Bloomberg News has cited NRC as admitting that the four atomic reactor permanent closures thus far in 2013 (Crystal River, FL; Kewaunee, WI; San Onofre Units 2 & 3) are the most ever in a single year.
The Nuclear Retreat
We coined the term, "Nuclear Retreat" here at Beyond Nuclear to counter the nuclear industry's preposterous "nuclear renaissance" propaganda campaign. You've probably seen "Nuclear Retreat" picked up elsewhere and no wonder - the alleged nuclear revival so far looks more like a lot of running away. On this page we will keep tabs on every latest nuclear retreat as more and more proposed new nuclear programs are canceled.
Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to permanently shutter its Units 2 and 3 San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) reactors in Southern Cal! Congratulations to all who fought so hard for this great victory! Read the Edison press release. Unit 1 at San Onofre was already shut down.
"This is very good news for the people of Southern California," said [a] statement from Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica. "We have long said that these reactors are too dangerous to operate and now Edison has agreed. The people of California now have the opportunity to move away from the failed promise of dirty and dangerous nuclear power and replace it with the safe and clean energy provided by the sun and wind."
U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who has called upon the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to investigate safety shortcuts at San Onofre, and has called upon the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate potential financial improprieties there, has hailed the permanent closure decision as a win for safety and oversight.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee which has oversight on NRC, also issued a statement. She joined Rep. Markey in calling for not only an NRC investigation, but also a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investigation into potential wrongdoing at San Onofre.
The AP has reported on this story. So have Bloomberg, the LA Times (including a second article), Enformable Nuclear News, Orange County Register, TV 7 San Diego, EcoWatch, CBS, and the Wall Street Journal.
The website Decommission San Onofre has touted the news. And, as EON has said: "CONGRATULATIONS TO SAN CLEMENTE GREEN, SANONOFRESAFETY.ORG, ROSE, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, FAIREWINDS, WOMENS ENERGY MATTERS, AND ALL WHO HAVE WORKED SO LONG AND HARD FOR THIS DAY! What a great team we’ve all been!"
San Clemente Green has called for a big celebration (11 AM) and press conference (11:30 AM CA time), and invites folks to please join them down in front of the nuclear power plant at 11:00 this morning, (may have to shift to south side of plant if too crowded), with the Media-Press Conference at 11:30. For more info., Contact: Annie Eddey, Senior Account Executive, Olive PR Solutions, Inc., m. 973.449.0921, o. 619.955.5285 x102.
At 12:30 PM Eastern (9:30 AM CA time), FOE and its expert, Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Associates, held a live press conference on the public beach in front of the San Onofre plant.
Southern CA Edison also held an hour long press conference.
In addition to the compiled media reports above, Roger Herried has compiled these additional media coverage and other reactions:
- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - Feinstein Statement on Closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
- AFP Google - Glitch-hit US nuclear plant shut down for good
- BBC News - San Onofre California nuclear plant to shut
- Capistrano Dispatch - SONGS to Shut Down - Andrea Swayne And Jim Shilander
- CounterPunch - San Onofre is Dead, the Nuclear Waste Isn't - Ace Hoffman
- Edison International - Southern California Edison to Hold Conference Call On San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
- ENS - California's Damaged San Onofre Nuclear Plant to Be Retired
- FOE - Victory: Edison closes San Onofre for good (updated with press conference)
- Lompoc Record - San Onofre: Gov. says energy plan in the works
- Los Angeles Times - San Onofre nuclear plant closure tied to finances - Abby Sewell
- Los Angeles Times - San Onofre neighbors no longer felt safe, welcome closure - Anh Do
- National Review - Another Blow to Our Nuclear-Powered Future - Ian Tuttle
- NBC Los Angeles - Socal Edison Retiring San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station - R. Stickney
- New York Times - The End Comes for a Troubled California Nuclear Plant - Andrew C. Revkin
- NRDC blog - NRDC Welcomes Southern California Edison's Decision to Retire the San Onofre Nuclear Plant - Matthew Mckinzie
- NukeFree.org - San Onofre is Dead & So is Nuclear Power - Harvey Wasserman
- OC Weekly blog - San Onofre Nuke Plant Officials Say They Did Nothing Wrong--OH REALLY? - Nick Schou
- Platts - SoCal Ed to retire San Onofre nuclear units, blames NRC delays - William Freebairn
- Power Engineering - Both nuclear units at SONGS to be retired
- Reuters - UPDATE 4-California's San Onofre nuclear plant to close for good - Scott Disavino
- Salon - Environmentalists celebrate nuclear plant closing - Gillian Flaccus And Amy Taxin
- SanClemente.Patch - San Onofre Plant Closing a 'Seismic Event in the Nuclear Industry' - Adam Townsend
- SanClemente.Patch - Major Political, Other Leaders React to Nuke Plant's Closure - Penny Arévalo
- SanClemente.Patch - San Clemente Environmentalists Celebrate Closing of SONGS - Penny Arévalo
- San Diego Union-Tribune - Timeline of San Onofre plant's operations
- San Diego Union-Tribune - Seven Things to Know about San Onofre
- San Diego Union-Tribune - Graphic Shows What Went Wrong at San Onofre
- Washington Post - California is closing a huge nuclear plant. So what will replace it? - Brad Plumer
- Washington Post - San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant to Shut Down - Steven Mufson
- World Nuclear News - Regulatory delay closes San Onofre
Warren Buffett finally sees the light: MidAmerican Energy cancels proposed new "small modular reactor" targeted at Iowa
As reported by the Des Moines Register, Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy has finally pulled the plug on a proposed new "small modular reactor" it was hoping that the ratepayers of Iowa would pay for, through "Construction Work in Progress" (CWIP) surcharges on their electricity bills. A powerful coalition, including AARP, Green State Solutions, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and others can claim credit for this environmental victory against nuclear industry greed, after a protracted three year long battle at the Iowa state legislature.
MidAmerican Energy’s decision to abandon new nuclear power development in Iowa reaffirms its earlier study and finding that nuclear power is too expensive. Buffett cancelled plans in 2008 for a new atomic power plant for Payette, Idaho. Given MidAmerican failed to pass on the financing cost to state ratepayers, Buffett’s recent financial analysis indicates the small modular reactor concept changes nothing for risking a financial meltdown.
"Japan’s nuclear watchdog will indefinitely suspend the use of the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor over the operator’s disregard for safety that continued even after the Fukushima nuclear crisis raised concerns across the nation," writes Hideki Muroya in the Asahi Shimbun. "The Nuclear Regulation Authority's order will deal a further blow to Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling program, which has long been plagued by technical problems and scandals.
"In the latest case, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, operator of Monju, was found to have skipped inspections of nearly 10,000 pieces of equipment since 2010, including crucial devices in the safety and emergency systems at the plant, based in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.
"The company also violated its own safety regulations, according to the NRA.
"'Even when the reactor is offline, things stand in such a state,' an NRA official said after an on-site inspection of the reactor in February. “We cannot possibly approve a restart.” Read more. (Picture shows a still from video footage inside Monju during the 1995 sodium fire).
"Worst Week Since Fukushima: 4 Major Setbacks in 3 Days Are Latest Stumbles for U.S. Nuclear Power Industry"
Former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, and energy economist Mark Cooper, both of the Vermont Law School, as well as Dan Hirsch of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, held a telephone press conference yesterday on the subject of "WORST WEEK SINCE FUKUSHIMA: 4 MAJOR SETBACKS IN 3 DAYS ARE LATEST STUMBLES FOR U.S. NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY." An audio recording of the news conference has been posted online.
The four setbacks in three days include: 1) the cancellation of two proposed new reactors at South Texas Project, because they violate U.S. law against foreign ownership of nuclear power plants; 2) Southern California Edison's threat that if NRC does not allow it to restart operations at its crippled San Onofre nuclear power plant, it will permanently shutdown both reactors there; 3) Duke Energy's cancellation of two proposed new atomic reactors at its Shearon Harris nuclear power plant in North Carolina; and 4) Florida's amendment to its previously highly permissive "advance cost recovery" or "Construction Work in Progress" law, via which ratepayers have been gouged to pay for proposed new reactors, when there is no guarantee the proposed new reactors will ever actually get built or generate electricity.
Peter Bradford also added the May 7th shutdown of Dominion's Kewaunee atomic reactor in WI -- despite the 20 years of operating license still left to it -- as another example of the "worst week since Fukushima" for the U.S. nuclear power industry.