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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

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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Thursday
May052011

Entergy Nuclear & NRC break safety promises at Palisades atomic reactor

Beyond Nuclear, in alliance with Don't Waste Michigan, has issued a media release accusing Entergy Nuclear of indefinitely postponing multiple, vital safety repairs -- and NRC of letting them get away with it. The 44 year old atomic reactor, which just began its NRC-approved 20 year license extension on March 24th, needs its reactor lid replaced, its steam generators replaced, its emergency sumps upgraded, and its fire protection regulations upgraded. In addition, Palisades' high-level radioactive waste dry cask storage -- just 100 yards from the water of Lake Michigan -- remains vulnerable to earthquakes; Palisades' indoor pool, storing many hundreds of tons of high-level radioactive waste, remains vulnerable to disruptions of the primary electric grid, as it lacks any backup power. Any one of these risks could lead to Chernobyl- or Fukushima-scale radioactivity releases in the heart of the Great Lakes, source of drinking water for 40 million people in the U.S., Canada, and many Native American First Nations.  (In the photo above, Mike Keegan, Alice Hirt, and Kevin Kamps of Don't Waste Michigan's board of director speak out against the reactor and radioactive waste risks at Palisades during the Aug. 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp; Palisades' cooling tower steam is visible in the background; the crosses bear the names of surrounding downwind communities that could be ruined in the event of a catastrophic radioactivity release).

Monday
Feb282011

"Activists to state case on Davis-Besse license," Toledo Blade

Davis-Besse's infamous "red photo," showing boric acid crystal and rust "lava" flowing from reactor lid.Tom Henry at the Toledo Blade has given advance coverage of tomorrow's Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board oral argument pre-hearing in Port Clinton, Ohio, near Davis-Besse atomic reactor. Beyond Nuclear, along with allies Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio, have submitted four contentions against First Energy Nuclear Operating Company's proposed 20 year license extension: (1) wind as an alternative; (2) solar photovoltaics as an alternative; (3) wind and solar combined as an alternative; and (4) severe underestimation of the casualties and costs that would result from a catastrophic radioactivity release. On February 18, 2011, the ASLB ruled in favor of FirstEnergy's motion to strike, and ordered the environmental coalition to "strike" long sections of its "Combined Reply" rebuttal against the utility's and NRC staff's attacks upon its intervention. This included a backgrounder about Davis-Besse's many close calls with disaster over the past 34 years, compiled by Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps. According to various federal government spokespeople, from the NRC to the Department of Justice, Davis-Besse's hole in the head fiasco of 2002 was the worst incident at a U.S. atomic reactor since Three Mile Island Unit 2's 50% core meltdown in 1979.

Wednesday
Feb092011

U.K. Nuclear-Free Local Authorities speak out against Canadian radioactive waste shipment

UK NFLA logo.In a media release, the U.K. Nuclear-Free Local Authorities have spoken out strongly against Bruce Power's proposed shipment of 16 radioactive steam generators, which would pass through Irish and British waters on their way to Studsvik Nuclear for so-called "recycling" in Sweden. In addition to contacting the British and Irish governments, the UK NFLA is also contacting the governments of Norway and Sweden to urge them to not approve the shipment entering their waters.

Monday
Feb072011

"CNSC, Bruce Power called to the carpet over nuke shipment"

Canadian MP Nathan Cullen (NDP)The Toronoto Sun reports that a Canadian federal parliamentary committee will grill representatives of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and nuclear utility Bruce Power over Friday's CNSC approval of a Bruce proposal to ship 16 radioactive steam generators on the Great Lakes to Sweden for "recycling." Nathan Cullen (pictured at left), a New Democratic Party (social democratic) opposition member of the House of Commons natural resources committee, has confirmed that "public concern has been pouring in." At the end of September, 2010, Cullen also spoke out at the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery just after the environmental coalition -- including Kevin Kamps from Beyond Nuclear -- opposing the shipment, as CNSC hearings were to begin that day on the issue.

Sunday
Feb062011

Environmental coalition defends its intervention against "20 MORE years of radioactive Russian roulette?!" at Davis-Besse

"Lava" of boric acid crystals and rusted carbon steel flowing off the Davis-Besse reactor lid a decade ago.In August, First Energy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a 20 year license extension at its trouble-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore east of Toledo. In October, NRC "docketed" the application as complete enough to proceed with its consideration for approval. Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA), Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio submitted their Petition to Intervene and Request for a Hearing on December 27, 2010 -- raising four contentions against the 20 year license extension: (1) wind power is a viable altenative, as is (2) solar photovoltaic power, and (3) certainly a combination of solar PV and wind; and (4), FENOC has significantly underestimated the consequences of a catastrophic radioactivity release from Davis-Besse in its "Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives" (SAMA) analysis. On January 21, 2011, both the NRC staff and FENOC objected to all four of the environmental coalition's contentions; both also challenged the standing of CEA to take part in the proceeding, absurdly asserting that CEA's members seeking standing live a mere 300 feet beyond the 50 mile radius from Davis-Besse! (Intervenors "about" 50 miles from a nuclear plant, or less,  have almost automatically been conferred standing in the past.) In a "Combined Reply," the environmental coalition defended its standing and contentions on January 28, 2011. An NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) has been empanelled. The ASLB has announced a March 1, 2011 "oral pre-hearing" in Port Clinton, Ohio to consider whether or not to admit the contentions for a full hearing on the merits; the appendix to its order spells out in some detail the key questions the ASLB has on its mind. The NRC ASLB has requested a security detail from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, although the coalition is comprised entirely of non-violent environmental groups. Beyond Nuclear has prepared a backgrounder on the many close calls to major disasters this reactor has already experienced in its first 33 years of operations: "Davis-Besse: 20 MORE Years of Radioactive Russian Roulette on the Great Lakes Shore?!" On February 1st, the coalition issued a media release announcing its defense of the intervention. On Feb. 10th, the Joint Petitioners filed an Errata for their Combined Reply.