TMI Update: Jan 14, 2024


Did you catch "The Meltdown: Three Mile Island" on Netflix?
TMI remains a danger and TMIA is working hard to ensure the safety of our communities and the surrounding areas.
Learn more on this site and support our efforts. Join TMIA. To contact the TMIA office, call 717-233-7897.

    

PPL Electric Utilities could receive $49.5 million in federal funding for its $99 million Grid of the Future infrastructure project. 

The Allentown-based utility said today that its project application was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to potentially receive the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funds. It was selected through the nationally competitive Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program.  

The Grid of the Future project includes a combination of hardware and software components that work together to deliver grid flexibility to the transmission and distribution systems and provide customer benefits, including increased reliability and resiliency while advancing an affordable clean energy transition, PPL Electric said. 
 
Over the next several months, PPL Electric said it will work with the DOE Grid Deployment Office on the terms of its plan to secure the pending grant. 
 
“The Grid of the Future project builds on over a decade of success in self-healing smart grid innovation,” said President of PPL Electric Utilities Christine Martin. “This funding will allow us to accommodate a rapidly evolving electric grid balancing strong resiliency, low customer costs, and high reliability, all while embracing two-way power flow from distributed energy resources.”   
 
PPL Electric’s Grid of the Future project recommended by the DOE will:  
  • Prevent and shorten power outages through the addition of intelligent grid devices, sensors and automation on single-phase and underground networks. 
  • Improve system reliability and reduce maintenance costs through predictive failure monitoring technology. 
  • Provide real-time visibility into the grid to identify outages, changes in customer demand and fluctuations in distributed energy resources to automatically reroute power and safely balance the flow of power on the grid.
  • Enable increased connections of distributed energy resources and electric vehicle adoption on the grid through IT enhancements using artificial intelligence and machine learning.  
“Across PPL, we’re focused on creating utilities of the future that are agile, innovative and technology-enabled to drive additional value for customers and shareowners and support a reliable, affordable clean energy transition,” said PPL President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Sorgi. “As we execute our vision, we’re pleased to take advantage of this unique funding opportunity to create savings for our customers and strengthen grid resiliency.” ​​​​​​​

Hello all,

We have one week until the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) closes public comments on their draft permit for Fermi 2. This permit does not protect our communities or our waters, we cannot afford 5 years of dangerous chemicals and thermal pollution while DTE and EGLE do nothing about it. DTE must be held accountable.

Please join CRAFT in calling for a public hearing on this issue. We cannot wait 5 years for DTE to clean up their act. CRAFT has penned a public comment to DTE and EGLE: follow the link to add your signature to our open letter and say NO to this permit to pollute.

Please sign our open letter by 11:59 pm Eastern on Thursday, October 19th:

Join Us in Saying No Permit to Pollute

Thank you all so much, here is to a safe and just energy future.

Peace and Safety,

The CRAFT Team

Donate to Support

Citizen's Resistance At Fermi Two (CRAFT) is an Indigenous-led, grassroots, organization, committed to an accessible, fair, and just energy future for all! CRAFT originally formed after the Christmas Day 1993 incident at the Fermi2 nuclear reactor that dumped 1.5 million gallons of untreated toxic, radioactive water into Lake Erie. We will continue to push for the closing of Fermi2, and for a safer world powered by renewables.


By TAO WOOLFE | Oct 13, 2023
 

Holtec Protest
A button worn during a protest in Plymouth
ENTERPRISE FILE PHOTOGRAPH/SAM DRYSDALE

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has sent a letter warning Holtec International about evaporating radioactive wastewater without a permit.

The letter, which was dated September 25—but not mentioned at a meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Panel that same day—says any such evaporative methods, “may be subject to MassDEP air quality permitting.”

Experts at that meeting talked about the “new” method of eliminating some of the remaining water in the spent fuel pool by using heaters to evaporate the water and vent it into the air.

The amount of radiation released into the atmosphere would be minimal, the experts said.

The warning letter to John Moylan, Holtec’s site vice president, says, however, that Holtec—the company decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant—may also be in violation of the federal Clean Air Act and other US Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The letter was written by Seth Pickering, MassDEP’s deputy regional director for the southeast region.

Mr. Pickering referred media questions to Edmund Coletta, a spokesman for the department. Mr. Coletta said the emissions already released did not trigger any alarms, but that future releases should be discussed with MassDEP.

More specifically, Mr. Coletta said in an email yesterday that “emissions related to the recent use of immersion heaters are not subject MassDEP air permits for the facility and did not trigger any threshold that would have required Holtec to apply for a permit.”

He added, however, that “MassDEP has informed Holtec that prior to implementing any potential plan to dispose of water through evaporation, they need to contact MassDEP to discuss the potential applicability of any air quality permitting requirements.”

Meanwhile, environmentalists following the Holtec decommissioning process said they were pleased to see the DEP letter.

“It’s important that the state is stepping up to protect our environment,” said Diane Turco, founder and director of Cape Cod Downwinders, an environmental watchdog group.

Ms. Turco said she received a copy of Mr. Pickering’s letter on Friday, October 6.

“I don’t know why this was not discussed at the NDCAP meeting, but I’m glad the state is taking a stand,” Ms. Turco said.

Ms. Turco was also the recipient of an anonymous letter in August, apparently from a Holtec employee, that spelled out Holtec’s intention to evaporate the toxic wastes into the atmosphere through the power plant’s ventilation system.

It was reported that Holtec installed nine of the heaters at Pilgrim in March and used them through June to heat the irradiated water to 117 degrees.

Holtec, which has said it has discontinued evaporating wastewater, had previously raised the ire of environmentalists, residents and legislators with its proposal to discharge more that one million gallons of irradiated water into Cape Cod Bay.

Besides discharging the water into the bay or evaporating it, Holtec has two other options: ship the waste offsite to an underground storage facility; or store it in casks at the power plant.

Residents and legislators overwhelmingly prefer the option of shipping the wastes offsite.

Holtec has maintained that it should be allowed to discharge the wastewater into Cape Cod Bay because, the company has said, the radiation levels are too low to cause damage to people or sea life.

The company has also said that discharging wastes into the bay has taken place many times over the years, with no ill effects.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has tentatively denied a discharge permit to Holtec and recently concluded a public comment period soliciting opinion about making the discharge denial permanent.

The department received more than 700 responses and is expected to make a determination in the coming weeks, a spokesman said at the Monday meeting.

The state DEP has focused on the state’s Ocean Sanctuaries Act as the legal basis to deny Holtec’s permit to discharge the nuclear wastewater into the bay.

A legal team hired by the environmental watchdog group, the Association to Protect Cape Cod, found that the Massachusetts Ocean Sanctuaries Act of 1971 prohibits dumping or discharging industrial wastes into protected Massachusetts waters.

Barry Potvin, chairman of the Plymouth Board of Health, was among many who have expressed concern about the release of specific pollutants.

“We’re concerned about tritium, which cannot be removed by any means,” Dr. Potvin has said.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is charged with overseeing nuclear power plant decommissioning, has said the concerns are overblown.

“All reactors have spent fuel pools. The releases happen, they are pretty much unavoidable,” Harold W. Anagnostopoulos, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s lead decommissioning inspector at Pilgrim said at a recent public forum.

“The amount of tritium and other nuclear particles released would be “insignificant,” Mr. Anagnostopoulos said.

Other experts have said that the evaporation method is especially dangerous because the discharge is difficult to measure and there is no filtration system used.

“Even very low doses can cause lifelong damage and increase the risk of cancer over a lifetime,” said Dr. Brita Lundberg, speaking on behalf of the members of the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization that monitors public health risks.

Patrick O’Brien, Holtec’s director of government affairs and communications, said Holtec has not responded to MassDEP’s letter.

Mr. O’Brien has said, however, that evaporation of wastewater is routine.

“Evaporative releases are monitored and part of our annual environmental reporting and have occurred continuously since the plant began operations in 1972,” Mr O’Brien said last month.

MassDEP has not yet determined whether Holtec’s discharge permit should be permanently prohibited, Mr. Coletta said, and no date for the decision has been announced.

The state department of public health continues to monitor samples taken from Pilgrim during the decommissioning process, Mr. Coletta said.

 
Vogtle Unit 4 startup date pushed back after motor fault discovered in reactor coolant pump
 
The in-service date for Plant Vogtle Unit 4 is being pushed back to 2024 due to a motor fault in one of four reactor coolant pumps, Georgia Power said in a filing to the SEC.
 
The Oct. 6 filing noted that Southern Nuclear has started the process of replacing the faulty reactor coolant pump (RCP) with an onsite spare one from inventory. The new in-service timeframe is projected for the first quarter of 2024.
 
The filing said since Unit 3’s four RCPs operated as designed, Southern Nuclear believes that the motor fault in this case is an isolated event. Vogtle Unit 3 entered commercial operation on July 31, 2023.
 
Utility officials said the projected schedule for Unit 4 primarily depends on the “continued progression of pre-operational testing and start-up, which may be impacted by further equipment, component, and/or other operational challenges.”
 
They added future challenges could also include management of contractors and related cost increases.
 
Further updates will be provided in connection with Southern Company’s earnings call in November 2023.
 
Vogtle Units 3 and 4, representing 2,200 MW, are the first nuclear units to be built in the U.S. in more than three decades. But the journey hasn’t been easy: Cost overruns and construction problems have delayed the project. Project partners have disputed over rising construction costs and their stake in the venture.  
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Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
October 12, 2023

WARS RAISE TEST BAN TENSION
Russia/US to spar over nuclear test ban?

With The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock at “90 seconds to Midnight”, and global tensions rising with hot wars now involving nuclear armed states, it is a particularly precarious time to add to these open conflicts the potential resumption of nuclear weapons testing. Russia’s envoy to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) announced that President Vladimir Putin has instructed his country’s parliament to consider revoking its historic 2000 ratification of the 1996 treaty banning nuclear weapons testing. Though Putin has said it's not necessarily the start of testing, Western security analysts fear that Russia is preparing to resume underground nuclear weapons blasts. Russia counters it is the United States that is preparing to resume nuclear weapons testing.

  Read More  

NUCLEAR POWER RELAPSE?!
Swedes seek U.S. partnership

Beyond Nuclear's radioactive waste specialist, Kevin Kamps, was quoted in an October 11 E&E News article, 'Open for business': Sweden turns to U.S. for nuclear reactors; Sweden's deputy prime minister recently visited Washington to "go nuclear power plant shopping" and pitch regulatory collaboration to U.S. officials. “Has she forgotten about Chornobyl? (Pictured) It took living under the Chornobyl cloud and all that fear and terror for Germany to get it, so they became anti-nuclear after that. I wish that other politicians in other countries had that much common sense. If Sweden is looking to NRC, DOE, and even the U.S. nuclear industry as some kind of gold standard, they may have a very rude awakening. All NRC does is weaken regulations to accommodate continued operations.”

Read More

SOS DOCUMENTARY
Nuclear power's chilling legacy 

The San Onofre Syndrome (SOS), more than a decade in the making, had its world premiere on October 8 and won the Awareness Film Festival's Documentary Feature Grand Jury Award (out of 100 documentary entries.) This is a great honor and bodes well for the future reach of the film. Many more screenings are being planned across the country including screenings at the International Uranium Film Festival (IUFF). As part of this Festival, SOS will screen in Rio De Janeiro, Berlin and 18 U.S. cities next year. 

Amidst a coastal paradise, SOS chronicles a community’s victory over leaking reactors, only to confront a chilling reality - deadly radioactive waste stranded next to a rising sea.

See More

NUCLEAR MADNESS
Let’s stop it

Nuclear madness is everywhere. Our government is determined to promote new reactors and the continued use of dangerous old ones, as long as we pay for them. Executives and politicians have even been convicted of crimes to ensure this happens. The media laps up the rhetoric and parrots the lie that nuclear power is “carbon-free”. Yet, spending those same dollars on renewables would get us more carbon reductions faster and without all the deadly risks of nuclear power. That’s why we need your support now more than ever to block these dangerous proposals at every step including through legal action. If you agree that nuclear power is NOT the answer to the climate crisis, please donateto Beyond Nuclear today.


 

  Donate  

Beyond Nuclear | 301.270.2209 | www.BeyondNuclear.org

Donate
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Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

October 5, 2023

ZOMBIE NUKE?!
Holtec launches Palisades restart

On October 3, Holtec met with Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff for the fourth time in six months (view recording), regarding the unprecedented, controversial, expensive, and risky restart of its closed Palisades atomic reactor on Lake Michigan's shore in Covert, Michigan (pictured). Representatives from an environmental coalition that included Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, MSEF, NEIS, and NIRS -- bore witness and spoke truth to power. It was revealed Holtec submitted the first of many License Amendment Requests to come with NRC last week, likely starting the clock on opponents' legal intervention deadline in a unique, labyrinthine process. Holtec has requested $3.3 billion from federal and state taxpayers: each of only 280 restored jobs would cost nearly $12 million.



 

  Read More  

MEET THE WINNERS!
Nuclear-Free Future Awards event

In 2022, three extraordinary activists were honored with a Nuclear-Free Future Award. However, at the end of 2022, the Awards transited out of their former home at the Nuclear Free Future Foundation and there was no official ceremony. Until now! 

Beyond Nuclear invites you to meet the 2022 winners at a special online awards ceremony on Friday, October 13 at 1pm U.S. ET. Please register at the link below to hear from uranium mining activist, Anthony Lyamunda, Resistance (Tanzania); Nuclear Hotseat podcaster, Libbe HaLevy, Education (USA); and nuclear policy researcher, Malte Göttsche, Solution (Germany) as they are interviewed about their work. A special announcement about the 2023 Awards event and winners will be made during the event.
 

Register

 

HOLTEC CISF
Second federal appeal filed

On October 2, Fasken Land and Minerals and Permian Basin Land and Royalty Owners filed their Initial Brief with the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, opposing Holtec International's high-level radioactive waste consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on May 9. Holtec's CISF is targeted at southeastern New Mexico. On September 1, Fasken/PBLRO also filed their Initial Brief opposing Holtec in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as did an environmental coalition including Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan et al. (six grassroots groups across the U.S.), and Sierra Club. On September 8 the State of New Mexico, and the City of Fort Worth, Texas filed Friend of the Court briefs opposing Holtec as well.

Read More

 

BRITTLE DIABLO
NRC Commissioners punt to staff

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and Friends of the Earth -- long-time watch-dogs on the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on central California's Pacific coast (pictured) -- responded to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioners' ruling on the environmental coalition's demand Unit 1 be immediately shut down. The groups are urging the reactor pressure vessel's (RPV) neutron radiation embrittlement level be tested. Pressurized thermal shock can fracture an RPV through-wall, causing core meltdown, and large-scale release of radioactivity. Diablo's Unit 1 is the third most brittle in the U.S., after only Palisades (see related entry) and Point Beach Unit 2 in Wisconsin, wedging Lake Michigan. The commissioners punted the issue back to their staff, which has neglected the risks for many decades.

Read More

Beyond Nuclear | 301.270.2209 | www.BeyondNuclear.org

Donate
PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3 – INFORMATION REQUEST FOR THE CYBERSECURITY BASELINE INSPECTION, NOTIFICATION TO PERFORM INSPECTION 05000277/2024401 AND 05000278/2024401
 
ADAMS ACCESSION NUMBER: ML23278A018
 
SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 – NOTIFICATION OF COMMERCIAL GRADE DEDICATION INSPECTION (05000387/2024011 AND 05000388/2024011) AND REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

ADAMS ACCESSION NUMBER: ML23277A041
 
Sustainable Energy Fund
 
 
PA C-SPACE UPDATE
 
 
 
PA C-PACE Counties Are Growing!

In August, both Lancaster and Clinton Counties approved and adopted the C-PACE expansion program. That means there are now a total of 27 pa counties with the financing program.

Does your county have an active C-PACE program?
 
 
 
CHECK HERE
 
 
 
 
 
$5,000,000 in Financing Secured by City Developer: 

Jemal’s CCT, LLC, the owner of Centre City Tower in downtown Pittsburgh received half a million dollars in financing last month. Its projected savings is valued at $74,000 in the first year alone! The 315,585 square foot, multi-tenant office facility sits on a single parcel in Pittsburgh and required some clean energy enhancements including the installation of new HVAC risers, HVAC units, lighting, sealing measures, and elevator and plumbing upgrades.

Read more about the latest Allegheny County C-PACE project.
 
 
 
 
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
 
 
 
     
 

Renewable Fuel Oil: An Invaluable Introduction:

DATE: 10/26/23 
TIME: 10:30 am - 2:00 pm 
LOCATION:SEF Net Zero Building 

Hear from Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF), Ensyn, and the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC) about a revolutionary opportunity taking shape. Learn how a simple fuel switch could be the key to ensuring PA colleges and universities achieve their ambitious climate goals.

Distilling C-PACE for Stakeholders:

DATE: 10/27/2023
TIME: 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
LOCATION: Innovation Hall, Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Join Sustainable Energy Fund for an informative networking event! Meet SEF staff and learn how you can use C-PACE to finance your next project!
 
 
 
CHECK OUT EVERYTHING THAT'S COMING UP!
 
 
Hello Community!
 
We hope you are all hanging in there and staying safe out there. In addition to our monthly newsletter, we are writing to you with a time-sensitive action to protect our waters and our communities.
 
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has issued a draft permit for the Fermi 2 reactor to use and abuse Lake Erie water.
 
This proposed permit:
 
  • Lists pages of dangerous and carcinogenic chemicals Fermi is discharging into Lake Erie, and gives DTE until 2028 to stop this devastating pollution.
  • Gives no limits on thermal pollution, allowing Fermi to continue to heat Lake Erie and contribute to toxic algae blooms.
  • Does not have the EGLE using its authority to adequately test or regulate the radioactive elements (radionuclides) that can pollute drinking water around Fermi 2 and threaten our safety.
 
The communities around Fermi 2 and Lake Erie cannot afford 5 years of dangerous chemicals and thermal pollution while DTE and EGLE do nothing about it. DTE must be held accountable!
 
Please join CRAFT in calling for a public hearing on this issue. We cannot wait 5 years for DTE to clean up their act. CRAFT has penned a public comment to DTE and EGLE: follow this link to add your signature to our open letter and say NO to this permit to pollute.
You can also submit your own comment on the issue. Click the button below to submit a comment directly to EGLE and voice your opposition to this permit to pollute. We have included a list of key points on our website you can include when writing your comment.
Thank you for supporting us and the wellness of our Great Lakes. Here are some highlights from this month's newsletter:
 
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has authorized the demonstration of the production of "high-assay low-enriched uranium" known as HALEU. The plan for HALEU is to be used as fuel in advanced nuclear reactors being sold internationally. Michael Keegan points out that HALEU is "90 percent of the way to being nuclear bomb material"...so is it fuel or something worse that we are exporting?
     
  • The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant aka the "Zombie Reactor" is still trying to be revived by Holtec International. The reactor was shut down because it was too dangerous and too expensive to operate, but Holtec is pursuing a $1 billion dollar loan from the Department of Energy to revive Palisades.
Read about these topics and more in the Newsletter that our own Jessie Collins very thoughtfully researches and curates every month for our benefit.
 
If you haven't already, check out the final chapter in the Building Bridges blog series! Our community organizer, Jesse Deer In Water, has published the fifth installment of his blog series on Building Bridges: Native Existence, Resistance, and Nuclear Abolition Position! You can read the whole series on our website.
 
 
 
Heart of Dinetah, Tahchee Blue Gap and Solutions
Building Bridges Pt. 5
 
The day with Petuuchhe was going to be a big one. He is a leader in his community and of many long-standing groups that protect the lands, build movements to resist further colonization, and strengthen relationships between people in the mix. We were going to pick him up at his home there on the Acoma rez and then do a big circle seeing a few big mine sites then Kaawheeshtimaa (Mt. Taylor). Mt Taylor is considered sacred ground by the Dine and The Pueblo people and it has felt the impacts of mining, its uranium included. Also it is the southernmost sacred mountain for the Dine called Dootliizhii Dziil (Turquoise Mountain). We had planned to take a couple hours once we were up on the mountain to do a little strategy work around the indigenous part of the nuclear abolition and the support network we are weaving together. This was the plan, it worked out far better than what we planned for.
 
 
Thank you all so much, here is to a safe and just energy future.
 
Peace and Safety,
 
The CRAFT Team
Citizen's Resistance At Fermi Two (CRAFT) is an Indigenous-led, grassroots, organization, committed to an accessible, fair, and just energy future for all! CRAFT originally formed after the Christmas Day 1993 incident at the Fermi2 nuclear reactor that dumped 1.5 million gallons of untreated toxic, radioactive water into Lake Erie. We will continue to push for the closing of Fermi2, and for a safer world powered by renewables.

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