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Nuclear Power

Nuclear power cannot address climate change effectively or in time. Reactors have long, unpredictable construction times are expensive - at least $12 billion or higher per reactor. Furthermore, reactors are sitting-duck targets vulnerable to attack and routinely release - as well as leak - radioactivity. There is so solution to the problem of radioactive waste.

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Monday
Jan182016

"Indian Point files suit against state over certificate"

As reported by Michael D'Onofrio at the Journal News, on Jan. 14th Entergy Nuclear, owner of the two-reactor Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson River near New York City, filed a lawsuit against the State of New York Secretary of State, Cesar Perales, for rejecting a Coastal Zone certificate needed for the facility's 20-year license extension.

As reported:

“Federal law is clear that only the federal government can regulate a nuclear power plant on safety issues,” Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said.

Entergy won a federal lawsuit against the State of Vermont on similar grounds concerning its Vermont Yankee reactor. In a case of winning the battle only to lose the war, despite winning in court, Entergy nonetheless announced Vermont Yankee's permanent closure just a couple weeks after that court ruling. However, now Entergy can cite that legal ruling as precedent in its current lawsuit against the State of New York. 

What Entergy's spokesman neglected to mention, however, is that states do retain certain jurisdiction over nuclear power plant operations besides radiological safety (the exclusive jurisdiction of NRC). One such area is thermal and other ecological impacts on surface waters, a very relevant issue at Indian Point, which currently lacks cooling towers.

But Perales' position, as the article reports, is:

Perales, a member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet, rejected Entergy’s request for a Coastal Zone certificate on Nov. 6 to use the Hudson River. In a letter to Entergy, Perales said for the past 40 years the plant has been "damaging the coastal resources of the Hudson River,” withdrawing billions of gallons of water a day, and killing at least a billion fish.

In addition, Perales cited the plant’s proximity to two active seismic faults, and the nation's most heavily populated area and its source of drinking water.

Indian Point Unit 2's 40-year initial operating license expired in Sept. 2013. Unit 3's license expired in Dec. 2015.

However, NRC's rules are so loose that Entergy's applications for the 20-year license extensions, many years ago now, allow both Indian Point reactors to continue operating on expired permits.

Entergy counts on such NRC complicity and collusion, as reflected in its spokesperson's estimate in the article that this situation could go on for a long time to come:

The nuclear power plant can continue to operate until the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission decides on its application — a process that will take several years, [Entergy's] Nappi said.

The article also chronicles multiple unplanned shutdowns at Indian Point in recent years. A spate of incidents in December 2015 prompted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to order a state Department of Public Service review of the nuclear plant, due Feb. 15th.

Friday
Jan152016

"NUKE DINOSAURS & SOLAR OUTRAGE arrive in Solartopia with astonishing implications"

Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear was honored to be invited back on Harvey Wasserman's "Solartopia Green Power and Wellness" radio show on PRN.

Here is Harvey's blurb about the show:

At Ohio's crumbling Davis-Besse nuke, KEVIN KAMPS tells us how this dying, decrepit reactor is demanding huge bail-outs from ratepayers and taxpayers because it cannot compete.  But now DAVE KRAFT reports that competing utility giants Exelon and Dynegy have filed claims saying they can provide power to Ohio far cheaper, leaving DB hopefully twisting in the wind.

Meanwhile, JUDY TREICHEL and STEVE FRISHMAN report from Nevada that the corrupt Public Utilities Commission has rolled back long-standing agreements and is conspiring to prevent homeowners from installing solar panels on their rooftops.  Public outrage is enormous, with thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments being wasted on behalf on obsolete investments in King Cong (Coal, Oil, Nukes and Gas).

Similar push-back in Wisconsin is being perpetrated by the planet-killing fossil-nuke pushers who threaten us all.

You can listen to the audio recording here.

Monday
Jan042016

SNL: "Palisades plant critics vow to continue fight over 'thermal shock' issue" (risks extend to Pt. Beach, Indian Pt., Diablo, & Beaver Valley)

Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor, located on the Lake Michigan shoreline in southwest Michigan.SNL Financial has published an in-depth investigative article by Matthew Bandyk, "Palisades nuclear plant critics vow to continue fight over 'thermal shock' issue."

The article revealed that Palisades' previous owner, Consumers Energy, had planned to attempt to repair the severely neutron radiation embrittled reactor pressure vessel (RPV), by undertaking experimental, expensive annealing (super-heating the metal in an attempt to restore ductility) in the late 1990s, but decided not to, for fear of public backlash and/or legal intervention against the needed License Amendment Request. More.

Friday
Dec042015

Decreasing economies of scale put pressure on remaining Entergy Nuclear merchant reactors

Entergy's Indian Point nuclear power plant, on the Hudson River near New York City.As reported by Syracuse.com, Entergy Nuclear's top executive in charge of its fleet of merchant nuclear power plants, William Mohl, has admitted that its remaining atomic reactors are under increasing pressure, due to loss of economies of scale:

"We don't have any immediate plans (to change direction) on Indian Point, but you start to have to think about what will you do down the road if you have a single asset in the Northeast,'' he said. "You just have less economies of scale. We're looking at that and what we need to do in that regard.''

Although his context was Entergy's two unit Indian Point nuclear power plant near New York City, in light of Entergy's recent rapid-fire decisions to close FitzPatrick in upstate NY (as early as a year from now, but hopefully sooner), and Pilgrim in MA (in mid-2019, but hopefully sooner), the same logic applies at Entergy's age-degraded, problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in MI as well. More.

Wednesday
Dec022015

Beyond Nuclear blasts billion dollar Davis-Besse bailout as "Faustian fission" due to cracked containment risks

"Burning money" graphic by Gene Case of Avenging Angels.Beyond Nuclear has published a media release in response to FirstEnergy and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Staff announcing a settlement agreement for an eight-year, nearly $4 billion ratepayer bailout to prop up the utility's uncompetitive Davis-Besse atomic reactor, as well as a number of coal burning power plants. (See the Word version of Beyond Nuclear's media release, for live links.)

Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog also submitted a letter to the editor to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, opposing the bailout, and calling for Davis-Bess'e permanent shutdown. More.