Beyond Nuclear opposing Second License Renewal for Peach Bottom reactors in Pennsylvania

Beyond Nuclear is requesting that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) convene a public hearing and legal intervention into Exelon Generation’s application to extend the operations of its two-unit Peach Bottom nuclear power station in Delta, PA by another 20 years.  Peach Bottom Units 2 & 3 are already operating in their first 20-year license extension to the original 40-year license that expired in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Exelon is now seeking to extend Peach Bottom’s operating license from 2033 to 2053 for Unit 2 and 2034 to 2054 for Unit 3.

Beyond Nuclear contends that Exelon’s extension application fails to comply with NRC regulations requiring Exelon to sufficiently demonstrate how it will manage increasing wear and tear caused by the combination of extreme heat, pressure, radiation and vibration on Peach Bottom safety systems throughout the requested 60- to 80-year extended period of operation. With the nuclear industry trending towards increasing reactor closures due to economical, technological and political challenges, Exelon does not detail how its age management program will collect sufficient operating experience either from the Peach Bottom units and the shrinking fleet nor provide alternative means (i.e., laboratory studies of materials samples harvested from decommissioning units) to gather the data needed to manage  age-related degradation such as embrittlement, corrosion, cracking and fatigue projected into the license renewal period beginning in 2034 and 2035.

Beyond Nuclear has retained the Washington, DC law firm of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg and Eisenberg, LLP and David Lochbaum, a widely recognized independent nuclear engineer, reactor safety consultant and expert witness.


Citizens search for truth about radiation as CA wildfire ends

The Woolsey fire in California was 100% contained as of November 21 after burning for nearly two weeks.

In the wake of the Woolsey fire, people in areas surrounding the contaminated Santa Susanna Field Laboratory site (SSFL) -- just north of Los Angeles -- are worried that chemical and radioactive pollution may have been carried offsite by fire currents and smoke.

During the fire, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) did not warn the public and fire fighters that smoke from the fire could be carrying radioactive particles from the site. The DTSC "believed" there was no danger but refused to make public the methods used, and results of, any testing they have done. Now the public is seeking the truth from more trustworthy sources.

Fairewinds Energy Education has released protocols (download here) for collecting environmental specimens to be analyzed for radionuclide content. They are asking that samples be gathered within 100 miles of SSFL and/or the Woolsey fire and its smoke. At present, we do not know whether the Woolsey fire carried radionuclides offsite, or what the current contents of dusts and soils are. Instructions for collecting, cataloging and shipping specimens are included as well as how to get additional information or answers to your sampling questions.

Please sign the petition to clean up SSFL if you haven't already.

Listen to the latest Nuclear Hotseat episode #388.

Get more background on the Woolsey and Chernobyl wildfires.

Listen to Beyond Nuclear's Cindy Folkers interview on SSFL and radiation dangers.

Also see Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists article on the Santa Susanna fire.


The forgotten vets of America's atomic war

No compensation, no medals, no recognition. That was the story of America's atomic vets who served -- and were exposed to radiation -- in the Pacific during Cold War US atomic testing. Still today, those vets are told their illnesses don't qualify for VA care. "We were used as guinea pigs," one survivor told Jennifer LaFleur. Read her exposé in Reveal, this week on Beyond Nuclear International.


Crowded, neglected and effectively abandoned -- the story of Ebeye

The tiny island of Ebeye in Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, has a total area of 0.36 square kilometres and is home to over 15,000 people, most of whom were moved there from nearby islands because of a US Army missile range-testing program that was launched in the late 1940s. Overcrowding, poverty, outbreaks of infectious diseases and a high level of unemployment has led some to refer to Ebeye as the ‘ghetto of the Pacific’. Until the 1940s, the island’s population was negligible. During the Second World War, Japan occupied the Marshall Islands and moved some 1,000 settlers there and when the US captured the islands in 1944, a new naval base and the movement of people from other parts of the Atoll rapidly augmented Ebeye’s population. See the photos and read the full story on Beyond Nuclear International.


French minister says EPR is not proven to be safe or competitive

French energy minister Francois De Rugy has cast doubt on the construction of additional European pressurised reactor (EPR) nuclear reactors in France in an interview on French radio station Europe 1 on Sunday. The outlook for the French nuclear sector was “not guaranteed”, De Rugy said, referring in particular to the bankruptcy of nuclear manufacturer Areva (now Orano), which was narrowly rescued by the French state. “There are problems with the EPR,” the minister said, adding that the technology was not proven to be technologically viable, safe or competitive. France needed to decide whether to build new reactors of this type between “2021 and 2023”, he said. More