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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.

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Wednesday
Nov212012

Areva moves to wind energy as nuclear continues to slide

From Reuters: French nuclear power engineering giant Areva is planning to set up an offshore wind turbine factory in the east of Scotland, which could create 750 jobs, the group said on Monday.

Areva plans to invest "several 10s of million euros", Chief Executive Luc Oursel said at a news conference, and the plant for Areva's 5 megawatt turbines should be up and running in 2015 or 2016, he said.

"Areva has chosen to locate its future facility in east Scotland to optimise logistics costs for UK projects and to benefit from a growing cluster of offshore supply chain businesses in the area," Areva said in a statement earlier.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond during a visit to Paris, the state-owned group said.

The Scottish site, which has yet to be identified, will be Areva's third European site for offshore turbines, alongside a future plant in Le Havre in northern France and Germany's existing Bremerhaven factory. 

Thursday
Nov152012

Oyster Creek could be next as Exelon looks at premature shutdown of oldest reactor

Old nukes are an increasingly risky business venture. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is having economic fallout here in the United States. Take Oyster Creek in Toms River, New Jersey for example.

Bloomberg Business Week is reporting that Chicago-based nuclear giant Exelon Corporation is considering permanently closing its Oyster Creek nuclear power station before the current 2019 decommissioning date as agreed with the State of New Jersey. Oyster Creek is the first GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor, identical to the destroyed units at  Fukushima Dai-Ichi, to operate in the world. It went critical in October 1969 and started commercial operation in December 1969. 

The mounting capital cost for reactor safety system modifications arising from the Fukushima disaster coupled with degraded reactor conditions is pushing the nation's oldest nuclear power station closer to closure.  The financial community is sending warnings to nuclear corporations that operating  a decrepit reactor is increasing risky venture and will damage credit ratings.

Exelon's announcement that Oyster Creek is teetering on closure sounds like the company's business sense has finally kicked in.

Oyster Creek recently reported that is has discovered degraded conditions found in reactor core internals with cracking in vital reactor safety equipment, the control rod drive mechanisms.  

Given its vulnerable Fukushima design, degraded plant conditions and the havoc that Hurricane Sandy  has wrought in the emergency planning zone, Oyster Creek should not be allowed to restart, period.

Monday
Nov122012

"Reading Radioactive Tea Leaves": Kewaunee reactor to shut down

John LaForge of Nukewatch in Luck, WIJohn LaForge of Nukewatch in Luck, WI (pictured left) has penned an op-ed,"Reading Radioactive Tea Leaves: Without a Buyer for Old Kewaunee Reactor, Owner Chooses Shut Down." In it, he details the many radioactive bullets Wisconsin has dodged, and has not dodged, at Kewaunee, just in recent years, including: "...a 2009 emergency shutdown caused by improper steam pressure instrument settings; a 2007 loss of main turbine oil pressure; an emergency cooling water system design flaw found in 2006; [the August 2006 discovery of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater, for an unknown period, from unidentified pipes somewhere beneath the reactor complex]; a possible leak in November 2005 of highly radioactive primary coolant into secondary coolant which is discharged to Lake Michigan; a simultaneous failure of all three emergency cooling water pumps in February 2005, etc.".

Nukewatch has watchdogged Kewaunee for decades. On April 23, 2011, Nukewatch organized a "Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future" from Kewaunee to Point Beach's two reactors -- a distance of seven miles, the same as the distance between Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants -- to commemorate the 25th year since the Chernobyl atomic reactor exploded and burned beginning on April 26, 1986. The event took place just six weeks after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe had begun. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps took part in the walk, and as a keynote speaker along with Natasha Akulenko, a native of Kiev, Ukraine and surivor of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

Friday
Oct262012

"The Rust-Bucket Reactors Start to Fall"

Harvey WassermanHarvey Wasserman, editor of Nukefree.org and author of Solartopia, has written a blog inspired by the announced closure of the Kewaunee atomic reactor in Wisconsin. He begins by stating 'The US fleet of 104 deteriorating atomic reactors is starting to fall. The much-hyped "nuclear renaissance" is now definitively headed in reverse.'

He points out that Kewaunee may be but the first domino to fall, describing the impact of "low gas prices, declining performance, unsolved technical problems and escalating public resistance" at numerous other old, age-degraded, troubled reactors across the U.S., including San Onofre, CA; Crystal River, FL; Cooper and Fort Calhoun in NE; Vermont Yankee; Indian Point, NY; Oyster Creek, NJ; and Davis-Besse, OH. But Harvey also points out the momentum applies to new reactors as well, such as at Vogtle, GA and Summer, SC, as well as overseas, in the wake of Fukushima, not only in Japan, but also India, and even Europe, led by Germany's nuclear power phase out.

Harvey, a senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), will address "From Fukushima to Fermi-3: Getting to Solartopia Before It's Too Late" in Dearborn, MI on Dec. 7th at the official launch event for the new organization, the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3.

Wednesday
Oct242012

"Aging and Expensive, Reactors Face Mothballs"

Kewaunee atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore in WisconsinThe New York Times has reported on the economics that have not only led to the Kewaunee atomic reactor's (photo, left) announced closure in Wisconsin, but also other pressures and forces on reactors, from Entergy's Indian Point near New York City to Vermont Yankee, Duke's Crystal River in Florida, Exelon's Oyster Creek in New Jersey, and Southern California Edison's San Onofre. The article speaks of "[t]he industry’s renewed glimpse of its mortality" and states "the nuclear industry may be nearing its first round of retirements since the mid-1990s."  Kewaunee's closure will be the first at an American atomic reactor since several (Yankee Rowe, Massachusetts; Zion 1 & 2, Illinois; Big Rock Point, Michigan; Millstone Unit 1, Connecticut) in the mid to late 1990s.