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Friday
Dec092011

NRC cites Exelon for emergency cooling and containment violations at Limerick Unit 2

NRC file photo of Limerick nuclear power plant; NRC does not indicate whether or not the plant in the foreground is spiderwort, mutated by radioactivity.The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) reports that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a "white finding" of "low to moderate safety significance" at the Limerick nuclear powere plant's Unit 2, owned and operated by Exelon Nuclear, regarding faulty valves “resulting in one of the plant’s safety systems, known as the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling system, being inoperable from April 23 to May 23." The faulty valves also rendered a Primary Containment Isolation Valve inoperable during the same time period, which “would be used during an accident to close off the plant’s containment building during a significant event in order to prevent the release of radioactivity into the environment.” As mentioned in NRC's press release on the safety violations, regulatory inspections will be increased. “Because the valves in question failed to fully shut, the majority of the cooling water from one of the plant’s safety systems would have diverted to the condenser rather than flow to the reactor,” NRC Region I Administrator Bill Dean said.

On Nov. 22nd, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted a petition to NRC to intervene against Limerick's proposed 20 year license extension. An NRC commissioned report from 1982 found that a major accident at Limerick Unit 2 could cause 74,000 "peak early fatalities," 610,000 "peak early injuries," 34,000 "peak cancer deaths," and $197 billion in property damage. However, in the past 30 years, the surrounding population has grown to a whopping 8 million within 50 miles. Those property damages, adjusted for inflation, would now top $434 billion.

Thursday
Dec082011

Is there a China Syndrome at Fukushima?

Thursday
Dec082011

Kucinich: "FirstEnergy Tells Public One Thing, NRC Another; Nuke Plant Damage More than Previously Admitted"

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a long time watchdog on Davis-BesseAfter a Dec. 6 meeting between his staff and representatives of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued a strongly worded statement critical of nuclear utility FirstEnergy's public assurances about the problem of cracking recently discovered in the Davis-Besse atomic reactor's shield building, an essential layer of radiological containment. 

“In response to inquiries by my staff, the NRC provided a detailed description of the cracking at FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse plant. That description revealed that the cracks in the Davis-Besse ‘shield’ building are more numerous and more widely distributed than FirstEnergy has publicly portrayed,” said Kucinich.

Congressman Kucinich's office has prepared a comparison of FirstEnergy statements with known facts, and calls on readers to decide for themselves how bad the situation is.

Beyond Nuclear, along with Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Ohio Green Party, has intervened against the 20 year license extension sought by FirstEnergy for Davis-Besse, a problem-plagued 35 year old atomic reactor. David Lochbaum at Union of Concerned Scientists has also submitted allegations about the cracked shield building to the NRC.

Monday
Dec052011

Hazardous radiation dusts all of Japan

"Radioactive substances from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have now been confirmed in all prefectures [in Japan], including Uruma, Okinawa Prefecture, about 1,700 kilometers from the plant, according to the science ministry," reports the Japan daily, the Asahi Shimbun. "The highest combined cumulative density of radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137 was found in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, at 40,801 becquerels per square meter. That was followed by 22,570 becquerels per square meter in Yamagata, the capital of Yamagata Prefecture, and 17,354 becquerels per square meter in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward."

Sunday
Dec042011

"Fukushima's U.S. Nuclear Nightmare"

An article by John Raymond posted at his ZSpace Page features Beyond Nuclear's "Freeze Our Fukushimas" campaign to shut down the 23 Fukushima Daiichi twins in the U.S. -- General Electric Boiling Water Reactors of the Mark 1 design. Paul Gunter is quoted extensively on reactor risks, and Kevin Kamps on high-level radioactive waste storage pool risks.