21st Annual Report, Volume II, Exhibit B9, Minutes of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee June 21–22, 2011 Public Meeting (Approved at the October 5, 2011 Public Meeting)

Tuesday & Wednesday, June 21–22, 201, Avila Beach, California

Notice of Meeting

A legal notice of plant tour and public meeting and several display advertisements were published in local newspapers and mailed to the media and those persons on the Committee’s service list. A copy of the meeting agenda was also posted on the Committee’s website at www.dcisc.org.

Agenda

I Call to Order–Roll Call

The June 21, 2011, public meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC) was called to order by Committee Chair, Dr. Robert J. Budnitz, at 8:30 A.M. at the Avila Lighthouse Suites in Avila Beach, California. Dr. Budnitz welcomed the members of the public present and those viewing the meeting on the internet by streaming video at www.dcisc.org or www.slospan.org, he introduced and briefly reviewed the professional backgrounds, appointment and term of each member of the Committee.

Roll call was taken.

Present:

Absent:

II Introductions

Dr. Budnitz introduced the Committee’s technical consultants, Mr. David C. Linnen and Mr. R. Ferman Wardell and DCISC Legal Counsel Robert R. Wellington and Mr. Pete Bedesem, Technical Assistant to the Site Services Director at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCPP), who serves as Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) liaison to the Committee.

III Public Comments and Communications

The Chair reviewed the procedures and advice from the agenda for the meeting concerning receipt of comments from members of the public wishing to address remarks to the Committee. The Chair advised time would be set aside for members of the public to comment on those matters listed on the agenda at the time the matter was considered by the Committee and inquired whether there were any members of the public present who wished to address remarks to the Committee on items not appearing on the agenda for the public meeting.

Ms. Sherry Lewis, who identified herself as a member of the group San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) was recognized. Ms. Lewis stated she had read a series of articles in the local newspaper which discussed the dangers of nuclear power and she stated that it was the radioactive waste which was of the greatest concern to her. She stated her opinion that nuclear power was just too unforgiving of human error and there is no way to prevent accidents. She observed the waste produced by nuclear power will remain toxic for generations and will burden our descendants far into the future. She stated she believes people are too used to having radioactivity around in their daily lives and that when levels increase, standards have been relaxed. Ms. Lewis commented she viewed a film about efforts in Finland to permanently store and safeguard two years worth of nuclear waste into the future and stated the film discussed the many problems encountered in that effort. She stated that nuclear power is simply not worth the effort and expense which could be better employed in finding alternative sources of energy and stated that nuclear power should be stopped as soon as possible.

Dr. Budnitz thanked Ms. Lewis for her comments.

IV Consent Agenda

The only item on the Consent Agenda was approval of the Minutes of the Committee’s February 15–16, 2011 Public Meetingheld in San Luis Obispo.

Items were reviewed for follow up action, clarification was provided to Legal Counsel concerning the accuracy of certain references in the draft Minutes provided in the agenda packet for this meeting, and editorial and substantive changes were made to the draft of the February 2011 Minutes.

Minutes of the Committee’s public meetings, following their approval at a public meeting, become part of its Annual Reports on Safety of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Operations (Annual Report). On a motion by Dr. Peterson, seconded by Dr. Lam the Minutes of the Committee’s February 2011 public meeting were approved as amended, subject to inclusion of the changes provided to its Legal Counsel.

V Action Items

  1. Update on Financial Matters and Committee Activities. Mr. Wellington reported financial statements prepared by the Committee’s accountant showing the assets, liabilities and capital were provided for review. The current capital balance for the Committee’s accounts is $55,000 on hand which compares favorably with the prior year. Mr. Wellington reported the Committee will soon receive the second payment from the grantor trust which funds its activities. He stated the Committee’s activities in 2010 resulted in its overspending its grant for that year and he commented the Committee would need to carefully monitor its activities during 2011.
  2. In response to a question from Ms. Sherry Lewis Mr. Wellington explained that the Committee’s funding is provided in accordance with a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision which requires PG&E to include funding for the DCISC in its rate base. Mr. Wellington and Dr. Budnitz explained, in response to Ms. Lewis’ inquiry, that there is no conflict of interest created by PG&E providing funding to the Committee as PG&E has no control over the amount of the DCISC’s funding nor does it have any discretion in providing the funds as those matters are mandated by the CPUC which must approve PG&E’s rates for service.
  1. Discussion of Issues on Open Items List. Dr. Budnitz requested Consultant Wardell lead a review of items on the Open Items List, used by the Committee to track and follow up on issues, concerns and information identified for subsequent action during fact-finding or public meetings. Mr. Wardell commented that items shown in italics on the list represent new items or items concerning which changes have been made since the list was last issued. Prior to their consideration of the current Open Items List,Members and Consultants discussed and the Members directed that a new category on the next edition of the Open Items List be created in order to separately track those items identified in connection with the review of the events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Fukushima Daiichi) in Japan which followed the March 11, 2011, magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami. Members and Consultants discussed the rationale for and the method to be used, including cross-referencing, to organize this category which will be a part of the next edition of the Open Items List.

Items discussed and concerning which action was taken at the meeting included the following:

Item Re: Action Taken
TBD Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) cooling List or cross-reference under Fukushima Daiichi
EN-20 Plant Health Committee meeting Remove RJB initials
EN-28 Engineering Issues Pull out items related to Licensing Basis Verification Project (LBVP) to a separate EN item
EP (Category) Emergency Preparedness List or cross-reference under Fukushima Daiichi
SE-36 Boric Acid Corrosion Control Change next action to 1Q12
SE-38 Containment Fan Cooler Units Change next action to 1Q12 and cross-reference with Fukushima Daiichi
SC-3 Long-Term Seismic Program Change next action to 4Q11
SC-4 Tsunami Hazard Analysis Retain 3Q11 F-F and Place on agenda for next PM and list or cross-reference under Fukushima Daiichi
SC-5 Seismic Personnel Safety Designate as on-going and list or cross-reference under Fukushima Daiichi
SC-6 Seismic System Interaction Designate as on-going and
list or cross-reference under Fukushima Daiichi
CL-2 Closed Loop Cooling Add item re monitor response to letter sent to SWRCB Nuclear Review Committee

  1. The Committee directed that items not addressed above and identified for closure on the June 2011 edition of the Open Items List be closed as recommended.
  2. During discussion of the Open Items List, Dr. Budnitz, in response to a query by Ms. Sherry Lewis, described the process and the role of the determination of design margin and the rationale for categorizing something as being within or outside of a plant’s design basis, which includes the calculation of when, in an accident scenario or otherwise, the failure of a particular piece of equipment may be expected after that equipment has exceeded its design basis and the extra margin which is built into the equipment and the consequences of such failure.
  1. Approval of Letter to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Nuclear Review Committee. a draft of this letter having been included in the agenda packet for this meeting, Members, Consultants and Legal Counsel discussed the letter which is intended to acquaint the SWRCB Nuclear Review Committee with the role and expertise of the DCISC in context of the Nuclear Review Committee’s charge to review issues related to the elimination of once-through cooling at California’s nuclear power plants. The Members directed that a sentence be added to the letter mentioning the Committee has performed an initial fact-finding concerning the potential elimination of once-through cooling at DCPP and offering to provide the report of the fact-finding to the Nuclear Review Committee. On a motion made by Dr. Peterson, and seconded by Dr. Lam, the letter as revised was unanimously approved and its transmittal to the SWRCB Nuclear Review Committee was authorized.
  2. Nomination and Election of Chair and Vice Chair for the July 1, 2011—June 30, 2012 Term. On a motion made by Dr. Peterson, seconded by Dr. Budnitz, with Dr. Lam abstaining, the Committee elected Dr. Lam to the position of DCISC Chair for a term of office from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. On a motion by Dr. Lam, seconded by Dr. Budnitz, with Dr. Peterson abstaining, the Committee elected Dr. Peterson to the position of DCISC Vice Chair for a term of office from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Dr. Lam thanked and commended Dr. Budnitz for his service to the Committee as Chair during the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011.

A short break followed.

VI Committee Member Reports and Discussion

  1. Public Outreach, Site Visits and Other Committee Activities: the Committee Members and consultants reviewed and scheduled fact-finding visits and public meetings of the Committee as follows: public meetings of the Committee were scheduled and confirmed for October 5–6, 2011, in San Luis Obispo, changed from October 11–12, 2011, and for February 8–9 and June 20–21, 2012, both in Avila Beach; fact-finding visits by a member and a consultant to DCPP are now scheduled on July 12–13, August 10–11, September 7–8, November 15–16, December 6–7, 2011, and on January 10–11, March 13–14, April 3–4 and May 22–23, June 20–21, July 18–19, August 7–8 and September 11–12, 2012.
  1. Documents Provided to the Committee: Mr. Wellington directed the Committee’s attention to the list of documents received since its last public meeting in February 2011. A copy of the list was included with the public agenda packet for this meeting.

VII Staff-Consultant Reports & Receive, Approve and Authorize Transmittal of Fact-finding Reports to PG&E

The Chair requested Consultant Wardell report on a fact-finding visit to DCPP. Mr. Wardell reported on the February 28-March 1, 2011, fact-finding visit to DCPP with Dr. Budnitz. Items and topics reviewed with PG&E during that visit included:

Following Mr. Wardell’s presentation, Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized. Ms. Lewis stated the DCISC recommendation in the fact-finding report that DCPP perform a self-assessment of the engineering evaluation rigor improvement action plan appeared to be a weak response and she inquired whether an evaluation has been done concerning whether persons using the ECP were punished for having done so. She stated she has heard that DCPP employees are fearful of losing their jobs or pensions if they act as whistle-blowers. In response to Dr. Budnitz’ request, Ms. Lewis stated she would not elaborate on the source of her information. Mr. Wardell stated there were a number of confidential avenues for employees to raise their concerns including through the ECP as well as with the NRC, which also receives concerns anonymously and in confidence. Dr. Budnitz reported that on occasion the DCISC has also received concerns both anonymously and where the reporting party has chosen to identify him or herself and, in response to Ms. Lewis, he confirmed the DCISC takes those concerns it receives seriously. She inquired whether the DCISC felt it was warranted to review issues of confidentiality and commented that confidentiality can be leaked. Dr. Budnitz replied this was the rationale for an entirely anonymous program. Mr. Wardell stated the DCISC has reviewed the ECP regarding the program’s maintaining confidentiality of the identity of persons bringing concerns to it and has found and has been satisfied that the ECP does maintain strict confidentiality. Mr. Wardell stated regarding the self-assessment of the engineering evaluation rigor improvement action plan the DCISC believed that the self-assessment should have been allowed to continue to completion and has recommended that DCPP perform a self-assessment of the plan.

Upon a motion by Dr. Lam, seconded by Dr. Peterson, the February 28-March 1, 2011 Fact Finding Report was approved and its transmittal to PG&E authorized.

Once the Committee’s fact finding reports are approved at a public meeting they are no longer considered to be in draft form and are made available in a binder for inspection by members of the public, together with information concerning the professional backgrounds of the Committee’s technical consultants involved with preparation of its fact finding reports. Fact finding reports become part of DCISC’s Annual Reports.

The Chair then requested Consultant Wardell report on the next fact-finding visit to DCPP. Mr. Wardell reported on the April 19–20, 2011, fact-finding visit to DCPP with Dr. Lam.

Items and topics reviewed with PG&E during that visit included:

  • Online Maintenance–Mr. Wardell stated online maintenance is performed on components when the plant is operating normally, as opposed to during a refueling outage, and DCPP does less online maintenance than most other nuclear plants. Risk analysis is performed concerning the consequences of taking components out of service for maintenance and the components are not permitted to be out of service for more than one-half of the allowable time permitted by the Technical Specification (TS). DCPP currently uses the Outage Risk Analysis Maintenance (ORAM) Sentinel Program but will be switching during the latter part of 2011 to what Mr. Wardell termed a better, more quantitative approach for implementing risk analysis by changing to use of the Safety Monitor system. He reported the procedure for online maintenance appeared satisfactory.
  • A meeting with the NRC Senior Resident Inspector–the DCISC team discussed four issues with the NRC’s Senior Resident including: an unresolved item concerning the Hosgri and Shoreline seismic faults and the DCPP’s current design basis; the events at Fukushima Daiichi including review of DCPP’s Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs) and beyond design basis guidelines, the results of which are due for release by NRC in mid-May which Mr. Wardell stated is expected to conclude DCPP’s actions are acceptable; the 230 kV offsite power system which provides emergency power capacity to support safe shutdown of both units; and the NRC’s finding of a substantive cross-cutting issue concerning Problem Identification and Resolution (PI&R) at DCPP, concerning which Mr. Wardell reported the NRC will perform a reinspection of DCPP.
  • Union/Operator Concerns–the DCISC team met with the union steward, the employee concerned, and with senior DCPP management concerning an issue brought to the DCISC’s attention by the union steward concerning the treatment of an operator within the DCPP disciplinary program. Mr. Wardell stated that none of the parties with whom the DCISC representatives met expressed a concern that this matter involved issues of operational safety at DCPP. The union steward did raise the issue of operator morale which if left unaddressed can have safety implications. Mr. Wardell stated the DCISC team learned that an anonymous Notification has been initiated concerning this matter. Dr. Lam stated that in the meetings with the concerned parties there was no factual dispute and involves solely a matter of interpretation which does not implicate nuclear safety. Dr. Lam commented that PG&E should consider that having a disgruntled employee with unresolved concerns is not a good situation and it would be beneficial to resolve this issue. As the matter was found not to concern operational safety, further involvement in this matter by the DCISC is not anticipated.
  • Residual Heat Removal System Check Valve Maintenance and Testing–the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) System functions to remove decay heat upon reactor shutdown and takes suction from the containment sump to provide post loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) cooling. The eight to ten valve testing procedures were reviewed by the DCISC team and found to be satisfactory as was the testing program.
  • Cyber Security–Mr. Wardell reported this is an international issue and the NRC has provided guidelines to U.S. nuclear facilities. The DCPP program appeared to be off to a good start and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2012. Training activities would then commence and are scheduled to be completed by 2015.
  • DC Power System–the Fact-finding Team reviewed the battery operated DC power system which uses batteries and battery chargers and consists of three separate systems. Each DCPP unit has 150 batteries and DC power would last for two hours without the batteries being recharged. The DCISC representatives toured the system and found it acceptable with an appropriate design and a knowledgeable system engineer. Dr. Lam commented the DC power system used to have a cross-tie capability but this was disassembled due to other considerations and he commented this was an example of the complexities of system interconnection at a nuclear power plant. Mr. Wardell observed that the DC power systems are capable of being manually cross tied.
  • DCPP Response to Events at Fukushima Daiichi–Mr. Wardell stated this topic will receive extensive review during this public meeting. He observed that DCPP has received a generally positive review in context of its emergency preparations.
  • 2010 & 2011 DCPP Operating Plans–the DCISC team reviewed the 2010 Operating Plan and Mr. Wardell reported that the results in 2010 were mixed, with DCPP not having met its expectations in all areas. He stated the 2011 Operating Plan is similar to 2010 but some of its goals have been tightened.
  • Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) Update–INPO reports are confidential and only limited information may be presented in a public forum. Mr. Wardell stated the next evaluation of DCPP by INPO is scheduled for August 2011 and the DCISC team reviewed some of the actions taken previously to address INPO’s concerns and INPO-identified gaps to performance excellence.
  • Spent Fuel Pool Inventory–Dr. Lam stated the DCISC Fact-finding Team discussed with PG&E the recommendation made by the California Energy Commission (CEC) in its 2008 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update that DCPP take action to return its spent fuel pools (SFPs) to open racking as soon as possible while maintaining compliance with NRC dry storage requirements. Dr. Lam reported the DCISC learned there are real technical barriers to DCPP’s compliance with the CEC recommendation as there is only limited space to place the spent fuel in the SFPs and the ISFSI is licensed for only a certain number of casks and those casks must be within the designed thermal limits which requires a mix of spent fuel of differing ages. There are also limiting factors which affect the speed at which the casks can be loaded and cask procurement from the manufacturer is also an issue for DCPP. Dr. Lam stated DCPP is aware of the CEC’s recommendation. Dr. Peterson reported he recently learned that PG&E has made a commitment to accelerate dry cask storage of spent fuel but a significant inventory would still remain within the SFPs.
  • Dr. Lam met with DCPP’s Site Vice President Jim Becker to discuss items of mutual interest.

Following Mr. Wardell’s presentation Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized. Ms. Lewis inquired what the DCISC’s function was relative to the CEC recommendation concerning the SFPs and if the SFPs cannot comply with the CEC recommendation why is a decision not being taken to stop making more waste. Dr. Budnitz replied that the DCISC has not recommended that reconfiguring the SFPs was necessary but rather such reconfiguration and lower density would be desirable. Dr. Budnitz stated the DCISC believes the NRC regulations in this regard are adequate and that DCPP is in compliance with those regulations. Drs. Budnitz and Peterson stated the DCISC has no authority, is not a regulator, and can only make recommendations to the CEC, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Attorney General and the Governor, any of whom may choose whether to use their considerable influence concerning any of the DCISC recommendations. Ms. Lewis replied that this was a real problem.

Upon a motion by Dr. Budnitz, seconded by Dr. Peterson, the April 19–20, 2011 Fact Finding Report was approved and its transmittal to PG&E authorized.

The next fact-finding report was presented following the first of the informational items presented to the Committee by PG&E.

Following Site Vice President Becker’s presentation, the Chair requested Consultant Linnen to report on the next fact-finding visit to DCPP. Mr. Linnen reported on the May 24-25, 2011, fact-finding visit to DCPP with Dr. Peterson. Mr. Linnen commented that four of the items on the agenda for the May 24-25 fact-finding bore a direct relationship to issues which were identified during the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Items and topics reviewed with PG&E during that visit included:

  • Auxiliary Saltwater (ASW) System Review–Mr. Linnen described the function of the ASW System as providing saltwater to the component cooling water (CCW) heat exchangers to cool multiple plant systems. Each DCPP unit has two ASW pumps and two CCW heat exchangers and there is a cross-tie capability between the units. The ASW System is rated in green status for both units. One of the ASW pumps for Unit–2 (U-2) experienced vibration and was replaced during 2R16 and has operated satisfactorily thereafter. DCPP has portable pumps and hoses available and now has the capability to inject seawater from the Pacific Ocean directly into the ASW System. This was a key lesson from Fukushima Daiichi and Dr. Peterson commented that disabling of the ASW System due to debris was a most likely consequence of a beyond design basis tsunami and portable pumps and hoses are the most robust way to provide backup capabilities.
  • Auxiliary Building Control Board Replacement Project–this was reviewed as a part of the Obsolescence Project and Mr. Linnen commented the Project was unique in that the Project Team was working closely with the Operations group. He stated the DCISC team found the project was progressing well.
  • Unexpected Control Rod Movement–U-2 had experienced control rods slowly stepping- in to the core by 3½ steps for reasons which were not understood at the time. The problem was particularly difficult to diagnose as it occurred only intermittently. Mr. Linnen reported the U-2 control rods were placed in manual operation to prevent their stepping-in unintentionally and the problem was diagnosed and troubleshooting was performed to identify the source of the erroneous signal without the rods actually moving. He reported the problem was traced to a module. The DCISC Fact-finding Team found the investigatory process was well constructed and implemented to preserve nuclear safety.
  • Seismic Bracing of Tall Furniture–Mr. Linnen reported that since this issue was reviewed with DCPP last year, not much has occurred. There has been some bracing of tall furniture on the first floor of the Administration Building but the station has no timetable to address other areas. The DCISC representatives recommend that DCPP develop a schedule and commence efforts to educate plant staff on the dangers of unbraced furniture. Dr. Peterson stated this issue needs to be acted on proactively as it is important.
  • Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) System Review–This issue was related to issues at Fukushima Daiichi. Mr. Linnen reported the SFPs at DCPP provide a temporary storage location for spent fuel before it is moved to the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) and also for new fuel before it is placed into the reactor core. DCPP has taken action on a number of issues including inspection of the SFP heat exchangers and the development of a backup cooling system to allow the heat exchangers to be inspected.
  • Seismically Induced Systems Interaction (SISI) Housekeeping Program–Mr. Linnen stated this program protects safety-related equipment and plant systems from damage due to earthquakes. He state the DCISC Fact-finding Team found a noticeable improvement from the last time this program was reviewed and that plans to inspect are being developed and the program is rated as being in green status. Dr. Peterson and Mr. Linnen commented there is a dichotomy between the attention DCPP has placed upon protecting the physical equipment and systems within the plant from seismic-related damage and that placed upon protecting plant personnel in the office spaces.
  • Tour of Unit–2 (U-2) Containment Building and other Selected Areas–as 2R16 was underway during their visit, Mr. Linnen and Dr. Peterson were able to tour all levels of U-2 containment, the SFP, Auxiliary Building and the Turbine Deck. Mr. Linnen stated they found all areas to be clean, orderly and well labeled. Low radiation levels of 0.2 mrem each were experienced during the one hour visit and the DCISC team’s escort was knowledgeable and vigilant concerning radiation levels and protective clothing. Dr. Peterson stated he was impressed with the conditions and the competent, knowledgeable personnel he encountered during the visit. Dr. Budnitz observed that the radiation levels received by the team were approximately one-half the level they would have received had they been flying in an airplane for one hour.
  • Dr. Peterson met with DCPP Station Director Ken Peters.

Upon a motion by Dr. Lam, seconded by Dr. Peterson, the May 24-25, 2011 Fact Finding Report was approved and its transmittal to PG&E authorized.

As this presentation followed the first of the informational presentations by PG&E (see below), adjournment of the Committee’s morning meeting followed.

VIII Correspondence

The Chair directed the members and consultants to the copies of correspondence sent and received at the office of the Committee’s Legal Counsel since the last public meeting of the Committee in February 2011, which were included with the public agenda packet for this meeting.

IX Information Items Before the Committee

The Chair introduced DCPP’s Senior Director of Technical Services Loren Sharp and asked Mr. Sharp to commence the informational presentations requested by the Committee for this public meeting. Mr. Sharp introduced DCPP Site Vice President Jim Becker to make that presentation.

Update on Plant Events, Operational Status and Performance Indicators.

Mr. Becker reviewed the generation history and daily load profiles for both DCPP units for the past twelve months and stated that reliability for both units was strong in 2010 with very good online performance and minimal lost generation. In response to Dr. Lam’s question, Mr. Becker stated that the DCPP year-to-date capacity factor, as is the practice in the industry, was calculated against the maximum dependability capacity which uses routine factors as a comparison and therefore, under optimum conditions such as low ocean temperatures, the capacity factor may at times exceed 100% and he confirmed Dr. Peterson’s observation that this was not a reflection on safety of operations and that at no time were the reactors operated in excess of their maximum power outputs. Mr. Becker reviewed generation history for both units for the past four months, through May 31, 2011, and he stated Unit–1 (U-1) has demonstrated strong generation reliability while U-2 experienced a manual trip and forced outage on March 28, 2011, for repair of a steam leak in the Turbine Building and was delayed in returning to operation due to a problem with intermediate range nuclear instrumentation. U-2 entered its sixteenth regularly scheduled refueling outage on May 1, 2011.

Vice President Becker reviewed the Plant Performance Improvement Report and noted improving and declining areas of performance. In reviewing the Quality Verification (QV) organization’s Top Quality Performance Issues List, where red indicates actions which have not yet been fully developed or which are not on track, Mr. Becker identified issues in red status which are currently being addressed including: the impact of non nuclear steam leaks on the Maintenance Rework Program; the impact of inadequate timeliness and effectiveness in response to QV issues; and the corrective actions taken for 2R16 concerning the FME Program performance which is being addressed by training, more rigorous requirements and increased awareness. In response to Dr. Lam’s question Mr. Becker stated foreign material consists of material which is found to be where it is not intended or where it should not be located and he commented a successful FME Program was key to safe, reliable operations in a non nuclear context as well. In response to Mr. Linnen’s comment, Mr. Becker confirmed that radiation levels in containment during 2R16 were much lower than previously experienced prior to the replacement of the reactor vessel head and the steam generators (SGs) and he also attributed lower radiation levels to improved chemistry control including zinc and subsequently depleted zinc injection.

Concerning the age of systems which have been in red or yellow status, Mr. Becker reported that slow but steady progress is being made due to cooperation among the Engineering, Maintenance, Operations and Outage Management organizations and PG&E’s commitment to provide funding. Mr. Becker briefly reviewed the Corrective Action Program Index for the station and stated that issues of timeliness drove the index lower during 2R16 and improvement should follow the conclusion of that outage. The Human Performance Error Rate for the station changed from green to yellow status in May and Mr. Becker reported that during 2R16 the station met its safety-related but not its human performance goals. He reported this is a focus area for DCPP and action plans have been developed and include learning activities and observations in the field. Vice President Becker reviewed the Operational Focus Index and described it as including many factors which together show the plant’s operational focus. He stated good progress is being made but commented that the current attention and focus on the plant’s design and licensing basis does not really assist Operations. Mr. Becker reported that Maintenance backlogs and Control Room Notifications have shown improved performance on the Operational Focus Index. In response to Consultant Linnen’s inquiry, Mr. Becker stated an index showing operational focus is commonly used in the industry and other plants use an index similar to that employed at DCPP. Mr. Becker observed the Reactivity Management Program remains in green status and attention is focused on the index by the Reactivity Management Leadership Team. Past performance which currently impacts this index should roll-off by this summer. Mr. Becker briefly commented on an issue experienced with mislatching of a fuel assembly during its offload by Westinghouse technicians to the spent fuel pool and stated this issue has been entered in the CAP and is being reviewed by Westinghouse.

Vice President Becker reported the Critical Equipment Clock Resets equipment reliability index is currently not meeting the goal set and items have been entered into the CAP. Concerning the Engineering Program Health matrix, Mr. Becker identified the Appendix R Fire Protection program as currently being in red status and DCPP is awaiting industry developments and information from the NRC before submitting a Licensee Amendment Request (LAR). Dr. Budnitz stated that the industry review of DCPP’s performance relative to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 805 performance based standards for nuclear reactors found the performance to be good and he stated the industry peer review team believed DCPP’s NFPA 805 team did an excellent job.

In concluding his presentation, Vice President Becker reviewed DCPP’s performance concerning Recordable Injuries and stated the station is showing slow, steady improvement with 2010 being the plant’s best year. There has been one recordable injury and no lost time injuries to date in 2011. He reported industrial safety remains part of an action plan based around programs to raise program performance which also includes confined space and rigging. He confirmed, in response to Dr. Peterson’ inquiry, that DCPP also records all requests for first aid and the leadership team is debriefed regarding injuries and actions taken in response. First aid requests, however, are not trended so as not to drive a message which would encourage not reporting minor injuries.

In response to Dr. Budnitz’ question concerning whether the industry and DCPP review of issues stemming from the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan has had an impact on allocation of resources at DCPP, Mr. Becker replied that those issues have been dealt with by creating an organization led by Mr. Bill Guldemond, Special Assistant to Mr. Becker which reports directly to Station Director Peters who serves on an industry working group. Mr. Becker stated that beyond design basis gaps are entered into the CAP and procurement decisions are under consideration to improve margins. He gave as an example the replacement of the Reactor Coolant System (RCS) pump seals, without adversely affecting the seal packages and the resulting improvement in station blackout conditions and Dr. Peterson agreed replacement of the RCS seals was an excellent improvement. He commented that DCPP is working through its plant processes and is utilizing the latest industry guidance to review issues concerning its spent fuel pools. He observed it is a matter of prioritization but he could not provide an example of where something was omitted, postponed or not funded due to the ongoing analyses of the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. In response to Dr. Peterson’s comment on the importance of having the authority for making decisions during beyond design basis situations, Mr. Becker agreed U.S. nuclear plants have a different organizational structure from that employed in Japan and decision making in a structured setting, including the turnover process for decision making, is regularly practiced and U.S. plants have explicit guidance concerning decision making authority. Vice President Becker stated that DCPP will address the lessons learned and those to be learned from Fukushima Daiichi along with the industry. Dr. Peterson stated the Japanese have acknowledged they had problems concerning decisions being required to be made at high levels of authority where information was not readily available. In response to Consultant Linnen’s inquiry, Mr. Becker replied that a decision to commence salt water injection into a reactor core would be taken, in accordance with the present structure of the emergency response protocol at DCPP, by Emergency Operations Facility and Control Room personnel.

Dr. Budnitz thanked Mr. Becker for his presentation.

X Adjourn Morning Meeting

The Chair adjourned the afternoon meeting of the DCISC at 12:30 P.M.

XI Reconvene for Afternoon Meeting

Dr. Budnitz convened the afternoon meeting of the DCISC at 1:30 P.M. He reviewed the agenda and the topics to be presented by PG&E at the request of the Committee.

XII Committee Member Comments

There were no comments at this time from the Committee Members.

XIII Public Comments and Communications

Dr. Budnitz invited any member of the public to attend this public meeting and to address comments to the Committee.

Ms. Sherry Lewis, a resident of San Luis Obispo and member of MFP was recognized. Ms. Lewis stated she wished to reiterate her position concerning the problems of toxic nuclear waste and human error which is always present. She observed there have been some catastrophic events and there will be more. She stated radioactive waste is too toxic and should not have to be dealt with at all. She stated her belief the DCISC’s role is to make sure things at DCPP are as safe as they can be and the safest thing would be to have no nuclear power at all as it will be impossible to control it forever.

XIV Information Items Before the Committee

The Chair recognized DCPP’s Senior Director of Technical Services Loren Sharp and asked Mr. Sharp to continue the informational presentations requested by the Committee for this public meeting. Mr. Sharp requested DCPP Regulatory Services Manager Tom Baldwin make the next informational presentation to the Committee.

Licensee Event Reports, Review of NRC Notices of Violations, and NRC Performance Indicators.

Mr. Baldwin reviewed and discussed with the Committee the Licensee Event Reports (LERs) which PG&E, as the DCPP licensee, submitted to the NRC for the period February 2011 through June 2011. There have been four LERs issued during that period and four Non Cited Violations (NCVs), one of which was PG&E identified, all of which were determined to be of very low safety significance. He reviewed these as follows

Mr. Baldwin reported on the four NCVs received since the last public meeting of the Committee in February 2011, through June 2011, all of which were determined to be of very low safety significance (Green), as follows:

Summarizing NRC enforcement, Mr. Baldwin stated inspection reports were issued for:

A total of four findings were reported since last meeting of the DCISC. All were determined to be very low safety significance. Mr. Baldwin reported that currently 11 NCVs in the last four quarters have a cross-cutting aspect of P.1(C), Problem Evaluation. In response to Consultant Wardell’s inquiry concerning the 230 kV System, Mr. Baldwin replied issues with the 230 kV System have not been resolved and there are ongoing discussions taking place with the NRC in Washington DC. In response to Mr. Wardell’s inquiry concerning issues concerning the seismic design basis, Mr. Baldwin replied PG&E has met with the NRC in context of the license amendment application, but this remains an unresolved issue. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry concerning how the issues in the Temporary Instruction report were being addressed, Mr. Baldwin stated the process requires DCPP to review each item and issues are being closed out. He stated the process was one of the station being able to demonstrate that it has the ability to do what it claimed it can do.

The current status of the NRC Performance Indicators was reviewed, all of which are in green status for NRC performance measures. Mr. Baldwin stated that five station performance indicators, with lower thresholds than the NRC, are currently in Yellow (or unacceptable) status. These include:

  • SP-05 Unplanned Scrams per 7000 Critical Hours–due to U-2 reactor trip due to main feedwater pump 2-1 trip as a result of the flange leak.
  • SP-07 Unplanned Power Changes per 7000 Critical Hours–due to U-1 being ramped to low power then offline due to MSR drain flange steam leak.
  • SP-12 Safety System Functional Failures Affecting Two Indicators–for U-1 not meeting station goal of 0 due to: 1) TS 3.3.5, “Loss of Power (LOP) Diesel Generator (DG) Start Instrumentation,” Surveillance Requirement 3.3.5.3.b, “Degraded voltage initiation of Load Shed Allowable Value greater than or equal to 3785 V with a time delay of less than or equal to 20 seconds” is non-conservative TS surveillance. (60026031) (July 2010) 2) 230 kV TS AOT exceedance when crosstied (50309644) (Aug 2010) 3) AFW M3 Entry with AFW Pump Inop (50368977)(Jan 2011) 4) Aux Bldg Vent System Single Failure (50370080)(Feb 2011) 5) 3 SSFF anticipated for loss of offsite power (230 kV), 1 to be reported in 2Q’2011 and 2 in 3Q’2011.
  • SP-15 Emergency Planning Drill–DCPP no longer meeting station goal of > 96.4%.

Mr. Baldwin reviewed with the Committee a chart used by all the members of the joint nuclear utility initiative, termed the Strategic Teaming and Resource Sharing (STARS) plants, to track the NRC Cross-Cutting Issue Matrix on an annual basis over the last four quarters. Currently DCPP is in red status with more than four identifications of failure to use conservative assumptions and to properly evaluate the extent of problems. In response to Consultant Wardell’s inquiry concerning the Conservative Assumptions category Mr. Baldwin stated DCPP has implemented corrective actions to achieve a process to get all required information and he stated that the issue has been observed outside of Engineering but Operational Decision Making does not appear to be a factor. In response to Mr. Wardell’s observation, Mr. Baldwin confirmed the numbers of NCVs have come down and the long-term trend is about one-half of previous numbers of NCVs received which he attributed to the impact of listening and understanding questions and having a questioning attitude. Mr. Baldwin commented it is difficult to change long standing behaviors in a large organization like DCPP in a short time. Concerning the Evaluation of Extent category Mr. Baldwin stated the trend is improving but this category remains a focus area and is being monitored. He commented that all matrix areas which are out of tolerance receive a common cause analysis.

Following Mr. Baldwin’s presentation, members of the audience asked questions.

Ms. Elizabeth Apfelberg, a resident of San Luis Obispo and member of MFP was recognized. Ms. Apfelberg referred to the LER 1-2011-002-00 concerning the Auxiliary Building Ventilation System design flaw and inquired whether this was discovered by PG&E or by the NRC. Mr. Baldwin stated the failure was self-revealing when the System failed but the NRC resident inspector identified the missed opportunity in connection with the replacement of the control panel.

Ms. June Cochran, a resident of Shell Beach, was recognized. Ms. Cochran stated that she has heard references to the terms ‘procedure flawed,’ ‘guidance error,’ ‘inappropriate analysis of system,’ and ‘long-term degradation’ many times during PG&E presentations to the DCISC and to the NRC. She stated such references were worrisome to her as the issues related to these references do not appear to be improving nor are they as perfect as possible. She stated that with reference to DCPP there should be no missed opportunities or failures to install installations such as fire barriers according to regulations. She cited a presentation by PG&E on the degradation of the Fire Protection System at DCPP and inquired whether that system had improved to Green from its previous Yellow status. She commented PG&E has stated that the system cannot be fixed and she displayed a photo which showed a degraded section of piping. She observed that in response to her inquiries PG&E has stated that it does not inspect all underground piping but instead waits for problems to occur before addressing them. Ms. Cochran stated this was not comforting. She cited a reference from the Chief of the NRC’s Reactor Program that acknowledged that problem evaluation at DCPP has not proven effective. She inquired how long the public should put up with these issues and stated that the DCISC should take a stand. Ms. Cochran stated the issue Mr. Baldwin reported on with the Security organization showed a trend in the NRC downgrading its requirements and she cited the example of the compliance waiver received by DCPP until April 13, 2011, which was extended to June 30, 2011, and now has been extended for another year and she questioned whether security issues were being adequately addressed. Finally she inquired when PG&E might not have 200 corrective actions to deal with every week.

Dr. Budnitz replied that from a Corrective Action Program perspective regarding personnel safety it is preferable to have large numbers of low level incidents reported. As to Ms. Cochran’s inquiry about how long the public should put up with issues at DCPP, Dr. Budnitz stated the DCISC is not empowered to direct PG&E to take any specific action and can only review issues and write reports. He stated the DCISC has reported on the status of the Fire Protection System at DCPP on numerous occasions. Dr. Peterson remarked that the Corrective Action Program is aimed at finding low level problems and correcting them and a substantial number of problems being reported is a good thing as otherwise a chilling environment to reporting safety issues may develop. Dr. Peterson stated it was possible to have recurring problems and he observed that fire protection systems represented an important problem. He commented that after the post-earthquake experiences at the Kasiwazaki-Kariwa and Fukushima Daiichi power plants, concern over piping has been heightened and he noted that facilities which sat on the base mats for those plants generally survived well but that this was not the case with buried piping systems. Dr. Peterson commented, however, that not all buried piping at DCPP serves safety-related systems although some would bring water from the raw water reservoirs to the plant and the plant now has the capability to use fire hoses, if necessary, for this function although initially there were some issues identified with security in this effort. Dr. Peterson stated that in context of maintaining a continuing questioning attitude repeated problems were a concern. Dr. Budnitz commented concerning systems that cannot be inspected, design requirements do not allow for a single failure of such systems to cause a significant accident. Mr. Baldwin observed that safety systems are required to be redundant so that the failure of a single component would disable only one of two trains of safety equipment. Dr. Peterson replied that he was not sure a reliance on redundancy was adequate in context of a common mode failure. Mr. Baldwin stated that system designers are required to address issues of inspection and testing in their designs and the nuclear industry is currently working on a buried piping inspection program and the goal is to inspect all piping but this is not a risk-significant issue.

Dr. Budnitz stated there is a hierarchy of equipment with regard to safety and problems occur more often in the less important systems, although systems of higher safety importance do sometimes fail and he inquired of Mr. Baldwin concerning recurrence. Mr. Baldwin replied it was not DCPP’s intention to revisit safety significant issues and a root cause analysis is performed to address all vulnerabilities. Repeat instances of failure receive enhanced, elevated review to determine why the problem recurred and this, he noted, is a problem in itself. Dr. Budnitz posed a question to PG&E whether PG&E’s representatives believe they could implement actions to reduce all instances of problem reporting by a factor of 10%. Mr. Sharp replied that licensing basis and TS maintenance are driven by the most safety significant systems and then the plant focuses its attention on long standing issues. Dr. Budnitz stated that systems are designed to cope with systemic failure rather than of individual components, and with regard to corrective actions improvement is possible but not by making large changes over a short time and he used the improvement in the DCPP capacity factor over the period from 1990 to present as an example. He stated that the role of the DCISC concerning these matters is to ensure, while attention is paid incrementally to small changes, to make sure that nothing of significance escapes attention. Consultant Wardell reported that the Fire Protection System at DCPP is now currently in either White or Green status, both of which are considered acceptable and the system has remained fully operational throughout its transition from Red and Yellow status. Dr. Peterson stated the Committee would obtain current information on the current status of the Fire Protection System at DCPP and would provide that information to Ms. Cochran.

Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized. Ms. Lewis stated that a single failure of a pipe could lead to increased levels of tritium, which have occurred in 83% of reactors, so that this would represent multiple failures which can cause cell damage. Dr. Budnitz replied that tritium leaks at nuclear facilities have not been found to be dangerous as there has been no contamination of drinking water.

A short break followed.

Quality Verification (QV) Organization’s Perspective on Plant Performance, the Quality Performance Assessment Report (QPAR) and QV’s Top Issues. – Due to the unavailability of the PG&E presenter this topic was not presented and will be rescheduled.

Mr. Sharp introduced DCPP Emergency Planning Manager Michael Ginn and asked Mr. Ginn to make the next informational presentation to the Committee.

Efforts and Actions Remaining to Improve and Expand the Emergency Preparedness Dose Assessment System including the Meteorological Information and Dose Assessment System (MIDAS).

Mr. Ginn reported he has met on numerous occasions with DCISC members and consultants during their fact-finding visits to DCPP. He stated PG&E has completed the following actions over the past twelve months and since the last DCISC update on June 3, 2010:

Mr. Ginn discussed and reviewed with the Committee Members the following actions which have also been completed:

Dr. Budnitz observed during the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan the power grid was inoperable and he inquired whether in a similar situation at DCPP the SODAR equipment would continue to function. Mr. Ginn stated that PICs, SODAR and the meteorological towers all have uninterrupted power sources (UPS). Mr. Ginn stated he believed the UPS duration to be 12-14 hours but would have to check and verify that information. Dr. Budnitz observed that at Fukushima Daiichi cellular telephone communication was overloaded and Mr. Ginn confirmed that all sites have dedicated communication lines.

Dr. Peterson remarked that the U.S. did extensive radiation surveys in connection with the releases from Fukushima Daiichi and dispersion models were run by Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. He suggested preliminary data may indicate that these capabilities were not as great as expected and he commented DCPP may want to follow the updates of those models and ensure that the vendor for MIDAS does likewise. Mr. Ginn stated DCPP is working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the NRC and used the previous tracer studies to validate the DCPP model and believes it selected a capable vendor for MIDAS. Dr. Budnitz commented that while tracer studies may validate the path of a radiation dose from point A to point B they do not address the deposition phenomena and the events at Fukushima Daiichi present an opportunity to collect actual radionuclide data in the field. Dr. Peterson stated the Committee would schedule an action for follow up during a future fact-finding to validate the code from the results of the data obtained from Fukushima Daiichi and he commented that over the upcoming year DCPP’s vendor should also be doing this. Mr. Ginn stated that presently DCPP is working with INPO, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and with the NRC on these efforts.

Dr. Peterson stated the lessons learned in emergency response and protective action recommendations from Fukushima Daiichi also warrant study and review, especially the effect of the U.S. using data to develop protection actions for its citizens which differed from those developed by the Japanese. Mr. Ginn stated he had attended a recent conference in Washington D.C. which found this to have been the result of a lack of good information and not to be solely dose-based. Dr. Peterson stated he and Dr. Budnitz were involved in the assessment of the events at Fukushima Daiichi and the decision concerning protective action by the NRC affected the confidence and relationship between the U.S. and Japan. He remarked that it was important to think about all dimensions of a protective action recommendation and to communicate well concerning risk as unintended consequences which may not be trivial can follow. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry Mr. Ginn stated the DCPP Emergency Planning Zone extends 18 miles to the north and 22 miles to the south of the plant, is approximately twice as large as required by the NRC, and includes sirens out to those distances and standard operating procedures to be followed by the agencies and local jurisdictions within that area. He remarked the difference from the NRC’s requirements was not based on risk but rather on input from the State. A map of the Emergency Planning Zone is contained in the local AT&T telephone book, along with 12 pages of emergency planning information. He commented PG&E is currently working with the County on a new document regarding DCPP emergency planning.

Mr. Ginn displayed and described a printout from the data available on the PG&E website concerning wind speed and wind direction in the local area and he displayed photographs of the implementation of the project.

In concluding his presentation, Mr. Ginn stated that the PG&E project team is completing final actions with the forecast for completion of all project milestones on track for June 30, 2011, including:

  • Documentation of all Software Quality Assurance (SQA) verifications, design verification testing and site acceptance testing.
  • Conduct of tabletop drill June 29, 2011, and after.

Dr. Peterson thanked Mr. Ginn for his presentation and commented the DCISC has been following this topic for approximately two years and he expressed his appreciation to PG&E for the effective actions taken.

Ms. June Cochran, a resident of Shell Beach was recognized to address remarks to the DCISC. Ms. Cochran stated that the map in the local telephone book does not include streets by name to let the public know what zone they may be within. She remarked that Los Osos Valley Road would create problems for those persons wishing to evacuate the area of Avila Beach, especially because those persons responding to the emergency would be proceeding in the opposite direction. She commented there has never been an actual practice evacuation and predicted that in any such situation there would be gridlock within ten minutes. She inquired how PG&E could infer that persons in zones other than those designated to be evacuated would not join in the exodus from the area and she questioned, as the NRC recommended a 50 mile evacuation zone from around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, why 50 miles should not be the starting point for DCPP’s evacuation zone? Mr. Ginn stated he was glad to receive input and questions from residents and he replied that detailed planning went into the determination of the zone designations and it was a conscious decision to make the map more understandable by showing cities and towns rather than streets. He stated the County has more detailed maps in its possession. He commented that traffic studies have shown that while the local roadways are challenging, the key to a successful evaluation is good public information and leadership and that planning is conducted from closest to the hazard outward. In response to Dr. Peterson’s inquiry concerning what capabilities exist to extend the Emergency Planning Zone around DCPP, Mr. Ginn stated that a 50 mile Ingestion Pathway Zone radius now exists and trained responders are located within that zone which extends to Santa Barbara to the south and to Camp Roberts to the north.

Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized and she commented Mr. Ginn had not addressed the situation mentioned by Ms. Cochran where persons outside of a designated evacuation zone choose to join in the evacuation.

Ms. Elizabeth Apfelberg was recognized and she described an incident which occurred two years ago when she was prevented for over one hour from reaching Avila Beach due to a head-on traffic collision which occurred during a time of shift change at DCPP and she stated her opinion that in the event of an evacuation the plans would not work.

Mr. Ginn replied and stated based upon his personal experience in law enforcement and in hazardous materials and emergency response, and from his review of studies performed by Sandia Laboratories of actual past evacuations including the Morro Bay evacuation due to ammonium leak, it is usually necessary for the authorities to create a sense of urgency before large numbers of persons will take action. He remarked that it is most important that persons follow the direction of law enforcement and he recognized that as a PG&E employee some members of the public would not trust his words but in an actual emergency situation directions would be given by trusted authorities such as the local fire chiefs. In response to Ms. Apfelberg, Mr. Ginn stated that as a former California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer, he was aware that the CHP treats traffic collisions in a different manner than an emergency situation. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry, Mr. Ginn confirmed that a tendency to disregard authority was not consistent with evacuation studies and he further stated that in the event of an actual emergency at DCPP the area around the plant is relatively remote, with few persons residing in the immediate area. He commented that nuclear emergency situations typically take some time to develop and during that time precautionary actions would be under consideration and could be implemented by the County. Dr. Peterson confirmed that the events at Fukushima Daiichi took a substantial amount of time to develop and although the earthquake did cause significant damage to roads and bridges, the evacuation proceeded in an orderly fashion. He observed the State has made significant progress in seismically retrofitting its highways and bridges. Mr. Ginn agreed but he stated that he did not want to impart a false sense of security that there would not be challenges.

Dr. Budnitz thanked Mr. Ginn for his presentation.

DCPP Director of Outage Manager Tim King made the next informational presentation requested of PG&E by the DCISC.

Station Performance during the 16th Refueling Outages for Units 1 and 2 (1R16 and 2R16) Including Performance of the New Steam Generators and Reactor Vessel Closure Heads.

Mr. King commented that his title would soon be changed to Director of Work Management in recognition of the fact that his organization performs daily work as well as during scheduled refueling outages.

Mr. King reviewed the major scope of work for the primary side of the plant during 2R16 as follows:

  • Reactor Dis/Re-assembly.
  • Full Core Offload / Reload.
  • Reactor Vessel Hot Leg / Cold Leg Exams and Lower Internals Removed & Replaced–which Mr. King stated was performed with good results and with low dose rates.
  • Charging Pump 2-2 Casing Replacement–to reduce iron transport to primary.
  • Reactor Vessel Level Indication System Cap Fill.
  • Steam Generator Platforms.
  • Window 5 Optimization–outage schedule Window 5 related to the duration of maintenance improved significantly due to elimination of the need to drain water from the SGs because since their replacement the new SGs only require inspection activities to take place every third outage. In response to Dr. Peterson’s question Mr. King confirmed that eddy current testing is performed for all SGs in one outage which takes place every third outage.
  • Thimble Tube Replacement.

Mr. King reviewed the major scope of work on the secondary side of the plant during 2R16 as follows:

  • EDG 2-2 Major Maintenance Outage Window (MOW).
  • High Pressure Turbine Inspection.
  • 3 Main Stop Valve Disc/Nut Inspections–to ensure changes previously made were effective.
  • SG Sludge Lance and FOSAR–to check for manufacturing debris or errors and concerning which no objects were found and approximately one pound of sludge was removed which Mr. King stated resulted from better secondary chemistry.
  • Condenser Expansion Joint (Dog Bone) Replacement.
  • Feed Water Pump 2-1 Inspection.
  • ASW 2-1 Pump Swap.
  • ASW 2-2 Motor Swaps.
  • Outfall Tunnel Inspections & Repairs -to assess cleaning and inspection methods for the future.

Mr. King reviewed and discussed items of major scope during 2R16 with regard to electrical components including:

  • Vital Battery 2-1 Replacement–performed on a normal schedule.
  • Main Bank and Start-Up (SU) Bank Maintenance–to remove the last porcelain components and to replace radiators.
  • 480 V Bucket Replacements Bus 2H & 25D.
  • Bus H Maintenance.
  • TRY 26 Replacement.
  • 230 kV Reliability 2–230 kV SU Power Outages–to install a common unit panel which will now have current separation and a new control scheme to provide independent isolation. In response to Dr. Budnitz inquiry, Mr. King confirmed that DC power is used to control the 230 kV breakers and there is a cross-tie capability.

Mr. King discussed and reviewed the goals and performance during 1R16 as follows:

Performance Goals Goal Actual
Recordable & Disabling Injuries ≤ 2/0 0/0
Nuclear Safety Events 0 0
Human Performance Events 0 1
Outage Duration (days) > 33 35.8
Dose Goal (Rem) > 68 29.7
Significant Foreign Material Events 0 0
Cost > $32.6m TBD
Power Ascension (days) ≤ 5 3.4
Reliable Run at 100% Power (days) ≥ 90 TBD

Concerning nuclear safety events Mr. King reported there were no challenges on loss of decay heat removal and this had a significant impact on achieving the goal of no such events. There was a single Site Human Performance Clock reset which resulted from a worker receiving a 120 V shock during hinge wire replacement work on non-vital busses due to an inadequate power supply circuit check. The worker was not injured but it was observed that had this event involved higher voltage there could have been a serious injury or death as a result. In response to Dr. Lam’s question, Mr. King reported approximately 600 persons were involved in the population for determination of the excellent dose goal results achieved during 1R16.

Concerning personal contamination events during 1R16 there were 14 actual versus the goal set of 25 or fewer and Mr. King attributed this to good worker practices. Radiation dose during 1R16 was 29.7 person rem actual versus the 68 person rem goal. No person exceeded the dose limits and Dr. Budnitz commented this was an extremely low dose and demonstrated an impressive performance by DCPP. Chemistry control was improved with zinc injection into primary to inhibit nickel coming out of the metal as well as by forced oxygenation which reduced the source term. Worker practices were also improved as a result of planning activities prior to performing work. The previous actions to change out the reactor vessel heads and to replace the steam generators also contributed significantly to an excellent performance concerning dose during 1R16. Mr. King displayed a graph which contrasted and compared department-level events during 1R16 and 2R16.

Mr. King reviewed the challenges during 2R16 as follows:

  • Human Performance
  • Error in relay testing caused loss of 230 kV offsite power to U- 1 caused by human error due to the complexity of the separation of circuits
  • RHR pump test flow transmitter by-pass valve left open following previous maintenance activities which caused testing delays.
  • Charging Pump orifice installed in wrong location
  • Equipment
  • Polar Crane Relays due to aging issues. Mr. King reported the polar crane relays are scheduled to be upgraded during the next refueling outage.
  • Refueling Equipment due to aging issues which will be addressed in the future.
  • 480 V Bus Ceramic insulator found broken and repaired with an extent of condition evaluation completed as required by the seismic qualification of the bus.
  • Foreign Material Exclusion (FME), number of low level events
  • 24 FME Conditions found due to legacy issues and personnel performance.
  • 3 Threat/Vulnerabilities.
  • 0 Significant Events.

Mr. King discussed and reviewed with the Committee the successes during 2R16 as follows:

  • Safety
  • Nuclear Safety–no events and no challenges with decay heat removal.
  • Industrial Safety–0 recordable injury
  • Radiological Safety–Dose goal, PCE’s and source term reduction.
  • Security Loggable Events–nine vs. goal of ten, principally due to violations resulting from the use of key cards to access entry and failure to latch doors following entry. In response to Dr. Budnitz’ inquiry Mr. King stated that while past violations have been caused by contractor personnel it was PG&E employees who were responsible for the violations during 2R16. Training is provided using an access door mock up and counseling is provided to address violations. Dr. Lam remarked that the rate of incidents appears to be very low
  • Planned System Health Work completed
  • 30 System Health Improvements to improve safety and reliability.
  • 230 kV Reliability Improvements.
  • Aux and SU Bank transformer maintenance.
  • HL/CL Exams.

In response to Dr. Peterson’s inquiry Mr. King stated he could not provide statistics concerning how the replacement of the reactor vessel heads and the steam generators may have improved outage performance during 1R16 and 2R16. Mr. King commented that the elimination of the challenges of inspecting u-tubes in the old steam generators improved safety, focus and the dose rate for Instrument & Control personnel working in the area of the SGs. Concerning opportunities for further outage performance improvement Mr. King stated he would defer to the Licensing Basis Verification Project to identify any issues for the future. Dr. Peterson agreed and stated that lessons learned from the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan will also need to be addressed. Mr. King commented that the U.S. nuclear industry did a good job of analyzing required changes following 9-11-2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, some of which were relevant to events at Fukushima Daiichi and Dr. Peterson agreed that Japan would have benefited from having performed activities such as those required by the NRC’s B.5.b mandates.

XV Adjourn Afternoon Meeting

The Chair reminded those persons present and watching the proceedings by live streaming online video that the Committee would be reconvening during the evening to receive presentations concerning the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami and he then adjourned the afternoon meeting of the Committee at 4:40 P.M.

XVI Reconvene for Evening Meeting

Dr. Budnitz convened the evening meeting of the DCISC at 5:30 P.M. He again introduced the other members, consultants and legal counsel and welcomed members of the public present in the audience and following the meeting on through the streaming video available through a link on the Committee’s website at www.dcisc.org and at www.slospan.org.

XVII Committee Member Comments

Dr. Peterson stated there had been earlier discussions during the day relative to topics to be presented this evening and that more information on the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, will be provided as it becomes available to the DCISC members. Dr. Budnitz stated the Committee will be conducting a tour of DCPP tomorrow morning which was fully subscribed through prior reservation. Dr. Lam remarked that Drs. Budnitz and Peterson both serve on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) panel tasked with reviewing the events at Fukushima Daiichi and therefore the Committee is fortunate for they are able to provide relevant and material information about those events.

XVIII Public Comments and Communication

Dr. Budnitz invited any member of the public to attend this public meeting and to address comments to the Committee.

Mr. Mark Phillips, a resident of Atascadero, was recognized to address remarks to the Committee. Mr. Phillips stated he received information that the radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were higher than had been previously reported. He stated that it was the stakeholders with the most at stake who appear to be in control of information about the events in Japan. He questioned whether PG&E would be in that role if an accident were to happen at DCPP and would the public be at the mercy of PG&E? Mr. Phillips stated he had no confidence in the NRC. He remarked that at another public meeting he attended the NRC was unable to address questions regarding the length of time radioactive waste remains significantly hazardous and had promised to get back to him with answers but never did. He observed the Environmental Protection Agency has stated such waste remains dangerous for one million years and he does not trust information provided by PG&E or the NRC.

Dr. Budnitz replied that the institutional arrangements for dealing with a nuclear emergency are different in the U.S. from those in Japan. During the accident at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station the federal government appointed a representative to provide information and in doing so kept the public’s trust. Dr. Budnitz stated DCPP’s Joint Information Center (JIC) is manned by officials from PG&E, the County and the State. Dr. Peterson observed the damage at Fukushima Daiichi caused by an externally initiated earthquake and tsunami was different from past accidents which were caused by human error and equipment failure and he confirmed that organizationally things are different in the U.S. than was the case in Japan. He stated that everyone had difficulty getting accurate information concerning the damage at Fukushima Daiichi and the Japanese authorities have recognized that many decisions were not made by those persons ‘on the ground’ at the plant but rather by persons removed from the activities at the site. He stated that Mr. Phillips observation that accurate information did not flow during the events at Fukushima Daiichi was accurate. Mr. Phillips commented that the early information concerning the accident at Three Mile Island was also inaccurate. Dr. Budnitz commented the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred in context of a huge disaster to the entire region which made it more difficult and he stated that could be the case in California and therefore there were important lessons to be learned. Mr. Phillips agreed and stated that Dr. Budnitz’ statement was one of the reasons he does not support nuclear power. Dr. Lam inquired what the NRC or PG&E could do to gain Mr. Phillips’ trust, to which Mr. Phillips replied he could not envision any scenario where that might occur as PG&E lies and the NRC promotes nuclear power.

Mr. Klaus Schumann of Paso Robles was recognized. Mr. Schumann stated he served on the San Luis Obispo Nuclear Waste Management Committee. He stated the goal is to keep the area free of contamination. He remarked that DCPP should never have been built in its present location and should not be relicensed. He further directed the Committee’s attention to a recent series of news articles in the San Luis Obispo Tribune. He further directed the Committee’s attention to, and he showed copies of, several news articles including articles concerning the NRC’s relationship with nuclear utilities; the Alvarez article on spent fuel pools; the Nuclear Information Resource Service article regarding safeguarding waste; an article on predicting beyond design basis earthquake activity on the San Andreas fault; a Russian study on the effects and consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, published in the Washington Spectator which Mr. Schumann stated found a total of 985,000 fatalities as a result; an article published in 2009 concerning the history of tsunamis on the California coastline, which described past tsunamis as reaching heights of 55–100 feet locally. Mr. Schumann stated that risk assessment was applied to Three Miles Island and Chernobyl and determined the probabilities of those events to be very low. He questioned what the probability risk analysis would have been for the earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima Daiichi which resulted in three reactor meltdowns. He stated those previous predictions were very far off from what actually occurred and he wondered just how useful were these risk assessments and if they are not accurate how can the design of a plant be conservative?

Ms. Sherry Lewis, a resident of San Luis Obispo and member of MFP was recognized. Ms. Lewis stated the two earlier sessions included discussion of the dilemma of nuclear waste storage. She observed that all the DCISC can do is to make PG&E aware of issue, the Committee has no authority or ability to force PG&E to do anything. She commented the independence of the Committee encouraged complacency in that each member of the Committee must believe that nuclear power is a good thing. She stated that someone should address the waste issue. She remarked that she had spoke with a person who worked at the NRC who assured her that a use would be found for nuclear waste but Ms. Lewis observed people have previously repeatedly tried to turn lead into gold and failed and she stated there are no safe storage options for this waste.

Dr. Budnitz replied to Ms. Lewis and stated each of the DCISC members is appointed by a different entity including the Governor, the Chair of the California Energy Commission and the California Attorney General. In this process members’ views are known. A member of the DCISC is appointed each year by an open process in which public participation is invited. Dr. Lam stated that during his appointment process by the CEC his personal views on nuclear power were not solicited and he stated he has never publicly expressed his personal views as to nuclear technology.

Ms. Joyce Pallela, a resident of Avila Beach, was recognized. Ms. Pallela inquired whether any of the members believe nuclear power is too dangerous or too expensive? Dr. Budnitz replied he has never considered the issue in terms of economics but it was his view that nuclear plants are dangerous and he has spent his career in the effort to make them safer. Dr. Peterson stated he shared Dr. Budnitz views and he observed that continued operation of nuclear facilities is governed by policy questions which are separate from safety considerations. The issue is whether to limit replacement of older nuclear and coal plants. Dr. Peterson observed that nuclear plants are different from each other in design. He remarked that his service to the Committee, to the best of his ability, is to confirm that DCPP is being run as safety as possible and there is a wide variety of issues to be considered in that role including opportunities for improvement and lessons to be learned.

XIX Informational Presentation by the Committee

Dr. Budnitz made the next presentation.

“Big Picture” Presentation on the Events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan following the March 11, 2011, Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake and Resulting Tsunami.

Dr. Budnitz began his presentation by displaying a map showing the location of the 26 nuclear sites with a total of 40 reactors on the Japanese islands. He stated nuclear power supplies approximately one-half of Japan’s power requirements. He identified the location of the March 11, 2011, earthquake as off the northeast coast of the island of Honshu, the largest and most populous of the islands which make up Japan and stated it is believed to be the largest earthquake in the 2,000 years of Japanese recorded history. He identified the four nuclear power plants with a total of 14 reactors which were affected by the resulting tsunami. He observed the Fukushima Daiichi plant which was most affected consists of six nuclear reactors while DCPP consists of two nuclear reactors. Dr. Budnitz displayed a photograph of the Fukushima Daiichi plant which showed the location of Reactors 1-6, the dry spent fuel storage and common spent fuel pool. The Fukushima Daiichi plant consists of, and was in the following configuration, on March 11, 2011:

The earthquake on March 11, 2011, at 3:45 P.M. local time occurred along a 250 mile long fault located 75 miles offshore and resulted in one side in the middle of the fault falling up to 75 feet in a few seconds which produced a huge wave, known as a tsunami. Initially there was a considerable amount of damage on the land due to the earthquake while the tsunami went east and west at approximately 200 miles per hour. Dr. Budnitz reviewed the characteristics of a tsunami which are not similar to a normal ocean wave but rather result from a large mass of water, with a one to two mile long wave-length, moving across open water and when that mass of water subsequently rises and subsides, subsequently inundating the shoreline. Dr. Budnitz stated the size of the tsunami on March 11, 2011, which reached 44-45 feet in height, was the cause of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

Dr. Budnitz reported all operating units automatically shut down when the earthquake occurred and, while offsite power to the plant was lost due to the earthquake the emergency diesel generators worked properly until the tsunami arrived. The tsunami inundated the buildings on the plant site and the emergency diesel generators, which played a crucial role in the accident, which were above sea level but not high enough to escape the tsunami. The emergency diesel generators were rendered inoperable due to the tsunami and the station lost power and was in a blacked out condition causing all motor operated pumps including those associated with the Emergency Core Cooling System to become inoperable. Dr. Budnitz displayed graphically the tsunami run-up heights and inundation heights all along the Japanese coastline and reported that in some areas the tsunami reached 100 feet in height. He displayed a graph with the tsunami heights and the heights of the sea walls built to protect the land, some of which were 30-40 feet high and stated that almost everywhere along the coastline the tsunami exceeded the height of the seawall. There were a total of 26,000 fatalities as a result and 400,000 persons were evacuated. He commented this error and the resulting lack of protection will cost Japan hundreds of billions of dollars and he remarked the accident to the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi is only a part of this damage. Dr. Peterson observed that the tsunami warning system worked and undoubtedly saved lives but the tsunami shelters proved to be inadequate.

Dr. Budnitz described the principal components and basic operation of a boiling water reactor (BWR) which he described as utilizing a direct, single loop wherein water, all of which is slightly radioactive, boils and makes steam to operate the turbine generator. In comparison to a pressurized water reactor (PWR) the operation of a BWR is simpler. Dr. Budnitz graphically displayed the operation of nuclear fission, a chain reaction which occurs within power reactors and he displayed a photo of and briefly described the: uranium fuel pellets; the zirconium-cladded fuel rods, approximately 12 feet in length which contain approximately 33,000 fuel pellets; the 538 individual, 8' by 8', fuel assemblies, containing 62 fuel rods each; and the reactor vessel with 500 water-covered fuel assemblies located in its core. Dr. Budnitz displayed a photo of the primary containment and torus of the BWR under construction at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and pointed out the presence of a person in the photo for purposes of showing the scale and size of the reactor. He described the components and configuration of a BWR including: the reactor building which performs a limited safety/confinement function; the spent fuel pool, located high in the reactor building: the reactor pressure vessel; the vessel’s primary containment, consisting of an 8"steel liner and reinforced concrete; and the torus structure, which surrounds the primary containment and provides a suppression pool for purposes of cooling. Dr. Budnitz reviewed the refueling configuration of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4 where the reactor pressure vessel head was removed to allow water to flood the core and the fuel to be moved through the refueling gate to the spent fuel pool. He displayed photos of the reactor and the primary containment inside the reactor building and an empty spent fuel pool and a drawing of a BWR in normal operating configuration.

Dr. Budnitz reported the following took place in Reactors 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi on and after March 11, 2011:

  • Electric power grid lost due to the earthquake.
  • Operating reactors shut down (scram).
  • Reactor vessels cooled by water pumped by electrically operated pumps.
  • Emergency diesel generators start as designed and power core cooling pumps.
  • Emergency diesels provide power for 45 minutes until tsunami strikes.
  • Tsunami disables emergency diesel generators.
  • Separate steam-driven pump operates to pump water from torus to cool reactor.
  • Batteries required to control feedwater control system for steam-driven pump become exhausted.
  • Water injection to reactor vessel is lost and water in reactor boils.
  • Fuel rods in the core become uncovered.
  • At ∼3,200°F the zirconium cladding melts, zirconium oxide is produced and uranium melts and sinks to the bottom of the vessel.
  • At ∼4,500°F the fuel rods break and create debris bed inside the core.
  • At around 4800°F uranium-zirconium eutectics melt.
  • Gases, steam and heat are produced as the core melts and fill the vessel.
  • Gases, including hydrogen, are released to the air.
  • Radioactive water escapes.

Dr. Budnitz stated the total amount of reactivity released by Fukushima Daiichi is estimated to be approximately 4%-6% of the total amount of reactivity within the cores. Dr. Budnitz displayed the probable configuration of core debris in the lower heads and stated that it is not yet certain but at Fukushima Daiichi Reactors 1, 2 and 3 core debris may have escaped outside their primary containments but as this material is now underwater it should stay safe and stable provided it remains covered.

Dr. Budnitz reported seawater injection using a fire truck was used to prevent much larger releases. Using photographs he reviewed the damage to Reactors 1, 2 3 and 4 where hydrogen explosions severely damaged the reactor buildings and the roofs of Reactors 1, 3 and 4. Dr. Budnitz reported it is now believed that hydrogen may have migrated through a pipeline, which was severed by the explosions, from Reactor 3, which was operating at the time of the earthquake, to Reactor 4 which was shut down for refueling. He observed there was not much radioactivity released from Reactor 4 but observers were initially convinced its spent fuel pool was dry. However, an inspection conducted one month after the accident found the pool and the fuel intact and found that the water was not very radioactive. Spent fuel pools for Reactors 1, 2 and 3 were also intact. Dr. Budnitz reported the U.S. provided a fresh water barge to assist in coping with the events at Fukushima Daiichi.

In reviewing what went wrong at Fukushima Daiichi, Dr. Budnitz identified the following:

  • Reactors were located where the tsunami height was too large for their design. The seawall was 18 feet high while the tsunami was more than 40 feet in height.
  • The electrical power systems didn’t survive.
  • Institutional problems in that the Control Room staffs did not have authority to violate procedures without receiving authorization from the plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), and the Japanese government in Tokyo. Dr. Budnitz observed a Control Room supervisor at Fukushima Daiichi took the initiative to violate procedures and saved the plant from even more damage. He commented that in U.S. nuclear plants, control room supervisory staff has the authority to take action in emergency situations.
  • None of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi were designed to withstand a long-term station blackout and this remains a fundamental issue to be addressed following the events of March 11, 2011.

Using a map, Dr. Budnitz reviewed the location of the 104 U.S. commercial nuclear reactors and he observed that in the United States there are a total of 24 General Electric Mark-I BWR’s similar to the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. He reported the average dose of radiation in the U.S. is 620 mrem/year for an individual and reviewed how that is received, with 200-300 mrem/year occurring naturally. He reviewed using a map of the areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant at a radius of 12 miles, 18 miles and 50 miles out from the plant and stated the wind contamination during the events following March 11, 2011, distributed the radioactive products to the northwest of the plant. The Japanese government made the decision to evacuate approximately 40,000 persons who lived within an area located approximately 20 miles to the northwest of the plant site where they would have received 2000 mrem/year or above had they continued to reside in the area. These areas will require clean-up and decontamination. Dr. Budnitz reported direct doses to the population as a result of the events at Fukushima Daiichi were small, with some contamination to the food and in the seawater. However, the events at Fukushima Daiichi represent a huge economic disaster for Japan with the cost of the cleanup expected to reach $10-$20 billion dollars, however the entire cost to clean up following the tsunami is expected to cost $400-$500 billion dollars.

In conclusion, Dr. Budnitz stated the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi are destroyed. The event represents a disaster for the zone around the plant. Among workers a small number received large doses of radiation while others suffered smaller doses. The experience has resulted in the industry reviewing, studying, and being prepared to understand fundamental design changes which may be required. He stated that PG&E will make a presentation immediately following his which may in some respects overlap with the information he presented and he asked the members of the public to hold their questions until after PG&E’s presentation.

XX Information Items Before the Committee (Cont’d.)

Special Assistant to the DCPP Site Vice President Mr. Bill Guldemond made the next informational presentation.

Summary of Preliminary Lessons Learned by DCPP from the Fukushima Daiichi Events and Actions Taken and Planned by DCPP in Response to these Events.

Mr. Guldemond began his presentation with a discussion of what is known about the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. He reported that a magnitude 9 earthquake caused the automatic shutdown of the operating reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, as designed, and the loss of offsite power to all six reactors. A substantial quantity, as much as ten feet, of water “sloshed” out of the spent fuel pool in Reactor 4 during the seismic event. Emergency diesel generators and other safety systems actuated as expected to stabilize the plants. A large tsunami wave struck the plant ∼ 1 hour later which had been anticipated. The tsunami alert system worked and an evacuation ensued. Mr. Guldemond stated that water entered the plants, disabling nearly all plant electrical and safety systems in Reactors 1-5. One emergency diesel generator continued to run in Reactor 6 and was used to supply power to reactor 5 on the following day. With the loss of batteries, essentially all plant monitoring instrumentation was lost compromising operator ability to monitor and manage plant conditions. Mr. Guldemond reported that remaining core cooling systems failed leading to substantial core damage in Reactors 1, 2 and 3, with possibly some migration of fuel outside of primary containment, but this has yet to be confirmed. Explosions in Reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4 are believed to be caused by hydrogen. Spent fuel pools heated up.

Concerning what is believed about the events at Fukushima Daiichi, Mr. Guldemond stated the seismic events are not believed to have caused significant plant damage. The reactors are equipped with containment vents which permit venting to preserve primary containment integrity, remove decay heat, and control combustible gas. Containment venting did not occur on one reactor until well after design pressure was exceeded due to a complicated decision-making process regarding containment venting which affected decisions by those in authority.

Preliminary lessons from the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant include:

  • The susceptibility of stations to multiple unit events from beyond design basis natural phenomena. Single unit events formed the focus of previous thinking and Mr. Guldemond stated the nuclear industry will need to revisit mitigating strategies for multi-unit events.
  • The importance of robust capability to prevent/recover from station blackout conditions. Currently 10CFR50.63 regulations provide for a duration of four hours during which plants must cope without electrical power.
  • The importance of managing spent fuel pool conditions under upset conditions. Mr. Guldemond stated this concern has somewhat subsided as no significant damage has been discovered to the spent fuel pool for Reactor 4.
  • The importance of timely decision-making. This was a particular issue in making the decision to vent containment in Reactor 1, which pressurized to 122 pounds-per-square inch (psi), preventing injection and lifting the reactor dome and causing release of hydrogen.

In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry concerning the adequacy of earlier industry assessment and consensus regarding the risk assessment from a station blackout, Mr. Guldemond stated there is increased industry study of this issue and vulnerabilities exist, even for PWRs, but he could not answer Dr. Lam’s question concerning the adequacy of previous risk assessment.

Mr. Guldemond discussed and reviewed with the Committee DCPP’s response to the events which occurred in Japan and provided some comparisons of DCPP to Fukushima Daiichi for similar vulnerabilities:

  • Seismic/tsunami vulnerability:

Fukushima Daiichi License/Design Basis Fukushima Daiichi Reported Conditions DCPP License/Design Basis
Original design ground Acceleration: 0.36 g Foundation Acceleration: 0.3–0.5 g Ground Acceleration: 0.75 g
Upgrade Design Ground Acceleration: 0.6 g Estimated Free Field Ground Acceleration: 0.4–0.7 g  
Tsunami Wave Height: 6.0 m (∼21 ft.) Tsunami Wave Height: 10-14 m (∼33-46 ft.) Combined Tsunami, Storm Waves and Tides Wave Height: ∼35 ft.

Mr. Guldemond reviewed and compared the respective elevations of DCPP and Fukushima Daiichi above sea level which are 85 feet and 20 feet respectively and the elevations of various features at the DCPP site in relation to sea level at the site:

DCPP Installation Approx. Height Above Sea Level
Auxiliary Saltwater System Snorkels ∼45 ft.
Power Block–Emergency Diesel Generators ∼85 ft.
Electrical Distribution System From ∼85 ft. to ∼100 ft
Surface of Spent Fuel Pools ∼140 ft.
Dry Cask Storage and Fresh Water Reservoirs ∼310 ft.

Dr. Peterson observed it was important to emphasize that some of the distinctions between DCPP and the situation in Japan at Fukushima Daiichi represent substantially important differences.

Mr. Guldemond observed that the U.S. nuclear industry is ahead of Japan regarding consideration of extreme conditions, and procedures to address same are available. The following actions are being taken by DCPP and the industry:

Mr. Guldemond reported that some shortcomings were identified at DCPP and entered into the plant’s Corrective Action Program and he provided as an example a long term cooling water pump which failed a test. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry concerning whether the NRC’s temporary instruction would require follow-through Mr. Guldemond stated that this consists, essentially, of verifying that plants have done as INPO instructed.

Mr. Guldemond described additional organizational capacities at DCPP as including:

  • Long Term Seismic Program
  • Dedicated geosciences department
  • Onsite Fire Department
  • Minimum of five personnel on site 24/7
  • Two fire engines
  • Recurring Operator Training
  • Nominal once per six weeks with simulator training/evaluations and periodic job performance measures including for performance regarding off-normal and upset conditions.
  • Recurring Emergency Preparedness Training
  • Differs from that provided by Japanese plants.
  • Four Emergency Response Organization (ERO) teams.
  • Dedicated on-site and off-site emergency response facilities.
  • Periodic table-top and full-scope drills with offsite agencies (minimum of four annually which is more than in Japan).
  • Timely decision-making
  • Decision-making authority for emergency actions is vested with DCPP.
  • 10 CFR 50.54(x) authorizes licensees, PG&E in the case of DCPP, to take reasonable action in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediatel apparent. Mr. Guldemond stated that at DCPP a senior reactor operator, of which there is always one on duty, would make decisions in concert with personnel at the Emergency Operations Facility. Dr. Peterson stated this keeps the decision making function with the personnel with the most knowledge of plant conditions and is a most important distinction when operating outside of procedures.
  • Emergency operating, severe accident management, and extreme damage mitigating strategies are in place with personnel training and have been NRC inspected. Mr. Guldemond commented this pre-positioning of instructions shortens the decision making time.
  • Extensive resources immediately available to facilitate decision-making in the ERO.
  • Looking Forward–a Beyond Design Basis Response Team has been chartered and is led by Mr. Guldemond to:
  • Reduce the potential for DCPP, including the ISFSI and spent fuel storage pools, to experience a fuel damaging event as a result of beyond design basis (BDB) events through modifications, procedures, and training.
  • Strengthen the capability of PG&E to respond in the unlikely event that a fuel damaging event occurs at DCPP with a radioactive release.
  • Critically examine emergency preparedness for postulated BDB events including those situations where significant infrastructure damage to areas around the plant may have occurred.
  • Coordinate DCPP response to industry and NRC initiatives.
  • Authorized acquisition and onsite storage of a backup cooling water system for the Auxiliary Saltwater System consisting of four diesel pumps and 8,000 feet of hose.
  • Authorized a project to replace reactor coolant pump seals with low leakage design.
  • Enhancing the capability to conduct diesel generator restart and SFP monitoring following a beyond design basis blackout.

Mr. Guldemond stated the Beyond Design Basis Response Team charter will be revisited to include recently published lessons learned from the Japanese experience. In response to Consultant Linnen’s inquiry, Mr. Guldemond stated the low leakage reactor coolant pump seals have been used by the Farley, McGuire and Sharon Harris nuclear plants. Dr. Peterson commented this action should provide more time in an emergency situation. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry, Mr. Guldemond stated the pump seals provide essentially a zero-leak seal.

Mr. Guldemond discussed the initial response of the nuclear industry to the events at Fukushima Daiichi and reported that Chief Nuclear Officers (CNOs) chartered a working group to:

  • Identify and communicate to members domestic industry design and operational strategies used to mitigate events similar to those impacting Japanese nuclear power stations such as experienced by plants in the southeastern portion of the U.S. which resulted in total loss of offsite power during tornadoes in April.
  • Recommend additional industry actions and their priority to address lessons learned from the events.
  • Recommend to members domestic industry support for Japanese nuclear power industry.

Mr. Guldemond reported that Diablo Canyon has a representative who is actively participating with this working group. Dr. Budnitz commented a report of more than 900 pages has just been issued on the industry’s response to Fukushima. Dr. Peterson observed that it would be preferable to have an international approach to nuclear safety programs and Mr. Guldemond replied that the NRC has recently declassified access to NEI 06-12 and made that report available.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), in conjunction with senior utility executives, have continued the industry response by creating a joint leadership model to integrate and coordinate the U.S. nuclear industry’s response to events at Fukushima Daiichi, termed the “Way Forward,” which is publicly available. Mr. Guldemond stated this will ensure that lessons learned are identified and well understood, and that response actions are effectively coordinated and implemented throughout the industry. Continuing response by the nuclear industry also includes:

  • Strategic Goals:
  • Nuclear workforce focused on safety and operational excellence.
  • Timelines for emergency response capability to ensure continued core cooling, containment integrity and spent fuel storage pool cooling following SBO should be synchronized to preclude fuel damage following station blackout.
  • U.S. nuclear industry should be capable of responding to any significant event in the U.S. with the response being scalable for international event. DCPP provided boric acid to Japan during the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi
  • SAMGs, security response strategies (B.5.b), and external event response plans should be effectively integrated to ensure nuclear energy facilities are capable of a symptom-based response to events that could impact multiple reactors at a single site.
  • Margins for protection from external events, along with a need to stay current regarding external events, should be sufficient based on the latest hazards analyses and historical data.
  • Spent fuel pool cooling and makeup functions should be fully protective during periods of high heat load in the spent fuel pool and during extended station blackout conditions.
  • Primary containment protective strategies should be effectively managed and post- accident conditions mitigated, including elevated and enhanced pressure and hydrogen concentrations.

Mr. Guldemond reported the NRC’s response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi include forming an internal task force focusing on:

  • Protection from design basis natural phenomena.
  • Consideration of beyond design basis natural phenomena.
  • Mitigation for long-term Station Black Out, including multiple unit events.
  • Emergency Preparedness and Adequacy of Current Regulations.
  • NRC Programs.

Mr. Guldemond stated the NRC is expected to respond with new regulations. Dr. Peterson commented that when forced to deal with beyond design basis issues it is due to something that was not anticipated and it is important to have flexibility and authority vested in those with the most current knowledge. He stated, and Mr. Guldemond agreed, that while the Japanese were inventive regarding strategies, beyond design basis tools can be improved. The NRC has issued two generic communications:

  • Information Notice 2011-05 providing preliminary information on the events at Fukushima Daiichi.
  • Bulletin 2011-01, “Mitigating Strategies", requesting information on mitigating strategies to determine if additional assessment of program implementation is needed, if the current inspection program should be enhanced or, if further regulatory action is warranted. Responses from the industry are required in 30 and 60 days following issuance.

The NRC has also conducted two inspections using Temporary Instructions:

  • TI 2515-183
  • Assess capability to mitigate beyond design basis events.
  • Assess station blackout mitigation capability.
  • Assess capability to mitigate internal and external flooding.
  • Assess thoroughness walkdowns and inspections of equipment to mitigate fire/flood events to identify potential for function to be lost during seismic events.
  • TI 2515-184
  • Determine that severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs) are available and maintained.
  • Determine the nature and extent of licensee implementation of SAMG training and exercises.

Mr. Guldemond then reviewed the recently published five lessons learned from the Japanese experience at Fukushima Daiichi which include:

  • Lesson 1: Sufficiency of preventive measures against a severe accident.
  • Strengthen measures against earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Ensure availability of power supplies.
  • Ensure robust cooling functions for reactors and containments.
  • Ensure robust cooling functions of spent fuel pools.
  • Thorough severe accident management measures.
  • Capability to handle multiple unit events.
  • Design vulnerabilities complicating response.
  • Ensuring water tightness of essential equipment.
  • Lesson 2: Enhancement of response measures against a severe accident.
  • Control of hydrogen.
  • Adequacy of containment venting–functionality and control of release of radioactive materials.
  • Control room habitability.
  • Adequacy of radiation exposure management.
  • Adequacy of training for responders.
  • Thorough severe accident management measures.
  • Adequacy/availability of instrumentation post accident.
  • Ability to mobilize rescue teams and emergency supplies.
  • Lesson 3: Enhancement of emergency response.
  • Response to coincident large scale natural disaster and prolonged evacuation of local population.
  • Adequacy of environmental monitoring.
  • Adequacy of coordination.
  • Communication capability following a natural disaster.
  • Infrastructure for accepting outside assistance.
  • Ability to project radiological consequences following a natural disaster and accident.
  • Evacuation/sheltering strategy for a prolonged exposure period.
  • Lesson 4: Reinforcement of safety infrastructure.
  • Clear roles and responsibilities/coordination of governmental agencies.
  • Availability of expertise on severe accident management.
  • Ensuring independent and diversity of safety systems.
  • Use of PSA to identify and address vulnerabilities.
  • Lesson 5: Thoroughly instill a safety culture.
  • Importance of defense in depth.
  • Maintaining a learning environment.
  • Constant search for improvement.

In concluding this presentation, Mr. Guldemond observed that design features, procedures, and training lessen the vulnerability of DCPP to some aspects of the events similar to those at Fukushima Daiichi but there are still multiple lessons to be learned which will require analysis. Actions have been taken or initiated in response to the initial lessons learned but there are more actions to take and many lessons yet to be learned, and DCPP is prepared to act on those lessons regardless of the source.

Public comment followed. Dr. Peterson reminded those present that the Committee would be receiving further presentations on the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant on the following day. Dr. Budnitz informed the members of the public that the Committee and, if necessary. PG&E would address questions after receiving them from all members of the public who cared to address the Committee.

Ms. Elizabeth Apfelberg was recognized and she identified herself as a resident of San Luis Obispo and member of MFP. Ms. Apfelberg stated the tsunami size was the cause of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, the tsunami reached the plant one hour after the earthquake and she stated this was not addressed by Mr. Guldemond during his presentation. She observed unlike evacuees from areas impacted due to radiation, the evacuees from areas damaged by the tsunami can return.

Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized. In response to Ms. Lewis question Mr. Guldemond stated his position at DCPP was Special Assistant to the Site Vice President and he serves as the team leader in PG&E’s efforts to understand and assess the lessons learned from the events in Japan. Ms. Lewis stated she was bothered by her impression that Mr. Guldemond’s presentation was too glib sounding, akin to a to-do list. She inquired whether the information presented was information which was to be acquired and gave as an example Mr. Guldemond’s reference to a focus on excellence. She expressed her belief that there was very little detail given.

Mr. Mark Phillips, a resident of Atascadero was recognized. Mr. Phillips stated he would prefer that the Committee Members address his questions as he asked them. He stated that it is apparent all blame for the events at Fukushima Daiichi is being placed on the tsunami. He commented that he read an article which stated that radiation levels at that plant were found to have increased prior to the arrival of the tsunami. He observed Mr. Guldemond spoke about the roads not being adequate for DCPP to received supplies of diesel fuel and he questioned their adequacy for evacuation purposes in the event of an accident at DCPP. He stated that the local population does not trust PG&E because of this type of information.

Mr. Klaus Schumann was recognized. Mr. Schumann stated he shared the disappointment that things that should have been done were not. He inquired about the design basis for the Fukushima Daiichi plant and about any affect on the events there due to aging components. Mr. Schumann observed that ultimately the events at Fukushima Daiichi occurred because of a beyond design basis earthquake and tsunami and the contributions of an operator acting outside the regulations were a primary contributor to making the impact on the plant less severe than it might have otherwise been and he questioned whether the public can rely on operators to make similar decisions in the future. Mr. Guldemond, responding to Mr. Schumann’s question, reported the surface of the SFPs at DCPP are at an elevation of approximately 140' above sea level and Dr. Budnitz commented the bottom of the DCPP SFPs are about 5' below the 85' elevation above sea level, with the top of the fuel assemblies 20' below the surface of the water. Mr. Schumann stated it was his understanding that PG&E has made the decision to accelerate transfer of spent fuel out of the SFPs. Mr. Guldemond replied that he had no information concerning that issue. Mr. Schumann stated it was his understanding there were now 1,100 fuel assemblies in each SFP and at PG&E, three months prior to the events at Fukushima Daiichi, there was fear that a full DCPP core could not be offloaded into a SFP and he queried whether DCPP maintained its capacity for a full core offload into a SFP.

Ms. June Cochran of Shell Beach was recognized. Ms. Cochran stated her belief that the Task Force being formed by DCPP in response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi should have subcategories and should include participation by environmentalists and members of the local community. She stated it was important that the Task Force’s work have complete transparency and if PG&E again tried to keep the local community out of the process she wondered how PG&E could regain its trust. She stated in her review of DCISC reports she noted that a lack of thoroughness and oversight by senior DCPP leadership had been referenced and that this oversight was now needed from DCPP and from the nuclear industry.

Dr. Budnitz in replying to the comments from members of the public stated that the seismic design basis at Fukushima Daiichi was reevaluated to 0.6 g. The earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011, approximately 70 miles from the plant, was close to the design basis and did not exceed it by much. He stated he did not understand the reference to increased levels of radiation being detected prior to the tsunami and stated his belief that such reports were false. He stated it was his best understanding that absent the tsunami Fukushima Daiichi would not have suffered core damage and no release would have occurred. He commented that the Fukushima Daiini plant came through the earthquake and tsunami without significant damage. He stated that based on his review, it was not the earthquake that caused the roadways and the power grid to be damaged rather it was the tsunami which caused those event. Dr. Budnitz stated his understanding that the age of the components at Fukushima Daiichi was not a contributor to the damage but he observed there is still much to be learned. Dr. Budnitz stated it was the industry’s understanding and conclusion that the control room operators at Fukushima Daiichi performed their jobs heroically and he stated it was his hope and belief the U.S. control room staff would act similarly and that past experience has shown that trained, educated and motivated individuals may be relied on in emergency situations. In response to Dr. Budnitz request, Mr. Guldemond confirmed that DCPP has standard procedures in place to provide for transporting personnel and equipment by helicopter if necessary and has an agreement with the California National Guard concerning overland transport. Consultant Linnen commented concerning evacuation of the local population, PG&E as a utility provider does not manage or control the roads outside the plant. PG&E Senior Director of Technical Services Sharp stated information provided by PG&E to County officials concerning evacuation routes included a recommendation that two bridges be improved but generally the local roads are deemed to be adequate for purposes of emergency evacuation.

Dr. Budnitz stated, with regard to the hydrogen explosion which tore off the roof of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4, the initial conclusion was that the SFP level had dropped and the fuel was uncovered, however, the inspection which took place six weeks later found that the water levels were only somewhat low with modest amounts of radioactivity detected and that therefore the hydrogen had not come from the SFP. Dr. Budnitz reported that every U.S. reactor is required to maintain its ability to fully offload the core from the reactor vessel to a SFP. Mr. Sharp commented that the SFPs at DCPP are loaded in a checkerboard fashion. Dr. Budnitz commented that a decision on the part of PG&E to accelerate transfer of spent fuel from the SFP to dry cask storage would be reviewed by the DCISC.

Dr. Budnitz observed that from Mr. Guldemond’s presentation it was clear that there were many issues which remain to be addressed. There appear to be approximately two dozen categories and each will be subject to the DCISC’s continuing review during this year and into the future. Each topic merits more attention and there are many sources for the lessons to be learned but Dr. Budnitz stated the nexus for the DCISC’s review must be the application of these issues to DCPP and the Committee will adjust its resources to that end. He invited members of the public who wish to provide input to the DCISC concerning these or other matters to send a letter or an email to the Committee. Concerning the request that the DCPP Task Force include public participation, Dr. Budnitz stated that this was a matter for PG&E and Mr. Guldemond confirmed that the request had been heard and will be reviewed. Dr. Lam commented that it was his belief that there has been no attempt at deception by omission concerning the events at Fukushima Daiichi, but for members of the public their knowledge and perception of the events at Fukushima Daiichi may be affected by the complexity of the subject matter and the overwhelming amount of information. Dr. Budnitz reported that he and Dr. Peterson have been serving as members of a DOE Advisory Group concerning the events at Fukushima Daiichi and have gathered information from many other sources other than DCPP and this Advisory Group is in the process of trying to assimilate all this information. Dr. Peterson stated that he is confident that the job to date is insufficient and that strategies will be developed to review the lessons learned and to be learned. He commented these types of catastrophic events require preparation to analyze and respond and those responses are never perfect. He observed that it is important to emphasize there are locations in Oregon through Alaska with thrust faulting features that rival or exceed those causing the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, however, he stated it was his belief in some respects the northern west coast from Northern California to Alaska is not as prepared as Japan was for natural disasters. He stated while DCPP is a substantively different design than Fukushima Daiichi, the DCISC will evaluate in depth the lessons learned and that in many respects U.S. nuclear facilities are better prepared than were Japanese nuclear facilities but it will be necessary to systematically go through and make improvements to U.S. nuclear plants and how to organize this effort remains to be finalized. Dr. Peterson stated the Committee takes seriously its responsibilities in this respect and will in the future be providing updates to the public.

XXI Adjourn Evening Meeting

The Chair commented the Committee has scheduled a public tour of DCPP for the following morning which has been fully subscribed by prior reservation, and then adjourned the evening meeting of the Committee at 8:29 P.M.

Public Tour of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

The three members of the DCISC accompanied by 48 members of the public, a PG&E tour guide and the Committee’s consultants, conducted a tour of certain accessible areas of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCPP). The members of the public responded to the DCISC advertisement concerning the public tour placed in a local area newspaper and on the DCISC’s website. The group met at the PG&E Energy Education Center for an introduction to the Committee Members and consultants and a short presentation on the background and role of the Committee. PG&E representatives provided a brief overview of DCPP including its history, operation, the nuclear fuel cycle, spent fuel storage and plant security. A presentation was made by PG&E on the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) and an opportunity was provided to ask questions. PG&E discussed how the plant’s cooling systems work, with the ocean water two physical barriers away from the reactors. The group was issued visitor badges and then departed for DCPP.

The bus first drove by the site of the ISFSI for a description of its purpose and features and then stopped at the plant overlook site and received a briefing from PG&E representatives on the various external features and buildings. The group then arrived at the Nuclear Power Generation Training Building. The members of the public were then divided into two groups, each accompanied by at least one DCISC member and consultant, and each group visited in turn the Control Room Simulator Facility and the lobby of the Security Building for a demonstration of screening of personnel entering the protected areas of the plant and viewed the ocean water Intake and Outfall Facilities where DCPP pulls in and expels seawater used for cooling.

Questions and Comments From the Public

During the ride back to the Energy Education Center the group received information on radiation protection and members of the public took the opportunity to ask questions of Committee Members and consultants.

Conclude Public Tour

XXII Reconvene for Afternoon Meeting

The June 22, 2011, morning public meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee was called to order by its Chair, Dr. Robert J. Budnitz, at 1:30 P.M. Dr. Budnitz welcomed members of the public present and he introduced the other members and the Committee’s consultants and legal counsel. He commented the Committee conducted a tour earlier in the day and welcomed those persons watching on the internet and invited their attendance at future public tours. He reviewed the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting and the Committee’s policies and procedures for addressing remarks to the Committee.

XXIII Committee Member Comments

There were no comments from Committee Members at this time.

XXIV Public Comments and Communications

The Chair invited any comments from members of the public.

Mr. Greg Davis of Livermore was recognized. Mr. Davis remarked the presentations made and the tour conducted during the morning had been excellent and the information received useful. Dr. Budnitz thanked Mr. Davis for his comments and reminded the members of the public that the Committee generally conducts a tour of DCPP in conjunction with each of its public meetings.

Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized. Ms. Lewis stated she is a member of the MFP group and that she was inquiring this afternoon on her own behalf and that of another individual. She referred to the presentation made by Dr. Budnitz the previous evening on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and their effect on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. She stated that as the SFP for Reactor No. 4 was found to be filled with water, it was a mystery why an explosion which blew off the roof of Reactor No. 4, caused by hydrogen from Reactor No. 3, had occurred. She wondered how a pipe break associated with Reactor No. 3 could have resulted in a hydrogen buildup in Reactor No. 4. Dr. Budnitz replied that it is believed the pipe was severed by the explosion and he stated that although it is hard to conceive, no other explanation has yet been offered. Dr. Peterson commented it is known that Reactor No. 3 vessel fuel damage resulted in hydrogen being released but it is not understood why the vessel venting system did not work properly. It is possible that the loss of power at Reactor No. 3 may have impacted the vent valves or their controls, He observed the explosion at Reactor No. 3 took place approximately 19 hours before the explosion at Reactor No. 4. Dr. Peterson commented concerning the SFP that the fuel elements represented another potential source for the hydrogen but were found intact with low levels of radiation in the SFP water. More information may become available when Reactor No. 4’s fuel rods are able to be removed and to be examined for oxidation. Dr. Budnitz commented that there will also be an examination of the piping system and there is a great deal of forensic examination yet to be performed at Fukushima Daiichi.

In response to Ms. Lewis inquiry concerning why the water did not boil off in the Reactor No. 4 SFP, Dr. Peterson replied the Reactor No. 4 SFP had the largest heat load, with fresh fuel having been placed within the SFP. However, he stated that after fuel has been in a SFP for eight to twenty-four months, the heat drops off enormously. Research in the U.S. concerning time-to-boil for a SFP has shown it could take up to two to three weeks for the water to boil. Dr. Peterson commented that while the earthquake was a 9.0 magnitude event, the peak ground acceleration was not large but the ground shaking was prolonged and this may have caused a considerable amount of water to be displaced from the SFP. He further observed that the Reactor 4 SFP was found to be watertight, with no leaks of significance located and that none of the other SFPs at Fukushima Daiichi had enough heat to boil. In response to Ms. Lewis remark that the zirconium cladding on the fuel was gone, Drs. Budnitz and Peterson replied that this is not believed to be the case as none of the fuel has yet been found to be damaged. In response to Ms. Lewis inquiry as to whether the water was circulating, Dr. Budnitz replied that the water was not circulated but there is strong evidence that no fuel was damaged.

Ms. Lewis concluded her remarks with the observation that she was not satisfied and that she hoped the Committee was also not satisfied with what is known to date about these events. Dr. Budnitz commented that one of the important lessons learned so far was the absence of the ability to obtain a direct measurement of the SFP water level.

Ms. June Cochran of Shell Beach was recognized. Ms. Cochran stated when she reads the NRC’s inspection reports for DCPP it is evident that PG&E is required to admit when problems are found and to enter those problems into the CAP. She remarked that recently 11 violations were identified which included an adverse trend in problem identification and resolution which does not appear to be going away. She cited PG&E’s description of issues related to problem identification and resolution which indicate a lack of involvement by senior leadership at DCPP. She stated that the red status for the DCPP fire protection system is not reassuring to the public and that she has not received a response to her inquiry of PG&E concerning when, if ever, the fire protection system is expected to return to acceptable status. She stated her belief that as DCPP is an older plant utilizing older technology and equipment, the plant should be decommissioned. In response to PG&E’s question of how PG&E might regain the trust of the public, she stated that while PG&E has expressed its commitment to sustainable energy, there is no evidence that PG&E is taking any action on site at DCPP toward this goal.

Mr. Tom Shuman, a resident of San Luis Obispo, was recognized. Mr. Shuman commented that San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria are both within a 50 mile radius of DCPP and that this was the distance the NRC found to be within the danger zone following the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and he wondered whether an accident at DCPP could result in 150,000 refugees being evacuated to Santa Barbara and Salinas in the event of a similar accident at DCPP?

Mr. Doug Whitney, who identified himself as an energy consultant, was recognized and he thanked the Committee for the tour conducted during the morning. Mr. Whitney observed that while the focus and background of the DCISC is mainly mechanical, nuclear and environmental, it may also be important to review issues related to software engineering and electronic hardware. For instance, he stated there is no longer a need to use electrolytic capacitors and commented that review of these types of issues may be useful. Dr. Budnitz responded that the Committee has given significant attention to DCPP control systems, particularly in context of conversion of those systems from analog to digital but such efforts necessarily require that a significant level of assurance be obtained concerning reliability and the Committee will continue its review of these issues. Consultant Wardell remarked that a recent DCISC fact finding report concerning Instrument & Control obsolescence has been issued which addresses replacing instruments and controls and Mr. Wardell commented DCPP’s program in this regard is, in his opinion, industry leading. Mr. Wardell offered to provide a copy of the DCISC’s report to Mr. Whitney. Dr. Peterson observed that considerable efforts were made to upgrade the Control Room Simulator facility as computing power has greatly increased. Dr. Peterson agreed that the Committee Members’ backgrounds were primarily mechanical and nuclear related and that Mr. Whitney had raised a valid point with his comments.

Mr. Sharp reported DCPP has engaged in a significant amount of digital conversion work and is currently serving as a pilot plant for digital conversion. However, he commented that there is a much higher threshold of testing required by the NRC for digital conversion involving nuclear facilities. In response to Mr. Whitney’s inquiry, Dr. Budnitz replied that testing requirements are applicable to different generations of digital applications and DCPP’s experience will inform others in the industry. Mr. Sharp remarked that DCPP was among the first to digitalize feedwater control with the installation of the Eagle 21 system, which has subsequently been replaced with a newer system but it requires an enormous amount of effort to verify that these replacement systems will function correctly and there are many challenges in such conversions.

XXV Information Items Before the Committee (Cont’d.)

Dr. Budnitz requested DCPP Senior Director of Technical Services Loren Sharp to continue with the next informational presentations requested by the Committee for this public meeting. Mr. Sharp requested DCPP Special Assistant to the Site Vice President Bill Guldemond to continue with the presentations to the Committee.

DCPP Facility and Design Overview Compared to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Mr. Guldemond began his presentation with an overview of DCPP’s design. DCPP’s two reactors are four-loop Westinghouse manufactured pressurized water reactors (PWR) which operate at 2,235 pounds pressure, with no in-core boiling and heat transferred through the SGs which use no radioactive steam. The reactors operate in large, dry containments (2.6 million cubic feet) equipped with containment spray for borated water and with internal hydrogen recombiners which require electric power to operate. Decay heat removal is typically accomplished through the SGs to the condensers or the atmosphere. Emergency feedwater is supplied by two kinds of auxiliary feedwater pumps, motor and turbine driven and he stated the turbine driven auxiliary feedwater pumps can be operated without electric power. AC power is not required for decay heat removal through the SGs down to 150 pounds. DCPP can remove decay heat by primary feed and bleed to containment only if AC power is available to support the RCS makeup. In response to Mr. Wardell’s inquiry concerning how long the emergency steam driven feedwater pump would continue to operate as decay heat declined, Mr. Guldemond replied it would be a matter of days. Dr. Budnitz observed the steam would be sufficiently hot for weeks to maintain hot standby. In response to Dr. Peterson’s inquiry, Mr. Guldemond confirmed DCPP could supply water to the SGs from its Raw Water Reservoirs, by fire trucks or otherwise if required. Dr. Budnitz discussed the failure mechanisms experienced at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and commented that the Fukushima Daiichi plant experienced station blackout and pump failure which was essentially a failure of the pump control systems due to battery depletion and Mr. Guldemond replied that at DCPP the pumps can be operated manually by operators and are not entirely dependent on DC battery power. Dr. Peterson observed the ability of PWRs to reject heat to the environment and thereby to not heat up containment was a significant difference from the boiling water reactors (BWRs) at Fukushima Daiichi. In response to Consultant Linnen’s inquiry, Mr. Guldemond replied the auxiliary feedwater pumps can take suction from the 200,000 gallon Condensate Storage Tank but there were also other sources available.

Mr. Guldemond reported AC power is required for RCS makeup from the charging system, charging injection, safety injection and for low pressure injection but there is one passive accumulator per loop. There are procedures provided for emergency makeup capability from multiple sources for spent fuel in the Fuel Handling Building and dry storage of the spent fuel inventory is also available at the ISFSI. There are three emergency diesel generators (EDGs) per unit which have cross-tie capability to the other unit. Mr. Guldemond commented the DCPP design and licensing basis does not assume total loss of AC power. The EDG’s switchgear and batteries are at grade level, 85' or more above sea level and access from above is provided if necessary. In the event of a seismic or other event DCPP also has capabilities including: battery backup to its various instruments and controls; two 2.5 million gallon fresh water reservoirs; and automatic trips capabilities for both units. In response to Consultant Wardell’s inquiry concerning whether the EDGs may be started manually in the event compressed air is unavailable, Mr. Guldemond replied in the affirmative, provided there is sufficient pressure and he stated DCPP is currently in the process of designing and procuring a diesel driven air compressor for use with the EDGs. Dr. Budnitz observed that were the plant in danger of losing air pressure, the EDGs could at that point simply be started. In response to Dr. Peterson’s question, Mr. Guldemond stated the plant has six to eight hours of batter capacity and he observed there is further work to do on this issue. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry about depletion of battery power due to its being required to power building systems such as lighting, Mr. Guldemond stated that it was his belief the lighting system had its own battery backup system but he would need to review and confirm that this is the case. Mr. Guldemond stated there was a system which could strip loads from the batteries in order to preserve power. Dr. Lam stated the auxiliary feedwater dependency on DC power and batteries was reviewed by the NRC 25 years ago under Dr. Lam’s supervision and at that time it was found there was a considerable amount of nuances between plants which created the potential to disable the entire system and he commented this is an issue which requires current, renewed focus. Mr. Guldemond stated DCPP has reviewed air system applications and he confirmed DCPP can feed the SGs, absent air and DCPP through local manual manipulation, and that the DCPP auxiliary feedwater systems will work without air and DC power. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry concerning whether the required areas could be accessed, Mr. Guldemond stated that many of the areas are readily accessible but in the event of core damage there could be some accessibility issues.

Mr. Guldemond reviewed a schematic cutaway diagram of a PWR and noted the large amount of volume within containment.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant includes six General Electric manufactured BWRs with Mark I containments for reactors one through four utilizing a torus for pressure suppression and decay heat removal. Mr. Guldemond observed that BWRs typically have an inert, nitrogen atmosphere within containment. The BWRs have a hard pipe vent system to vent containment for pressure control or decay heat removal from the torus to the atmosphere. BWRs accomplish decay heat removal by either steaming reactor coolant to the main condenser, with one Fukushima Daiichi unit having been equipped with an isolation condenser; or to the torus through safety relief valves; or, and as a last resort, by venting containment to the atmosphere. All means of decay heat removal for a BWR require AC power with the exception of containment venting to the atmosphere.

RCS makeup at Fukushima Daiichi is provided by high pressure turbine-driven injection; reactor core isolation cooling (turbine, if equipped); core spray (motor); and control rod drive cooling (motor). Spent fuel is stored in a SFP at a high elevation in the reactor buildings, adjacent to the reactors, which complicates the task of adding water if necessary. Emergency power at Fukushima Daiichi is provided by two EDGs per unit, all of which lost functionality due to the tsunami. Battery backup is provided to various instruments and controls with the EDGs, switchgear, and the batteries all being located below grade level, less than 20' above sea level, and all proved to be susceptible to inundation by the tsunami. The reactors were equipped with automatic trips on a seismic event.

Mr. Guldemond reviewed and described a schematic cutaway diagram of a BWR similar to the design of those at Fukushima Daiichi. In response to Mr. Wardell’s inquiry, Mr. Guldemond confirmed the reactor building did function as a secondary containment (or a confinement) structure but was nowhere as strong or effective as primary containment. In response to Dr. Lam’s question, Mr. Guldemond stated most BWRs use high pressure coolant injection and AC power is required for the standby liquid control system. Dr. Lam commented for many years General Electric maintained that BWRs were superior to PWRs due to multiple means of injecting water, to which Mr. Guldemond replied that this was true but BWRs require AC power to do so.

Mr. Guldemond again reviewed information on the earthquake and tsunami experienced by the Fukushima Daiichi plant, compared with the license/design basis for DCPP by displaying a slide used during his presentation the previous evening.

In concluding his presentation, Mr. Guldemond noted the following with respect to the events of March 11, 2011 and following at the Fukushima Daiichi plant:

  • DCPP can conduct protracted decay heat removal without AC power. In response to Consultant Wardell’s observation Mr. Guldemond stated it was correct that neither AC nor DC power was required and DCPP does not require access to its ultimate heat sink for some period of time. Dr. Lam observed operation without AC or DC power would require manual intervention and Mr. Guldemond confirmed that information which would be required by operators concerning SG flow rate, level, and pressure is available to them at the location where manual intervention would occur.
  • DCPP has a more robust emergency power system than is the case at Fukushima Daiichi.
  • DCPP emergency power and electrical distribution systems are less susceptible to inundation by a tsunami as they are located at higher elevations relative to sea level.
  • DCPP containments are larger and less susceptible to high pressures. Decay heat is dissipated outside containment and DCPP does not use a method involving releasing reactor coolant to containment as a means of heat removal.
  • DCPP containments are equipped with hydrogen recombiner capability, utilizing a catalytic converter, however its operation does require AC electrical power. Mr. Guldemond commented BWRs can release steam to the atmosphere or containment (the torus) without explosion, provided the atmosphere remains inert. Dr. Budnitz remarked, and Mr. Guldemond agreed, there is a question about the capacity of the catalytic converters and this should be placed on the Open Items List, or provided by Mr. Guldemond, to examine what capacity per minute may be achieved by the hydrogen recombiners. Mr. Guldemond confirmed that management of combustible gases is currently a DCPP focus area.
  • DCPP consists of two rather than six nuclear units.
  • PG&E is evaluating enhancements required for extending availability of DC power and SFP cooling at DCPP.

Dr. Peterson observed and Mr. Guldemond agreed that the hydrogen explosions greatly degraded Fukushima Daiichi’s ability to respond to events and Mr. Guldemond stated that loss of secondary containment and confinement also contributed to this degradation,Dr. Budnitz commented there was also contribution due to adverse interaction including hydrogen migration between multiple units, principally Fukushima’s Reactors Nos. 1 and 2 and Dr. Budnitz stated there was a further need to review issues of adverse interaction between units at DCPP. Mr. Guldemond stated DCPP will continue to evaluate these issues including procuring backup cooling water systems and he stated that while the NRC has strong licensing requirements he agreed with Dr. Budnitz that there are learning opportunities presented. In response to Dr. Lam’s question, Mr. Guldemond stated primary feed and bleed is accomplished using the high pressure charging injector pumps or the RCS head vent with DC power with the bleed going to the sumps.

Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized from the audience to address comments to the Committee. Ms. Lewis inquired whether the manual procedures discussed with Dr. Lam were practiced by operators at the plant, to which Mr. Guldemond replied in the affirmative that those procedures were part of operator training and were reviewed in detail and revisited frequently. Ms. Lewis observed, and Drs. Peterson and Budnitz confirmed, that although the BWR containment was a nitrogen atmosphere the explosions at Fukushima Daiichi occurred within its secondary containments. She stated that the tsunami may have reached 100 feet in height. Dr. Budnitz replied, however, that was not the height of the tsunami when it reached the Fukushima Daiichi plant site but he stated the tsunami may have reached that height at other areas along the Japanese coastline and he stated he did not believe a tsunami of 100 feet was included in the Safety Analysis Report for DCPP. Dr. Peterson stated he would provide references regarding the projected tsunami height for DCPP and he stated that tsunamis were more likely to be produced by seismic action along thrust faults than along strike-slip faults such as exist in the vicinity of DCPP. Ms. Lewis stated it was her understanding that there were some thrust faults found in the vicinity of DCPP to which Dr. Budnitz replied that was not consistent with his understanding and he offered to review any information or evidence Ms. Lewis might be able to provide concerning thrust faults in the vicinity of DCPP. DCPP Senior Director of Technical Services Sharp stated it was his belief that the only subduction, or thrust fault, zone in the vicinity of DCPP was located off the Oregon coastline. Dr. Peterson commented that underwater landslide activity can also produce a tsunami and it is the auxiliary saltwater systems at nuclear facilities which are most vulnerable to the effects of a tsunami and he stated DCPP is capable of removing heat without that system, even in the event the EDGs were to be disabled through the use of portable equipment and he stated that at DCPP the level of vulnerability was less and the ability to cope greater than had been the case at Fukushima Daiichi. Dr. Peterson stated his opinion that, given the consequences of a tsunami, it was important to make improvements to the tsunami warning system in California. In response to Ms. Lewis question whether the ability to cross-tie systems make them more or less vulnerable, Mr. Budnitz replied that the ability to cross-tie systems generally enhances the systems by increasing its capabilities.

Mr. Sharp requested Mr. Guldemond to continue with the final presentation to the DCISC for this public meeting.

DCPP Systems of Normal Operating Procedures, Emergency Operating Procedures, Severe Accident Management Guidelines and Extensive Damage Mitigation Guidelines for Plant Control and Accident Mitigation and PG&E’s Organizational Structure for Responding to Plant Events.

Mr. Guldemond reviewed the two areas of regulatory framework which govern the application of procedures and guidelines in the nuclear industry. He stated 10CFR50 Appendix B Criterion 5, which governs most procedures at DCPP, requires that activities affecting quality be prescribed by and accomplished in accordance with appropriate document instructions, procedures or drawings. Actions in extreme conditions are governed by 10CFR50.54(x), (y) which specify that reasonable action that departs from a license condition or a TS may be taken in an emergency when immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and TS that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent, and that such actions shall be approved, as a minimum by a licensed senior operator.

Mr. Guldemond stated procedures generally fall into two categories, those to manage and support the plant and external actions to protect public health and safety. He then identified, described and reviewed the procedures for managing and supporting the plant as follows:

  • Normal operating procedures–regularly used by operators to direct actions for plant maneuvering, system operation and component operation under normal conditions. These procedures may be frequently referenced by alarm response procedures, abnormal operating procedures, Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs), Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs) or Extreme Damage Mitigation Guidelines (EDMGs). Examples include:
  • OP L-1–Plant Heat-up from Hot Shutdown to Hot Standby.
  • OP I-1:I–Containment Spray System–Make Available.
  • OP B-1C:I–4% Boric Acid System–Alignment Checklist and Flowpath Change Instructions.
  • Annunciator (i.e., alarm) response procedures–direct operator actions to be taken in response to plant annunciators indicating potentially off-normal conditions or equipment response. These are regularly exercised in the plant and in the Control Room Simulator during training and reference normal operating procedures, abnormal operating procedures or EOPs. Examples include:
  • AR PK12-04OP L-1–Combined Polisher Effluent Dissolved Oxygen.
  • AR PK01-18- Containment Spray Actuation.

In response to a question from Dr. Peterson, Mr. Guldemond replied that should an annunciator register a high or low level alarm in a SFP, personnel would be dispatched from the Control Room to visually inspect the SFP and this would be included within the abnormal operating procedures as would other procedures to drain or re-fill the SFP.

  • Abnormal Operating Procedures–direct operator actions to be taken in response to off normal conditions or equipment response. These are regularly exercised both in Control Room Simulator training and during examinations and reference normal operating procedures, abnormal operating procedures or EOPs. Examples include:
  • OP AP-30 0 Main Generator Malfunction.
  • OP AP-26 Loss of Non Vital Offsite Power–a separate procedures deals with the loss of vital power.
  • Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs)–direct operator actions to be taken in response to an actual or potential plant emergency condition. These are entered upon receipt or indication of the need for a reactor trip or safety injection, or upon a loss of all vital AC power. These are extensively exercised in both Control Room Simulator training and during operator examinations. These procedures are prepared using Westinghouse Owners Group guidelines, based on lessons learned by the nuclear industry following the accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station and are symptom based and do not require operators to diagnose problems. Mr. Guldemond stated EOPs require extensive verification and validation requirements and changes are not made lightly. In response to Mr. Wardell’s question, Mr. Guldemond stated that each EOP has a series of procedures driven by specific plant conditions and loss of all vital DC power is not included in the EOPs but that condition is addressed by Abnormal Operating and Casualty Procedures. Examples of EOPs include:
  • EOP E-0–Reactor Trip or Safety Injection.
  • EOP E-1–Loss of Reactor or Secondary Coolant.
  • EOP ECA 0.0–Loss of All Vital AC Power–i.e., a station blackout requiring removal of decay heat and plant cooldown.
  • EOP E-2–Faulted Steam Generator Isolation.
  • EOP E-3–Steam Generator Tube Rupture.
  • Functional Recovery Guidelines (FRGs)–supplement the EOPs to direct operator actions when a critical safety function is challenged. These functions include reactivity, core cooling, heat sink, containment integrity or pressurized thermal shock. FRGs are part of the EOP network of procedures and are prepared using Westinghouse Owners Group guidelines and require monitoring of status trees which provide priority for operator actions. FRGs transition back to the applicable EOP when the challenge is resolved. Examples include:
  • EOP FR-S.1 Response to Nuclear Power Generation Anticipated Transient Without Scram (ATWS)
  • EOP FR-C.1–Response to Inadequate Core Cooling.
  • EOP FR-H.1–Response to Loss of Secondary Heat.

In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry, Mr. Guldemond stated that upon a failure to trip, the reactor would be manually tripped, the turbine would be tripped, auxiliary feedwater would be initiated along with manual rod insertion and emergency boration begun, all of which must occur in approximately 30 seconds. He commented that at DCPP, unlike some other plants, the power to the control rod drive sets may be de energized at the electrical bus. Mr. Guldemond confirmed Dr. Budnitz observation that the plant would not enter functional recovery unless operating within the EOPs and that when emerging from FRGs the plant would return to implementation of EOPs.

  • Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs)–provide actions to respond to an event where the reactor is believed to be damaged, core exit thermocouples > 1200°F. SAMGs were prepared using Westinghouse Owners Group Guidelines and are entered as directed by the EOPs. Mr. Guldemond commented these are high-level guidelines rather than detailed, prescriptive procedures. A declaration under 10CFR50.54(x) is required upon entry as being beyond design/licensing basis as is command and control transition from Operations to the Emergency Response Organization (ERO) located in the Technical Support Center (TSC). Flowcharts are utilized to prioritize activities. Examples include:
  • SACRG-1 Severe Accident Control Room Guideline Initial Response.
  • SAG-1 Inject Into the SGs.
  • SAG-7 Reduce Containment Hydrogen.
  • SACRG-2 Severe Accident Control Room Guideline from Transients after the TSC is Functional.
  • SAG-2–Depressurize the RCS.
  • SAG-3–Inject into the RCS.
  • SAG-4–Inject into Containment (Low Level Flood).
  • SAG-5–Reduce Fission Product Releases.
  • SAG-6–Control Containment Conditions.
  • SAG-8–Flood Containment.
  • SCG-1–Mitigate Fission Product Releases.
  • SCG-2–Depressurize Containment.
  • SCG-3–Control Hydrogen Flammability.
  • SCG-4–Control Containment Vacuum.

In response to Drs. Peterson and Budnitz, Mr. Guldemond stated the reference to ‘guidelines’ indicates they provide general rather than prescriptive direction, more in the nature of strategies to address what are the conditions, what resources are available and how should those resources be deployed. In response to Consultant Linnen’s question, Mr. Guldemond stated it was possible to envision a situation where, in consultation with the Control Room and the TSC, both SAMGs and EOPs were entered. In response to Dr. Peterson’s observation concerning the station blackout at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where the procedural reliance was on a single, steam driven pump, that it might be prudent to stage portable equipment, Mr. Guldemond replied that there are no clear ties between EOPs and EDMGs and, in response to Dr. Budnitz’ comment, he stated that operating under EOPs was preferred as use of EMDGs must be warranted under 10CFR50.54(x). Dr. Peterson commented this situation may warrant further review as a station blackout leaves a plant vulnerable and that vulnerability requires the plant to be prepared to enter EMDGs , Mr. Guldemond agreed but stated EMDGs have specific scenarios and presume severe damage. In response to Dr. Peterson’s comment that delays in implementing EDMGs at Fukushima Daiichi was a problem, Mr. Guldemond stated U.S. plants are at an advantage as extreme strategies have been thought out in advance.

  • Extreme Damage Mitigation Guidelines (EDMGs)–written to aid in making the necessary decision to combat an event which has occurred and involves loss of large areas of a plant due to beyond design basis conditions. EDMGs are implemented by the Emergency Response Organization (ERO) and require a declaration under 10CFR50.54(x). Responsibility and authority for the EDMGs rests with the on-site Technical Support Center facility personnel and they provide tools that can be used to help mitigate events such as:
  • Alternate means of SFP cooling for excessive SFP leakage.
  • Decay heat removal using SGs.
  • RCS release mitigation strategies.
  • Alternate sources of make-up water.
  • Guidance to start an EDG without DC power.
  • Guidance for water usage from the Raw Water Reservoirs.
  • Guidance for isolating damaged sections of the fire system.

EMDGs are implemented only if control of the plant cannot be established from the Control Room or the Hot Shutdown Panel, or damage to the SFP has occurred that results in leakage greater than the capability of normal make-up to the SFP. Assumptions include:

  • A loss of all electrical power to one unit.
  • Turbine Drive Auxiliary Feedwater pump started approximately 30 minutes following the event.
  • Only one Unit damaged enough to require implementation (a different situation than in Japan).
  • Provides mitigation strategies for the first 24 hours following the event.

Dr. Budnitz remarked that, following the events at Fukushima Daiichi, industry-wide this set of assumptions will be revisited to cope with other situations or events which don’t meet these assumptions. Mr. Guldemond stated that 10CFR50.54(x) creates a certain latitude and provides a variety of strategies in a number of situations but it is important not to create a problem greater than that you’re trying to solve. Examples of EDMGs include:

  • EDMG-1–Extensive Damage Mitigation Guidelines.
  • EDWM-1–Fire System Management Strategies.
  • MDG-1–Internal SFP Makeup.
  • EDG-2–External SFP Makeup.
  • EDG-3–Spent Fuel Cooling via Spray.
  • EDG-4–SFP Leakage Control Strategies.
  • EDG-5–Refueling Water Storage Tank Makeup.
  • EDG-6–Makeup to Condensate Storage Tank.
  • EDG-7–Manually Depressurize SGs to Minimize RCS Inventory Loss.
  • EDG-8–Manual Operations to Control SG Water Level.
  • EDG-9–Use of Fire Engine to Supply Water to SGs.
  • EDG-11–Vent Containment.
  • EDG-12–Start EDGs without DC Power
  • EDG-14–Portable Sprays.
  • EDG-14–EDMG Equipment Annual Inventory.
  • Casualty Procedures (CPs)–address actions in response to external events or fires and provide direction to Operations and other organizations including the ERO, to manage the indicated conditions. CPs are used in parallel with other procedures mitigating event consequences. Examples include:
  • CP M-4–Earthquake.
  • CP M-5–Response to Tsunami Warning.
  • CP M-6–Fire.
  • CP M-12–Stranded Plant where access to the plant is lost.
  • CP M-15–Series for Security Threats.

Procedures for external actions to protect the public health and safety include:

  • Emergency Plan Implementing Procedures (EPIPs)–focus on actions to protect the health and safety of the public during a declared emergency at DCPP and include procedures to communicate with the public and for backup emergency facilities, both problematic during the Fukushima Daiichi event. Examples include:
  • EP G-1–Emergency Classification and Emergency Plan Activation.
  • EP G-2–Interim ERO.
  • EP G-3–Emergency Notification of Off-Site Agencies.
  • EP RB-8–Instruction for Field Monitoring Teams.
  • EP RB-9–Calculation of Release Rate.
  • EP RB-10–Protective Action recommendations.
  • EP RB-11–Emergency Offsite Dose Calculations.
  • EP RB-12–Plant Vent Iodine and Particulate Sampling during Accident Conditions.
  • EP RB-14–Core Damage Assessment Procedure.
  • EP RB-15–Post Accident Sampling System.
  • EP RB-16–Operating Instructions for the EARS computer program.
  • EP R-2–Release of Airborne Radioactive Materials Initial Assessment.
  • EP EF-1–Activation and Operation of the TSC.

Mr. Guldemond stated the Emergency Organization has extensive resources and operates collaboratively and within PG&E consisting of:

  • Control Room Staff.
  • TSC Staff.
  • Operations Support Center Staff.
  • Emergency Operations Facility Staff.
  • Uniform Dose Assessment Center Staff.
  • Joint Information Center Staff.

Personnel are also involved representing the County, the State, the NRC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In concluding this presentation Mr. Guldemond observed DCPP has an extensive network of procedures dealing with both a wide variety of plant conditions from normal operation to beyond design basis events. There are opportunities to make these better and after Fukushima Daiichi there are mandates to do so. Emergency preparedness procedures are in place and are practiced frequently, including those for assuring prompt and complete communication with the public and activation of backup emergency response facilities as necessary. The responsibilities for implementing these procedures are clearly delineated and provisions are in place, both procedurally and in the regulatory framework, to assure decisions necessary to protect the health and safety of the public can and will be taken locally and expeditiously by technically qualified personnel. Mr. Guldemond identified this as a key lesson learned from the events at Fukushima Daiichi.

In response to Mr. Wardell’s inquiry concerning Control Room habitability during a station blackout Mr. Guldemond stated heating, ventilation and air conditioning would be lost but emergency lighting would be available. In response to Dr. Lam’s inquiry he replied the conditions at the location of the Emergency Shutdown Panels would not be much better.

Mr. Tom Schuman, a resident of San Luis Obispo was recognized from the audience to address a question to the Committee. Mr. Schuman inquired how often DCPP practices emergency actions? Dr. Budnitz replied that each Operations shift dedicates one out of every five weeks to Control Room Simulator training and this training includes random problem solving exercises as well as pre-planned training scenarios. Dr. Peterson commented the U.S. is better prepared than Japan but that should not instill absolute confidence. He commented, and Mr. Guldemond agreed, that it would be surprising not to see U.S. nuclear operators taking actions that were not taken by Japanese operators at Fukushima Daiichi.

Ms. Sherry Lewis was recognized. She commented she was puzzled by the reference to the lighting situation in the Control Room in the event of a station blackout. Mr. Guldemond replied there is backup lighting available but it is battery powered and does not have infinite endurance. Ms. Lewis also inquired whether there was sufficient makeup water for the SFPs available, as it was her understanding the onsite supply was insufficient to totally resupply both SFPs. Dr. Budnitz replied there is 2.5 million gallons of water in each of the onsite reservoirs which should be more than sufficient for that purpose. In response to Ms. Lewis’ inquiry concerning the water demands of the reactors, Dr. Budnitz replied that in a situation where the SFP inventory was depleted, the reactors would be shutdown, generating only decay heat and therefore would require much less water. In response to Ms. Lewis further inquiry concerning the SFP water inventory, Mr. Sharp stated the SFPs at DCPP are designed to survive ground shaking events and a situation which would result in a gross loss of water from the SFPs was difficult to envision. Dr. Peterson replied, and Mr. Sharp agreed, that, among other strategies DCPP could use sea water pumped by a fire truck if necessary to refill the SFPs. Dr. Budnitz observed DCPP is one of only a few nuclear power plants which have their own onsite fire departments.

This concluded the informational presentations requested by the Committee from PG&E for this public meeting.

XXVI Concluding Remarks and Discussion by Committee Members of Future DCISC Activities

The Chair remarked that a separate category had been created by Consultant Wardell for the Committee’s Open Items List to recognize and track lessons learned from the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. Mr. Wellington reported the next public meeting of the Committee would be held on October 5–6, 2011 at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo.

XXVII Adjournment of Sixty-third Public Meeting

There being no further business, the sixty-third public meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee was adjourned by its Chair, Dr. Robert J. Budnitz, at 4:00 P.M.


For more information contact:

Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee
Office of the Legal Counsel
857 Cass Street, Suite D, Monterey, California 93940
Telephone: in California call 800-439-4688; outside of California call 831-647-1044
Send E-mail to: dcsafety@dcisc.org.