Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS

About This Video

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) held a special ACRS meeting Thursday May 26, 2011 on the current status of Fukushima. Arnie Gundersen was invited to speak for 5 minutes concerning the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident as it pertains to the 23 Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactors (BWR's) in the US and containment integrity.

Mr. Gundersen was the first engineer to brief the NRC on the implication of Main Steam Isolation Valve (MSIV) Leakage in 1974, and he has been studying containment integrity since 1972. The NRC has constantly maintained in all of its calculations and reviews that there is zero probability of a containment leaking. For more than six years, in testimony and in correspondence with the NRC, Mr. Gundersen has disputed the NRC's stand that containment systems simply do not and cannot leak. The events at Fukushima have proven that Gundersen was correct.

The explosions at Fukushima show that Mark 1 containments will lose their integrity and release huge amounts of radiation, as Mr. Gundersen has been telling the NRC for many years.




Maggie Gundersen: Hi I'm Maggie Gundersen with Fairewinds Associates, and I'm here this afternoon (Thursday, May 26th, 2011) to do an intro to Arnie's presentation before the NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. This afternoon, the ACRS held a special meeting to assess the status of the on-going multiple accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Plants. Unfortunately, whether intentionally or unintentionally, Arnie's presentation was interrupted continuously by whispering and rustling of many different papers. While the government and industry participants enjoyed nearly two hours to present, Fairewinds was granted only five minutes. You'll see for yourself how tough it is as an individual or an expert witness to testify to the NRC.


Arnie Gundersen (prepared presentation):

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and members of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.

I speak to you today as the Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, Inc, and have not been retained by any group to make a statement at this meeting. Although there are many issues that must be resolved as a result of the nuclear accidents at Fukushima, I will focus on the single issue of containment integrity in the brief time you have allotted to me.

I first wrote to you, the ACRS in 2005 to express my concern regarding Vermont Yankee and the net positive suction head (NPSH) waiver that the ACRS granted to Vermont Yankee.

In 2008 Fairewinds was retained by CCAM to analyze the Millstone 3 containment. I spoke twice to the ACRS regarding my belief that the containment volume to power ratio at Millstone 3 is the smallest of any Westinghouse four-loop plant in the world. At that meeting, the ACRS staff acknowledged that it does not have the capability to analyze containment systems.

In 2009 Citizen Power retained Fairewinds to analyze the hole found in the Beaver Valley containment. That analysis was also discussed by the ACRS. In 2010 when I met with you as a candidate for an opening on the ACRS, we discussed NPSH and its relation to containment integrity. I noted then that the Browns Ferry units had not been allowed the NPSH credit, yet ACRS granted the NPSH credit to Vermont Yankee five years earlier. It is illogical that that the people of Alabama have more accident protection than the people of Vermont.

In 2010 the AP1000 Oversight Group retained Fairewinds, and in April 2010, Fairewinds provided you with a report detailing a long history of containment failures around the country. In June 2010 Attorney Runkle and I met with you for an hour and a half to delineate my concerns regarding doubts about the containment integrity of the AP1000 design. In December of 2010 I wrote to you again notifying you of a significant amount of additional information about containment failures and flaws because at the October 2010 ACRS meeting, the NRC staff informed the ACRS that the NRCʼs calculations assume that there is zero leakage in the Mark 1 design.

Each time I have contacted you, the containment integrity data has been rebuffed and ignored. The accidents at the Fukushima Mark 1 BWR reactors have confirmed my belief that leakage of a nuclear containment cannot be based upon the assumption of a leakage rate of zero used by the NRC. This week, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has finally acknowledged that all three of the Fukushima Mark 1 containment systems are leaking significant radiation into the environment, and at least Units 1 and 2 began leaking on the first day of the accident. Unfortunately, the possibility of such containment failures, to which I have alerted you for the past six years, have been proven correct.

It is no surprise to me that containment systems have a long history of leaking and have now failed three times at Fukushima, yet it apparently comes as a major surprise to this advisory body and the NRC.

The ramifications of nuclear reactor containment leakage and failure the NRC and this body must consider are:

1. The SAMDA analysis for the Westinghouse AP1000 design is based upon false calculations that there is zero probability of a containment leak of any magnitude. The historical record prior to Fukushima proved this assumption false, and the Fukushima containment failures require that the AP1000 design be reanalyzed and retrofitted with advanced charcoal filters on the top of the shield building.

2. This advisory body has granted NPSH credits to numerous reactors around the country in violation of Regulatory Guide 1. Today, with a simple stroke of a pen, the ACRS can acknowledge its erroneous decision by requesting that the NRC revise the licenses of all reactors so that every reactor is in compliance with Regulatory Guide 1. And, with this one simple pen-stroke you can make all of the reactors applying the NPSH credit immediately safer than they are today.

3. Everyone sitting on the ACRS today knows that the pressure suppression containments on General Electric BWRʼs were inadequate when they were first designed. As a result of that design inadequacy, boiling water reactor containment vents were added in 1989 to prevent containment over-pressurization. Currently there are 23 Mark 1 containment systems in operation. All 23 Mark 1ʼs have vents that were added as a Band-Aid fix. It is time for the ACRS to evaluate containment venting to determine whether or not it any of these reactors be allowed to continue operation.

4. Moreover, ACRS should stop the license renewals of any BWR until the Fukushima accidents have been completely analyzed.

For the record, Fairewinds finds it disconcerting that both NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) and DOE (Department of Energy) have been granted one hour each to make presentations to this body, when NEI and DOE are responsible for the promotion of nuclear power. I have brought these containment integrity issues to your attention for more than six years. In closing, I strongly suggest that each of you as members evaluate the bias you bring to the table when listening to experts with whom the nuclear industry disagrees.

Thank you for your time. I will gladly brief you in detail if you so choose.



ガンダーセン氏、NRC ACRS(原子炉保障措置に関する原子炉安全諮問委員会)に証拠を提出





こんにちは。フェアウインズ・アソシエイツのマギーガンダーセンです。2011年5月26日、木曜日、原子炉安全装置についての、NRC アドバイザリー委員会の前に、アーニーのプレゼンテーションを紹介します。今日の午後、NRCは特別なミーティングを開きました。それは福島原子力発電所で起きた、継続中である複数の事故の状態を評価するものでした。不幸なことに、意図的かどうかはともかく、アーニーのプレゼンテーションは何度か雑音で遮られました。政府や業界からの参加者が約2時間の充実した発表を行ったのに対し、フェアウインズはたった5分しか与えられませんでした。個人であり、ひとりのエキスパートとしての目撃者がNRCに証拠を与えることの厳しさを、感じていただけると思います。




2008年、フェアウインズはCCAMにマイルストーン3の格納容器の分析を行うものとして雇われました。私は2度、マイルストーン3は、発電力に対しての格納容器の厚さの比率が、世界のすべてのWestinghouse four-loop型の原子炉の中で最も小さいことをACRSに伝えました。その時のミーティングで、ACRSのスタッフは、彼らが格納システムを分析する能力に欠けることを認めました。


2010年、AP1000 Oversight Groupはフェアウインズを雇いました。そして2010年4月、フェアウインズはあなた方に国内で起こった格納容器の問題についての長い歴史を詳しく述べたレポートを提供しました。2010年6月、弁護士であるRunkle氏と私はあなた方と1時間半、会談しました。AP1000デザインの格納容器の完全性が疑わしいという私の憂慮のアウトラインを描くためにです。2010年10月、私は書面にて再度あなた方に、格納容器の問題と破損について、更なる膨大な量の情報を送りました。何故なら10月のACRSのミーティングで、NRCのスタッフはACRSに、Mark1デザインにおいて(放射性物質の)漏出はゼロであることを、彼らの計算では想定していることを知らせていたからです。




1 Westinghouse AP1000デザインのためのSAMDA分析は、いかなるマグニチュードに対しても、格納容器からの(放射性物質の)漏出の確率はゼロである、誤った計算を基礎としています。福島事故以前の歴史上の記録は、この想定が誤りであることを証明しました。そして福島の格納容器の機能損失は、AP1000デザインの再度の分析と、遮蔽するための建屋の頂部に、【advanced charcoalフィルター】を取り付けるといった調整を要求しています。

2 この助言を与える団体は、NPSHを国内数多くの原子炉に与えています。これはRegulatory Guide 1に違反した状態です。今日、たったひとつのことで、ACRSは自身のエラーを含んだ判断を認識することができます。それはNRCがすべての原子炉のライセンスを見直すことを要求することで、その結果、すべての原子炉がRegulatory Guide 1を遵守することになります。そして、そのたったひとつのことで、 NPSHが与えられているすべての原子炉を、ただちに現状より安全なものとすることができます。

3 ACRSとして参加されているすべての方は、今日、General ElectricのBWRにおける圧力抑制格納容器が不適当であったことを知っています。それはデザインされた当初からのことです。デザインが不適当であった結果、沸騰水型原子炉の格納容器にベントが、1989年に圧力超過を避けるために加えられました。現在、23機のMark1格納システムが操業状態にあり、23機すべてに対し、ベントが救急ばんそうこう的に取り付けられています。ACRSにとって、これら原子炉に操業を許すか否かを判断するために、格納容器のベント動作を評価する時期にあります。

4 更に言うと、ACRSはすべての沸騰水型原子炉に対し、ライセンスの更新を止めるべきです。福島の事故が完全に分析されるまではです。