Thursday, March 26, 2015

Three Mile Island: Writing the Nuclear Accident Playbook

TMI Speech at Penn State

By Arnie Gundersen

– People today who are familiar with social media think that TMI means “Too Much Information”. But to me, and anyone listening to the news in 1979, TMI will always represent the disaster at Three Mile Island, when the public received too little information, not too much.

 At the time of the nuclear disaster at TMI, there were plans to build more than 200 nuclear plants in the US, with some projections topping 1,000.  Today, less than 100 nuclear plants are operating in the US.  During the 1970’s, the total amount invested in those early plants easily exceeded one trillion dollars.  If the public became fearful of nuclear power, then the nuclear industry, investors, and banks that had loaned money would face huge losses, so the nuclear industry and nuclear regulators tried desperately to minimize the significance of what was happening at the crippled reactor.

 The pattern of denial created by the nuclear industry during the TMI meltdown had at least five steps in its playbook:

1. Make it appear that “authorities” have the situation under control.

2. Delay any evacuation orders for as long as possible.

3. Claim radiation releases are much lower than they actually are.

4. Claim radiation exposures are acceptable and that no one will die.

5. And lastly, minimize conflicting information given to the press through paid off experts.

 The formula for damage control at TMI was designed by the nuclear industry composed a one size fits all “playbook” the industry has followed for all nuclear catastrophes since TMI.  Comments made during the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi by utility owner Tokyo Electric could easily mimic those made at Chernobyl and TMI!  When Maggie and I saw these old tricks being played again at Fukushima Daiichi, we dedicated ourselves to ensuring that the public has an accessible resource on which to rely that provides accurate information, and thus the Fairewinds videos were born.

 In this video posted to commemorate the TMI disaster, I discuss the pattern of denial regarding nuclear power plant failures and meltdowns, not just for TMI but also for Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi as well.  We at Fairewinds Energy Education hope you will watch it and think about sharing the true facts with others.

includes transcript & Arnie Gundersen's Expert Witness Report – Three Mile Island Litigation – Writing the Nuclear Meltdown Playbook

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The 2015 Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act - Needs Support! | Tri-Valley CAREs

At Tri-Valley CAREs we appreciate all you do to help achieve a more peaceful, just and nuclear weapons free world. Today, we offer you a concrete opportunity to move the government in that direction by cutting the budget for nuclear weapons. Here's how...

As you know from our e-alerts, President Obama's recent budget request contains a double-digit increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and squanders billions on new nuclear weapons programs.

Right now, Congress is beginning the legislative process to decide what the actual budget for nuclear weapons will be. This is where you and your Senators and Representative enter the picture...

This month, companion bills will be introduced in the House and Senate that would save $100 billion over the next ten years by making targeted reductions to U.S nuclear weapons and the NNSA nuclear weapons complex. Both bills are called the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act.

Are your Senators cosponsors yet? How about your Representative?

Current Senate SANE Act cosponsors are: Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders.

Current House SANE Act cosponsors are: Earl Blumenauer, John Conyers, Donna Edwards, Sam Farr, Raul Grijalva, Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jared Polis, Louise Slaughter, Jackie Speier.

If your members of Congress are on the list, call and tell them "thank you". If not, call your representatives and ask them to cosponsor the SANE Act. In the Senate, ask them to contact Sen. Ed Markey to sign up. In the House, ask them to contact Rep. Earl Blumenauer to sign up as a cosponsor.

The Capitol Switchboard is: (202) 224-3121. Call as soon as possible.

more: Tri-Valley CAREs

4.15-25 URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL 2015 QUEBEC | International Uranium Film Festival

Press Releases
Feb 12, 2015
The 5th International Uranium Film Festival 2015 starts this year in Canada, Quebec. It is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Atomic Bomb and the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in 1945. The festival runs from April 15 to 25 in Quebec City, (Film List) Concorde hotel, together with World Uranium Symposium. In addition special screenings are planned April 20 in Mistissini, the largest community of the James Bay Crees in Quebec, and April 22  in Montreal.

QUEBEC URANIUM FESTIVAL | International Uranium Film Festival

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight As California's Last Active Nuke Plant Puts Millions at Risk | EcoWatch

...Global climate change and the nuclear weapons industry were listed as the primary threats, but the Bulletin’s analysis also cited “the leadership failure on nuclear power.” The Bulletin noted that “the international community has not developed coordinated plans to meet the challenges that nuclear power faces in terms of cost, safety, radioactive waste management, and proliferation risk.” The triple meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant in 2011 brought the issue to global attention after an unpredictable earthquake stronger than the plant was built to withstand overwhelmed the reactors in conjunction with a massive tsunami. This unprecedented disaster even led the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to establish a Fukushima Lessons Learned Division. But the situation at California’s last remaining active nuclear plant has generated widespread concern about whether the NRC has learned anything at all from Fukushima.

Diablo Canyon—An American nuclear plant with troubling similarities to Fukushima
The Diablo Canyon Power Plant near scenic San Luis Obispo on the Golden State’s central coast sits in an area where several new fault lines have been discovered over the decades. Controversy flared in 2014 due to revelations about regulatory safety questions from the plant’s former senior resident inspector Michael Peck, who served in that role from 2007-12. Peck became concerned that new seismic data suggested the plant was operating outside the safety margins of its license. He issued a non-concurrence in 2012, a Dissenting Professional Opinion in 2013 and a DPO Appeal in 2014. Debate between Peck and his bosses at the NRC has centered around what methodology should be used to determine whether the plant could survive a massive quake it might not be built to withstand...

complete article: Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight As California's Last Active Nuke Plant Puts Millions at Risk | EcoWatch

Uranium Waste is Toxic & We Don't Want It

GO: Uranium Waste is Toxic & We Don't Want It

Really? Yes. We want you to send a note to the  EPA

Owe Aku is a grassroots organization of Lakota people and our allies founded to promote the protection of sacred water and preservation of our territorial lands.  Our actions for environmental justice rely upon cultural revitalization as our major tool in achieving our goals.  The principle location from which are operations are based are on Lakota territory along Wounded Knee Creek on what is called the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation .  More information on our work can be found at
Greetings! I have copied and pasted below a letter to the EPA regarding its request for comments concerning the proposed regulations of In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium mining. You can copy, paste and email to the EPA, or write your own letter, but PLEASE do take action at this time. Deadline for comments is April 27. Thank you all so much!

Please send on to your friends who may do the same. Wopila.
Wioweya Najin Win
Air and Radiation Docket
Environmental Protection Agency
Mailcode: 2822T
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460

RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0788

March 23, 2015

To whom it may concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on EPA’s proposed health and environmental  standards for uranium mill tailings under 40 C.F.R. part 192.

EPA’s current standards under part 192 are outdated and do not address in-situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery operations, which are now the largest kind of uranium mining and milling operations in the nation. It is high time for EPA to update its standards to protect groundwater during ISL operations.

As you know, water in the Western U.S. is a scarce resource and deserves a paramount level of protection. Many communities rely solely on groundwater and with dwindling supplies water resources that are not currently used may well be needed for drinking water in the future. The value of these water resources cannot be overstated. ISL uranium operations currently get a free pass to pollute these precious water supplies. No ISL mine has restored groundwater to pre-mining conditions and often pollution after mining is left at high levels. ISL facilities also have frequent spills, leaks, excursions, and other problems that leave groundwater resources at risk.

It is important for you to promptly finalize your proposed standards to better protect these groundwater resources.

I also urge you to contain more robust requirements for baseline water testing and long-term monitoring in your final rule. Additionally, please require operators to restore groundwater back to pre-mining conditions.

Please don’t let the uranium industry get a free pass to pollute our groundwater resources.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Debra White Plume
Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way
PO Box 325
Manderson, SD 57756
GO: Uranium Waste is Toxic & We Don't Want It

Tell Congress: Support informed consent, dump Yucca

What if your neighbors could dump their trash on your front yard under a law that allowed you to say “no,”--but which also allowed your neighbors to override  your opposition? The neighborhood could dump and keep dumping until decades of trash was piled up.

That is a picture of what the people in Nevada and the Western Shoshone Nation members face--only instead of neighborhood trash, it is our nation’s lethal high-level radioactive wastes. Nuclear waste that is a deadly hazard for more than a million years.

This month Nevada Senators Reid (D) and Heller (R) signed a letter with Nevada Governor Sandoval (R), vowing to continue to block highly radioactive wastes from coming to Yucca. In addition, the two Senators introduced a new bill, known as the “Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act” that would mandate that any permanent radioactive waste site be subject to the written approval of the Governor as well as impacted local jurisdictions, to include the current contested site at Yucca Mountain. In the Senate, the bill is S. 691. A companion bill in the House, introduced by Nevada representatives Titus (D) and Heck (R), is HR 1364. It's important: next time it could be your state.
Take Action below: Urge your Congressmembers to co-sponsor the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act and Dump Yucca now!

> SIGN NOW: Tell Congress: Support informed consent, dump Yucca

ILLINOIS :: Act now: Support clean energy; oppose Exelon's nuclear bailout!

Act now: Support clean energy; oppose Exelon's nuclear bailout!: Exelon is threatening to close up to five of its nuclear reactors in the state because they are losing money. The electricity they generate is simply more expensive than the competition--especially from wind power. So Exelon wants you to bail them out. They want to increase your electric bills to pay more for nuclear power because, well, just because it's nuclear.

▶ VIDEO: The Hottest Particle | Fairewinds Energy Education (April 3rd, 2014)

The Hottest Particle | Fairewinds Energy Education

April 3rd, 2014 Three years ago, Fairewinds was one of the first organizations to talk about “hot particles” that are scattered all over Japan and North America’s west coast. Hot particles are dangerous and difficult to detect. In this video Mr. Kaltofen discusses the hottest hot particle he has ever found, and it was discovered more than 300 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi site. If Fairewinds Energy Education was a Japanese website, the State Secrets Law would likely prevent us from issuing this video. Arnie Gundersen provides a brief introduction and summary to the video.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Washington State, Act now: nuclear power is not "renewable" | NIRS

Washington State, Act now: nuclear power is not "renewable"

March 14, 2015 (updated and corrected)

The Washington State Senate this week passed several bills to bolster nuclear power in the state, especially "small modular reactors" that don't exist in reality and that have not been approved by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The most egregious bills are is S.5089 and 5090, sponsored by Republican Sen. Sharon Brown. They would redefine the state's Renewable Energy Standard to include nuclear power--a technology that is in no way "renewable" or clean. These bills are currently in the Senate Rules Committee waiting further action.

In the meantime several other bills have passed the Senate and are now in the House, including S 5091, which would "would add nuclear to the energy sources that electric utilities offer to customers who volunteer to buy green power," while S 5113 would require the state department of commerce coordinate siting and manufacturing of nuclear plants, S 5114 would give tax breaks to companies in the small modular reactor industry, and S 5093 would set up establish a curriculum using the American Nuclear Society to “support programs that will educate Washington students in nuclear energy and the necessary role that it will play in meeting clean energy needs.”

Take action below: Tell the Washington House to reject these measures and urge Governor Inslee to veto them if they reach his desk.

Notes: you must have a Washington State address to participate in this action. Please share this action page on Facebook, Twitter and the like using the icons above before sending your e-mails.

SIGN NOW > Washington State, Act now: nuclear power is not "renewable"