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Monday, August 24, 2015

$10 Copper Tube Shuts Down Pilgrim Nuclear Plant, 3rd Time This Year for Emergency Shutdown

In terms of "trusting the nuke industry" I think having zero level of trust makes perfect sense.    If your car stalled out 3 times in 8 months, would you consider just getting rid of it.    Pilgrim has had 3 Emergency Shutdowns in 2015 to date. 

Nuclear Corporations are challenged by economics.   They can't afford to shut down their old plants because that is too expensive.    So they keep having emergencies, reactor scrams, when small things happen.

The nuke industry always tells us that they have "defense in depth" but when reality hits we find out these defenses are far weaker than we have been led to believe.

FOR Instance Pilgrim Nuke in Boston, has an ever increasing string of problems and emergencies.   In Jan 2015 they were one step away, one hail Mary away from releasing a massive blast of radiation direct from the reactor vessel.     They had multiple failures, things that had failed just a year earlier and were not properly fixed and tested.  

Last Saturday, Pilgrim shut down again.     Was the problem some hack attempt, a Stuxnet type virus, major crack, giant earthquake, massive human error?

No, the problem was a 1/2" copper tube

I see, so a 1/2 copper tube, similar to what you can buy at Home depot, can shut down an entire nuclear plant?

I see, that must be what they refer to as "defense in depth".

A copper tube about a half-inch in diameter, called an air/nitrogen line, broke, triggering the valve closure, said Chip Perkins, a nuclear engineer and the regulatory assurance manager for Entergy. While the repair of the line shouldn’t be that complicated, the plant will do an investigation into what they call “extended circumstances,” followed by other independent investigations.
This is the 3rd emergency shutdown since Jan 1 of 2015 at Pilgrim.


  1. How bad is it going to have to hurt before Entergy hits their bottom at Pilgrim? Problem is: It could hurt us more than it hurts them before Entergy reaches their bottom!

    1. Watching Entergy chase profits in a downward spiral is like watching a meth addict chasing his addiction, and wondering how many times they bounce off of rock bottom, or one of the they splat?

      Boston is at the mercy of a nuclear plutonium meth addict chasing it's precious, and the parole warden is the NRC which profits from keeping the meth addict in the search for the precious.

  2. As Paul Blanch (Connecticut Millstone operator and whistleblower) once said (I paraphrase from memory), 'Nuclear energy can be reliably safe - they do it in the Navy. But it can't be reliably safe AND profitable'. This isn't my opinion, but it's a well-informed one.

    Entergy is clearly more focussed on profit than reliability, and reliability is essential to safety.


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