Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nuclear Plant Security Report for 2012 - All Things Nuclear

Fission Stories #151

In July 2013, the NRC submitted to the U.S. Congress an annual report on nuclear power plant security during 2012. On the plus side, no nuclear power plant was stolen last year. On the down side, one nuclear power plant was destroyed during a simulated attack last year...

Nuclear Plant Security Report for 2012 - All Things Nuclear

Sunday, November 24, 2013

11.25 MONTPELIER VT Forum on Decommissioning of Vermont Yankee

via Beyond Nuclear -

A message from Debra Stoleroff of Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance (VYDA):
After more than 40 years, our efforts have paid off and the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is closing in 2014 and will be decommissioned. There are many ways to decommission a nuclear power plant; some more safe than others.
So, what does deliberate, thorough and responsible decommissioning mean?  What does it look like? And how can Vermont (and we) advocate for deliberate, thorough and responsible decommissioning with a greenfield when Vermont does not have a legal say in the process?
Deb Katz of the Citizens' Awareness Network (CAN) and Chris Williams of VCAN and VYDA will address what will happen to Vermont Yankee when it closes in 2014.  They will discuss transition, clean-up, long term waste storage and what role citizens can play In the process.
Join VYDA for a forum on The Decommissioning of Vermont Yankee with Deb Katz, Executive Director of Citizens' Awareness Network  and Chris Williams, Director of VT Citizen's Action Network and member of VYDA
Monday, November 25,6:30 pm, at the Unitarian Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier
Sponsored by the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
For more information call: 476-3154
Making VT Yankee Accountable
WHEN:  Monday, November 25, 6:30 pm
WHAT:  Forum with panel discussion and Q&A to address what will happen when Vermont Yankee shutters in 2014. A two-person panel will talk about transition, cleanup, long-term waste storage and what role citizens can play in the process.
WHERE:  Unitarian Universalist Church, 130 Main St., Montpelier, VT
WHO: Deb Katz, Executive Director of the Citizens Awareness Network; Chris Williams, Organizer for Vermont Citizens Action Network
Citizens must remain engaged and demand continued legislative action to support a successful transition to sustainable energy and stricter decommissioning and operational standards going forward. How Entergy will address the issues of transition, closure, and decommissioning is more significant than ever. Recently questions have been raised about how the local community will be affected as well as the state and even the region. 
Can citizens play a role in assuring that Vermont Yankee is properly dismantled, cleaned-up and radioactive waste safely stored?  With the slow motion Fukushima disaster highlighting the vulnerabilities of Mark 1 reactors, how will the state deal with the increased vulnerability of this aged reactor?
The Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance and The Citizens Awareness Network are sponsoring a forum to discuss the issues surrounding the decommissioning, clean up, and accountability of Vermont Yankee.  CAN has been intimately involved with closure and decommissioning of reactors in New England. “Nowhere is the colossal failure of nuclear power more evident than in decommissioning - with its extensive contamination, ballooning costs, limited oversight, and lack of solutions for its contaminated wastes,” said Deb Katz, executive director of the CAN. “Added to this is the inability to trust a systemically mismanaged corporation.”
The choice to hold the forums was based on a lack of relevant information on what decommissioning entails, what choices Entergy is making and what has been the industry standard on decommissioning until now. “The decommissioning of the Entergy Vermont Nuclear Power Plant will be one of the most significant undertakings in Vermont’s history,” said Chris Williams of Vermont Citizens Action Network. “We will have one, and only one, opportunity to get it right."
For more information about this event contact: Debra Stoleroff , 802.476.3154
For more information contact Deb Katz 413.339.5781. Panelists will be available for interviews before the event.
Citizens Awareness Network, instrumental in the closures of Yankee Rowe, Ct Yankee and Millstone Unit 1 reactors, & intervened in the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board hearings on Yankee Rowe and Ct Yankee reactors. CAN won a lawsuit against the NRC in the first circuit Appellate Court over the illegal decommissioning of the Yankee Rowe reactor, the violation of citizen hearing rights and EPA regulations; Represented nuclear worker's health and safety interests before an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; Participated in an NRC workshop - Site Specific Advisory Boards for Decommissioning, presented a model for public participation; Organized a “Peoples’ Hearing” on Decommissioning Presenters included  representatives from Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, and Radioactive Waste Management Assoc; Organized Caravan of Conscience Tours to accompany waste shipments from Yankee Rowe And Ct Yankee to Barnwell, SC to high light issues of environmental racism and to alert transport communities about the shipments.  CAN commissioned a seminal paper by Dr. Gordon Thompson on the vulnerability of reactor fuel pools to terrorism in a post 9/11 world that focused on Vermont Yankee and Indian Point.

Beyond Nuclear - - Nov. 25th Forum on the Decommissioning of Vermont Yankee in Montpelier

12.9 Public Teleconference to Receive Comments on Waste Confidence DGEIS and Proposed Rule

Public Teleconference to Receive Comments on Waste Confidence DGEIS and Proposed Rule
MONDAY DECEMBER 9 (Teleconference only – facilitated and transcribed.)
Prior to the start of the meeting, please dial 
 and provide the operator with passcode 5132332

NRC: Public Involvement in Waste Confidence

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Citizens rejecting NRC’s “waste confidence” ruling at public meetings by wide margin

At the recent NRC public meeting in Chicago, one of the commenters, a woman from Michigan, made a statement that, more and more, seems to be the defining answer to NRC’s question about public sentiment towards its “waste confidence” rule: “This member of the public does not share your confidence!”

Since trust is largely a function of how one is treated by another, it is a fair and realistic question to ask: how can the public have ANY confidence in an Agency with a track record like this? :

NRC expects the public to accept that spent-fuel can be safely stored at reactor sites indefinitely under its supervision. One month ago, NRC could not even guarantee that it could put a workforce in the field due to the government shutdown.

By a 4 to 1 vote, the Commission voted against quicker implementation of Fukushima lessons learned, delaying them at U.S. Fukushima-type reactors for up to 6 years. Those four Commissioners later forced out the Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko – the only one in favor of more rapid implementation of safety measures.

According to authors John Byrne and Steven Hoffman, since the 1980s the NRC has generally favored the interests of nuclear industry and has been unduly responsive to industry concerns. The NRC has often failed to pursue tough regulation. At the same time, it has sought to hamper or deny public access to the regulatory process and created new barriers to public participation. (Source: Governing the Atom: The Politics of Risk, 1996)

“The number of safety violations at U.S. nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses, according to a congressional study awaiting release...the reasons aren't fully understood because the NRC has never fully studied them, the report says. Right now, its authors wrote, the "NRC cannot ensure that oversight efforts are objective and consistent." (Source: “Uneven enforcement suspected at nuclear plants,” AP, Oct. 16, 2013)

“A disastrous fire in March 1975 [at the Brown’s Ferry Reactor in Alabama] nearly caused two of its reactors to melt down. The NRC adopted fire protection regulations in 1980 seeking to prevent another serious nuclear plant fire. But the three reactors at Browns Ferry, along with nearly four dozen other reactors in the U.S., still do not comply with fire protection regulations more than three decades later....It’s not the cumulative effects of regulation that the NRC should be evaluating. The NRC should be concerned about the cumulative effects of non-regulation.” (Paper by David Lochbaum, UCS, “Cumulative Effects of Non-Regulation,” August 23, 2012)

“In a letter submitted Friday afternoon to internal investigators at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a whistleblower engineer within the agency accused regulators of deliberately covering up information relating to the vulnerability of U.S. nuclear power facilities that sit downstream from large dams and reservoirs. The letter also accuses the agency of failing to act to correct these vulnerabilities despite being aware of the risks for years.” (Source: Flood Threat To Nuclear Plants Covered Up By Regulators, NRC Whistleblower Claims, Huffington Post, Sept. 14, 2012)

“A separate former senior Democratic aide who has worked with Jaczko, Magwood and Flint said that Yucca is the impetus for the industry's opposition to the outgoing chairman. ...Magwood "and the industry hate Greg because they think he was put on the commission by Reid, who's anti-Yucca, and he's gonna be a Reid stooge. And you know what? They're f*cking right," the former aide said. "That's exactly why he was put on there. But that commission and that agency were complete and total captives of the nuclear industry. One and the same." (Source: “Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Steps Down,” Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, May 21, 2012; emphasis ours.)

Nuclear Hotseat #125: RadCast Radiation Reports w/Mimi German | Nuclear Hotseat

CNN gets lousy ratings, bad reviews, bad PR from Pandora.

INTERVIEW:  Veteran activist Mimi German, Co-Creator of RadCast, explains this Rad-ical new service to provide daily and weekly radiation “weather” reports for use by mainstream and online media.  Within days of its launch on Oregon radio, RadCast got picked up by Thom Hartmann for his daily rt.com show.  Immediately after the interview, catch the first RadCast report for Nuclear Hotseat as it becomes a new weekly feature! 

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:  The country of Belarus.  They got hit with 60% of Chernobyl’s radiation… but now they want to build their own nukes?  Did Chernobyl fry their common sense?

  • TEPCO delayed start of decommissioning Spent Fuel Pool 4 for two weeks to conduct tests, but they still plan to begin by November 22 despite international outcry to take all authority at Fukushima away from the criminally incompetent company;

Pandora’s Promise poops out, handing CNN lousy ratings and devastating reviews while allowing anti-nuclear experts Ralph Nader, Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps and Sierra Club’s Michael Brune air time they would not have otherwise gotten;

  • Morningstar analysts make it financially official: New-Build Nukes are Dead is what they tell their institutional investors;
  • Forbes names six reactors most likely to closeIndian Point, Ginna, Fitzpatrick, Three Mile Island, David Besse and Pilgrim;
  • Dallas-based Luminant dumps plans to build two new nukes in North Texas.  Yeehah!
Arnie Gundersen petition to remove TEPCO from the decommissioning of Fukushima.  Please sign, share:

LISTEN NOW > Nuclear Hotseat #125: RadCast Radiation Reports w/Mimi German | Nuclear Hotseat

Monday, November 18, 2013

No uranium mine at Kintyre | Conservation Council of Western Australia

WA’s biggest national park is under threat from uranium mining at Kintyre. 
Karlamilyi national park encompasses spinifex plains, red desert sands, salt lakes and ancient gorges that protect pristine rock pools and swimming holes.
Our national parks deserve good neighbours, not uranium mines.
This unique place is under direct threat from plans by the Canadian company Cameco to build an open cut uranium mine just 500 metres from Yantikuji Creek. This area was excised from the Karlamilyi (Ruddall River) National Park to facilitate mining in 1994.
This mine proposal means the clock is now ticking for some rare and special species including the Greater Bilby, Desert Skink and the Marsupial Mole.  
The flawed mine plan is open for public comment - we need your support to help say no to the Kintyre uranium mine proposal. 

sign now > No uranium mine at Kintyre | Conservation Council of Western Australia

Saturday, November 16, 2013

12.2 TOLEDO/PERRYSBURG: NRC public meeting on #RADWASTE (facebook)

For 50 years, the NRC has ducked the nuclear waste issue by claiming that they were "confident" a solution would be found, so nuke plant construction could continue. Half a century and millions of tons of nuclear waste later, no solution is in sight, so many environmental groups sued the NRC. They were forced to suspend approval of new nuclear plants and relicensing of old plants until a new rule was created. The NRC's "new solution" to nuke wastes is to truck it all over the country to "interim" storage sites until an actual solution is found. This is more dangerous and is actually worse than the current situation. EVERYONE ON THIS PAGE SHOULD COME TO THIS MEETING TO PROTEST! Protest will start at 5 pm at location TBA!!!
Meeting info
To provide an opportunity for interested parties to provide comments on the Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and proposed rule. Call the number below to reserve a slot to speak. MANY VOICES ARE NEEDED. We can help you if you need background information.

protest assembling at 5 pm at Levis Commons, exact location To Be Annouced

Meeting Feedback
Meeting Dates and Times
7:00PM - 10:00PM

Open House meet and Greet
6:00PM - 7:00PM

Meeting Location
Hilton Garden Inn Toledo/Perrysburg
6165 Levis Commons Boulevard
Parlor D Meeting Room
Perrysburg OH
TR Rowe
(301) 287-9392

NRC, Nuclear Waste Con Job, December 2nd (facebook)*

* A Shut Down Davis Besse Facebook Event

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NRC fails to apply standard earthquake protocols to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not holding the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California to the same standards it requires of every other nuclear facility to address potential earthquake hazards, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists. UCS prepared the report, “Seismic Shift: Diablo Canyon Literally and Figuratively on Shaky Ground,” for the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.
“This is a dangerous double standard,” said David Lochbaum, director of UCS’s Nuclear Safety Project and author of the report. “At other facilities, the NRC enforced its safety regulations and protected Americans from earthquake threats. Today, in the case of Diablo Canyon, the NRC is ignoring its regulations, unfairly exposing millions of Americans to undue risk.”
It is widely known that Diablo Canyon sits near earthquake fault lines. In late 2008, the plant’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), informed the NRC about a previously unknown earthquake fault line running as close as 2,000 feet from Diablo Canyon’s two reactors that could cause more ground motion during an earthquake than the plant was designed to withstand. Since this new fault was discovered, the NRC has not demonstrated that the reactors meet agency safety regulations.
When similar concerns surfaced at nuclear facilities in California, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the NRC did not allow the plants to continue to operate until the agency determined they met safety regulations. In particular, the NRC needed to be sure that a number of devices, including “shock absorbers” on piping and other components, would limit earthquake damage. In contrast, the NRC has allowed PG&E to continue to operate Diablo Canyon’s reactors despite this known threat.
For example, in March 1979, the NRC ordered Beaver Valley Unit 1 in Pennsylvania, FitzPatrick in New York, Maine Yankee, and Surry Units 1 and 2 in Virginia to shut down after it discovered an error in the computer code that analyzed earthquakes and associated protective features of these plants. The agency did not allow the five reactors to resume operating until plant owners reevaluated earthquake hazards, input proper computer codes, and installed or upgraded protection devices to better protect the plants from earthquakes. The burden of proof was on each of these facilities to demonstrate compliance with federal safety regulations.
“Despite solid evidence that Diablo Canyon does not comply with federal safety requirements, the NRC continues to allow the plant to operate,” said Rochelle Becker, executive director of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility. “The NRC should enforce its safety regulations at Diablo Canyon.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.

NRC fNRC fails to apply standard earthquake protocols to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant


Chernobyl. Fukushima. [Your Nuclear Power Plant].  IT’S TIME TO DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND. ALL OVER THE WORLD AT YOUR LOCAL NUCLEAR PLANT NOV 29/30 2013

- thepostignoranceproject.com

Yellow and Black Friday - The Post Ignorance Project | facebook

via Andrew Ebisu
Join me at KevinBlanch Mirror Protest in Melbourne Nov 30, 2013 at 1pm - YouTube
Please join me in my KevinBlanch Mirror Protest in Melbourne on Nov 30, 2013 at 1pm. Send me a message at: ebisu73@gmail.com


4PM ONWARDS. Come and make connection where they split the building blocks of life... Visitors and dry wood welcome... Women only overnight Ring 07874819608 Follow the 'Hinkley Point' Deliveries' signs...

Witch Watch is a 24hour vigil - sometimes longer - held on the night of the Full Moon when she is still waxing. WW evolved to defend Mother Earth as part of the Stop Hinkley C campaign and the proposed new build of nuclear power stations in Britain.

WW provides a meeting place to make connection, share information and to bring your magic. A Sacred Fire is lit and tended through the night.

The camp glimmers in the hedgerow of the last lay-by, on the main road into the power station, near Bridgwater, Somerset. All are welcome to join us but the camp is women only after daylight hours.

Witch Watch bears on-site witness and observation of the destruction and construction that is taking place, and holds a positive intention for a different future and the need for balance in the world.
The remaining 2013 dates are: Saturday 16th November and Monday 16th December. Best to ring before you come to check for last minute change of plans.
For more info ring 07874 819608 or click here to email.


Stop Hinkley

Monday, November 11, 2013


11.15 TOKYO Every Friday NO NUKES RALLY at Prime Minister's Office | 再稼働反対!首相官邸前抗議! 首都圏反原発連合

日時:2013年11月15日(金)18:00~20:00 予定

★1115 再稼働反対!首相官邸前抗議! 首都圏反原発連合

Energy Experts Respond to Scientists’ Letter Advocating Nuclear Power | EcoWatch

Four distinguished atmospheric scientists, including Dr. James Hansen, have written an open letter encouraging those “opposed to nuclear power” to rethink their position in light of the urgent need to fight dangerous climate change. Hansen and his coauthors are right to underscore the dangers of climate disruption from the global addiction to fossil fuels. As longtime leaders of Natural Resources Defense Council’s energy program, we agree with them that “energy systems decisions should be based on facts, and not on emotions and biases.”

But the authors of this letter (and other nuclear energy proponents) are on the wrong track when they look to nuclear power as a silver bullet solution for global warming. To the contrary, given its massive capital costs, technical complexity and international security concerns, nuclear power is clearly not a practical alternative. Instead, energy efficiency will always be the quickest, cheapest solution to our energy and climate challenges, and clean renewable energy is growing today by leaps and bounds.

Inexplicably, Dr. Hansen and his colleagues ignore energy efficiency altogether. Yet as Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) documented in a recent report in the 40 years since the first OPEC oil embargo, energy efficiency has made a larger contribution to meeting the energy needs of a growing U.S. economy than all other resources combined, including nuclear power, oil, natural gas and coal.

Those who take global warming seriously need to begin the discussion of solutions with the potential for more of these efficiency improvements; the open letter doesn’t even mention them. The dominance of energy efficiency in the U.S. energy economy didn’t result from anybody’s bias or ideology; it is all about comparative advantages in cost and reliability (it turns out to be much cheaper and easier to get more work out of less electricity than to build new nuclear or coal-fired power plants). 

Renewable energy is at least mentioned in the open letter, but the treatment is inaccurately dismissive. Wind farms and solar arrays can be installed much faster and typically at lower cost than new nuclear plants, and the consequences of any single unit’s failure are trivial by comparison. Hansen et al.’s contention that these resources cannot “scale” rapidly enough to make a difference is belied by the recent record—wind power alone added nine times more generation than nuclear plants to the U.S. grid from 2000—2012. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has concluded that ”renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.” 

Hansen and his colleagues do not contest the generally disappointing performance of nuclear power in U.S. and global energy markets since the mid-1970s (for example, no U.S. nuclear power plant operating today was ordered after 1973, and Japan’s Fukushima disaster brought one of the world’s largest utilities to its knees in March 2011, while ending any pretense of a “nuclear renaissance”).

Instead, the coauthors hold out the promise of “safer nuclear energy systems” that will somehow turn things around. But, as NRDC’s Tom Cochran and Ralph Cavanagh point out in a recent article on the CNN website the global history of the nuclear industry is littered with costly failures to create advanced reactor designs that could economically and reliably do what Hansen and his colleagues think has already been accomplished by “modern nuclear technology”: “reduce proliferation risks and solve the waste disposal problem by burning current waste and using fuel more efficiently.”

Finally, the open letter suggests that that it is the environmental community that is somehow holding back a nuclear power surge. Nothing could be further from the truth. A U.S. “nuclear renaissance” has failed to materialize, despite targeted federal subsidies, because of nuclear power’s high capital cost, long construction times, the lower demand for electricity due largely to improvements in energy efficiency and competition from renewables. Unless Hansen, et al. want the U.S. to join the society of planned economies, the better approach to which we can all agree is to internalize the cost of carbon emissions and let energy efficiency, renewables and nuclear compete on a level playing field. We and the Hansen group obviously disagree on who the winners are likely to be, but let’s not delay further in finding out.

NRDC is a long-time advocate for expanded research spanning a wide range of energy technologies. No one can or should close the door to the prospect of improved nuclear power technology. But in a world with constrained capital resources and an urgent need to find the lowest cost ways to cut carbon pollution, nuclear power ranks far down the list of promising or likely solutions. We hope that Hansen and his colleagues will keep their focus on the urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, and let winners and losers in the clean energy race emerge on the merits.

Visit EcoWatch’s NUCLEAR page for more related news on this topic.

Energy Experts Respond to Scientists’ Letter Advocating Nuclear Power | EcoWatch

whats up: #BustTheMyth
you can't nuke global warming!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pandora’s Atomic Box Score | EcoWatch

by Harvey Wasserman

The first prophetic sign to follow CNN’s irrelevant Pandora’s Promise is this: the Dallas-based Luminant Power Company has cancelled two mammoth reactors.
Pandora’s box score for atomic America 2013 is five announced early reactor closures, nine project cancellations and six ditched uprates. Today, 100 U.S. reactors operate where 1,000 were once promised. New orders are zilch.

Even more critical: For decades the nuclear industry said zero commercial reactors could explode. When Chernobyl blew, they blamed it on the Soviet design. Now, three General Electric reactors have exploded at Fukushima. Unfortunately, as they age and deteriorate, there may be more to come.

Here are some more numbers to tally. More than 1,300 fuel rods sit in a damaged fuel pool 100 feet in the air at Fukushima 4. They contain radioactive cesium equivalent to 14,000 times what was released at the bombing of Hiroshima. There are some 6,000 rods in a common fuel pool nearby. There are some 11,000 rods scattered around the site. The three melted cores from units One, Two and Three are missing. There are roughly 1,000 tanks holding billions of gallons of hot radioactive water that are leaking and will collapse in the next big earthquake.  

more > Pandora’s Atomic Box Score | EcoWatch

whats up: #BustTheMyth
you can't nuke global warming!