The environmental coalition opposing the 20-year license extension sought by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore east of Toledo has spoken out at NRC Environmental Impact Statement public comment meetings. The coalition issued a press release, focused on the unsolved dilemma created by Davis-Besse's ongoing generation of forever deadly high-level radioactive waste, as well as the renewables alternative (wind power, solar PV, etc.) to a risky, dubious 20 more years of atomic reactor operations.
The press release quoted Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps: “The worsening cracking of Davis-Besse’s concrete containment, the corrosion of its inner steel containment vessel, the risks of its experimental steam generator replacement, and its recently revealed Shield Building wall gap are clear signs that this atomic reactor is overdue for retirement and decommissioning.”
The coalition includes Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio. Terry Lodge of Toledo serves as the coalition's legal counsel.
As the column in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists by Robert Alvarez (photo left) of Institute for Policy Studies makes clear, the troubled Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico is used for disposal of trans-uranic nuclear weapons complex wastes. However, as testimony to NRC by Terry Lodge (photo, above left) shows, WIPP's radioactivity leakage also has significance for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel -- undermining NRC assumptions which form the basis for Davis-Besse's current operating license, as well as its proposed license extension.
At a recent NRC public comment meeting in Missouri, along with several other concerned citizens, Beyond Nuclear board member, Kay Drey (photo left), a long-time watchdog of the Ameren/UE Callaway atomic reactor, spoke out against its proposed 20-year license extension. On April 10th, she also submitted written comments to the NRC.
Kay is Beyond Nuclear's pamphleteer, inspired by American Revolutionary War hero Thomas Paine. Here are Beyond Nuclear pamphlets Kay has had a big hand in, or wrote entirely herself, corresponding to the various sections of her comments above:
Kay also included a section on "highly radioactive corrosion products throughout the power plant," stating:
"Concerns linger about the buildup of highly radioactive corrosion products that accumulate on and inside safety-significant equipment within nuclear power plants. Please see the attached set of facts and questions about the pervasive, long-lived “crud” [Chalk River Unidentified Deposits]. I submitted those comments to the NRC thirty-four years ago --- about the health and environmental hazards of the high gamma-emitting rust and about the chelating agents that had been intended to resolve the crud problem, but instead exacerbated it."
As an added bonus, check out this very recent pamphlet on Nuclear Power and Children, co-authored by Kay Drey and Beyond Nuclear's Radiation and Health Specialist, Cindy Folkers. To see additional Beyond Nuclear pamphlets, including more penned by Kay, please click here.
Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, also submitted written comments opposing Callaway's license extension. He based them on the work of Terry Lodge (see above), pointing out that Callaway's current license, as well as its license extension, are inappropriately based on NRC assumptions that are no longer valid. NRC has based reactor licensing on the false assumptions that commercial irradiated nuclear fuel can be disposed of in bedded salt formations, and that such disposal will result in no radioactivity releases to the environment. As NRC itself has acknowledged, commercial irradiated nuclear fuel disposal in salt formations is not allowable, for the concentrated thermal heat concent could collapse the engineered chambers. And as WIPP has shown, zero release of radioactivity from salt repositories cannot be guaranteed.
As Fairewinds Associates, Inc.'s Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen (photo, left), concluded his keynote presentation at the Beyond Nuclear/FOE/NEIS "Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High" conference in Chicago in Dec. 2012:
"What we're seeing is that the cost of solar is plummeting while nuclear is rising," Gundersen said, adding that he often hears the rebuttal that the sun doesn't shine day and night. "But if you believe that man can build a repository to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, surely those same people can find a way to store electricity overnight." ---GAZETTENET.com, November 16, 2012
Gundersen serves as the expert witness for an environnental coalition (Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club, Ohio Chapter) that has challenged the risky, experimental steam generator replacements at Davis-Besse.
An overlapping coalition (including the Green Party of Ohio) has raised the radioactive waste dilemma and the renewables alternative as major arguments against the 20-year license extension at Davis-Besse.