At a public meeting this evening, NC WARN will seek clarification on a number of questions regarding revelations that Duke Energy’s Harris nuclear plant operated for over a year with a quarter-inch crack in the reactor vessel head.
The (previously scheduled) meeting, to be held by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, runs from 6:30 to 7:30pm at the Holly Springs Cultural Center, and will be preceded at 5pm by an “Open House and Poster Session.”
Among the questions the public has a right to know:
- Since Duke’s 5/15/13 report to the NRC registered the crack in the official category of involving “Potential Uncontrolled Radiation Release,” why did Duke-Progress spokespeople tell the news media the crack involved no danger to the public?
- Since we understand it is not typical (though not unprecedented) to perform such a re-evaluation of data from a year ago, why exactly was such an exercise performed?
- Following normal procedures, how many personnel are required to review the ultra-sound data?
- After last May’s testing, how many personnel did review the data?
- Describe how the NRC will investigate why the crack was missed for a year.
- On what date did Progress Energy first analyze the data? On what date was the analysis officially completed?
- Does Duke-Progress intend to charge customers for this extended outage?
- How will the NRC’s investigation specifically ensure there was no deliberate cover-up designed to protect the Duke-Progress merger? The multi-billion dollar merger was already known to be in trouble based largely on problems at Progress’ Crystal River nuclear plant; Progress CEO Bill Johnson later testified that Duke was looking for an excuse to scuttle the deal; and Duke fired Johnson based largely on problems at Progress’ fleet of nuclear plants.
- Will the NRC be able to determine if the failure to find the crack was related to corporate cost-cutting pressures, a trend NC WARN has criticized in Progress Energy management for many years?