michigan State University, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Sanjoy Banerjee is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Energy Institute at the City University of New York and publishes extensively on nuclear thermalhydraulics. Previously he was Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California - Santa Barbara. Member of the U.S. NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, ACRS. Earlier in Canada, he occupied the positions of Westinghouse Professor of Engineering Physics at McMaster University and of Acting Director of Applied Science in the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment. He was a founding member of the Canadian Advisory Committee on Nuclear Safety. He has received the ASME Melville Medal, the IChemE (UK) Danckwerts Lecturership, the AIChE Kern Award, and the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award and ANS Technical Achievement Award in Thermal-hydraulics. Fellow of ANS.

Sama Bilbao y León is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of Nuclear Engineering Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University. While at Dominion Generation, she led the development and licensing of new methodologies in core thermal-hydraulics and nuclear safety analysis in support of Dominion's nuclear power stations. As Technical Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Water Cooled Reactors Technology Development Unit, she was in charge of all IAEA activities in support of the development and near term deployment of advanced water cooled reactors and their associated fuels.

Christopher Boyd is a senior level advisor for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) within the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). He carried out the program to bring CFD tools “in-house” for the NRC during the 1990s and has spent the past 15 years utilizing these tools for nuclear safety analyses. Previously, he spent 9 years working on instrumentation development and optimization for high-speed wind tunnel testing at the Naval Surface Warfare Center. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland in the area of thermal-fluids behavior.

Michael L. Corradini is Chair and Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a member of the U.S. NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), member of NRC safety review panels and of the DoE Generation IV Roadmap Project. He has published widely in areas related to vapour explosion and severe accident phenomena, jet spray dynamics and transport phenomena in multiphase systems. Member of the National Academy of Engineering and Fellow of ANS.

Thomas Downar received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1984 and from 1984-2006 was a Professor in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. After a year as a Professor at University of California-Berkeley, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where he is currently a Professor and Graduate Chair in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department. Professor Downar is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. The primary focus of his research is nuclear reactor physics and multiphysics computational methods in support of the U.S. NRC, the U.S. DoE, EPRI and several international agencies. He is the author of the U.S. NRC core neutronics simulator PARCS and has contributed to the development of the thermal-hydraulics codes TRACE and RELAP5. The coupled neutronics and thermal-hydraulics codes TRACE/PARCS and RELAP5/PARCS are used worldwide to perform the safety analysis of most every type of power reactor currently operating in the world.

Geoffrey F. Hewitt is Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London. Founder of the Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Service (HTFS) at the Harwell Laboratory. He has authored and edited many books and published over 500 papers and reports. Former Editor of Multiphase Science and Technology and former Executive Editor of the Heat Exchanger Design Handbook. Recipient of the AIChE Donald Q. Kern, the ASME Max Jacob awards, the Nusselt Reynolds Prize, the Luikov Medal, the IChemE Council and Armstrong medals, the Senior Multiphase Flow Award and the Global Energy Prize. He has Honorary Doctorates from Louvain, UMIST and Heriot Watt Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering.

George Yadigaroglu is Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering, ETH-Zurich and President and co-founder of ASCOMP, an ETH spin-off company specializing in CMFD simulations. Was also Head of the Thermal-Hydraulics Laboratory at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Previously Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. Active in research and consulting and a member of several international high-level committees dealing with nuclear safety issues. ANS Technical Achievement Award. ANS and ASME Fellow. Former Associate Editor of the International Journal of Multiphase Flow.

Ghani Zigh is a Senior Technical Advisor in the U.S. NRC in the Office of Research, and is a registered PE (Professional Engineer) in the state of New York. He has been a USNRC staff member since August 2002, and involved in dry cask applications, BWR and PWR Zircaloy Fire (accident analysis), APWR advanced accumulators, fire analysis, and ultrasonic flow meters. Prior to the NRC, he worked at Parsons Brinkerhoff (PB) in Manhattan as an international consultant using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to model fire and emergency ventilation for tunnels and train stations as well as the effects of thermal pollution of power plants on oceans and rivers. He was also an adjunct professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey where he taught undergraduate and graduate classes in Mechanical Engineering.