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.



New reactor in Finland estimated to start up nine years behind schedule

As reported by NucNet, the Finnish nuclear utility TVO has revealed its latest estimate for grid connection of its Olkiluoto-3 reactor in Finland: 2018. That's nine years late, a major part of the reason that the original price tag has also soared. The new reactor is a French Areva EPR (European Pressurized Water Reactor).

And, as reported by Politico, another proposed new reactor project in Finland -- HANHIKIVI 1 -- may have suffered a serious setback, due to Finnish authorities' concerns about a potential Croatian partner's shadowy ties to Russian business interests.


Regulators OK Fermi 3, but DTE has no plans to build it

As reported by JC Reindl at the Detroit Free Press.

Beyond Nuclear and a coalition of environmental allies have opposed Fermi 3 since it was first proposed in Feb. 2007.


"Experts warned of nuke work overruns"

As reported by Matt Kempner in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the two new atomic reactors under construction at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Georgia are "more than three years behind schedule," and costs for just one partner, Georgia Power (a subsidiary of Southern Nuclear) "is at least $1.4 billion, or 23 percent, over original projections." More.


"Cheap natural gas might doom new Fermi plant"

As reported by the Detroit Free Press, even with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval of its combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA), Detroit Edison still might not build the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor.

Not mentioned in the article, however, are massive public subsidies DTE's nuclear lobbyists could attempt to tap: federal loan guarantees, and ratepayer "Construction Work in Progress" funds. If it's other people's money being risked, why wouldn't DTE want to go there?


Beyond Nuclear files legal challenge to NRC's false "Nuclear Waste Confidence" in bid to block proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor license

Environmental coalition attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, OHOn Feb. 12th, Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge (photo, left) filed a "place-holder" contention with the Fermi 3 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) overseeing the combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) proceeding.

The contention took the form of a "Hearing Request and Petition to Intervene," as well as a "Motion to Reopen the Record."

The ASLBP proceeding has now concluded, after 6.5 years, since the NRC Commissioners held their "Mandatory, Uncontested Hearing" on Feb. 4th.

However, the environmental coalition intervening against the Fermi 3 COLA (including Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter), represented by Lodge, has challenged NRC's false "Nuclear Waste Confidence" policy (since renamed by the agency as "Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel") at every opportunity for several years running -- including yet another federal court appeal.

Today's filing seeks to ensure that another favorable ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (like the ruling won in June 2012) will be applied by NRC in the Fermi 3 proceeding. That is, the coalition is seeking to either block the COLA license approval outright, or else to revoke NRC's rubber-stamp of the license, given the still unresolved "Nuclear Waste Confidence" issues such as pool fires, pool leaks, and the distinct possibility that a deep geologic repository for permanent high-level radioactive waste disposal will never open.

Beyond Nuclear is part of a larger environmental coalition of three dozen groups nationwide, seeking to block any NRC approvals for new reactor licenses, or old reactor 20-year license extensions, given the current version of "Nuclear Waste Confidence's" violation of such laws as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). That coalition is represented by attorneys Diane Curran of Harmon, Curran, Speilberg, + Eisenberg, LLP of Washington, D.C., and Mindy Goldstein of Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University in Atlanta.