Top 100 Energy Stories April 19th – 25th 2010

radbull No Nukes and happy Earth Day! I’m going to start out here with an editorial comment.  The international corporate run media has a global agenda to promote and frame the push to build nuclear reactors worldwide. Just days before the US economic collapse Bush’s Energy Secretary was in Austria at an IAEA planning conference where he said that the US would help finance the construction of nuclear reactors around the world.  We can be assured that government agencies like the US State Department, US AID, and others are still actively behind this push.  As part of the push it was very prominent that literally no major media outlet anywhere in the world has written a single article leading up to the 24th anniversary of Chernobyl. Taking a peak at early stories on the 26th only shows a few in Eastern Europe and  the most important by ENS on the release of a major new report that nearly one million people have died to date as a result of the 1986 disaster.  At a time when the world is being pushed to dramatically increase the number of nuclear reactors around the world, there is no more important example why poor or even wealthy nations should ever consider building large reactors ever again. The disaster played a central role in the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as costing more money than the entire output of that country’s nuclear energy was worth (WSJ 1990). A single accident anywhere in the world at a nuclear power facility, especially an old one that is carrying a large inventory of radiation could spread radiation around the world, effecting human health.  These giant facilities that require immense amounts of water (as much as a billion gallons of coolant a day) are situated on coastal areas that could soon be under water due to the horrific failure of humanity to deal with climate change.  Western countries, with the US leading the way have long been energy abusers, failing to recognize that modern lifestyles are unsustainable. I urge you to watch a presentation by Jeremy Rifkin on distributed energy and the kind of dramatic changes we need to truly make in this world!

A touch of good late breaking news. The plan to introduce US legislation to finance an unlimited number of new reactors in the US has been delayed for now. A further example of the kind of media manipulation being used, Reuters latest coverage of the now delayed legislation claimed that it would only fund a dozen new reactors. In a clear legislative victory, the Wisconsin(USA) legislators also blocked attempts to remove that state’s nuclear moratorium. Attempts to pass new legislation to compensate downwinders suffering from the nuclear weapons testing in the past has stalled.

Internationally, opponents of nuclear in Germany formed a 75 mile long chain of people taking a stand against nuclear energy, while Finland announced new delays at olkileuto, two new reactors and funding for 800 windmills. This comes on the heals of a national poll that showed that most the public were opposed to further nuclear development. The serious contamination of at least 8 people in India from contaminated scrap metal has put a new twist on pressures to let US companies avoid insurance. Australia has a rad waste battle on its hands, has refused to build reactors but just decided to sell uranium to Russia.  Obama’s nuclear weapons spin split Europe over the US  demand to keep theater weapons deployed. Note the US press failed to even mention the fact that some of the last survivors of the US attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki staged public calls to end all nuclear weapons production as well as the international Global Zero campaign.

A US group’s (Beyond Nuclear) report on tritium leaks was released documenting the state of leaks in the country. The US Department of Energy (DOE) promoted a new agenda of using a very large amount of economic recovery act monies during 2011 to do in one year what would have taken 7 years of work to clean up nuclear contamination.  If the proposal goes ahead, this would be a positive, but still incredibly small cleanup step when considering the fact that current estimates place the full costs to reverse cleanup at between $270-330 Billion. DOE also announced its new schedule for the cleanup of n-waste at Hanford Washington which is the most contaminated nuclear site in the US.  It also released its final plan for the cleanup of the country’s failed attempt at spent fuel reprocessing at West Valley New York.  Their plan is a huge let down considering last years report that suggested there could be dramatic costs ($30 billion) to the regions major lake unless fully cleaned up.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced plans that it would make its decision on Yucca Mountain’s closure should go ahead for June 1st.

There are other stories you might want to take a look at, many of which concern the nuclear fuel cycle issue. But I’m ending this issue as I began it with another commentary. This past week the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) broadcast a two hour special commemorating the original Earth Day and its history.  This program which promoted one of this country’s most prominent former Eco-Libertarians Stewart Brand who has been actively pushing for a new generation of nuclear energy. The documentary was a huge letdown because it ended at the point where the environmental movement in this country was at a crossroads.  The program failed to mention the internal split of the movement where the large ecology non-profits all moved their offices to Washington DC while the more radical segment of the movement, like people opposed to nuclear energy or Earth First! movement were all but censored out of existence.  The documentary was followed by a corporate “green wash” led by Duke Power’s CEO one of the biggest users of nuclear and coal.  It is a sad day when PBS becomes the leading promoter of the corporate Green propaganda strategy.  The program could be a better example of just how messed up this country is today and why.

Top Nuclear Stories Index

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


Nuclear Reactor News

Report on nuclear security removed from Web site – The Mercury News: Pottstown, PA and The Tri County areas of Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties (
“Federal officials say they have removed a document from a U.S. government Web site after a Pennsylvania anti-nuclear group said it could help terrorists plan an airplane attack on a nuclear plant.

Scott Portzline, a security consultant to Three Mile Island Alert, said he found the report “Evaluation of Air Craft Crash Hazards Analyses for Nuclear Power Plants” available for download on the Department of Energy site. He said it shows the areas a plane could hit with maximum effect and buildings or targets where a strike could release radiation.

Energy Department spokeswoman Jennifer Lee said in an e-mail that the document should not have been made available. Officials called the posting part of an effort to inform the public about the scientific work of the department.”

N-plants will destroy Konkan ecology’ | Pune, Today News
“City-based economist and social activist Sulabha Brahme has slammed the state government’s proposal to start mega power plants in the Konkan region. Brahme said the proposal to start nuclear and thermal projects to generate 30,000 megawatts (MW) of power would damage the ecology of the Konkan irreparably.Brahme was delivering a lecture on ‘Jaitapur nuclear power plant and its impact’ organised by the Pune branch of the Marathi Vidnyan Parishad (MVP) in the city on Tuesday.”

Finnish govt grants permissions to 2 nuclear reactors | Reuters
“Govt picks TVO, Fennovoima to build new nuclear reactors
* Says no to utility Fortum
* Says aims to make Finland electricity self-sufficient

Finland’s government granted on Wednesday a permission to utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) and consortium Fennovoima to build new nuclear power stations, but rejected Fortum’s (FUM1V.HE) application.

“We are giving a strong signal to the industry that it is worthwhile to invest in Finland. Granting one (nuclear reactor) permission is not enough,” Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of the Economy, told a news conference.”

Helsingin Sanomat – Construction work on Olkiluoto III nuclear reactor to experience further major delays
“Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor preparing for installation of the reactor and turbine machinery

The construction of Finland’s fifth commercial nuclear reactor, which is being built in Olkiluoto on the west coast of Finland, has been delayed once again. Even so, the French installation company Areva stands its ground, maintaining that the new reactor will generate electricity from the summer of 2012.

It does not look likely. The construction and the starting of installation on the reactor have progressed somewhat slower than scheduled, says Jouni Silvennoinen, a project manager at the Finnish nuclear power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO).”

Crowd not buying NRC defense: Rutland Herald Online
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was criticized for being a watchdog with no barkand less bite  Monday when it comes to nuclear reactors leaking radioactive tritium.

The NRC was in Brattleboro to discuss the radioactive leak at the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor with the community, first in an afternoon open house and later with a three-hour public meeting.

Residents and local officials told the NRC during the evening session that the NRC was ineffective because there were few if an yregulations to hold nuclear companies accountable.

Paul Blanch of West Hartford, Conn., a nuclear consultant and former industry whistleblower, said nuclear companies were taking advantage of the situation.

“Regulations are nonexistent or never enforced,” said Blanch, who said that Vermont Yankee could have discharged “10,000 times” the tritium that it did and still not violate any NRC regulations.”

Power company, opponents clash over Comanche Peak expansion | Dallas Business…
“Luminant, the power generator proposing a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant, took issue Thursday with arguments that it failed to give sufficient consideration to renewable energy alternatives and catastrophic radiation leaks that might result from an event such as a terrorist attack.

The issues were debated by lawyers for Luminant and plant opponents at a hearing held in Granbury by a three-judge panel of the federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. The hearing is part of Luminant’s application for a license to expand Comanche Peak from two to four reactors. The plant is near Glen Rose, 45 miles southwest of Fort Worth.”

NEC contests results of VY safety review – Brattleboro Reformer
“A safety culture survey conducted at Vermont Yankee in Vernon is pretty much worthless, said Ray Shadis, technical consultant for the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, which opposes the continued operation of the nuclear power plant.

On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public meeting to discuss an Entergy fleet-wide nuclear safety culture assessment, an opinion poll of its employees conducted by Synergy Consulting Services Co.

The survey was primarily used to determine if employees felt that they had adequate safety training and if their safety concerns were handled discreetly, responsibly and without negative repercussion.

While it is true that the employees’ perception of Yankee’s safety culture has been moving upward since 2006, said Shadis, it is still below the levels reached in 2002, prior to Entergy’s purchase of the power plant from a consortium of utilities.

Before Entergy took over, said Shadis, worker confidence was at its highest. In 2004, it recovered slightly, he said, but then in 2006, it hit “rock bottom.” ”


Nuclear Health and Safety News

Delhi radiation case: AEC, AERB also culpable: India News
“The Atomic Energy Commission and its subordinate organisations have the mandate to put in place a comprehensive plan to ensure nuclear safety in the country, but that does not seem to have been done, writes Dr A Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

The Hindu on April 18 had a report on the radioactive material recently found in scrap shops in New Delhi [ Images ], which cites Dr S Banerjee, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission as having said that “Whatever happened in Delhi had nothing to do with the activities of my department. The scrap materials come from other countries and it was not possible for the Department of Atomic Energy to check at the entry points if there were any radioactive materials in them. Checking all the containers laden with scrap was not possible. Instead, scanning could be done. While a decision to install scanners had been taken, implementation was taking time.”

This is an appalling statement from the AEC chairman, considering the all-encompassing responsibility and powers entrusted, both constitutionally and administratively, to the AEC and its subordinate institutions to ensure the safety of the general public and workers, wherever the presence or use of nuclear materials is involved ”

Downwinder claims – Salt Lake Tribune
Expand eligibility for program

A coalition of senators from the West is proposing to expand the number of Americans eligible for the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program. This would be a compassionate way to extend redress to people in Utah and other states who are not eligible for compensation now. Congress should enact it.

Congress created the program in 1990 to compensate Americans who likely suffered cancers and other illnesses caused by nuclear fallout from above-ground testing of atomic weapons in Nevada between 1951 and 1962. It also compensates those who mined, milled and transported uranium for the weapons and got sick as a result. Congress expanded eligibility in 2000.

People qualify for an award if they are diagnosed with one or more of 27 medical conditions and prove that they lived in a designated area downwind or worked in the uranium industry during a specific time period. The law covers all states where uranium was mined and processed as well as certain counties in Nevada, Utah and Arizona, where fallout from the nuclear testing was significantly measured. ”

‘Need law for damages to radiation victims’
“The government on Tuesday admitted its helplessness in providing adequate compensation to victims of radiation exposure in Mayapuri market in the absence of a specific law backing compensation to victims of radioactive accidents.

Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan told the Rajya Sabha that such a law needs to be enacted and welcomed suggestions in this regard.

Let us accept that there is no law today, and we need to enact the law for civil compensation for victims of radioactive accidents, Chavan said in response to a call attention motion in which Opposition members repeatedly raised the issue of compensation to victims of Mayapuri incident. ”

Udall nuke-worker bill stalls; another widow denied compensation « Colorado Independent
“Boulder resident Bo Fellinger is disgusted. She recently discovered that the Department of Labor yet again denied her husband Michael’s claim to compensation for chronic lung disease. Fellinger doesn’t have a good word to say about the department or its Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA). Her husband, a grad student at the Ames Laboratory in Iowa, died of lung failure in 2008 at age 62, his claim shuttled back and forth among bureaucrats for nearly four years.

A nuke worker monitors waste in South Korea.

The program strikes me as some stupid headless animal, says Fellinger of the red tape she has endured. “Everyone involved seems to be standing in a circle, handing things around to the next person without taking any responsibility for it. The buck never stops anywhere.

Bipartisan bill would compensate more downwinders – Salt Lake Tribune
“People throughout seven Western states — including anywhere in Utah — who were exposed to radiation from atomic testing and the uranium industry would be eligible for government compensation, under proposed new congressional legislation.

Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, has lined up support from Republicans and fellow Democrats for his bill to update the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, the measure championed exactly two decades ago by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. A House version of the bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is expected to be introduced later this week.

And, while the possible expansion of RECA is being applauded by many of Utah’s “downwinders,” as the radiation-exposed group calls itself, neither Hatch nor fellow Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett are listed as co-sponsors of Udall’s bill.

Enviromentalists’ report questions safety of Florida nuclear plant design | McClatchy
“he nuclear reactor design that Florida Power & Light picked for its expansion at Turkey Point has safety flaws that its manufacturers and federal regulators have overlooked, according to a technical analysis commissioned by environmental groups.

The report — made public Wednesday — contends that the reactor’s steel-walled containment vessel, the protective barrier from radiation, is more vulnerable to developing rust and holes than older reactors. That, coupled with the design of its emergency cooling system, could multiply exposure risks in the event of an accident, the report concludes.

Arnold Gundersen, a nuclear engineer who produced the report for a dozen national and regional environmental groups, said during a teleconference that the AP 1000 design by the Westinghouse Electrical Co. was “entirely different” from older designs and also “inherently less safe.”

Courthouse News Service
“A worker says she suffered permanent respiratory damage from working with a saw containing beryllium, a toxic chemical. Lisa Monahan says she was overcome by toxic fumes from the saw blade that her employer, Richardson Trident Co., bought from Metal Saw Systems.
Monahan says in her federal complaint that Metal Saw Systems “installed the saw in the facility at plaintiff’s employer and was negligent in failing to install a proper exhaust device when it knew or should have known that using beryllium copper blades would emit fumes throughout the facility.”

Triple awards for downwinders? | Deseret News
“Several Western senators have introduced a bill seeking to triple the compensation for downwind cancer victims of Cold War atomic testing. The bill would also make it easier to prove claims and would expand eligibility for compensation payments to all of Utah — instead of just 10 counties that now qualify.

But opposing the changes is Sen. Orrin Hatch co-author of the original 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act that created such compensation.

“I fear it is overly broad and prohibitively expensive,” he said, worrying that high costs might sink the program in budget battles and take current compensation programs with them. Hatch added, “I also believe it is important to continue to base any expansion of the program on sound science” âand add only those changes warranted by new scientific findings.”

Cancer of the conflict zone
“When my sister, 101st Airborne Army Capt. Chaplain Fran E. Stuart, returned from Iraq, she was forever changed.

Not only had the desert sand, gun blasts and heat penetrated her psyche during her one-year deployment, but a carcinogen had made its way into her body as well. Unbeknown to her, the carcinogen was making a home in my sister’s body, along with the Anthrax vaccine, depleted uranium, burn pit smoke and contaminated water dished up at every meal.

In March 2006, when my sister was 41, she was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive, stage-IV dysgerminoma cancer, also called germ cell cancer, which is usually only seen in pregnant women and teenage girls. The cancer was advancing quickly, wrapping itself around her internal organs like an octopus and gathering fuel from her central abdomen. My sister was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for immediate surgery and further testing, when a volleyball-sized tumor was removed from her abdomen. Fortunately, doctors were able to corral her cancer, but only after 10 months and 35 rounds of exhaustive chemotherapy. She wasn’t the only one undergoing such trauma. While visiting her at Walter Reed, I witnessed many soldiers returning from Iraq with cancer, unknown to the public and unacknowledged by the military. Walter Reed had two floors dedicated solely to the soldiers arriving daily with cancer. Their lives were spared on the battlefield, but the cancer was ravaging their bodies from within.”

Health threat at Diablo » Ventura County Star
Federal regulators have begun to evaluate whether the two Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors in San Luis Obispo County deserve 20-year license extensions. Regulators have rubber-stamped 59 of 59 proposed extensions around the U.S., and approving Diablo Canyon means the reactors could operate until 2045.

Regulators are now working up an environmental impact statement, a document that will like the ones for the other reactors conclude Diablo Canyon poses no health threat to humans. But scientific evidence contradicts, rather than supports, this conclusion.

To produce electricity, reactors produce more than 100 radioactive chemicals the same cocktail found in fallout of atomic bomb tests years ago. The equivalent of several hundred Hiroshima bombs is present at Diablo Canyon.”

AFP: 7 in hospital after radiation exposure in India
“Seven people have been admitted to a New Delhi hospital after being exposed to radioactive waste, police said Wednesday, raising fears over the lax disposal of hazardous material in India.

Radioactive waste was detected in a congested scrap metal market last week when five people were rushed to a hospital after they showed symptoms of radiation exposure. Two more victims have since been admitted.

“Seven people have been hospitalised and we are yet to find the exact source of the radioactive leakage,” senior police officer Sharad Agarwal told AFP on Wednesday. “No one has been detained or arrested as of now.””

The Hindu : One more case of mysterious radiation in capital
“One more suspected source of radiation has been detected in the sprawling scrap market at Mayapuri here in the Capital where two scrap dealers and five workers were taken ill this past week after being exposed to Cobalt-60 radioactive isotope.

Confirming this, B. Bhattacharjee, Member of the National Disaster Management Authority and former Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, said on Tuesday: We were informed about the detection of another radiation source today [Tuesday].


NRC News

FR: NRC DEIS Calvert Cliffs
“Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Combined License for Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3 Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) [[Page 20868]] and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, have published NUREG-1936, “Environmental Impact Statement for the Combined License (COL) for Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3: Draft Report for Comment.” The site is located in Calvert County, Maryland, along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Part 1 of the application for the COL was submitted by letter dated July 7, 2007, pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 52 and 10 CFR 2.101(a)(5). A notice of acceptance for docketing of Part 1 of the COL application was published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2008 (73 FR 5877). A notice of intent to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and to conduct the scoping process was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2008 (73 FR 8719). Part 2 of the COL application was submitted by letter dated March 14, 2008, and a notice of acceptance for docketing for Part 2 was published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2008 (73 FR 32606). A COL is an authorization to construct and (with specified conditions) operate a nuclear power plant at a specific site, in accordance with established laws and regulations. ”

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Ignores Its Own Regulations on Radioactive Leaks; Reactors Leaking for Decades… — TAKOMA PARK, Md. PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
“A new report released today by Beyond Nuclear  Leak First, Fix Later: Uncontrolled and Unmonitored Releases from Nuclear Power Plants – finds that the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is ignoring its oversight and enforcement responsibilities at the nation’s increasingly leaky, uninspected and unmaintained nuclear power plants. The report shows that despite agency efforts initiated in 1979 to prevent uncontrolled radioactive releases to groundwater, the NRC is capitulating to an industry decision to take almost three more years before announcing an action plan. One reactor operator has committed to complete proactive corrective actions by the end of 2010 to prevent recurring radioactive leaks, raising concern over why the rest of the industry needs so much more time.

“The NRC has relinquished its oversight of leaking reactors to an industry where profits have been more important than public health,” said report author, Paul Gunter, director of the Reactor Oversight Project for Beyond Nuclear, a national organization based in Takoma Park, Maryland. “Instead of enforcing its regulations to prevent leaks, NRC is entrusting the nuclear industry with ‘voluntarily’ corrective actions that won’t be announced for years to come.””

NRC: NRC Announces Availability of License Application and Hearing Opportunity for New Mexico Deconversion Facility
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made available on its Web site an application of International Isotopes Fluorine Products, Inc., for a license to construct and operate a depleted uranium deconversion facility in Lea County, N.M.

International Isotopes submitted the application Dec. 30, 2009, and NRC docketed the application Feb. 23. The proposed facility would process depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) into commercially resalable fluoride products and depleted uranium oxide for disposal. The plant would be capable of deconverting up to 7.5 million pounds per year of DUF6 provided by commercial enrichment facilities throughout the United States.

The application and information on the agency’s review process are available at
An opportunity to request a hearing on the application, as well as instructions for filing a request for hearing and petition to intervene were published April 5 in the Federal Register at The deadline for requesting a hearing is June 4.”


Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

Chronicle Journal – Proposed uranium mine in trackless tundra puts Nunavut at fork in road
“The trackless tundra reaches a fork in the road this weekend as scrutiny begins of a massive uranium mine proposed for a pristine patch of the central Arctic.

Sunday night will see the first of two weeks of community meetings in seven Arctic hamlets to set terms for an environmental review of the $1.5-billion Kiggavik project. The mine is proposed for just west of Baker Lake, Nunavut, by French uranium giant Areva.

Everyone from federal scientists to Inuit hunters agrees the project could have major impacts on the land and wildlife. And with at least a dozen other major uranium projects in the pipeline for the area, there’s agreement that how the Nunavut Impact Review Board balances Kiggavik’s effects with the need for jobs will define the so-called barren lands for a generation.

“Where do we draw the line?” asked Joan Scottie, a hunter from Baker Lake who has fought uranium development for 20 years.”

Australia Will Allow Exports of Uranium to Russia –
“Australia, the world’s third- largest uranium producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada, will ratify a nuclear agreement allowing exports to Russia for energy purposes, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said.

This will enable Australian uranium to be exported to the Russian Federation for civil, peaceful nuclear purposes, Smith said, according to an e-mailed transcript of a news conference yesterday in Moscow with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. ”

State divisions agree on handling bats in uranium mines – Salt Lake Tribune
“Bats are unlikely to find abandoned uranium mines as desirable places to roost, but if they do, two state agencies have established a procedure for dealing with them.

The state Division of Wildlife Resources, which is charged with managing bats in Utah, and the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM), which is responsible for reclaiming abandoned mines, have signed an agreement that lays out ways in which DOGM can seal old mines dangerous to people without hurting any bat populations found inside.

In cases where surveys find bats living in an abandoned uranium mine, the agreement specifies that the divisions will confer on an acceptable approach, with Wildlife Resources’ officials having the final say. In many cases, the agreement will allow Oil, Gas and Mining officials to use grates to keep people out but let bats enter and exit. ”

The Associated Press: Russia: Not involved in Georgia uranium seizure
“Russia on Thursday angrily rejected accusations by Georgia’s president linking Moscow to a case of attempted uranium smuggling and suggested he was lying, in a new flare-up of tensions between the hostile neighbors.

The Kremlin’s sharp retort followed comments Wednesday by President Mikhail Saakashvili, who told The Associated Press that his country had seized a shipment of highly enriched uranium and blamed Russia for creating the instability that allows nuclear smugglers to operate in the region.

Saakashvili gave few details, saying only that the uranium was intercepted last month coming into his country in the Caucasus region of southeast Europe. But he suggested that Moscow shared some responsibility, saying that under Russian control, Georgia’s two breakaway regions have become havens for nuclear smugglers.”

NM transfers land for uranium processing plant – KIVITV.COM | Boise.
“The State Land Office and Lea County have agreed on a land swap to provide a site in southeastern New Mexico for a plant to process depleted uranium.

Land Commissioner Pat Lyons said Wednesday the state gets about 3,900 acres from the county in exchange for 640 acres near Hobbs.

The newly acquired land between Eunice and Jal will be leased by the Land Office for agricultural purposes.

The land near Hobbs will become the site for a proposed plant by Idaho Falls, Idaho-based International Isotopes Inc.

The plant is to extract commercially valuable fluoride compounds from tailings created by the refining of uranium for nuclear power plant fuel.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing the company’s license application.”

ERA still keen to mine Jabiluka for uranium – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
“Energy Resources of Australia has made it clear it wants to mine the Jabiluka uranium deposit within the Kakadu National Park.

ERA owns and operates the nearby Ranger uranium mine, which provides the fuel for one per cent of the world’s electricity.

At the company’s annual general meeting in Darwin today, shareholders were told the company is relying on the approval of a $36 million processing facility to recover an extra 20,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.

The company has a mining lease until 2021, but told the meeting it would love to exploit the contentious Jabiluka deposit. ”

LEX18 | Landowners Settle Kentucky Uranium Leak Suit
“A group of landowners have settled in a long-running lawsuit for $1.75 million over allegations that water leaks from a western Kentucky uranium enrichment plant devalued property values.

Edmund Schmidt, a Nashville, Tenn., attorney representing the landowners living near the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, about 10 miles west of Paducah, confirmed the settlement on Tuesday. Schmidt said the funds are aimed at compensating between 70 and 80 homeowners for the devaluation of their property because of radiation contamination.

“Some of these people were skeptical if they’d ever see anything,” Schmidt told The Associated Press.”

Wayward drum of HEU draws scrutiny at Y-12 |
“A drum of highly enriched uranium ended up at the right place, but it got there the wrong way, according to a report confirmed by a spokeswoman at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. The incident, which involved a violation of technical safety requirements, took place in mid-March during the first phase of loading uranium into the new $549 million Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility. It apparently occurred just a few days before Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other dignitaries arrived to dedicate the new storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.

Ellen Boatner, a plant spokeswoman, said workers “inadvertently” shipped a container that was not certified to be on board the SST-E truck — a high-security vehicle that was being used to transfer the special nuclear materials from the plant’s old warehouse to the new storage facility. Boatner said there were plans for the drum of HEU to be transferred to the facility but not aboard the SST-E.”

Companies agree on deconversion services in NM – KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |
“Louisiana Energy Services and International Isotopes Inc. have agreed International Isotopes will provide uranium deconversion services for LES’ National Enrichment Facility, which will produce enriched uranium for commercial nuclear power plants.

The $3 billion enrichment facility also will produce tons of depleted uranium tails each year, which Idaho Falls, Idaho-based International Isotopes will use in a uranium deconversion and fluorine extraction processing facility.

The contract allows International Isotopes to take no more than 25 percent of the depleted uranium tails. LES does not consider them waste and plans to recycle much of the material in the future for more enriched uranium.

International Isotopes expects to break ground next year west of Hobbs.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing the Idaho company’s plan.”

Ca̱on City Daily Record РClosed mine hikes uranium levels near Denver
“Cotter Corp. has until Monday to present the state with alternatives for remediating uranium contamination in a creek near its closed mine in Jefferson County.

Groundwater near the Schwartzwalder Mine contains uranium levels that are 1,000 times higher than the human health standards, according to an Associated Press article. The contaminated groundwater is near Ralston Creek, which flows into Ralston Resevoir. The resevoir supplies water to Denver and Arvada.

John Hamrick, Cotter’s vice president of milling, said the company had been working with the Department of Reclamation and Mining Safety to address the issue.

We have a plan that is due to them Monday about different remedial alternatives, Hamrick said. ”

Associated Press: Wyo. OK’ing uranium permits despite EPA concerns
“The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is proceeding with permits to allow uranium developers to inject wastewater underground despite federal regulators’ concerns.

The department recently issued a draft permit to allow Ur Energy Inc. to operate five underground injection wells at the company’s proposed Lost Creek uranium mine in Sweetwater County. The agency is accepting public comments on the draft permit through April 26.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meanwhile, has raised objections that could hold up federal certification of the Sweetwater County project and two other similar projects in the state. The federal agency is concerned that injecting wastewater underground could pollute drinking water supplies.”

Disposal of weapons-grade plutonium to cost Russia up to $3 bln  | ‘RIA Novosti’ newswire
“Russia’s nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko has estimated the country’s program on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium at between $2.5 billion and $3 billion.

At the nuclear summit in Washington on April 12-13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed the Plutonium Disposition Protocol, which stipulates that Russia and the United States would each dispose of 34 metric tons of excess weapons-grade plutonium.

“The final cost of the [disposal] program will become known only when it is completed…We estimate it at between $2.5 billion and $3 billion,” Kiriyenko said, adding that the United States will contribute $400 million to the Russian program.

Kiriyenko, who heads the Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, said the protocol meets Russia’s interests as it retains the goals of a framework agreement on disposing plutonium, which was signed in 2000.”

Is Reprocessing the Answer to Eliminating Fissile Materials from Bombs and Nuclear Waste?: Scientific American
“President Obama promised to eliminate 34 tons of plutonium from the U.S. nuclear weapons program as part of this week’s nuclear security summit. But how does one actually get rid of bomb-making material that has a half-life of more than 20,000 years?

One way is to burn it in nuclear reactors. Already, roughly half of the electricity generated from nuclear power plants in the U.S. comes from the fissile materials out of Russian warheads, albeit highly enriched uranium, the other fissile material used in bombs. Such reprocessing might also help cope with nuclear waste.

In fact, Obama’s recently appointed Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future has specifically chosen to investigate the possibility of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods.”

Time running out for nominations on uranium committee | GoDanRiver
“Time is running out for those wanting to nominate someone for the committee that will study to determine whether uranium can be mined and milled safely in Virginia.

There is no specified deadline for submitting nominations, but they are unlikely to be considered if they do not get submitted by the end of next week, said Jennifer Walsh, spokeswoman for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council, citing an e-mail from the study director for the project.

The NAS/NRC is conducting the study that will focus on the scientific and technical aspects of uranium mining and milling. NAS/NRC officials expect it to be completed in the fall of 2011.

Nuclear Security Summit: Russia to Close Last Plutonium Reactor
“Nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security, and strong nuclear security measures are the most effective means to prevent terrorists, criminals, or other unauthorized actors from acquiring nuclear materials,” said the leaders and ministers from 47 nations in their message tonight at the conclusion of the landmark Nuclear Security Summit.

The major nuclear powers were among those at the round table today at the Washington Convention Center – China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, India and Pakistan. They all agreed to the “shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” and stated, “we also all share the objective of nuclear security.” ”

Russia and US sign deal to dispose of plutonium that chagrins international enviro groups – Bellona
“Russia and the United States signed a new protocol Tuesday on a long stalled agreement to complete the disposal of 34 tons of excess weapons grade plutonium each, pumping new blood into the 2000 Plutonium Disposition Agreement that has been foundering on the shoals of bureaucratic foot dragging and mutual distrust for seven years.

Though the signing of the Plutonium Management and Disposition deal between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be touted as one of the successes of the 46 nation, two-day summit convened by President Barack Obama alongside laudable agreements by Ukraine to relinquish its weapons uranium it will also spark a new battle among non-proliferation officials and environmentalists both in Russia and the United States.

As has been clear for more than 15 years, Russia regards its stockpiles of weapons plutonium as a money-spinner for a new nuclear economy in Russia that relies on plutonium and reactors that produce it.

Ohio EPA approves additional Piketon cleanup  | Chillicothe Gazette
“The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has approved a new component to clean-up efforts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s former Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

On Tuesday, the state EPA said it has approved plans from the U.S. Department of Energy that will allow proper cleanup and, in some cases, tearing down of buildings that were used to produce enriched uranium until 2001.

Currently, the Department of Energy is conducting cleanup of soil and water at the site under a 1989 agreement, but the new agreement allows it to begin decontamination and decommissioning work in the buildings on the site as well.

The Energy department committed $303 million in cleanup funds for 2010, and an additional $118 million was awarded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office said $500 million is set aside for cleanup efforts in the 2011 Energy department budget.”

No explosive growth for uranium
“The slide in uranium prices from the June 2007 record $US136 a pound continues, with the radioactive material last quoted on a spot basis of $US41.75 a pound. The promised boom in prices as the world soaked up the stuff to fuel an explosive growth in greenhouse gas friendly nuclear power has not happened, not yet anyway.

Local investors in the sector know that all too well. The producers are down by 25-35 per cent from their 52-week highs and the explorers are generally showing falls of 50 per cent from their 52-week peaks.”

Canada Loses Status as Biggest Uranium Producer After 17 Years –
“Kazakhstan boosted output to become the leading uranium miner last year, delivering almost 28 percent of the world’s nuclear fuel and ending Canada’s 17-year run as the top producer, Ux Consulting Co. said in a report.

Global output rose to 132 million pounds of uranium oxide concentrate, up 16 percent from 2008, with Kazakh production accounting for 80 percent of the increase as new mines started up, the Roswell, Georgia-based company said in a report yesterday.

Canada slipped into second place with 2009 production totalling nearly 26.5 million pounds, or 20 percent of world output, UxC said, adding that Canadian production increased 13 percent during the year. Kazakhstan mined about 36.5 million pounds, according to the report. ”

The Associated Press: Mexico to convert reactor to low enriched uranium
“Mexico is saying it will work with the United States and Canada to convert its highly enriched uranium reactor, removing the potential bomb-making materials.

The agreement is being announced at the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit called by President Barack Obama to refocus world attention on the dangers of nuclear materials reaching terrorist hands.

The move is a step toward Mexico’s conversion to a reactor that operates on low enriched uranium, a lesser danger for weapons use.”

Nuclear-Fuel Recycling Debated as Obama Holds Summit  –
“A dispute over the recycling of nuclear fuel by reactor suppliers such as France’s Areva SA surfaced in Washington as U.S. officials sought to skirt the issue during President Barack Obama’s summit.

Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans and former U.S. ambassador-at-large Robert Gallucci called for an end to the fuel-recycling practice yesterday at a conference of experts being held in parallel with Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit.

The summit focuses on keeping separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium out of the hands of terrorists, and Evans and Gallucci said that recycling creates stockpiles of dangerous materials ripe for theft. The practice is drawing attention as the number of nations pursuing nuclear power for their energy needs is expected to double by mid-century, according to the White House. ”

BBC News – Summit agrees to protect nuclear stocks ‘in four years’
“The leaders of almost 50 countries have pledged to secure all vulnerable nuclear material within four years.

US President Barack Obama said the joint action plan agreed at a summit in Washington would make a real contribution to a safer world.

The plan calls for every nation to safeguard nuclear stocks and keep material out of terrorists’ hands.

Earlier, Russia and the US signed an agreement to dispose of 68 tonnes of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. ”


Nuclear Waste News There’s no ‘Plan B’ for nuclear waste, so it stays local
“Twenty concrete vaults sit side-by-side, like self-storage containers, next to the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant. These concrete tombs hold fuel cells, each containing 12-foot rods of enriched uranium. The rods are toxic and radioactive and were never intended to be stored here indefinitely, among Ocean County’s 560,000 residents.

Nationwide, about 70,000 tons of fuel rods wait for long-term storage — the very long term. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that spent fuel stored at New Jersey’s four nuclear power plants will remain dangerous to humans for at least 10,000 years and harmful to the environment for 1 million years more. The industry generates about 2,200 tons more of the waste each year, and many companies have plans to expand nuclear power in the United States — PSEG wants to build a new plant in Salem County’s Lower Alloways Creek Township.”

NRC will render decision on dump license by June 1 – Politics: Ralston’s Flash – Las Vegas Sun
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, reversing a decision not to act until the courts have, issued an order today that says it will rule on the DOE’s motion to withdraw the Yucca Mountain repository license application.

The order is at right.”

Nuclear dump opponents campaign in Melbourne – ABC Darwin – Australian Broadcasting Corporation
“Some traditional owners from Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory were in Melbourne last night to campaign against a proposed nuclear waste dump being built on their land.

Dave Sweeney from the Australia Conservation Foundation says a public meeting was held in the electorate of the federal Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson.

Mr Sweeney says the Muckaty traditional owners are seeking national support for their cause.

“They met with lawyers to consider their legal and procedural options,” he said.

“They’ve met with representatives of national environment groups to consider what range of options and what support’s available there.

“And wherever they go, the story that they are telling is falling on pretty open ears because it is a compelling story.””

Recovery Act speeds cleanup of nuclear waste sites –
“The Energy Department will reduce the size of former nuclear waste sites needing environmental cleanup by 40 percent by the end of 2011, fueled largely by Recovery Act funding, a top official said.

Boeing fined for runoff from former nuclear site – San Jose Mercury News
“Regional water quality regulators have fined Boeing Co. $500,000 for contaminated stormwater runoff at a former nuclear and rocket engine testing facility in eastern Ventura County.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a consent judgment Thursday also ordering Boeing to pay $75,000 in attorneys fees and civil penalties for days when contaminants exceeded permitted limits at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

Boeing spokeswoman Kamara Sams Holden says the judgment covers violations from 2007 through the end of 2009.

The lab 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles was used for nuclear and rocket testing for more than four decades. A nuclear reactor had a partial meltdown at the 2,800 acre site in 1959.”

WRS | Canton slams radioactive waste plans
“Plans for a radioactive waste disposal unit in the canton of Schaffhausen has come under fire in a study published by the local government.

The National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste outlined two possible sites for the unit: one in Zurich Weinland and one near Sudranden in the canton of Schaffhasusen.

That’s just a few kilometers from the city of Schaffhausen, where 80 percent of the canton’s population live and work.

Today’s report says a disposal centre would have a detrimental effect on the town of Schaffhausen, and on the development of both the canton’s economy and population.

The report estimates it would lose between 15 and 33 million francs in tax revenue a year and the population would drop by up to 5,000 people.”

India: No data on dangerous waste
“Days after several persons were hospitalised after exposure to radioactive waste at a West Delhi scrap market, it emerges that the only data available with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) is almost three years old.

And even that is alarming: 5,300 tonnes of hazardous waste was generated in the Capital every year, according to the survey last conducted in 2007.

The state pollution control body has no information on generation of hazardous waste for 2008 and 2009, DPCC’s reply to an appeal filed by environmentalist V K Jain under the Right to Information Act reveals. ”

Safety and nuclear waste
“I want to correct the false impressions your readers may have been left with regarding radioactive waste.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) mandate is to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment. It includes the licensing, monitoring and inspection of radioactive waste management facilities. Licence conditions state numerous requirements, including rigorous reporting requirements that are in place for the operators of nuclear waste management facilities.

CNSC staff verify overall compliance with safety requirements through site inspections and audits to ensure that waste owners and those possessing radioactive wastes treat, handle, manage and store these materials safely and securely.”

Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine – Nuclear waste reprocessing not viable for United States: study
“Reprocessing of nuclear waste is neither an affordable remedy for future waste disposal in the United States nor will it eliminate the need for a deep geologic repository to replace Yucca Mountain, according to a recent study released by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), a nonprofit and nonpartisan research group.

Even as some are urging the Obama Administration’s blue-ribbon panel on nuclear waste to consider the options of reprocessing and breeder reactors, the IEER study looks at the global experience – including those of France and Britain – and finds that both approaches are widely misunderstood in the United States.

France has not solved its nuclear waste problems and now needs a repository in face of strong public opposition to the development of such a facility.”

Green Left – Brief: Nuke dump protesters target PM’s office
We don’t need nuclear power, Sam Watson, Aboriginal community leader and Socialist Alliance Senate candidate, told a picket against the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory, held outside PM Kevin Rudd’s electorate office in Norman Park on April 12.

It is a fundamental principle of Aboriginal culture that you preserve the land and the environment, to hand on to future generations. Nuclear waste means radioactive poison for hundreds of thousands of years.

This nuclear dump would mean toxic waste would be returned to Aboriginal land, to permanently contaminate the water table. There are much cheaper and cleaner options for generating electric power. ”

Critics say N-wastes cleanup plan for West Valley fails to meet need : Southern Tier : The Buffalo News
“A two-phase federal plan to clean up the former nuclear reprocessing plant near West Valley drew disappointment Friday from critics.

The U. S. Energy Department issued a record of decision late Thursday for the West Valley Demonstration Project in Ashford that will result in a gradual return to normal for the closed facility.

On Friday, Diane D’Arrigo, a member of the watchdog West Valley Action Network, said the plan falls short of what is needed.

There is widespread disappointment in the federal government’s decision to pursue only a partial cleanup of the site, D’Arrigo said. We have a big mess at West Valley, and we’ve been pushing for a full cleanup of [the site] for decades. ”

Letter to the Editor: The Coming Glut of Japanese Spent Fuel | Arms Control Association
“Frank von Hippel’s article (“South Korean Reprocessing: An Unnecessary Threat to the Nonproliferation Regime, January/February 2010) on the proliferation risks of South Korea’s plans for reprocessing spent fuel from its nuclear power program elegantly frames what is likely to become a major controversy as South Korea’s agreement for nuclear cooperation with the United States comes up for renewal in 2014.

Von Hippel argues that the South Korean approach, based on an unproven technology known as pyroprocessing and yet-to-be-designed fast reactors, is unlikely to succeed on a scale sufficient to alleviate South Korea’s spent fuel management problem. Moreover, he stresses, it could introduce new proliferation risks by creating stocks of material from which plutonium could be more easily extracted than from spent fuel.

To underscore his point, von Hippel highlights the great difficulties Japan has encountered in its own spent fuel reprocessing program, based on classic reprocessing technology that is well understood, and conventional reactors. The situation in Japan, however, is considerably worse than von Hippel describes, making his core point all the more powerful.”

Plutonium level in waste to triple | The Augusta Chronicle
“The amount of plutonium in high-level waste converted to glass at Savannah River Site will nearly triple this year as a consequence of the U.S. Energy Department’s decision to abandon its Yucca Mountain waste repository.

The SRS-based Defense Waste Processing Facility uses a process called vitrification to convert liquid radioactive wastes into a solid glass form suitable for long-term storage and permanent disposal.

Plutonium is among many dangerous materials in the 36 million gallons of waste left behind at SRS by decades of nuclear weapons production.

In 2008, as the department prepared its application to license the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada — where vitrified waste was to be buried — SRS lowered plutonium levels in vitrified waste from 2,500 grams per cubic meter to 897 grams per cubic meter.”

San Antonio Current – Vermont consultants urge delay of Texas nuke dump expansion rule
“A pair of Vermont consultants blasted an unfunded Texas commission this week for preparing legal language to govern the expansion of a two-state low-level radioactive waste dump in West Texas out of fear it may impact Vermont’s ability to dispose of its only nuclear reactor.

We are gravely concerned that this rulemaking is occurring in a rushed and ill-advised manner, wrote Margaret Gundersen, a consultant to the Joint Fiscal Committee of the Vermont State Legislature, and Arnie Gundersen, an appointed member of the public oversight committee advising on operations at the troubled Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The Entergy-owned plant, recently found to be leaking radioactive tritium into area groundwater and ordered closed by the Vermont Legislature, is to be disposed of at the West Texas dump.

Greenpeace vessel in St. Petersburg for anti-nuclear waste protest | Top Russian news and analysis online | ‘RIA Novosti’ newswire
“A vessel belonging to the environmental organization Greenpeace will arrive in St. Petersburg on Wednesday as part of an anti-nuclear tour in protest against the import of French spent nuclear fuel to Russia, Greenpeace Russia’s press service said.

The Esperanza will open its doors to the people of St Petersburg from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (1300-1700 GMT). Visitors can go on free excursions leading them to the deck, the captain’s bridge and the cargo hold. They will also learn all about the vessel’s history, expeditions and campaigns.

On Thursday at 11:00 a news conference will be held on the boat about the import of depleted uranium to Russia.

Environmental activists gathered on the docks in St. Petersburg on Tuesday in protest against the arrival of Russian cargo ship Kapitan Kuroptev, carrying 650 tons of depleted uranium from the French company AREVA.”

Greenpeace says Gorleben is not suitable as a nuclear waste dump | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 14.04.2010
“Greenpeace said it had obtained partly classified documents which prove that Gorleben should not have been used as a nuclear waste site.

The environmental activist group Greenpeace said on Wednesday that it had obtained official documents, which prove that the salt mines in the German town of Gorleben should not have been used as a disposal site for nuclear waste.

“There was never a scientific selection procedure that concluded the salt mines in Gorleben would be the best choice,” Greenpeace nuclear expert Mathias Edler told reporters at a press conference in Berlin. “Geological criteria for a nuclear disposal site in the salt mines played a minor role.”

Greenpeace said the more than 12,000 pages of partly classified documents, which date back to the mid-1970’s, are from the Lower Saxony state chancellery, environment ministry, and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources. ”

Canada to export spent nuclear fuel rods
Chalk River supply headed back to U.S.

Canada has agreed to ship an 11-year stockpile of highly enriched uranium back to the United States out of concern the spent fuel could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to produce a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.

Seeking to burnish Canada’s reputation with President Barack Obama on the opening day of a global summit on arms control, Harper said the world faced an “immediate threat” from nuclear terrorism unless nations moved to secure supplies of bomb-grade uranium.

The deal will result in supplies of spent inventories of uranium at the Chalk River Laboratories being shipped to the U.S. over an eight-year period, starting this year.”


Nuclear Policy News

German nuclear protesters form 75-mile human chain | Reuters
“Opponents of nuclear power formed a 120-km (75-mile) human chain between reactor sites in Germany Saturday to protest against government plans to extend the power plants’ operation.

Around 120,000 peaceful demonstrators, according to police and organizers, linked arms in a chain running between the northern towns of Brunsbuettel and Kruemmel that passed through the city of Hamburg.

“Today will spark a countrywide chain reaction of protests and resistance if the government does not reverse its atomic policy,” organizers said in a statement.”

U.S. climate bill gives polluter and nuclear breaks | Reuters
* Bill to spur development of 12 nuclear plants
* Would delay carbon caps and weaken permit price cap
* Maintains U.S. goal to cut emissions 17 pct by 2020 (Adds quote from Republicans, background, graphics)

– The U.S. climate change bill expected to be unveiled on Monday contains incentives to spur development of a dozen nuclear power plants, but delays emissions caps on plants that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, industry sources said on Friday.”

Nuclear power plant measure fizzles « The Daily Reporter
“Nuclear power plant construction in Wisconsin likely will be just as difficult to accomplish after the legislative session as it was before.

It’s definitely disappointing, said state Rep. Jim Soletski, D-Green Bay. I’m not saying we should ring Lake Michigan with 20 new plants, but we need to have the option on the table.

Soletski and three other lawmakers drafted that option as part of the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

But the Assembly did not debate the act during its session Tuesday, and, even if it were to pass the Assembly, the Senate does not have the votes to pass the act as drafted, said Carrie Lynch, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Wausau.”

Firms Look to Feed Global Nuclear Ambitions
“The Obama administration’s decision to cancel plans for a massive nuclear waste facility at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain may have complicated hopes for a nuclear energy renaissance in the United States. But a handful of Am Law 100 firms with strong nuclear regulatory practices are betting that the search for clean energy sources and the debate over climate change will lead more countries to embrace the nuclear option.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius sought to give its leading nuclear regulatory practice a boost last week with the addition in London of Susan Quint, a former general counsel and group legal director for British Nuclear Fuels Limited. Legal Week reports that the move by Morgan Lewis follows a shift by the firm to refocus its practice strengths abroad, especially in the energy sector.

London-based EDF Energy recently selected the Morgan Lewis to help it build 20 new nuclear reactors in the U.K., The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. (EDF is a subsidiary of Paris-based Électricité de France, the world’s largest utility company following its $23 billion merger with British Energy in September 2008.) And Morgan Lewis isn’t the only firm looking to other shores for nuclear business.”

Protesters converge outside nuclear power plant – The Mercury News: Pottstown, PA
“Protestors from around the world and around the corner converged on Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station Tuesday morning to protest the world’s continued pursuit of nuclear power.

Part of a group called Footprints for Peace, about 21 people, some of them Buddhist monks and nuns, carried flags, donned gas masks, chanted mantras and banged drums outside the plant’s main entrance at Sanatoga and Evergreen roads.

Plant security were present, as were the Limerick Police, but there were no incidents and the protest ended as peacefully as it began after a little more than an hour.

The protestors who starting walking two months ago from the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.  arrived in Montgomery County via the Schuylkill River Trail and stayed overnight at St. James United Church of Christ on High Street.”

Many anomalies in n-liabilities Bill: Lawyers, activists
“Getting the requisite numbers to pass the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 in the Lok Sabha may be the least of the United Progressive Alliance’s problems. Lawyers and legal experts, including those who support the legislation, say there are many instances of poor drafting and anomalies that have the potential to generate more controversy if the Bill is passed in its current form.

There is no denying that we need this Bill but it urgently needs drafting changes, said former Minister for Law and Justice Ram Jethmalani at a recent seminar.

The text of the statute has left a number of loopholes that can be exploited skillfully to dodge paying compensation to the victims and may end up in a legal minefield, added Nilendra Kumar, director, Amity Law School and former Judge Advocate General of the army (September 2001 to November 2008). ”

PM Says No to 3 New Nukes | YLE Uutiset |
“Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen says the government will not grant permits to all three applicants to build new nuclear reactors.

He rejected the notion that they should all be approved and then let the market decide which of them should be built and when – as Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen of the conservative National Coalition Party has suggested.

The PM says that the decision must be made based on laws governing nuclear energy. ”

Radiation Expert Worried Over Renaissance in Nuclear Power | News | YLE Uutiset |
“A senior director at the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority(STUK) has expressed concern at current enthusiasm for nuclear power. Tero Varjoranta, Director for Nuclear Waste and Material Regulation at the Authority singles out, in particular, new nations joining the nuclear power fraternity.

Varjoranta will soon join the department at the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) responsible for material regulation and nuclear waste.

About 50 nuclear power plants are under construction around the world with 100 more on the drawing board.

I don’t consider the renaissance in nuclear energy as a positive step. If it is used, then it must be utilized responsibly, he says. ”

Going to the heart of France’s nuclear power ambitions –
“As an intrepid producer for CNN, I have been in some strange situations. Possibly the strangest, however, was on a recent trip to France to produce a piece on nuclear energy for the latest episode of Earth’s Frontiers. We were about to be taken on a rare behind-the-scenes tour of Tricastin Nuclear Power Station’s nuclear reactor.

The core of a nuclear reactor comprises a central “fuel zone,” where fissile material, normally enriched uranium, is placed. This is how I found myself donning a radiation suit for the first — and probably only — time in my life. ”

No nuclear energy revival in the EU – Bellona
“A hearing on the risk of a nuclear renaissance in the EU was held at the European Parliament on April 7th. It discussed three projects for new units at existing nuclear power plants that are under planning or construction in Europe. While one project was withdrawn, one was caught in legal entanglements and a third was facing massive cost overruns and delays. Veronica Webster, 15/04-2010

The hearing was co-sponsored by German Member of the European Parliament Rebecca Harms from the Greens, and Finnish Member of the European Parliament Sirpa Pietikainen from the centre-right group EPP, in co-operation with green NGO Friends of the Earth Europe.

Three case studies were examined. The nuclear power plant units Mochovce 3
and 4 in Slovakia were permitted in the 1980s under the socialist regime and were partly built before the project was stopped after the economic changes of the early 1990s. The project has recently been revived, but it is still based on a reactor-design from the early 1970s, and offers, for instance, insufficient protection against plane crashes.”

kuar: : The New Republic: The Nuclear Fallout (2010-04-14)
“Call it the Obama doctrine. The central theme of Barack Obama?s foreign policy to date has been simple: He wants to lower the risk that a nuclear weapon will be exploded inside the United States. Think back. Obama?s first foreign policy address, delivered in Prague last April, called for a nuclear-free world?not a short-term practical goal, of course, but an ideal meant to shape our thinking and discourse. His top strategic priorities are stopping Iran from developing a nuclear bomb and stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan; Obama is investing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of U.S. troops in that region largely to ensure that Islamabad?s nuclear arsenal remains secure and out of the hands of jihadists. He convened a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council last fall to discuss the nuclear threat. He recently invested considerable prestige in the START treaty that mandates arms reductions with Russia. And he invited demagogic attacks from critics like Sarah Palin when he added new limitations to America?s nuclear-weapons doctrine.”

Reuters AlertNet – Controversial Indian law on nuclear liability spells disaster – activists
“A controversial Indian law protecting companies from having to pay out major sums of compensation in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant is pandering to foreign investors at the expense of the Indian people, say critics.

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill – which the government says is crucial for many foreign companies to tap into energy-starved India’s emerging nuclear power market – was slammed by critics last month, forcing the government to postpone its introduction in parliament.”

Interview with German Foreign Policy Expert: ‘A World with 25 Nuclear Powers Would Be Highly Dangerous’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International
“Nuclear knowledge, nuclear technology and the corresponding delivery systems are now more easily available internationally than ever before. This favors the nuclear ambitions of states that see their security at risk and that have ambitions to become regional powers. If they were to get nuclear weapons, this would then trigger a chain reaction among their neighbors, who would feel threatened by those arms. For example, a nuclear-armed Iran would raise for the Arab states the question of an “Arab bomb,” given that the main non-Arab actors in the region — Israel, Iran and the US — would all have nuclear weapons under this scenario. Large states like Egypt or Saudi Arabia might therefore want to join the club. ”


Nuclear Weapons News

U.S. signals its nuclear arms stay in Europe for now | Reuters
“The United States appeared on Thursday to rule out an early withdrawal of its battlefield nuclear weapons from Europe and said if it cut its arsenal it would want Russia to move its arms further from NATO nations.

The stance sketched out by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is likely to please former Soviet satellites now in the 28-member Western security alliance who view the so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons as critical to deterring Russia.

However, it may frustrate those that regard them as Cold War relics that have little military justification but bring huge risks — including of accidents or nuclear terrorism — to the nations that house them.”

Pair of films shed new light on hibakusha | The Japan Times Online
“While disarmament experts and antinuclear campaigners may have heard about atomic-bomb survivors, a pair of documentaries about hibakusha that aim to connect with the younger generation were recently completed by two young directors from Costa Rica and Japan.

Erika Bagnarello’s “Flashes of Hope” and Takashi Kunimoto’s “Traveling with Hibakusha: Across Generations” take different approaches but both feature a group of more than 100 survivors who cruised around the world in 2008 in a project organized by nongovernmental organization Peace Boat.”

Hibakusha: Though her body grows frail, A-bomb survivor’s will to tell story remains strong – The Mainichi Daily News
“At a nursing home in Hiroshima’s Minami Ward, 86-year-old Suzuko Numata lies in her bed and watches news about defections from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party on television.

“When it comes to politics, I can’t trust any of the parties,” she says with a tired expression.

When asked about what she thinks of U.S. President Barack Obama, she replies, “Well, he’s the first American (president) to really clearly say he wants nuclear weapons abolished.” A little while later, she begins her tale of her globe-spanning efforts to tell the world of the sunny August day in 1945 when she witnessed the horror of a nuclear attack herself.”

Visiting Hiroshima on spring break changed the way students see the world | West Island Gazette +
“Some kids spent it at home. Others went south for a few days. But for a group of students from West Island College, spring break 2010 was spent halfway around the world in Japan.

And for a good number of them, the way they see the world will never be quite the same.

It was amazing, said Grade 11 student Laura Marchand, 17. I’ve been interested in Japan since I was about 6 years old. So when I heard the school was offering the trip, I jumped on the opportunity.”

Between March 26 and April 5, the group of 33 Grade 10 and 11 students, as well as three teachers, visited the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka, with stops in between. ”

Arms treaty shouldn’t constrain U.S. missile defenses
“It is time to put a little reality into the discussions about nuclear weapons and missile defense in the wake of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed April 8 by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Republicans immediately raised questions about whether the treaty could “constrain improvements to U.S. missile defenses, if objected to by the Russians,” as Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain, both of Arizona, put it the day the pact was signed. Last week, at a hearing of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio) mentioned his concern that the United States will be “self-constrained” by the treaty. ”

Hibakusha: A-bomb survivors ready to descend on New York with hope for abolition of nukes – The Mainichi Daily News
“In May, people from around the globe who hope to realize “a world without nuclear weapons” will descend on New York, where a review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is set to take place.

“This will probably be my last time traveling to the U.S.,” said Sumiteru Taniguchi, 81, at a send-off event hosted by the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council earlier this month. “That’s especially why I want the abolition of nuclear weapons to be realized now.””

Former state leaders kick off nuclear disarmament summit in Hiroshima | The Japan Times Online
“Former government leaders from around the world have opened a plenary meeting of the InterAction Council to debate how nuclear weapons can best be eliminated.

Sam Nunn, former chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a guest speech at the Hiroshima venue that the upcoming conference to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty must not repeat the failure of the previous meeting in 2005, when it ended without consensus.

Among participants in the InterAction Council are 14 former heads of state, including former Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson who serves as cochair with former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, as well as former Japanese prime ministers Yasuo Fukuda and Tomiichi Murayama.”

Obama lacks domestic, international support for key nuclear ambitions
“In signing a new arms treaty with Russia and hosting a major nuclear terrorism summit, President Obama has shown leadership on his pledge to move toward a world without nuclear weapons.

But is anyone following?

At home, Obama faces a polarized Congress and a public focused on other issues, such as the economy. Although many experts think the Senate will approve the new strategic-arms treaty with Russia, prospects are dim for ratifying another Obama priority: a global pact banning nuclear tests.

Internationally, there is also a mixed picture. Obama has won kudos, and a Nobel Peace Prize, for a policy that many perceive as less belligerent than that of President George W. Bush. ”

MIDEAST: Israel Trapped in Nuclear Isolation – IPS
“As the world grapples with controlling the spread of nuclear weapons, it’s a time of complex choices in a Middle East edging between possible confrontation with Iran and possible movement towards Israeli-Palestinian peace.

It’s also a time of troubled relations between the United States and Israel. And yet at this critical moment, against expectations, there was a rare confluence of interests this week between the region’s closest allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to skip the world nuclear conference convened by President Barack Obama in Washington. The U.S. leader may well have been quietly pleased by Netanyahu’s decision to stay away and to send a lower level delegation.

He had no wish to meet with Netanyahu while he’s kept waiting for an answer to his demand that Israel changes policy about making peace with the Palestinians. ”

US plans full European missile shield in 8 years | Reuters
“* Includes “proven” sea-based, land-based missile shields

* Bush-era plan would have covered only 75 pct of Europe

– U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems will cover all of Europe by 2018, a senior Pentagon official said, laying out an ambitious target for defending against a perceived threat from Iran.

“One hundred percent,” Bradley Roberts, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, said in reply to a question at a hearing of a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee Thursday.”

BBC News – Assessing Obama’s nuclear weapons agenda
“With the end of the nuclear security summit in Washington, it is time to do an audit of President Obama’s nuclear weapons agenda set out in Prague a year ago.”

Summit helps Israel skirt nuclear scrutiny, for now | Reuters
President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit was a high-yield event for Israel, with little of the diplomatic fallout that made the country’s leaders duck such forums in the past.

But it may be only a fleeting reprieve for the decades-old, U.S.-tolerated secrecy around Israel’s assumed atomic arsenal.

Obama’s drive to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and, more immediately, to defuse tinderbox Middle East standoffs will mean increased pressure on Israel to scrap its self-styled policy of nuclear “ambiguity” or “opacity,” some analysts say.

Europeans bring own nuclear security concerns to Washington summit | World | Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle: What issues will the Europeans be most involved with in terms of nuclear security at the Washington summit?

Seaboyer: The Europeans will obviously be interested in any discussions on Iran even though it doesn’t feature on the agenda. They will also want to address the issue of dual-use goods – nuclear material with both civilian and military uses – and the freedom of movement of this material. The Europeans are much stricter than the Americans when it comes to this.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty is another area where the Europeans have a lot of interest and as this summit is a precursor to the NPT conference, most of the Europeans will want to talk about the decommissioning of weapons and how you can make signatories of the NPT who are not complying to reduce their arms.”


Department of Energy News

DOE to double loan guarantees for uranium enrichment projects | The Columbus Dispatch
“It’s a possible good news/bad news story for the planned $3.5 billion uranium-enrichment-plant project in Piketon, which could bring hundreds of jobs to economically struggling southern Ohio.

The Department of Energy is moving ahead with plans to double the amount of federal loan guarantees available for enrichment projects to $4 billion. But the move could double the competition the Piketon project faces for a loan guarantee it must obtain to survive.

The Obama administration’s intent apparently is to be able to grant separate $2 billion loan guarantees to the USEC project in Piketon and a competing enrichment plant being built in Idaho by French-based Areva.

USEC is a former federal corporation turned private company, based in suburban Washington, D.C., which ran the old enrichment plant that was shuttered in 2001 in Piketon. Uranium-enrichment plants produce nuclear power plant fuel.”

SRS takes step to closing old reactor facility | Aiken Standard | Aiken, SC
“Stimulus funding has moved the Department of Energy one step closer to closing the book on the Cold War-era P-Reactor facility at the Savannah River Site.

With the installation, testing and startup of six evaporator units, SRS can begin removing about 4.6 million gallons of water from the 105-P Reactor Disassembly Basin – a phase of in-situ decommissioning.

“The safe startup of the disassembly basin evaporators marks another milestone for this history-making Recovery Act project,” said Ray Hannah, DOE federal project director of the P-Reactor Project. “Removing the water from the disassembly basin and readying it to be filled with grout are important steps in decommissioning this Cold-War relic.”

Six fuel oil-fired evaporators were installed in the Disassembly Basin’s Transfer Bay and started up on April 7 to remove the basin water.

An additional four evaporators will be installed in the Monitor Pin Room area of the basin and should be online in mid-May. ”

New deadlines proposed for Hanford radioactive waste – Tri-City Herald
“The Department of Energy and its regulators have agreed to new legally binding environmental cleanup deadlines for radioactive waste that has been temporarily buried at central Hanford since 1970.

The proposed new package of deadlines would allow more time for some work but also add new deadlines DOE must meet. They include the first-ever deadlines for when some of the waste must be shipped to a national repository in New Mexico and a final cleanup deadline for some of the most difficult-to-handle solid waste, which Hanford now lacks the capabilities to prepare for disposal.

“We’ve come up with a change package that satisfies the interest of DOE, Ecology and the public,” said Deborah Singleton, project manager for the Washington State Department of Ecology. The state and the Environmental Protection Agency are Hanford regulators. ”

FR: DOE West Valley ROD EIS
“Record of Decision: Final Environmental Impact Statement for Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center AGENCY: U.S. Department of Energy. ACTION: Record of decision.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing this Record of Decision (ROD), based on information and analyses contained in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Decommissioning and/or Long- Term Stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center (Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship EIS) (DOE/EIS-0226) issued on January 29, 2010, comments received on the Final EIS, and other factors including cost and environmental stewardship considerations. The Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship EIS was prepared by DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to examine the potential environmental impacts of the range of reasonable alternatives to meet DOE’s responsibilities under the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) Act and NYSERDA’s responsibilities for management of the Western New York Nuclear Services Center (WNYNSC). This ROD addresses DOE decisions for actions at WNYNSC necessary to complete WVDP. NYSERDA will publish its decisions regarding actions at WNYNSC in a Findings Statement in the New York State Environmental Notice Bulletin. ”

GAO uncovers more cost overruns and delays at National Ignition Facility – Physics Today Politics and Policy
“Weak management of the National Ignition Facility is being blamed for more cost overruns and delays to experiments at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory project, according to a recently released report by congressional auditors. The cost of NIF’s experimental program has already grown by 25%, or $400 million, to an estimated $2 billion through fiscal year 2012, and the scheduled completion of ignition experiments has been pushed back by a year, to September 2012, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The 192-laser NIF was officially completed more than a year ago, at a cost of $3.5 billion $1.4 billion above the estimate when construction began in 1997. But GAO said that LLNL had been allowed to put off “major aspects of NIF’s safety infrastructure,” including installation of concrete doors and other target-area shielding to protect personnel from neutron radiation. Funding for those safety items, totaling around $50 million, has had to come from the National Ignition Campaign, and NIF’s preliminary experimental program, which includes “nonignition” experiments producing temperatures and pressures below the ignition threshold, had to be suspended for several months while their installation was completed. That stoppage could delay attainment of NIF’s experimental objective ignition, the point at which the energy from fusion exceeds the energy needed to initiate the reaction beyond the already postponed 2012 deadline.”

Energy auditors suggest keeping uranium at SRS | The Augusta Chronicle
“A plan to temporarily store two trainloads of Savannah River Site’s depleted uranium in Texas after it was rejected by Utah’s governor might be unnecessary and could waste taxpayers’ money, according to the U.S. Energy Department’s Inspector General.

“The only apparent driver in this case was a Recovery Act-related goal established by the Department to accelerate the general disposition of the SRS material,” said the report, released Tuesday as a “management alert” based on information received from a “reliable and credible” department source.”

Munger: 5,600 tons of nickel finds a new home » Knoxville News Sentinel
“An estimated 5,600 tons of nickel is being relocated to prepare for the upcoming demolition of the K-33 building in Oak Ridge.

LATA-Sharp of Westerville, Ohio, recently won a $51 million contract to demolish 1.4 million-square-foot building at the East Tennessee Technology Park.

The large inventory of radioactive nickel is a Cold War legacy of the uranium-enrichment operations. It was extracted from equipment by BNFL Inc., which decommissioned three of the process buildings – including K-33 – as part of a late-1990s contract with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge office.

Under the original terms of the contract, BNFL was to take ownership of the nickel and other potentially valuable metals as partial payment for the cleanup work. The company planned to recycle the metals to remove the radioactive constituents and then resell the metal on the commercial market.”

Other Energy News

No Other News stories this cycle..


Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Free Press – Harvey Wasserman: Will the Climate bill nuke Earth Day?
“The Climate Bill is due on Earth Day. By all accounts it will be a nuclear bomb.

It will be the ultimate challenge of the global grassroots green movement to transform it into something that can actually save the planet.

For the atomic power industry, the bill will cap a decade-long $640-million-plus virtual cleansing of its radioactive image.

It will have the Obama Administration and Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) embracing very substantial taxpayer subsidies for building new nuclear plants.

Ditto new offshore drilling and “clean coal.” The markers have been laid for a greenwashed business-as-usual approach toward pretending to deal with global climate change and the life-threatening pollution in which our corporate power structure is drowning us. All without actually threatening certain corporate profits.

From “An Inconvenient Truth” to Obama’s impending Earth Day address, the official emphasis is on each of us, as individuals. To be sure, we ALL must consume smarter, use less and recycle more. Since the first Earth Day, all these great green ideas have had an undeniable impact. ”

Stop subsidizing the nuclear power industry – The Mercury Opinion: Pottstown, PA and The Tri County areas of Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties (
“The hypocrisy is astonishing! Some in Congress used fiscal responsibility as an excuse to oppose health care reform, yet they support an outrageous attempted money grab in risky taxpayer loans (tens of billions to a trillion) to the wealthy nuclear industry, when the Congressional Budget Office estimates more than 50 percent risk of default. Taxpayers should be outraged. The nuclear industry has already externalized most of its costs, risks, and liabilities onto taxpayers, ratepayers, and future generations, both financially and radiologically.

Nuclear power is a dangerous distraction from real solutions to climate change and our energy needs, yet the nuclear industry, that already got the lion’s share of energy subsidies for the past 50 years, is shamelessly attempting to rob the clean energy fund from the Climate Bill and Energy Bill. In reality, new nuclear plants are not the answer to global warming or the energy crisis.”

The Miscellany News – Indian Point plant dangerous, must be decommissioned
“As the crow flies, the Indian Point nuclear power plant is just 30 miles south of Vassar. Opposition to nuclear power plants runs deep—images of Chernobyl and memories of Three Mile Island are tritely commonplace. Is opposition to Indian Point driven by “not in my backyard arguments? The plant should be decommissioned for many reasons: With the Nuclear Regulatory Commission currently reviewing Indian Point for a 20-year license renewal, compelling evidence is emerging that the plant is a threat to both human populations and the environment. Nuclear power is important to the future of energy, but Indian Point is not a safe and effective example of this promising power source.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) thinks so, too on April 3, The New York Times reported that the DEC found Indian Point in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. This is a major setback for Indian Point’s operator, Entergy Corporation, as the DEC’s approval is a vital step in the relicensing process. The DEC found that Indian Point’s once-through cooling system, which draws billions of gallons of Hudson River water daily to cool the reactors, kills billions of fish every year. This is due to the fact that the system discharges heated water from the plant, which increases the temperature of the Hudson’s fragile estuarine environment. This increase in temperature reduces the amount of oxygen that can dissolve in the water, which causes aquatic life to suffocate.”

Denis Hayes: Earth Day and new nuclear reactors don’t mix
“Nuclear power has never lived up to the promises of its backers. Their latest claim — that nuclear energy represents an easy answer to global warming — has as much validity as that old industry chestnut of producing energy too cheap to meter. Let’s not be duped again.

Four decades ago, when I served as national coordinator for the first Earth Day, millions of Americans mobilized on behalf of the environment. This year, we know that the centerpiece of a healthy environment is safe, clean and sustainable energy. Climate change was a phrase unknown back in 1970; today it is part of our popular vocabulary. Halting the advance of global warming tops the priority list of environmental issues that threaten our well-being.”

The true cost of nuclear power: Rutland Herald Online
“I am responding to the letter that stated that nuclear power was “cheap, green and safe;” that “the only accident was at Three Mile Island,” the radiation from which was “contained;” that the “solution” to the problem of nuclear waste was to “neutralize and ‘recycle'” it (the word is reprocess), a process that has been “perfected by France.”

Cheap: The decommissioning fund, which in Vermont is now close to or over a billion dollars, is almost sure to be foisted off, by means of corporate monkey business, on the taxpayers. There are those of us who would gladly pay more for power if without nuclear reactors, for to us, human life is not cheap.

Green: Each ton of uranium mined produces 27 tons of greenhouse gases. The enrichment process, which provides the military with “depleted” uranium free, uses low grade coal.

Safe: An “accident” at Vermont Yankee would make most of New England uninhabitable for about 250,000 years.”

Sara Barczak: Consumers will pay if nuke power rules eased
“Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Jobs Act could be a job killer — but not from energy efficiency or renewable energy, as some are claiming, against all evidence. The nuclear portion of the bill is far more likely to raise electric rates by opening the door to building expensive new nuclear reactors and allowing for prepayment schemes to fund them.

I was born and raised in Wisconsin but have spent the past decade in Savannah, Ga., working with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. I’ve seen firsthand how the push for risky new nuclear reactors has impacted Southeastern states. It’s not an experience that Wisconsinites would want to replicate.

In recent years Georgia, Florida and South Carolina have all passed legislation to encourage building new nuclear reactors. What’s happened next — particularly in Florida and South Carolina — is that ratepayers already dealing with tough economic times have seen their electricity bills increase.”

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