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Thursday
Dec082011

Kucinich: "FirstEnergy Tells Public One Thing, NRC Another; Nuke Plant Damage More than Previously Admitted"

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a long time watchdog on Davis-BesseAfter a Dec. 6 meeting between his staff and representatives of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued a strongly worded statement critical of nuclear utility FirstEnergy's public assurances about the problem of cracking recently discovered in the Davis-Besse atomic reactor's shield building, an essential layer of radiological containment. 

“In response to inquiries by my staff, the NRC provided a detailed description of the cracking at FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse plant. That description revealed that the cracks in the Davis-Besse ‘shield’ building are more numerous and more widely distributed than FirstEnergy has publicly portrayed,” said Kucinich.

Congressman Kucinich's office has prepared a comparison of FirstEnergy statements with known facts, and calls on readers to decide for themselves how bad the situation is.

Beyond Nuclear, along with Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Ohio Green Party, has intervened against the 20 year license extension sought by FirstEnergy for Davis-Besse, a problem-plagued 35 year old atomic reactor. David Lochbaum at Union of Concerned Scientists has also submitted allegations about the cracked shield building to the NRC.

Monday
Dec052011

Hazardous radiation dusts all of Japan

"Radioactive substances from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have now been confirmed in all prefectures [in Japan], including Uruma, Okinawa Prefecture, about 1,700 kilometers from the plant, according to the science ministry," reports the Japan daily, the Asahi Shimbun. "The highest combined cumulative density of radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137 was found in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, at 40,801 becquerels per square meter. That was followed by 22,570 becquerels per square meter in Yamagata, the capital of Yamagata Prefecture, and 17,354 becquerels per square meter in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward."

Sunday
Dec042011

"Fukushima's U.S. Nuclear Nightmare"

An article by John Raymond posted at his ZSpace Page features Beyond Nuclear's "Freeze Our Fukushimas" campaign to shut down the 23 Fukushima Daiichi twins in the U.S. -- General Electric Boiling Water Reactors of the Mark 1 design. Paul Gunter is quoted extensively on reactor risks, and Kevin Kamps on high-level radioactive waste storage pool risks.

Sunday
Dec042011

"Cyber war" threatens nuclear facilities

Public Radio International's The World has reported that the U.S. military now recognizes "cyber war" as the "new fifth domain of war between states, after air, land, sea and outer space." It reported "the humanitarian consequences of a cyber attack could include damage to infrastructure like power grids and toxic waste facilities," which could, of course, include atomic reactors and high-level radioactive waste storage pools. Bennett Ramberg warned more than 25 years ago that reactors and radioactive waste could be targeted during war, in his book Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril. The Stuxnet computer worm, targeted at the Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, is rumored to have been launched by the U.S. and/or Israeli militaries, although no radioactivity releases to the environment from the resulting damage were reported.

Sunday
Dec042011

Congressman Kucinich expresses concerns on Davis-Besse cracks, urges public hearing before NRC allows reactor re-start

Kucinich has long watch-dogged Davis-BesseOn Nov. 21st, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) wrote NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko, putting forth a technical theory that could explain Davis-Besse's concrete shield building cracking, and calling for a public hearing on this vital safety issue before the atomic reactor is allowed to re-start. Kucinich wrote a related op-ed in the Toledo Blade.

The shield building is supposed to protect the reactor within from such threats as tornadoes. In June 1998, a tornado scored a direct hit on Davis-Besse, passing between the shield building and the cooling tower, knocking out the primary electrical grid, and causing a near-disaster when the back up emergency diesel generators didn't work properly. An NRC ordered study from 1982 (ironically entitled "CRAC-2") reported that a major radioactive release at Davis-Besse could cause 1,400 "peak early fatalities," 73,000 "peak early injuries," 10,000 peak cancer deaths," and $84 billion in property damage [$185 billion when adjusted for inflation].