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Monday
Jun292015

Coalition of states, groups, and Native American tribe press appeal against NRC's false "Nuclear Waste Confidence"

The lethal legacy of the Atomic Age, and we don't even know what to do with the first cupful. It's time to stop making it!A coalition of states (Connecticut, New York, and Vermont), along with the Prairie Island Indian Community, and an alliance of nine environmental groups (Beyond Nuclear, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, New England Coalition, Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Riverkeeper, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition), plus Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) -- collectively, the Petitioners -- are pressing their appeals in federal court against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) 2014 "Continued Spent Fuel Storage Rule" and its associated GEIS (Generic Environmental Impact Statement).

Geoffrey H. Fettus, Counsel for NRDC, and Diane Curran of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg, and Eisenberg, as well as Mindy Goldstein of Turner Environmental Law Clinic, Co-Counsel for Beyond Nuclear et al., filed their INITIAL OPENING BRIEF FOR PETITIONERS on June 29th with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second highest court in the land.

The alliance of environmental groups has focused its appeal on NRC's violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as by not carrying out an adequate court-ordered analysis of the potential impacts if a permanent repository is never opened. The environmental coalition has also appealed NRC's violation of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), by not making assurances that post-operations high-level radioactive waste storage in the short-term, long-term, and indefinitely forevermore, will be done safely.

Beyond Nuclear, represented by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge, has long intervened against the Fermi 3 proposed new reactor in MI, as well as the Davis-Besse, OH old reactor 20-year license extension, including on this Nuclear Waste Confidence controversy. More.

Friday
Jun262015

Take action! Help stop Canada's proposed radioactive waste dump targeted at the Great Lakes shore!

OPG's radioactive waste dump would be located about 3/4ths of a mile from the waters of Lake Huron, unless we stop it!Check out Beyond Nuclear's action alert on things you can do to help stop Ontario Power Generation's proposed radioactive waste dump targeted at the Lake Huron shoreline.

For updates, and to learn more about this "fight of our lives," and for our lives, check out the entries below on Beyond Nuclear's "Canada" website section.

Another great place to learn more about this issue is at Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump's website.

Please take action today, to protect the drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations from the risk of radioactive contamination! The Great Lakes are 21% of the world's surface fresh water, and around 85% of North America's surface fresh water! The Great Lakes shoreline is the last place on Earth to bury radioactive wastes!

Tuesday
Jun232015

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartman's "The Big Picture" re: Fukushima revelations

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture" (photo, left) interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps regarding a revelation that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) knew, two and a half years before a 45-foot tall tsunami wrecked its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, that such a natural disaster was possible, and should be defended against. TEPCO shareholders have sued the company for $50 billion in damages, and the 2008 tsunami risk assessment document came to light in the legal discovery process.

Thom also asked Kevin about recent Freedom of Information Act disclosures showing that the highest ranking officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy were warned that radioactive Iodine-131 emissions from the triple meltdown in Japan could harm Americans downwind, and yet few to no emergency health monitoring measures were taken.

Monday
Jun222015

Entergy's Palisades but the canary in the coal mine for age-degraded RPV risks 

NRC file photo of Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor, located on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Covert, MIA U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) has granted an evidentiary hearing on the merits of concerns regarding the risks of a ductile tear, or fracture, of Entergy Nuclear's severely embrittled Palisades atomic reactor pressure vessel (RPV), located in Covert, MI on the Lake Michigan shore (see photo, left). Toledo-based attorney, Terry Lodge, filed the petition on behalf of an environmental coalition (Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste MI, Michigan Safe Energy Future, and Nuclear Energy Information Service). Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Associates, Inc. in Burlington, Vermont, serves as the coalition's expert witness.

Although Entergy's Palisades has the worst embrittled RPV in the U.S., it is but the canary in the coal mine. As revealed in an April 2013 NRC document (see point #4, on page 5 of 15 on PDF counter), Next Era's (Florida Power & Light's) Point Beach Unit 2, also located on the Lake Michigan shore in Wisconsin, is nearly as bad. Following not very far behind in terms of RPV fracture risk are Entergy's Indian Point Unit 3 near New York City, Pacific Gas & Electric's Diablo Canyon on the California coast, and FirstEnergy's Beaver Valley Unit 1 in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. FirstEnergy has also been required to have an Aging Management Plan for RPV embrittlement at its Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore near Toledo, an indication that this is a serious concern there as well. As a safety precaution in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, Japan's worst embrittled RPV -- Genkai 1 -- was permanently shutdown. More.

Monday
Jun222015

Conservationist Leo Drey dies at 98

It is with great sadness that we say farewell and pay tribute to Leo Drey, husband of our longtime board member, Kay Drey. Leo passed away on May 26 at the age of 98. He was beautifully, and appropriately, dubbed "The Lorax of the Ozarks" in an obituary featured in The Daily Beastdue to his enormous contribution to the sustainable preservation of forested land in that region. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, his answer machine message was: “I’m out planting a forest. Please leave your name and number and I’ll try to get back to you before it matures.” Leo developed a gentle and sustainable logging practice with other forestry experts known as "individual-tree selection." As explained in the Post-Dispach article, "Trees scattered through a plot are selectively cut, like thinning a garden. The remaining trees grow taller and bigger — and the forest still looks like a forest." In 2004, Leo donated what was known as the Pioneer Forest — 146,000 acres — to a charity that will continue his mission of sustainable forestry. His contribution to conservation and his deep appreciation of nature will be missed. All of us at Beyond Nuclear convey our condolences to Kay and her family.