Farley 1 reactor tripped

Nuclear reactor Farley 1, about 125 miles from here tripped off its Reactor Coolant Pump Buses yesterday. They plan to get around to informing the press about it real soon now; they didn’t even tell the NRC until today. Maybe somebody would like to call Farley and ask what’s going on? “The Farley plant resident inspectors can be reached by calling 334-899-3386.” Maybe ask them what caused all those other downtimes at Farley over the years; maybe also about Browns Ferry and Hatch, where new Resident Inspector Phillip Niebaum previously worked. Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning asked us to look at SO’s safety record.

NRC Current Event Notification Report for June 12, 2013,

Event Number: 49106:
Notification Date: 06/12/2013
Notification Time: 01:33 [ET]
Event Date: 06/11/2013
Event Time: 21:05 [CDT]


“This is a report of an automatic RPS actuation and automatic ESF actuation per 10CFR50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) and 10CFR50.72(b)(3)(iv)(A). Additionally, this is to report intentions for a press release per 10CFR50.72(b)(2)(xi).

1 month Farley 1 nuclear reactor status percent power “At 2105 CDT on 6/11/13, Farley Unit 1 experienced an automatic reactor trip from 100% power. The initiating event was the loss of the 1B Start up Transformer which resulted in de-energization of the B-Train ESF 4KV buses and the 1B and 1C Reactor Coolant Pump Buses. The 1B Emergency Diesel Generator auto started and tied to the B-Train 4KV Emergency buses.

“Both MDAFW (Motor Driven Auxiliary Feedwater) Pumps and the TDAFW (Turbine Driven Auxiliary Feedwater) Pump auto-started and are supplying AFW flow to the steam generators. Decay heat removal is via the steam dumps to the main condenser.

“The cause of the loss of the 1B Start-up Transformer is unknown and is currently under investigation. All other systems functioned as expected in response to the loss of the 1B Start-up Transformer and reactor trip.

7 years Farley 1 nuclear reactor status percent power “The NRC Senior Resident Inspector has been notified.

“A press release is planned.”

All control rods fully inserted. There is no impact on Unit 2. Currently the licensee does not plan to restart the 1B and 1C Reactor Coolant Pumps. Pressurizer spray has been isolated from the 1B loop per procedure. Main Condenser vacuum is adequate for decay heat removal.

The new Farley Resident Inspector has been that for 92% up Browns Ferry (410 miles from here) and for tritium-leaking and questionable fire safety Plant Hatch (100 miles from here), too.

NRC News, 11 June 2013, NRC Assigns New Senior Resident Inspector to Farley Nuclear Power Plant,

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has selected Phillip Niebaum as the new senior resident inspector at the Farley nuclear power plant near Columbia, Ala., about 18 miles east of Dothan. Niebaum joins Jeff Sowa, a second resident inspector at the Farley plant.

Niebaum joined the NRC in August 2006 as a project engineer in the Resident Inspector Development Program in the Region II office in Atlanta. He later served as a resident inspector at Southern Nuclear’s Hatch nuclear power plant near Baxley, in southern Georgia. Since 2010, he was one of the resident inspectors at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry nuclear power plant near Athens, Ala.

Before joining the agency, he was a reactor operator in the U.S. Navy, a system engineer at Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp. and was in the Shift Test Engineer qualification program at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Niebaum received a Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in mechanical engineering, from the University of Central Florida in May 2000.

“Phil Niebaum has the experience and safety commitment to carry out the NRC’s mission of protecting people and the environment and to help ensure the safe operation of the Farley plant,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree.

Each U.S. commercial nuclear power plant site has at least two NRC resident inspectors. They serve as the agency’s eyes and ears at the facility, conducting regular inspections, monitoring significant work projects, and interacting with plant workers and the public. Resident inspectors can be assigned to any one site for up to seven years.

The Farley plant resident inspectors can be reached by calling 334-899-3386.


PS: Owed to Erica Gray.