PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE USE, Sept. 16, 2021
CONTACT: Tim Judson, NIRS, (212)729-1169 (c); timj@nirs.org
Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear, 301-523-0201; paul@beyondnuclear.org
Tamra Gilbertson, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), (865)443-1337; tamra@IENEarth.org
David Kraft, Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), (773-342-7650; neis@neis.org
 
Build Back Better Act: Climate Salvation? Or Trojan Horse?
Devils in the details reveal massive spending on “false climate solutions,”
safe-energy advocates reveal
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Close inspection of the mark-up language being proposed in parts of the “Build Back Better” Reconciliation package have uncovered large hidden subsidies and loopholes that benefit Big Dirty Energy, including approximately $50 billion in subsidies for existing nuclear power plants. With such provisions, the bill will produce far less benefit, and create far fewer jobs fighting the climate crisis than legislators claim or would like the public to believe, and that the Biden Administration claims it stands for.
 
Providing obscure and arcane funding mechanisms for less- to non-effective energy sources for combatting climate disruption – like nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, waste incineration and biomass, to name a few – would subvert the stated intention of the Biden Administration to take serious and effective action to address the current “Climate Code Red.”
 
“Nuclear bailouts of aging, money-losing nuclear reactors are a waste of precious time and money -- resources better spent on getting us directly to a truly clean-energy future,” states Tim Judson of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS).  “Money wasted on old reactors that will close soon anyway is money not spent or available for the technologies we need to get to a real clean energy future:  renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and transmission improvements,” Judson concludes.
 
Many reputable energy analysts and professionals agree with this assessment. 
 
Internationally acclaimed energy analyst and physicist Amory Lovins has stated previously that those endorsing nuclear bailouts, “[are] making the usual mistake of counting carbon but not also cost. This blind spot conceals the consequence that continuing to operate distressed (uneconomic-to-run) nuclear plants makes climate change worse, because the cheaper carbon-free resources they crowd out would save even more carbon per dollar than continued operation (even without extra subsidies).”
 
The late S. David Freeman, former chairman of the heavily nuclear-reliant TVA and several public utilities companies, most notably the New York Power Authority, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, states it more simply, “Anyone who would substitute plutonium for carbon needs to think again.”
 
One estimate of the amount of nuclear subsidization found in the BBB and Infrastructure package places the amount between $46-$54 billion.  As a numerical comparison, that is the approximate (financial) equivalence of between 23,000 and 27,000 modern, new 2-MW wind turbines. That is the energy equivalent, counting for intermittency, of roughly 8-9 present-day nuclear reactors. at a far lower cost. The two and only nuclear reactors still under construction in the US in Georgia are projected to cost more than $28 billion, if completed.
 
The Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) is also a matter of deep concern to safe-energy advocates.
 
“The flawed concept of ‘technology neutrality’ has been used to provide greenwashing-cover for dirty energies and it enables polluters to skim funding away from renewable energy. Lumping incentives for fossil fuels and false solutions with truly clean and renewable energy sources undermines emission reduction goals and embeds environmental harms,” according to a sign-on letter sent to Congressional leadership by the coalition of NGOs including Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Friends of the Earth (FOE), and Food and Water Watch.
 
The letter goes on to state, “fossil fuels (including fossil gas), CCS, and other false solutions are not beneficial to communities and exacerbate existing impacts especially to Indigenous, Black and other frontline communities,” indicating that these hidden and arcane loopholes are clearly a matter of environmental justice concern.
 
Definitions of “carbon intensity” in the CEPP have allowed qualifying standards for utilities and industries applying for the Program’s ‘clean electricity payments’ to be set so low as to enable energy sources like nuclear power to be defined as “clean” energy.
 
“Relative to coal, nuclear power may be relatively ‘low-carbon’ but it is not “clean” by any rational standards,” asserts Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear. “90,000 tons of high-level radioactive wastes and over 15,000 abandoned uranium mining sites across the American Southwest isn’t ‘clean’ or ‘just,” he continued.  “We need to take a hard look at all of the impacts, not just the point of  generation of electricity.”
 
Nuclear power has been shown to have a sizeable total carbon-footprint – a cradle-to-grave calculation of the amount of greenhouse gases the nuclear industry puts out counting all operations required for its continued operation.
 
“The nuclear industry is notorious for its reimaging,” said Gunter. “First it was the ‘peaceful atom,’ then ‘too cheap to meter’, now it’s ‘zero’ emissions, none of it is true,” concluded Gunter.
 
While the legislation deals solely with financial considerations, safe-energy advocates point out the seemingly intimate connections between nuclear bailouts and corruption.
 
David Kraft, director of the Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), points out an additional ominous dimension to the federal nuclear subsidies:
 
“The overwhelming amount of these subsidies and state-level nuclear bailout schemes would go to nuclear utilities which have demonstrated a consistent penchant for corruption and criminal behavior in their business models,” Kraft points out. 
 
“Exelon in Illinois, Energy Harbor (nee First Energy) in Ohio, SCANA in South Carolina – all have been subject to FBI investigations, federal fraud, bribery and improper lobbying charges, and outright admissions of guilt, paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.  These are neither the business partners nor the industry America can rely on to successfully fight and win against the climate crisis,” Kraft asserts.
 
Safe-energy advocates are urging Congress to deny undeserved bailouts, financial supports and incentives to the “false” solutions to Climate Code Red that are fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass, waste incineration, carbon capture and storage (CCS), offsets, and other unpromising yet expensive technofixes. 
 
They instead urge Congress to re-allocate such funds to truly effective and currently readily available climate fighting solutions which are renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and transmission upgrades.
 
They urge Congress to understand that you can’t build an energy future by bailing out the past.
--30—
 
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) is a national non-profit organization devoted to a nuclear-free, carbon-free world, based in Takoma Park, MD.
 
Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future.  It is based in Takoma Park, MD.
 
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is an alliance of Indigenous Peoples whose Shared Mission is to Protect the Sacredness of Earth Mother from contamination & exploitation by Respecting and Adhering to Indigenous Knowledge and Natural Law. Their office is in Bemidji, MN.
 
Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) is a Chicago-based safe-energy, anti-nuclear power watchdog environmental organization promoting renewables and efficiency alternatives to nuclear power,

--
David A. Kraft, Director
 
Mon, Sep 13, 2021, 8:00PMRadwaste Solutions
 
The La Crosse site in 2019 with major decommissioning completed. The coal-fired Genoa plant is in the background. (Photo: EnergySolutions)
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended its orders transferring the licenses for the La Crosse and Zion nuclear power plants from EnergySolutions back to the plant owners until late 2022. This is the third time the NRC has extended the effectiveness of the license transfer orders for the decommissioned plants since approving them in 2019.
 
EnergySolutions, which took over the licenses for the Zion plant in Illinois and the La Crosse boiling water reactor in Wisconsin for expedited decommissioning, requested the 12-month extensions as it works to respond to requests from the NRC for additional information regarding the final status survey reports (FSSRs) for the two sites. The NRC issued the extension orders for La Crosse and Zion on August 30 and published notice in the September 7 Federal Register.
 
LaCrosse: EnergySolutions subsidiary LaCrosseSolutions acquired the La Crosse site license from the Dairyland Power Cooperative in 2016. On November 12, 2019, the company announced that it had completed the physical work of decommissioning the plant, which was shut down in 1987 and had already been partially decommissioned.
 
By a September 2019 order, the NRC consented to the transfer of the La Crosse license back to Dairyland Power. Unless good cause could be shown for extending it, the NRC order was to become null and void if the license transfer was not completed within one year.
 
LaCrosseSolutions twice applied to the NRC to extend the order’s September 2020 expiration date for an additional six months, first in June 2020 and again in February 2021. The NRC approved both extensions.
 
In August this year, the company again requested that the order be extended, this time for an additional 12 months, to September 2022. In requesting the extension, LaCrosseSolutions noted that NRC staff is continuing to review the site’s FSSRs. “Based on the current status of the NRC review, it is anticipated that additional time will be needed to address any questions or potential issues identified by the NRC during review of the responses to the request for additional information and the revised FSSRs,” the company said.
 
Zion: Similarly, EnergySolutions subsidiary ZionSolutions requested in August that the transfer of Zion’s license back to Exelon Generation be extended by 12 months, after previously being granted two six-month extensions, one in October 2020 and the other in May 2021. The NRC first approved the transfer order in November 2019, following ZionSolutions’ completion of the majority of decommissioning work at Zion.
 
ZionSolutions, in requesting the extension, likewise noted that more time was needed to respond to NRC staff requests for information regarding the site’s FSSRs. “The extension provides the NRC staff with additional time to assess the responses provided by ZionSolutions and make a final determination regarding the release of land for unrestricted use,” the company said.
 
On August 19, the NRC sent ZionSolutions a 38-page letter with 11 requests for additional information regarding radiological conditions at the Zion site.
Power Reactor
Event Number: 55455
Facility: Three Mile Island
Region: 1      State: PA
Unit: [1] [] []
RX Type: [1] B&W-L-LP,[2] B&W-L-LP
NRC Notified By: Brian Miscavage
HQ OPS Officer: Thomas Kendzia Notification Date: 09/10/2021
Notification Time: 14:45 [ET]
Event Date: 09/10/2021
Event Time: 10:55 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 09/10/2021 Emergency Class: Non Emergency
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(xi) - Offsite Notification
72.75(b)(2) - Press Release/Offsite Notification Person (Organization):
DENTEL, GLENN (R1)
MILLER, CHRIS (NRR EO)
RIVERA-CAPELLA, GRETCHEN (NMSS DAY)
GOTT, WILLIAM (IR)
NMSS_EVENTS_NOTIFICATION, (EMAIL)
 
Power Reactor Unit Info
Unit
SCRAM Code
RX Crit
Initial PWR
Initial RX Mode
Current PWR
Current RX Mode
1
N
N
0
Defueled
0
Power Operation
 
Event Text
OFFSITE NOTIFICATION DUE TO CONTRACTOR FATALITY

"This is a four-hour notification, non-emergency for a notification of another government agency. This event is being reported under 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(xi) and 10 CFR 72.75(b)(2).

"At 1055 EDT on 9/10/21, an employee of a site contractor that was performing work under a contract and in possession of the immediate area where the work was being performed, was involved in a material handling accident in the owner controlled area at Three Mile Island. Londonderry Township EMS and Fire responded to render assistance to the individual. Upon arrival to the site, medical personnel declared the individual deceased.

"The fatality was work related and the individual was outside of the Radiological Controlled Area."

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is distributing free potassium iodide (KI) capsules to residents living within a ten-mile radius of the state’s four active nuclear power plants. Potassium Iodide tablets are set to be distributed to individuals living near the Limerick Generating Station, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, and the Beaver Valley Power Station. Potassium Iodide is useful in helping protect the thyroid gland against radioactive iodine that may be in the environment. Residents can receive their tablets by visiting a distribution center or contacting the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health.

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 And 3 Closeout Of Bulletin 2012 01, Design Vulnerability In Electric Power System
 
Exelon Generation Company, LLC -Proposed Alternative to Use ASME OM Code Case OMN-28 (EPID L-2021-LLR-0056)
 
Updated Inspection Plan for the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 (Report 05000277/2021005 and 05000278/2021005)
 
ADAMS Accession No.  ML21243A147
 
Updated Inspection Plan for the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 (Report 05000387/2021005 and 05000388/2021005)

ADAMS Accession No.  ML21243A164
Summary of the July 27, 2021, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Regarding A Planned Request to Use Case OMN-28, (EPID L-2021-LRM-0069)
 

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