Obama oil catastrophe investigative panel to promote nuclear power? 

Kevin Gosztola's "Nuclear Power Has a Friend in Heads of Obama's BP Oil Disaster Commission" documents the ties between former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Reilly and the nuclear power industry, warning that the Obama Administration's co-chairs of the oil catastrophe investigative panel could use the opportunity to promote an atomic expansion.


Watchdogs warn that Gulf oil spill could threaten reactor safety

Nuclear watchdog groups are raising concerns about the safe operation of coastal nuclear power plants threatened by the BP oil spill. In a letter to several U.S. government agencies the groups – Beyond Nuclear, Three Mile Island Alert and The Unplug Salem Campaign – warn that if surface or submerged oil-contaminated water were to infiltrate reactor water intake systems, serious damage to safety systems could result.

The Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant on the Florida Gulf Coast and Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, on the Atlantic Florida coast, are potentially the most imminently threatened.

In a letter to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the US Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, the watchdog groups call for an across-the-board and transparent analysis of all critical actions which will be necessary to prevent damage to coastal reactors posed by the threat of contaminated water. The letter asks for assurances that comprehensive guidance from federal agencies is being provided to reactor licensees. It also calls for the constant monitoring of the oil plumes.

"BP is disputing that underwater oil plumes are spreading throughout the Gulf region," said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project for the Takoma Park, MD based organization Beyond Nuclear. "It is vital that an NRC safety analysis be made public before coastal reactors take in billions of gallons of oil-contaminated water."

Read the press release and letter here.


Clean Air Act defended -- Murkowski "Dirty Air Act" defeated on Senate floor 53 to 47!

As repoorted by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski's "Dirty Air Act," which would have gutted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, was defeated by a vote of 53 to 47. SACE provides a link to the vote record, so you can check which way your Senators voted, and contact them (via the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121) to say thanks for the good "Nay" vote, or to express your disappointment with their bad "Yes" vote. Thanks for all of you who contacted your Senators before the vote in response to our weekly bulletin action alert, as well!


PSR releases analysis of Kerry-Lieberman "climate" bill's nuclear power section

Michele Boyd at Physicians for Social Responsibility has published a two page summary and an eight page analysis of the Kerry-Lieberman "American Power Act" being proposed in the U.S. Senate. After reading these analyses, phone (via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121) your two U.S. Senators to urge they block such nuclear power subsidies and regulatory rollbacks -- the nuclear power industry's "wish list" in this legislation is a mile long!


Still time to block $9 billion expansion to nuclear loan guarantees -- call Congress today!

As Harvey Wasserman reports in "Apocalypse in the Gulf now (oil) & next (nukes)," we still have a week to urge our U.S. Representatives to remove $9 billion in new loan guarantees for atomic reactor construction from the emergency war and disaster relief funding bill before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. See the environmental group coalition letter to House Members, as well Taxpayers for Common Sense's own letter to the U.S. House, objecting to these new atomic reactor loan guarantees.  Check to see if your U.S. Representative serves on the Appropriations Committee. If they do, phone them via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to do all they can to block this atomic industry give-away at taxpayer risk. Even if your U.S. Representative does not serve on that committee, call them anyway, and urge that they weigh in with their colleagues on the committee to oppose this massive subsidy. Also, call U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI) at (202) 225-2771 to urge this radioactive provision be removed from the bill. See Beyond Nuclear's earlier alert on this issue for additional background information, as well as our original post when Politico broke this story.