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View Full Version : Hole discovered drilled into reactor coolant line at Turkey Point 3



Captain Kidd
2006-Apr-05, 01:25 AM
While running some pre-operation test in preparation for powering back up following a refueling outage at Turkey Point Unit 3, leakage from the Reactor Coolant System was detected.

The leak was traced to some piping to the Pressurizer where a 1/8" hole was discovered. The damage was unmistakably done by a drill.

They're being very careful about keeping the option open that it was gross negligence by a worker; but how do you "accidentally" drill into a pipe and then leave it like that? Even if it was a mistake, by not immediately reporting it, whoever did it could very well end up facing criminal charges.

The FBI has joined the investigation.


Sun-Sentinel (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-cnuke04apr04,0,3132197.story?coll=sfla-news-broward): "Being that it was a drilled hole, obviously it was done intentionally," [Rachel] Scott [a spokeswoman for Florida Power & Light Co.] said. "But we don't know if it was human error, somebody just drilling in the wrong place, or if it was a deliberate act."

Scott said there was no reason for anyone to be working on the drilled pipe. Workers were, however, making repairs in the general area, including jobs like affixing sheet metal that would have required drilling, she said.
I'm trying to find the event report on the NRC website but its search engine leaves something to be desired. (They need a search engine like here.)

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Apr-05, 01:50 AM
Cripes. Well, it would have to have been someone authorized to be there, wouldn't it? That isn't many people. Hopefully they catch the guy.

WaxRubiks
2006-Apr-05, 08:06 AM
wonder what Glom would say.

Donnie B.
2006-Apr-05, 03:45 PM
The article doesn't mention the grade of stainless, size of the pipe or its wall thickness. If it was thin, perhaps it could have been breached by flying debris, such as a broken drill bit.

Perhaps the hole has features that would absolutely rule this out (such as the ridge that forms around a drilled hole).

In any case, it's a bit spooky to think that there might be someone deliberately sabotaging a nuclear facility.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-05, 04:18 PM
The article doesn't mention the grade of stainless, size of the pipe or its wall thickness. If it was thin, perhaps it could have been breached by flying debris, such as a broken drill bit.

Perhaps the hole has features that would absolutely rule this out (such as the ridge that forms around a drilled hole).

In any case, it's a bit spooky to think that there might be someone deliberately sabotaging a nuclear facility.Unfortunately I can recall a number of persons of my acquaintance (or more accurately, my ex's) who would have loved to have helped to sabotage the Millstone Power Plant in Waterford, or at least would have rejoiced in a meltdown of one or more of the units. What kept me from turning them in was their complete incompetence re matters nuclear, regulatory, and security. The NRC and FBI would have thought bad things about me if I had considered these folks serious threats, IOW, the difference between a cabal and hot air.

One of them redirected his vitriol by sketching a portrait of Millstone for a magazine that showed three horizontal tombstones on ground that was glowing with what I suppose was meant to represent radiation. This was his portrait of the Millstone units around 1980 or sooner.

Sorry pal.

LTC8K6
2006-Apr-05, 08:59 PM
Someone could have been drilling a hole in some sheet metal, and used the pipe as a workbench, and drilled through both.

Captain Kidd
2006-Apr-05, 09:07 PM
We thought of that too. However, the problem there is that this is some heavy schedule pipe we're talking about. You'd think the person would have gotten a clue after a quarter inch of bit had dissapeared into thin sheetmetal.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Apr-05, 09:09 PM
I dunno. I've seen a guy use a welding tank as a bench to weld stuff on. Stupid people exist.

Captain Kidd
2006-Apr-05, 11:36 PM
eek

Sad but true; and, regardless of the drift of my previous posts, I do expect that the final finding will be incompentence/didn't know better over sabotage. Especially if it was sabotage, they're going to make it so hard to gain access it'll become a nightmare.

Captain Kidd
2006-Apr-11, 01:56 PM
Update: They're now fairly sure it was intentional. [source (http://www.local10.com/news/8601157/detail.html)]

A $100,000 reward is now being offered for the identity of whoever damaged a pipe at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant.
...
Investigators told Local 10's Rad Berky that they have all but concluded that someone intentionally drilled the hole into the cooling pipe.

Swift
2006-Apr-13, 05:14 PM
Update: They're now fairly sure it was intentional. [source (http://www.local10.com/news/8601157/detail.html)]

A $100,000 reward is now being offered for the identity of whoever damaged a pipe at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant.
...
Investigators told Local 10's Rad Berky that they have all but concluded that someone intentionally drilled the hole into the cooling pipe.
Rad Berky!?! Good name for a nuclear story.

Glom
2006-Apr-13, 05:26 PM
Sounds like the plot for Michael Crichton's next novel.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-13, 06:21 PM
Perhaps it was the first step in an attempt to release a trapped, irradiated, mutant kitty cat.

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/tiere/e060.gif

quickjaguare
2006-Apr-13, 06:26 PM
I dunno. I've seen a guy use a welding tank as a bench to weld stuff on. Stupid people exist.


of course they do but humans are made to have mistakes i wonder why the person/persons didnt fes up?

quickjaguare
2006-Apr-13, 06:28 PM
Perhaps it was the first step in an attempt to release a trapped, irradiated, mutant kitty cat.

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/tiere/e060.gif


what that is so obsuride i would have to say i was a mutant half shark with a phsycotic deranged mind.

publiusr
2006-Apr-13, 06:40 PM
I wonder if this might be eco-tage/monkey-wrenching.

Jeff Root
2006-Apr-14, 06:56 AM
I would bet that it was done by someone completely on the
spur of the moment simply because he didn't like his employer,
it looked like he could do it without getting caught, and he had
a drill in his hand.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Apr-14, 02:58 PM
I wonder if this might be eco-tage/monkey-wrenching.

No. They'd never do anything to damage a nuclear plant. They're afraid that they'd spread nuclear material by futzing around inside of one.

Captain Kidd
2006-Apr-15, 02:38 AM
I would bet that it was done by someone completely on the
spur of the moment simply because he didn't like his employer,
it looked like he could do it without getting caught, and he had
a drill in his hand.

-- Jeff, in MinneapolisI've got some problems with it being spur of the moment. If it was, then it was an extremely stupid thing to do... uh not that I'm sanctifying planning it out. But, well, it could have been bad for him/her, that's the reactor coolant loop and had it contained water, they would have been sprayed. That could have been bad for their future.

Jeff Root
2006-Apr-15, 03:36 AM
I've got some problems with it being spur of the moment. If it
was, then it was an extremely stupid thing to do...
It obviously wasn't a smart thing to do, but there are an awful lot
of much stupider things that people have done-- even considering
only those things that they got away with.



But, well, it could have been bad for him/her, that's the reactor
coolant loop and had it contained water, they would have been
sprayed. That could have been bad for their future.
They wouldn't have been in that room if they didn't know which
pipes were pressurized and which were empty.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis