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.



Grassroots activism laid the groundwork for Vermont Yankee's announced demise

This infamous photo of Vermont Yankee's 2007 cooling tower collapse was sent to media reporters by whistleblowersBob Bady, a founding member of the Safe and Green Campaign, has penned an op-ed at the Vermont Digger entitled "What Killed the Beast?"

The beast to which he refers is Vermont Yankee, a GE Mark I boiling water reactor, identical in design to the wrecked, leaking Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 in northeastern Japan.

He writes: "...The ultimate goal of a large corporation such as Entergy is to make money. Its growth or demise is about profit. The backstory is actually what prevented Vermont Yankee from making enough profit to continue to operate for decades to come.

Certainly cheaper natural gas was a signficant factor, as was an old plant that would require significant maintenance in the coming years. Pending costly federally mandated safety improvements, precipitated by the Fukushima disaster, also loomed.

The tipping point, however, the thing that might have really sealed Vermont Yankee's fate, was grassroots activism...".

He concludes that "because the anti nuke environmental community in Vermont, southwestern New Hampshire and western Massachusetts worked hard, long and intelligently to rally public opinion, and educate the Vermont Legislature," state laws signed by Vermont's former, pro-nuclear Republican governor became a "big expensive problem" for Entergy.

Bady adds "Entergy's income was first impacted when, by late 2010 and early 2011, its reputation had become so damaged by its own misdeeds, brought to the spotlight by activists, that Vermont electric utilities played hardball in contract negotiations. As a result, no deal emerged between Vermont Yankee and Vermont utilities, and Entergy was left to sell its product on the "spot" market, where prices had dropped because of cheaper natural gas."

Author Richard Watts asked the same question: how could Vermont Yankee go from being seen as a good neighbor and mainstay of the Green Mountain State's economy by some, to being almost universally disdained, even by former supporters, as a pariah, with top elected officials referring to Entergy publicly as a "rogue corporation"? Watts' book, Public Meltdown: The Story of Vermont Yankee, shows that Entergy's cover ups and lies under oath to state officials -- such as the 2007 cooling tower collapse brought to light by whistleblowers (photo, above left), and Entergy executives' perjury regarding radioactivity leaks into groundwater -- combined with widespread grassroots activism, turned the tide.


NRC announces dates, locations, and times for dozen public meetings on Nuclear Waste Con from Oct. 1 to Nov. 14

To see the full listing of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) public comment meetings on its court-ordered Nuclear Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS), please click this link.


With VY shutdown announcement, will Entergy "circle the wagons" at Indian Point?

NRC file photo of Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson RiverAs reported by Reuters, now that Entergy has announced it will permanently shutdown its Vermont Yankee atomic reactor by the end of next year, the focus is shifting to the struggle between the nuclear utility and the State of New York, and a broad coalition of environmental groups and area residents concerned about the safety, health, and security risks for 21 million people within 50 miles of the twin Indian Point Unit 2 and 3 reactors in Westchester County near New York City (photo, left).


OPG radioactive waste dump a "declaration of war against the Great Lakes"

As reported in last week's Beyond Nuclear email bulletin, resistance is mounting on both sides of the Great Lakes international border to Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) plan to bury radioactive wastes on the Lake Huron shoreline.

On Aug. 19, Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, was honored to be invited to speak at the ‘Save the Great Lakes from Nuclear Waste’ town hall meeting at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. Michigan State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, and State Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, organized the event. In May, Hopgood introduced a resolution, which passed the Michigan State Senate unanimously, urging the U.S. House and Senate to oppose the plan. Roberts is poised to introduce a similar resolution once the Michigan State House legislative session resumes.

Hopgood and Roberts, along with a panel of experts, which included Ed McArdle of the Sierra Club's South East Michigan Group, as well as Beverly Fernandez of the Ontario-based group Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, provided information about OPG's proposed deep geological repository at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant on the Lake Huron shoreline, and the impact it could have on Michigan’s water, economy, fishing, tourism, health and future.

Those opposed to the DUD plan are urged to sign Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump's online petition.

As reported by the Detroit Free Press:

'Opponents of a proposal to build an underground nuclear waste dump less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron railed tonight in Detroit against a project they called a declaration of war against the Great Lakes...

Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist for Takoma Park, Md.-based Beyond Nuclear, said the project would be unprecedented because nuclear waste has not been stored underground in the Great Lakes region and could be dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years.

“This proposal is insane. It’s a declaration of war against the Great Lakes,” Kamps said...'.

The Macomb Daily Tribune also reported on this story.

On August 12th, the Macomb Daily Tribune ran another comprehensive article about the proposed Canadian radioactive waste dump, and opposition to it downstream in eastern Michigan.

Ontario's Lucknow Sentinel also reported on the town hall meeting.


Joseph Mangano/RPHP report on radioactivity releases from Palisades and increased death rates in the surrounding area

Entergy's problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in Covert, MI, on the Lake Michigan shorelineJoseph Mangano, Executive Director of Radiation and Public Health Project, has published a report, commissioned and endorsed by Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, Michigan Safe Energy Future, and Nuclear Energy Information Service. Based on government data and documentation on radioactivity releases from Palisades, as well as area health statistics, the report's major findings raise serious questions about the connections between radioactivity releases and increased overall death and cancer mortality rates.

Press release


Beyond Nuclear pamphlet "Routine Radiation Releases from U.S. Atomic Reators: What Are The Dangers?" Note that the water discharge pathway photo was taken (by Gabriela Bulisova) at the Palisades atomic reactor, discharging into Lake Michigan. Although the atmospheric discharge pathway was photographed at the Callaway atomic reactor in Missouri, Palisades has a very similar vent attached to its containment building for aerial discharges of radioactive gases and vapors).

Beyond Nuclear report (published April 2010) by Reactor Oversight Project Director Paul Gunter, "Leak First, Fix Later," with a chapter on Palisades' tritium leaks into groundwater, first reported by Entergy Nuclear in 2007.