Friday, November 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
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...
Sunday, November 24, 2013
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
Sponsored by the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
For more information call: 476-3154
THE DECOMMISSIONING OF VERMONT YANKEE:
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.
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.)
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;
Monday, November 18, 2013
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.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
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!!!
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 Dates and Times
7:00PM - 10:00PM
Open House meet and Greet
6:00PM - 7:00PM
Hilton Garden Inn Toledo/Perrysburg
6165 Levis Commons Boulevard
Parlor D Meeting Room
NRC, Nuclear Waste Con Job, December 2nd (facebook)*
* A Shut Down Davis Besse Facebook Event
Friday, November 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Monday, November 11, 2013
new images for #BustTheMyth
NUCLEAR POWER’S CARBON FOOTPRINT
NUCLEAR POWER’S OTHER FOOTPRINT
see the articles via these links -
whats up: "Nukes are not carbon-free" | C.A.N. Coalition Against Nukes
whats up: NUCLEAR POWER’S OTHER FOOTPRINT
see also: whats up: WHY NUKES CAN'T SAVE THE PLANET FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
DOWNLOAD PDF (2 pages; print double-sided "2-up" on 8-1/2 x 11)
thanks to Gail Payne and C.A.N. Coalition Against Nukes
see also: whats up: Can Nuclear Power Slow Down Climate Change? An analysis of nuclear greenhouse gas emissions | The Helen Caldicott Foundation
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.”
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.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
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.