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Thursday
Apr262012

General Electric Stockholders Seek Freeze on 23 U.S. Fukushima-Design Reactors

The General Electric Stockholders' Alliance, in coalition with Beyond Nuclear and Don't Waste Michigan, sent out a media release after its presentation of an anti-nuclear power shareholder resolution at GE's Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan on the eve of the 26th annual commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

Monday
Apr232012

Could GE have prevented the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe, involving four GE Mark I reactors? 

NRC file photo of Fermi 2, on the Lake Erie shoreline 35 miles south of Detroit, MichiganThe General Electric Stockholders' Alliance (GESA), Beyond Nuclear, and Don't Waste Michigan has published a media release two days before General Electric's annual shareholders meeting. GESA has tapped Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, and Michael Keegan of Don't Waste Michigan, to represent its anti-nuclear resolution at the meeting. The meeting is taking place in downtown Detroit, 35 miles north of the Fermi 2 atomic reactor (see photo, left), identical in design to the four reactors involved in the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Kevin is quoted: “The high-level radioactive waste storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 is at precarious risk of failure, which would lead to a fire and catastrophic radioactivity release even worse than what has already occurred, due to the lack of radiological containment over the pool. But the Fermi 2 pool contains far more high-level radioactive waste than Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 put together, and is itself an accident waiting to happen.  With the loss of ability to circulate water, the Fermi 2 irradiated nuclear fuel pool could begin to boil off in 4.2 hours.” 

Michael is quoted: “The potential of a cataclysmic accident at an untested General Electric-Hitachi ESBWR design is always there.   The next greatest immediate impacts are costs associated with the loss of opportunity to move toward renewable and energy efficiency. With the cost of Fermi 3 now projected at $15 billion, and the potential of skyrocketing cost overruns, we can either go nuclear, or pursue the promise of efficiency and renewables, but we can’t do both. To lock the state of Michigan into pursuit of the proposed Fermi 3 is a colossal travesty.”

Reporters and the public can watch the GE Annual Meeting during a live webcast at 10 am EDT on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at  www.ge.com/investors/index.html.

 

Saturday
Apr212012

Fire at closed San Onofre nuclear plant

Despite being shuttered for months, a fire broke out at the already troubled San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California that has been closed since January 31 after a steam tube ruptured and released radioactive steam. The fire was quickly extinguished but environmental organizations and local groups are engaged in keeping the two reactors at the dangerous facility permanently shut down. Even the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has agreed that the plant should not reopen for the time being given problems with the piping and while officials conduct technical investigations at both reactors. The plant sits on a beach near San Clemente in a popular surfing area.

Monday
Apr162012

Japanese diplomat Matsumura warns of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 high-level radioactive waste storage pool risks

A recent photo of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4, with workers (in white radiation suits, under girders) next to pool surfaceJapanese diplomat Akio Matsumura has been warning about the risks of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4's high-level radioactive waste storage pool failing (see photo, left), as due to another strong earthquake. Matsumura has worked with the former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, Murata, who has recently testified before the Japanese federal parliament, as well as written to Japanese Prime Minister Noda and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, urging international cooperation to address the dangers at Unit 4. Matsumura has devoted his homepage to dialogues with the likes of Bob Alvarez at Institute for Policy Studies, Gordon Edwards at Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsiblity, and Steven Starr with PSR, to better understand the situation and amplify the international warning.

Monday
Apr162012

US Sen. Wyden tours Fukushima Daiichi, reveals situation worse than reported, urges Japan to accept international assistance

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, recently donned a radiation suit and investigated firsthand the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. He reveals the situation is worse than reported, and is urging the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, to accept international assistance to address ongoing risks of catastrophic radioactivity releases, especially from the hundreds of tons of high-level radioactive waste stored in precarious pools vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. Wyden has issued a press release, and posted his letter to the Japanese Ambassador.

In the letter, Wyden wrote: “The scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what I expected and the scope of the challenges to the utility owner, the government of Japan, and to the people of the region are daunting. The precarious status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear units and the risk presented by the enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all and a focus of greater international support and assistance.” 

Wyden also wrote U.S. Energy Secretary Chu, Secretary of State Clinton, and NRC Chairman Jaczko, urging the full resources and expertise of the United States government be offered to Japan to prevent yet another catastrophic radioactivity release at Fukushima Daiichi due to a failed pool fire.

Please contact Sen. Wyden to thank him for his vital efforts, and contact Secretary Chu, Secretary Clinton, and Chairman Jaczko, urging they do what Sen. Wyden calls for. You can also contact your U.S. Senators and Representative, to urge them to add their voices to Sen. Wyden's effort.