Friday, September 6, 2013

Columbia Generating Station Operates BLIND, Once AGAIN Loses Radiation Assessment Capability

The Columbia nuclear plant in Richland, Washington has once again lost its exhaust stack radiation monitors. These monitors have been down the 9 out of the last 12 days. The original outage on August 24th resulted in a Maximum Alert notice on our part do to reports of increased background radiation "noise", which just so happened to coincide with potential fallout from Fukushima.

In this case, we have not released an alert because they appear to have gotten the system back up within a few hours of its re-demise. None-the-less, these occurrences bare watching. Fortunately we have the following reassuring words from the Columbia Generating Station:

"To compensate for the loss of assessment capability while the Turbine Building Stack Radiation Monitoring equipment was nonfunctional, a field team survey would have been used if required."  (emphasis added)

The question remains how would they know if they required a survey team if the very equipment which would alert them to such a need was not working? In other words, Columbia Nuclear was blind to a radiation detections during the failure. 

See NRC event reports:

#49306 and #49327


  1. Yes, this is true. I just spoke to Jeremy Groom of the NRC about the monitoring system fails both on Aug 19th which, by the way, was the date he gave me for that 1st fail, not the 24th, and also the fail on the 5th. He said that the fail was do to AC problems. When i dug further into this with him he said that they examine the geranium crystals w/ gamma spectroscopy for rad reads in the monitor detection head, where those crystals are placed. When the AC fails, the crystals heat up w/ rads! Nice, eh? So according to Jeremy, Energy NW replaced the AC unit. I asked him if he thought it odd, coincidental or just funny that on both of those days, (still need to check w/ radnet for the date of Aug 19th or 25th), we learned even before we heard of the monitor shut down, that rads from the jetstream were over the area of Hanford and very high. Have to get those # next again and will post here. Hmmm, rads are high on both those dates and the AC unit fails shutting down the monitor. I asked him if the monitors were equipped to deal w/ more rads that they are programmed to read....and if high rads are present if that just won't compute and screws up the monitors and shuts them down. He doesn't think so. He told me there are 3 stack monitors. The high range stack, intermediate and low range. The low range is most sensitive. But I think his point was that since there are 3 monitors, they are equipped for changes in background rads. Another theory is that CGS was dumping effluent release and shut the monitors down so no one knew crying wolf on the AC unit. Personally, I find it hard to believe that the NRC knows what it is doing let alone how, and I do believe that CGS would shut down monitors to do a secret release when necessary for them . Thoughts???
    I am Mimi from No Nukes NW in Portland,OR and Radiation Watch. I take reads on our Inspector and am part of a larger citizens radiation watch group/rad testers internationally.
    No Nukes NW is part of a coalition here to shut down CGS.
    No Nukes NW is on FB.

  2. Can you please please please send me the rad counts from that day w/ gamma/beta info as well? Or both/all days...whether it was the 25th/19th(Aug) as well as Sept 5th? I need to have those to pass along to Paul Gunter. He's working w/ us on shutting down CGS. This will only bolster our argument to the people of WA that they are living w/ a very dangerous GE Mark ll NPP in their backyard and they CAN shut it down. We here in OR can't shut it down. We can only help those in WA to do it. But I need those rads.
    You mention it here..."The original outage on August 24th resulted in a Maximum Alert notice on our part do to reports of increased background radiation "noise", which just so happened to coincide with potential fallout from Fukushima."
    And I saw that read that day. So thank you in advance. I sure hope you see this and can send them to me.

    1. All the info we have is from the NRC event reports, #49290, #49327, and there is a new one for yet another power failure in the stack #49328. You might also want to check out event report: 49279 which concerns an event that occurred at the URANIUM FUEL FABRICATION in Richland Wa in Mid August