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Emergency Response

Because reactors are so dangerous, an emergency response and evacuation plan are essential. Yet many reactor sites are not easily accessible making such evacuation plans unrealistic and the demands placed on emergency response teams unachievable.

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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.

Friday
Oct192012

Entergy Nuclear misleads about how fast nuclear emergency could break

LowHud.com reports that Entergy Indian Point and surrounding counties in the Lower Hudson River region near New York City took part in emergency preparedness drills. Incredibly, Entergy spokesman Jim Steets was quoted as saying “In real life, these things are very slow developing.” This flies in the face of the reality of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, where Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 very likely had begun to melt down and release significant amounts of radioactivity less than an hour after the 9.0 earthquake had struck on March 11, 2011, and before the 45 foot tall tsunami arrived.

Saturday
Mar032012

Lessons from Fukushima: new Greenpeace report a warning on nuclear risks

Saturday
Mar032012

"Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response"

Yoichi Funabashi and Kay Kitazawa are chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, and staff director of the Foundation's Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, respectively. They have published an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) entitled "Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response." It's an overview of a 400 page study on the lessons to be learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, first reported by the New York Times on Feb. 27. The BAS abstract reads:

"On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The emerging crisis at the plant was complex, and, to make matters worse, it was exacerbated by communication gaps between the government and the nuclear industry. An independent investigation panel, established by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, reviewed how the government, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), and other relevant actors responded. In this article, the panel's program director writes about their findings and how these players were thoroughly unprepared on almost every level for the cascading nuclear disaster. This lack of preparation was caused, in part, by a public myth of "absolute safety" that nuclear power proponents had nurtured over decades and was aggravated by dysfunction within and between government agencies and Tepco, particularly in regard to political leadership and crisis management. The investigation also found that the tsunami that began the nuclear disaster could and should have been anticipated and that ambiguity about the roles of public and private institutions in such a crisis was a factor in the poor response at Fukushima."

The article announces that the full report, in Japanese only, would be released at the end of Feb. However, the English translation will not be ready until sometime this summer.

Tuesday
Feb212012

Beyond Nuclear quoted on Palisades' radioactive risks

Anti-nuke watchdogs have long called for Palisades' shutdown. Here, Don't Waste Michigan board members Michael Keegan, Alice Hirt, and Kevin Kamps speak out at the Aug. 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp. The reactor's steam, and Lake Michigan, are visible in the background.In the past five days, Rosemary Parker at the Kalamazoo Gazette has quoted Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps in two articles focused on the radioactive risks of the Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shoreline. On. Feb. 19th, in an article entitled "Is Southwest Michigan ready for nuclear emergency?", she reported:

'...But nuclear watchdog groups point to the hundreds of hours of additional oversight required by the NRC, the plant's aging equipment, the many glitches at the plant in recent months. The group Beyond Nuclear immediately responded to the change of Palisade's regulatory status with calls to "close it down before it melts down."

...Kevin Kamps, whose title is "radioactive waste watchdog" for the antinuclear group Beyond Nuclear, envisions a more unnerving worst-case scenario, akin to the disastrous 1986 explosion at  Chernobyl in Ukraine, where radioactive contamination was released into the atmosphere and traveled for miles.

In his view, disaster at Palisades could put the city of Chicago's drinking water supply at risk, wipe out Southwest Michigan's fruit belt orchards, destroy the area's tourism industry for years and make ghost towns out of thriving lakeshore communities.'

Parker also quoted Kevin's response to recent high-risk accidents at Palisades in a Feb. 16th article.

Kevin was born and raised in Kalamazoo. His anti-nuclear power activism began at Palisades in 1992.

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