Documents leaked by an inside source at Electricite de France show that the French reactor - the EPR - could explode due to design flaws that could cause a major accident. Beyond Nuclear immediately responded with a press release urging a ban on the EPR in the US where it was originally slated for six sites. Calvert Cliffs in Maryland remains the only candidate still moving forward. More details and links can also be found in the Sortir du nucleaire press release.
“…as an isotope of hydrogen (the cell’s most ubiquitous element), tritium can be incorporated into essentially all portions of the living machinery; and it is not innocuous." R. Lowry Dobson MD, PhD quoted from The toxicity of tritium 1979.
Beyond Nuclear presents a new fact sheet on tritium discussing where it comes from, how it acts in the environment and humans and what the health hazards of exposure are. References are included.
Ralph Nader says “Just recently, a well-designed and documented pamphlet from Beyond Nuclear summarizes the case against nuclear power as ‘Expensive, Dangerous and Dirty.’ The clear, precise detail and documentation makes for expeditious education of your friends, neighbors and co-workers.”
Please download and reprint the pamphlet for free or contact us for multiple hard copies to educate your community and to take to events.
Nuclear industry "comingling" reactor decommissioning funds possibly inflating actual funds on hand for radioactive cleanup
It could be the beginning of the revelation of a giant shell game involving limited liability corporations and the accounting for billions of dollars in decommissioning “trust” fund shortfalls. The nuclear industry is required to adequately accrue and set aside money for the environmental clean up of shuttered nuclear power plants. But when the bottom fell out of Wall Street market many of the invested decommissioning funds experienced steep losses and have yet to recover. Meanwhile, the final cost of deconstructing and cleaning up after a nuclear power plant is determined to be about as reliable as the cost to build a new one.
Paul Gunter, Director of Beyond Nuclear's Reactor Oversight Project participated in a meeting with the Commissioners of the NRC on February 23, 2010 along with two representatives from the nuclear industry, a state regulator and an industry consultant on the issue concerning decommissioning fund shortfalls for the massive and costly radioactive cleanup of shuttered nuclear power plants. The meeting was covered in the Brattleboro Reformer where the embattled Vermont Yankee nuclear power station, now scheduled for closure on March 12, 2012 is presently more than $500,000,000 short in its decommissioning trust fund. The Beyond Nuclear testimony focused on the uncertain and escalating costs of decommissioning caused by uncontrolled radioactive leaks from buried pipe beneath the reactors.
Vermont's Times Argus reports that Ce-137, a radioisotope with a hazardous persistence of 300 to 600 years and that lodges in human muscle tissue (and has been blamed by Belarussian scientist Bandashevsky for the condition in children known as "Chernobyl Heart," the focus of a short documentary by the same name, which won an Oscar in 2003), has been discovered in the soil beneath Vermont Yankee atomic reactor during the course of Entergy Nuclear's search for the origin of underground tritium leaks. While Entergy was quick to blame atmospheric bomb tests and the Chernobyl cloud's fallout itself as the origin of the Ce-137, nuclear engineers such as Arnie Gundersen of the Vermont Legislature's Public Oversight Panel, and radiological health chief for the Vermont Department of Health William Irwin, said it's too soon to tell where the Ce-137 has come from, but it could very well be from the same leak releasing tritium into groundwater at the site. The Vermont Digger has reported that, in addition to Ce-137, radioactive isotopes of manganese and zinc have also been discovered in Vermont Yankee's soil. The Digger also reports that a visible crack in the "advanced off gas" (AOG) system pipe may account for some -- although perhaps not all -- of the tritium and other radioactivity leaks into site groundwater. Such a growing list of radionuclides in the soil and groundwater is reminiscent of the Big Rock Point reactor -- even post-decommissioning, two dozen hazardous radionuclides, including those now being found at Vermont Yankee, were still present in the Michigan nuclear power plant site. Despite this, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has declared it a "green field," available for "unrestricted re-use."