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ARTICLE ARCHIVE


 

Monday
Sep102012

Concerned local residents and environmental groups express concerns to NRC Chair Macfarlane about leaks & coverups at Palisades

The area of the control room at Palisades where, on Sept. 25, 2011, a short circuit nearly electrocuted a worker, cutting off 50% of control room power, which plunged Palisades into near-disaster, testing age-degraded systems, structures, and components to the breaking point. Photo taken by Mark Bugnaski, Kalamazoo GazetteA coalition of concerned local residents, as well as representatives of environmental groups, has responded to a letter sent to them on September 4th by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairwoman, Allison Macfarlane. The exchange centers on a leak of radioactive and acidic water above, around, and even into the control room at the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in Covert, Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Chairwoman Macfarlane stated that the NRC Staff had determined that the leak was not significant enough for the NRC Chair and Commissioners, as well as the general public, to be notified about it. The coalition begged to differ.

Chairwoman Macfarlane also stated that NRC's approval of Palisades' 20 year license extension requires Entergy to manage aging of safety significant systems, structures, and components. The coalition responded that Entergy is utterly failing at that, as are NRC's own oversight and inspections, for Palisades has suffered a large number of sudden age-related break downs, some of "substantial significance to safety," in NRC's own words (see photo, above left). More.

Friday
Sep072012

"Obama Drops Nuclear from Energy Segment of Convention Speech" 

In an article of the title above, Gregg Levine of Capitoilette explores the significance of President Obama not even mentioning the word "nuclear power" in his Charlotte, NC nomination acceptance speech. This was especially ironic, Levine reports, as James Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, was a convention co-host, and is a top Democratic National Committee fund raiser. Charlotte-based Duke is one of the country's biggest nuclear power utilities, with four atomic reactors within a 20 mile radius of Charlotte alone. 

Two other nuclear executives close to Obama have recently declared new reactor development un-economic: John Rowe, retired CEO of Exelon Nuclear based in Chicago, and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and Obama's jobs czar.

For his part, Mitt Romney did endorse nuclear power, explicitly, during his nomination acceptance speech in Tampa last week.

Friday
Sep072012

Entergy opens new emergency ops ctr., assures it's cleaning up its act

The area of the control room at Palisades where, on Sept. 25, 2011, a short circuit nearly electrocuted a worker, cutting off 50% of control room power, which plunged Palisades into near-disaster, testing age-degraded systems, structures, and components to the breaking point. Photo taken by Mark Bugnaski, Kalamazoo GazetteAs reported by WSBT of South Bend, IN, Entergy Nuclear has opened a new emergency operations center in Benton Harbor, MI, about 15 miles south of its Palisades atomic reactor in Covert, MI, to serve as a command, control, and communications center in the event of an emergeny at Palisades. Entergy Palisades took the opportunity, as it toured reporters through the new facility, to assure them that its problem-plagued performance for the past two years, which has landed it on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's list of the four worst performing reactors in the country, is a thing of the past.

The NRC is holding a public meeting with Entergy at 6 p.m. Eastern, next Wednesday, Sept. 12th, in South Haven near Palisades, to discuss the recently revealed complete collapse of its safety culture. If you are unable to attend in person, you can also phone into the meeting at the following call-in numbers: Phone 1-800-621-9524; Pass code - 5591733. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps is speaking about "The Catastrophe Waiting to Happen at Palisades, and What You Can Do to Prevent It" in Kalamazoo, at Peace House, on Thurs., Sept. 13th. Learn more here.

Thursday
Sep062012

Taliban threaten nuclear facilities in Pakistan

The Global Security Newswire conveys a report from Pakistan's Express Tribune  that the Taliban is poised, with up to four car bombs, to attack a military uranium processing complex in Pakistan. The threat comes just weeks after an hours-long gun battle at a Pakistani air force installation, rumored to house nuclear weapons.

Thursday
Sep062012

'Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes,' Oct. 4-6, BGSU/Firelands College, Huron, OH

The Great Lakes as seen from space on a cloudless dayBGSU Firelands Community Enrichment Series Announces

‘Nuclear Labyrinth on the Great Lakes’

October 4th-6th, 2012

on the Lake Erie shoreline at Bowling Green State University's Firelands College,

Cedar Point Center Auditorium, Huron, Ohio

(see the full color flyer for this event here, with graphic design by Kathryn Barnes)

With the keynote presentation by Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, this conference will focus on Lake Erie as a microcosm of Great Lakes nuclear issues, with sessions on uranium mining, reactors, and radioactive waste; skills trainings; music and more. For more information, see the full color flyer link above, or Beyond Nuclear's comprehensive web post on this event. To register early (encouraged), contact the conference organizer Michael Keegan at (734) 770-1441 or mkeeganj@comcast.net.