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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
Oct282010

Environmental interveners defend contention against toxic algae "blooms" in Lake Erie due to Fermi 3 new reactor

Lyngbya wollei "bloom" on the shoreline, photo compliments of Western Lake Erie WaterkeeperEnvironmental intervenors -- Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC), Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter -- have defended one of their contentions against the Fermi 3 new reactor proposal. Last summer, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board admitted for hearing a contention asserting that thermal and chemical discharges from Fermi 3 would significantly worsen the outbreak of a toxic blue-green algae (or cyanobacterium) called Lyngbya wollei in Lake Erie's western basin, scene of infamous, ecosystem choking infestations of algae in the 1970s. The environmental coalition's attorney, Terry Lodge of Toledo, Ohio, has filed a defense of the contention against Detroit Edison's motion for summary dismissal. Although Detroit Edison has now committed to not discharge algae-stimulating phosphorus from its Fermi 3 cooling tower system, intervenors have pointed out that calcium discharges from the excavation of Fermi 3's foundation in the underlying limestone geology would still "feed" the algae's growth. The combination of thermal and chemical discharges from Detroit Edison's Fermi nuclear power plant, as well as its giant 3,000 megawatt-electric coal burner just miles down the shore -- plus other sources of chemical and thermal pollution in the immediate area (including additional fossil fuel and nuclear power plants) -- risk an outbreak of this toxic algae that can cause acute skin rashes as well as chronic immune system suppression.

Sunday
Oct172010

Tritium detected in deep drinking water aquifer at Vermont Yankee

The Brattleboro Reformer reports that radioactive tritium contamination has been detected at a depth of 200 to 220 feet below ground in an aquifer that was used up until Feb. 2010 for drinking water. The well was no longer used for drinking water once Vermont Yankee's tritium leaks to groundwater were discovered. While both Entergy Nuclear and NRC spokespeople denied this latest finding has any implications for human health or safety, Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates warns that Vermont Yankee must continue to extract tritium contaminated groundwater, lest tritium or even other radioactive isotopes such as Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 leak downward into the deep aquifers, threatening neighboring drinking water supplies.

Friday
Oct012010

7 Great Lakes States U.S. Senators object to radioactive waste shipment from Canada to Sweden

Seven U.S. Senators from Great Lakes States -- Russell Feingold (D-WI), Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Carl Levin (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL, Assistant Senate Majority Leader), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) -- have written to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Canadian federal government, expressing serious concerns about a proposed shipment of 16 radioactive steam generators from Bruce Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario to Sweden for "recycling" into consumer products. The shipment, on board a single ship, would violate International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) limits for the quantity of radioactivity aboard a single vessel. The shipment would travel via Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and connecting rivers (St. Clair, Detroit, the Welland canal, and St. Lawrence), and then across the Atlantic Ocean (see route map). Shockingly, Bruce Power's CEO, Duncan Hawthorne, has stated that there is no emergency plan for dealing with the sinking of the ship, stating there would be plenty of time to determine what to do once the ship sank. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, as well as the US DOT PHMSA, must approve permits for the shipment before it can commence. PHMSA has recently been the subject of severe criticism for oil pipeline leak and natural gas pipeline explosion disasters, as well as for the close ties between its leadership and companies involved in these disasters. Beyond Nuclear, along with a coalition of environmental groups, has called upon PHMSA to conduct a full environmental analysis on the proposed shipment, in order to fulfill its National Environmental Policy Act federal legal obligations, before permitting the shipment to enter U.S. territorial waters on the Great Lakes -- 20% of the world's surface fresh water, drinking supply for 40 million in the U.S., Canada, and numerous Native American/First Nations, and regional engine for one of the biggest economies on the planet.

Tuesday
Sep142010

Is the "Nuclear Renaissance" Dead Yet?

America's much hyped "reactor renaissance" is facing a quadruple bypass. In actual new construction, proposed projects and overseas sales, soaring costs are killing new nukes. And the old ones are leaking like Dark Age relics on the brink of disaster. Huffington Post.

Tuesday
Sep142010

Nuclear power is not the green power source it's made out to be

During the last 10 years, the nuclear industry spent $600 million on lobbying and donated $63 million in campaign contributions to convince lawmakers that nuclear power is the answer to America’s energy problems. This is the same industry that promised Americans that atomic power “would be too cheap to meter.” Patriot News Op-Ed.