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Saturday
Jan312015

NRC to send Special Inspection Team to Entergy's Pilgrim atomic reactor after snow storm shutdown

Ironically enough, NEI left this Tweet up for days after Pilgrim was shut down by snow storm "Juno"!As reported by the Boston Globe, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will send a 4-5 person Special Inspection Team to Entergy Nuclear's Pilgrim atomic reactor next week, to investigate why snow storm "Juno" shut the plant down very early last Tuesday morning.

As of Friday evening, NRC's website is still showing Pilgrim at 0% power. Emergency diesel generators are running the plant's safety and cooling systems.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, NRC had warned before the snow storm, packing hurricane-force winds, that as many as 26 atomic reactors along the eastern seaboard, and further inland, could be forced to shut down.

For its part, the industry's lobbying and PR HQ, Nuclear Energy Institute, was bragging up nuclear power's reliability during severe winter weather. Ironically, it left it's Twitter ad (see above left) up for days after Pilgrim was forced to shut down in the face of the snow, ice, and wind storm's ferocity.

Thursday
Jan292015

"Winter Storm Exposes Vulnerability of Nuclear Power Plants"

NRC file photo of Entergy's Pilgrim atomic reactor, on Cape Cod Bay south of Boston. Pilgrim bore the brunt of Nor'easter "Juno." NRC's website reports that Pilgrim is still at 0% power, as of 9pm Eastern ThursdayAs reported by the Pulitzer-Prize winning online publication Inside Climate News, the "Shutdown of Pilgrim facility in Massachusetts fuels critics' challenge."

The article reports: '...Tim Judson, executive director of the anti-nuclear activist group Nuclear Information and Resource Service, told InsideClimate News that during emergency shutdowns—especially during extreme heat or cold—grid operators "are scrambling to find generators to make up the power."

...Judson is skeptical of the plan [by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to incorporate more extreme weather risks to atomic reactors,] and blamed the NRC of "doing everything they can to delay" industry facing up to new rules.'

Pilgrim is a Fukushima Daiichi twin-design and vintage, a GE BWR Mark I. One of those "Fukushima Lessons Learned" new rules that NRC has not just delayed, but killed, is the requirement to add radiological filters to the fatally-flawed, too small, too weak containments on Mark Is (and similarly designed Mark IIs). The U.S. has 22 operating Mark Is, and 8 Mark IIs.

For many years, Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago has warned "It's the Water, Stupid!" regarding risks of extreme weather to atomic reactors. Far from nuclear power being a solution for the climate crisis, Beyond Nuclear has warned that atomic reactors cannot safely operate amdist climate chaos, as has NIRS.

Wednesday
Jan282015

Environmental coalition demands NEPA & AEA compliance re: Nuclear Waste Confidence in reactor licensing proceedings

Irradiated nuclear fuel being moved in a high-level radioactive waste storage pool. The courts ruled in 2012 that NRC's days (well, many decades!) of lawlessness regarding nuclear waste generation, storage, and disposal are over.In a legal filing today, a coalition of environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, has demanded that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) fulfill its legally required obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), regarding its Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) and Rule in various atomic reactor licensing proceedings around the country. The coalition is represented by attorneys Diane Curran of Washington, D.C., and Mindy Goldstein of Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University in Atlanta.

In several reactor licensing proceedings where Final EISs came out prior to court victories negating NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence policy (or "Nuke Waste Con Game," for short!) for violating NEPA and AEA in 2012, NRC has neither included the full 2014 Continued Storage GEIS and Rule in new reactor combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) proceeding FEISs, nor old reactor license extension proceeding FEISs. To not do so violates NEPA, and portions of AEA, and their implementing regulations at NRC, as well as the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

On Dec. 8, 2014, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, represented by Curran, filed a Nuclear Waste Confidence-related placeholder contention in the Callaway atomic reactor license extension proceeding. That contention has, thus far, succeeded in staving off NRC's imminent rubberstamp of Callaway's 20-year extension.

Attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo represents Beyond Nuclear in the intervention against NRC approval of the proposed new Fermi Unit 3 reactor COLA in southeast Michigan, on the Great Lakes shoreline. Today's filing by Lodge  in that proceeding seeks to preserve Beyond Nuclear's opportunity to file a Nuclear Waste Confidence contention against Fermi 3, like was done at Callaway several weeks ago.

Tuesday
Jan272015

Nuclear DOESN'T Matter!

Carol Browner, a paid spokesman for industry PR front group "Nuclear Matters," is but the latest in a long line of nuclear power snake oil salesman, seeking to gouge ratepayers and taxpayers"Nuclear Matters," a high-priced front group featuring paid, pro-nuclear spokespeople -- former members of congress and administration agency heads -- was created by Exelon Nuclear and its PR machine last year. It has since been joined by other nuclear utilities, such as FirstEnergy.

"Nuclear Matters" spokespeople, such as former Clinton administration EPA administrator, and Obama administration White House "climate czar," Carol Browner, are in Exelon's hometown of Chicago today, and plan to be at FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor in Carroll Township, Ohio (east of Toledo, on the Lake Erie shore) on Feb. 5th. See the web site entries immediately below.

"Nuclear Matters" is trying desperately to prop up dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive atomic reactors, through massive ratepayer bailouts, in both Illinois and Ohio. (And check out Grist's coverage of Exelon's attempt to take over Pepco, and gouge ratepayers in D.C., MD, and beyond in the Mid-Atlantic region!) In fact, in Chicago, they were joined by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the industry's lobbying and PR HQ in Washington, D.C. Exelon, the single largest nuclear utility in the U.S., also dominates NEI -- both Exelon's and NEI's CEO is one and the same person: Christopher Crane. More.

Tuesday
Jan272015

Growing coalition opposes multi-billion dollar ratepayer bailout for FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor

NRC file photo of Davis-Besse on the Lake Erie shoreline east of ToledoAs reported by Tom Henry of The Toledo Blade, the Jan. 15 Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) hearing in Toledo revealed a growing coalition of environmental, public interest, and consumer protection groups opposing a $3.2 billion (or larger) ratepayer bailout sought by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) to prop up its dirty, dangerous and uncompetitive Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shoreline, as well as its Sammis coal burner on the Ohio River in southeast OH. Policy Matters Ohio, Ohio Consumers Counsel (a state agency), and American Association of Retired Persons joined with groups like Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, Green Party of Ohio, and others, which have long resisted Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension.

Beyond Nuclear testified at the Toledo hearing, as well as the Akron hearing on Jan. 12. Public Citizen testified at the Jan. 20 hearing in Cleveland, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

More.