Nuclear power industry has spent nearly $650 million in lobbying and $63 million in campaign contributions in past decade alone

The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University's School of Communication, in collaboration with McClatchy Newspapers, published "Nuclear energy lobby working hard to win support" by Judy Pasternak last month. The article reports that nuclear utilities, labor unions, and other companies with financial interests in nuclear power's expansion have "invested" large sums of money on Capitol Hill in an attempt to win legislative victories to subsidize new reactors, open a national radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain, and achieve other industry priorities. In addition, the Obama administration's close ties to Exelon Nuclear, the largest nuclear utility in the U.S., are documented.


Leaks and lies: a public forum on closing Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee

Beyond Nuclear's Reactor Oversight Director Paul Gunter will join David Dean, Vermont State Representative and Riverkeeper for the Connecticut River Watershed Council; Clifford Hatch, organic farmer in Gill, Massachusetts; Dr. Ira Helfand, co-founder and past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility; Deborah Katz, executive director of Citizens Awareness Network; Clay Turnbull, staff member of the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution; and Chris Williams, organizer, Vermont Citizen Action Network as keynote speakers at an event on Feb. 21st in Brattleboro, VT dedicated to blocking Vermont Yankee's 20 year license extension, sponsored by the Safe and Green Campaign and Citizens Awareness Network.


Rutland Herald editorial praises Maggie and Arnie Gundersen for "Batting 1,000 on [Vermont] Yankee"

The Rutland Herald has praised the wife-and-husband team Maggie and Arnie Gundersen (pictured, left) of Fairewinds Associates, Inc. for getting it right all along on the aged Vermont Yankee atomic reactor, such as persistently asking questions about buried pipes that Entergy Nuclear denied, under oath, even existed, but now are likely the source of hazardous tritium leaks into groundwater and the Connecticut River. The Burlington Free Press likewise described the Gundersens' tenacity in getting at the truth regarding Vermont Yankee's many troubles. Julie Miller's Feb. 12, 1995 New York Times article, "Paying the Price for Blowing the Whistle," features Arnie Gundersen's nuclear whistleblowing, and describes the physical threats, psychological harrassment, legal battles, career blacklisting, and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission betrayal he suffered as a consequence.


Obama DOE to grant first new atomic reactor federal loan guarantee to Plant Vogtle in Georgia

Dow Jones Newswires has reported, according to sources close to the matter, that the Obama administration's U.S. Department of Energy has decided to grant the first federal taxpayer backed nuclear loan guarantee to the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia. Beyond Nuclear immediately issued a media release, denouncing this transfer of financial risk onto U.S. taxpayers, as well as this creation of radiological risk through DOE financing a reactor design which the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission just last October cited as having a major safety flaw. President Obama is putting such a political priority on this first nuclear power loan guarantee, the Associated Press reports, that he will announce it himself sometime next week. A spokeswoman from Southern Nuclear, beneficiary of the taxpayer-backed loan guarantee, responded “We are excited about the support for our project and for nuclear in general.” This is not change we can believe in. Call President Obama at the White House comment line (202-456-1111) to register your disapproval, then call your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative (via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121) to urge them to block President Obama's recent request to triple the nuclear loan guarantee program fund from $18.5 billion to $54.5 billion for financing new reactor construction which otherwise private investors would refuse to touch. Avenging Angels' graphic to the left (used with permission) graced the May 12, 2008 cover of The Nation Magazine, which featured Christian Parenti's excellent article "What Nuclear Renaissance?" As the "Burning Money" graphic indicates, any nuclear power relapse in the U.S. can only be carried out at taxpayers' financial, as well as radiological, risk.

Feb112010 provides valuable overview of Vermont Yankee issues

Lawrence Auclair has provided a very valuable website,, which gives a wide ranging overview of issues at the controversial Vermont Yankee atomic reactor, site of on-going radioactive tritium leaks of yet-unknown origin, increasing decommissioning costs, and false testimony by Entergy Nuclear officials under oath to State of Vermont officials denying the existence of underground piping carrying radioactive materials.