Beyond Nuclear, while U.S. based, recognizes that the issue of nuclear power, particularly in relation to climate change and reactor expansion, has become an international issue. Multi-national corporations, often with foreign ownership, have taken over every facet of the nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining to waste disposition. Beyond Nuclear is currently engaged in supportive efforts in a number of different countries.



FENOC weather seals severely cracked Davis-Besse shield building exterior -- 40 years too late

Painters work high off the ground to apply a protective weatherproof coating to Davis-Besse’s concrete Shield Building. Cracks were discovered in the fall that were blamed on the Blizzard of 1978. THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGTAs reported by the Toledo Blade in an article entitled "Work crews apply waterproof coating to Davis-Besse: Project not silencing critics of plant," the only "corrective action" FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) plans to take, in response to severe cracking of its radiological containment "shield building," is to weather seal the exterior of the steel-reinforced concrete structure -- four decades too late. FENOC blames the cracking on the "brutal Blizzard of 1978,"which Beyond Nuclear has dubbed a snow job -- a charge repeated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by long-time Davis-Besse watchdog, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), whose constituents live immediately downwind and downstream from the problem-plagued plant. 

The article quoted both Terry Lodge, Toledo-based attorney representing the bi-national environmental coalition (Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio) battling against Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension, as well as Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps:

"I'm not at all comforted that they discovered an error that never should have happened to the most expensive and safety-significant building on the site," Mr. Lodge said Thursday.

Added Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, "It's 40 years too late. Weather sealant will not fix the cracks that are there."

As reported by Fox 8 Cleveland, a FENOC spokesman outright lied: “The shield building meets all its design parameters, we have evaluated it for all its parameters, and it is fully operable,” said Jon Hook, the design engineer manager at the plant.

In fact, both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and FENOC itself have acknowledged that Davis-Besse's severe shield building cracking violates the atomic reactor's design and licensing bases. At an August 9th public meeting in Oak Harbor, OH, an NRC spokesman, with an audible scoff, admitted that NRC has generously granted FENOC until December 2012 to merely come up with a "plan for a plan" to "restore conformance" -- that is, pencil whip the violations, making everything appear okay on paper.  

Hook also told the Toledo Blade the shield building "wasn't coated originally because 'there was no requirement that it be done...'." Why such a basic no brainer as weather sealant was not required -- on the shoreline of Lake Erie, which suffers severe winter weather -- has never been explained, neither by FENOC nor NRC. Further deepening the mystery is the fact that all other -- much less safety significant and expensive -- concrete structures on site were weather sealed. When asked to explain, FENOC spokeswoman Jennifer Young has simply said it was done for aesthetic reasons, as those other structures appeared "splotchy." 

WNWO also reported on this story.


Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates: "Can Spent Fuel Pools Catch Fire?"

Fairewinds Associates Chief Engineer Arnie GundersenReproduced verbatim from the Fairewinds Associates website: "In this Fairewinds’ feature, Fairewinds Associates Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen [pictured, left] analyzes a US government national laboratory simulation video that shows nuclear spent fuel rods do catch fire when exposed to air. This simulation video proves Fairewinds’ assertions that nuclear fuel rods can catch fire when exposed to air, and Arnie discusses the ramifications of this phenomena if the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent fuel pool were to lose cooling water. 

The Sandia National Laboratories video in its entirety can be seen here."


Greg Palast: "Fukushima: They Knew"

Investigative reporter Greg PalastFrom Shoreham nuclear power plant on Long Island, NY in 1986, to Fukushima Daiichi, Japan, in 2011, investigative reporter Greg Palast (photo left) documents that "they knew" that atomic reactor seismic qualifications were not up to real world risks. See Palast's article, "Fukushima: They Knew," here.


"Ukrainian environmentalist brutally beaten to death"

Volodymyr GoncharenkoEJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) reports the horrific news that, four days after conducting a press conference to warn that 180 tons of dangerous chemical and radioactive industrial waste had arrived at the city of Kryvyi Rih (in the Dnipropetrovsk area of Ukraine), which was likely to be "recycled" into the consumer product stream, 57 year old Volodymyr Goncharenko (photo, left) was brutally beaten to death. He was the Chairman of Social Movement of Ukraine: For the Rights of Citizens to Environmental Security.

As reported by EJOLT, "According to Goncharenko, during the past several years, scavengers have removed from the Chernobyl exclusion zone 6 million metric tons of scrap metal that was subsequently smelted at metallurgical combines and reprocessed into new metal. While in theory each metallurgical combine should be equipped with radiation-monitoring equipment to check all incoming scrap, financial shortfalls have meant this was rarely the case. In 2007 Ukraine ranked eighth in global steel production and steel is Ukraine’s leading export. One can only guess how much radioactive scrap metal has ended up in exported steel."

Pavlo Khazan of the Ukrainian Green Party stated: “We collaborated with Volodymyr for 15 years in professional and public areas. The Ukrainian Green Party has no doubt that the murder was linked to his professional activities.” Although the Ukrainian police have opened an investigation into Goncharenko's murder, Khazan feels that to deliver justice in this case, international attention and pressure will be needed.

Please contact the Embassy of Ukraine, urging a thorough investigation of Goncharenko's murder, as well as for an end to the "recycling" of radioactive metals and other materials into the consumer product stream. In the U.S., the Embassy of Ukraine can be written at 3350 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007, faxed at (202) 333-0817, or phoned at (202) 349-2920. Embassies and Consulates of Ukraine elsewhere in the U.S., or in other countries, can also be contacted.

Thanks to Nuclear Energy Information Service in Illinois for alerting us to this story.

Click here to learn more about anti-nuclear resistance to attempts at "radioactive recycling" in North America.


Crack contention against Davis-Besse 20-year extension bolstered by NRC FOIA revelations

At the reactor's front gate, "Homer Simpson and Humpty Dumpty act out" FENOC's snow job "Blizzard of '78" theory explaining how/why/when Davis-Besse's concrete containment shield building cracked. The street theater was held on March 24, 2012 in solidarity with the SAGE Alliance's day of action to shut down Vermont Yankee, and protested FENOC's Feb. 28th "root cause report."The U.S.-Canadian environmental coalition challenging FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) proposed 20-year license extension at the problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor, near Toledo on the Lake Erie shore, has bolstered its contention on the severe shield building cracking by citingU.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) documents revealed through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Beyond Nuclear. The coalition has issued a media release about its latest contention supplementation.

Toledo attorney Terry Lodge filed this FOIA supplement, the coalition's fifth this year, since filing the original contention on January 10th, just five days after the environmental intervenors confronted NRC and FENOC about the cracking at a special public meeting at Camp Perry, OH. The others include: (1) a Feb. 27th filing, based on U.S. Rep. Kucinich's (D-OH) revelation that the shield building's outer rebar layer was no longer structurally functional, due to the cracking; (2) a June 4th filing, in response to FENOC's woefully inadequate Aging Management Plan (AMP) for the shield building's cracks; (3) a July 16th filing, in response to FENOC's revised root cause analysis report, which revealed that shield building cracking was first observed not in October 2011, but rather August 1976; (4) a July 23rd filing, based on revelations in FENOC contractor Performance Improvement International's revised root cause assessment report, which revealed 27 areas of skeptical NRC questioning about FENOC's "Blizzard of 1978" theory of shield building cracking (the environmental Intervenors also posted documents supportive of its fourth supplement). The environmental coalition also defended its crack contention, on February 14th, against challenges by NRC staff and FENOC.

Beyond Nuclear has prepared a report, entitled "What Humpty Dumpty Doesn't Want You to Know: Davis-Besse's Cracked Containment Snow Job," which summarizes the coalition's work in 2012 on Davis-Besse's dangerously degraded condition.