After a string of good luck, it seems Entergy Vermont Yankee has landed right back into its old bad habits of introducing Vermonters to a leak of the week.
This past Friday marked two straight weeks in which ENVY released bad news (and radioactive isotopes) to the Vermont media after regular business hours.
Late Friday Saturday, ENVY's top communications director Larry Smith issued a press statement (see below) claiming that a "new leak" had been found Friday at Vermont Yankee. And, as luck would have it, the leak is right near that pesky Advanced Off Gas (AOG) system that was the subject of a months-long investigation into a massive leak of tritiated water that dumped tritium, cesium and strontium-90 into the nearby soils, groundwater and likely the Connecticut River.
''If a Secretary of Agriculture endorsed better meat inspection, you wouldn't have a debate of near religious fervor about whether that person was pro- or anti-meat, whether he had sold out to the vegetarians.
You'd debate whether the stricter regulations made sense. It's somehow unique to nuclear power that, when one refuses to have nuclear power on the industry's terms, one gets chucked into a bin labeled 'anti-nuclear.' ''
-Peter A. Bradford, former Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 3/9/82
From Beyond Nuclear:
In a May 25, 2010 joint letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from Beyond Nuclear, Eastern Environmental Law Center, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper and Union of Concerned Scientists, the environmental groups ask the federal safety regulator “to confirm in writing that the NRC recognizes that it is both legal and appropriate for the States to take legal action against licensees when drinking water is under threat.”
The groups’ request follows disclosure at the April 20, 2010 NRC public meeting regarding on-going groundwater contamination from nuclear power plants of a July 5, 2006 letter from the NRC Office of General Counsel (OGC) to the State of Illinois. The NRC attorneys threatened federal preemption if the State Attorney General pursued a lawsuit against Exelon Corporation’s for uncontrolled and unmonitored radioactive leaks from its nuclear power plants in the state that had polluted groundwater. The groups admonished the NRC that since the agency “has chosen not to enforce its mandate to protect human health and safety with respect to multiple groundwater contamination issues, we strongly urge the NRC to cease any attempts to preempt state governments from exercising their authority to protect important economic and environmental resources within their borders.”
From the Scranton Times-Tribune:
To avoid future pollution cleanup problems, a bipartisan consensus is emerging that Pennsylvania needs to significantly increase the bond amounts drillers post to cover the cost of plugging or closing natural gas wells.
Policymakers have yet to decide on a specific course of action.
The current bond requirements date to 1984, when the state tightened oil and gas laws in response to a short-lived drilling boom for shallow gas deposits in northwestern Pennsylvania. At that time, the technology wasn't available to reach the deep gas pockets of what is now called the Marcellus Shale formation underlying Northeast Pennsylvania and other regions.
Drillers are required to post a $2,500 bond for a single well and $25,000 blanket bond to cover any number of wells. The bonds are regarded as a financial incentive to ensure a driller will act responsibly and address any problems.
July 4th weekend, 2010
At Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee
and the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
The Nuclear Resister, Nukewatch and the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) invite you to join us for a national gathering, culminating with nonviolent anti-nuclear direct action, July 3-5, 2010, to declare our independence from nuclear weapons and nuclear power. The gathering will be held at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, with protest and action at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in nearby Oak Ridge, where OREPA has sustained a nonviolent campaign for over 20 years.
At a critical time in the movement for a nuclear-free future, and to mark the 30th anniversaries of Nukewatch and the Nuclear Resister, we are coming together to increase awareness and action around nuclear issues, and advance the role of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance in this movement. We will also be marking the 30th anniversary of the Plowshares movement and the inaugural Plowshares Eight direct disarmament action of September 9, 1980.
Come and meet with hundreds of activists from around the U.S., as we educate and energize ourselves throughout a weekend of networking, music, speakers, celebration, workshops, community, nonviolence training and nonviolent action. Because long-lived radioactive waste makes this a multi-generational campaign, we envision a gathering where new and seasoned activists can meet and strategize for the future - a nuclear-free future!
We will gather two months after the 2010 Nonproliferation Treaty review conference and before the mid-term elections - a time when public attention needs to be focused on nuclear disarmament and a nuclear- and carbon-free energy future. It will also take place on the eve of the 14th anniversary of the July 8, 1996 World Court advisory opinion on nuclear weapons.
This gathering is for people who advocate, practice and/or support nonviolent direct action, civil resistance and civil disobedience in the struggle to stop nuclear power and abolish nuclear weapons.
We hope to see you there!
For more information, or to make a donation, please visit http://nukewatch. com/30th/ index.htm
Check out our facebook page - Resistance for a Nuclear-Free Future.
The Nuclear Resister began in 1980 to chronicle anti-nuclear and anti-war civil resistance, with a focus on supporting the men and women imprisoned for these actions. The newsletter publishes writings from prisoners, reports on actions, trials and sentencings, provides addresses of imprisoned activists and publicizes future actions.
Nukewatch has a foundation of investigating and divulging the truth about nuclear weapons and power since 1979. The organization has a strong history of drawing people together - from the missile silo fields, to H-bomb trucks on the highways, to a decade-long campaign shutting down the Navy's Project ELF.
The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance works to stop nuclear weapons production at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and to build nonviolent community to sustain a lasting movement for peace and justice.
Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa
The Nuclear Resister
Bonnie Urfer and John LaForge
May 17, 2010
214 organizations and small businesses have now signed the media statement against the Kerry-Lieberman “climate” bill, which would give the nuclear industry $54 billion in taxpayer loans for new reactor construction, and an as-yet-uncalculated amount—but probably comparable—in new tax breaks for the nuclear industry.
Meanwhile, this “climate” bill actually provides less support for renewables and energy efficiency than the very weak Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House. In short, the climate “solution” the Kerry-Lieberman bill envisions is a nuclear-powered energy future.
The stakes are high: if we don’t stop this bill as it’s now written, it will send our energy policy in the wrong direction for decades to come.
We ask every organization that signed the statement to forward this link to your members and supporters and give them the opportunity to make a statement of their own to their Senators: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5502/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3016
If you have a Facebook or other social networking page, we also ask that you post the link there.
5,000 letters have gone in so far, but we’re expecting the Nuclear Energy Institute and other industry supporters of this bill (Entergy, Exelon, Duke Power, etc etc) to mount their own “grassroots” campaign for the bill. We need every letter we can get with the clear message: oppose the Kerry-Lieberman bill.
Let us know if you’ve forwarded the link. We sent it to about 20,000 people (and we’ll send it out again soon). The Redwood Alliance sent it to 700 people! Thanks! Who’s next? Let’s see if working together we can get this link to hundreds of thousands of people by the end of the month and ensure that every Senator’s inbox is deluged with our message!
Thanks for your help,
MAY 15, 2010
Joe Scopelliti, 866-832-4474
Unit 1 at Susquehanna nuclear plant shuts down safely
Operators at PPL’s Susquehanna nuclear plant near Berwick, Luzerne County, Pa., safely shut down the Unit 1 reactor Friday night (5/14) during equipment testing.
“During the refueling and maintenance outage that concluded last month, we made several equipment upgrades, including installing a new integrated digital control system for plant equipment and replacing turbines that power pumps providing water to the reactor vessel,” said Jeff Helsel, PPL’s Susquehanna plant manager.
“While plant personnel were performing a required test on the control system and the pumps, operators shut down the unit because established test limits were met,” he said.
All equipment responded to the shutdown as designed. There was no equipment damage.
“We have been performing a series of tests with the new control system to ensure the safety and reliability of the unit. We will complete an evaluation of the shutdown and have Unit 1 generating electricity again,” Helsel said.
The Susquehanna plant, located in Luzerne County about seven miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna.
PPL Susquehanna is one of PPL Corporation’s generating facilities. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) controls or owns nearly 12,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to about 4 million customers in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom.
Nuclear accidents may occur more often as atomic technology spreads and countries build more reactors, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said.
“Member states are considering the introduction of nuclear power plants,” Amano said during a May 14 interview in his 28th-floor office overlooking Vienna. “We cannot exclude accidents. If there are more, we have certain risks.”
The IAEA expects as many as 25 nations to start developing nuclear-power facilities by 2030. The total global investment in building new atomic plants is about $270 billion, the Arlington, Virginia-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change said on Feb. 17. Interest in nuclear power is growing at the fastest rate since the Three Mile Island accident in the U.S. in 1979 and the Chernobyl explosion in Ukraine in 1986, IAEA statistics show.
From the Day:
Federal regulators are investigating allegations by a retired Millstone Power Station worker that plant owner Dominion puts profits ahead of safety and that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not thoroughly managing safety issues.
David Collins of Old Lyme, a pro-nuclear retiree who took a company buyout in March, says the way Dominion has handled staffing cuts in key areas at the nuclear complex, along with an electrical mishap that forced a manual shutdown at the plant and the monitoring of fire doors, contribute to a "cover-up culture" that could compromise public safety just the way it was compromised in the late 1990s at the Waterford plant and in 2002 at the Davis-Besse reactor in Ohio.