Yet again, another Nuclear emergency tied to a refueling operation at a "Progress Energy" nuclear plant in the Carolinas. This time the declared nuclear emergency was a fire inside of the containment at the Robinson nuclear plant located near Hartsville, South Carolina (see NRC event report 47618).
The 3 key aspects of the situation are:
(1) A history of Sabotage during refueling operations
(2) Utter and Total incompetence Vs the likelihood of deliberate sabotage
For example, not properly bolting down the lid of the nuclear reactor.
(3) The 100% correlation of recent declared emergencies with refueling operations
The situation overwhelmingly points to potential serial saboteur(s) being involved with the refueling operations. The evidence is so overly indicative that the POTRBLOG team believes it would be an act of incompetence (at best) by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to not proceed under the assumption that these occurrences are potentially criminal in nature.
The FBI should rightly be involved in these investigations if for no other reason to help rule out criminal acts. We believe for the NRC not to call in the FBI for assistance brings into the question the NRC's competence as a safety regulator; the peril of which is a successful deliberately induced nuclear meltdown in the United States.
Such a meltdown situation nearly occurred at Progress Energy's Brunswick North Carolina nuclear plant, when two separate but possibly criminally related emergencies almost happened simultaneously. The POTRBLOG teams suspicion is that a Brunswick Nuclear Plant saboteur loosened bolts that seal the nuclear pressure vessel and sabotaged a control room system, a combination which had the potential to result in a Fukushima style disaster.
The disaster was averted because of alert control room operators; a control room which had to be evacuated during the next restart because of another emergency. Our belief is that sabotage had also been conducted against the control room in an attempt to have it evacuated at the very instant the pressure vessel was spewing coolant and hydrogen. Had the loosening of the pressure vessel bolts been better engineered, it is possible the control room might not have caught the issue in time. It was a grace of God moment that the timing of the two emergencies was off just enough to keep them from occurring simultaneously. There is wisdom in relying on the grace of God when doing God's work, but we are not so sure that nuclear for nuclear's sake qualifies in that regard.
Unfortunately the continuing emergencies at Progress Energy Nuclear plants during refueling combined with an apparent lack of a criminal investigation are a strong indication that the potential saboteurs have free reign to hone their skills.
Follow this link for our previous detail coverage of the situation "SABOTEURS".
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