New Reactors

The U.S. nuclear industry is trumpeting a comeback - but only if U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear is watchdogging nuclear industry efforts to embark on new reactor construction which is too expensive, too dangerous and not needed.



"From Fukushima to Fermi-3: Getting to Solartopia Before It's Too Late"

Harvey Wasserman, Senior Advisor to Greenpeace USA and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)Keith Gunter (a Beyond Nuclear Launch Partner) and Carol Izant, Co-Chairs of the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3, have announced that nationally renowned author and activist Harvey Wasserman (pictured left) will speak on Friday, December 7th from 7-9 PM at the Dearborn (Michigan) Public Library, located at 16301 Michigan Avenue (between Southfield & Greenfield, adjacent to the AMTRAK station).

Harvey's presentation, entitled "From Fukushima To Fermi-3: Getting To Solartopia Before It's Too Late," represents the formal launch of the new organization, the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3. Harvey is a prolific author, including such books as Solartopia! Our Green Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, and the hot off the press How the GOP Could Steal the 2012 Election: Corporate Vote Theft and the Future of American Democracy. Harvey serves as the editor of, and has been a leading anti-nuclear power activist since the early 1970s.

If you live near Metro Detroit, please come! And please spread the word to folks you know who reside in the area.

Beyond Nuclear is proud to currently serve as the fiduciary agent for the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3.

Beyond Nuclear, along with Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC), Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA), Don't Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter officially intervened against the proposed new Fermi-3 atomic reactor in early 2009, shortly after nuclear utility Detroit Edison filed a combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Beyond Nuclear welcomes the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3 to this important work!


Beyond Nuclear debates "thorium power" proponent at Sierra Club meeting

On October 10th, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps debated Timothy Maloney, a proponent of so-called "thorium (nuclear) power," at a meeting of the Nepessing Group of the Sierra Club's Michigan Chapter, at Mott Community College's Regional Technical Center in Flint. The Nepessing Group of Michigan represents Sierra Club members in Genesee, Lapeer, and northern Oakland counties.

Kevin's research in preparation for the debate depended on: a Beyond Nuclear backgrounder compiled by Linda Gunter; "Thorium Fuel -- No Panacea for Nuclear Power," by Dr. Arjun Makhijani of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Michele Boyd of Physicians for Social Responsibility (2009); a Science Friday program entitled "Is Thorium a Magic Bullet for our Energy Problems?" featuring Dr. Makhijani (May 4, 2012); "Thinking about Thorium" by Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (Sept. 16, 2012); "Thorium Reactors: Back to the Dream Factory," by Dr. Edwards (July 13, 2011); and "What is the Thorium Cycle?" by Dr. Edwards (1978).

The Thorium-232/Uranium-233 nuclear fuel chain shares many similarities with the Uranium-235 and Plutonium-239 nuclear fuel chains, including the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, the risk that reactors could unleash catastrophic amounts of radioactivity (particularly from intentional terrorist attacks or acts of warfare), the unsolved (unsolvable?!) radioactive waste problem, the astronomical expense of RDD (research, development, and demonstration) for "thorium reactors," and the environmental ruination downwind and downstream (as well as up the food chain and down the generations) from reprocessing facilities.


Chris Williams (VCAN, VYDA), "Entergy Watch: Resisting Palisades Atomic Reactor," WMU's Bernhard Ctr., Kzoo, MI, Thurs., Oct. 11, 4-5:30 PM

Entergy Nuclear: Resisting a Rogue Corporation, and its Radioactive Risks

A presentation by Chris Williams of Vermont Citizen Action Network (VCAN) and Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance (VYDA)

4:00 to 5:30 PM, Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Western Michigan University, Bernhard Center, Brown and Gold Room (2nd Floor, Room #242), 1903 W. Michigan Ave.,

Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5408 (click here for directions to campus, location of parking, etc.)

Come learn about Entergy Nuclear’s dirty dozen atomic reactors, including the problem-plagued Palisades near South Haven. Chris Williams is a leader of the ongoing, highly successful grassroots campaign to shutdown Entergy's dangerously degraded Vermont Yankee atomic reactor (a Fukushima Daiichi twin design). Having stopped proposed new reactors in Indiana during his 25 years of service as Executive Director of Citizen Action Coalition, he will show how community organizing can stop dirty, dangerous, and expensive atomic reactors, and replace them with efficiency and renewables like wind and solar. 

Co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear (  and the Kalamazoo Peace Center (

Contact: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, 462-3216

For more info. on Palisades, click here.

For more background on Chris Williams, click here.


NRC's Nuke Waste Confidence EIS will delay reactor licenses for at least two years!

Cover of Beyond Nuclear's pamphlet "A Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High"The five Commissioners who direct the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have just ordered NRC Staff to carry out an expedited, two-year long Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process to revise the agency's Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision (NWCD) and Rule. Critics have charged the NWCD is a confidence game, which for decades has prevented environmental opponents of new reactor construction/operation licenses, as well as old reactor license extensions, from raising high-level radioactive waste generation/storage concerns during NRC licensing proceedings, or even in the federal courts. This EIS process and NWCD revision will thus delay any final NRC approval for new reactor construction/operation licenses, or old reactor license extensions, for at least two years.

The "Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High" conference in Chicago Dec. 1-3 will serve as a launch pad for generating public comments to NRC on this EIS, as well as to push back against the nuclear establishment's backlash proposals to begin "Mobile Chernobyl" irradiated nuclear fuel shipments by road, rail, and waterway to "consolidated interim storage." See Beyond Nuclear's pamphlet on high-level radioactive waste (cover reproduced at left). More.


Environmental coalition challenges revisionist history about Fermi 1 at Fermi 3 new reactor site

Book cover from John G. Fuller's 1975 "We Almost Lost Detroit," about the 1966 partial meltdown at the Fermi 1 experimental plutonium breeder reactor near Monroe, MichiganThe environmental coalition challenging the construction and operating license for Detroit Edison's (DTE) proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor has defended its National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) contention against the revisionist history proposed by DTE, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (MI SHPO) regarding Fermi 1. Fermi 1 was the experimental plutonium breeder reactor that suffered a partial meltdown on October 5, 1966, as chronicled in John G. Fuller's We Almost Lost Detroit (book cover, left).

In order to make way for Fermi 3, DTE has propsed to demolish the Fermi 1 containment structure, despite its eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. To "mitigate" the loss of the historic site, DTE, NRC, and MI SHPO met -- without public participation, a violation of NHPA -- and agreed to merely create a small book shelf for "historic documents" at Monroe County Community College.

The coalition, consisting of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, have objected that this "mitigation" glosses over Fermi 1's true, dark history -- its initial intention to generate weapons-grade plutonium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, its partial meltdown which came precariously close to radiological catastrophe for the entire region, etc. -- as a form of propaganda favoring Fermi 3.

Its attorney, Terry Lodge of Toledo, wrote:

"A prudent reading of the answers of DTE and the NRC Staff to Intervenors’ motion reveals that the very meaning of the word 'history' is not agreed. There is no agreement on the breadth nor extent of the detailed history of Fermi 1, nor what public officials charged with portraying the history of the plant should present. Part of the reason for this disagreement lies in the complete ignorance of the true facts of Fermi 1 as espoused by none other than the Michigan Historic Preservation Officer:

Based on the information provided for our review, the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) concurs with the determination of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the proposed undertaking will have an adverse effect on the Enrico Fermi (Fermi 1) Nuclear Power Plant, which appears to meet the criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first power reactors of its type that operated safely and proved the feasibility of the fast breeder design on a commercial scale.

But the 'feasible' Fermi 1 generated fewer than three weeks of commercially-marketable electricity before the decision was made to junk it. The 'safe' Fermi 1 came to within moments of completely melting down and exploding; the design has never since been replicated anywhere on the planet, and will never be constructed again. General Pyrrhus might have been referring to Fermi 1 when he commented, 'One more such victory and we are defeated.' Michigan’s professional historian possesses such a grossly inaccurate grasp of Fermi 1's unique place in nuclear power history that the story told may bear more resemblance to conscious propagandizing than historical truth."



The coalition's NHPA contention was filed on Independence Day.