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Friday
Nov212014

Beyond Nuclear before ASLB to stop last Mark I "Fukushima" reactor relicensing

Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, Citizens' Resistance at Fermi 2 (CRAFT), and Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario argued before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in Monroe Michigan on November 20, that the aging Fermi 2 nuclear reactor should not receive a 20-year license extension. Fermi 2 is the last of the U.S. fleet of Mark I reactors to request a license extension. The U.S. Mark I is the same design as the GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactors that exploded and melted down at Fukushima Daiichi. The groups were there to defend their contentions against the relicensing of Fermi 2.

Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear (pictured at the table third from right) raised a concern that Fermi 2 should install a filter on a containment vent to remove any radioactive particles that may escape into the environment in the event of a severe accident, which he said wasn’t considered in DTE’s analysis. “Containment vents can fail early, and that may result in uncontrolled releases of radioactive particles,” Mr. Gunter said. “This can lead to population relocation and land contamination that carries a health impact with it.”  Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps told NPR in an interview: "Fermi 2 presents a serious danger to life, property, and the environment.You've got a dangerous reactor design. You've got an inadequate containment on the shoreline of the Great Lakes which, of course, is itself the drinking water supply for tens of millions of people." First hand reports from the proceeding by Gunter and Kamps will follow soon. More.

Thursday
Nov132014

40 years since nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood's tragic, suspicious death

Karen Silkwood, Feb. 19, 1946 to Nov. 13, 1974. Nov. 13, 2014 marks the 40th year since her death.Thursday, November 13th marks the 40th year since the tragic, suspicious death of Karen Silkwood, nuclear whistleblower. The Christic Institute Archives on the Karen Silkwood case remain a testament to the inspiration of her courageous stand against radioactivity risks to workers, and safety shortcuts by the nuclear industry.

Beyond Nuclear will have an information table in memory of Karen Silkwood at the Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Campaign national gathering in Washington, D.C. from November 14-17, including at the "Uranium? Keep It in the Ground!" film screening and discussion on Nov. 16th at Busboys and Poets 5th&K Streets, N.W. location.

The table will feature copies of the books The Killing of Karen Silkwood: The Story Behind the Kerr-McGee Plutonium Case by Richard L. Rashke, as well as Who Killed Karen Silkwood? by Howard Kohn.

Silkwood, the drama starring Meryl Streep and Cher, won multiple Oscar nominations, and brought Karen Silkwood's story to the attention of millions.

Kay Drey, Beyond Nuclear board member, penned a pamphlet aimed at protecting nuclear workers against radioactivity risks: Your Nuclear Work Place: Know Your Risks, Know Your Rights. Coincidentally, Kay gave her first public speech against nuclear power on the very day that Karen Silkwood died.

Friday
Nov072014

Environmental coalition cites lack of Nuclear Waste Confidence, calls for suspension of reactor licensing proceedings 

An environmental coalition embroiled in numerous old, degraded reactor license extension -- as well as proposed new reactor construction and operation license -- proceedings has filed its "CONSOLIDATED REPLY TO ANSWERS TO PETITIONS TO SUSPEND FINAL REACTOR LICENSING DECISIONS, MOTIONS TO ADMIT A NEW CONTENTION, AND MOTIONS TO REOPEN THE RECORD" before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The filing is a response to "Answers" filed a week ago by NRC staff and the nuclear utilities, as well as to an amicus curiae filing made by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. The environmental coalition's "Consolidated Reply" was prepared by Diane Curran of the Washington, D.C. law firm Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg, LLP, as well as Mindy Goldstein, Director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.

Terry Lodge, a Toledo-based attorney who represents Beyond Nuclear and other environmental groups in their interventions against the Davis-Besse, OH and Fermi 2, MI license extensions, and the Fermi 3, MI Construction and Operating Licence Application (COLA), filed the "Consolidated Reply" in these proceedings.

Friday
Nov072014

Restart approval for Sendai reactors in Japan ignores science, safety

The governor of the Kagoshima prefecture in Japan, in approving the restart of the two Sendai reactors, has failed to understand the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and is ignoring science, safety and public opinion, Green Action stated today. All the reactors in Japan are currently closed. Sendai would mark the first two to restart. Aileen Mioko Smith (picured receiving the 2014 Nuclear-Free Future Award in a photo by Orla Connolly), executive director of Green Action which has long fought to end nuclear power in Japan, issued a strongly-worded press release on November 7. Green Action criticized the decision and called for activists around the world to continue to support the current zero nuclear situation in Japan. Read the full press release.

Monday
Oct272014

Beyond Nuclear to challenge Davis-Besse containment cracking at NRC HQ on Nov. 12th

NRC HQ, Rockville, MD. One White Flint is pictured. Two White Flint is to the right, outside the frame.The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLB) overseeing FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) application proceeding for a 20-year license extension at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor in Oak Harbor, OH on the Lake Erie shore has announced oral argument pre-hearings will be held at NRC HQ in Rockville on Wed., Nov. 12th, beginning at 9am Eastern. The hearing will focus on the environmental coalition's latest concrete containment cracking contention, motivated by recent revelations of "ice-wedging crack propagation," despite earlier assurances by FENOC -- backed by NRC staff -- that the already severe cracking could not possibly get worse.

Supporters are encouraged to listen-in by phone, or, if in the DC area, to attend in person. More.