Despite the fact that its proposed new reactor projects are beset by ongoing major safety risks, schedule delays, cost overruns, and other economic and radiological pitfalls, the nuclear power industry continues to seek massive taxpayer bailouts, not only in the U.S. but even overseas. The environmental movement has responded by urging the Japanese government not to risk its own taxpayers’ funds on the risky South Texas Project twin reactor expansion. A coalition of more than 170 organizations, including Beyond Nuclear, recently sent a letter to the Japanese prime minister, and issued an accompanying media release. (Last August, Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps, along with Japanese allies from Green Action, Citizens Nuclear Information Center, Friends of the Earth, and other groups met with the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the federal Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) to deliver just such a message.) The nuclear industry's attempted money grab in the U.S. has now shifted -- yet again -- to the U.S. Senate, which is considering funding measures for the current and next fiscal year. Right now is a critical time to stave off this latest attempt to risk additional billions of taxpayer dollars on proposed new atomic boondoggles. Call your two U.S. Senators via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or look up their fax numbers and websites for writing in via their webforms, or to find their in-state offices nearest you. Urge them to not only reject additional nuclear power loan guarantees, but also to roll back the entire nuclear loan guarantee program, as 57% of Americans polled by the Wall Street Journal/NBC have indicated ("When it comes to reducing spending, the most popular targets were subsidies to build nuclear power plants...")! After more than half a century of heavy subsidization by American taxpayers and ratepayers, it's high time for the nuclear power industry to stand on its own two feet in the marketplace, or go away for good!
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has declared the Vermont Yankee reactor "safe" and on March 10, 2011 concluded the legal hearings clearing the way for issuing a controversial 20 year license extension even though the State of Vermont voted to close the plant on schedule on March 21, 2012. Watch our newest video - Vermont Yankee - Unsafe Today, Shut it Tomorrow! - to see what we think of the decision!
The nation's electric utitlies have collectively paid the U.S. Department of Energy $31 billion to "take away" their radioactive waste. But of course, there is still nowhere for it to go - a problem that is likely to persist indefinitely. Given the lack of a waste dump or other "solution," the utilities are suing the DOE to try to suspend fees they pay the government for nuclear waste storage. But the DOE wants to keep collecting its annual fees because, as the agency telllingly admits to Automated Trader, "they'll eventually develop a long-term storage solution. And when they do, it's likely to be expensive."
On Tuesday, March 1st, the environmental coalition resisting the Davis-Besse atomic reactor's 20 year license extension defended its contentions before a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety (sic) Licensing Board at the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court in Port Clinton, Ohio near the nuclear power plant. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps defended the coalition's contention that FirstEnergy had severely underestimated the costs and casualties that would result from a severe accident and catastrophic radioactivity release at the problem-plagued reactor. Phyllis Oster, a Beyond Nuclear supporter from Bowling Green, Ohio who resisted the reactor's construction in the first place four decades ago, has provided standing to Beyond Nuclear to take part in this proceeding. Toledo attorney Terry Lodge, on behalf of Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio, defended the coalition's wind and solar photovoltaics alternatives to the 20 year license extension. Green Party co-chair Anita Rios, a lifelong Toledo resident, testified about her concerns for her family living downwind of Davis-Besse. The court room was packed with concerned citizens, as reported by the local newspaper. The Toledo Blade also covered the hearing, as did Toledo's NBC affiliate. The coalition's media release also helped generate coverage by a number of area National Public Radio affiliates, including Michigan Radio-Ann Arbor, WDET in Detroit, and Kent State NPR in Ohio.
The upcoming 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster is a brutal reminder of the dangers of nuclear power, proliferation and terrorism, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said on Tuesday. "The true scope of the tragedy still remains beyond comprehension and is a shocking reminder of the reality of the nuclear threat," Gorbachev said in an essay published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a watchdog organisation on nuclear security. Nuclear Power Daily