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Thursday
Dec182014

NRC Commissioners deny appeal on QA at Fermi 3, but environmental intervenors vow to fight on

An artist's rendition of the GEH ESBWR, proposed by DTE to be built as "Fermi 3" at its nuclear power plant in Monroe Co., MIOn Dec. 16th, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) five Commissioners, in a unanimous ruling, denied an environmental coalition's appeal in the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) proceeding on Detroit Edison's (DTE) proposed new Fermi 3 reactor in southeast MI on the Lake Erie shore. DTE proposes to construct and operate an untested General Electric-Hitachi (GEH), so-called "Economic, Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (ESBWR) on the very spot where Fermi 1 had a partial meltdown in 1966, immediately adjacent to the Fukushima Daiichi twin-design Fermi 2, a GE Mark I BWR.

The coalition requested reconsideration of the ASLB's June 2014 ruling that DTE's Fermi 3 quality assurance (QA) program was adequate, reasserting its preponderence of evidence -- including the testimony of Fairewinds Associates, Inc.'s Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen -- that DTE's QA program was in fact in disarray, or even non-existent. The coalition intends to appeal this NRC ruling, and other pending matters, to the federal courts, if need be. More.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Beyond Nuclear on Harvey Wasserman's "Solartopia Green Power and Wellness" radio show

Harvey WassermanBeyond Nuclear was pleased to be invited back on to Harvey Wasserman's "Solartopia Green Power and Wellness" radio show today. Here is Harvey's description:

"A RATEPAYER REVOLT against nuclear power and the nationwide battle for Solartopia are the pure green fires that drive today's show. CYNTHIA PAPERMASTER of CODE PINK is organizing a rate withholding campaign in California's Bay Area meant to force Pacific Gas & Electric to finally shut its two lethal reactors at Diablo Canyon. Cynthia recently presented Michael Peavey of the California Public Utilities Commission with a "pink slip" for his collusion with the utilities he was hired to regulate.

Expert KEVIN KAMPS of BEYOND NUCLEAR tells us about the politics of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the new Republican Congress. The willingness of regulatory agencies to ignore water quality and public safety issues for the benefit of greedy corporations threatens the health, safety, and prosperity of all of us at dying reactors like New Jersey's Oyster Creek and Davis-Besse in Ohio. Kevin's decades of hard campaigning for a Solartopian dawn make him one of America's leading experts on what happens next with atomic energy. Together, Cynthia and Kevin offer a great perspective on what we must now do to rid the Earth of atomic energy." (click here to listen to the show)

Harvey (photo, above) is author of Solartopia!: Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, and editor of Nukefree.org.

Thursday
Dec112014

NRC cites Palisades for worker radiological safety violations, record number of failures during Component Design Basis Inspections

NRC file photo of Palisades, located in Covert, MI.The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has cited Entergy Nuclear for violating its own workers' radiological safety at the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore in southwest Michigan (photo, left).

In addition, David Lochbaum, Director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, has documented that Palisades not only had the single biggest number of CDBI (Component Design Basis Inspection) failures of any reactor in the country -- 10 violations, of 20 components inspected -- its rate of such violations was nearly three times higher than the national average. More.

Thursday
Dec112014

Nuclear Hotseat features Beyond Nuclear on Palisades' PTS risks

The host of the Nuclear Hotseat podcast, Libbe HaLevy, has honored Beyond Nuclear by interviewing Kevin Kamps about the environmental coalition intervention against Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor in Michigan. Palisades has the worst embrittled reactor pressure vessel in the U.S., at risk of a pressurized thermal shock fracture, Loss-of-Coolant-Accident, core meltdown, containment failure, and catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity.

Beyond Nuclear, along with Don't Waste Michigan and Michigan Safe Energy Future-Shoreline Chapter, have been joined in the intervention by Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Chicago. The problem-plagued Palisades reactor is located on the Lake Michigan shore of southwest Michigan, just 70 miles from Chicago. Lake Michigan is the drinking water supply for Chicago's many millions, and for a total of 40-million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations downstream. Gail Snyder, NEIS board chair, helped make this interview happen.

Listen to the interview online at Nuclear Hotseat's website. Kevin's interview begins about a third of the way, and ends about two-thirds of the way, through the program.

But the entire program is well worth the listen, with nuclear news from around the world at the beginning, and at the end, an interview with Leslie Sullivan Sachs of Vermont's Safe and Green Campaign, about the hard-won, permanent shutdown of Entergy's Vermont Yankee reactor to take place on December 29th.

Wednesday
Dec032014

And a fire makes four

The Tihange 3 nuclear reactor in Belgium was shut down on November 30 due to a fire. It is now the fourth Belgian nuclear reactor to be out of service, as another plant at Tihange and two at Doel have been shut down due to defects or security concerns. The Tihange 3 power station, situated 70 kilometres south-west of the German town of Aachen, shut down automatically after one of its transformers reportedly caught fire. The fire, which has since been extinguished, was caused by an explosion. Belgium is planning to phase out its nuclear fleet. The technical, safety and security problems appear to be accelerating the plan. More.