Saturday, August 13, 2016

UHI and more, a reprint from August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

UHI Upper Head Injection: Early Development Work

“Where this couldn’t be done or wasn’t enough, we proposed an upper head injection system.”
John W. Simpson, Nuclear Power from Underseas to Outer Space, ANS 1994, page 199.

Note: UHI had been removed from all of its victim nuclear plants by the time ANS published Simpson's book in 1994.

I've said a lot about UHI, Ultra High Risk, and I've said it is a very involved case. And at some point I'll put this all in some organized presentation.

The following discussion and slides relate the era during the early 1970's when UHI was in the early stages of design and development. Two systems were on the table, UHI was one, the other was In Core Spray (ICS). Each system involved the injection of emergency cooling water into the core during blowdown. (In my organized presentation all this will be clear.) The emergency cooling water was stored in a large pressure vessel and upon demand it was injected by high pressure nitrogen which was in a second large pressure vessel.

So, I bugged the project manager, Gallagher, with some questions directed to ICS, but these also applied to UHI. The problem that I identified on October 25, 1972, was the impact of dissolved nitrogen on system performance. Click on this slide to enlarge and press your return key to get back here.

Gallagher promptly responded. In the slide below, November 1, 1972, his bottom line is "In general, the effects of nitrogen saturation have not been considered."

The In-Core spray system was abandoned, and I never found out how in the world the designers expected to get by with short term pressurization of the accumulator water.

However, by January 30, 1973, the designers of the new UHI system were very well aware of the potential impact of dissolved nitrogen on UHI performance. The following two slides reveal their awareness and also the very narrowness of their awareness.

The very narrowness of the scope of their evaluation is summarized in the first sentence of the second paragraph of page 1 of their report, "The evaluation consists in determining the potential for flow choking during UHI system blowdown, the degree to which UHI system performance is affected, and the feasibility of engineering tests to confirm the calculated results." There is no recognition that the release of the large volume of nitrogen into the pressurized water reactor vessel would adversely impact the cooling of the reactor fuel elements.
As I have discussed previously, our great evaluators in our NRC also failed to recognize the hazards associated with the large nitrogen inventories. For reference, I am again attaching my appraisal of the NRC's negligent evaluation of UHI field performance. All of this will be integrated in a complete presentation sometime in the future.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NSF ignores independent research by individuals

I want the Committee on Science and Technology to investigate this situation.It appears that the cartel of university officials has succeeded in gaining a preferred and somewhat closed access to NSF funding.

Section 3(e) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Act of 1950, as amended, states that: " shall be an objective of the Foundation to strengthen research and education in the sciences and engineering, including independent research by individuals, throughout the United States, and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education."

I took my great technology to UCLA. Our proposal (my technology) was declined:
CBET 0438436
U of Cal Los Angeles
Declined 08/19/2004

Without my knowledge, UCLA then submitted Proposal Number 0553571 which was a modification of the above declined proposal, but which still had my great technology as its keystone. UCLA won $399,740. I was surprised to find this out when I scanned active awards at NSF.

This certainly amazed me. I asked NSF's OIG to look into this and recently I was told, “We opened a file in response to your email received in this office on April 17, 2008. We have determined that there is insufficient substance to an allegation of misconduct to proceed in this case. The case has been closed and no further action will be taken.”

I want the Committee on Science and Technology to investigate this situation.

It appears that NSF avoids funding independent research by individuals. It appears that NSF resents such applications for funding. It appears that the cartel of university officials has succeeded in gaining a preferred and somewhat closed access to NSF funding.

I received no reply from the House Committee on Science and Technology, So I asked my Congressman, Mike Simpson to get after these birds. He has done so, and I suppose that at some point I will get some kind of response. Auway, here is an early response from Mike.

NRC could send me INPO-76-84

Send your worries; more myths will be fabricated at your expense!


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking suggestions from the public on how it can increase its level of openness related to security at nuclear power plants and certain other facilities while still protecting sensitive information. A summary of the feedback will be posted on the NRC’s Web site, provided to the Commission and considered in the development of new openness policies.

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Commission implemented a new policy of withholding certain information. Some information previously available to the public was withheld and new information, such as certain orders to NRC licensees on security measures, was designated as classified, safeguards information or sensitive unclassified information and withheld from the public.

In 2007, the NRC began redacting and releasing many of the safety documents previously withheld, and the agency is interested in taking additional action regarding security-related inspection and license performance information. Under consideration are several approaches, including adding more detail to an annual report to Congress on security oversight and to the cover letters for security inspection reports, and by making more information available on the NRC Web site.

“We view nuclear regulation as the public’s business and believe it should be transacted as openly and candidly as possible,” said NRC Executive Director of Operations Bill Borchardt. “Ensuring appropriate openness while also controlling sensitive information recognizes that the public must know about and be able to participate in the NRC’s regulatory processes.”

Specifically, the NRC is seeking public input on a number of questions relating to what type of information the public wants. Sample questions include:

What kind of NRC security inspection and licensee performance information would enhance your confidence in NRC’s regulatory oversight effectiveness?

Is the information provided in the NRC cover letters to security inspection reports useful?

What kind of NRC security inspection and licensee performance information would enhance your knowledge as to how safe and secure you and your family are?

The questions, with background information, are available in the Federal Register notice issued today. This notice is available on the NRC’s Web site: will be accepted until Sept. 12. Comments can be submitted electronically through or mailed to Chief, Rulemaking, Directives and Editing Branch, Office of Administration, Mail Stop T6D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001. Comments can also be delivered to Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD., between 7:30 and 4:15 p.m. on federal workdays.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

LIGHTNING: Here is a response from INPO.

CLICK on the image to enlarge. Hit your return button to get back here.

Below is my response to INPO.

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

August 17, 2008

Ronn K. Smith
Suite 100
700 Galleria Parkway, SE
Atlanta, GA 30339-5943

Dear Ronn:

Thank you for your letter of August 4, 2008, responding to my request for INPO SER 76-84. I received your letter on August 14, 2008. There was a delay because it was addressed to my street address instead of my P. O. Box.

My feeling is that the long-standing INPO policy is OK; however, your board should consider releasing documents that are aged and insensitive. Also, when NRC references a specific INPO SER in its public documents, that specific INPO SER should then be released to the public.

Now that I have told you how to run INPO, let’s get back to my narrow case. What has driven me nuts for decades is the INPO summary rejection of my NSAC/INPO SIGNIFICANT EVENT, SALEM 1, which was posted by NSAC on 12-AUG-2000. INPO, in a knee-jerk reaction, immediately (within hours) “suggested” the deletion of this entry.

I became aware of the INPO “suggestion” on 27 Aug 1980 and I told NSAC to “…send the completed form to INPO.” I never knew until 3-11-82 that NSAC had trashed my NSAC/INPO SIGNIFICANT EVENT, SALEM 1.

Ronn, maybe for now, INPO may answer the following question: Is the Salem 1 event of 06-08-00 included in INPO SER 76-84?

As an aside, NRC denied my request for the stuff under FOIA. I’ve appealed that and we’ll see what happens.

Bob Robert H. Leyse

Monday, August 11, 2008

How things work: H. Tracy Hall, 1919-2008

H. Tracy Hall, 1919-2008; Scientist Created Artificial Diamonds

Click on the following for the very intriguing games of the great Tracy Hall.

Following are some highlights from the above:

It would be safe to say that there is no American whose life is not significantly impacted by the uses of industrial diamonds. Much of the credit for this can be given a young farm boy who enjoyed reading about Thomas Edison in the public library.

In July 1970, Dr. Hall presented his PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN HIGH PRESSURE. Following are selected quotes:
On December 16, 1954, I discovered how to make diamonds.

The way to discovery was not easy …

I attempted many hundreds of indirect (mainly "carbon releasing") approaches a period of about a year but to no avail, and I was becoming discouraged. Then, one wintry morning, I broke open the sample cell after removing it from the Belt. It cleaved near a tantalum disk used to bring in current for resistance heating. My hands began to tremble; my heart beat rapidly; my knees weakened and no longer gave support. My eyes had caught the flashing light from dozens of tiny triangular faces of octahedral crystals that were stuck to the tantalum and I knew that diamonds had finally been made by man.

In April of 1955 I decided to leave the company that I had aspired to work for in my youth. There were several reasons for doing this, most compelling among them the continued lack of financial support for the things I wished to do. I had come to "understand'' the politics of the expensive double-ram press. After committing itself to this approach, management could not face a cheap alternative. But after synthesizing diamond I expected that money to be no object and could understand no longer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How could Obama make it worse?

Look at this trash!

Press Release 08-133

NSF Issues Solicitation for Basic, Human Sciences Research on Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict and Cooperation
First call for proposals under recent Memorandum of Understanding between the Foundation and Department of Defense

The National Science Foundation releases a call for research projects to support national security. Credit and Larger Version

August 4, 2008

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a solicitation that represents a partnership between NSF and the Department of Defense (DoD) to support basic research projects that can address areas of strategic importance to national security as one part of DoD's Minerva Initiative launched in the spring by the Secretary of Defense.

The solicitation follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by NSF and DoD in June that facilitates support of such research collaborations.

The solicitation, "Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict and Cooperation" (NSF 08-594), will support high-quality, basic, human sciences research of investigator-initiated research projects and/or the development of joint workshops.

All project proposals submitted through this solicitation will be reviewed using NSF's standard process of merit evaluation based on peer review, meaning proposals will be evaluated for their intellectual merit and broader impact.

"To secure the national defense was one of the original missions we were given when we were chartered in 1950," said David Lightfoot, assistant director of NSF's Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate. "We've always believed that sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and other social scientists, through basic social and behavioral science research, could benefit our national security."

By partnering on this solicitation, the NSF and DoD seek to: 1) develop the DoD's social and human science intellectual capital in order to enhance its ability to address future challenges; 2) enhance the DoD's engagement with the social science community; and 3) deepen the understanding of the social and behavioral dimensions of national security issues.

A Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted prior to the submission of a full research proposal and the deadline for LOIs is Sept. 30, 2008. LOIs are not required for workshop proposals. The deadline for formal proposals is Oct. 30, 2008.

The Minerva Initiative is an effort led by Secretary Gates to build bridges between the academic social science community and the Department of Defense. To achieve that vision, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy has piloted a number of approaches to engage the social science community, including partnering with NSF on this solicitation. A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) was released by the Department of Defense in June and represents a completely separate funding mechanism from this solicitation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lightning: INPO's Early Stumble; a Staggering Start.

Lightning is also the centerpiece of the next several entries in this blog. Here is my perspective on this including further documentation.

“Bill LaValle – If this is not a significant event, than maybe I should be out of this business! Suggest we send the completed form to INPO. Leyse 27 Aug 1980”
Why did INPO originally stiff-arm my finding that the Salem lightning strike was indeed a Significant Event? I submitted my write-up on August 12, 1980, and INPO rejected it that same day. INPO had no logic in its rejection; it was a brief and emotional response. As I found out about two years later, NSAC went along with INPO’s rejection. So why did INPO react so quickly and emotionally in its rejection, and why, about four years later, did INPO finally publish a Significant Event Report that apparently covered lightning strikes at several units including Salem-1?

Here is my recent perspective. During August 1980, INPO existed for less than one year, and its staff refused to report the Salem-1 lightning strike as a Significant Event because they feared the reaction of the Admiral who ran the place. The nuclear power utilities set up INPO because Jimmy Carter’s Kemeny Commission mandated the formation of something like INPO. The utilities also knew that in the public’s view, Rickover was unimpeachable. The utilities then used Rickover as a public relations tool when they selected his choice, an Admiral Wilkinson, to dominate INPO. Wilkinson was obviously a master of the Rickover games.

Now, a lot has been written about folk hero Rickover, but much of it is not concretely documented. However, here is some concrete evidence of Rickover in action. Following is a direct quote from the book by John W. Simpson, Nuclear Power from Underseas to Outer Space, American Nuclear Society, 1994.

From page 79:

“AI-W had its share of Rickover incidents. He liked to put people down and make them feel their lack of expertise. At one meeting on reactor metallurgy, John Steifel, the project manager was the victim. The meeting convened late in the afternoon, broke for dinner, then continued into the evening. All during this time Rickover told Steifel to sit in one corner of the room and to not interrupt. Phil Ross, Steifel’s right hand man on technical matters, was told to do the talking – even at dinner. Rickover wanted to give the impression that he considered Steifel a technical idiot.”

So, that is mode of domination that the staff at INPO was facing when they feared disclosing the lightning strike at Salem-1 as a Significant Event. After a few years, INPO’s first leader completed his tour of duty, and his replacement was likely less treacherous. INPO then became free to recognize that lightning strikes led to Significant Events at nuclear power plants and it issued INPO Significant Event Report SER 76-84.

I’m still trying to get a copy of SER 76-84. INPO and EPRI have not acknowledged my request, and the NRC is working on my appeal for its release under FOIA.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nuclear Industry Organizations (copied from web)

Nuclear Industry Organizations

Key organizations specifically related to the U.S. nuclear industry are: (1) Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and (2) Nuclear Energy Institute

On a global scale, two key organizations are (1) International Atomic Energy Agency, and (2) World Association of Nuclear Operators

The functions of these agencies differ, as follows.

Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)
700 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339

The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations was formed after the Three Mile Island (TMI-2) event in 1979. A number of US industry leaders recognized that the industry must do a better job of policing itself to ensure that an event of this magnitude should never happen again. INPO was formed to establish standards of excellence against which the plants are measured. An inspection of each member plant is typically performed every 18 - 24 months. The Institute's programs include:

SEE-IN (an information sharing network)
EPIX (an equipment failure database)
National Academy for Nuclear Training
Events Analysis
Human Performance

INPO maintains a secure private website accessible only by the member utilities. INPO serves as the US center for the WANO organization described later.

Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)
Suite 400; 1776 I Street NW; Washington, DC 20006-3708

NEI serves as an intermediary between the utilities and the NRC on generic issues. NEI also serves as a spokesman for the nuclear utilities.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Wagramerstrasse 5; P.O. Box 100, A-1400; Vienna, Austria

The IAEA is the United Nations organization that monitors compliance by the member states with nuclear safeguards agreements. IAEA also promotes nuclear safety on a global scale. IAEA teams conduct OSART inspections at nuclear plants to evaluate nuclear operational safety.

World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO)

WANO was formed after the Chernobyl event to provide a role similar to INPO on a global basis.

WANO has regional centers in Atlanta, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Moscow.

WANO maintains a secure private website accessible only by the member utilities.

Friday, July 25, 2008

WOW! Nuclear Information Management Team

WOW! Maybe I'll ask this team to get INPO Significant Event Report SER 76-84 and put it into the open literature so that we may have it. Anyway, the following showed up in GOOGLE when I tried to find the mailing address for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). (Way back, our grade schools taught the discipline of diagramming sentences; I've tried that exercise on the following, and it is almost hopeless.)

Nuclear Information Management Strategic Leadership
The Nuclear Information Management Strategic Leadership (NIMSL) Community of Practice is the leadership team responsible for serving as a focal point for nuclear Information Management activities associated with the sub-process of Information Management as identified in the Standard Nuclear Performance Model. These sub-processes currently include: Records Management, Document Control, Procedures, and Office Services Activities. The Standard Nuclear Performance Model is a comprehensive model that includes Institute of Nuclear Power Organizations (INPO), Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) process descriptions and provides a consistent basis for describing how work is done at nuclear power plants for process areas. It also enables plants to compare their methods to those of other plants to determine efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The model was published in 1998 and is maintained and updated by the Electric Utility Cost Group (EUCG) and NEI; reference the Standard Nuclear Performance Model for a listing of process and sub-process areas. The Information Management Community of Practice (sub-process SS003) was formed in August 2002, reference Charter; this Community of Practice is supported by INPO.

An NEI Nuclear Records Benchmarking Report (SS003) was completed and issued in 2002. The NIMSL Committee was also formed in 2002 with a subsequent process modeling project resulting in the publication of July 2003 NEI report, AP-907 – Information Management Process Description. This report describes the processes and performance measures associated with the management of information at nuclear power plant facilities. NIMSL projects and subsequent white papers and published reports fall under the umbrella of AP-907; these documents can be viewed under Publications.

NIMSL focuses on information sharing, promoting common interests and issues, coordinates a consistent direction in industry-wide Information Management initiatives, and serves as a forum for communications with Special Issues Groups such as: Nuclear Information and Records Management Association (NIRMA), Utility Procedure Development Association (UPDA), Information Technology and Configuration Management Communities of Practice, as well as the following: EUCG, NEI, and INPO.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lightning, NSAC and INPO, (how things work!)

NSAC: Nuclear Safety Analysis Center, A defunct branch of the Electric Power Research Institute.

INPO: Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, A very active and somewhat secretive group that is funded by operators of nuclear power plants.

Right after the accident at Three Mile Island Unit 2 during April, 1979, the nuclear utility members of EPRI mandated the immediate formation of NSAC at Palo Alto, California. INPO was formed several months later, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

I was with NSAC when I classified the consequences of a lightning strike at Salem Unit 1 on June 8, 1980, as a Significant Event and my report was entered into our communications system on August 12, 1980, as an NSAC/INPO SIGNIFICANT EVENT. See the first slide below, click on the slide to enlarge, and use your back arrow to return here.

INPO immediately objected to my entry and worked overtime to demand its rejection. See the second slide. I insisted that the entry should be maintained.

My writeup was indeed deleted, as I found out on March 11, 1982, a few months short of two years later when NSAC's file manager gave me the hard copy (slide 1) from her personal files. (NSAC management did not appreciate her diligence and she was assigned to another group at EPRI.)

Well, it is really amazing, HOW THINGS WORK! It turns out that on November 5, 1985, the NRC issued an Information Notice regarding lightning strikes. In contrast to INPO's rejection of my above SER that is dated 12-Aug-8o, the NRC included the lightning strike at Salem on June 9, 1980, in this Information Notice that is dated November 5, 1985.

BUT WHAT IS EVEN MORE FUN: the NRC referenced INPO report, INPO SER 76-84, in its Information Notice. Very likely, the INPO Signifcant Event Report, SER 76-84, includes the Salem event that INPO effectively censored on 12-AUG-80. It is also interesting that it apparently was not until 1984 that INPO admitted that lightning strikes induced significant events. And, very likely, the NRC became aware of the significance of lightning strikes when it became aware of INPO SER 76-84 in the course of its confidential communications with INPO.
Here is NRC Information Notice 85-86; note the reference to INPO SER 76-84. Also, the NRC's writeup of the lightning strike at Salem is less inclusive than my Significant Event Report of August 12, 1980.
SSINS No.: 6835 IN 85-86

November 5, 1985 Information Notice No. 85-86:
Addressees: All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license (OL) or a construction permit (CP).
Purpose: This notice is provided to alert recipients of a potentially significant problem of reactor trips and instrument damage caused by lightning strikes. It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicabilityto their facilities and consider actions, if appropriate, to preclude a similar problem occurring at their facilities. However, suggestions contained in this notice do not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required. The NRC is continuing to evaluate pertinent information. Recipients of this notice will be notified of additional information or if specific actions are required.

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 nuclear power plants.

Zion Power Station Units 1 and 2
On August 17, 1979, both units tripped simultaneously during a severe lightning storm. Investigation indicated that a lightning strike in close proximity to the plant caused either a momentary surge or interruption in the ac power supply circuits to the rod control power supply cabinets. This transient tripped the overload protection devices for the dc power supply cabinet, resulting in a power interruption to the control rod stationary gripper coils, 8511010020 . IN 85-86 November 5, 1985 Page 2 of 4 which caused the rods to drop into the core. The resulting high, negative flux rate initiated the reactor trip signal. Tests verified that noise induced on the ac input to one power supply would actuate the overvoltage protection trips on the main and auxiliary power supplies. In addition to the noise spikes, one Unit 2, 24-V positive power supply was damaged by the lightning strike and had to be replaced. The following corrective actions were initiated:
o The control rod system neutral was isolated from the station ground.
o The overvoltage protection trip setting was changed from 27 to 29 V. o A low-pass filter was installed on the input to each 24-V positive power supply.
o A volt trap (a voltage suppressor circuit designed to reduce large voltage surges and noise induced