Posts Tagged ‘Environment’


Councilmember Rosendahl Celebrates Five Years of Mar Vista’s Green Garden Showcase

April 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm
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Dozens of Mar Vista gardeners are busy sprucing up their environmentally friendly yards, rock gardens, and chicken coops to show the benefits of creating a sustainable space around your home. The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase takes place on Earth Day which is on Saturday, April 20th. The event is a perfect opportunity to educate and celebrate Earth Day in … Continue reading »

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Dozens of Mar Vista gardeners are busy sprucing up their environmentally friendly yards, rock gardens, and chicken coops to show the benefits of creating a sustainable space around your home. The Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase takes place on Earth Day which is on Saturday, April 20th. The event is a perfect opportunity to educate and celebrate Earth Day in … Continue reading »

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San Onofre design choices led to nuclear plant shutdown

March 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm
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San Onofre
An executive with the company that manufactured faulty equipment that led to the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant defended decisions made in the design of the replacement steam generators.

The company made choices in designing support structures at San Onofre that were intended to prevent one type of vibration, but ended up creating another type of vibration that ultimately led to the plant’s closure, said Frank Gillespie, senior vice president with Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems.

The problematic vibration, he said, had not been seen at any other plant before, although it had been observed in experimental conditions.

That vibration led to excessive wear on the tubes, particularly in the plant’s Unit 3, where one tube sprang a leak and released a small amount of radioactive steam on Jan. 31, 2012, and eight tubes failed pressure tests.

The nuclear facility has been closed for more than a year.

Mitsubushi discussed the design process in a proprietary report that was made public in a redacted form earlier this month.

Gillespie said designers working on the new system in 2005 put “paramount focus” on controlling vibration and reducing wear. In the process, they added more anti-vibration bars, but made other changes that led to less contact between the bars and tubes.

In Unit 3 in particular, the bars were flatter, leading to about half the amount of pressure between bars and tubes as in Unit 2, the plant’s other working reactor unit, which also saw an unusual but less severe amount of wear.

“What they didn’t understand at the time is, some of the steps … actually made in plane [vibration] worse,” Gillespie said. “…There was an underappreciation for the fact that the pressure of the bars against the tubes actually performed a very important function.”

Anti-nuclear activists and some lawmakers — notably, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)  — have accused Mitsubishi and plant operator Southern California Edison of being aware of defects in the equipment’s design prior to installation and failing to make modifications that might have prevented the problem in order to avoid going through a potentially lengthy license amendment process.

Mitsubishi’s root cause report did show that some changes were rejected in part because they would have required a license amendment. The changes were intended to reduce the dryness of the steam flowing around the tubes, which ended up being a factor in the problematic vibration.

However, the company also said of the proposed design changes in a supplemental report, “None of these alternatives had a large enough effect [on the dryness of the steam] to justify such a significant change.” In a letter to the NRC, an attorney for Mitsubishi said the changes were also rejected because they might have had “negative safety impacts” on other portions of the design.

Gillespie said the manufacturing contract required that the new steam generators should fit in the same physical space as the old ones. Some of the changes that were considered and rejected would have changed the size of the apparatus enough that it would not have fit, which would have required a license amendment.

But, he said, “We totally thought we had eliminated the right kind of vibration. There was never a decision to do something that would have made this generator, in 2005 considerations, less safe.”

Some changes in the design made to conform with changing industry standards made the problem worse. The alloy of the tubes was changed to prevent corrosion. Because the new alloy conducts less heat, that meant 10% more tubes were added. The tube design was also changed so that a bend at the top of the tube bundle was more rounded.

Gillespie said those changes were “standard procedure” in the industry, but they contributed to the conditions that led to the vibration. The design process was complicated by the fact that San Onofre’s original steam generators are unusually large in physical size and power output. 

Mitsubishi also made an input error in a computer code intended to predict the velocity of the steam, which led to underestimating how fast the steam would flow around the tubes.

A U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission team tasked with investigating the issues at San Onofre pointed to that error as one of the major causes of the plant’s issues, but Mitsubishi maintains that even if the calculation had been correct, they would not have predicted the in-plane vibration that occurred.

The NRC is weighing a proposal by Edison to restart Unit 2 and run it at reduced power for five months, in hopes that reducing the power would eliminate the conditions that led to the unwanted vibration. The agency will not make a decision on the plan until May at the earliest.

In the meantime, an NRC panel is weighing a petition by environmental group Friends of the Earth to require a license amendment process including trial-like public hearings, before deciding on the restart proposal.

Friends of the Earth has argued that Unit 2 is unsafe to run without major repairs or replacing the steam generators again.

Gillespie disagreed, saying he considered it “highly likely that Unit 2 is actually a very good steam generator” and that preventatively plugging tubes that might be susceptible to wear should address the problem.

No restart plan has been proposed for Unit 3. Gillespie said Mitsubishi had recommended several options to Edison for addressing the issues in that unit, but would not discuss what the options were in detail. Edison said in a financial filing that one of the recommendations, which would entail replacing substantial portions of the steam generator system, could take as much as five years.

The two companies are also at odds over a $138-million cap on the steam generator warranty, which Edison believes should not apply to the current situation. 

ALSO:

‘Tonight Show’ leaving Burbank; mayor threatens hunger strike?

Senior LAUSD officials knew of child abuse claims

Dorner captives stake claim to $1.2-million reward

 – Abby Sewell

Photo: Beach activity near the San Onofre nuclear plant. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

San Onofre
An executive with the company that manufactured faulty equipment that led to the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant defended decisions made in the design of the replacement steam generators.

The company made choices in designing support structures at San Onofre that were intended to prevent one type of vibration, but ended up creating another type of vibration that ultimately led to the plant’s closure, said Frank Gillespie, senior vice president with Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems.

The problematic vibration, he said, had not been seen at any other plant before, although it had been observed in experimental conditions.

That vibration led to excessive wear on the tubes, particularly in the plant’s Unit 3, where one tube sprang a leak and released a small amount of radioactive steam on Jan. 31, 2012, and eight tubes failed pressure tests.

The nuclear facility has been closed for more than a year.

Mitsubushi discussed the design process in a proprietary report that was made public in a redacted form earlier this month.

Gillespie said designers working on the new system in 2005 put “paramount focus” on controlling vibration and reducing wear. In the process, they added more anti-vibration bars, but made other changes that led to less contact between the bars and tubes.

In Unit 3 in particular, the bars were flatter, leading to about half the amount of pressure between bars and tubes as in Unit 2, the plant’s other working reactor unit, which also saw an unusual but less severe amount of wear.

“What they didn’t understand at the time is, some of the steps … actually made in plane [vibration] worse,” Gillespie said. “…There was an underappreciation for the fact that the pressure of the bars against the tubes actually performed a very important function.”

Anti-nuclear activists and some lawmakers — notably, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)  — have accused Mitsubishi and plant operator Southern California Edison of being aware of defects in the equipment’s design prior to installation and failing to make modifications that might have prevented the problem in order to avoid going through a potentially lengthy license amendment process.

Mitsubishi’s root cause report did show that some changes were rejected in part because they would have required a license amendment. The changes were intended to reduce the dryness of the steam flowing around the tubes, which ended up being a factor in the problematic vibration.

However, the company also said of the proposed design changes in a supplemental report, “None of these alternatives had a large enough effect [on the dryness of the steam] to justify such a significant change.” In a letter to the NRC, an attorney for Mitsubishi said the changes were also rejected because they might have had “negative safety impacts” on other portions of the design.

Gillespie said the manufacturing contract required that the new steam generators should fit in the same physical space as the old ones. Some of the changes that were considered and rejected would have changed the size of the apparatus enough that it would not have fit, which would have required a license amendment.

But, he said, “We totally thought we had eliminated the right kind of vibration. There was never a decision to do something that would have made this generator, in 2005 considerations, less safe.”

Some changes in the design made to conform with changing industry standards made the problem worse. The alloy of the tubes was changed to prevent corrosion. Because the new alloy conducts less heat, that meant 10% more tubes were added. The tube design was also changed so that a bend at the top of the tube bundle was more rounded.

Gillespie said those changes were “standard procedure” in the industry, but they contributed to the conditions that led to the vibration. The design process was complicated by the fact that San Onofre’s original steam generators are unusually large in physical size and power output. 

Mitsubishi also made an input error in a computer code intended to predict the velocity of the steam, which led to underestimating how fast the steam would flow around the tubes.

A U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission team tasked with investigating the issues at San Onofre pointed to that error as one of the major causes of the plant’s issues, but Mitsubishi maintains that even if the calculation had been correct, they would not have predicted the in-plane vibration that occurred.

The NRC is weighing a proposal by Edison to restart Unit 2 and run it at reduced power for five months, in hopes that reducing the power would eliminate the conditions that led to the unwanted vibration. The agency will not make a decision on the plan until May at the earliest.

In the meantime, an NRC panel is weighing a petition by environmental group Friends of the Earth to require a license amendment process including trial-like public hearings, before deciding on the restart proposal.

Friends of the Earth has argued that Unit 2 is unsafe to run without major repairs or replacing the steam generators again.

Gillespie disagreed, saying he considered it “highly likely that Unit 2 is actually a very good steam generator” and that preventatively plugging tubes that might be susceptible to wear should address the problem.

No restart plan has been proposed for Unit 3. Gillespie said Mitsubishi had recommended several options to Edison for addressing the issues in that unit, but would not discuss what the options were in detail. Edison said in a financial filing that one of the recommendations, which would entail replacing substantial portions of the steam generator system, could take as much as five years.

The two companies are also at odds over a $138-million cap on the steam generator warranty, which Edison believes should not apply to the current situation. 

ALSO:

‘Tonight Show’ leaving Burbank; mayor threatens hunger strike?

Senior LAUSD officials knew of child abuse claims

Dorner captives stake claim to $1.2-million reward

 – Abby Sewell

Photo: Beach activity near the San Onofre nuclear plant. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

" addthis:title="San Onofre design choices led to nuclear plant shutdown" addthis:description="

San Onofre
An executive with the company that manufactured faulty equipment that led to the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant defended decisions made in the design of the replacement steam generators.

The company made choices in designing support structures at San Onofre that were intended to prevent one type of vibration, but ended up creating another type of vibration that ultimately led to the plant’s closure, said Frank Gillespie, senior vice president with Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems.

The problematic vibration, he said, had not been seen at any other plant before, although it had been observed in experimental conditions.

That vibration led to excessive wear on the tubes, particularly in the plant’s Unit 3, where one tube sprang a leak and released a small amount of radioactive steam on Jan. 31, 2012, and eight tubes failed pressure tests.

The nuclear facility has been closed for more than a year.

Mitsubushi discussed the design process in a proprietary report that was made public in a redacted form earlier this month.

Gillespie said designers working on the new system in 2005 put “paramount focus” on controlling vibration and reducing wear. In the process, they added more anti-vibration bars, but made other changes that led to less contact between the bars and tubes.

In Unit 3 in particular, the bars were flatter, leading to about half the amount of pressure between bars and tubes as in Unit 2, the plant’s other working reactor unit, which also saw an unusual but less severe amount of wear.

“What they didn’t understand at the time is, some of the steps … actually made in plane [vibration] worse,” Gillespie said. “…There was an underappreciation for the fact that the pressure of the bars against the tubes actually performed a very important function.”

Anti-nuclear activists and some lawmakers — notably, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)  — have accused Mitsubishi and plant operator Southern California Edison of being aware of defects in the equipment’s design prior to installation and failing to make modifications that might have prevented the problem in order to avoid going through a potentially lengthy license amendment process.

Mitsubishi’s root cause report did show that some changes were rejected in part because they would have required a license amendment. The changes were intended to reduce the dryness of the steam flowing around the tubes, which ended up being a factor in the problematic vibration.

However, the company also said of the proposed design changes in a supplemental report, “None of these alternatives had a large enough effect [on the dryness of the steam] to justify such a significant change.” In a letter to the NRC, an attorney for Mitsubishi said the changes were also rejected because they might have had “negative safety impacts” on other portions of the design.

Gillespie said the manufacturing contract required that the new steam generators should fit in the same physical space as the old ones. Some of the changes that were considered and rejected would have changed the size of the apparatus enough that it would not have fit, which would have required a license amendment.

But, he said, “We totally thought we had eliminated the right kind of vibration. There was never a decision to do something that would have made this generator, in 2005 considerations, less safe.”

Some changes in the design made to conform with changing industry standards made the problem worse. The alloy of the tubes was changed to prevent corrosion. Because the new alloy conducts less heat, that meant 10% more tubes were added. The tube design was also changed so that a bend at the top of the tube bundle was more rounded.

Gillespie said those changes were “standard procedure” in the industry, but they contributed to the conditions that led to the vibration. The design process was complicated by the fact that San Onofre’s original steam generators are unusually large in physical size and power output. 

Mitsubishi also made an input error in a computer code intended to predict the velocity of the steam, which led to underestimating how fast the steam would flow around the tubes.

A U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission team tasked with investigating the issues at San Onofre pointed to that error as one of the major causes of the plant’s issues, but Mitsubishi maintains that even if the calculation had been correct, they would not have predicted the in-plane vibration that occurred.

The NRC is weighing a proposal by Edison to restart Unit 2 and run it at reduced power for five months, in hopes that reducing the power would eliminate the conditions that led to the unwanted vibration. The agency will not make a decision on the plan until May at the earliest.

In the meantime, an NRC panel is weighing a petition by environmental group Friends of the Earth to require a license amendment process including trial-like public hearings, before deciding on the restart proposal.

Friends of the Earth has argued that Unit 2 is unsafe to run without major repairs or replacing the steam generators again.

Gillespie disagreed, saying he considered it “highly likely that Unit 2 is actually a very good steam generator” and that preventatively plugging tubes that might be susceptible to wear should address the problem.

No restart plan has been proposed for Unit 3. Gillespie said Mitsubishi had recommended several options to Edison for addressing the issues in that unit, but would not discuss what the options were in detail. Edison said in a financial filing that one of the recommendations, which would entail replacing substantial portions of the steam generator system, could take as much as five years.

The two companies are also at odds over a $138-million cap on the steam generator warranty, which Edison believes should not apply to the current situation. 

ALSO:

‘Tonight Show’ leaving Burbank; mayor threatens hunger strike?

Senior LAUSD officials knew of child abuse claims

Dorner captives stake claim to $1.2-million reward

 – Abby Sewell

Photo: Beach activity near the San Onofre nuclear plant. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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Sustainable Works Green Living Workshop

January 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Did you know it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef? You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than by not showering for 6 months! Join a FREE Sustainable Works Green Living Workshop and learn how information like this will help you save money and […]

Sustainable Works 1-week Green Living Workshop at Santa Monica Library

October 5, 2012 at 4:50 am

Did you know it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef? You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than by not showering for 6 months! Join a FREE Sustainable Works Green Living Workshop and learn how facts like these will help you save money and […]

Sustainable Works 3-Week Green Living Workshop

August 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm

3 Saturday Meetings, Starting September 15, 2012: 9/15, 9/22 & 9/29 10:00am – 11:30am Virginia Ave. Park Thelma Terry Building 2200 Virginia Ave. Santa Monica 90404 Workshops meet for three- 1.5 hour sessions at the same location and time. Series 1: Energy | Waste | Shopping & Food We spend time each week learning about […]

Sustainable Works 3-Week Green Living Workshop

August 14, 2012 at 11:20 am

3 Monday Meetings, Starting September 10, 2012: 9/10, 9/17 & 9/24 7:30pm – 9pm Virginia Ave. Park Thelma Terry Building 2200 Virginia Ave. Santa Monica 90404 Workshops meet for three- 1.5 hour sessions at the same location and time. Series 1: Energy | Waste | Shopping & Food We spend time each week learning about […]

Santa Monica citizen heads to DC to press for action on climate change

July 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

As Americans deal with flooding, wildfires, and heat waves exacerbated by global warming, Santa Monica resident Laura Matthews is heading to Washington to ask Congress to take effective steps to stop climate change.

Culver City Council calls on state to ban fracking temporarily

July 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm
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The Culver City Council approved a resolution urging Gov. Jerry Brown and state regulators to impose a ban on hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, until regulations have been adopted.The resolution calls on the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources to ban fracking until regulations ensuring the protection of public health, safety and the environment are enacted.

As project nears, Malibu Lagoon activists vow civil disobedience

May 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm
161471.ME.1007.malibu.3.LS
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With work set to begin this week on the hotly contested clean-up of a pollution-choked salt marsh next to a world-renowned Malibu surf spot, law enforcement officials are bracing for civil disobedience. Activists are staging protests and pledging to stand in the way of advancing bulldozers as state parks contractors prepare to fence off Malibu Lagoon […]

Gray whales cruising through Southland on northbound migration

March 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm
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If you missed seeing the gray whales as they swam south to Baja California for the winter, now may be your chance to catch them on their way back north.

What’s next for Silver Lake’s reservoirs?

March 10, 2012 at 11:44 am
www.theeastsiderla.com -

City officials and community leaders gathered on a field near Griffith Park for the ground breaking of what will eventually be a pair of giant, underground water storage tanks. The buried Headworks Reservoir – with a capacity to hold 110 million gallons of water – will help the LADWP meet federal water guidelines and serve as a replacement for the above ground Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs. So, what happens to the Silver Lake reservoirs once they are no longer part of the city’s water supply?

5 SoCal Beaches That Will Be Most Screwed By Climate Change

March 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm
la.curbed.com -

According to a new study estimating the potential economic impacts of climate change on Southern California beaches, scientists are models to project how climate change would alter the width of the sand, attendance and visitor spending at 51 public beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The study looked at the effects of a one meter rise in sea levels–all beaches will get smaller. Here are the top five beaches that would net the most money and the top five that would lose the most if sea levels were to rise by a meter.