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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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Monday
Jul122010

Is the AP1000 rust prone and at risk of catastrophic radioactivity releases? Arnie Gundersen says yes!

Image compliments of Arnold Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates, Inc.See the story in the New York Times Green blog. And see Arnie's power point on the subject at the Fairewinds Associates, Inc. website. This fatal design flaw on the most "popular" (among nuclear utilities anyway!)new reactor design in the U.S. -- with 14 on order, all targeted at the Southeast -- raises serious safety concerns about the nuclear power relapse, and the tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer-backed federal loan guarantees proposed to pay for it. Also see the April 21, 2010 press conference and related background documents that first raised the red flag on this issue. And see the Oct. 2009 NRC press release admitting another major design flaw with the AP1000, a structurally unsound shield building vulnerable to earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. If the AP1000 is "the best" new reactor design out there, awarded $8.3 billion in loan guarantees by President Obama last February and in line to potentially recieve a whole lot more, we'd hate to see the runners up!

Thursday
Jun172010

Anti-nuke workshops at U.S. Social Forum in Detroit June 24th

Beyond Nuclear and anti-nuclear allies are holding four workshops at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, MI on Thursday, June 24th. The four workshops include: Nukespeak (a Nukes 101 overview); Uranium Mining; Reactors; and Radioactive Waste. Read workshop descriptions here. 10-20,000 people are expected to attend the U.S. Social Forum from June 22 to 26.

Tuesday
Jun152010

Obama's post-Gulf oil catastrophe call for "clean energy" tacit push for taxpayer-backed atomic expansion

Although President Barack Obama did not say the words "nuclear power" in his first ever Oval Office address to the nation on June 15th, his call for an accelerated "transition to clean energy" in response to the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history -- the worsening oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico -- represents a tacit push for the expansion of atomic energy. This would only take place by transferring the financial risks and even direct costs (not to mention the radiological risks) squarely on the backs of taxpayers. Obama said "Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill –- a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses." He failed to mention that the 2009 Waxman-Markey climate-energy bill would carve out up to 30% of federal "Clean Energy Deployment Administration" funding and support -- loan guarantees, outright loans, and other subsidies -- for new atomic reactors and other nuclear facilities such as uranium enrichment plants. Obama also failed to mention that the Kerry-Lieberman "climate" bill in the Senate -- more of a dirty energy subsidy bill, including, ironically, support for expanded offshore oil drilling -- contains a long list of taxpayer giveaways to the nuclear power industry, as revealed in analyses by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Physicians for Social Responsibility. The Kerry-Lieberman bill would include the $36 billion expansion of the nuclear loan guarantee program funding requested from Congress by Energy Secretary Chu for the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, $9 billion of which the Obama administration is trying to rush onto the Fiscal Year 2010 budget by attaching a rider onto the emergency supplemental war funding and disaster relief bill currently before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Also not mentioned in Obama's speech was the Bingaman energy bill, passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last summer: its version of the federal "Clean Energy Deployment Administration" is significantly worse than the House version, allowing for unlimited loan guarantees for nuclear power, without congressional oversight -- granting the Department of Energy veritable blank check writing authority for the nuclear relapse. Contact the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111, or fill out its web form at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact; urge President Obama to stop seeking to expand atomic energy at taxpayer risk and expense.

Saturday
May222010

Vermont Yankee now leaking Sr-90 into soil

Entergy Nuclear has now admitted that the bone-seeking radioisotope Strontium-90 has been discovered in soil near underground leaking pipes at its Vermont Yankee atomic reactor on the bank of the Connecticut River. Several years ago, Sr-90 was also detected leaking from the high-level radioactive waste storage pool at Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point atomic reactors on the bank of the Hudson River in New York State. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates warns that Sr-90, which is highly soluble in water, can concentrate in bones and cause leukemia, and thus is the most hazardous radioisotope yet discovered leaking into the environment at the 38 year old reactor just across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire, and just several miles upstream from Massachusetts. Other leaking elements discovered into the site's groundwater and soil include tritium, cobalt-60, cesium-137, manganese-54 and zinc-65. Raymond Shadis of the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution is very skeptical that Entergy Nuclear's assurances that all Sr-90 contamination at Vermont Yankee has now been accounted for and cleaned up.

Wednesday
May122010

Kerry-Lieberman "climate" bill represents massive taxpayer giveaway to dirty, dangerous and expensive energy industries

Used with artist's permission. See http://davies.lohudblogs.com/The Kerry-Lieberman "American Power Act" released today would massively subsidize the expansion of the atomic energy industry, at taxpayer financial risk and direct expense. It would similarly benefit the offshore oil drilling industry, despite the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the coal industry, despite the recent deadly mine explosion in West Virginia. As pointed out by the Energy Collective, the bill clearly prioritizes nuclear energy's expansion, while renewables and efficiency seem to be a mere afterthought. As reported by Democracy Now!, numerous environmental groups expressed immediate opposition. Beyond Nuclear objected, as did other groups such as NIRS (on behalf of a coalition of 200 organizations), Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace. Public Citizen spoke out against the bill, providing a section by section analysis. The Center for Biological Diversity called the bill "a disaster for our climate and planet," decrying the subsidies for "dangerous and costly nuclear energy." You know something is seriously wrong when the Nuclear Energy Institute "applauds" the Kerry-Lieberman bill, while licking its chops in hopes of gobbling up a large part of the $1.5 trillion investment NEI says is needed "over the next 20 years to meet rising electricity demand and upgrade our electric grid," much of which could well come in the form of fedearl subsidies, risky loan guarantees, tax incentives, short cuts on safety, and other taxpayer giveaways. Call your U.S. Senators right away via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (202) 224-3121      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and urge them to oppose this dirty, dangerous and expensive energy industry subsidy bill, and to support real climate protection legislation in its place.