Entergy's fleet of operating reactors (see map, right) is dwindling. Shutdowns have been announced for FitzPatrick, NY in early 2017, and Pilgrim, MA in mid-2019, in addition to Vermont Yankee's permanent closure in late 2014. The three worst performing reactors in the U.S., as designated by the Nuclaer Regulatory Commission (NRC), are Entergy owned and operated: Pilgrim, and Arkansas Nuclear One Units 1 & 2. Friends of the Earth, with Fairewinds Associates' Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen, as expert witness, has just filed an emergency petition with NRC, regarding severe degradation of baffle-former bolts at Indian Point (IP), NY Unit 2, essential for core cooling. FOE has called for not only IP 2 to remain in a safety shutdown, until the root cause analysis is completed, but is calling for an immediate emergency inspection at IP Unit 3, which is currently operating, despite unknown levels of bolt degradation. Meanwhile, local residents are blocking the construction of a large-diameter, high-pressure, fracked natural gas pipeline that would pass within just hundreds of feet of IP's safety systems, further exacerbating risks to 20 million people within a 50-mile radius in the metro New York City region. And energy industry investment analysts at UBS have advised that Entergy should do a favor for its own shareholders, as well as regional ratepayers, by retiring its problem-plagued, age-degraded Palisades, MI atomic reactor. Remarkably, despite NRC's complete regulatory retreat even in the face of "willful violations" of safety regulations, a very high Power Purchase Agreement (at ratepayer expense) sales price for its electricity, and cancellations of multiple major safety repairs, Palisades is still losing money. See our Reactor Safety website section for more on Entergy's worsening entropy.Entergy's Entropy: Calls grow for shutdowns before meltdowns
Grassroots environmental opponents to Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) scheme to dump radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station (the world's largest nuclear power plant, with eight operable reactors) in Kincardine, Ontario have long felt like voices in the wilderness. But in the past few years, first state legislators, and then the federal congressional delegation, in Michigan have helped lead a growing groundswell against this risk to the drinking water for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. Resolutions have been passed by 185 local governments in both countries, representing nearly 23 million residents, opposing the dump. Now the Washington Post has reported on the issue, the first U.S. national media coverage in 15 years. OPG has said it will provide the Canadian Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna, the additional information she has requested by the end of the year, in hopes she will then approve the dump. See updates on this fight at our Canada website section, including how to take action to help stop this dump!
As reported by Science Magazine, a study by Princeton University researchers has revealed that U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) estimates of the catastrophic consequences of a high-level radioactive waste storage pool fire in the U.S. are dramatically downplayed. The researchers, Frank Von Hippel and Michael Schoeppner, report that nearly 39,000 square miles of land downwind of a pool fire could be contaminated with Cesium-137 at levels requiring mass, long-term (300 years) evacuation. Princeton's calculations are more than three times NRC's land contamination estimate, and the relocation of 18.1 million people is about five times NRC's estimates. Please contact President Obama and your Members of Congress, urging Hardened On-Site Storage of high-level radioactive waste, as a wise alternative to proposals to rush into parking lot dumps, and the large numbers of Mobile Chernobyl shipments by road, rail, and/or waterway through most states that would be launched. More
The U.S. Senate has voted 90 to 8 to appropriate $30 million for the high-risk transport of irradiated nuclear fuel from atomic reactors targeted at so-called "consolidated interim storage" (CIS) sites that will likely become de facto permanent. Please join us in our actions to stop these radioactive waste parking lot dumps and Mobile Chernobyls! Contact the White House and your U.S. Representative and Senators (or reach your Members of Congress, via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard, at (202) 224-3121) to voice your opposition.) And submit comments to the Department of Energy using the Beyond Nuclear We do NOT CONSENT! talking points. The top targets for CIS are Waste Control Specialists, LLC in Andrews County, West Texas, and the nearby Eddy-Lea Counties, in Southeast New Mexico near DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Project. Others could include the DOE's Savannah River Site, SC, Native American reservations, and the Dresden, IL, nuclear power plant. The DOE is touring the country with dog and pony shows, offering "incentives" (that is, bribes) to entice so-called "Consent-Based Siting." The next is scheduled for Denver on May 24. More
Tributes have been flowing in recognition of the immense contribution to our movement made by Michael Mariotte, who died on May 16 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. The Executive Director and then President of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Mariotte was a keenly perceptive observer, savvy public advocate, and thorn in the side of the nuclear industry, its regulators, lobbyists and government lackeys. He was also a leader in efforts to keep nuclear power off the table as a climate change solution. Michael was a fearless, committed campaigner and a compelling and insightful writer who worked almost to his final days on his GreenWorld blog, calling out the corruption and collapse of the nuclear industry.
Harvey Wasserman dedicated his entire Solartopia radio show to celebrating the life and work of Michael Mariotte on May 19th. Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps were on, as were many allies from the anti-nuclear movement, both calling in from around the country, and concentrated at a memorial service being held at that very time in Hyattsville, Maryland. The entire radio show audio recording is posted online.
And a flashback to a 1998 Enviro Close-Up with Michael Mariotte with many message points still relevant today alas.