Beyond Nuclear slams GE-Hitachi ESBWR design for QA violations at Fermi 3

Beyond Nuclear -- in coalition with Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don’t Waste Michigan, and the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club -- has filed its 16th contention in the Fermi 3 new reactor proceeding before an NRC licensing board challenging the quality assurance violations associated with General Electric-Hitachi's "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" design. The coalition has called for the new reactor licensing proceeding to be suspended until QA on the ESBWR design can be assured. As expressed in the Beyond Nuclear media release, the QA violations surrounding Fermi 3 are three-fold: QA failures on Detroit Edison's combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA), QA failures on General Electric-Hitachi's ESBWR design, and QA regulatory oversight failures by NRC staff itself. Beyond Nuclear's "Nuclear Reactors" website section shows the original Nov. 6 QA contention filing against Fermi 3, as well as the initial overall intervention launched on March 9, 2009.


Vote delayed on turning Texas into the national “low-level” radioactive waste dump

The Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, and other anti-nuclear allies in Texas, needs help in urging the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission to prohibit the importation of “low-level” radioactive waste from across the country into its geologically unsound dumpsite in Andrews County, West Texas, located above precious groundwater supplies near the New Mexico border into which the buried radioactive wastes are guaranteed to leak over time. Not only do old and proposed new reactors in Texas and Vermont (the two state compact formed in 1993) hope to dump there, but so do old and proposed new reactors across the country – most of which lack any disposal option for Class B and Class C “low-level” radioactive wastes ever since the Barnwell, South Carolina dumpsite closed its doors to most states last year. At public meetings last Thursday and Friday, the SEED Coalition succeeded in persuading the TX Compact Commission to delay its draft radioactive waste export/import rule for one month, allowing public comments before the draft rule is published. Two articles, “Radioactive Waste Commission Punts” and “A Radioactive Loophole,” by Forrest Wilder in The Texas Observer, provide valuable coverage. The next public meeting of the Compact Commission is scheduled for Jan. 22nd, 2010, so watch the Beyond Nuclear Web site for ways to weigh in! Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, dozens of “low-level” radioactive waste dumps were targeted at many states throughout the country. Grassroots opposition beat back almost every single proposal. Our friends in Texas need our help to do so again now. Nuclear Information and Resource Service, which has been warning about WCS for many years, has good history and updates on the “low-level” radioactive waste struggle.


Don't Nuke The Climate campaign at Department of Energy

The Don't Nuke the Climate campaign took to the streets in Washington, DC today, with a little street theatre outide the Department of Energy. "A Christmas Peril," a parody of "A Christmas Carol," was performed by representatives from Beyond Nuclear, Friends of the Earth, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Public Citizen and others. Tomorrow, December 12 is an international day of action on climate, in conjunction with the Copenhagen climate summit. Watch for more actions on the Don't Nuke the Climate Web site. See more photos from our street theater at Public Citizen's "Flkr" account. Also, more photos are posted at Jeff Crespi's gallery, our friend from WRYR Radio in Shady Side, Maryland, which sent correspondent Mike Shay to capture audio from the street theater. Here is the full script. And Public Citizen has posted video at YouTube.


Copenhagen activists remind us that solving climate change with nuclear power is a fairy tale

Don't Nuke the Climate activists, in Copenhagen for the climate talks, made their point when they "decorated" the Little Mermaid statue recalling the Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson's famous story.


Fermi 3 Opponents Reveal Serious NRC Concerns about DTE Mismanagement on Quality Assurance

Beyond Nuclear and its environmental coalition allies defended its quality assurance contention against the Fermi 3 new reactor proposal targeted at Monroe, Michigan on Dec. 8th. Beyond Nuclear's contention was based upon a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) "Notice of Violation" issued on Oct. 5th. Expert witness Arnold Gundersen's declaration cited U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety staff internal emails raising serious concerns about the lack of quality assurance in the Fermi 3 combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA). Beyond Nuclear's media release on its latest filing quoted Gundersen, coalition attorney Terry Lodge, as well as Beyond Nuclear Launch Partner Keith Gunter of Livonia, Michigan. Not only does Fermi 3's COLA lack QA, but NRC's Office of Inspector General has questioned the QA competence of NRC's own staff itself. Despite its challenges at enforcing its own QA regulations, NRC staff have raised serious concerns about the QA of the General Electric-Hitachi design itself for the "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" proposed at Fermi 3. Beyond Nuclear's original QA contention against Fermi 3's COLA, and Detroit Edison's and NRC staff's responses, are posted at Beyond Nuclear's Nuclear Reactor page.