UNPLUG Salem Campaign Demands That PSEG Replace Steam Generator Now
Not In 2006
In a letter faxed Tuesday to Richard Meserve, the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, The Close The Salem Nukes Now - UNPLUG Salem Campaign has requested that PSEG be required to replace its defective steam generators in Unit 2 now, not in 2006, as is currently planned by PSEG. The UNPLUG Salem Campaign was acting on information provided by the New Jersey Bureau of Nuclear Engineering. The letter to Merserve applauds PSEG's decision to finally replace Unit 2's defective steam generators and points out that The Close The Salem Nukes Now - UNPLUG Salem Campaign was correct during the last two years as they have urged NRC and PSEG to indeed take this vital step to ensure the safety of the public. This decision confirms that NRC and PSEG were wrong in saying that the steam generators at Unit 2 were safe. They were not, and are not, safe. The letter listed The UNPLUG Salem Campaign's concerns about this decision.
NRC inaction led to the accidents at Indian Point (steam tube rupture) and Davis Besse (almost a Loss Of Cooling Accident). NRC allowed both nuclear plants to operate too long in an unsafe condition. UNPLUG Salem is concerned that allowing PSEG to put profits before safety by waiting until 2006 to replace Unit 2's steam generator is an unnecessary safety risk, especially coupled with the risk of a multiple steam tube rupture which NRC's own ACRS committee agrees is possible.
UNPLUG has requested that NRC require PSEG to replace the steam generator in Unit 2 NOW, and not wait until 2006, but would consider agreeing to having PSEG replace the steam generator during the 2004 refueling outage while PSEG is replacing their turbines, if NRC can guarantee, in writing, that the steam generator tubes in Unit 2 will not rupture between now and 2004. UNPLUG Salem found it troubling that PSEG scheduled the turbine replacement first, in 2004, instead of the steam generator replacement. Of course, turbine replacement means additional power production and thus additional revenue to PSEG.
UNPLUG Salem's second concern is with what type of alloy is used in the replacement steam generator. Experts, including a former PSEG steam generator specialist, recommend alloy 690, instead of alloy 600, for any new steam generator. UNPLUG Salem requested that NRC require the use of alloy 690. After the debacles of Indian Point and Davis Bessie, NRC should be completely committed, in both words and practice, to totally support public safety over corporate profits. By agreeing to these two requests of the UNPLUG Salem Campaign, NRC would go a long way to reestablishing its claim that it supports safety first.
Letter to Richard Meserve, Chair, Nuclear Regulatory Commission