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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
Nov082010

Ohio Sierra Club speaks out against 20 year license extension at risky Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo

At a recent environmental scoping public meeting, Patricia Marida, Chair of the Nuclear Issues Committee of the Ohio Sierra Club, made a powerful statement against FirstEnergy's application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20 year license extension at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo.

Monday
Nov082010

Trouble-plagued nuclear industry shuts down two reactors on same day

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, up for sale and scheduled to close in 2012, was shut down Sunday evening after radioactive water escaped from a pipe leading to the reactor. Meanwhile, half an hour earlier, at Unit 2 of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY, a transformer exploded causing the shutdown of that reactor. Both plants are owned by Entergy and have been plagued by leaks, mainly of tritium. Vermont Yankee has also endured a fire and the collapse of its cooling towers (pictured). Newly-elected Vermont Governor, Peter Shumlin, a former State Senator, led the charge to get the plant closed on schedule in March 2012, a move the State Senate approved last February. The State of Vermont's Public Oversight Panel on Vermont Yankee warned of Entergy Nuclear's neglect of maintenance last July. View more coverage from TIME; Wall Street Journal; Bloomberg; Los Angeles Times; Mid Hudson News; Reuters UK; AP Google; Brattleboro Reformer; Maine Public Broadcasting Network; Vermont Public Radio (1); Vermont Public Radio (2); Vermont Public Radio (3). The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio will air a live nationwide call-in show on the subject of nuclear power's future in light of these two Entergy shutdowns on Tuesday morning, Nov. 9th at 10 am Eastern; you can call into the Diane Rehm Show at (800) 433-8850, or email a question or comment to drshow@wamu.org.

Thursday
Nov042010

Vermont Yankee reactor rocked by election day results!

Less than two weeks after Vermont Yankee (VY) sprung yet another radioactive leak from aged, degraded systems, the headlines in the "hometown paper" of the nuclear power plant, the Brattleboro Reformer, hold huge implications for the future -- or lack thereof -- of the highly controversial, nearly 40 year old reactor: "Dubie Concedes to Shumlin," that is, Democrat Peter Shumlin, who led last February's 26 to 4 victory in the Vermont State Senate to block VY's 20 year license extension, defeated pro-nuclear Republican Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie in Vermont's gubernatorial race on Nov. 2nd; and "VY eminent domain issue gets nod," that is, VY even lost a referendum in its hometown when Brattleboro voters approved a measure urging the state to study the potential to take over and shut down VY. Entergy Nuclear's response to all this bad news about VY's future prospects? "Entergy to put Vermont Yankee on market"!

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.