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.



Dominion's domino may be but the first to fall: Kewaunee "canary in the coal mine" may signal number of reactor closures to come

In late October, 2012, Dominion Nuclear announced it would close its Kewaunee atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore of northern Wisconsin by mid-2013.

As reported in an article at AOL Energy, by a former nuclear power industry 20-year veteran worker:

"A pattern is developing. It may take a few years, but it appears small nuclear plants will face increasing pressure to retire early. They cannot compete, particularly in soft markets. Some plants will find their costs consistently exceed any benefits they earn and their owners will be forced to retire and dismember plants."

The author, Glenn S.K. Williams, in his article "The Nation's Nuclear Plants Are Nuked," lists the following reactors as at risk of "early retirement": NextEra/FPL's Point Beach nuclear plant in WI; certain of Exelon's IL reactors, as well as its Oyster Creek in NJ; Duke's Crystal River in FL; Southern CA Edison's San Onofre; Entergy's Vermont Yankee, as well as Indian Point in NY.

Platts has also reported on a UBS Securities analyst's prediction that Entergy's FitzPatrick, NY and Vermont Yankee, as well as Exelon's Clinton, IL and Ginna, NY "merchant" reactors in deregulated markets, are under intense pressure to "retire early." 

(We would point out that "early retirement" at any of the 73 atomic reactors granted 20-year license extensions by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a contradiction in terms!)



INVITATION to CELEBRATE: The Nuclear Age in Quebec is Over! Gentilly-2 is SHUT DOWN!

"Rest in Peace, Gentilly-2". Image compliments of CentricoisES et mauricienNEs pour le déclassement nucléaireThis tremendous good news just came in from Dr. Gordon Edwards, chair of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and co-chair of the Great Lakes United Nuclear-Free/Green Energy Task Force:

28 December: The Nuclear Age in Quebec is Over! 

Join us, in Montréal, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon

On this occasion, Sonomi and her two children-- refugees from Fukushima, Japan -- will be our special guests.

P.S. Québec will be truly out of the nuclear age only when we achieve a permanent moratorium on uranium mining, as has been done in two other provinces -- Nova Scotia and British Columbia!

(Nuclear utility Hydro-Quebec announced Gentilly-2's permanent shutdown, to occur tomorrow, last October. Gentilly-2 is a CANDU atomic reactor which has operated since 1982.)


EPR: Four years behind, at least, and now even MORE over-budget

Source: CRILAN, an activist group in Normandy working to stop the EPR reactor at Flamanville and elsewhere and the construction of high-tension transmission line corridors. (CRILAN also serves as the global expert and watchdog on the La Hague reprocessing facility).

✔ 1.8 billion euros in 1998 when EdF envisaged building an EPR at Carnet, near Nantes, according to M. Ayrault. 

✔  3 billion euros in 2003, announced at a presentation in Rennes by the Minister of Industry.

✔  3.3 billion euros during the “Public Debate” organized after the decision to build the reactor on EDF land at Flamanville, from where the very long high-tension lines to reach the Loire Country, are also costly. 

✔ 6 billion euros in 2011 when, citing inside sources, CRILAN affirmed the the cost would be at least 8 billion euros. 

✔ Today, 8.5 billion euros! And the enormous cost over-run is not, as the company claims, only due to the make-good payments because of faulty subcontracting and post-Fukushima measures.   

How much in 2016 ? How much will we need to pay per kWh for electricity produced by this type of reactor? Three times more than anticipated? 

We still do not know, despite our repeated demands to the Local Commission on Information,what type of fuel will be used in the EPR! MOX, or more enriched uranium with cladding “doped” with chromium, or traditional uranium like at OLKILUITO ?


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. 


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.