2015 World Nuclear Industry Status Report launched at UK parliament

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015 (WNISR) has been released on 15 July 2015 in London, U.K., at the House of Commons at 10h00 local time. The event was hosted by Member of Parliament Paul Flynn and chaired by Walt Patterson, Associate Fellow of Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs). Convening lead author Mycle Schneider, lead author Antony Froggatt and contributing author Steve Thomas presented the key findings of the report. Additional contributing authors of the report include Tadahiro Katsuta of Meiji University in Tokyo (Fukushima Status Report) and Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of the Forum for the Future and former Chair of the UK Sustainability Development Commission (Foreword). Download the full report, free, here:  A key finding of the report is that solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy besides hydro-electric dams now supply more electricity than nuclear in Japan, China, India and five other major economies accounting for about half the world's population. While nuclear power generation increased only 2.2% globally in 2014, solar power shot ahead, increasing by 38%.  Writes Jonathon Porritt, co-founder and trustee of the Forum for the Future, in a foreword to the report: "The impressively resilient hopes that many people still have of a global nuclear renaissance are being trumped by a real‐time revolution in efficiency‐plus‐renewables‐plus‐storage, delivering more and more solutions on the ground every year."


"Rickety & risky": Applying RPV embrittlement lessons learned at Palisades to Diablo Canyon 

Diablo Boys Cartoon by Mark Bryan – ArtOfMarkBryan.comIn a post entitled NRC: ‘Diablo Canyon among ‘most embrittled plants in the U.S.,’ Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle have posted an article at applying the lessons learned about reactor pressure vessel (RPV) embrittlement at Diablo Canyon.

In a document dated March/April 2013 (see point #4, on p. 5 of 15 of PDF counter), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission listed Diablo Canyon Unit 1 as having one of the worst neutron radiation embrittled RPVs in the country, surpassing safety screening criteria by 2033. However, given that Palisades' own End-of-Life dates have been predicted as early as the mid-1990s, or even the early 1980s, only to be postponed to 2017, with applications for regulatory relief out to 2031, Diablo Canyon's "good to go" till 2033 NRC seal of approval must be subjected to critical scrutiny.

Pacific Gas & Electric has applied to NRC for 20-year license extensions at Diablo Canyon 1 & 2. Friends of the Earth recently won a hearing from the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board for a hearing on earthquake risks. A similar legal victory in 2013 led to the permanent closure of San Onofre 2 & 3 in southern CA.


Marilyn Strong, Beyond Nuclear Launch Partner, Dies at 64

It is with great sadness that the Beyond Nuclear family learned today of the passing of Marilyn Strong.  Marilyn, who with her husband Steve Strong, ran Solar Design Associates in Harvard, MA, died unexpectedly on June 23, 2015.  Marilyn and Steve were long-time supporters of Beyond Nuclear from its very beginning.  We drew on their wisdom about renewable energy and solar, in particular, and were grateful for the opportunities they created for Beyond Nuclear staff, including speaking opportunities at the New England Sustainable Energy Association annual trade show.  In an obituary in The Harvard Press, Marilyn was remembered for her many talents and contributions.

"Marilyn was a registered nurse for many years and vice president of Solar Design Associates," the obituary read. "She was a master Reiki practitioner and one of the original therapists at the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden in Harvard, where she volunteered her time as much as possible. Marilyn also led workshops on how to develop a more personal and healing relationship with nature and organized and produced large fundraising events to benefit the Healing Garden."

All of us at Beyond Nuclear extend our condolences to Steve and Marilyn's family and many friends. 


Art and wilderness "final nail in the coffin" of beleaguered Yucca dump and Mobile Chernobyl rail route

This undated photo provided by Triple Aught Foundation shows part of an artwork by Michael Heizer called “City” near Garden Valley, Nev. Mammoth bones, the prehistoric rock carvings and more than a million acres of wilderness will be protected as part of three new national monuments that President Barack Obama is creating in California, Nevada and Texas and announced Friday, July 10, 2015. Tom Vinetz/Triple Aught Foundation / APAs reported by Cy Ryan in a Las Vegas Sun article entitled "Why new national monument could derails plans for nuke dump at Yucca," President Obama's declaration of a Basin and Range National Monument in the rural heart of Nevada could be the final nail in the coffin of the proposed high-level radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain.

So says Robert Halstead, the director of the State of Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects, who has led opposition to the U.S. Department of Energy's 300-mile-long, $3 billion rail line proposal that would be needed to transport irradiated nuclear fuel to the controversial dump-site.

The rail route would now have to pass through a national monument, threatening its wilderness and wildlife, and disrupting perhaps the largest landscape art project in North America. "City," created by Michael Heizer over the past half-century, is as large in size as the National Mall in Washington, D.C. More.


NIW: "The Palisades Embrittlement Battle"

Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor is located on the Lake Michigan shore in Covert, MI.Rosa Lin at Nuclear Intelligence Weekly (NIW) has written an article entitled "United States: The Palisades Embrittlement Battle" (reproduced here with permission from the publisher), about dueling appeals submitted to the full U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Environmental intervenors, including Beyond Nuclear, have appealed an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel's (ASLBP) rejection, on May 8th, of its contention against an Entergy Nuclear License Amendment Request (LAR) for regulatory relief regarding brittle fracture risk in Palisades' reactor pressure vessel (RPV) at colder temperatures. Entergy has just appealed the same ASLBP's granting of an evidentiary hearing, on June 18th, to the intervenors regarding an Entergy LAR for RPV ductile fracture risk at hotter temperatures.

NRC has recognized, on numerous occassions, that Palisades has the worst neutron radiation embrittled RPV in the U.S., but numerous other pressurized water reactors (including Point Beach, WI; Indian Point 3, NY; Diablo Canyon 1, CA; Beaver Valley 1, PA; and Davis-Besse, OH) are not far behind. Embrittled RPVs are at risk of pressurized thermal shock through-wall fracture, which would lead to core meltdown.

Lin quotes Beyond Nuclear, as well as Dave Lochbaum, Director of the Nuclear Safety Project at UCS:

Palisades "would not be allowed to operate if the standards applied to Yankee Rowe were applied" to it, said Dave Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists, referring to a plant shut down in 1992 due to embrittlement.

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