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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.

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Thursday
Apr302015

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.

Sunday
Mar082015

"Experts warned of nuke work overruns"

The Vogtle Unit 3 reactor pressure vessel, parked in front the Vogtle Unit 4 containment vessell bottom head, May 2013. Photo credit: Georgia Power.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.

Monday
Feb232015

"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?

Thursday
Feb122015

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.

Monday
Feb092015

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" regarding Fermi 1, 2, and 3

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"Thom Hartmann (photo, left) invited Beyond Nuclear onto his television program "The Big Picture" to discuss the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) impending decision to rubberstamp the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor's license in southeast Michigan -- to be constructed on the very spot where the "We Almost Lost Detroit" Fermi 1 reactor had a partial core meltdown in 1966. The environmental coalition that has been intervening against Fermi 3's license for six and a half years, represented by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge, has vowed to appeal NRC's decision to federal court, if need be.

Thom also asked about the risks at Fermi 2 -- identical in design to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 -- and the liabilities associated with U.S., Japanese, and other nuclear firms building dangerous new reactors in places like India and China.