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ARTICLE ARCHIVE


 

Thursday
Sep082016

Beyond Nuclear & Pilgrim Watch challenge Entergy attempt at evasion of federal law established by Fukushima Order 

On September 7, 2016, Beyond Nuclear joined with Pilgrim Watch and six other Massachusetts safe energy groups to oppose an effort by the New Orleans-based Entergy Nuclear Corporation to quietly evade economic consequences and legal compliance with a critical Fukushima Lessons-Learned Order. The groups have filed a petition in request of a public hearing before the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety Licensing Board.

The Order was issued by the NRC on June 6, 2013 for the 30 remaining GE Mark I and Mark II boiing water reactor units still in operation in the US. Acknowledging the demonstrated gross containment failure of the three Fukushima reactors that were at power on March 11, 2011, the NRC Order modified the operating licenses of all operators of the U.S. Fukushima-style reactors, including Entergy’s GE Mark I boiling water reactor at Pilgrim in Plymouth, MA to require the installation of a reliable hardened containment vent capable of withstanding a severe accident. This includes where the reactor core has already been damaged and begun to melt down.

The Order explicitly mandates that the operator responses and actions be within the required time frames which in Pilgrim’s case the containment upgrade is scheduled for completion following its next refueling outage in Spring 2017. On June 24, 2016, over three years after the Order was issued, Entergy filed “A Request for Extension to Comply” with the NRC Order to postpone compliance until after Entergy’s announced early closure date of June 1, 2019. Entergy will then seek relief from the Order altogether.

The joint petition requests that the NRC deny Pilgrim an extension for many reasons.  First, an "extension" is disgenuous because Entergy blantanly has no intention of ever complying with the public safety Order. In fact, Energy intends to continue to profit from operations, avoid Fukushima's economic consequences for US reactor upgrades and hide from public disclosure the  significant public safety risks identified in the NRC Order that arise out of non-compliant operation. Entergy’s filed its request for an extension well after the Order’s own timeline required all licensees to notify the agency if there was going to be a compliance problem. Of more concern, there is the  central legal issue that Entergy’s request is really to attempt to evade the fact that its operating license was amended by the Order which requires Pilgrim to instead submit a license amendment request and the opportunity for full disclosure and review of the safety risks in an open public hearing under the NRC’s own rules and regulations.

If Entergy refuses to seek to legitimately change the Order's compliance requirements for Pilgrim to avoid disclosure and upgrade costs through the license amendment process by submitting to a public hearing as required by law, then the NRC must not  allow Pilgrim to refuel in 2017 and revoke it's operating license for failure to comply.

“Entergy's request for an 'extension to comply' with the NRC Order is a disingenuous attempt to evade Fukushima's economic consequences and the public's scrutiny of the risks of continued operation in violation of federal law from behind closed doors," said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear based in Takoma Park, Maryland in its press release.  "This simply has to be challenged in an open public hearing," he said.

Thursday
Aug252016

Urge U.S. and Canadian governments to prevent radioactive contamination of the Great Lakes!

Beyond Nuclear is honored to be working with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), and a coalition of 110 organizations, to protect the Great Lakes against the hazards of radioactive contamination. The Great Lakes Basin has dozens of nuclear "hot spots," from uranium mines and mills, to atomic reactors, radioactive waste storage, nuclear materials transportation, and even proposed radioactive waste dumps. Environmental groups have long urged both the Canadian and U.S. federal governments to take urgent action to prevent the radioactive contamination of the Great Lakes, 21% of the world's -- and 84% of North America's -- surface fresh water, and drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight states, two provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. This effort has now culminated with a report commissioned by CELA, and the filing of a citizen-initiated petition, under the authority of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 2012, officially nominating hazardous radioactive isotopes as Chemicals of Mutual Concern. Individuals and organizations can help this effort by sending letters of support (see a sample template here) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Davis.cameron@Epa.gov) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (Michael.Goffin@canada.ca) co-chairs of the Great Lakes Executive Committee, as both the  Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and  Great Lakes Fishery Commission have recently done.  More

Thursday
Aug252016

Native American environmental defenders urgently ask for support amidst escalating "energy wars"  

Indigenous resistance mounts against the so-called Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)Longtime Native American allies of the anti-nuclear movement, Indigenous Environmental Network and Honor the Earth, have issued an urgent call for solidarity (including an appeal for human rights observers from the UN, NGOs, churches, etc.) in their struggle against yet another dirty, dangerous, and expensive energy industry -- the so-called Dakota Access Pipeline for pumping Bakken crude oil, targeted at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's land on the Missouri River in North Dakota. Environmental groups have long stood in solidarity with traditional indigenous peoples to successfully block high-level radioactive waste dumps targeted at the Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation in Utah, Western Shoshone Indian land at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and many other Native lands across the U.S., as well as to resist uranium mining on Native lands (including in the Dakotas) and beyond. We must again now stand with our environmental justice allies in their time of escalating crisis -- as local, state, and even federal governmental and law enforcement agencies are unnecessarily increasing the tension, and safety risks, in an attempt to disperse a peaceful, growing encampment of many hundreds of Native Americans (including women, children, and elders), who have gathered to protect sacred land and water against an illegal, polluting, and dangerous crude oil pipeline. More

Monday
Aug222016

New Study Shows How Clinging to Nuclear Power Means Climate Failure

A sign held at an anti-nuclear demonstration in Germany. (Photo: Michaela/flickr/cc)An article by Andrea Germanos, subtitled "By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive," has just been published at Common Dreams.

It reports:

The researchers found that "progress in both carbon emissions reduction and in adoption of renewables appears to be inversely related to the strength of continuing nuclear commitments." (emphasis added)

..."Looked at on its own, nuclear power is sometimes noisily propounded as an attractive response to climate change," said Andy Stirling, professor of science and technology policy at the University of Sussex, in a media statement. "Yet if alternative options are rigorously compared, questions are raised about cost-effectiveness, timeliness, safety, and security."

"Looking in detail at historic trends and current patterns in Europe, this paper substantiates further doubts," he continued. "By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive," he said.

Thursday
Aug182016

Protect the Great Lakes march & rally, GLEA, Port Huron, MI, Sat., 8/20, noon to 5pm!

DO sign the petition: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.html. And, if you or folks you know are near enough Port Huron, please attend this second annual event! Please spread the word!Join us, Saturday, August 20,
2016 in Port Huron, Michigan!


Protect the Great Lakes Walk & Rally!
Celebrating grassroots efforts to keep
our Great Lakes clean!


The Walk begins at 12 Noon at the Flag Plaza under the Blue
Water Bridge
(Thomas Edison Parkway). The Walk will follow the
St. Clair River south to Prospect Place, turn west to Pine Grove Ave.,
then enter the park from Pine Grove Avenue.

We walk to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our water!

The Rally takes place from 1 to 5 PM at the Pine Grove Park in Port Huron, 1204 Pine Grove Avenue, Port Huron, MI 48060.

What can you do? If you are close enough, please attend this second annual event. If not, spread word to anyone you know who is. Also, you and yours can sign the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump petition!

More.