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Monday
Jul282014

Environmental coalition urges NRC Commissioners to approve ASLB review of agency staff's NEPA violations at Fermi 3

Although atomic reactors and their transmission lines are inextricably interconnected, NRC failed to include them in its Fermi 3 FEIS

An environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, has warned for two and a half years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has been derelict in its NEPA duty at Fermi 3, a proposed new ESBWR atomic reactor on the Great Lakes shore in Monroe Co., MI. NRC has failed to analyze the environmental impacts of Fermi 3's nearly 30-mile long transmission line corridor, which would pass through various ecosystems, including forested wetlands, likely home to endangered and threatened plant and animal species.

On July 7th, the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel, overseeing the Fermi 3 Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) proceeding, essentially agreed with the coalition, sending a 60-page memo to the NRC Commissioners requesting permission to review the matter. The ASLB cited U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), concurrence that NRC has not done its NEPA duty.

A short four days later, the four remaining NRC Commissioners (Commissioner Apostalakis left the agency on June 30th) ordered briefs from the parties engaged in this proceeding by July 28th.

The coalition's attorney, Terry Lodge of Toledo, met the challenge of that very short deadline, filing a motion supporting the ASLB's review of the NEPA violations.

The nuclear utility, DTE (formerly Detroit Edison), as well as the NRC staff, filed motions opposing the ASLB's requested NEPA review. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the nuclear power industry's lobbying arm, also filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief, urging the NRC Commissioners to block the ASLB's NEPA review.

More.

Friday
Jul252014

ASLB rejects contention on multiple, worsening Shield Building problems at Davis-Besse

An NRC inspector visually examines severe cracking in the Davis-Besse Shield Building, Oct., 2011In a ruling on July 25th, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel at Davis-Besse, OH rejected an environmental coalition's latest contention.

The contention was filed by the coalition's Toledo-based attorney, Terry Lodge, on Earth Day (April 22), 2014. It regards worsening cracking, an air gap in the concrete wall, as well as rebar damage, in the age-degraded Shield Building (SB), essential to radioactivity containment. The contention alleges that FENOC's aging-management plans for the 2017-2037 license extension period are woefully inadequate, with significant safety and environmental risk implications.

The ASLB said it rejected the contention as being premature, but indicating that interveners have until early September to challenge a July 3rd FENOC License Renewal Application (LRA) amendment regarding aging-management plans.

Davis-Besse's original 40-year license expires on Earth Day, 2017. The coalition -- Beyond Nuclear, Citizen Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Ohio Green Party -- have been officially intervening against the LRA since Dec. 27, 2010, and focusing on SB degradation since cracking was first revealed in Oct. 2011 (photo, above).

Thursday
Jul242014

National Academia of Sciences Fukushima report on implications for US reactors:“Accidents will happen” 

While Beyond Nuclear continues its review and analysis of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently released report on theLessons Learned From The Fukushima Nuclear Accident For Improving Safety Of U.S. Nuclear Plants it must be noted at the outset that the central and the most important lesson continues to be unlearned. As it is often quoted, “accidents will happen” but in a post-Fukushima world, the consequences are now absolutely unacceptable.  These dangerous and fundamentally flawed reactors must be promptly and permanently shutdown including the 23 Mark I units and the 8 Mark II units still operating in the United States. This is the most rational conclusion in the interest of public safety and the environment given the demonstrated 100% failure rate of the three General Electric Mark I boiling water reactors that were operational on March 11, 2011, that resulted in three reactor meltdowns, three breaches of the all important containment structures and the ongoing uncontrolled release of radioactivity now more than three years after the catastrophe.

Wednesday
Jul232014

Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Dr. Helen Caldicott, Beyond Nuclear's Founding PresidentTeaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets welcomes Helen Caldicott, editor of the new book,

Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

 introduced by Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 

6:30 to 8:00 PM

Busboys and Poets - 14th & V, N.W., Washington, D.C.

 

Sponsors: 

Physicians for Social Responsibility 

Beyond Nuclear 

Teaching for Change 

Busboys and Poets

 

Beyond Nuclear's Cindy Folkers and Kevin Kamps presented at the 2013 symposium which led to this new book. Summaries of their presentations are included.

Monday
Jul212014

34 groups to President Obama: NRC Commissioner Magwood must go

NRC Commissioner William Magwood IVThe environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, also requests a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation of Commissioner William Magwood IV’s (photo, left) violations of ethics laws, and conflicts of interest, related to seeking and landing a job promoting nuclear energy, as Director-General of the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), a branch of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has separately written the president and NRC OIG, making the same request.

These letters, to President Obama and to the NRC OIG, follow the coalition's June 18th letter to Commissioner Magwood, urging him to step down voluntarily, and to recuse himself from any nuclear safety votes dating back to his initial bid for the NEA directorship.

However, Commissioner Magwood refused to resign and recuse himself. He has announced his last day at NRC will be Aug. 31, the very day before he is to begin his new job at NEA.

The coalition issued a press release. News coverage has included The Hill, and Bloomberg Businessweek (in which U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is quoted as referring to Magwood as a "disaster" and saying “He couldn’t leave quick enough for me”).