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Saturday
Aug012015

Ameren cancels Callaway 2 EPR in Missouri!

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ameren Corp. has officially cancelled its proposed new reactor, Callaway 2, by withdrawing its license application from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ameren has previously suspended the project in May 2009.

The proposed new reactor was a French Areva EPR (so-called "Evolutionary Power Reactor"), the second to be officially cancelled recently (the other being Calvert Cliffs 3 in MD). At one time, seven EPRs were proposed across the U.S., with more under consideration in Ontario. Recently, Areva in France has entered bankruptcy, as an EPR in Finland has slipped further behind schedule and more over budget, and one in France has admitted potentially fatal construction flaws in the reactor pressure vessel (in Europe, the EPR is called the "Europena Pressurized Reactor").

Ameren's lobbyists failed for several state legislative sessions to overturn a 40-year old popular referendum in Missouri banning CWIP (Construction Work in Progress), another fatal blow to Callaway 2. Ameren was also passed over by the U.S. Department of Energy for hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies for R&D on SMRs (so-called "Small Modular Reactors").

Saturday
Aug012015

"3 Former Executives to Be Prosecuted in Fukushima Nuclear Disaster"

Tsunehisa Katsumata, the chairman of Tepco at the time of the accident. Credit Franck Robichon/European Pressphoto Agency As reported by Jonathon Soble in the New York Times, a review panel of private citzens has -- for the second time -- overruled prosecutors and demanded that three top executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) be charged in relation to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe that began on 3/11/11.

This second review panel ruling is binding, meaning prosecutors must bring charges.

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs Group, representing 15,000 individuals, including nuclear evacuees, has long sought the prosecution.

The binding decision by the review panel requires that prosecutors bring charges of "professional negligence resulting in death."

As reported by the 2015 World Nuclear Industry Status Report (see bottom of page 84), 3,200 individual nuclear evacuees -- the majority from Fukushima Prefecture -- have died since the nuclear catastrophe began. This includes the elderly or infirm, who have succumbed to illnesses during their long exile from their radioactive homes, as well as suicides. More.

Thursday
Jul302015

"France Plans to Reduce Nuclear in Favor of Renewables"

As reported by Eric Marx and ClimateWire/E&E, reprinted in Scientific American:

"France, one of the world’s leaders in nuclear energy production, plans to draw down nuclear’s share of electricity generation from 75 to 50 percent by 2025—giving itself a 10-year time frame equivalent to the complete shutdown now ongoing in Germany." More.

Thursday
Jul302015

Beyond Nuclear appeals scandalous NRC rule that has long undermined NEPA to facilitate new reactor construction

Beyond Nuclear has filed multiple appeals at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia -- the second highest court in the land -- in opposition to Detroit Edison's proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor, and the construction/operation license recently rubber-stamped by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Terry Lodge, an attorney based in Toledo, serves as legal counsel for Beyond Nuclear.

One of the appeals represents the first legal challenge ever to a scandalous NRC rule change eight years ago that effectively undermined the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): the Orwellian redefinition of a single word, "construction."

Bloomberg's Elliot Blair Smith broke the story on September 25, 2007 in an article entitled "Nuclear Utilities Redefine One Word to Bulldoze for New Plants."

More.

Thursday
Jul302015

Exelon threatens to close three reactors by early next year, absent $1.8 billion IL bailout

NRC file photo of two-reactor Quad Cities nuclear power plant in ILScott Stapf of the Hastings Group's tweet put it well: Nuclear blackmail: Exelon threatens to kill Quad Cities plant if IL lawmakers don't hand over loot.

As reported by Crain's Chicago Business, despite a windfall compliments of regional grid operator PJM (provided at ratepayer expense), Exelon Nuclear is nonetheless still threatening to close its two reactors at Quad Cities, unless the Illinois State Legislature provides it another massive bailout, to the tune of $1.8 billion.

Exelon has also said its downstate single reactor plant, Clinton, could be next to close, early next year, absent the state bailout. More.