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Sunday
Apr052015

In Memoriam: Bill Hirt, stalwart supporter of the anti-nuke movement in the Great Lakes

Bill Hirt (in radiation suit, holding "Chernobyl 1986" placard) with assistance from Alice Hirt, protesting the industry's first "Nuclear Renaissance" event at the Palmer House, Chicago, late 2001. Photo by Kathy Barnes.We are very sad to report that our dear friend and colleague, Bill Hirt, has passed on. He died surrounded by his loving family on Monday, March 30, 2015, more than eight years after being diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Bill was very multi-faceted (the Toledo Blade's remembrance focused on his historic preservation and low-income housing efforts), but one of those facets was his generous support for, and deep involvement in, the anti-nuclear movement in the Great Lakes region. Along with his wife Alice (see the obituary she and their son Nick wrote, here), who serves on the board of directors of Don't Waste Michigan and the Toledo Coalition for Safe Energy, the Hirts vigilantly watch-dogged nuclear risks from Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, from Palisades to Davis-Besse, traveling to meetings and events across the Great Lakes for years and even decades on end, in opposition to atomic reactor and radioactive waste risks. See a listing of but a few of the countless examples of Bill's involvement, here.

Bill's generous support and deep involvement will be sorely missed, as will his vivacious spirit and love of life. More.

Wednesday
Apr012015

From Midwest to Mid-Atlantic, ratepayer resistance to nuclear bailouts intensifies!

"Burning money" graphic art by Gene Case and Avenging Angels appeared on the cover of the Nation Magazine, accompanying an article about the nuclear relapse by Christian ParentiNuclear utilities, like Exelon of Chicago and FirstEnergy of Ohio, are seeking multi-billion (yes, billion with a B!) dollar bailouts for their dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive atomic reactors. Exelon is also trying to take over the Mid-Atlantic utility Pepco, in a thinly veiled attempt to gouge ratepayers to prop up its failing nukes, while gutting clean energy competition: efficiency, renewables, and distributed energy. But a growing coalition of residential and business ratepayers, nuclear watchdogs, and even state agencies, are pushing back, with creative street theater, community educational forums, and legal interventions before Public Service Commissions. More.
Sunday
Mar292015

Op-eds urge PUCO to reject FirstEnergy's requested $3 billion bailout for Davis-Besse & coal plant

Two op-eds published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer advocate that FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) should not be allowed to saddle Ohio ratepayers with a $3 billion surcharge over the next 15 years. FENOC seeks the subsidy to keep two dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive power plants on life support (the Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo, and the Sammis coal plant on the Ohio River).

The first op-ed was written by Connie Kline, a long-time nuclear power watchdog in northeast Ohio. She focused on safety risks at FENOC's problem-plagued Davis-Besse reactor.

A second op-ed opposing the bailout was co-written by three Cuyahoga County elected officials (a state senator, a Cuyahoga County council member, and a Cleveland city council member). It described burdening hard-working Ohio ratepayers with this subsidy for FirstEnergy as "unconscionable and unacceptable," and urged the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to reject the plan.

Readers are encouraged to join in the debate by submitting comments in the section under the op-eds.

Saturday
Mar282015

"36 Years of Three Mile Island’s Lethal Lies…and Still Counting"

Photo by Robert Del Tredichi, from his 1980 book "The People of Three Mile Island."Harvey Wasserman has written in commeration of the meltdown at Three Mile Island (TMI) Unit 2 on March 28, 1979. He writes:

"The lies that killed people at Three Mile Island 36 years ago tomorrow are still being told at Chernobyl, Fukushima, Diablo Canyon, Davis-Besse…and at TMI itself.

As the first major reactor accident that was made known to the public is sadly commemorated, and as the global nuclear industry collapses, let’s count just 36 tip-of-the iceberg ways the nuclear industry’s radioactive legacy continues to fester:

For the full article, go to: http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/27/three-mile-island-36-anniversary/."

For current commetary on the TMI+36 commemoration by Fairewinds Energy Education and Nukewatch, as well as archived coverage by Beyond Nuclear and EnviroVideo, see more.

Friday
Mar272015

"Maryland PSC delays decision on Pepco-Exelon merger"

Logo courtesy of Public Citizen Energy ProgramAs reported by UtilityDIVE and Argus Media, the Maryland Public Service Commission (MD PSC) has given itself till May 8th to decide whether or not to approve the proposed $6.8 billion merger between Exelon Nuclear and the Mid-Atlantic electric utility Pepco. There have been multiple postponements by the MD PSC over the decision, amidst opposition and concerns, including from the State of Maryland Energy Administration.

The MD PSC was originally scheduled to reach a decision in February. Exelon hopes to complete the merger by September.