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Safety

Nuclear safety is, of course, an oxymoron. Nuclear reactors are inherently dangerous, vulnerable to accident with the potential for catastrophic consequences to health and the environment if enough radioactivity escapes. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Congressionally-mandated to protect public safety, is a blatant lapdog bowing to the financial priorities of the nuclear industry.

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Tuesday
Dec212010

Environmental coalition organizes to resist Davis-Besse license extension

Boric acid-rust "lava" flows from Davis-Besse lid. In 2002 it was revealed that a mere 3/16ths of an inch of metal was preventing a breach and loss-of-coolant-accident.Beyond Nuclear, along with The Green Party of Ohio (ohiogreens.org), the Ohio Sierra Club (ohiosierraclub.org ), Don't Waste Michigan and the Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes held a people's hearing in Toledo on Sat., Dec. 18th to oppose the 20 year license extension recently sought by the trouble-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor. The event was held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio. Concerned citizens' comments and testimony were videorecorded, and will be submitted to NRC as official public comment for its environmental scoping on the proposal. Alvin D. Compaan, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the University of Toledo, presented on "The case for replacing Davis-Besse with efficiency improvements and renewable energy sources." Kathryn Hoepfl, a University of Toledo undergraduate student of physics, also showed how wind power and solar power can readily replace Davis-Besse's atomic electricity. Other speakers included event organizers Joseph DeMare and Anita Rios of the Green Party of Ohio, Tony Szilagye of the Ohio Sierra Club, Ed McArdle of the Southeast Michigan Group of the Sierra Club, Phyllis Oster (who intervened against Davis-Besse's initial licensing over 30 years ago), David Ellison (a Cleveland architect and Green Party member), Ralph Semrock of SOLTERRA, and Michael Leonardi (a Toledo native who now resides in Italy). Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear presented on his backgrounder, "Davis-Besse: 20 MORE Years of Radioactive Russian Roulette?!", which summarizes the numerous near-disasters there since operations began in 1977. Environmental groups plan to intervene against the license extension by the Dec. 27th deadline. A flyer announced the people's hearing. The Toledo Free Press has editorialized against the Davis-Besse license extension, and Tom Henry of the Toledo Blade attended and wrote an article about the people's hearing.

Thursday
Dec022010

"Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" available online for free

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Dec. 2009, 335 pages, published by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), is viewable online at no charge in PDF format. Go to: http://www.nyas.org/Publications/Annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1. Then click on “Full Text.” Then, under “Annals Access,” next to “Nonmembers,” click on “View Annals TOC free.” This will allow you, chapter by chapter, to download and/or view the entire text of the book, for free. As the 25th commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches (April 26, 2011), this vital book could not be more timely. It is written by Alexey V. Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, Russia; Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, of the Institute of Radiation Safety in Minsk, Belarus. Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger of the Environmental Institute at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. has served as the Consulting Editor. Please help spread the word about this significant scientific study, and its availability online at no charge. Its hardcopy sale price from the NYAS has been a whopping $150 for nonmembers – out of reach, of course, for most all-volunteer anti-nuclear groups. Besides that, NYAS only printed 700 hardcopies of the book to begin with. Now, no copies are left, and it is unknown if more will be printed.

Friday
Nov192010

Davis-Besse "red photo," showing boric acid crystal/rust "lava" flowing from dangerously corroded reactor lid.Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps has written a fully referenced overview of major near-misses that have occurred over the decades at FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo in light of its recent application for a 20 year license extension. These near misses include a 1977 Three Mile Island precursor, a 1985 steam generator dryout that blocked cooling to the core, a 1998 tornado direct hit and dicey electricity supply for safety critical cooling systems, a 2002 "hole-in-the-head" (see photo to left), a 2010 beginning of a new "hole-in-the-head," and numerous additional incidents.

Tuesday
Nov092010

Beyond Nuclear warns of accidents waiting to happen at Palisades atomic reactor on Lake Michigan shore

In light of the forced shut downs of two Entergy Nuclear reactors -- Indian Point 2 near New York City, and Vermont Yankee -- in the space of one hour on Sunday evening due to a transformer explosion and yet another radioactive water leak, respectively, Beyond Nuclear issued a media release warning that Entergy Nuclear's indefinitely postponed major safety repairs -- replacement of steam generators, replacement of the reactor lid, upgrade on the sump, and addressing the highly embrittled reactor pressure vessel -- risk radioactive Russian roulette on the Great Lakes shoreline.

Monday
Nov082010

Ohio Sierra Club speaks out against 20 year license extension at risky Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo

At a recent environmental scoping public meeting, Patricia Marida, Chair of the Nuclear Issues Committee of the Ohio Sierra Club, made a powerful statement against FirstEnergy's application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20 year license extension at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo.