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Friday
Jan092015

192 Entergy Palisades workers exposed to 2.8 R in month-long job

Workers pictured at Palisades last spring doing repair work on top of the reactor vessel head. Entergy provided this and other photos of the work to the NRC.As reported by Lindsey Smith at Michigan Radio, around 185 workers (later confirmed to be 192) at Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor in Michigan were exposed to 2.8 Rem of radioactivity exposure on a single project last year. From Feb. to March, 2014, the Control Rod Drive Mechanisms at Palisades were replaced, due to chronic seal and through-wall leakage that dates back to 1972.

2.8 Rem of exposure violates Entergy's self-imposed ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) limits of 2 Rem/year for workers. 2 Rem/year for nuclear workers is the national standard in Germany, which will completely phase out reactor operations by 2022 as a direct response to the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

However, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows, or permits, up to 5 Rem/year of exposure to nuclear workers. Members of the general public, by comparison, are only allowed to receive 100 milliRem, or 0.1 Rem, per year of exposure to artificial radioactivity from the nuclear power industry. Thus, in a single month, 185 workers at Palisades were exposed to 28 times the amount of harmful radioactivity allowed for members of the general public in an entire year.

Friday
Jan092015

"Has Exelon been crying wolf?"

A map of Nuclear Illinois, prepared by NEISAs reported by Kari Lydersen of Midwest Energy News in an article entitled "Illinois report says Exelon nuclear straits not so dire," a massive bailout of $580 million per year at ratepayer expense may not be justified. Chicago-based Exelon, the country's single largest nuclear utility, has lobbied the Illinois legislature for the hand out, in order to prop up five (of 11 still operating) atomic reactors in the state, at risk of closure due to their inability to economically compete on the open market. This report was mandated by a legislative resolution rammed through over public objections earlier this year due to Exelon lobbyist pressure.

David Kraft, Executive Director of Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), was quoted. More.

Thursday
Jan082015

Slain cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were allies of anti-nuclear movement

We pause today to remember those slain at the French satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo. Several of the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were close allies of the French anti-nuclear movement, even providing cartoons to the French anti-nuclear network, "Sortir du nucléaire." Stéphane Charbonnier, its editor in chief, drew many cartoons lampooning the nuclear industry. (One example is pictured below. It reads: "What could one do without nuclear? Live.") Charb, as he was known by his pen name, participated in opposition to both nuclear power and nuclear weapons. He was among the 12 killed.  Another Hebdo staffer, Fabrice Nicolino, who was wounded but we are told will survive, was the author of the brilliant special edition of Charlie Hebdo focusing on nuclear power and called The Nuclear Swindle (cover pictured left). In it, Nicolino, an author and environmental journalist, pointed out that nuclear power is a hold-up, with democracy as the spoils. The assassination of the 12 people at Charlie Hebdo, and the injuring of others, was also an assault on democracy. Tens of thousands rallied the same night in Paris and elsewhere, holding vigil for the victims and for freedom (see photo bottom right.)

 

Monday
Dec292014

Vermont Yankee closes!

Today, thanks to decades of citizen organizing and protest; the wise backing of the elected officials of the State of Vermont; the attempted deception of Vermont Yankee owners, Entergy, whose representatives even lied under oath; and the hopeless economics of nuclear power, the Vermont Yankee reactor has shut down permanently. 

The lights will not go out. In fact, the New England electric grid operator knew two years ago that permanently closing Vermont Yankee would not affect regional grid stability.

In a statement today, Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin, said:Today, thanks to investments in renewable energy such as solar, Vermont's energy future is on a different, more sustainable path that is creating jobs, reducing energy costs for Vermonters and slowing climate change.” Shumlin was a strong advocate for the closure of the reactor once its license expired. 

In what was viewed at the time as a blatant example of regulatory capture, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Vermont Yankee a 20-year license extension just ten days after the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Vermont Yankee was one of 23 GE Mark I boiling water reactors, along with eight Mark II units, in the U.S., the same flawed design as the Fukushima reactors. Watch Shut Vermont Yankee! and The Activists, two videos made by Beyond Nuclear during the campaign to close the plant. For more, read Harvey Wasserman's analysis.

Friday
Dec262014

24th anniversary of EnviroVideo, producer of "Three Mile Island Revisited"

Beyond Nuclear board member Karl GrossmanOn December 26th, Beyond Nuclear board member, investigative journalist, author, and EnviroVideo host, Karl Grossman, wrote:

"Next week will mark the 24th year for EnviroVideo. Here's the first documentary we did, Three Mile Island Revisited...".

The 29-minute documentary is viewable on YouTube.

Here is a description of the piece:

"This powerful documentary challenges the claims of the nuclear industry and government that no one died as a result of the core meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in Pennsylvania. It utilizes the testimony of area residents and scientific findings to reveal that deaths, especially from cancer and birth defects in children, have been widespread since the 1979 accident. Indeed, it notes that Three Mile Island's owner has been quietly settling numerous damage cases brought by persons seriously impacted by the accident. Winner of the Worldfest Silver Award, Houston International Film Festival. Winner of the Director's Citation, Black Maria Video and Film Festival. Chosen for screening at the 1993 Earth Peace International Film Festival. Produced by EnviroVideo in 1993."