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Nuclear Event – Unanalyzed Condition that significantly degrades plant safety, Equipment Failure: Sequoyah Nuclear Generating Station, Tennessee


North America – USA | State of Tennessee, Hamilton County, Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
Location: 35°13′35″N 85°5′30″W
Present Operational Age: ~34 years

Nuclear Event in USA on Monday, 16 May, 2016 at 21:05 [EDT]


“On May 16, 2016 at 2105, Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant identified a nonconforming condition involving the Emergency Diesel Generator (EDG) fire dampers installed in Units 1 and 2. Specifically, it has been identified that if a tornado causes a differential pressure across the east and west sides of the EDG Building, this could create a high airflow rate through the EDG Building ventilation path. The fire dampers for each EDG bay (required to isolate the space for CO2 fire suppression per SQN Fire Protection Report) have not been analyzed to withstand high air flows resulting from a tornado and could possibly fail in a way that impedes airflow for EDG cooling. This is an unanalyzed condition that could prevent all EDGs from supplying electrical power as designed during a tornado or other similar weather events.

“All 4 EDGs are required to be operable by both units’ Technical Specifications to provide electrical power to safe shutdown/safety related equipment following accident conditions coincident with a loss of offsite power. The Current Licensing Basis (CLB) requires that tornado effects be considered in the design of safety related SSCs [Systems, Structures, and Components], and it cannot be demonstrated at this time that the described SSCs will withstand the design basis tornado. It has been determined that the CLB may not adequately address possible design basis tornado scenarios.

“The EDGs are located inside the power plant structure and are currently capable of performing their safety function. The occurrence of such an event is highly unlikely and there is no imminent concern regarding severe weather involving tornadoes. Compensatory measures have been developed to address the associated nonconformance.

“The condition described above is being reported as an unanalyzed condition that significantly degrades plant safety per 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(ii)(B).”

The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.

Source: NRC  Event Number: 51935

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