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.



Groups challenge insufficiency of NRC Post Fukushima Orders to install reliable hardened vents on all U.S. GE Mark I and II reactors and modify spent fuel storage pools 

Beyond Nuclear has co-petitioned with Massachusetts-based Pilgrim Watch in a legal intervention and request for a public hearing before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission challenging the insufficiency of two of the agency’s post-Fukushima Orders issued to the nuclear industry. The groups seek a public hearing on the insufficiency of a NRC Order to require nuclear power plant operators to install “reliable hardened vents” on the unreliable containment structures at all GE Mark I and Mark II Boiling Water Reactors by December 30, 2016. The groups charge that  the Order fails to require the installation of a radiation filtration system in the venting line to the atmosphere raising the risk to worker safety and public health during a nuclear accident.  The groups have also challenged a NRC Order to require additional instrumentation and back-up power to make up water in overcrowded spent fuel pools because the Order fails to address the fundamental problem and threat from high-density storage by offloading the older and cooler nuclear waste into smaller onsite dry storage casks.  Failure to reduce overcrowding in nuclear power plant spent fuel pools present unacceptable risks such as those now facing Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 where the damaged reactor building is threatened with collapse in the next earthquake and as a result significantly larger radioactive releases than the combined reactor accidents at Units 1, 2 and 3.


Fire at closed San Onofre nuclear plant

Despite being shuttered for months, a fire broke out at the already troubled San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California that has been closed since January 31 after a steam tube ruptured and released radioactive steam. The fire was quickly extinguished but environmental organizations and local groups are engaged in keeping the two reactors at the dangerous facility permanently shut down. Even the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has agreed that the plant should not reopen for the time being given problems with the piping and while officials conduct technical investigations at both reactors. The plant sits on a beach near San Clemente in a popular surfing area.


US Sen. Wyden tours Fukushima Daiichi, reveals situation worse than reported, urges Japan to accept international assistance

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, recently donned a radiation suit and investigated firsthand the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. He reveals the situation is worse than reported, and is urging the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, to accept international assistance to address ongoing risks of catastrophic radioactivity releases, especially from the hundreds of tons of high-level radioactive waste stored in precarious pools vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. Wyden has issued a press release, and posted his letter to the Japanese Ambassador.

In the letter, Wyden wrote: “The scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what I expected and the scope of the challenges to the utility owner, the government of Japan, and to the people of the region are daunting. The precarious status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear units and the risk presented by the enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all and a focus of greater international support and assistance.” 

Wyden also wrote U.S. Energy Secretary ChuSecretary of State Clinton, and NRC Chairman Jaczko, urging the full resources and expertise of the United States government be offered to Japan to prevent yet another catastrophic radioactivity release at Fukushima Daiichi due to a failed pool fire.

Please contact Sen. Wyden to thank him for his vital efforts, and contact Secretary ChuSecretary Clinton, andChairman Jaczko, urging they do what Sen. Wyden calls for. You can also contact your U.S. Senators andRepresentative, to urge them to add their voices to Sen. Wyden's effort.


Entergy retreats, drops charges against "Occupy Entergy" Seven


Entergy is dropping charges against seven activists, including Paul Gunter, who occupied the New Orleans headquarters on March 22, 2012. The group was protesting the nuclear power company’s criminal trespass against the State of Vermont where its reactor, Vermont Yankee, continues to generate hazardous nuclear waste in the State without a permit.  The action was in solidarity with a simultaneous rally in Brattleboro, VT of more than a 1,000 protesters, 166 of whom were arrested in front of Entergy’s VT headquarters. An affinity group of five others were arrested at the White Plains, NY regional Entergy office.  The New Orleans action can be seen in our 2-minute “silent movie style” film, “The Activist(s)”. Please share and forward widely!



From 12:30-2:00 PM EST, Tuesday, April 17th, you can listen in or watch the live webcast of Beyond Nuclear and Alliance for a Green Economy meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Petition Review Board of the NRC the FitzaPatrick Fukushima-design GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor in Scriba, New York. The groups have called for the suspension of this dangerous reactor’s operation, because the design is unprepared for managing a severe accident.