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.



Vermont State Supreme Court denies NEC, for now

As reported by the Brattleboro Reformer and the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, the State of Vermont Supreme Court has rejected, for now, a lawsuit brought by the New England Coalition (NEC) on Nuclear Pollution, seeking the immediate shutdown of Entergy's Vermont Yankee atomic reactor due to lack of a valid Certificate of Public Good from the State of Vermont Public Service Board (PSB). However, NEC attorneys expressed hope that they will ultimately prevail, once the Vermont Supreme Court considers the issue ripe for their reconsideration. The PSB is scheduled to rule on whether or not to grant Entergy a new CPG this August.


Failed flood seals discovered at Vermont Yankee

VY has suffered age-degraded mishaps in the past, such as this 2007 cooling tower collapse. Vibrations from the NRC rubber-stamped 20% power uprate contributed to that one.As reported by the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, failed flood seals at Entergy's Vermont Yankee allowed water to flow 400 feet from the Connecticut River's edge, to the atomic reactor's switchgear room, where it was beginning to fill a manhole immediately next to safety-critical electrical cables.

The article quoted Chris Recchia, commissioner of the Department of Public Service:

“We need to wait for their report and see if it’s a newer problem or an older problem. But like the problem last week, I have concern about the aging of the system and what’s required to keep the plant running well.” (emphasis added)

If it had been a regular flood, “there could have been serious damage,” he said. “Clearly the system, and the seal, were not functioning well. Whether it was one of the new seals or an old seal, I don’t know.”

"The problem last week" to which Recchia referred was the blow out of a panel from the VY reactor building, as reported by the Rutland Herald. By Recchia's count, three systems failed in the blow out panel incident. As reported by the Herald:

' exhaust fan and exhaust louver in the reactor building both didn’t work as expected, and when the panel blew out, it flew onto the roof of the nearby turbine building.

According to design, the panel was supposed to be attached by a wire rope, and was supposed to fall back into the reactor building.

Recchia said that he asked the NRC whether the systems had been reviewed during the relicensing process conducted by the federal regulators.

“After all, this is believed to be original equipment on Vermont Yankee,” Recchia said.'


3.30.13: Leaks, Lies & Lawyers Parade & Rally in Brattleboro on Saturday to protest Entergy's Vermont Yankee

Come to the Leaks, Lies and Lawyers Parade & Rally on Saturday 3/30/13 in Brattleboro, VT. Join the SAGE Alliance & Bread & Puppet Theatre at 3:30 pm!


3.30.13 LEAKS, LIES AND LAWYERS, 3:30-6:30 PM

Harris Place, downtown Brattleboro, VT, 05301

Organizer: Safe and Green Campaign,

A year has gone by since Entergy’s VT Yankee reactor went rogue on March 21, 2012. What has one year brought us? Nothing but WASTE! Now Yankee is refueling, and so it will add more waste to the already overstuffed fuel pool. MORE WASTE!
  • WASTE of taxpayer money defending Vermont from FOUR new lawsuits by Entergy, plus two appeals.
  • WASTE of time that could have been spent on safely decommissioning the reactor.
  • WASTE of another year — now 7 years! – without a Clean Water Act permit. Another year of heating up the Connecticut River and boiling the fish, during one of the hottest summers on record.
  • Another year of radioactive WASTE in the already over-crowded spent fuel pool, created in 1972 to hold 600 assemblies — it now holds 2,500!

Are we going to sit back and let Entergy’s high priced lawyers decide our energy future? No Way!


3:30pm Parade

Calling all artists, musicians, walkers, singers and satirists! Create a float, make a banner, bring your friends and neighbors! Entergy and the state must be shown that we are not sitting back waiting for the courts to decide out energy future. We will fill the streets of Brattleboro so our voices will be heard! No More Leaks, Lies and Lawyers!

4:30 pm  Leaks, Lies and Lawyers

At the Latchis Theatre on Main Street. Speakers, skits, and song. The program includes a legal update, what’s happening at other Entergy reactors around the US, and ways you can shut down Vermont Yankee, advocate for safe, green and prompt decommissioning.

DIRECTIONS: Map to Harris Place Bring quarters for parking.

Gather at the Harris Place  parking lot in Brattleboro at 3:30pm. We will parade around the Common and through downtown on our way to the Latchis Theatre.  Take Exit 2 off of I91 into downtown Brattleboro, Vt. Follow Route 9 into downtown. Go through the blinking red lights. Turn left into Public Parking i mmediately after the funeral home and before the traffic lights at the very bottom of the hill.  On the corner of the parking lot is Silver Moon. Drive to the far end of the parking lot and park there. From this end, it is a short walk down the hill on Grove Street to Main Street. Walk directly across Main Street to Harris Place. (TD bank is on the corner of Main St. and Harris Place.)
If you have a float to unload, you can drive to Harris Place. Same directions as above. Drive thru the parking lot, down Grove Street, and across Main Street into Harris Place.

Co-sponsored by the SAGE Alliance.


Coalition of concerned citizens details concerns about Palisades with NRC Commissioner Magwood

NRC Commissioner William Magwood IVA coalition comprised of 20 concerned local residents and environmental group representatives, including from Beyond Nuclear, met with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Commissioner William Magwood IV (photo, left) for three hours on Monday evening, March 25th, in South Haven, MI, detailing their many concerns about safety, security, public health, and environmental protection -- or lack thereof -- at Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Covert, MI (see the coalition's meeting agenda). NRC Commissioner Magwood toured the problem-plagued plant the next morning.

The coalition issued a press release.

The St. Joe Herald-Palladium has reported on the meeting, as did Fox 17 television Grand Rapids. Michigan Radio's "Environment Report" quoted Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps.

NRC Commissioner Magwood's career has been devoted to the promotion of nuclear power, first as an industry insider (including as a consultant to Tokyo Electric Power Company, infamous owner of the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant), and then as head of the promotional Office of Nuclear Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The Huffington Post has published exposés on Magwood's attempted coups against his bosses in order to take their jobs -- successfully at DOE, unsuccessfully at NRC. As also reported by HuffPost, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has vowed to block Magwood's aspirations for the NRC Chairmanship, due to Magwood breaking his promise to Reid to not advocate for the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump as an NRC Commissioner.

Due to his career promoting nuclear power, Beyond Nuclear led the environmental coalition effort to block President Obama's nomination of Magwood for the safety-regulatory NRC Commission in the first place, as well as the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Magwood for the position (the Project on Government Oversight launched a separate effort to block Magwood's confirmation). At the end of 2011, U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) cited Beyond Nuclear's coalition letter opposing Magwood's confirmation as she, too, criticized his broken promises to her about Yucca during his Feb. 2010 Senate confirmation hearing as an NRC Commissioner. Beyond Nuclear has also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to NRC after receiving an anonymous tip that NRC Commissioner Magwood has been holding regular, secretive meetings with leaders of the industry's Nuclear Energy Institute, in violation of open meetings laws and regulations. However, despite filing the FOIA request on Dec. 3, 2011, NRC has not yet responded.

NRC has issued a notice and press release about its upcoming April 2nd "End of Cycle" annual performance review public meeting to be held in South Haven about Palisades. See more info. from NRC about the Apirl 2 meeting here, including its slideshow to be presented (note NRC has loaded its slides sideways).

On April 11th, Beyond Nuclear is co-sponsoring west Michigan presentations entitled "Preventing an American Fukushima" by David Lochbaum of Union of Concerned Scientists. He will present at 12 noon Eastern at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and at 7 PM Eastern at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven, less than 5 miles north of Palisades. In his annual report of near-misses at U.S. atomic reactors, Lochbaum has included incidents at Palisades (two separate incidents in 2011 alone) for the past two years, making it one of the worst-run reactors in the country.


Environmental coalition defends contentions against Fermi 3 proposed new reactor, challenges adequacy of NRC FEIS

Environmental coalition attorney Terry LodgeTerry Lodge (photo, left), Toledo-based attorney representing an environmental coalition opposing the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor targeted at the Lake Erie shore in Monroe County, MI, has filed a reply to challenges from Detroit Edison (DTE) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff.

The coalition's reply re-asserted "no confidence" in DTE's ability to safely stored Class B and C "low-level" radioactive wastes on-site at Fermi 3 into the indefinite future, due to the lack of sure access to a disposal facility. it also again emphasized the lack of documented need for the 1,550 Megawatts of electricity Fermi 3 would generate. And the coalition alleged that NRC has failed to fulfill its federal responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as by the illegal "segmentation" of the needed transmission line corridor from the rest of the Fermi 3 reactor construction and operation proposal.

This legal filing follows by a week upon the submission of public comments about NRC's Fermi 3 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The comments, commissioned by Don't Waste Michigan and prepared by Jessie Pauline Collins, were endorsed by a broad coalition of individuals and environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear. The FEIS comments included satellite images of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie in 2012, and in 2011 to 2012, attributable in significant part to thermal electric power plants such as Detroit Edison's Monroe (coal burning) Power Plant, at 3,300 Megawatts-electric the second largest coal burner in the U.S. Fermi 3's thermal discharge into Lake Erie will worsen this already very serious ecological problem.

In the very near future, the environmental coalition intervening against the Fermi 3 combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) will submit additional filings on its contentions challenging the lack of adequate quality assurance (QA) on the project, as well as its defense of the threatened Eastern Fox Snake and its critical wetlands habitat. The State of Michigan has stated that Fermi 3's construction would represent the largest impact on Great Lakes coastal wetlands in the history of state wetlands preservation law.