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ARTICLE ARCHIVE


 

Friday
Sep282012

Deep Trouble -- Nuclear Waste Burial in the Great Lakes Basin

The Great Lakes comprise 20% of the world's surface fresh water, and provide drinking water to 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American/First Nations.Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch and John Jackson of Great Lakes United will speak at an event, Deep Trouble -- Nuclear Waste Burial in the Great Lakes Basin, sponsored by the St. Clair County Community College and the Blue Water Sierra Club on Sept. 30th in Port Huron, MI. 

The nuclear industry in Canada is currently pursuing approval of their plan to bury 200,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste below the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, and is studying 21 different communities -- 15 of them in the Great Lakes basin -- as possible burial locations for all of Canada's high level nuclear fuel waste.

The presentation will include descriptions of the burial schemes, the hazards for the Great Lakes community, and possible transportation risks, and linkages to U.S. nuclear waste issues.

For more information, please contact Kay Cumbow, Blue Water Sierra Club, (810) 346-4513 or kcumbow@greatlakes.net.

More.

Friday
Sep282012

NRC whistleblowers warn about upstream dam break flood risks at atomic reactors, condemn agency cover up

NRC file photo of triple reactor Oconee nuclear power plant in South CarolinaAs reported by the Huffington Post, two U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff engineers have blown the whistle on a long lasting agency cover up of the catastrophic risk to atomic reactors posed by the failure of upstream dams:

"...[T]he [NRC] engineer is among several nuclear experts who remain particularly concerned about the Oconee plant in South Carolina [photo, left], which sits on Lake Keowee, 11 miles downstream from the Jocassee Reservoir. Among the redacted findings in the July 2011 report -- and what has been known at the NRC for years, the engineer said -- is that the Oconee facility, which is operated by Duke Energy, would suffer almost certain core damage if the Jocassee dam were to fail. And the odds of it failing sometime over the next 20 years, the engineer said, are far greater than the odds of a freak tsunami taking out the defenses of a nuclear plant in Japan.

"The probability of Jocassee Dam catastrophically failing is hundreds of times greater than a 51 foot wall of water hitting Fukushima Daiichi," the engineer said. "And, like the tsunami in Japan, the man‐made 'tsunami' resulting from the failure of the Jocassee Dam will –- with absolute certainty –- result in the failure of three reactor plants along with their containment structures.

"Although it is not a given that Jocassee Dam will fail in the next 20 years," the engineer added, "it is a given that if it does fail, the three reactor plants will melt down and release their radionuclides into the environment."

In addition to Oconee, other nuclear power plants in the U.S., including Fort Calhoun, NE, which was inundated by historic floods on the Missouri River in summer 2011, are at risk of upstream dam breaks causing "inland tsunamis" (a phrase coined by Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates over a year ago) and reactor meltdowns.

Thursday
Sep272012

Congressman Kucinich objects to whitewash of Davis-Besse containment cracking

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)On Thursday, September 20th, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinch (D-OH, pictured left) sponsored a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill during the Coalition Against Nukes events in Washington, D.C. Rep. Kucinich thanked those gathered for working on an issue "that is bigger than all of us." During his talk, he focused on the whitewash, by FirstEnergy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, of containment cracking at the Davis-Besse atomic reactor, just upwind of his congressional district on northern Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline, as representative of the dangerous state of decay of the nuclear power industry in the U.S. And he had some kind words for Beyond Nuclear: "...I want to thank my friends at Beyond Nuclear like Kevin Kamps who have been doing a fantastic job at citizen oversight over Davis-Besse."

Later that same night, Rep. Kucinich helped lead the successful effort to block H.R. 5987, which proposed creating a new national park to glorify the Manhattan Project, which culminated with the August 1945 dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians.

At an NRC review meeting in Painesville, OH on Sept. 26 regarding FirstEnergy's entire nuclear fleet, Rep. Kucinich lambasted safety lapses at not only Davis-Besse, but also Perry nuclear power plant northeast of Cleveland. He asked: "Why does the NRC think FirstEnergy’s past record justifies an extension of their current operating licenses at their nuclear power plants?” As he had done at a U.S. House hearing in December 2011, Rep. Kucinich submitted for the record a Beyond Nuclear report documenting Davis-Besse's numerous near-disasters.

Wednesday
Sep262012

Entergy & NRC Watchers needed at NRC meeting on Palisades' CRDM through-wall leakage

Entergy Nuclear's problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor, located on the southeastern shoreline of Lake Michigan in Covert, MichiganThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced a public meeting, to be held on Monday, October 1st from 1-2 PM Central time (2-3 PM Eastern time) at its Lisle, IL Region 3 office near Chicago, regarding the through-wall leakage of radioactive and acidic primary coolant water from the Palisades atomic reactor's Control Rod Drive Mechanism (CRDM).

If you can attend the meeting in person, please do. However, NRC is making Webinar and even call-in participation possible, for those unable to attend in person. Contact NRC Region 3 Staffer Swetha Shah by Saturday, September 29th for more information on how to participate at (630) 829-9608 or Swetha.Shah@nrc.gov.

You can also "reserve a seat" at the Webinar by signing up at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/977718426. Again, do so by Sat., Sept. 29th.

NRC will then send a confirmation email, giving additional information about the option to "Use Telephone" if you prefer, rather than Webinar. Call-in numbers and access codes will be provided. More.

Tuesday
Sep252012

Atomic States of America

Atomic States of America (excerpt) from ro*co films on Vimeo.

 

Watch an excerpt. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan and caused chaos at the Fukushima Power Plant. That accident sent ripples around the world and suddenly the fierce debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power was back in the public consciousness.

THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA takes the viewer on a journey to reactor communities to expose the truths and myths of nuclear power in order to ask the question—can humans responsibly split the atom?

A film by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce.