Nuclear Power Generation Facility Support
Nuclear power plants provide low-cost, stable, and predictable power; and are essential in maintaining the reliability of the U.S. electric power system. There are 104 commercial nuclear power plants producing 20 percent of all electricity, and over 70 percent of the emission-free electricity generated in the United States.
AMO currently supports multiple nuclear power generation facilities within USEPA Regions II, III, IV. The majority of our work involves GIS database construction, management, and senior-level groundwater quality impact assessment consulting. Although our support to the industry spans nearly a decade, the primary objective of these tasks is to assist facility compliance with the Groundwater Protection Initiative (GPI) instituted by the nuclear power industry in 2007.
AMO coordinates groundwater sampling contractors, corporate and facility client personnel, and laboratory contractors regarding when quarterly aqueous sampling events will be initiated, rescheduled, and completed. AMO then provides ongoing (quarterly to semi-annual) database management, evaluation, and reporting services for each facility under multiple-year contracts.
Upon receipt of the laboratory data, AMO performs an initial data validation. If an unexpected result is received, AMO notifies corporate client personnel as well as the facility’s environmental manager regarding the nature of the result. This often results in re-analysis of the sample to validate the result. Once the data has been validated, the data is input into the project GIS database, which incorporates field data (such as depth to groundwater, pH, temperature) and analytical results.
Quarterly and/or semi-annual monitoring reports are prepared for each station/facility. The reports present a summary of the routine sampling activity and a comparison of the most recent data to that reported in the past. Trend plots are used extensively to evaluate data and potential for leaks. If potential for a leak is suspected, recommendations for additional sampling and other actions are provided immediately and ultimately documented in each report.
Third Party Technical Review and Expert Support
AMO served as the Third Party Technical Reviewer during the assessment of groundwater conditions at client’s multiple nuclear power stations. The focus of the work was to evaluate the potential for and occurrence of tritium and other radionuclides in groundwater. Responsibilities included assisting in environmental contractor selection, development and review of the work scope for each station, analysis of the hydrogeologic conditions at each station, review of draft reports, and assistance with the development of final recommendations and conclusions. Ongoing activities include development and continued evaluation of the routine groundwater monitoring program for each station in response to NRC, NEI, EPRI, and ANSI guidance.
Other Facts About Nuclear Energy
- There are 441 nuclear plants in 32 countries supplying about 21.2% of the world's electricity.
- Nuclear power generation reduces worldwide CO2 emissions by more than 2 billion metric tons per year.
- Nuclear energy supplies electricity to 60 million homes each year.
- Nuclear energy is by far the nation’s largest source of electricity that does not emit any controlled air pollutants, providing 73 percent of the electricity from all carbon-free sources, including hydroelectric, wind and solar.
- More than 3,000 nuclear facilities of various kinds are operating worldwide to support medical, research, energy, agricultural and industrial needs.
from CASEnergy Coalition (2009) & the US Nuclear Energy Foundation (2011)