BEYOND NUCLEAR PUBLICATIONS

Search
JOIN OUR NETWORK

     

     

DonateNow

Nuclear Reactors

The nuclear industry is more than 50 years old. Its history is replete with a colossal financial disaster and a multitude of near-misses and catastrophic accidents like Three Mile Island and Chornobyl. Beyond Nuclear works to expose the risks and dangers posed by an aging and deteriorating reactor industry and the unproven designs being proposed for new construction.

.................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Tuesday
Aug162016

AGREE & NIRS on FitzPatrick revelations: "Four+ year leak of highly radioactive waste – Worker radiation exposures -- Failure to shut down after safety system failure"

NRC file photo of the FitzPatrick atomic reactor on the Lake Ontario shore of upstate NY, a GE BWR Mark I.In a press release, Nuclear Information and Resource Serive (NIRS) and Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) have responded to revelations in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) most recent Integrated Inspection Report at Entergy's (soon to be Exelon's) age-degraded, Fukushima twin design (General Electric Mark I boiling water reactor), the FitzPatrick atomic reactor on the shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York.

Thursday
Jun162016

Beyond Nuclear challenges safety & security risks at Point Beach atomic reactors on Lake Michigan shore in WI

The Point Beach atomic reactors, north of Two Rivers, WI on the Lake Michigan shore.As reported by Chuck Quirmbach at Wisconsin Public Radio, regarding the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) annual performance review of the two-reactor Point Beach nuclear power plant, owned by NextEra/Florida Power & Light, on the Lake Michigan shore:

In Wisconsin, critics and proponents of nuclear power disagree on whether the state’s sole operating nuclear plant, Point Beach, located north of Two Rivers, meets safety standards to prevent the release of potentially harmful radiation in an emergency.

The precautions that have been put in place at Point Beach may still not ward off threats like bad weather, said Kevin Kamps from the non-profit group Beyond Nuclear.

"It doesn't necessarily take an earthquake and a tsunami to catastrophically wreck a nuclear power plant. In the Great Lakes region, you have ice storms and tornados," Kamps said. "All that you need to have is loss of the electric grid – the primary source of electricity for safety systems at a nuclear power plant – and simultaneous loss of the emergency diesel generators."

If a terrorist got into a nuclear power plant, Kamps said, there's not enough protection of the radioactive waste stored in in-plant pools,

"(In-plant pools) have no robust radiological containment around them. They are simply industrial warehouse-type buildings and are mega-catastrophes waiting to happen," he said.

Kamps advocates taking more spent fuel out of the pools and placing it into concrete and steel casks in fenced-off areas outside the plant.

Beyond Nuclear, along with hundreds of environmental groups across the U.S., representing all 50 states, actually calls for Hardened On-Site Storage of existing irradiated nuclear fuel, and reactor permanent shutdown of atomic reactors ASAP, to stop the generation of any more high-level radioactive waste.

Point Beach Unit 2, and Palisades in Michigan (owned by Entergy) -- on opposite sides of Lake Michigan -- are the two worst embrittled reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) in the U.S. The Great Lakes are the drinking water supply for 40 million people in the U.S. and Canada, as well as a large number of Native American First Nations. RPV embrittlement increases pressurized thermal shock risks, a pathway to core meltdown.

WI NPR's on air report also mentioned that Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps will attend the annual Midwest Renewable Energy Association festival, info. tabling and presenting "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer" workshops alongside John LaForge of Nukewatch Wisconsin.

Tuesday
Apr262016

ATHF3 and Swords Into Plowshares Present "Chernobyl + 30: Half-Lives, Half-Truths," Detroit, Fri., May 27, 6-9pm

April 26, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACTS:

Keith Gunter, Co-Chair, Alliance To Halt Fermi-3 (ATHF3)

Carol Izant, Co-Chair, Alliance To Halt Fermi-3 (ATHF3)

On this 30th anniversary of the onset of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the Alliance To Halt Fermi-3 (ATHF3), in association with the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery (33 East Adams, Detroit, MI) is proud to announce the opening of "Chernobyl + 30:  Half-Lives, Half-Truths" by photojournalist Gabriela Bulisova. The display will begin on Friday, May 27th, 2016 from 6 PM until 9 PM and extend into Summer 2016.

Ms. Bulisova traveled to the region in the 2000's and captured startling images of Chernobyl landscapes and the affected population.  Her artist statement and captions, coupled with the photos, reflect the story not only of an environmental and human health disaster, but also of a monstrous event resulting in an enormous psychological toll on millions of people.

"Alliance To Halt Fermi-3 is profoundly grateful to the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery for giving us the opportunity to display Gabriela Bulisova's extremely powerful work," said Keith Gunter, Co-Chair of ATHF3.  "This will be a tremendous opportunity for Detroiters to have a long look at what the after effects of a nuclear meltdown look like."

Carol Izant, the Alliance's other Co-Chair, added "This exhibit should give residents of this area reason to pause and think, since a partial meltdown occurred at Detroit Edison's Fermi-1 reactor on October 5, 1966.  We've already had our own close call."

Admission to the exhibit will be free, and will include a display addressing the situation at Chernobyl as it stands three decades later.  "Chernobyl + 30" will open simultaneously at the Gallery with another exhibit addressing the compelling issues surrounding drones.

                                        --- 30 ---
Sunday
Apr242016

DANGER - Radioactive Leak at INDIAN POINT

This 30-minute interview has just been published and broadcast in New York City, and is also available for viewing online: Alfred C. Meyer, Board Member of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) & Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog at Beyond Nuclear, discuss the danger of continuing radioactive leaks at Indian Point, Buchanan, New York. An Access for All Production produced through the facilities of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, by Gloria Messer, Producer/Director.

Wednesday
Apr132016

NRC gives Entergy pass on falsifying fire safety reports at Waterford and Pilgrim nuclear power stations

The New Orleans-based Entergy Nuclear Corporation didn’t even get a slap on the wrist from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for “willfully” falsifying fire safety inspections at its Waterford nuclear power station in Louisiana and Pilgrim station in Massachusetts.  Instead, the NRC waived enforcement actions for violations of federal reporting requirements that could have resulted in large fines and criminal felony charges. Entergy contract workers and operations managers were caught falsifying “fire watch” reports in zones of the nuclear power plants that fail to meet federal fire safety requirements for protecting safe shutdown electrical cable from fire damage in the event of an accident.  Rather than replace bogus fire barrier systems on electrical circuits vital to safely shutting down the reactor following an accident, the NRC has allowed reactor operators to send out hourly patrols in these unprotected fire zones. The fire watch personnel are required to certify that patrols were conducted.  When the falsified fire watch records were reported, Entergy management sought to cover it up.

The NRC’s own safety studies show that fire is the largest risk contributor initiating a reactor melt down. Yet, for decades now, the NRC has colluded with industry to save the cost of installing qualified passive fire barriers around electrical cable trays, conduits and boxes to make nukes safer from fire. Instead, the NRC and industry have settled on  “compensatory actions” like these least-cost roving fire watch patrols that are in the unprotected area maybe five minutes of the hour leaving the area left unwatched for the other 55 minutes. The patrols don’t actually protect safety-related electrical cable like a working fire barrier would but report the fire to on-site fire fighting crews. Meanwhile, control of shutting down the reactor and cooling down the tremendous amount of residual heat could be lost initiating fuel damage.

The problem is not just that fire watches don't adequately compensate for reliable, tested fire barrier systems or the fact that operators are cheating on conducting fire patrols.  The root cause, now decades old, is that the NRC is “willfully” ignoring enforcement of federal fire safety laws that came about from the a very real fire at the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant. 

Where a daycare facility would get promptly shutdown for fire code violations that jeopardize children’s safety, the NRC provides nuclear power plants with no real compliance standard at all jeopardizing entire regions.