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Corporate malfeasance at the Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station

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Peach Bottom - Aerial View 1

A photo of Peach Bottom Unit 1

Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station 1974 cropped

A photo of Units 2 and 3 in 1974.

Coulsontown Cottages YorkCo PA 3

Coulsontown Cottages Historic District, listed on the NRHP on January 31, 1985 . Located on Ridge Road and Main, east of Delta, in Peach Bottom Township. To find it you'll likely have to go to Delta and follow the signs: north on Main, then east, then turn south at the church, its off to the left sorta hidden. Built by Welsh slatesplitters about 1850.

The locationEdit

Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania is an unincorporated village in Fulton TownshipLancaster County, in the state ofPennsylvania in the United States. It lies on the east bank of the Susquehanna River.

The original town of Peach Bottom was located across the river in York County. With the construction of theColumbia and Port Deposit Railroad up the east side of the Susquehanna (1866-1868), a station was built on the Lancaster County side, near the mouth of Peters Creek, from which Peach Bottom could be reached by ferry. This was known as Peach Bottom Station.

Peach Bottom also marks the Mason–Dixon line.

Peach Bottom Township is a township in York CountyPennsylvania, 60 miles (97 km) south of Harrisburg. The population was 4,813 at the 2010 census.

The Coulsontown Cottages Historic DistrictDelta Trestle Bridge, Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, andScott Creek Bridge-North, Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[ 

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 29.6 square miles (77 km2), of which 29.2 square miles (76 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), or 1.28%, is water. The southern boundary of the township is the Maryland-Pennsylvania border (the Mason–Dixon Line), and the eastern border is the Susquehanna River. The township surrounds on three sides the borough of Delta, located along the state line. 

The Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station lies across the river, on the site of the original town. The plant was ordered for by the Exelon Corp. in 1958. It was was built outside Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania, between both 1966 and 1974 for Exelon Corp. (50%) and PSEG Power (50%) by Bechtel. Reactor 1 closed in 1979, but reactors 2 and 3 can stay operational until 2033. 

The incidentsEdit

The atomic incidentsEdit

The reactor was the center of several acts of moral turpitude, corporate misfeasance, possible corporate crime and drug crime during the 1980s. This era was victim of a marked increase in such incidents at the plant.

Among the atomic related incidents cited by the NRC and other bodies:

  • March, 1983 - A spill of 25,000 gallons of radioactive "mildly radioactive" water was reported at the plant.
    • It dose not officially have a INES ratting, but probably was a Level 4 INES Scale event.
  • June 1985 - The plant was shut down due to having mechanical problems.
    • It dose not officially have a INES ratting, but probably was below a Level 4 INES Scale event.
  • October 1985 - A emergency evacuation drill had turned into a serious incident when Unit-2 reactor's water level dropped.
    • It dose not officially have a INES ratting, but probably was below a Level 4 INES Scale event.
  • March 1986 - A checking system was bypassed and automatic backups were bypassed by a supervisor during an inappropriate withdrawal of a control rod from the reactor core.
    • It dose not officially have a INES ratting, but probably was belowa Level 4 INES Scale event.
  • April 1986 - An explosion and fire occurred at the plant's substation for emergency power.
    • It dose not officially have a INES ratting, but probably was below a Level 4 INES Scale event.
  • March 31, 1987, Peach Bottom units 2 and 3 shutdown due to cooling malfunctions and unexplained equipment problems.
    • It dose not officially have a INES ratting, but probably was a Level 4 INES Scale event.

The non-atomic incidentsEdit

Among the non-atomic related incidents cited by the NRC and other bodies:

  • September 30, 1987 - A contractor-employee attempted to enter a protected site while intoxicated and later cocaine was found in the parking lot and in the guard's bathroom.
    • It did not involve anything atomic, so dose not merit a Level rating.
  • Date unknown- The security guards were overworked and one guard was found literally asleep on the job.
    • It did not involve anything atomic, so dose not merit a Level rating.
  • September 2007, Kerry Beal was fired for releasing a videotape of Peach Bottom security guards literally sleeping on the job. He had previously tried to notify his supervisors at Wackenhut Corp. and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but was eventually fired by Exelon in a security review, a decision which made a list of the 101 "dumbest moments in business" in the January 16, 2008 issue of Fortune magazine.
    • It did not involve anything atomic, so dose not merit a Level rating.

Other safety issuesEdit

1996 offices safety reviewEdit

By 1996, both Limerick and Peach Bottom were designated excellent by INPO, and given strong Systematic Assessment of Licensee Performance (SALP) ratings by the NRC.

1999 corporate policy changesEdit

PECO Nuclear eliminated their Organization Development positions as part of cost cutting initiative.

2010 seismic risk calculationEdit

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Peach Bottom was 1 in 41,667; according to an NRC study published in August 2010.

2016 fuel pool risk calculationEdit

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) estimated that a major fire at the spent fuel pool at the Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station would displace an estimated 3.46 million people from 31,000 square kilometers of contaminated land, while a study conducted at Princeton University suggested that the number of displaced people could go as high as 18.1 million people.

Also seeEdit

  1. Atomic accidents and disasters
  2. Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant accidents
  3. The Windscale reactor fire and 5 Sellafield incidents
  4. Three Mile Island accident
  5. Kyshtym (Urals Mountains) disaster

LinksEdit

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-high-temperature_reactor
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peach_Bottom_Nuclear_Generating_Station
  3. http://www.exeloncorp.com/PowerPlants/peachbottom/Pages/profile.aspx
  4. http://www.plantdecommissioning.com/reactor_list/peach%20bottom%201.htm
  5. http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear-power-plants/p/peach-bottom-nuclear-generating-station.aspx
  6. http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Peach_Bottom_Nuclear_Generating_Station
  7. http://dictionary.sensagent.com/Peach%20Bottom%20Nuclear%20Generating%20Station/en-en/
  8. http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVzEMlrNVUG0AsPNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzb2xsdjR2BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxMwR2dGlkA0IwNTc3XzEEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1437861517/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.efmr.org%2ffiles%2f2012%2fIncident%2520Chronology%2520at%2520Peach%2520Bottom%2520Atomic%2520Power%2520Plant-1.doc/RK=0/RS=F4tRgVK.D0M9_MK.DU7FGANc8wM-
  9. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/01/us-utilities-nuclear-accidentstudy-idUSTRE8101ZA20120201
  10. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/02/02/nuclear-accidents-pose-little-risk-to-health-nrc-says/
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peach_Bottom,_Pennsylvania
  12. http://www.exeloncorp.com/PowerPlants/peachbottom/Pages/profile.aspx
  13. http://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_nuclear_power_accidents_by_country
  14. http://www.exeloncorp.com/PowerPlants/peachbottom/Pages/profile.aspx
  15. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/spent-fuel-fire-us-soil-could-dwarf-impact-fukushima

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