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 Entered dateSiteRegionReactor typeEvent description
ENS 4893817 April 2013 15:53:00Breazeale Nuclear ReactorNRC Region 1The following information was excerpted from an email from the licensee: On April 16, 2013 at 1701 EDT, the research test reactor automatically shutdown from 100% power (1 MW) due to a valid high power condition. The duty Senior Reactor Operator removed a timed irradiation sample from the core that added positive reactivity. Both the digital (non-safety system) and the analog safety system acted on the high power condition and initiated the shutdown. All systems functioned as designed. The short duration power transient reached a peak power of about 1.3 MW. There was no increase in radiation levels, personnel radiation exposure, or release of radiation from the facility. No emergency event entry criteria were met. The plant was placed in a secured condition and an event review investigation was conducted. The event is (potentially) reportable in that the Maximum Power Level observed during the short duration (< 1 second) transient exceeded the steady state power limit for non-pulse mode operation as described in Technical Specification(TS) 3.1.1 Non-pulse mode operation sub-section b. The maximum power level shall be no greater than 1.1 MW (thermal). The reactor was returned to routine service at approximately 1300 EDT on April 17, 2013.
ENS 453211 September 2009 22:28:00Breazeale Nuclear ReactorNRC Region 1The following was received via facsimile: An empty Type B, 30 gallon drum container was shipped on August 20, 2009 via public carrier from NSSI Sources and Services Inc. from Houston, Texas. It was delivered on August 25, 2009 to a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) job site within a building at Penn State University in State College, PA. The shipping container was found to have external removable alpha contamination in excess of the US DOT limits noted in 49 CFR 173. LANL personnel informed their management and the carrier. Steps were also taken to verify that the contamination did not originate at Penn State. The individual truck that delivered the package to Penn State was surveyed by LANL personnel at about 2100 on 8/25/09. No contamination was found in the truck or the driver's area. There was no risk to any personnel at this facility due to this event. The first wipe found removable alpha contamination well in excess of the 2.2 dpm/centimeter squared DOT limit. After hours of decon, the removable contamination on the shipping containers was still over the limit. Onsite measurements noted little or no associated gamma radiation, and a sample was sent to LANL for alpha spectrum analysis. The material has been tentatively identified as curium-244 (Cm-244). PA DEP (Department of Radiation Protection) Bureau of Radiation Protection (BRP) was initially notified August 26, 2009 and has continued to receive more complete information through September 1st. LANL will put a new lid on the drum, package up the waste, and get things ready for shipping on September 2, 2009. The Commonwealth of PA has provided email notices of preliminary information related to this event to the NRC Region 1 State Liaison, and will continue to keep NRC informed of the status of our investigation. See also EN #45309 for the Texas report on the same event. State Event #: PA090028
ENS 437049 October 2007 16:45:00Breazeale Nuclear ReactorNRC Region 1

Pennsylvania State University Operations personnel noticed increased makeup at the Breazeale (Triga) reactor, an open pool reactor. At 1600, the leak rate was measured at approximately ten gallons per hour. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Health was notified of the probable leak to the environment (possibly to the ground around the containment pool). The licensee has not reached any required reporting criteria. Water activity:

 Gross Alpha:  less than minimum detectable
 Gross Beta:  approx. 3.8 picoCuries/liter
 Chromium Gamma:  approx. 103 picoCuries/liter

Mark A. Trump, Associate Director of Operations, Breazeale Nuclear Reactor Radiation Science and Engineering Center Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801 provided the following information to Marvin Mendonca via e-mail at 0536 on 10/10/07. At approximately 1600 hrs on 10/9/07 review of water inventory data on the reactor pool indicates a probable leak of approximately 10 gallons per hour from the approximately 71,000 gallon pool. A walk down of reactor systems does not show any signs of leakage into any interfacing systems leading to a probable conclusion that the leak is through the concrete pool wall into the biological shielding (earthen wall). This leakage amount is well within normal makeup system capacity and is at the low threshold of our ability to determine the leakage due to variables such as evaporation rates. The reactor is in a safe condition, all reactor pool water chemistry is normal but notification is being done to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (as required). Notification of the NRC operational department is also being made concurrently. Notification number 43704. Notified R1DO(Cook), NRR(Mendonca), NRR(Adams), FSME(Flanders), and NRR(Cunningham).

ENS 4067414 April 2004 15:25:00Breazeale Nuclear ReactorNRC Region 1During a routine sealed source inventory and leak test in March 2004, a technician from the Pennsylvania State University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) found that a 14 millicurie source of nickel-63 was missing. The source was from a Varian Associates, Inc. gas chromatograph (GC): Model number: 3400CX Serial number : 17561 Source serial number: A10017 NRC Device Key #: 478731 Penn State # 1993-1019 Source Description: Plated nickel-63 source Current activity: 14 millicuries EHS contacted faculty and staff associated with the laboratory while trying to locate the instrument. After repeated inquiries, it was determined that the GC had been sent to University Salvage in September 2003, and from there it was sold as scrap. According to NUREG-1717, Systematic Radiological Assessment of Exemptions for Source and Byproduct Materials, the dose to any individual from a scrapped Ni-63 gas chromatograph source would be less than 0.01 mSv (1 millirem).
ENS 4041123 December 2003 16:38:00Breazeale Nuclear ReactorNRC Region 1A violation of Tech Spec 6.1.3.a.1 occurred when the reactor operator left the control room without removing the key from the console key switch. Tech Spec 6.1.3.a.1 states: "The minimum staffing when the reactor is not secured shall be: A licensed operator present in the control room, in accordance with applicable regulations." Interviews of the Duty RO and the Duty SRO and console indications determined the condition was present for about 11 minutes. All other conditions for the reactor being secured were met with the exception of the console key switch. Investigation determined positively that the reactor was "secured" in all aspects except for the key switch during the period of time when a licensed operator was not present in the control room. The licensee has notified the NRC Project Manager.