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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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Saturday
Dec112010

Radioactive flooding at Fermi 2 atomic reactor; "dilute" releases to Lake Erie

On Wednesday, Dec. 1st, the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Monroe, Michigan experienced radioactive floodwaters pouring through walls and ceilings and standing one to two inches deep in plant buildings. This happened when a waste water holding tank valve stuck open, causing the tank to overflow. A half dozen workers' shoes and clothes were saturated by the radioactive water. Although Detroit Edison officials were quick to say "no radiation dose" was suffered by any workers, this simply cannot be the truth, as tritium (radioactive hydrogen), almost certain to have been in the radioactive water, can pass through human skin. Thus, the workers' radiation dose was more than zero. And although NRC, as is its habit, downplayed any radiological risk to the public, the fact that at least 100 gallons of the radioactive water did reach the Monroe County sewer system and water treatment plant means that at least some radioactivity was discharged into Lake Erie. Again, the radiation release to the environment, and potential for radiation doses to members of the public, although diluted and perhaps small, is greater than zero. As Dr. Rosalie Bertell has said, "Dilution is not the solution to radioactive pollution!" She led the International Joint Commission Nuclear Task Force's research into the "radioactive inventory" of the Great Lakes, and the phenomenon of bioaccumulation or biomagnification, where the ecosystem naturally re-concentrates "dilute" artificial radioactivity up food chains, delivering significant doses to top level predators, which includes humans, by the way! The Monroe Evening News covered the incident on Dec. 3rd and Dec. 11th, as did the Toledo Blade on Dec. 4th.

Wednesday
Dec082010

Oyster Creek: ten more years to "strain the Bay" with no cooling towers

Oyster Creek withdraws 1.4 billion gallons per day of water from the Barnegat Bay watershed.The Associated Press has reported that Oyster Creek nuclear power plant owner, Exelon of Chicago, has reached an agreement with the State of New Jersey to permanently shutdown its 41 year old reactor, in exchange for not having to install cooling towers. Oyster Creek's withdrawal of 1.4 billion gallons of water per day from Barnegat Bay kills billions of aquatic creatures each year. Oyster Creek entered its Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved 20 year license extension in April 2009, after a prolonged challenge co-led by Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter, who had initially pinpointed a key technical issue -- the corrosion of the dry well liner radiological barrier. This agreement would mean the reactor, first fired up in 1969, can now continue to "strain the Bay," passing the entire volume of Barnegat Bay through its innards for cooling purposes once every six weeks, a "license to kill" billions of marine organisms annually for another decade. Jeff Tittel, director of New Jersey's Sierra Club chapter, summed it up, scoffing that Exelon "gets to operate the plant for 10 years, then walk away with a pile of cash at the expense of the bay."

Tuesday
Dec072010

Defending an endangered species against a proposed new atomic reactor

The "Mad Hatter" Tea Party isn't the only one that gets to use symbols from the American Revolution!Beyond Nuclear and a coalition of environmental groups (including Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter), represented by attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, has just filed our defense in opposition to DTE/Detroit Edison's motion to dispose of "Contention 8" against the Fermi 3 new reactor proposal in Monroe, Michigan. Contention 8 alleges that the nuclear utility has not properly mitigated the effects from construction and operation of Fermi 3 on the state-endangered Eastern Fox Snake.  This also has implications for protection of the fragile wetlands habitat along the Lake Erie shoreline favored as habitat by the snake, threatened by the 1,560 megawatt-electric GE-Hitachi "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (ESBWR).

Thursday
Dec022010

"Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" available online for free

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Dec. 2009, 335 pages, published by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), is viewable online at no charge in PDF format. Go to: http://www.nyas.org/Publications/Annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1. Then click on “Full Text.” Then, under “Annals Access,” next to “Nonmembers,” click on “View Annals TOC free.” This will allow you, chapter by chapter, to download and/or view the entire text of the book, for free. As the 25th commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches (April 26, 2011), this vital book could not be more timely. It is written by Alexey V. Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, Russia; Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, of the Institute of Radiation Safety in Minsk, Belarus. Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger of the Environmental Institute at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. has served as the Consulting Editor. Please help spread the word about this significant scientific study, and its availability online at no charge. Its hardcopy sale price from the NYAS has been a whopping $150 for nonmembers – out of reach, of course, for most all-volunteer anti-nuclear groups. Besides that, NYAS only printed 700 hardcopies of the book to begin with. Now, no copies are left, and it is unknown if more will be printed.

Monday
Nov292010

Study of Chernobyl insects shows mutations

Artist Cornelia Hesse-Honegger's fascinating study of insect mutations around the Chernobyl zone. She writes: "I am still flabbergasted that biologists in Western Europe did not think it necessary to conduct any studies to find out whether the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl had any effects on nature or on human beings. In 1990 I traveled with a group to Chernobyl to collect leaf bugs and to see there for myself what was going on." What she found profoundly shocked her. The insects had "feelers the shape of sausages; their larvae had divided wings or black growths sticking out of their eyes." See the full study and illustrations. (Pictured left:Tree bug from Slavoutich, Ukraine).