Monday, February 6, 2012

[Good News] Cooper Nuclear Station Finds FOD Filled Fuel Lines

Any one who has scanned the daily NRC event reports probably has a good idea how Situation Normal All Fouled Up (SNAFU) the entire regulatory system really is. One key aspect of such a feigned saftey structure is keeping SNAFUs from going FUBAR (Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition).

In that regard, someone at Cooper Nuclear Station in Nebraska was vigilant enough to keep a SNAFU from going FUBAR. That person performed a quality assurance inspection on a shipment of high pressure fuel lines which are used to supply the emergency diesel generators with fuel. They found that those fuel lines were clogged with manufacturing debris (FOD). Had those FOD filled fuel lines been installed, the Nuclear Plant likely would not have had emergency power available during a station blackout, and that could have quickly lead to a Fukushima FUBAR scenario. Without a doubt, the FOD finder deserves a gold star.

Of course the question remains how such an escaped defect SNAFU in such an important piece of equipment ever happened at the fuel line manufacturer. Obviously it is the type of situation one might expected when buying a fuel line for a 1972 Ford Pinto, but it is not the type of quality assurance one expects for a fuel line going into a Nuclear Plant.

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