Top 100 Energy Stories Mar 29th – Apr 4th 2010

radbull A bit of a slowdown compared to last week.  Just a few breaking stories with most news about ongoing events that have already seen the light of day. I wanted to follow up the scary breaking story last week about the possibility of some kind of Asian release.  It does look like the incident was caused by a faulty monitor as other monitoring stations had no activity.  There were two Chernobyl pieces including a short one out of Cuba about how they have now treated 25,000 victims of the 1986 meltdown.

Of particular concern to me comes out of Australia where a small number of aboriginal people have offered to become a host for a nuclear waste dump.  A similar tribe (Goshutes) in the state of Utah in the U.S. had also acted in a similar way a number of years ago but were stopped by the Utah and the Department of Interior.  They have since announced plans to push a legal challenge.

Probably the biggest story to hit came between the IAEA and Russia that announced their global fuel bank deal(the son of GNEP – Bush’s Global Nuclear energy Partnership).  Lots of nuclear weapons stories have been breaking on contamination-compensation issues, blow back from START and The scandalous secret deal between Japan and the U.S. that openly lied to the Japanese people about nuclear weapons transiting through their country.

There were two protests in Europe, one in Belgium where hundreds were arrested a weapons protest and the other in the UK on the power issue. Japan came out with its official pro-nuclear agenda calling for the construction of 8 new reactors. A reactor being planned in India got delayed.

In the U.S. the biggest story was out of the state of New York where the government refused to give the Indian Point facility a discharge permit for its cooling system.  Similar stories out of California and New Jersey have been out, while the pro-nuclear strategists in Arizona are now calling on all waste water producers to sell their water to the Palo Verde complex.

Radiation safety issues around workers is always a story somewhere in the country. Imagine if there was some kind of real investigation into the tragedy of Soviet era workers ever to surface without the reporters getting killed first!  A report about spikes in cancer in South Carolina was released as well as the government seeking to find college kids to help and find native americans who were contaminated.

The most active news stories come out of the fuel cycle issue as the state of Texas has taken up a proposal from WCS to become the nation’s Low level waste home.  There is a superb story about of Utah by Judy Fahay on that state’s ongoing waste battles. Indiana passed waste transportation legislation while the ongoing battle over spent fuel is all over the place as it has been now for weeks.

There was a number of stories around uranium mining of interest as well! Last but not least, Its pretty clear that Obama is going to pull out all the stops in a last ditch attempt to pass his draconian nuclear laden energy bill as he tossed morsels to the right on offshore oil drilling and then to environmentalists with his gas mileage ploy.  His gas mileage ploy was plain despicable, because what he did was literally nothing more than what the congress did nearly two years ago, as if we aren’t supposed to remember.  He could have actually created several levels of efficiency standards, or even better yet, just as he’s taken such a horrific tactic with education and his race to the top, he could have offered an incentive for the car industry to the company that puts the first car on the market that gets over 100 MPG!

Top Nuclear Stories Index

Reactors Safety NRC Fuel Cycle N-Waste
Policy Weapons DOE Energy News OpEd


Nuclear Reactor News

Kudankulam nuclear power project delayed- Hindustan Times
“The delay in the arrival of components for the upcoming 2,000 MW nuclear reactor at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu has led to the postponement of the commissioning of the first unit of the project by a few months, an official said.

Service providers for the project like the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) are clueless about the possible date for the arrival of the components.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW light water nuclear reactors in Kudankulam, about 600 km from Chennai, in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu with Russians supplying all the components of the plant, including the nuts and bolts.”

New York Denies Indian Point Plant a Water Permit –
“In a major victory for environmental advocates, New York State has ruled that outmoded cooling technology at the Indian Point nuclear power plant kills so many Hudson River fish, and consumes and contaminates so much water, that it violates the federal Clean Water Act.

The decision is a blow to the plant’s owner, the Entergy Corporation, which now faces the prospect of having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build stadium-size cooling towers, or risk that Indian Point’s two operating reactors which supply 30 percent of the electricity used by New York City and Westchester County could be forced to shut down.

Entergy officials said that they were “disappointed” in the ruling and that they might fight it in court. The original federal licenses for the two 1970s-era reactors expire in 2013 and 2015, and a water quality certificate is a prerequisite for a 20-year renewal by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But a prolonged appeal in New York could delay a shutdown, Diane Screnci, a spokeswoman for the commission, said late Saturday.

An Entergy spokesman said that converting Indian Point’s cooling system would cost $1.1 billion and would require shutting both reactors down entirely for 42 weeks. ”

Whistle-blower suit Byron nuclear plant security –
“An otherwise garden-variety workplace dispute has posed a larger question at the Byron nuclear generation station, 80 miles west of Chicago: How adequately are security guards trained and equipped to protect nuclear power plants?

The question is raised by a complaint brought before a federal administrative judge by Matt Simon, a former guard and weapons trainer at Byron who is asking the court to decide between two explanations for why he no longer works at the facility.

Was he an incompetent employee who falsified weapons logs, as claimed by Exelon Corp., which operates Byron? Or was he fired a year ago for trying to alert his superiors to security lapses at the plant, as he asserts?

In what his attorneys characterize as a whistle-blower suit, Simon alleges there was a consistent policy of dumbing down security training and certifying unqualified guards. He says rifles and other equipment failed. He says plant officials filed false security reports with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and that his firing resulted directly from his speaking out.”

DEC: Indian Point operations harming endangered fish | | The Journal News
“When it come to Indian Point’s long-term ability to generate electricity here, the latest score is sturgeons 1, plant officials 0.

Indian Point’s operations are harming the endangered prehistoric fish enough that the nuclear plant must change the way it uses the Hudson River to meet New York’s water quality standards, Albany regulators said late today.

The 23-page draft decision was sent by state Department of Environmental Conservation staff in an April 2 letter to officials of Entergy Nuclear, which owns and operates Indian Point. A copy of the document was obtained by The Journal News.

The letter cites the federal Clean Water Act of 1972 and states that biological data shows that the two working plants in Buchanan have harmed shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon by trapping them against screens or killing them as they are drawn in with the 2.5 billion gallons of river water Indian Point uses to cool its daily operations.

The company is seeking to extend its operation until 2035.”

Salem 2 nuclear reactor cuts power because of river ‘grassing’ | –
“Power has been reduced at the Salem 2 nuclear reactor here because of problems with vegetation clogging the cooling water intakes on the Delaware river, officials said today.

Salem 2 was operating at about 82 percent power because of grassing, the collection of dead phragmites and other plants that have been dislodged from the river shoreline collecting on the screens protecting the water intakes, according to Joe Delmar, spokesman for the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear.

The grassing problem occurs each spring as old vegetation floats downriver.

The neighboring Salem 1 nuclear reactor was still operating at full power early this afternoon.

Chattanooga Times Free Press | Panel rejects petition to block Bellefonte reactors work
“An advisory panel to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced it has rejected a petition to try to block construction of the original reactors at the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant.

But in a 40-page opinion, a panel of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board agreed there are several possible areas of concern with the mothballed plant and a hearing should be held before any of the reactors ever begin power generation.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which suspended construction of the twin-reactor plant in 1988, still must get regulatory approval before any construction could begin, NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said. But he said the decision does allow TVA to conduct further tests and prepare to ask federal regulators to upgrade the construction permit to active status when, and if, it decides to finish the units.

TVA is studying whether to finish the original reactors at Bellefonte or pursue building one of the new Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors.”

Attention, Cities: You Can Sell Your Excess Wastewater to Nuclear Power Plants
“The problem: Five Arizona cities–Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe–are facing severe cash shortages. The solution: selling billions of gallons of wastewater to the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in a move that will bring $1 billion to city coffers over a 40 year period. It’s a unique use for treated wastewater, which is often used in landscaping and on golf courses. Palo Verde is the first nuclear plant ever to use reclaimed wastewater for cooling.

AZCentral explains some of the benefits:

For Palo Verde, which produces more power than any other U.S. power plant, the deal cements access to a predictable water supply through the plant’s expected life span. Predictability is critical in the long-term management of a power plant, which uses water to cool the system, and eases the pain of the higher rates, utility officials said.”

BBC News – Anglesey protest over plans for new nuclear power plant
“About 30 campaigners have held a protest over plans to build a new nuclear power plant on Anglesey.

It follows the announcement on Tuesday by the Horizon Nuclear Power company that it wants to see a new station on the island by 2020.

It would replace the current nuclear reactors at Wylfa which are due to halt electricity generation in December.

But the protesters, gathered at Menai Bridge, dispute claims over the economic benefits and the safety.

Horizon Nuclear Power has said it will apply for planning consent in 2012 to build a reactor on the island to produce up to 3,300Mw of electricity. ”

Probe into alleged use of stolen parts in Lithuanian nuclear plant : Europe World
“A senior parliamentarian in Lithuania has launched an investigation into allegations that stolen parts were installed in the country’s only nuclear power plant, the Baltic News Service and other local media reported Tuesday.

Rokas Zilinskas, chairman of the Baltic state’s parliamentary nuclear energy commission, has asked prosecutors to look into claims that equipment stolen from Russia’s Leningrad nuclear power plant was later installed in Lithuania’s Ignalina facility.

A company called Energetikos Tiekimo Baze allegedly shipped equipment stolen from Russia to Lithuania under false papers in 2003- 2004, media reports claimed. The equipment, described as servo drives used to lower graphite rods into the nuclear reactor, was allegedly later installed at Ingnalina.

“If it is found out that the law and order institutions failed to take any (necessary) measures … this will raise serious doubts as to their competence and ability to safeguard the interests of national security,” Zilinskas said in a statement.”

Fires cause emergencies at 2 Progress Energy nuclear plants | Blogwire | Mountain Xpress
“Facing South reports: Emergencies were declared at two Progress Energy nuclear power plants in the Carolinas over the weekend due to fires. There was also a fire at a nuclear power plant in Ohio on Sunday that sent two firefighters to the hospital.

The blazes were put out and disaster averted, but the incidents underscore concerns about U.S. nuclear plants’ failure to comply with fire safety regulations.

The first incident happened on Friday night at the Brunswick plant near Wilmington, N.C. At about 10:45 p.m., a fire broke out in the turbine building on the plant’s non-nuclear side, burning for more than 15 minutes. Plant personnel determined that the fire was caused by electric blankets used for post-weld heat treatments, fueled by tape used to hold the blankets together.”

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant could be affected by new rules –
“State considers whether cooling systems that harm environment should be phased out

New state rules would require that the cooling system used at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant be phased out within the next 15 years, but would allow plant managers to apply for alternatives that reduce cost.

The goal of the rules is to eliminate the method known as once-through cooling, which uses billions of gallons of ocean water daily to cool electrical steam generators. State water officials consider once-through cooling used by 19 coastal power plants to be too damaging to the ocean environment.

Ultimately, once-through cooling has got to go, said Dave Clegern, spokesman for the State Water Resources Control Board.

The rules would allow Diablo Canyon, owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and a nuclear plant at San Onofre to apply for less stringent requirements to offset the damage of their cooling systems if eliminating once-through cooling is determined to be wholly out of proportion to the cost.”

Breaking With a Dirty Past « Energy Matters
“The Obama Administration is struggling to decide whether to keep or scrap the key Bush era policy used to stifle new environmental regulations and limit enforcement of existing laws. And despite the professed openness of this administration and its break with a business-oriented, anti-environment past, the new Environmental Protection Agency has so far refused to alter or discuss the issue or any inter-agency analysis of its far flung impacts.

The lack of action means that more than 500 power plants located on rivers, lakes and estuaries around the nation will continue to kill by EPA estimates “ hundreds of billions of fish annually and dump their rotting mass into public waterways despite provisions of the Clean Water Act designed to prevent such aquatic degradation.”

Dounreay’s giant nuclear golf ball’ ruled out of bounds – Herald Scotland | News | Transport & Environment
“For more than half a century the futuristic dome of Dounreay nuclear power station has stood as one of the most iconic and intimidating  coastal landmarks in Scotland.

Now, despite last-ditch rescue attempts, it seems the imposing and eye-catching structure is doomed to be removed from the

Caithness landscape forever.

Although Dounreay is now defunct and set to be decommissioned, a public consultation over the future of the monumental structure has come up with a series of strange suggestions designed to save the building.”

ESP application for new Texan plant
“Exelon has submitted an application to the US nuclear regulator for an early site permit (ESP) for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Victoria County, Texas. It has also formally withdrawn its application for a combined construction and operating licence (COL) for the proposed plant.

Exelon announced in July 2009 that it had decided to indefinitely postpone plans to build new reactors and would instead pursue power uprates for its existing plants. The decision was made due to “uncertainties in the domestic economy, lowered expectations of future electricity demand and related economic considerations.” The company said at that time that it planned to withdraw its COL application for the Victoria plant, but would instead seek an ESP for the site to keep the option of constructing the plant open. Unlike a COL, an ESP does not authorize construction of a new plant.”


Nuclear Health and Safety News

Voices of Chernobyl – Bennington Banner
“At 1:23 in the morning on April26, 1986, there was a disastrous chain reaction in the core of reactor No.4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. A power surge ruptured the uranium fuel rods, while a steam explosion created a huge fireball that blew the roof off the reactor. The resulting radioactive plume blanketed the nearby city of Pripyat.

The cloud moved on to the north and west, contaminating land in neighboring Belarus, then moved across Eastern Europe and over Scandinavia.

From the Soviets: utter silence. There was no word from the Kremlin that the worst nuclear accident in history was under way.

Then monitoring stations in Scandinavia began reporting abnormally high levels of radioactivity. Finally, nearly three days after the explosion, the Soviet news agency TASS issued a brief statement acknowledging that an accident had occurred.”

— National Public Radio, April 2006 That was then, this is now. On Friday, April 30, at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse at 108 School St., there will be a public reading of Voices From Chernobyl, which recounts the human toll of a 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

The nuclear power industry has made some strides in safety over the past 24 years, but we should not kid ourselves. History has proven that whatever man makes can, and in all probability will, break. The question is not so much will the world ever see a nuclear catastrophe on the ”

Measurements show Mesquite has low levels of radiation | | Mesquite DVT Online
“Mesquite Community Environmental Monitoring Program monitor Christopher Vogel says he has measured a whole lot of nothing in three years, and that’s the way he likes it.

Vogel, a science instructor at Virgin Valley High School, and Larry Hathhorn, also a VVHS teacher, both routinely check radiation levels through two different measuring instruments in Mesquite’s Community Environmental Monitoring Program station.

The Mesquite station is one of 29 CEMP outposts ringing the Nevada Test Site. The stations measure ambient or natural background radiation levels, continuously monitor gamma radiation exposure rates and contain a radiation badge monitor. The stations are located at far-flung locations in Beatty, Indian Springs, Alamo and Rachel as well as in 20 other Nevada spots, plus others in four Utah communities and one in California.”

Getting Guam Into RECA
“Guam – A group of Guam lawmakers and residents will soon be headed to Washington to push for Guam’s inclusion in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act known as RECA.

From 1945 through 1962, the United States detonated nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapons, .many of the tests were conducted in the Marshells on Eniwetok Atoll.

Guam is more than 1,600 miles downwind from the Marshalls. Until recently, many thought, it was too far away to suffer any radiation fallout from the atmospheric testing. But that turned out not to be true. That became apparent when President Clinton signed an Executive Order declassifying thousands of pages of documents showing Guam was exposed to fallout carried down wind from the Marshalls.

And as “downwinders” Senator Ben Pangelinan says Guam should be included in RECA which would provide up to $50-thousand dollars in compensation to people who lived on Guam between 1946 and 1974.

Robert Celestial is the President of the Pacific Islands Association for Radiation Survivors. He was the one who searched through the de-classified documents back in the 90’s and found the evidence of Guam’s exposure to fallout from the nuclear testing in the Marshalls.

Both Pangelinan and Celestial believe that there are links to Guam’s high cancer rates and the radiation that fell on island during the atmospheric nuclear testing in the Marshalls.”

Cheraw Chronicle – Cancer clusters in South Carolina a growing concern
“People often go to the doctor thinking in their minds that they are a picture of health, and boom, it happens. However, there are times when a doctor hits a person with those dreaded words that something is not just right with our bodies. Hearing bad news about our health is never welcomed, especially when it involves the word, cancer.

There are numerous factors that can cause cancer. A large portion of these are environmental. Because of that, organizations such as the South Carolina Cancer Registry Office and the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) research and trying to uncover cancer clusters. A cancer cluster is a location or period of time where in a greater-than-expected number of cancer cases occur.

According to the DHEC, in order for a true cancer cluster to exist, the number of cancers occurring must be significantly more than would be expected by chance. The report also states that additionally, a cancer cluster would more likely involve more rare types of cancer rather than more common types, such as lung, breast, prostate, or colon. A cancer cluster would usually occur with excess in one specific type of cancer rather than in several different types of cancer. Along with statistical testing, there are several other criteria that determine whether a true cancer cluster exists. ”

More than 25,000 Chernobyl victims treated in Cuba – Havana
“More than 25,000 persons affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine have been treated in Cuba in the last 20 years, reported Julio Medina, director of the Cuban health program for the victims of the disaster. The explosion of a reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear plant occurred on April 26, 1986 and affected around nine million persons in the former Soviet Union (USSR), reported IPS.”

Sick nuke workers call for immediate changes to federal program « Iowa Independent
“External oversight of program needed ‘sooner rather than later,’ advocates say

Advocates for sick nuclear workers called for immediate oversight of the Department of Labor program that compensates them for work-related illnesses, in response to a Government Accountability Office report released last week which made the same recommendation.
Ames Laboratory, a government-owned, contractor-operated research facility of the U.S. Department of Energy that is run by Iowa State University.

The Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups (ANWAG) said it fully supports the GAO’s recommendation to provide external oversight to the Energy Employee’s Occupational Illness Compensation Act (EEOICPA).

The GAO’s call for scientific oversight is no small matter. It challenges the current program leadership’s understanding of the complexity of the issues and highlights their unwillingness to assure the scientific integrity of the decision. GAO’s recommendations support ANWAG’s contention that program decisions are often arbitrary and capricious, and without scientific basis. said the group in a response statement last week.”

Advocacy groups applaud parts of GAO report on EEOICPA but want more |
“The Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups applauded the Government Accountability Office’s recommendation of an indepdendent advisory board to oversee the Dept. of Labor work in carrying out the goverment’s sick nuclear work compensation program. But spokespeople within the network of advoacy groups said more needs to be done.

Here is a link to the GAO report, “Energy Employees Compensation: Additional Independent Oversight and Transparency Would Improve Program’s Credibility.”

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program has the subject of contention and controversy from its creation a decade ago.

In a statement, Scott Yundt of Tri-Valley CARES, said: “The GAO’s call for scientific oversight of Part E is no small matter. It challenges the current program leadership’s understanding of the complexity of the issues and highlights their unwillingness to assure the scientific integrity of the decision. GAO’s recommendations support ANWAG’s contention that program decisions are often arbitrary and capricious, and without scientific basis. Moreover, it supports the advocates’ concerns and those of the program’s last medical director, who was forced out of his job when he raised these very issues.”

BBC News – Tonnes of asbestos removed from Calder Hall reactors
“A project to remove thousands of tonnes of asbestos from the former Calder Hall nuclear power station in Cumbria has been successfully completed.

Described as one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe, the project saw 2,300 tonnes of asbestos cladding removed at a cost of £26m.

Work began two years after Calder Hall was shut down in 2003. ”

NT not able to cope with nuke accident, says Government | Northern Territory News | Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia |
“MOST Territory hospitals and the Port of Darwin are not equipped to deal with a radioactive waste incident or interest from “sophisticated criminal groups”, the NT Government has said.

The Government has told a Senate inquiry into new laws for a nuclear waste dump there would be “negligible economic benefit from the facility” for the NT.

Its submission to the inquiry also says the proposed site has an “unacceptably high” risk of earthquakes.

The NT Government’s 25-page submission is one of more than 225 received by the Senate inquiry into new laws which could see the waste facility established at Muckaty Station, 120km north of Tennant Creek.

The submission is intensely critical of the choice of Muckaty and the overriding of Territory laws.”

Yankee says it stopped tritium leaks: Rutland Herald Online
“Entergy Nuclear said Thursday it is convinced it has found and stopped the source of multiple radioactive leaks at the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor, which has been leaking tritium into the groundwater since last November.

The company said it was starting cleanup efforts immediately, by pumping some groundwater out of the immediate contaminated area into holding tanks, with plans to filter and clean it and return it to the reactor for reuse.”


NRC News

FR: NRC ACRS Radiation Protection and nuclear materials meeting
“Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials; Notice of Meeting The ACRS Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials will hold a meeting on April 21, 2010, Room T2-B3, at 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The meeting will be open to public attendance. The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows: Wednesday, April 21, 2010-8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The Subcommittee will review changes to NUREG-1536, “Standard Review Plan for Spent Fuel Storage Systems at a General License Facility.” The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with NRC staff and other interested persons regarding this matter. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee. ”

NRC draws heat for secret meeting: Rutland Herald Online
“Vermont’s congressional delegation asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Tuesday to reconsider its decision to hold a closed-door session about the Vermont Yankee reactor for elected officials in New Hampshire, saying it further undermines Vermonters’ confidence in the commission’s oversight.

Independent Sen. Bernard Sanders and Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter F. Welch, both Democrats, issued the joint statement late Tuesday afternoon, saying they were “committed to open and transparent government and to honoring both the letter and spirit of Vermont’s open meeting laws.”

They urged the commission chairman, Gregory Jaczko, to move the meeting back to Vermont and comply fully with Vermont’s open government law. Jaczko has said recently that he wanted to champion openness and “transparency” in the NRC’s dealings.”

NRC: PDF: 31 year non-compliance personnel training letter
Exposing and stopping NRC Chairmen and Commissioners’ 31 year-long noncompliance
with their vital statutory duty to NRC employees
Dear NRC Chairman and Commissioners
You (as other agency heads) are non-compliant with one of your most (if not most) vital statutory
duties to your employees – to assure they are adequately protected from NRC violations of the
bedrock values of the federal civil service – the merit systems principles. Such violations are
termed prohibited personnel practices (PPP’s) and include the whistleblower reprisal type PPP.
(The “merit systems principles and prohibited personnel practices are codified at 5 U.S.C.
§2301 and §2302.)
You simply cannot reduce your duty to prevent PPP’s, per 5 USC §2302(c), to issue policy
about PPP’s and/or hold training about PPP’s – to prevent PPP’s you must assure that NRC
employees are, in objective fact, adequately protected from PPP’s. If they are not adequately
protected from PPP’s, you are not complying with your duty to prevent PPP’s.


Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

Make uranium milling cleaner – The Denver Post
“With the nation considering more nuclear energy, a bill that requires mill operators to clean up as they go is a smart move.

Given the atrocious environmental record of uranium mills in Colorado and the West, a bipartisan effort in the General Assembly designed to keep mill operators from leaving behind costly piles of toxic waste makes good sense.

Legislation that easily passed in the state House last week would keep mills from gaining permits to expand their operations until operators cleaned up existing waste.

The bill attempts to keep these operations accountable to the public and make environmental violations few and far between. It also would tighten regulation of accepting out-of-state waste, or so-called “alternate feed” material, that can be processed at the mills.”

Program Aims To Find Victims Of Radiation Exposure –
“Some toiled in uranium mines, transported the extracted ore and carried it home on their clothes. Others participated in nuclear weapons testing or lived downwind from test sites.

Not all have been compensated, let alone know about a federal program that does so.

Larry Martinez knows of thousands of them who live on the Navajo Nation, and this summer he hopes to get some help finding more in the towns that dot the 27,000-square-mile reservation.

A new U.S. Department of Justice program will select 30 students to travel the vast reservation and other communities in the Four Corners region to identify potential participants in the federal compensation program.”

Canon City Daily Record – Cotter Corp. environmental cleanup efforts continue
“$10 to $15 million spent on work since 2006

Cotter Corp. continues to make efforts to clean up environmental damage caused by its operations during the last 50 years.

John Hamrick, vice president of milling, said the company has spent between $10 and $15 million on clean-up efforts since the mill shut down operations in 2006. However, continuous efforts were taking place at the mill while operations were under way, he said.

House Bill 1348, also known as the Uranium Processing Accountability Act is currently working its way through the Colorado General Assembly.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Buffie McFadyen and Sen. Ken Kester and was developed by Colorado Citizens Against ToxicWaste and Environment Colorado. According to those groups, the bill would “hold the uranium industry accountable for its own mistakes and ensure Colorado does not subsidize those companies through tax dollars or incentive pollution by saying actions do not have consequences.”

Construction company completes uranium processing plants
“Civil engineering contractor and construction company Civcon reports that it is nearing the completion of construction at the Mine Waste Solutions (MWS) tailings recovery operation, near Stilfontein, in the North West province.

Canadian miner First Uranium contracted Civcon to complete the earthworks, reinforcing, concrete laying and formwork at the operation. The project experienced a slight delay as the North West province had “unexpectedly” withdrawn environmental authorization for the facility in January, also disrupting plans it had been working on to secure the necessary financing.

However, First Uranium reported in February that the environmental authorization had been reinstated and that it could now concentrate on the process of securing the necessary financing for the construction of this tailings storage facility and begin the ramp-up for future production.”

Colorado closer to tough uranium milling rules, but feds take a step back « Colorado Independent
“A proposal to stiffen state requirements for cleaning up uranium processing facilities and notifying area residents of groundwater contamination passed on second reading in the state House Thursday.

No one spoke in opposition to HB 1348, which will have its third and final reading on the House floor Monday, and two Republicans  Reps. Marsha Looper and Tom Massey spoke in favor of the bill, which has bipartisan sponsorship and widespread support in the Arkansas River Valley and along the southern Front Range.

Officials at the Cotter uranium mill in Canon City, a facility with a history of water contamination violations, are considering refurbishing the plant to process ore from New Mexico beginning in 2014. Local activists want the EPA Superfund site fully cleaned up before such plans are considered.

In other mining waste storage news, environmentalists Thursday condemned an Obama administration filing Tuesday supporting Bush administration rules allowing the mining industry greater latitude in disposing mining waste on public lands.”

Canon City activist chooses legislation over litigation in battle with uranium mill « Colorado Independent
“Seeking to alter opaque, unresponsive corporate culture

Sharyn Cunningham and her family bought five acres in Canon City’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in 1994, and for eight years they used a drinking water well contaminated by the nearby Cotter uranium mill.

Drums of uranium mill concentrate.

They only discovered the toxic minerals in their drinking water after Cotter was purchased in 2000 by General Atomics makers of Predator drones and a major player in the nation’s nuclear industry and promptly announced plans to begin storing radioactive waste from an EPA Superfund site in New Jersey.

Cunningham says she and her family suffered various illnesses resulting from the contamination of their well but decided not to sue, even as other area residents fought Cotter in a pair of class-action lawsuits. She refuses to discuss her health problems because she wants to focus on legislatively changing Cotter’s corporate culture.”

Piketon Plant Decontamination & Decommissioning Subcommittee Discusses Smelting Facility – Huntington News Network
“Buried Remains of Huntington Pilot Plant Still Classified

Portsmouth, OH (HNN)  Members of the Site Specific Decontamination & Decommissioning Subcommittee heard a proposal for asset recovery from various parcels of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

Shall we try to preserve an asset, asked William Murphie, Manager of the Department of Energy’s Portsmouth / Paducah Project Office. He referred to possible construction of a melting facility to recover metals such as nickel, copper, steel and aluminum from contaminated buildings and equipment. As explained, the contaminated items would be melted into ingots and stored on site at Piketon until final disposition decisions are made.

One option would be a recycling use of the materials — which would contain traces of radiological metals such as uranium — for use only at Department of Energy facilities. ”

Virginia Beach outlines uranium concerns | GoDanRiver
“At a meeting Wednesday, Virginia Beach’s public utilities director presented the scope of a city-backed study to analyze the Coles Hill uranium-mining project’s effects on Virginia beach’s water supply in the event of a disastrous storm.

The study will assess the impacts of a major storm and flooding and estimate levels of contaminated sediment reaching Kerr Reservoir flowing into Lake Gaston, which supplies drinking water to Virginia Beach, and examine potential increase in background radiation in the reservoir, said Thomas Leahy, the city’s director of public utilities.

Our biggest concern would be some kind of catastrophic event, Leahy said during a presentation Wednesday at a meeting of the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission. The meeting was held at the Franklin Center in Rocky Mount and included officials from Virginia and North Carolina. ”

International fuel bank in Russia gets go-ahead from IAEA to industry cheers and environmental dismay – Bellona
“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Russia signed off Monday to set up the world’s first nuclear fuel reserve in Siberia Monday to ensure uninterrupted supplies to the world’s nuclear power reactors.

The deal guarantees stock of 120 metric tons of low-enriched uranium in Angarsk, near Irkutsk in Siberia, said Sergey Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, who added that other countries were displaying interest in the pool of low-enriched uranium.The IAEA said the value of the uranium was about $250 million.

The move to create the bank on the site of the Angarsk Electrolysis and Chemical Combine mollifies many defence industry experts who are afraid de-centralised caches of nuclear fuel could be used for terrorism. But Monday’s announcement also perturbs many Russian and international environmentalists who say the Siberian fuel bank at Angarsk will become a sink hole of radioactive contamination.

Once operational, the fuel reserve is meant to encourage countries looking to develop peaceful nuclear programmes to depend on outside sources – in this case the Angarsk instead of developing uranium enrichment programmes of their own.”

D.A. Barber: Hot Rocks: Hidden Cost and Foreign Ownership of “Clean” Nuclear Fuel Emerging
“The uranium industry apparently saw this windfall coming and has quietly been dealing with one irony of U.S. nuclear power: the nation imports nearly 90 percent of its nuclear fuel. Ironically, most mining and milling proposals of recent years are from foreign-owned companies and some of the fuel is potentially destined to be shipped to Belgium, Japan, and South Korea. Even the newest enrichment plant to convert uranium to reactor fuel is wholly foreign owned. And, at a time when the government is still cleaning up1980’s-era uranium mine and mills at a cost of many billions of dollars, some companies responsible for contaminated sites continue to receive leases on public land, including a Canadian company which tried to skirt clean-up laws under the terms of NAFTA.

Complicating the matter is the federal mining law of 1872 – unchanged since it was signed by Ulysses S. Grant – that allows mining claims for as little as $1 an acre on federal land and no royalties to taxpayers despite the fact that some companies routinely leave behind multimillion-dollar cleanup sites.”

U.S., India Agree on Processing Spent Nuclear Fuel –
“The U.S. and India have agreed on procedures for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from the U.S., helping General Electric Co.’s atomic venture bid for contracts to build power plants in the South Asian nation.

The agreement will enable India to reprocess U.S. nuclear material under International Atomic Energy Agency standards and allow American companies to participate in the country’s civil nuclear energy sector, the U.S. State Department said in a statement today.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a subsidiary of Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric and Monroeville, Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Tokyo’s Toshiba Corp., are likely to bid for nuclear energy contracts as the world’s second fastest-growing major economy builds generating plants to end blackouts and reduce poverty. India plans to raise nuclear generation capacity 10-fold over the next decade to sustain its economic growth.

The State Department statement didn’t provide more details and S.K. Malhotra, a spokesman for India’s Department of Atomic Energy, couldn’t be reached on his mobile phone. ”

IAEA and Russia establish nuclear fuel bank – Summary : Energy Environment
“Vienna – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Russia set up the world’s first nuclear fuel reserve Monday to ensure uninterrupted supplies for the world’s power reactors.

The idea for a fuel bank was initiated by the IAEA in order to give countries an alternative to developing their own uranium enrichment technology, like Iran has done.

“With our effort, we made the world a little better,” said Sergei Kirienko, the head of Russia’s nuclear corporation ROSATOM in Vienna, after signing the agreement with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

The reserve is intended as an insurance mechanism for countries whose foreign supply of nuclear fuel is interrupted.

In such a case, the IAEA would provide the nuclear material, which is to be made and stored at Angarsk in Siberia. The recipient country would pay current market prices for the low-enriched uranium.

Russia would have 30 per cent of the target of one reactor load ready by the end of the year, Kirienko said.

Developing countries have expressed scepticism about the fuel bank, as they fear that such mechanisms might indirectly prevent them from acquiring peaceful nuclear technology.”

U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation – Reprocessing Arrangement
“The United States and India have taken an important step toward implementing civil nuclear cooperation by completing negotiations on arrangements and procedures for reprocessing U.S.-origin spent nuclear fuel. These arrangements, negotiated pursuant to Article 6(iii) of the historic Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, will enable Indian reprocessing of U.S.-obligated nuclear material under IAEA safeguards. Completion of these arrangements will facilitate participation by U.S. firms in India’s rapidly expanding civil nuclear energy sector.

For additional information, please visit”

Jonathan Riskind commentary: Does U.S. need two enrichment plants? | The Columbus Dispatch
“It’s an easy short-term political decision for the Obama administration and its Energy Department – as long as taxpayers can be shown it’s being made on a sound technological and financial basis.

Here’s the deal.

You’ve got two companies, one French-owned and one American-owned, each applying for a $2billion federal loan guarantee to help finance a uranium-enrichment plant that produces fuel for nuclear power plants. Each project means hundreds of jobs and tax revenues.”

Toxic legacy for tribes – High Country News
“Earlier this month, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals approved a controversial permit for uranium mining operations at sites in Church Rock, New Mexico. The operation includes a site associated with the largest release of liquid radioactive waste in United States History — a catastrophe which continues, a generation later, to negatively impact the lives and health of Navajo people residing near the spill site.

Over a decade after Navajo leaders and community groups first challenged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) issuance of a mining permit to Hydro Resources, Inc. (HRI) for uranium extraction in Church Rock, the appellate court decided on March 8th to uphold the NRC’s decision. The court rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that since the site already emits more radiation than federal regulations allow, a license for a new operation is impermissible because even the most miniscule amounts of new radiation emitted would exceed regulatory limits. Instead, the court affirmed both the NRC’s decision under the Atomic Energy Act to only review an isolated portion of radiation from the site, as well as its corollary finding that the cumulative impacts of radiation emitted from the site are acceptable under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).


Nuclear Waste News

BWX Technologies nuclear waste dump meeting scheduled – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“The Army Corps of Engineers will hold its rescheduled meeting on the cleanup of the BWX Technologies nuclear waste dump along Route 66 in Parks later this month.

The much-anticipated public meeting originally was scheduled for Feb. 23 but was canceled by the Corps Pittsburgh District because the agency was preparing for potential flooding from local rivers. The anticipated flooding never materialized.

The 44-acre dump site near Kiskimere Road received a variety of contaminated waste from BWXT’s predecessors, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. (NUMEC), and the Atlantic Richfield Co. plant in Apollo from 1960 to 1970. The Apollo plant produced nuclear fuel for submarines and power plants as well as a range of nuclear products for the U.S. government and others.”

Handling Fermi’s highly radioactive –
“DTE Energy is preparing to load highly radioactive bundles of used fuel from its Fermi 2 nuclear reactor into giant outside storage casks near the power plant.
Six of the 20-foot-tall casks have been set up on a concrete pad in the plant’s high-security protected area, all part of a new $62.5 million spent-fuel storage facility.
“We’re in the testing and inspection phase right now, said Guy Cerullo, a DTE spokesman at the plant. We’re testing the process. They’re doing sort of a dry run. Plans are to begin loading the first containers sometime this spring or early summer.”

Obama panel examines nation’s nuclear waste issues – Salt Lake Tribune
“Utah’s role » Observers wonder how state facilities might figure into a national solution.

Two recent announcements from the Obama administration have energized nuclear power advocates. The first is his plan to offer $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear plants; the other, a task force to look at the dangerously radioactive waste often blamed for delaying what some anticipate will be a nuclear renaissance.

More than a few Utahns are keeping an eye on the new Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. Tooele County includes the nation’s largest low-level radioactive waste disposal site, the mile-square EnergySolutions landfill, and the nation’s only high-level nuclear site licensed in the past three decades, the derailed Private Fuel Storage facility on the Goshute reservation in Skull Valley.

Both sites have generated controversy in Utah for decades. Now, they could become part of a national nuclear strategy. That’s what Utah leaders and advocates on both sides of the nuclear debate plan to watch in the two years the commission takes to develop its final report. ”

UK’s £73bn nuclear clean-up is fast-tracked – Business News, Business – The Independent
“The Government’s £73bn nuclear decommissioning programme is to be accelerated with a radical repackaging of its private sector contracts.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) had planned up to five nuclear plant clean-up contracts, which would be let sequentially and take about two years each to select a preferred bidder. This has now been cut by two, with the later three projects combined into a single £13bn-plus outsourcing contract. The large value of this contract will also ensure greater private sector interest.

Originally, the clean-up of its Magnox reactors, relics from the 1960s, were to be split into north and south site contracts. The south included Sizewell A, Suffolk, and Hinkley Point A, Somerset, while the north had Wylfa in Anglesey, North Wales, and Chapelcross, south-west Scotland. ”

Ngapa people reject nuclear waste dump
“Traditional owners of land that could house a nuclear waste dump have protested against the plan, saying they were excluded from the process.

The federal government is considering Muckaty Station, near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, for a facility that would store low and intermediate level radioactive waste.

The land was nominated by the Ngapa traditional owners, one of five family groups who are custodians of the land, however, others oppose the dump.

About 250 people including traditional owners and anti-nuclear campaigners marched in Tennant Creek on Saturday, directing their anger at both Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and the Northern Land Council (NLC) – who they say overlooked them.”

Attorney: Nuclear waste oversight lax – Salt Lake Tribune
“EnergySolutions Inc. is shortchanging the state by millions of dollars in taxes each year because of the state’s lax waste-reporting requirement for the company, an attorney told the Utah Supreme Court on Thursday.

Lewis Francis, representing Charles Judd and his company, Cedar Mountain Environmental, asked the court to overturn a 2009 Utah Radiation Control Board ruling that denied his clients the legal standing that would have allowed them to bring attention to the alleged tax issue and other problems with EnergySolutions’ current license.

The state’s lost revenue could total as much as $25 million, he said.

The case, which the justices took under advisement, is the third involving the Tooele County low-level radioactive waste site to come before the state’s highest court in the past two years, and it raises similar issues to the Judd-EnergySolutions case the court decided in Judd’s favor last year.

It is also one of a half-dozen that have dealt with the question of who can intervene in the formal decision making by governmental boards and commissions.

In Thursday’s case, lawyers for EnergySolutions and the Utah Radiation Control Board argued that Judd and his new company failed to meet the legal tests that show they, as the saying goes, have a dog in the fight. They have not been harmed, as a neighboring property owner, a business competitor or a member of the public at large whose personal health or environment might be at risk. ”

Indiana law toughens rules for transporting radioactive materials
“Fees and regulations on the shipment of radioactive materials within Indiana have been beefed up. Truck loads and rail shipments are affected.

Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed a bill into law to make the Indiana Department of Homeland Security responsible for issuing permits for the transportation of radioactive materials on the state’s roadways.

As of July 1, shippers of affected loads will be required to obtain a permit to transfer high-level radioactive materials. Permits would also carry an expiration date.

Indiana now charges $1,000 for the transportation of each cask of nuclear waste. Previously SB186, the new law implements permit fees of $2,500 per truck or, for rail shipments, $4,500 for the first cask and $3,000 for each additional cask. Failure to obtain the proper permit could result in a maximum $1,000 fine.”

EnergySolutions contaminates, cheats on taxes, competitor’s attorney argues | Deseret News
“An attorney for a competitor of EnergySolutions told Utah Supreme Court justices Thursday that the company has not only contaminated areas surrounding its Clive-based radioactive waste site, but it is cheating on its taxes.

Lewis Francis stood before the state’s high court to argue that the company he represents, Cedar Mountain Environmental Inc., had the right to intervene after the Radiation Control Board renewed EnergySolutions’ five-year license to operate, despite a list of issues presented by Cedar Mountain.

Francis said the board’s decision disregarded 14 issues presented by Cedar Mountain, including two “undisputed” contaminations and an allegation that the company often fails to properly cover some of the waste it houses.”

Fight Over Radioactive Waste Disposal in Andrews Heats Up Again – KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX:
“An environmental group in Austin is trying to keep the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) site from expanding. Now, both those for and against a low-level radioactive dump in Andrews County are taking the next stage of their fight to the Internet.

According to an e-mail from Waste Control Specialists President, Rod Baltzer, extremists against anything nuclear are trying to block their progress.

In the e-mail, Baltzer says the Austin-based group, Texans for Public Health and Safety is resorting to what he calls scare tactics and misleading information to keep WCS from handling any radioactive waste.

The group has created a web site, asking anyone who is opposed to this waste disposal, to send their comments directly to the Texas Compact Commission (TCC). That’s the group that will ultimately have the last word on whether or not low level waste disposal continues at the facility. ”

Reservations about Toxic Waste: Native American Tribes Encouraged to Turn Down Lucrative Hazardous Disposal Deals: Scientific American
“Although Native American activists are trying to persuade tribes that storing nuclear and other toxic waste is not worth the potential pitfalls, some continue to host it on their sovereign reservations which are not subject to the same environmental and health standards as U.S. land in order to generate revenues

Native tribes across the American West have been and continue to be subjected to significant amounts of radioactive and otherwise hazardous waste as a result of living near nuclear test sites, uranium mines, power plants and toxic waste dumps.”

NIRS: Defend Obama’s Yucca Mt. decision
“The one bright spot in President Obama’s nuclear power policy is his decision to permanently end the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste dump.

Yucca Mountain was fundamentally flawed, riddled with earthquake faults, and proven unable to contain the radioactivity from the nation’s high-level commercial nuclear waste–and 95% of the radioactivity ever created in the U.S. lies in that commercial waste.

But now some Congressmembers are attempting to revive the Yucca Mountain program, despite its massive failings. And they are seeking co-sponsors for their legislation, H.Res. 1209.

Please write to your Representative below: defend the decision to end Yucca Mountain and oppose co-sponsorship of this resolution.

As always, feel free to edit the sample letter to reflect your own concerns.

And please ask your friends, colleagues, congregations, dormmates, and anyone who may be interested to take action too. Send them to this link:

Robert Alvarez: After Yucca Mountain
“What To Do With Nuclear Waste

President Barack Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future will have its first meeting this week. The commission, formed after Obama cancelled the Yucca Mountain spent nuclear fuel repository in January, is tasked with rebooting the country’s five-decade-plus effort to manage its high-level radioactive waste.

The problems the commission will consider are far from new. In 1957 the National Academy of Sciences warned that “[t]he hazard related to radioactive waste is so great that no element of doubt should be allowed to exist regarding safety.” In that same year the academy recommended that the U.S. government establish deep geologic disposal as the best solution to the problem. In 1982, after embarrassing failures by the Atomic Energy Commission (the predecessor of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Energy Department) to select a waste site on its own, Congress enacted the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which began the selection process for multiple sites throughout the United States. This process was scrapped five years later due to eastern states derailing the selection process. At that time Congress voted to make Yucca Mountain the only site to be considered. Yet Yucca’s proposed opening date slipped by more than 20 years as the project encountered major technical hurdles and fierce local and state opposition.”

Traditional owners put hands up for nuclear dump – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
“Traditional land owners from the Northern Territory have visited Australia’s only nuclear reactor to see what they are in for if a radioactive waste dump is built on their land.

The owners come from Muckaty Station, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek.

They say they want the waste site because it will provide jobs now and for generations to come – but they are insisting on a thorough environmental assessment.”

AllGov – News – Nuclear Waste Costing Taxpayers Billions
“A 30-year failure to develop a permanent site for storing nuclear waste has cost the federal government billions of dollars in fines paid to power companies. After putting all of its hopes in the Yucca Mountain repository, Washington now is starting over with finding a location following the Obama administration’s rejection of the Nevada underground site.

In the meantime, the Department of Energy is not living up to its legal obligation to take nuclear waste off the hands of utilities that have been forced to temporarily store spent fuel rods and other radioactive material. As of 2008, the government had already paid $565 million in damages stemming from industry lawsuits, with nearly $800 million more pending on appeal.

And to make matters even worse, the Bush administration promised that the government would take the waste from 21 reactors that haven’t been built yet, bringing the total anticipated amount stored waste to the size of two Yucca Mountain repositories.”

Letters: An unmentioned risk in treating nuclear waste | Philadelphia Inquirer
“To his credit, Dick Polman included concerns about nuclear waste in last Sunday’s Currents section. He stated, “Current plants produce 2,200 tons of waste a year. … Do the math: That’s more than 60,000 tons over the last 30 years.”

However, Polman missed certain important details about the waste. The waste element plutonium is not mentioned. According to the 2009-10 CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, one of the most trusted references in science, plutonium has “a half-life of 24,100 years [and is] produced in extensive quantities in nuclear reactors.” And, “because . . . of the element being specifically absorbed by bone marrow, plutonium [is a] . . . radiological poison and must be handled with very special equipment and precautions.”

Interestingly, in the 1973-74 edition of the handbook, additional details are provided: “The amount of plutonium that can be maintained indefinitely in an adult without producing significant body injury is 0.6 micrograms” – less than a grain of salt. And, that “plutonium, therefore, is one of the most dangerous poisons known.”

I believe the public must know these additional facts about nuclear waste because, as Polman states, “there is still no solution to the radioactive waste storage problem.””

Chattanooga Times Free Press | Radioactive waste and Tennessee
“All Americans and, indeed, the whole world  were surprised in August 1945 when the first nuclear bombs were dropped from U.S. B-29 Superfortress bombers on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing U.S. victory and the end of World War II.

Many Tennesseans were surprised to discover that the new city of Oak Ridge, not far from Knoxville, had played a huge part in the dawning of the atomic age.

It was only later that most people began to understand that there are big problems about what to do with radioactive nuclear waste, not only from manufacturing weapons, but also from our nuclear plants that generate electricity.

There is argument about storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nev. and about getting it there safely.”

The Environment Report: Billions Down the Yucca Hole
“The federal government had one place in mind to store the country’s most hazardous nuclear waste. It was at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. President Barack Obama recently killed that project, even though the country had spent more than nine billion dollars on it. Shawn Allee found that figure is just the beginning:

A map of purchaser fee payment to the Nuclear Waste Fund

More about the Nuclear Waste Fund’s budget

A related article from the Christian Science Monitor”

The Environment Report: Cap and Dividend & The Yucca Money Pit
“Some members of Congress have been trying to come up with a way to reign in the carbon emissions that lead to climate change. Last year they rolled out their Cap and Trade plan. Now, a new plan is being rolled out. Lester Graham has more on the Cap and Dividend plan. And Yucca Mountain, Nevada was to be the place to store the country’s most hazardous nuclear waste. But President Barack Obama made good on a campaign promise and recently killed the project. Shawn Allee has a story on the billions invested or tied up in nuclear waste storage. ”

Advice for the Blue Ribbon Commission | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
“# After closing Yucca Mountain, President Barack Obama has set up a 15-member commission of industry, academic, and government experts to consider nuclear waste disposal options.
# The major questions that the commission will consider are not new or unknown, nor are the answers to these problems.
# Hopefully, the commission will motivate the country to finally deal with the toxic legacy of the nuclear age.”


Nuclear Policy News

canada: Reactor rejection defies logic, sense
“One suspects the loneliest jobs in Ottawa these days involve being either technical experts or program overseers responsible for advising the government on adopting best practices.

Over the past four years, the Harper government has mocked, ignored or fired almost everyone it has in place to provide guidance on the most complex issues that Canada needs to address.

From the firing of the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission and the watchdogs of the RCMP and military, the national science adviser and Canada’s chief electoral officer, to mocking the parliamentary budget officer and members of the diplomatic corps, to attacking the judiciary, charities and human rights groups, there is barely an expert in Ottawa who hasn’t been marginalized or disrespected by this government.”

Oklahoma House Panel Greenlights Nuclear Power Bill – Nuclear Power Industry News
“According to a report by, a House panel has passed a measure that would allow municipal power authorities to buy electricity from nuclear plants and to invest in a joint venture for a nuclear power plant. The committee voted 21-4 to pass Senate Bill 1668. It now goes to the House of Representatives.

Rep. Rex Duncan, House author of the bill, said that the bill removes prohibitions in state law that specifically excluded nuclear energy as an eligible power source. The exclusion was written at a time when it was feared radioactive waste from nuclear plants would threaten public health and natural resources. ”

Vision Magazine: The Insidious Nature of Nuclear Power A collection of Neil Pine’s research and thoughts
“The abatement of global warming should never depend on the proliferation of nuclear power.

For decades, atomic scientists have speculated through sheer mathematical odds the inevitable possibilities of nuclear disasters. Nuclear weapons, accidents, and complications with proper waste disposal are all determining factors in this theory.

Limited public awareness bolstered by political and economic propaganda has led to a resurgence of a pro-nuclear mentality. Climate change, depletion of resources, and shortages of energy are all supposed justifications for such a mindset.

Since nuclear power does not contribute to global warming, many misinformed individuals consider it a green technology. Regardless of global warming, true green energy technology should never carry with it the risk of Armageddon, let alone dangerous radioactive contamination”

Japan plans nuclear power expansion : Nature News
“Proposal for eight new reactors and nuclear fuel reprocessing faces public opposition.

Like most countries that embraced nuclear power decades ago, Japan has soured on the technology in recent years. But prompted by worries about climate and energy security, the country’s industry ministry last week placed a big bet on a rapid expansion of its nuclear power capability.”

French fight for nuclear in California | Marketplace From American Public Media
“California has had a staunch resistance to nuclear power since 1976, but that hasn’t stopped French company Areva from trying to get power plants in the state. Sarah Gardner observes the fight and weighs the odds.”

OpEdNews – Diary: The Nuclear Review, Issue#7, Nuclear Constructions, etc.
“The Nuclear Review, Issue# 7 : Nuclear Constructions, Waste Management, More, March 29, 2010, by Arn Specter, Phila.
1.Managers Warned Against Bungling Los Alamos Lab Construction project
2.Costs Climb for Los Alamos Research Site
3.Project Estimates Go Up and Up,
4.Secretary Chu, NNSA Administrator and the Tennessee Congressional Delegation Join Local Officials in Dedicating Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility at Y-12
5.A recent uranium mining ruling could lead to NM nuke renaissance
6.Need for an Information Repository in the Española Valley as part of NMED Hazardous Waste Permit for LANL
7.Under the Nuclear Shadow
8.Los Alamos scientists write in Physics Today about enabling largest superfund cleanup to date,
9. Australian Prime Minister’s Russia Meltdown,
10. IAEA Could Acquire Russian Uranium for Fuel Bank,
11. House Members Criticize Proposal to Halt work on Yucca Mountain”

Nuclear Power Development: Removing Roadblocks | Publications | National Center for Policy Analysis | NCPA
“The use of nuclear power to generate electricity is growing worldwide. More than 100 nuclear power plants are under construction or in various stages of planning, and many existing plants are expanding. [See the figure.]

nuclear reactors under constructionPresident Obama recently announced an $8.33 billion federal loan guarantee for the construction of a pair of nuclear reactors in Georgia. The president also said he wants to triple the amount of loans the federal government guarantees in order to jumpstart seven to 10 new nuclear power projects over the next decade. The guarantees should lower borrowing costs and make financing easier to obtain. However, until the government meets its legal obligation to provide storage for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, only a few new nuclear reactors are likely to be built. Fortunately, solutions are available if the government is willing to embrace them.”

Helsingin Sanomat – Finance Ministry: Granting nuclear licence to Fortum would give company excessively powerful position
“If the power utility Fortum is given the licence to build a new nuclear reactor, the Ministry of Finance fears that the move could lead to excessive concentration of electricity markets, and a reduction in competition.
The statement signed by Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen (Nat. Coalition Party) and top ministry official, Secretary of State Raimo Sailas, is in line with the goals set by the National Coalition Party. ”

Germany to consider extending nuclear phase-out by up to 28 years | Germany | Deutsche Welle |
“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet has long supported extending the lifetimes of Germany’s nuclear power plants. Previous plans to limit negotiations to a 20-year extension have apparently been scrapped.

The German government is willing to consider extending the gradual closure of nuclear power plants by up to 28 years, according to an interview with Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen by the Munich-based daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.”

‘Atomic Anne’ pitches nuclear power in Fresno – Bill McEwen –
“It hasn’t been the best of times for Anne Lauvergeon, advocate of the nuclear option.

Areva, the international energy company she heads, is behind schedule and over budget on a nuclear reactor in Finland. A South Korean group beat out Areva for a $20 billion contract in the United Arab Emirates. And, just this month, the French prime minister had to step in and save Lauvergeon’s job at the firm, which is 90% owned by France’s government.

But these troubles didn’t stop Lauvergeon from keeping a Fresno appointment to tout nuclear energy last week.

“Atomic Anne” became one of the world’s most powerful women by making tough sales, and now she wants the Holy Grail of nuclear ambition — California.”

Gulf Times – India: Russian and French firms cash in on US nuclear deal
“US nuclear firms looked poised to benefit from a 2008 deal that threw open India’s promise-filled atomic market, but instead are watching from the sidelines as French and Russian rivals cash in.
The 2008 deal, pushed through by former president George W Bush, eased a three-decade international embargo on the sale of nuclear technology to India imposed after the country’s first nuclear test in 1974.
Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, predicted that New Delhi would buy at least eight nuclear reactors by 2012, providing up to 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in the US. ”

Yankee seeks to seal probe records: Rutland Herald Online
“Despite pledges of “transparency” and “openness” in its bid to regain the trust and confidence of Vermonters after its radioactive leak at Vermont Yankee, Entergy Nuclear attorneys have taken steps to keep key documents at the Public Service Board under seal and confidential.

Entergy Nuclear attorney John Marshall, and three other attorneys from Downs Rachlin Martin, requested the protective order from the board Wednesday, a day before Entergy Nuclear executive Mark Savoff reiterated a pledge Thursday during a press conference for openness and full communication.

Entergy specifically is seeking to seal the report from its internal investigation conducted by its law firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, into whether Entergy Nuclear Vermont executives lied to state regulators, state consultants and legislators over the existence of buried underground pipes at Vermont Yankee.”

PSC rejects Entergy spin-off of nuke plants, including Indian Point
“The State Public Service Commission Thursday rejected the request by Entergy Corporation to spin off six nuclear power plants, including the Indian Point facilities, to a new business entity, Enexus Energy Corporation.

The PSC said the transaction was not in the public interest. It also had concern over the immediate financial viability of Enexus.

Entergy corporate national spokesman Michael Burns said the company is disappointed with the commission’s decision and that the spin-off itself was in the best interest of all stakeholders.

The Entergy board will meet next and will be briefed on the situation. Unfortunately given the meeting is next week, it would be inappropriate for me to discuss any additional steps at this point, he said.”


Nuclear Weapons News

Anne Penketh: Edging towards a nuclear-free world – Commentators, Opinion – The Independent
“The stage is set for the signing in Prague of the first arms control treaty of the Obama era. It is the initial step on the road to the US President’s declared goal of a world without nuclear weapons, which he vibrantly described in the Czech capital a year ago.

But now that the applause has died down after the US and Russia reached agreement on capping their deployed long-range nuclear weapons in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) follow-on pact, the treaty’s limits have become apparent. The Obama administration says that it will curb the deployment of strategic weapons by one-third, leaving each side with 1,550 operational warheads, but that number is still enough to destroy the planet several times over. ”

Science’s nuclear responsibility | Martin Rees and Des Browne | Comment is free | The Guardian
“This week Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev will sign a new strategic arms reduction treaty. Since the US and Russia own 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons, the signing of this treaty is the most significant step towards nuclear arms reduction since the original document was signed in 1991. Despite this advance, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is under increasing pressure. Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are firmly back at the top of the political agenda and their importance at this time cannot be overestimated.

Every country has a responsibility to contribute towards disarmament efforts, strengthening the non-proliferation regime and ensuring our nuclear security. At the same time, we also face the spread of nuclear technology as growing numbers of states harness the use of civil nuclear power for their increasing energy demands. States that can enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel can more readily acquire the capability to create a nuclear weapon, so a truly international and non-discriminatory regulatory system is urgently needed to govern these technologies.”

Obama’s nuclear agenda, front and center –
“Reporting from Washington – President Obama devotes much of his schedule this month to arms control. He signs a new treaty with Russia in Prague, the Czech capital, on Thursday, releases a major policy statement on U.S. use of nuclear arms, and hosts a summit on arms safeguards April 12 and 13.

The events, which one advocacy group is calling “Washington’s nuclear April,” represent the rollout of Obama’s agenda for controlling nuclear arms worldwide, an issue that was a major element of his presidential campaign.

How important is the new U.S.-Russian arms treaty?

The White House has portrayed the treaty, called New START, after the Strategic Arms Reduction treaties of the early 1990s, as the most important in decades between the two countries that hold 90% of the world’s nuclear arms.

Some nongovernmental experts have challenged the White House assertion of a 30% reduction in deployed long-range warheads, saying the actual shrinkage may be closer to 13%. Even so, there’s wide agreement that the treaty is a positive step in strained U.S.-Russian relations and, with luck, could lead to bigger cuts. Agreement on this deal was crucial for Obama’s effort to keep other countries from building bombs: He needs to be able to say the U.S. is moving — if slowly — toward eliminating its nuclear arsenal.”

AFP: Hundreds detained in Belgian anti-nuclear protest
“Belgian police on Saturday detained hundreds of anti-nuclear activists protesting in and outside a military base where nuclear weapons are believed to be stored, rally organisers said.

A spokesman for the protestors said 300 people demonstrated near Kleine Brogel base not far from the Dutch border while more than 800 protesters tried to storm the police-protected military area.

Police put the total number of demonstrators at around 700.

“At this stage police has given the figure of 360 detained, registered and held in custody at aircraft hangars at the base,” said Benoit Calvi, spokesman for the Belgian non-government organisation Action for Peace.”

Documents confirm 1959 Japan-U.S. secret meeting over court case – The Mainichi Daily News
“In a drastic turnaround, the Foreign Ministry has acknowledged the existence of documents on a secret meeting between Japan and the United States following a 1959 court decision that ruled the U.S. military’s presence in Japan unconstitutional.

The ministry disclosed the documents to one of the former defendants in the so-called Sunagawa Case, in which anti-base demonstrators accused of trespassing on a U.S. military base in western Tokyo were acquitted after a court ruled the base unconstitutional. The decision was later overturned by the Supreme Court and the defendants convicted.”

The Sunflower – eNewsletter of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation – Issue 153 – April 2010
“Issue #153 – April 2010

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The Little Nukes That Got Away – By David E. Hoffman | Foreign Policy
“The Davy Crockett was one of the smallest nuclear weapons ever made by the United States. Built in the late 1950s, and designed for the battlefields of Europe to stop a possible Warsaw Pact invasion, the warhead looked like a watermelon, being only 30 inches long and weighing about 76 pounds. From a portable tripod launcher, it could be fired at the enemy as close as 1,000 feet or up to 13,000 feet away. It was a weapon for nuclear war at close range.

Today, the Davy Crockett system has long since been retired, and is now a neat museum piece. You can see a casing of the warhead at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque. ”

Lawrence Wittner: Lying About Nuclear Weapons
“One of the most popular muckraking American journalists of the late twentieth century, I.F. Stone, once remarked: “All governments lie.” Even a prominent government official — Andrei Gromyko, the veteran Soviet diplomat — once admitted, in a weak moment: “Governments are never sincere.”

This gloomy assessment appears all too true when it comes to national security policy, and particularly so with respect to nuclear weapons. Indeed, in early March, a new Japanese political party — swept into governmental power last year thanks to a political upheaval — revealed that its predecessors had lied for more than four decades about one of the most hallowed principles in Japanese public life: Japan’s nuclear-free status.”

What the New START Treaty Numbers Mean | Union of Concerned Scientists
“The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) today called a new nuclear weapons agreement between the United States and Russia “a critical first step” to reduce the global nuclear threat. The so-called NEW START agreement will be signed on April 8 in Prague, Czech Republic, to coincide with the historic speech President Obama delivered there nearly one year ago calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

“NEW START is a critical first step in a nuclear risk reduction agenda that has been embraced by countless world leaders and a bipartisan chorus of foreign policy heavyweights and former U.S. government officials,” said David Wright, co-director of UCS’s Global Security Program. “There is a growing recognition that nuclear weapons are now a liability, not an asset, and they don’t make the world safer or address today’s threats.””

Moscow and Washington reach new lows in new nuclear arms treaty – Bellona
“President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reached final agreement Friday on a nuclear arms treaty that would cut the nuclear arsenals of the onetime rivals to the lowest levels since the 1960s, settling the deal during a morning phone call prior to meeting on April 8th in Prague to sign the pact. Charles Digges, 27/03-2010

The new pact will replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1), which has enabled the decommissioning of hundreds of nuclear warhead the countries have pointed at one another and enabled US- Russia bilateral programmes to destroy nuclear weapons like the Cooperative Threat Reduction act. Signed in 1991, the START 1 treaty entered into force in 1994.

The new treaty, called the the Measures to Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also replaces the Moscow Treaty of 2002, viewed by many, including Bellona, as useless showmanship.

Australia Nuclear Testing | Maralinga: Australian victims of nuclear testing sue U.K.
“As a 21-year-old, Ric Johnstone drove 150 miles daily across the scorching vastness of the Australian outback to work. A motor mechanic in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), he spent 1956 servicing military vehicles in the Great Victorian Desert.

He lived with 300 other men in a tent town, eating dinners of bullied beef with the occasional vegetable. Johnstone described his first six months as similar to being a prisoner in a chain gang: There was no church, no women, no entertainment, nothing.”

NATO urges missile defense pact, cites Iran threat | Reuters
“NATO states should agree at a summit this year to make missile defense systems against states including Iran an alliance mission and look at every opportunity to cooperate on this with Russia, the head of NATO says.

World | Russia

In a speech prepared for delivery at a conference in Brussels Saturday, alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said a NATO-wide missile defense system would show collective will to defend against a growing threat.”

NYRblog – A Mushroom Cloud, Recollected – The New York Review of Books
“With the renewed interest in nuclear weapons I have been struck by how few people there still are who have seen one explode. There are a few survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and there are a small number who witnessed some of the above ground test explosions. But the last American above-ground test was in 1962 and the last above-ground test by any country was conducted by the Chinese in 1980. This means that the Indians, Pakistanis, Israelis to say nothing of the Iranians and North Koreans have never seen a nuclear explosion. In the main, this is a very good thing: the fallout from such a test is a real health hazard. But there is a downside. We have lost the experience of watching a nuclear explosion perhaps the most powerful lesson about nuclear bombs there is.”


Department of Energy News

Whither Bechtel Jacobs? |
“Bechtel Jacobs Co., a partnership of Bechtel National and Jacobs Engineering (reportedly a 60/40 arrangement), has been the Dept. of Energy’s environmental manager in Oak Ridge since 1998 — when DOE established the cleanup role as part of its contract reform effort.

That contracting relationship is coming to an end, with DOE’s announced plan to have a new contractor in place July 1, 2011. A request for proposals on the contract is expected to be issued soon by DOE’s Oak Ridge office.

So, what happens to Bechtel Jacobs?”

ORNL’s radioactive ‘Stonehenge’ |
“As noted earlier this year, one of ORNL’s oldest facilities was demolished in the first phase of Recovery Act cleanup work. After the wooden superstructure was demolished (by Clauss Construction under a subcontract to UT-Battelle), the World War II-era hot cells were “weather-proofed” to prevent the spread of rad contamination until they can be dismantled and removed.

In the top photo, you can see that the hot cells — where materials from the historic Graphite Reactor were once processed — have been encased in a gray protective sealant, awaiting future work. One lab official reportedly referred to them as ORNL’s “Stonehenge.” ”

DOE: Hazardous Vapor Release Level Safe – Albuquerque News Story – KOAT Albuquerque
“Agency Aims To Raise Limit On Allowable Carbon Tetrachloride Leaks

CARLSBAD, N.M. — The Department of Energy plans to ask the state of New Mexico to raise the limit it allows on the level of hazardous vapors leaking from waste drums at the federal government’s nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad.

The Energy Department plans to ask the New Mexico Environment Department by the end of the month for an increase on the limit carbon tetrachloride at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, known as WIPP.”

Chu shouldn’t shirk lab-cleanup duty – The Santa Fe New Mexican
“With Los Alamos National Laboratory taking on many of the nuclear-weapons manufacturing duties from the defunct Rocky Flats plant, it makes a certain amount of sense that the federal Department of Energy would give the National Nuclear Security Administration, one of its agencies, a leading oversight role on “the Hill.”

NNSA, in fact, was created 11 years ago in response to security lapses at LANL. It’s concerned with security at every step of the nuclear process nuclear-propelled ships and energy sources also come under its purview. But nuclear weapons tend to get its highest priority.

The environment is or so it claims a big part of its mission, and its record in many places, including America’s major shipyards, appears as solid as might be expected from an overseer of our nuclear navy. ”

U.S. Nuclear Labs Raise Doubts Over Arsenals –
“In a challenge to the White House, the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories have warned Congress that federal programs to extend the life of the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal are insufficient to guarantee the viability of the weapons for decades to come.

The warning, which implicitly endorsed the idea of creating an expensive new generation of more reliable nuclear warheads, has no direct bearing on the new arms control agreement reached this week by the United States and Russia. ”

Congress Should Not Let Itself Be Rolled by Nuke Labs – The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) Blog
“Realizing that there is mounting doubt on the Hill in the wisdom of spending billions of dollars on four new buildings for the creation of new components for nuclear weapons, the directors of three national laboratories are going on the offensive. As Politico reports, the directors of Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories have challenged the findings, and frankly, the credibility, of one of the most independent and respected technical expert groups, JASON. Last year, JASON found that the life of the nation’s nuclear warheads, including plutonium pits and HEU (highly enriched uranium) secondaries, can be extended safely and certifiably for decades without replacement.”

DOE delivers $14.5M for nuke education |
“The Dept. of Energy this week annonced two funding opportunities for universities and colleges to start or expand basic research programs associated with nuclear science and engineering.

As part of the Nuclear Energy University Programs, DOE is providing about $14.5 million to “upgrade university-level research reactors and purchase general scientific equipment and instrumentation.”

DOE is providing up to $7 million for university reactor upgrades and equipment and $7.5 million for general scientific equipment and instrumentation.”

Community ready for talks on future of Hanford lands – Opinions | Tri-City Herald
“Community leaders are right to push for more say in Hanford’s future, and they need to keep up the pressure.

Planning for life after cleanup needs to be a partnership between the Tri-Cities and the Department of Energy.

In a recent letter to Ines Triay, DOE assistant secretary for environmental management, Tri-City political leaders and economic development officials turned up the heat.

Forging a common vision doesn’t seem out of reach, but the process could benefit from a greater sense of urgency.

The federal presence at Hanford will continue for decades, perhaps longer, but the multibillion-dollar budgets for cleanup won’t.”


Other Energy News

High court restricts whistleblower lawsuits – Las Vegas Sun
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday placed limits on existing whistleblower lawsuits alleging local governments misused federal money, in a decision that produced newcomer Sonia Sotomayor’s first dissenting opinion.

But the just-enacted health care overhaul law contains a provision that changed the federal False Claims Act in a way that would appear to allow new, similar lawsuits to go forward.

The court voted 7-2 to hold that a technical, though important aspect, of the federal whistleblower law applies to local governments. One section of the law prohibits whistleblower lawsuits when public disclosure of the alleged fraud occurs through a court hearing, a news report or congressional or administrative audit.”

Wind better than nuclear, coal power – Owen Sound Sun Times – Ontario, CA
“If we take seriously the protection of human health we have to phase out coal and nuclear-powered electricity.

Ontario’s coal plants kill hund re d s of people and trigger thousands of illnesses (e. g., asthma attacks) annually. Coal is also the most climate-destructive fuel around, emitting twice as much carbon as natural gas does. Whether the issue is respiratory disease or global warming, coal is a catastrophe.

But nuclear is extremely unhealthy as well. A scientific review by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment found all functioning reactors release radioactive materials on a routine basis. A 2008 German government study showed children (younger than five) living within five kilometres of a nuclear plant are at elevated risk for leukemia. And Scientific American recently reported nukes harm the climate: “Nuclear power results in up to 25 times more carbon emissions than wind energy, when reactor construction and uranium refining and transport are considered.”

But to phase out conventional power we need to use less energy and switch over to renewables, including wind turbines. ”

Nuclear not the cheapest path for Australia: OECD
“NUCLEAR power will be the Western world’s cheapest option for electricity in an age of significant carbon charges, but Australia will be one of the few exceptions, a global study has found.

In a stunning conclusion, the study by the OECD and the International Energy Agency found that even with a carbon charge of $US30 ($A33) a tonne, it ill be cheaper for Australian generators to burn black coal and send the emissions into the atmosphere than to turn to gas or other low-emission alternatives.”


Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Idaho Mountain Express: Nuclear energy not cheap, safe – March 31, 2010
“After reading Sen. Mike Crapo’s glowing endorsement of nuclear energy, I feel inspired to remind your readers why no U.S. nuclear power plants have been built in the past 25 years.

To begin with, the enormous financial cost to build a reactor is exceeded only by the cost of decommissioning it once it has depleted its 40- to 60-year life span. Regardless of whatever laws Congress may pass to: (1) subsidize nuclear power plant construction (2) remove standard liability requirements from nuclear construction contractors or (3) force long-lived toxic and radioactive wastes onto less populated states, the fact still remains that nuclear energy is not cheap, clean or safe.

The primary reason nuclear power is being considered at this time is that it carries with it a “scale of economy” that translates into jobs, tax money and economic boon for specific, well-lobbied industries. This all seems so needless in light of life-friendly, alternative energy production technologies that do not place toxic-waste storage burdens, large-scale contamination issues and a mess of other problems and risks onto the environment and future generations. ”

The Free Press: Harvey Wasserman YOU are now paying for the NEXT 3 Mile Island
“As radiation poured from 3 Mile Island 31 years ago this weekend, utility executives rested easy.

They knew that no matter how many people their errant nuke killed, and no matter how much property it destroyed, they would not be held liable.

Today this same class of executives demands untold taxpayer billions to build still more TMIs. No matter how many meltdowns they cause, and how much havoc they visit down on the public, they still believe they’re above the law.

Fueled with more than $600 million public relations slush money, they demand a risk-free “renaissance” financed by you and yours.

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