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Thursday
May302013

USA, an energy innovator, launches first floating deepwater wind turbine in the world 

On May 31, 2013, the University of Maine and the Advanced Structures & Composite Center will put the United States in the lead as a safe energy innovator by launching the first-in-the world floating deepwater wind turbine that will be connected to the land-based electrical grid.  The VolturnUS wind turbine is the first of its kind with a advanced composite floating hull and tower. It is the product of the collaborative steppingstone effort to harvest 5 Gigawatts of renewable offshore wind from the Gulf of the Maine by 2030.  The launch paves the way for the first full scale deep water deployment of the 6 MW floating turbine in 2016.

Thursday
May302013

Common Cause of NY outs Entergy's spending on lobbying, campaign contributions, and false front groups to win Indian Point license extensions

In a major report, Common Cause of New York has revealed that Entergy Nuclear has spent, from 2005 to 2012 alone, over $40 million at the state and national levels on lobbying, campaign contributions, and the operation of false front groups to win 20-year license extension at Indian Point Units 2 & 3, dangerously close to New York City. See links to the report summary, the full report, a press release, and extensive media coverage of the report's release.

over $4.5 million in New York State and $35.6 million in Washington on political contributions and lobbying. - See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=8667133#sthash.eklqZw4a.dpuf
Thursday
May302013

Risk of "dirty shutdown" at Paducah gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant

Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Photo credit: USEC/U.S. Department of EnergyIn a two-part series, Geoffrey Sea of Neighbors for an Ohio Valley Alternative (NOVA) has exposed deep financial troubles which could lead to major radiological risks at the Paducah gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant in Kentucky. Mind boggling mismanagement, or worse, by U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are to blame.

Part I, entitled "Countdown to Nuclear Ruin at Paducah," was published May 22nd, and warned that there were just 9 days left to avert a "dirty shutdown" in the many miles of enrichment cells. If the uranium laden gas solidifies within the system, it will make eventual decommissioning and clean up astronomically expensive for taxpayers, and radiologically risky for workers.

Part II, "Slow Cooker at Paducah Comes to a Boil,"  was published May 28th, with only three days left to avert dirty shutdown.

Paducah has operated since the 1950s. Sea reports that Paducah, which employs the highly energy intensive gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment process, has the single biggest electric meter in the country, electrified by two dirty coal plants. It is also one of the single biggest emitters of ozone layer destroying CFC-114, which also happens to be a very potent greenhouse gas.

In September 1999, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post broke the story that post-reprocessing uranium from Hanford Nuclear Reservation, containing fission products and transuranics, had been secretively run through Paducah. Local residents, such as Ron Lamb, had already been long protesting Technetium-99 in his drinking well water, however. Paducah whistleblower Al Puckett helped expose a secret dumping ground for radioactive and hazardous wastes on site. Such revelations help to explain the high cancer rate amongst Paducah workers and area residents.

As Sea reports, USEC is still seeking a $2 billion federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration for its proposed American Centrifuge Plant at Portsmouth, Ohio. Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has deep ties to USEC, both during his time in the Clinton DOE, as well as afterwards, as a paid private consultant. 

Tuesday
May282013

Environmental coalition "speaks for the snakes" against proposed Fermi 3 new reactor

Toledo attorney Terry Lodge represents an environmental coalition including Beyond Nuclear, Citizen Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter, in its struggle against the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactorAn environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, has yet again defended its threatened Eastern Fox Snake species contention against challenges by Detroit Edison and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff. The coalition's legal counsel, Toledo attorney Terry J. Lodge (photo, left), filed "Intervenor's Reply in Opposition to DTE and NRC Staff Motions In Limine on Contention 8 (Eastern Fox Snake)" today.

The coalition's intervention against Fermi 3, the proposed new GE-Hitachi ESBWR (so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor") targeted at the Lake Erie shore of Monroe County, Michigan, began on March 9, 2009. The NRC's Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) has scheduled adjudicatory hearings around Halloween.

At the same time, the coalition has continued to challenge NRC staff's failure to perform an adequate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis on the proposed 11-mile long electrical transmission line corridor through forested wetlands. 

Tuesday
May282013

Sen. Boxer wants Justice Dept. to investigate at San Onofre

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer wants the Justice Department to investigate if California utility executives deceived federal regulators about an equipment swap at the San Onofre nuclear power plant that eventually led to a radiation leak, reports the Associated Press. 

The California Democrat obtained a 2004 internal letter written by a senior Southern California Edison executive that she said "leads me to believe that Edison intentionally misled the public and regulators" to avoid a potentially long and costly review of four replacement steam generators before they went into service.

The twin-domed plant between Los Angeles and San Diego hasn't produced electricity since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusually rapid wear inside hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water in the nearly new generators. Read more.