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Animals

Animals are affected by the operation of nuclear power - but are the most ignored of all the nuclear industry's victims. Whether sucked into reactor intake systems, or pulverized at the discharge, aquatic animals and their habitats are routinely harmed and destroyed by the routine operation of reactors. (For more, see our Licensed to Kill page).

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Monday
Mar072016

Nuclear plant that sucked in diver has violated law for a decade

TAKOMA PARK, MD, March 7, 2016 -- A Florida nuclear power plant that sucked a scuba diver through its unprotected cooling intake pipe, is in ongoing violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Beyond Nuclear and the Rachel Carson Council have charged.  

The incident at the St. Lucie Nuclear Generating Station on Hutchinson Island, Florida, is the second entrainment of a human at the plant.  The first occurred in 1989.  However, the plant’s intake system has for decades routinely captured, harmed and killed thousands of marine animals, most notably endangered and threatened species of sea turtle as well as manatees and other protected species.  The plant is owned by Florida Power & Light (FPL).

“Sucking in the scuba diver exposes that FPL has failed to act for almost a decade on its ongoing violations of the Endangered Species Act,” said Paul Gunter, Director of Reactor Oversight at Beyond Nuclear, the national group of record that watchdogs the environmental damage caused by nuclear power.  “Federal law establishes the terms of FPL’s operating license to set limits on the number of protected marine species that it kills and injures that are caused by power plant operations,” he said.   

In 2006 St. Lucie drew in 662 sea turtles, 22 of which FPL admits were killed by the plant’s operation.  FPL has been obligated to limit the number of endangered species killed by the plant’s intake system since its operating license was amended in 2001.  

Read the full press release.

Monday
Jul202015

"Downstream," by Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education

The Great Lakes -- around 85% of North America's surface fresh water, and over 20% of the world's -- provide drinking water for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, has posted a blog entitled "Downstream," about the radioactive risks to the Great Lakes from dozens of atomic reactors located on their shorelines, in both the U.S. and Canada.

Gundersen has served as expert witness for Beyond Nuclear et al. in numerous challenges to continued operations at risky reactors on the Great Lakes, including Palisades and Fermi 3 in Michigan, as well as Davis-Besse in Ohio.

(Beyond Nuclear's pamphlet, "Routine Radioactive Releases from U.S. Nuclear Power Plants," also shows it doesn't take an accident to cause contamination of surface fresh water supplies, nor coastal oceanic fisheries for that matter. A map is included, indicating which watersheds are impacted by each operating reactor in the U.S.)

Saturday
May302015

"Kirk Urges President to Halt Canadian Proposal to Store Nuclear Waste Near Great Lakes"

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (Republican-Illinois, photo left) has issued a press release, and the text of a letter he sent to President Obama, calling for administration action to protect the Great Lakes against Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposed "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste dump, targeted at the Lake Huron shoreline at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station.

Sen. Kirk stated: “As co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, I am fighting to keep our lakes free from toxins that could harm our precious ecological system and threaten the drinking water source for more than 30 million Americans. Storing nuclear waste underground along the shores of the Great Lakes directly jeopardizes the wellbeing of this shared natural resource, and I urge the President to work with the Canadian Government to postpone this decision and protect our lakes for generations to come.”

In 2011, and again in 2013, Sen. Kirk sent letters of concern to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Last year, and again this year, Sen. Kirk has introduced resolutions of disapproval for the site.

In his letter to President Obama, Sen. Kirk stated: "This matter presents an immediate threat to all the Great Lakes, and I ask you to use all diplomatic means available to urge the Canadian government to delay its decision-making process until the proposal has been given all due consideration by the [International Joint Commission."

Sen. Kirk warned: "As a permanent repository, the Kincardine, Ontario facility would hold 7 million cubic feet of nuclear waste for thousands of years. Any leak during that time could unleash toxic material throughout the Great Lakes Basin, and contaminate the largest surface freshwater system in the world while causing irreparable damage to the more than 3,500 [species of] plants and animals that inhabit the ecosystem." (emphasis added)

More information about Canada's Great Lakes shore radioactive waste dump is posted under Beyond Nuclear's Canada website section.

Tuesday
May122015

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartman's "The Big Picture" re: Indian Pt. fire/oil spill & Chinese proliferation concerns

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture," had Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps on to discuss the transformer fires at Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point nuclear power plant, and consequent oil spill into the Hudson River upstream from New York City. Thom and Kevin also discussed the Obama administration's attempt to extend approval nuclear power commerce with China, despite congressional concerns about dual-use technology that could be transferred to China's nuclear submarines, as well as "vertical" and "horizontal" proliferation concerns from reprocessing plutonium (adding to China's own nuclear arsenal, or the spread of nuclear weaponry to other countries or terrorist groups, respectively). (See the segment from the 46:00 minute mark to the 52:15 minute mark.)

Sunday
May102015

Transformer fire at Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point causes thousands of gallons of oil to leak into Hudson River upstream of New York City

Oil sheen seen in the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear plant following a transformer fire on May 11, 2015 (Credit: Riverkeeper)As reported by CBS New York, a transformer fire took place at Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point Unit 3 (IP) yesterday. New York Governor Cuomo rushed to the scene, concerned about the potential for leaking oil to reach the Hudson River.

Sure enough, it has. As reported by ABC News, the multiple fires did lead to an oil slick on the Hudson River, when an oil overflow tank's capacity was not enough to stem the leakage. Thousands of gallons of oil have reportedly leaked into the river, some 30 miles north of New York City.

Riverkeeper issued a press release, as well as photos (see left), stating that this latest accident is proof positive that IP should be permanently closed.

Beyond Nuclear just took part in an anti-nuclear summit very near Indian Point, held at Stony Point Conference Center on May 3rd. Hosted by Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the event focused on high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) and decommissioning issues. Beyond Nuclear's presentation addressed HLRW risks at IP, including radioactive leaks from IP's HLRW storage pools, documented in a Beyond Nuclear report and backgrounder. Representatives from NIRS, Citizens Awareness Network, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, and Riverkeeper also presented.