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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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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.

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.