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Breaking News: Nuclear Plant 26 Miles from NYC Is Missing 1/4 of the bolts in the Baffle-Former Assembly Around the Core

Missing bolts and “nuclear reactor” are words one generally does not want in the same sentence. However, when more than one quarter of the bolts inside an atomic reactor core go missing, the risk and concern multiply.  Listen to this breaking news Fairewinds Energy Education podcast of a formal press conference hosted by Friends of the Earth regarding its Emergency Petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Prohibit Restart of Indian Point Unit 2 and Inspect Indian Point Unit 3.

Source: Indian Point and the Mystery of The Missing Bolts (Breaking News) — Nuclear Energy Education

This is the conference call recording of an official joint press release.

In this press conference you’ll hear Damon Moglen, Sr. Strategic Advisor with Friends of the Earth, Attorney Richard Ayers, Founder of the the Ayers Law Group, Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer with Fairewinds Associates, and David Freeman, former chair of the NY Power Authority, the prior owner of Indian Point Unit 3, and an advisor to Friends of the Earth.

At the source you will find materials to download as well – with the visuals it’s not hard to see how potentially dangerous this situation is and in fact they make no bones about it on the press release.

As per the materials:

Indian Point Units 2 and 3 are Westinghouse pressurized water reactors. Each reactor contains hundreds of baffle-former bolts, which are stainless steel bolts approximately 5/8” in diameter and 2” long that hold the baffle plates to the former plates to form the  baffle/former assembly. The baffle/former assembly forms the interface between the reactor core and the reactor core barrel, as shown in Figure 1, below.
Go download it to see Figure 1. 227 of these bolts are missing or very seriously damaged…
2 2 7
TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN
The bolts have a number of important safety – related functions. The baffles provide a barrier between the reactor core and the
former to direct coolant flow through the reactor core. The bolts also provide lateral support to the reactor core during an earthquake or a loss – of-coolant accident and reduce neutron flux on the vessel, as shown in Figure 2, below.
Here’s the political story…
NY wants that plant shutdown.  Anyone who is a professional risk manager could tell you in a heartbeat that there are already too many issues with these reactors at Indian Point to have any confidence and the risk is simply too huge to mitigate.  Millions of people are less than 30 miles away in the hub city of the USA and it sits on the Hudson River as well which is the water supply to people in cities like, Poughkeepsie NY.
So why isn’t it shutdown when the Governor has asked for it to be shutdown, when it is operating without a license, when it’s having issues which have no mitigation, and when there is so much potential impact?
…. oooh it’s a cliff hanger.  Check out the fabulous work by the folks on the 38 minute conference – so much more to the story:
PS There were only two people (AP and AFP) who asked questions after the announcements / statements were done.  Two.
Best Quote:  The plant needs to be shutdown in the name of common sense!  (I think Freeman said it)

 

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