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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
Monday
Oct222012

World Nuclear Industry Status Report maps nuclear power's global decline

A new World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012, authored by Mycle Schneider with Antony Froggatt and Julie Hazemann, maps the continuing global decline of nuclear power. The report shows that nuclear's future rests not on new construction, but that "Plant life extension seems the most likely survival strategy of the nuclear industry at this point" - a good reason to continue to block reactor license extensions. The report noted that: "Only seven reactors started up, while 19 were shut down in 2011." By July 2012, "only two were started up, just compensating for two that were shut down so far this year". Other highlights:

China is spending five times more on renewables than nuclear post-Fukushima with no new nuclear construction since 3/11; nine reactors have been listed as "under construction" for more than 20 years; four countries - Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan - will phase out nuclear power and five more to date - Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait and Thailand - have abandoned plans to develop, or re-develop nuclear power; new builds have been canceled in Brazil, France, India and the US; certification of new reactor technologies has been delayed numerous times; in the US, of the 28 license applications received, 16 were subsequently delayed and eight were suspended indefinitely or officially canceled; of the 59 units under construction in the world, at least 18 are experiencing multi-year delays, while the remaining 41 projects were started within the past five years or have not yet reached project start-up dates.

Thursday
Oct182012

Beyond Nuclear debates "thorium power" proponent at Sierra Club meeting

On October 10th, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps debated Timothy Maloney, a proponent of so-called "thorium (nuclear) power," at a meeting of the Nepessing Group of the Sierra Club's Michigan Chapter, at Mott Community College's Regional Technical Center in Flint. The Nepessing Group of Michigan represents Sierra Club members in Genesee, Lapeer, and northern Oakland counties.

Kevin's research in preparation for the debate depended on: a Beyond Nuclear backgrounder compiled by Linda Gunter; "Thorium Fuel -- No Panacea for Nuclear Power," by Dr. Arjun Makhijani of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Michele Boyd of Physicians for Social Responsibility (2009); a Science Friday program entitled "Is Thorium a Magic Bullet for our Energy Problems?" featuring Dr. Makhijani (May 4, 2012); "Thinking about Thorium" by Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (Sept. 16, 2012); "Thorium Reactors: Back to the Dream Factory," by Dr. Edwards (July 13, 2011); and "What is the Thorium Cycle?" by Dr. Edwards (1978).

The Thorium-232/Uranium-233 nuclear fuel chain shares many similarities with the Uranium-235 and Plutonium-239 nuclear fuel chains, including the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, the risk that reactors could unleash catastrophic amounts of radioactivity (particularly from intentional terrorist attacks or acts of warfare), the unsolved (unsolvable?!) radioactive waste problem, the astronomical expense of RDD (research, development, and demonstration) for "thorium reactors," and the environmental ruination downwind and downstream (as well as up the food chain and down the generations) from reprocessing facilities.

Thursday
Oct182012

People power pressure against Entergy intensifies nationwide

Entergy Nuclear's ironic motto, "The Power of People" (see left), has backfired, with concerted pressure intensifying against its dirty dozen atomic reactors across the country. In New York, hearings have begun on the State's and environmental groups' opposition to Indian Point's license extensions; the Alliance for a Green Economy and Beyond Nuclear have followed up their emergency enforcement petition with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request against the FitzPatrick Mark I; and Beyond Nuclear has been invited to speak in Stony Point on October 21st, and on Long Island on October 27th. A lawsuit has been launched against the Pilgrim Mark I near Boston, objecting to Entergy's impacts on Cape Cod Bay. And at Vermont Yankee, the drum beat of citizen actions continues, as oral arguments at the federal court of appeals against the Mark I's extended operations are scheduled for next month.

Thursday
Oct182012

NRC ASLB oral argument pre-hearings on Davis-Besse license extension, Nov. 5 & 6, Toledo

Nuclear Regulatory Commission photos taken in late 2011 show the laminar subsurface cracking (left) at the Shield Building and core bore samples from the Shield Building. Despite the severe cracking, NRC Staff has strenuously opposed the environmental coalition's attempts to raise the issue in the license extension proceedings.The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel presiding over the Davis-Besse atomic reactor license extension proceeding has ordered oral argument pre-hearings at the Common Pleas Courtroom in the Lucas County Courthouse, located at 700 Adams Street in downtown Toledo, Ohio, to be held from 9 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday, November 5th and Tuesday, November 6th (yes, Election Day!).

Beyond Nuclear, along with Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio, represented by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge, launched an official intervention against Davis-Besse's 20 year license extension on December 27, 2010. At these oral argument pre-hearings,  the coalition will argue for a hearing on the merits of its concrete containment cracking contention, first filed on January 10, 2012, and supplememted numerous times this year based on new revelations contained in FENOC and NRC documents, including those made public by a Beyond Nuclear Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. More.

Thursday
Oct182012

Honesty followed by industry jargon. San Onofre NRC public meeting

Excellent snippet of video made by Myla Reson at a two-hour NRC public meeting at Dana Point, CA, regarding California Edison's miserable failure at San Onofre, where two deeply flawed and dangerous reactors remain idle whilst Edison endeavors to convince the public and NRC they are safe enough to restart.