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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
Wednesday
Nov212012

A time to be thankful - for all of you!

Many thanks to all our friends, colleagues and supporters as we near the end of another great year. Without you, we cannot work toward a world Beyond Nuclear! Please help us to continue - and expand - our work by downloading this fundraising flier and forwarding it to your friends. And please consider donating to Beyond Nuclear online today. Your gift is tax-deductible and will contribute to our efforts to shut down nuclear power, abolish nuclear weapons and promote a rapid transition to a renewable energy economy! Thank you!

Thursday
Nov152012

Exelon considers shutting Oyster Creek reactor early; then retracts 

Old nukes are an increasingly risky business venture. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is having economic fallout here in the United States. Take Oyster Creek in Toms River, New Jersey for example.

Bloomberg Business Week is reporting that Chicago-based nuclear giant Exelon Corporation is considering permanently closing its Oyster Creek nuclear power station before the current 2019 decommissioning date as agreed with the State of New Jersey. Oyster Creek is the first GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor, identical to the destroyed units at  Fukushima Dai-Ichi, to operate in the world. It went critical in October 1969 and started commercial operation in December 1969. 

The mounting capital cost for reactor safety system modifications arising from the Fukushima disaster coupled with degraded reactor conditions is pushing the nation's oldest nuclear power station closer to closure.  The financial community is sending warnings to nuclear corporations that operating  a decrepit reactor is increasing risky venture and will damage credit ratings.

Exelon's announcement that Oyster Creek is teetering on closure sounds like the company's business sense has finally kicked in.

Oyster Creek recently reported that is has discovered degraded conditions found in reactor core internals with cracking in vital reactor safety equipment, the control rod drive mechanisms.  

But no sooner than the envrionmental community voiced its concerns over Oyster Creek's cracks and urged closure, Oyster Creek's public affairs office issued its statement retracting its corporate headquarter's announcement in Bloomberg Business Week that the plant might close early.

Given its vulnerable Fukushima design, degraded plant conditions and the havoc that Hurricane Sandy  has wrought in the emergency planning zone, Oyster Creek should not be allowed to restart, period.

Thursday
Nov152012

Stop plans for a uranium mine in the Grand Canyon!

The Grand Canyon is again threatened with a uranium mine. Plans to reopen the Canyon mine must be stopped. Please help the Grand Canyon Trust and their allies to block this! Pictured is an old growth Ponderosa Pine chopped down to make way for the uranium mine. Photo by Taylor MacKinnon.

Monday
Nov122012

"Reading Radioactive Tea Leaves": Kewaunee reactor to shut down

John LaForge of Nukewatch in Luck, WI (pictured left) has penned an op-ed, "Reading Radioactive Tea Leaves: Without a Buyer for Old Kewaunee Reactor, Owner Chooses Shut Down." In it, he details the many radioactive bullets Wisconsin has dodged, and has not dodged, at Kewaunee, just in recent years, including: "...a 2009 emergency shutdown caused by improper steam pressure instrument settings; a 2007 loss of main turbine oil pressure; an emergency cooling water system design flaw found in 2006; [the August 2006 discovery of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater, for an unknown period, from unidentified pipes somewhere beneath the reactor complex]; a possible leak in November 2005 of highly radioactive primary coolant into secondary coolant which is discharged to Lake Michigan; a simultaneous failure of all three emergency cooling water pumps in February 2005, etc.".

Nukewatch has watchdogged Kewaunee for decades. On April 23, 2011, Nukewatch organized a "Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future" from Kewaunee to Point Beach's two reactors -- a distance of seven miles, the same as the distance between Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants -- to commemorate the 25th year since the Chernobyl atomic reactor exploded and burned beginning on April 26, 1986. The event took place just six weeks after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe had begun. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps took part in the walk, and as a keynote speaker along with Natasha Akulenko, a native of Kiev, Ukraine and surivor of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

Tuesday
Nov062012

Environmental coalition opposes Davis-Besse license extension at ASLB oral argument pre-hearings in Toledo

Terry Lodge speaks out against the Davis-Besse license extension at an August 9, 2012 NRC meeting at Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, OHThe environmental coalition comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio has defended its intervention contentions against the proposed 20 year license extension at FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) Davis-Besse atomic reactor. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) oral argument pre-hearings took place on Nov. 5th and 6th (yes, Election Day) in Toledo, Ohio at the Lucas County Courthouse. The coalition's representatives, including attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo (photo, left), Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, and Michael Keegan of Don't Waste Michigan, squared off against opposition to the contentions mounted by FENOC's and NRC's legal teams and experts.

The environmental coalition defended its Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives (SAMA) analyses contentions -- already admitted for a full hearing on the merits by ASLB -- against a motion for summary disposition mounted by FENOC. The coalition also advocated for admission of its cracked concrete containment contention for a full hearing on the merits, while FENOC and NRC staff opposed it.

On Monday, the Toledo Blade published an editorial, "Tough enough to last?", questioning the structural integrity of the shield building for 25 more years (2012 to 2037). Today, it ran an article, "Davis-Besse hearings open." 

U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a long-time watchdog on Davis-Besse and other FENOC atomic reactors, submitted a statement for the hearing record. The interveners and Rep. Kucinich co-wrote a joint op-ed late last week.

During a break in the proceeding, members of the Green Party of Ohio, an intervention coalition partner -- including State Co-Chair Anita Rios of Toledo -- held an anti-nuclear rally in front of the Lucas County Courthouse, as well as a rally in support of the Green Party's candidates for U.S. President and Vice President, Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala.