Anti-Davis-Besse coalition defends cracked shield building contentions against challenges from FirstEnergy and NRC staff
Today the environmental coalition opposing the 20 year extension at the problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo defended its contention about the recently revealed severe cracking in the concrete shield building against challenges by FirstEnergy nuclear utility, as well as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff. Terry Lodge of Toledo serves as the coalition's attorney.
One revelation the coalition exposed today is that FirstEnergy, with NRC staff complicity, kept secret from the public, and even from FirstEnergy investors, cracking in the upper 20 feet of the structure for five weeks -- until pressure by U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat-Ohio) forced NRC staff to admit the truth to his staff. Kucinich made the information public the very next day, and won NRC Chairman Gregory Jackzo's support for an NRC public meeting near Davis-Besse, where FirstEnergy was forced to admit publicly for the first time the expanded extent of the problem.
The environmental coalition intervening against Davis-Besse's license extension includes Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio. Davis-Besse has had a disproportionately large number of near-misses with disaster in its 35 years of operations, including a Three Mile Island precursor incident 18 months before the infamous meltdown, a very dicey direct hit by a tornado in 1998, and its own infamous "Hole-In-The-Head Fiasco" in 2002.
On Feb. 13, 2012, attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, on behalf of an environmental coalition, filed a rebuttal to challenges by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and Detroit Edison. The agency and utility were challenging contentions filed by the environmental coalition on Jan. 11, 2012 concerning NRC's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) about the new Fermi 3 reactor, a proposed General Electric-Hitachi ESBWR (so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor"). The new contentions involve such issues as impacts on endangered and threatened plant and animal species, and their critical habitats, from the overall Fermi 3 proposal, as well as related sub-proposals, such as the contemplated transmission line corridor; radiological health impacts on the Monroe County community from Fermi 3, which has already suffered a half century of radiological and toxic chemical harm from the Fermi 1 and Fermi 2 reactors, as well as a number of giant coal burning power plants; and impacts on the Walpole Island First Nation, just 53 miles away across the U.S./Canadian border. The coalition includes Beyond Nuclear, Citizen Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. Beyond Nuclear has compiled all the filings relating to the battle over the Fermi 3 Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen (pictured at left), in a video now posted at the homepage of Fairewinds Associates, explains that a non-radioactive test performed at the Brunswick, North Carolina General Electric Boiling Water Reactor of the Mark I design 40 years ago, supports his theory that the primary reactor containment head at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 lifted, due to elongation of bolts, allowing hydrogen gas generated by the meltdown in the reactor core to escape into the secondary or outer reactor containment building. "It only took a spark" to then detonate the hydrogen gas, destroying the reactor containment building. Thus, and very significantly, all the talk (including in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Fukushima Task Force deliberations) about "hardening" the vents at U.S. and other Mark Is around the world is irrelevant. This is a flaw in the Mark I design that any hardening of the vents to make them "new and improved" cannot solve. Arnie shows a photo revealing that the vent at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 appears to have been functioning before the explosion -- steam is visible exiting the top of the Unit 1 "smoke stack." Despite this, it did not prevent the explosion that followed.
NBC News reports U.S. officials confirm Israel's Mossad teams up with U.S. designated "terrorists" to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists
In a comprehensive article, NBC News quotes U.S. government officials as confirming that Israeli secret service agents have teamed up with Iranian dissidents from the MEK -- designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1997 -- to carry out targeted assassinatoins of Iranian nuclear scientists, as well as a deadly sabotage attack on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard missile R&D base. In the past 5 years, 5 Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated. Most ironically, Israel has a clandestine nuclear arsenal comprising hundreds of weapons, while Iran claims its nuclear pursuits are for electricity generation only.