Entergy Wach: Environmental coalition challenges Entergy's financial qualifications to continue operating FitzPatrick, Pilgrim, and Vermont Yankee

"Burning money" graphic by Gene Case, Avenging AngelsAs reported by E&E's Hannah Northey at Greenwire, an environmental coalition including such groups as Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE), Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Awareness Network (CAN), and Pilgrim Watch, has launched an emergency enforcement petition at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, challenging the financial qualifications of Entergy Nuclear to safely operate and decommission such reactors at FitzPatrick in New York, Pilgrim in Massachusetts, and Vermont Yankee. All three reactors happen to be twin designs to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4, that is, General Electric Mark I boiling water reactors. The coalition's petition cited financial analyses by UBS on Entergy's dire economic straits. Representatives from coalition groups, including Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter, testified today before an NRC Petition Review Board at the agency's headquarters in Rockville, MD. 


Entergy's Palisades leaks 79 gallons of radioactive water into Lake Michigan, forced to shut down

Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore in southwest MIAs reported by the Holland Sentinel, Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor has yet again sprung a leak, this time spilling 79 gallons of supposedly "very slightly radioactive water" into Lake Michigan, the headwaters of 20% of the world's surface fresh water, and drinking water for 40 million people downstream.

[Update: In mid-May, 2013, at an "open house" hosted by Entergy Nuclear at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven, MI, Entergy's radiological monitors admitted that the quantity of radioactive water spilled into Lake Michigan was actually 82.1 gallons, not 79 gallons as reported in the press.]

Entergy and NRC spokespersons' repeated claims of no safety significance to the public flies in the face of decades of findings, as by the National Academy of Science (most recently in 2005), that any exposure to radioactivity, no matter how small, carries a health risk of cancer, and that these health risks accumulate over a lifetime.

More historical background on this two-year-old leak in this 46-year-old aluminum tank at Palisades, as well as media coverage on this latest leak in the Lake, and updates, are posted at Beyond Nuclear's Nuclear Power website section.


Duke pulls plans for two new reactors at Shearon Harris site

The nuclear retreat continues apace. Duke Energy has suspended its application for two new reactor units at its Shearon Harris site in North Carolina. The company said it saw no resource need for two new reactors based on the likely electricity needs of its customers for at least the next 15 years.  Although Duke continues to pursue plans for new reactors at Levy, FL and Gaffney, SC it has no firm commitment to either plant.


"'A very fragile situation': Leaks from Japan's wrecked nuke plant raise fears"

As reported by World News on NBC News, concerns are mounting about the ongoing leakage of radioactively contaminated water at the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site in Japan.

The article quotes a Greenpeace Japan energy campaigner, as well as a ruined -- but still resisting -- dairy farmer, whose herd is fatally near Fukushima Daiichi:

'...Hisayo Takada, energy campaigner with Greenpeace Japan, complained no real progress had been made.

“It’s still a very fragile situation and measures implemented by the government and [power company] TEPCO are only temporary solutions,” she said. "The issue with the contaminated water is very serious and we're very concerned. And we're very angry because it’s been two years and they've been saying that everything's safe."

Greenpeace has been testing food sold in supermarkets, and to date has not found “radiation levels higher than government guidelines,” Takada said.

But she said the “land and sea will never return to the way it was before the accident.”

One man who knows this all too well is cattle farmer Masami Yoshizawa. He lives in the Namie area, which was once inside a 12-mile, mandatory evacuation zone but is now among the places where people have been allowed to return.

He tends his herd of 350 cows as “a living symbol of protest.”


“As long as they're alive, I will keep them to show to the world -- these cows that have been exposed to radiation, cows that are no longer marketable, and that I’m being told to have slaughtered,” said Yoshizawa, 59.

“For us farmers, it’s impossible for us to return to work in Namie. Our community will disappear. It’s going to become like Chernobyl … Only the elderly who say they don't care about the radiation will return. Children will never return,” he said...'.

Note that Japan's "allowable" or "permissible" (NOT to be confused with "safe") dose of radioactive cesium in food is limited to 100 bequerels per kilogram. However, U.S. standards allow for 1,200 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium contamination in food. This means that food regarded as too radioactive and thus unfit for human consumption in Japan can be exported to the U.S. for consumption by unsuspecting families!


More than 2,500 to call on NRC to revoke reactor licenses: Join May 2 call!

Representatives from 24 organizations from across the United States have petitioned the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to revoke the operating license of the General Electric Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors like those at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site in Japan. More than 2,500 co-petitioners are calling for the emergency closure. The NRC public meeting will be broadcast live in a webcast and toll-free telephone conference call by the agency on Thursday, May 2, 2013 from 1 to 3PM Eastern. 

“Anybody paying attention during the Fukushima disaster knows that if a nuclear accident happens here these same reactor designs very likely will not protect us from radiation releases,” said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project for Takoma Park, MD-based Beyond Nuclear. Read the full press release.