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.



Chris Williams (VCAN, VYDA), "Entergy Watch: Resisting Palisades Atomic Reactor," WMU's Bernhard Ctr., Kzoo, MI, Thurs., Oct. 11, 4-5:30 PM

Entergy Nuclear: Resisting a Rogue Corporation, and its Radioactive Risks

A presentation by Chris Williams of Vermont Citizen Action Network (VCAN) and Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance (VYDA)

4:00 to 5:30 PM, Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Western Michigan University, Bernhard Center, Brown and Gold Room (2nd Floor, Room #242), 1903 W. Michigan Ave.,

Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5408 (click here for directions to campus, location of parking, etc.)

Come learn about Entergy Nuclear’s dirty dozen atomic reactors, including the problem-plagued Palisades near South Haven. Chris Williams is a leader of the ongoing, highly successful grassroots campaign to shutdown Entergy's dangerously degraded Vermont Yankee atomic reactor (a Fukushima Daiichi twin design). Having stopped proposed new reactors in Indiana during his 25 years of service as Executive Director of Citizen Action Coalition, he will show how community organizing can stop dirty, dangerous, and expensive atomic reactors, and replace them with efficiency and renewables like wind and solar. 

Co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear (  and the Kalamazoo Peace Center (

Contact: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, 462-3216

For more info. on Palisades, click here.

For more background on Chris Williams, click here.


NRC whistleblowers warn about upstream dam break flood risks at atomic reactors, condemn agency cover up

NRC file photo of triple reactor complex at Oconee, South CarolinaAs reported by the Huffington Post, two U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff engineers have blown the whistle on a long lasting agency cover up of the catastrophic risk to atomic reactors posed by the failure of upstream dams:

"...[T]he [NRC] engineer is among several nuclear experts who remain particularly concerned about the Oconee plant in South Carolina [photo, left], which sits on Lake Keowee, 11 miles downstream from the Jocassee Reservoir. Among the redacted findings in the July 2011 report -- and what has been known at the NRC for years, the engineer said -- is that the Oconee facility, which is operated by Duke Energy, would suffer almost certain core damage if the Jocassee dam were to fail. And the odds of it failing sometime over the next 20 years, the engineer said, are far greater than the odds of a freak tsunami taking out the defenses of a nuclear plant in Japan.

"The probability of Jocassee Dam catastrophically failing is hundreds of times greater than a 51 foot wall of water hitting Fukushima Daiichi," the engineer said. "And, like the tsunami in Japan, the man‐made 'tsunami' resulting from the failure of the Jocassee Dam will –- with absolute certainty –- result in the failure of three reactor plants along with their containment structures.

"Although it is not a given that Jocassee Dam will fail in the next 20 years," the engineer added, "it is a given that if it does fail, the three reactor plants will melt down and release their radionuclides into the environment."

In addition to Oconee, other nuclear power plants in the U.S., including Fort Calhoun, NE, which was inundated by historic floods on the Missouri River in summer 2011, are at risk of upstream dam breaks causing "inland tsunamis" (a phrase coined by Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates over a year ago) and reactor meltdowns.


Congressman Kucinich objects to whitewash of Davis-Besse containment cracking

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)On Thursday, September 20th, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinch (D-OH, pictured left) sponsored a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill during the Coalition Against Nukes events in Washington, D.C. Rep. Kucinich thanked those gathered for working on an issue "that is bigger than all of us." During his talk, he focused on the whitewash, by FirstEnergy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, of containment cracking at the Davis-Besse atomic reactor, just upwind of his congressional district on northern Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline, as representative of the dangerous state of decay of the nuclear power industry in the U.S. And he had some kind words for Beyond Nuclear: "...I want to thank my friends at Beyond Nuclear like Kevin Kamps who have been doing a fantastic job at citizen oversight over Davis-Besse."

Later that same night, Rep. Kucinich helped lead the successful effort to block H.R. 5987, which proposed creating a new national park to glorify the Manhattan Project, which culminated with the August 1945 dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians.

At an NRC review meeting in Painesville, OH on Sept. 26 regarding FirstEnergy's entire nuclear fleet, Rep. Kucinich lambasted safety lapses at not only Davis-Besse, but also Perry nuclear power plant northeast of Cleveland. He asked: "Why does the NRC think FirstEnergy’s past record justifies an extension of their current operating licenses at their nuclear power plants?” As he had done at a U.S. House hearing in December 2011, Rep. Kucinich submitted for the record a Beyond Nuclear report documenting Davis-Besse's numerous near-disasters.


Entergy & NRC Watchers needed at NRC meeting on Palisades' CRDM through-wall leakage

Entergy Nuclear's problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor, located on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan, in Covert, MIThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced a public meeting, to be held on Monday, October 1st from 1-2 PM Central time (2-3 PM Eastern time) at its Lisle, IL Region 3 office near Chicago, regarding the through-wall leakage of radioactive and acidic primary coolant water from the Palisades atomic reactor's Control Rod Drive Mechanism (CRDM).

If you can attend the meeting in person, please do. However, NRC is making Webinar and even call-in participation possible, for those unable to attend in person. Contact NRC Region 3 Staffer Swetha Shah by Saturday, September 29th for more information on how to participate at (630) 829-9608 or

You can also "reserve a seat" at the Webinar by signing up at Again, do so by Sat., Sept. 29th.

NRC will then send a confirmation email, giving additional information about the option to "Use Telephone" if you prefer, rather than Webinar. Call-in numbers and access codes will be provided. More.


NRC "supplemental inspection" begins at Palisades

The panel at Paisades' control room involved in the Sept. 25, 2011 accident, which NRC concluded was of "substantial significance to safety"As reported by the Associated Press, an eight member "supplemental inspection team" from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) began two weeks of work today at Entergy Nuclear's problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in Covert, Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Last Valentine's Day, NRC lowered Palisades' safety status to among the four worst-run reactors in the U.S. This came after a September 25, 2011 near-electrocution, caused by short cuts on safety, that plunged half the control room into a power outage, instantly throwing 22 safety related plant systems into chaos. Age-degraded systems, structures, and components were strained to the breaking point, risking multiple potential pathways to loss of coolant accident in the reactor core, as control room operators took hours to bring the situation under control. NRC allowed Entergy to tell it when it was ready for this special inspection. Entergy took over seven months to prepare itself. More.