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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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Saturday
Feb052011

Environmentalists condemn decision allowing radioactive waste shipment on the Great Lakes

Taking advantage of the weekend to get a jump on public alarm and media coverage, at 4:41 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4 the federal Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission approved a highly controversial proposal to ship 16 radioactively contaminated steam generators from Ontario to Sweden via the waters of the Great Lakes. The shipment would originate at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in the western hemisphere, and one of the largest in the world, with 9 reactors on one site. The shipment would originate on Lake Huron, and then pass through the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Welland Canal, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean. It would be bound for "recycling" at Studsvik, Sweden. An environmental coalition has been raising the alarm bell about the shipment and radioactive "recycling" plan since last spring, long delaying it. Before the shipment can enter U.S. territorial waters on the Great Lakes, it must receive a permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The coalition is calling on PHMSA to undertake a full Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act. The coalition issued a media release condemning CNSC's approval of the controversial and risky shipment. For more background information and history on this issue, go to Beyond Nuclear's Canada website section. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, on behalf of 70 municipalities, has also expressed disappointment in the CNSC decision, as has the Council of Canadians. The Environment News Service has reported on these developments, as has the CBC and the Toronto Star. The Sierra Club of Canada summed up the decision: "justice for the environment -- denied."

Tuesday
Jan252011

Steam leak at Susquehanna shuts nuclear plant

A steam leak at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, PA on January 25. When operators realized the steam leak could not be isolated, they opted to "scram" - or shut down the reactor. The leak occurred in the feedwater heater bay of Unit 1. 

Monday
Jan102011

Two groups file to ban uprate at Point Beach reactors

Wisconsin Citizens' Utility Board and Clean Wisconsin habe filed their opposition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to an uprate at the Point Beach nuclear power plant in Wisconsin. The groups argue that the reactors don't need expanded power output because the state has more than enough electricity to meet its needs. Reactor owner, NextEra Energy Resources Inc. has proposed expanding the total power output from the two-reactor plant by 17%.

Sunday
Jan022011

Texas judge halts radioactive waste dump expansion, for now

Will the Lone Star State become the Lone Radioactivity Warning Symbol State?A Texas judge has granted environmentalists a last minute temporary restraining order against a vote by the Texas-Vermont "low" level radioactive waste dump commission that could replace the Lone Star on the state's flag with a Lone Radiation Symbol, opening the state to radioactive wastes from 36 additional states. The vote is being rushed by dump proponents in order to lock in approval of the dump's expansion before the new Governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin, a Democrat calling for Vermont Yankee's shut down, can appoint new Vermont Commissioners to the panel to represent his opposition to the plan. If approved, Waste Control Specialists' (WCS) dump, on the Texas/New Mexico border very near the new LES/Urenco uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico, would replace the Barnwell, South Carolina national "low" level radioactive waste dump. Barnwell's closure to wastes from all but South Carolina, New Jersey, and Connecticut on July 1, 2008 has meant that most "low" level radioactive wastes in 36 additional states have had nowhere to go, and have piled up at reactor sites. WCS is owned by a Dallas billionaire infamous for his political donations in Texas.

Sunday
Jan022011

Environmental coalition challenges "20 MORE years of radioactive Russian roulette" at Davis-Besse

Rust-boric acid "lava" flows from Davis-Besse lid leading to 2002 hole in the head accidentAn environmental coalition including Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio has filed a petition to intervene and a request for hearings on First Energy Nuclear Operating Company's application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20 year license extension (any of the 75 exhibits listed are available in PDF format from Kevin Kamps at Beyond Nuclear upon request -- kevin@beyondnuclear.org). The four contentions filed allege that Davis-Besse's nuclear electricity could readily be replaced by wind power, by solar photovoltaics (PV), and by a combination of wind and solar PV. Alvin Compaan, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the University of Toledo, and former Chair of UT’s Physics and Astronomy Department, is serving as the environmental coalition's expert witness on renewables' potential to replace the dangerously deteriorated atomic reactor. The coalition issued a media release about its official intervention. Beyond Nuclear recently prepared a comprehensive summary of near-disasters which have occurred at Davis-Besse since 1977, entitled "Radioactive Russian Roulette on the Great Lakes Shore: 20 MORE Years at Davis-Besse?!"