Three Months Later They Admit: We Got Dosed During the May 25 Emergency Double Nuclear Shutdown
When Millstone Units 2 and 3 went into simultaneous emergency shutdown on May 25, 2014, Dominion told the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that its onsite radiation monitors: “are indicating normal levels.”
At the same time, when Dominion had declared an emergency with the sudden loss of offsite power, the NRC’s Public Affairs officer Neil Sheehan assured Connecticut news media: “[A]All safety systems functioned as designed and . . . there were no health or safety issues to the public as a result.”
The event – once again bringing Millstone and Connecticut to the brink of nuclear disaster – was so serious that the NRC began a special inspection.
Now, three months later, the NRC has released its special inspection report, finding Dominion committed a “white” level – second on a scale of four – violation of federal regulations which led to the shutdowns and complications which kept Unit 3 shut for 10 days. Unit 2 was allowed to restart 4 days after the event. Under NRC rules, Millstone will likely be put under additional NRC oversight for a year or more.
Buried in the August 28, 2014 inspection report, and unreported by the news media, is the previously withheld information that cascading equipment errors led to “unexpected” radioactive gaseous releases through the reactor’s ventilation system and elsewhere at Unit 3.
Unexpected releases of cancer-causing radioisotopes into the air we breathe are a matter of health and safety. We were misled by Dominion and the NRC, once again.
The NRC did not reveal the quantity of radioactive gases released nor identify the radioisotopes. The NRC said the information will not be made available to the public until Dominion releases its annual radioactive effluents report next April, nearly a year after the event.
That’s a best-guess timing estimate.
Although Dominion submitted its 2013 radiological effluents report on time in April, the NRC withheld the report from the public for 4 months and did not release it until after the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone complained.
In addition to the release of radioactive gases to the environment, an untold number of Millstone workers suffered unusual radiation exposures to their bodies during the event, according to the NRC inspection report.
Worker exposure to cancer-causing radiation is also a matter of health and safety. Indeed, it may be a matter of life and death.
We previously reported on the May 25 Millstone emergency: http://www.mothballmillstone.org/alerts/emergency-declared-at-millstone-double-nuke-emergency-shutdown
The NRC special inspection report is available on the NRC web site (www.nrc.gov) in the ADAMS system as ADAMS Accession No. ML 14240A006.
Posted: September 1, 2014