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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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Thursday
Feb212013

Fermi 3 Final Environmental Impact Statement incomplete: intervenors reveal major inadequacies; NRC announces major delays in Safety Evaluation Report; major setbacks projected

An artist's rendition of the ESBWR targeted to be built at Fermi 3On Feb. 19, 2013, the environmental coalition intervening in opposition to the construction and operation of Detroit Edison's proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor filed new and amended contentions in response to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Final Environmental Impact Statement about the proposal. The coalition issued a news release. As environmental coalition attorney Terry Lodge says in the press release, Fermi 3's price tag has skyrocketed to $20 billion.

An important aspect of the environmental intervention is defense of endangered species. An Eastern Fox Snake threatened species contention is set for hearing on the merits before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board this autumn. The construction of Fermi 3, and its new transmission line corridor, could extirpate the species due to stressing or even killing Eastern Fox Snakes, as well as destroying their habitat. Additional endangered species are present at both the reactor construction site, and along the undeveloped land in the proposed transmission line corridor.

Documents related to environmental intervenors' filing of Feb. 19, 2013 in opposition to the General Electric-Hitachi so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (or ESBWR, see image, left) proposed to be constructed and operated at the Fermi nuclear power plant in Monroe County, Michigan, on the Lake Erie shoreline, as well as documents reveal the major schedule delays afflicting the project:

Intervenors' Feb. 19, 2013 "MOTION FOR RESUBMISSION OF CONTENTIONS 3 AND 13, FOR RESUBMISSION OF CONTENTION 23 OR ITS ADMISSION AS A NEW CONTENTION, AND FOR ADMISSION OF NEW CONTENTIONS 26 AND 27";

Current Fermi 3 COLA Review Schedule (Feb. 15, 2013), showing 2 years and 10 month of delay;

Original Fermi 3 Schedule (June 30, 2009).

Friday
Feb082013

Entergy Watch: Bill in Vermont State House seeks more stringent decommissioning at Vermont Yankee

The Vermont State HouseAs reported by AP, a bill has been introduced in the State of Vermont legislature, opening yet another battlefront against Entergy's Vermont Yankee atomic reactor. The legislation seeks to establish more exacting decommissioning clean-up standards than are required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with an added price tag of $40 million.

‘‘They've had a history of backing away from agreements and promises, and we want to make sure we protect the residents of Vernon and, by extension, Vermont taxpayers from liability related to decommissioning the plant,’’ said Rep. Margaret Cheney, vice chair of the House committee and a lead sponsor of the bill.

Chief among the "rogue corporation" Entergy's "broken promises" to the Green Mountain State was a signed agreement to shutdown Vermont Yankee by March 22, 2012 if it failed to obtain a renewed Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the Vermont Public Service Board. The Vermont State Senate voted 26 to 4 in Feb. 2010 to block the issuance of the CPG, due to reasons other than radiological safety (NRC's jurisdiction) recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as falling under state authority. Nearly a year later, Entergy still operates VY without the required CPG.

Tuesday
Feb052013

"Endangered Snakes Prompt Hearing Over Fermi 3 Nuclear Plant"

An Eastern Fox Snake, an endangered constrictor species indigenous to southeast MichiganThe Monroe Evening News has reported on an environmental coalition's successful bid for hearing before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) in opposition to Detroit Edison's proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore of southeast Michigan.

The coalition is comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

It contends that the nuclear utility, federal government, and State of Michigan are failing to protect the endangered Eastern Fox Snake species (see photo, left) from extinction due to habitat destruction caused by the construction and operation of a 1,550 Megawatt-electric General Electric Hiticahi so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (ESBWR), as well as an associated 11-mile long, 300-foot wide transmission line corridor.

The State of Michigan has admitted the reactor construction will involve the largest impact on Great Lakes coastal wetlands in the history of state environmental protection law. Combined with the transmission line's destruction of more than 1,000 acres of undeveloped land, including forests and wetlands, the coalition contends the habitat loss could extirpate the endangered Eastern Fox Snake species in the region. More.

Wednesday
Jan162013

Watchdogs continue to hound Entergy Pilgrim

Mother endangered Right Whale near PNPS on 1/15/13, calf is out-of-view. Images acquired under authorization of NOAA/NMFS. Credit: Rachel Karasik.Watchdog groups such as Pilgrim WatchCape DownwindersPilgrim Coalition and Cape Cod Bay Watch keep up the good fight against Entergy's Pilgrim atomic reactor in Plymouth, MA. Pilgrim is a four decade old General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactor, the same age, or older, and design as the Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 reactors. 

Pilgrim Watch spearheaded a six year long intervention against the reactor's 20-year license extension, a record of resistance. But, just as it has done 72 other times across the U.S. since 2000, NRC rubberstamped the license extension in the end.

Member of Cape Downwinders, who have carried out non-violent civil disobedience actions in opposition to Pilgrim's ongoing risks, networked with Beyond Nuclear staff at a Clamshell Alliance reunion in New Hampshire last July. A key risk is that there is "No Escape from the Cap" should the worst happen at Pilgrim, as recently affirmed by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency itself. 

Wicked Local Plymouth reported: “There are no plans to evacuate us from danger,” Pilgrim Coalition wrote in a release quoting Falmouth resident and Cape Downwinders member Bill Maurer, “but there are plans to control us during that danger, which essentially insures that we will be exposed to that danger.”

Pilgrim Coalition is plugging Pilgrim's shutdown:

"Plug-In to Unplug Pilgrim: this is an opportunity to find your place in a growing movement to remove the risk from Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in your community.

Join us on February 6, 2013 in the Otto Fehlow Room of the Plymouth Public Library and kick off the new year by learning about the issue and ways you can help. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Karen Vale at info@capecodbaywatch.org or (508) 951-4723."

And Cape Cod Bay Watch points out that "Plymouth Is Where NO NUKES Meets SAVE THE WHALES" (see photo, above left). It has just today published a piece in the Wicked Local Plymouth about Pilgrim's harmful tritium and nitrogen pollution into the underlying Plymouth-Carver Sole Source Aquifer, recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protetion Agency as “the principal source of drinking water for the residents of the area."

As reported by the Patriot Ledger, Pilgrim just resumed operations after a one week shutdown, caused by an electrical relay failure at the 41 year old reactor which blocked the operation of two water recirculation pumps.

Tuesday
Jan082013

Cattle in South Africa contaminated with uranium

A researcher from North West University has found that the internal organs of cattle kept in the Wonderfontein Spruit area have been contaminated with uranium and cobalt. Uranium levels in the animals' kidneys were 4,350 times higher than those in a control group. The cattle were eating grass that grew next to the river. This indicated that the heavy metals bio-accumulated in the grass, said the researcher, David Hamman. More.