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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
Mar252015

Nuclear Licesning Board examines vessel risks at Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor; critics call for permanent shutdown, to avert meltdown

NRC file photo of Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore in Covert, MIAs reported by a press release, a coalition of environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, today testified before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), at the agency's HQ in Rockville, Maryland, just outside D.C.

The coalition, represented by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge, defended its intervention against an Entergy License Amendment Request (LAR) to further weaken reactor pressure vessel (RPV) embrittlement/pressurized thermal shock (PTS) safety regulations.

Palisades has the worst-embrittled RPV in the U.S., at risk of a PTS fracture, Loss-of-Coolant-Accident, core meltdown, and catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity. A bad precedent at Palisades will then be applied by NRC to approve operations at other dangerously brittle pressurized water reactor (PWR) RPVs across the U.S.

The coalition intervened on Dec. 1, 2014. Entergy Nuclear and NRC staff counter-attacked on Jan. 12, 2015. The coalition rebutted the attacks on Jan. 20.

Today's "oral argument pre-hearing" was essentially an ASLB exercise to determine whether the coalition's intervenion is worthy of an evidentiary hearing on the merits of the contention. The ASLB is scheduled to rule on the admissibility of the intervenors' contention within 45 days.

On March 9, the coalition filed a parallel intervention regarding loss of Charpy V-Notch Upper-Shelf Energy in Palisades RPV, another form of age-related degradation.

Saturday
Mar212015

"Tool of the Nuclear Establishment -- The New York Times"

Investigative journalist and Beyond Nuclear board member, Karl GrossmanMatt Wald, the New York Times' decades-long nuclear power reporter, recently retired from the newspaper. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the nuclear power industry's lobbying and PR HQ in Washington, D.C., has just announced that Wald will join its ranks on April 13th, as senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning.

In light of this, we re-post Beyond Nuclear board member, and investigative journalist, Karl Grossman's article "Tool of the Nuclear Establishment -- The New York Times," originally published two weeks after the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. (See Karl's photo, left.)

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has reprinted Karl's article, above, as well. Karl is a FAIR associate.

Corporate Crime Reporter has also published an article about Wald's new position with NEI, and what it means for journalistic ethics. A number of anti-nuclear movement leaders are interviewed, including Karl.

Thursday
Mar192015

Coalition to press its case against Palisades' RPV safety rollbacks at March 25th NRC licensing board hearing

Entergy's problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in Covert, MI, on the Lake Michigan shoreline.A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hold an oral argument pre-hearing on Wednesday, March 25th beginning at 10am Eastern, regarding an environmental coalition's intervention against further regulatory rollbacks regarding Entergy Palisades' reactor pressure vessel (RPV), the worst embrittled in the U.S. The hearing will be held at ASLB chambers at NRC's HQ in Rockville, Maryland, but a listen-in phone line is being provided. The hearing is scheduled to last two hours, till noon Eastern, but there is some chance it will run longer than that.

Palisades is located in southwest Michigan, on the shoreline of the Great Lakes, drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations (see photo, left).

We encourage environmental allies and the media to listen-in to the ASLB hearing, in order to watchdog this vital safety issue. RPV neutron radiation embrittlement, and consequent pressurized thermal shock (PTS) risks, are serious at many pressurized water reactors (PWRs) across the U.S. Any regulatory rollbacks rubber-stamped by NRC at Palisades would set bad precedents that could then be applied at other embrittled PWRs in the future.

According to Mr. Sachin Desai, ASLB law clerk: "The phone number for the oral argument is 800-857-9645. The passcode is 9568305. This will be a listen-only line."

Mr. Desai has also communicated that "Members of the public interested in attending or listening to the March 25, 2015 oral argument must reach out to me, the Board’s law clerk, beforehand [by Mon., March 23] either by phone or e-mail.  My phone number is 301-415-6523...[and] e-mail (Sachin.Desai@nrc.gov)." More.

Tuesday
Mar172015

Exelon Nuclear announces sign off by Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, MD, on its merger with Pepco

Logo compliments of Public Citizen's Energy ProgramThe two counties comprising Pepco's residential customer base in Maryland -- Montgomery and Prince George's -- have just agreed to the merger of the electric utilities Exelon and Pepco, according to an Exelon press release.

UtilityDIVE has reported on this story.

Exelon is the largest nuclear utility in the U.S., with around two dozen dirty, dangerous, and expensive aging reactors in its nationwide fleet.

Despite the positive spin of Exelon's high-priced PR campaign, the simple truth is that the counties, and other organizations expressing support for the merger, have sold out cheap. Exelon's commitments to low income and other ratepayers in the Pepco service area are quite minimal. Exelon's commitments to energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy expansion are likewise small-scale, compared to what is possible and needed. More.

Friday
Mar132015

"Fukushima...Yet Another Radioactive Leak!"

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"On March 12, Thom Hartmann hosted Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, on "The Big Picture" to discuss a massive leak of 750 tons (200,000 gallons) of highly radioactive rainwater at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan. Ironically, the leak was revealed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on March 10th, the eve of the fourth annual commemoration of the beginning of the nuclear catastrophe.

On March 11th itself, Thom also hosted Kevin on his radio show, to give status updates about "4 Years of Fukushima Fallout." (Despite being a radio show, the clip includes a video recording of the interview as well.)