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Monday
Jan092017

PETITION: Keep Donald Trump’s Finger off the Nuclear Button

Initiated by Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund. (Ironically enough, Cirincione initiated this petition the day before Putin's and Trump's infamous "new arms race" rhetoric, as documented in Cirincione's Huffington Post article.)

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TODAY! AND SPREAD THE WORD! THANK YOU!

Cirincione was just interviewed on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, in a segment entitled "Trump can launch a nuclear weapon within four minutes." He was also interviewed on Democracy Now!, in a segment entitled "Obama Urged to Take U.S. Nukes Off High Alert Before Trump Takes Office" (watch the clip from the 0:00 to the 10:30 minute marks).

Sunday
Jan082017

Power from Indian Point nuclear already replaced

Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition explains why the claim made by Entergy that its Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant -- which will be closed by April 2021 -- contribute 25% of the electricity for surrounding counties is false and how the plant is already obsolete.

"Local officials in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Westchester and NYC have come out with the same claim in response to the proposed closing of Indian Point with each official claiming that Indian Point produces 25% of the electricity for their area. They are all very concerned about replacement power. They have been duped and need not worry. The electricity from Indian Point has already been replaced," the press release began.

Read the full press release here.

Saturday
Jan072017

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant to Close by 2020-2021

As reported by the New York Times.

However: 

...Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor, cautioned that nothing had been finalized.

“There is no agreement — Governor Cuomo has been working on a possible agreement for 15 years and until it’s done, it’s not done,” he said. “Close only counts for horseshoes, not for nuclear plants.”

(As reported by Westchester Magazine, "We should find out the fate of our next-door neighbor soon; Cuomo is scheduled to deliver the third of six regional State of the State speeches in Westchester on Tuesday.")

And the NY Times article added:

The agreement also provides for flexibility if the state cannot find a replacement for Indian Point’s energy: The deadlines in 2020 and 2021 can be pushed to 2024 and 2025 if both the state and Entergy agree.

Even three to four (let alone seven to eight) more years of operations at Indian Point 2 & 3 is very risky. Consider the report, commissioned by Riverkeeper, Inc., and written by Dr. Ed Lyman of UCS on the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, entitled "Chernobyl on the Hudson? The Health and Economic Impacts of a Terrorist Attack at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant." Using government computer models, Dr. Lyman calculated that "depending on the weather conditions, an attack could result in as many as 44,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome or as many as 518,000 long-term deaths from cancer among individuals within 50 miles of the plant." Dr. Lyman estimated property damages could range from $1 to 2 trillion (yes, with a T!), and that "Millions of people would require permanent relocation." 

Of course, a "mere accident," as due to age-related degradation (there have been a large number of breakdowns at the four decade old reactors), or a natural disaster, could also unleash such a radioactive catastrophe. A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report listed Indian Point as the most vulnerable nuclear power plant in the U.S. to an earthquake. Fault lines were discovered very near Indian Point in recent years.

Also, each year of operations at Indian Point kills a billion fish and other aquatic life in the Hudson River, due to the reactors' once-through cooling system. And annually, around 40 tons of additional high-level radioactive waste is generated there. Indian Point's irradiated nuclear fuel pools have been leaking, into the soil, groundwater, and Hudson River, for years, even decades.

The NY Daily News quoted NY State AG Schneiderman:

“If we can shut down Indian Point under an agreement that enhances public safety and kick-starts investment into safer and more reliable renewable energy sources, that will be a major victory for the millions of New Yorkers who live in the region,” he said.

The Daily News also quoted [f]ormer Westchester Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a longtime proponent of closing the plant, [who] said: "It's about damn time. The plant isn't safe, it isn't economical and it's falling apart."

More media coverage.

Thursday
Jan052017

How Georgia officials pantsed ratepayers over the holidays

Mr. Burns, Nuclear Scrooge of Simpsons infamy, wasn't stingy when it came to handing out "Atomic Fireballs" as a stand in for the radioactive waste the nuclear industry would like the public to "consent" to "swallowing," during a protest outside NRC's "Nuke Waste Con Game" public comment mtg. in Perrysburg, OH, 2013. While Radioactive Man is on the take, re: the Atomic Fireballs, it is Planet Earth, and all future generations of all living things, on the receiving end of the subsidized high-level radioactive waste generation, as at Vogtle 3 & 4 in GA.As reported by Matt Kempner in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial:

...The Georgia Public Service Commission — a body of five officials that most voters don’t even realize existsyanked Georgia consumers’ pants down to their ankles. One thing they exposed in the process: a big gap in the state’s system for regulating a powerful business monopoly.

It took PSC commissioners less than six minutes, without debate, to unanimously slap customers of Georgia Power with responsibility to pay for billions of dollars in cost overruns tied to the for-profit company’s expansion of nuclear Plant Vogtle. The PSC allowed only the barest of reductions in Georgia Power’s profit margins. Even that is a temporary measure compared to decades the company is likely to be pulling in fully caffeinated profits in this arrangement. More.

Wednesday
Jan042017

Massachusetts Elected Officials Call for Public Meeting on Safety at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

As posted at the website of U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA):

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Congressman William Keating (MA-09), Governor Charlie Baker, the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation, and numerous Massachusetts state legislators are calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to immediately hold a public meeting to address concerns about the safety of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. In a letter sent today to the NRC, the Massachusetts elected officials call attention to a leaked December 6, 2016 e-mail from the leader of the NRC special inspection team that has raised serious questions about Entergy’s ability to operate the plant safely [see the Boston Globe's Dec. 7 article, "Pilgrim nuclear plant staff said to be 'overwhelmed'"]. The NRC is currently conducting a three-phased supplemental inspection process at Pilgrim as a result of the NRC determination that recurring safety issues at the aging nuclear power plant required the Commission to list the plant in “Column 4” of its reactor safety ratings, its least safe rating for an operating reactor. Most recently Entergy was forced to shut down Pilgrim on December 15 when it reportedly discovered leaks in three of the eight main steam isolation valves, which are used to prevent radioactivity from leaking into the environment during a nuclear accident...

“While the NRC undoubtedly regrets the inadvertent disclosure of the preliminary thoughts expressed in the December 6 e-mail, the disclosure happened, and the NRC now has the obligation to address questions raised by that e-mail to help assuage growing public safety concerns,” write the lawmakers in the letter to NRC Chairman Stephen Burns. “A public meeting also will allow the NRC to outline for the public the steps it may take in light of the special inspection team’s findings to date, the steps that remain in the NRC’s inspection process, and when the official results of the inspection will be released to the public.”

A copy of the letter to the NRC can be found HERE. More.

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