Nuclear companies running for the exits

On the heels of news that AmerenUE is backing away from a second reactor at Callaway, MO, comes the disclosure that Exelon is scaling back plans to build two new reactors in Victoria County, TX. Exelon has dropped its construction application and has requested just an Early Site Permit which does not require identifying a specific reactor design. Exelon CEO, John Rowe, cited the "limited availability of federal loan guarantees" in explaining Exelon's backpeddle.

In Ontario, Canada, the province has suspended plans for nuclear power plant refurbishment and new reactor construction. Meanwhile the planned pebble bed reactors slated for sites in South Africa look dead while in Britain the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has put the proposed new French EPR reactors on ice, questioning their safety.


Cover up of leaks at U.K. reactor could have led to radioactive fire

Watch the outstanding Channel 4 British television report here about the radioactive leaks at the Sizewell A reactor and the close call that was averted by luck, then covered up for two years.


Canadian report recommends stricter radiation protection standard for water as tritium scandal widens

A May 21, 2009 report by a Canadian government agency task force has recommended stricter regulation on the release of tritium from nuclear reactors just as a slew of tritium leaks have been reported at U.S. reactors. Tritium, (a radioactive form of hydrogen), is clinically proven to cause cancer, birth defects and genetic damage with no known safe threshold dose. The Canadian report recommends the "safe" level be dramatically reduced to 500 picoCuries per liter. Current U.S. standards vary. Under Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, the "safe" dose is one million picoCuries per liter, compared to the Environmental Protection Agency's 20,000 and the State of California's 400. Read the full report here and for more detail, see our June 12, 2009 Bulletin item here.


Nuclear plant security details visible from any internet cafĂ©

Today, any would-be terrorist sitting in a WiFi café can determine guard towers are at U.S. reactors. It is also possible to establish where the plant shift changes occur. It is no problem to determine the location of nearby highways and staging areas that could be involved in an evolving attack plan. Easily viewable are on-site stairwells and ladders. These are not stolen and smuggled photographs. They are all available off the Web, free for the taking. Bit to date, nothing has been done to obscure these images from public view. To read more about this latest security threat, please visit our Security page.


The power of one: Nancy Burton's lonely victory over Millstone

Connecticut lawyer, Nancy Burton, watched her lawsuits against the Millstone nuclear plant thrown out one after the other until the state Supreme Court ruled in her favor. It took a decade but Burton - who aims to shut Millstone down - won the right in June, 2009 to legal standing to sue the state of Connecticut for failure to enforce pollution standards under the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act. Burton has pointed out that the Millstone reactors pulverize billions of fish and eggs using the once-through cooling system (see her Gone Fission chapter in our 2001 report, Licensed to Kill). The reactors also pump out radioactive water, damaging to human health.

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