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.



VOX: "This Ohio utility has an innovative plan to save coal power: force customers to buy it"

A FirstEnergy ratepayer (Shutterstock). In fact, AARP has spoken out forcefully against the FirstEnergy bailout, as at PUCO public comment hearings in Akron, OH -- FirstEnergy's hometown -- in Jan. 2015.Should we laugh or cry? David Roberts has written an appropriately sarcastic, comprehensive review of FirstEnergy's attempt to gouge Ohio ratepayers to the tune of $3 billion over the next 15 years, to prop up its uncompetitive Davis-Besse atom-splitter on the Lake Erie shore, and its climate-fouling Sammis coal burner on the banks of the Ohio River.

Never mind that a decade ago, FirstEnergy lobbyists led the charge for "deregulation." Now, they're leading the charge for killing the competition (efficiency and renewables), as NIRS executive director Tim Judson has put it. And they're leading the charge for this ratepayer bailout. More.


"Pilgrim nuclear station one step from shutdown: NRC downgrades plant to bottom of performance list"

As reported by Christine Legere at the Cape Cod Times, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has ranked Entergy's Pilgrim atomic reactor in Plymouth, MA near Boston as tied for the worst performing in the country.

It is tied for worst performing with another Entergy nuclear power plant, Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO). A young worker was killed, and eight others injured, on an early Easter Sunday morning in 2013, when a 600-ton piece of equipment was accidentally dropped on them.

As the article reports: Cape Downwinders has planned a rally at the Sagamore Bridge on Labor Day to protest the lack of an evacuation plan in the event of a nuclear accident and to call for the shutdown of the power plant.

Responding to the NRC's safety status downgrade, U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), a long time Pilgrim and nuclear power industry watchdog, pointed out that Pilgrim is identical in design to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1-4.



Just say no to nuclear subsidies: "FirstEnergy cannot call Davis-Besse power plant reliable"

A Beyond Nuclear letter to the editor just published at the Cleveland Plain Dealer begins:

To his credit, PUCO chair Andre Porter prioritized safety, in addition to reliability and cost, when it comes to Ohio's electricity supply ("PUCO Chair Andre Porter sees big changes coming for power companies," Plain Dealer, Aug. 30). FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor fails all three tests, but none more potentially catastrophically so than safety. More.


"Exelon plans cost cuts, won't rule out layoffs"

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Illinois-based Exelon Nuclear has warned its employees that layoffs may lie ahead, as five atomic reactors in the state continue to hemorrhage money.

Exelon has been buffeted recently. The Washington, D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) rejected Exelon's proposed takeover of Mid-Atlantic utility Pepco. The PJM capacity auction left Exelon reactors in three states in the lurch. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan did not give nuclear lobbyists, especially at Exelon, what they wanted. And the Illinois State Legislature went on summer recess on May 31st, without giving Exelon the $1.5 billion bailout it requested, at ratepayer expense, to prop up its uncompetitive reactors.

During testimony under oath before the DC PSC, Exelon Nuclear CEO Chris Crane, who wrote the memo that prompted the Chicago Tribune article above, also indicated that should Exelon takeover Pepco, job cuts at Pepco will follow. Exelon and Pepco have made known they plan to appeal the DC PSC's rejection by the 30-day deadline.


"Protests greet FirstEnergy rate request hearings"

Photo compliments of Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear-Free CommitteeJim Provance, Columbus Bureau Chief for the Toledo Blade, has reported on "Protests greet FirstEnergy rate request hearings."

The protest took place at the HQ of PUCO, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, in the state capital, Columbus. It marked the beginning of weeks of formal hearings, where PUCO will consider FirstEnergy's requested ratepayer bailout, including to prop up its dirty, dangerous, expensive, age-degraded, and uncompetitive Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo on the Lake Erie shoreline.

Speakers included Harvey Wasserman of Solartopia fame, Bob Fitrakis of Columbus Free Press, Neil Waggoner of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, and Pat Marida of Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Committee (who posted photos, including the one to the left). More.