New Jersey activists taking PPL transmission line plan to court

From the Hazleton Standard Speaker:

A coalition of environmental groups has appealed a New Jersey utility commission ruling in an effort to halt construction of a controversial, high-power electrical line that would run through this region.

The suit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, alleges the state's Board of Public Utilities erred in April by approving Public Service Electric & Gas' application to construct its part of the $1.2 billion Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in April affirmed a ruling allowing Allentown-based PPL Electric Utilities to begin construction of its part of the Susquehanna-Roseland project, a 500-kilovolt line running 100 miles through parts of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties. PPL plans to use the line to deliver power from its nuclear plant near Berwick to other markets in the Mid-Atlantic.

The New Jersey appeal states that the utility board failed to consider the need for or alternatives to the power line, its potential environmental effects and costs to ratepayers.

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Nuclear Watchdog Groups Raise Reactor Safety Concerns over the Gulf Oil Spill

Nuclear power watchdog groups are calling for an across-the-board and transparent analysis of all critical actions which will be necessary to prevent damage to coastal reactors posed by the threat of contaminated water. In a letter to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the US Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, the watchdog groups ask for assurances that comprehensive guidance from federal agencies is being provided to reactor licensees. They are also calling for the constant monitoring of the oil plumes.

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Diablo Canyon and PG&E deal with water-cooling mandate

From the San Luis Obispo:

It’s hard to miss Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant when passing it by air or sea. One immediately sees the hulking containment domes that house and protect the plant’s two nuclear reactors rising above the squat, brown generator building.

Attention is soon drawn to another sight — a massive plume of whitewater cascading from the plant’s cooling water system. When operating at full power, Diablo Canyon uses 2.5 billion gallons of seawater a day to condense steam after it has passed through the two electrical generators.

On May 4, the state Water Resources Control Board adopted a new policy that declared these once-through cooling systems used at Diablo Canyon and 18 other coastal power plants in California to be antiquated. The board gave the utilities that own those plants deadlines for installing less environmentally damaging cooling systems.

Once-through cooling damages the environment because it kills adult and larval fish. The flood of warmer discharge water also alters the marine ecosystem around the plant.

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Nuclear Monitor 710

This issue's contents:

  • Introduction
  • The Emergence and Development of Nuclear Medicine
  • Medical Radioisotopes & Applications
  • Reactor-based Radioisotopes Produced by Cyclotrons?
  • Recent Developments and Prospects in Radioisotopes Production
  • Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations

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Nuclear Monitor 709

This issue's contents:

  • Argentina: Court Halts Open-Pit Uranium Mine
  • European Support for Nuclear Power As a Solution to Climate Change Plummets
  • Florida Levy Reactors: More Delays and Rising Costs
  • Consultation for a New Euratom Directive on Radioactive Waste
  • China: Us-India Deal Justification for Selling Reactors to Pakistan
  • Operations of Nuclear Giant Areva Put Lives at Risk in Niger
  • USA: Groups Urge Nrc to Suspend Nuclear Licensing Ap1000
  • Iter: Costs Overruns, Again
  • Eia Mochovce 3,4 Accepted – Gp Will Go to Court

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Nuclear Monitor 708

This issue's contents:

  • Chernobyl: Commemoration and Anti-Nuclear Struggle
  • Australia: Aboriginal Landowners Oppose Radwaste Storage
  • U.S.: National Grassroots Summit & Forum on Radwaste Policy
  • West Valley: Doe Delays 10 More Years on Reprocessing Waste Cleanup
  • Completion of Khmelnitska 3 & 4 Too Expensive Gamble
  • Belarusian Npp Plan Fails to Convince at Public Hearing in Kyiv

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Three Power Transformers Travelling to Peach Bottom Next Week

Exelon Nuclear

For Immediate Release

Three Power Transformers Travelling to Peach Bottom Next Week,
Part of Exelon’s $87 Million Plan for Continued Electricity Reliability

Exelon representatives working closely with state, local officials to notify public, minimize
 traffic disruptions along nighttime route from Havre de Grace, Md. to Delta, Pa.

 

Exelon Announces EVP Betsy Moler to Retire

David Brown, Joseph Dominguez to take on expanded leadership roles in D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Exelon Corporation today announced several changes to its Washington, D.C., office, including the retirement of Elizabeth A. “Betsy” Moler.

Moler, currently Exelon executive vice president of government affairs and public policy, intends to retire from the company effective July 1, 2010. Moler has led Exelon’s Washington, D.C., office since January 2000. Prior to joining the company, she served as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy and the Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She will remain an advisor to the company through the end of the year.

“I truly appreciate the decade of leadership Betsy has provided to Exelon. Her contributions, both to Exelon and the energy industry, have been invaluable. While it saddens me to see her leave, I understand how much she’s looking forward to this transition and the chance to spend more time with her family. I will miss Betsy as a colleague, and will always consider her a friend,” said Exelon chairman and CEO John W. Rowe.

Exelon also announced that David C. Brown has been promoted to senior vice president, federal government affairs and public policy, leading the company’s Washington, D.C., office. Brown has led Exelon’s federal legislative affairs in Washington since 2000. Prior to that, he served in a similar leadership capacity for PECO from 1990-2000, prior to the merger with Unicom that created Exelon. Upon Moler’s retirement, Brown will report to William A. Von Hoene, Jr., executive vice president of finance and legal.

In addition, Joseph Dominguez, currently senior vice president of communications and public affairs, will then become Exelon’s senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs, also reporting to Von Hoene. In Dominguez’s new capacity, he will lead Exelon’s federal regulatory affairs, communications and public policy, as well as Exelon Generation’s state regulatory affairs. Reporting to Dominguez will be Steve Naumann, vice president of wholesale market development and Karen Hill, vice president and director of federal regulatory affairs and policy. James Firth, senior vice president of communications, public policy and state government affairs, will continue to report to Dominguez. Dominguez will also continue in his role as general counsel of Exelon Generation, reporting in that capacity to Andrea Zopp, Exelon executive vice president and general counsel.

Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with approximately $17 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry’s largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to approximately 485,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.

Paul Elsberg
Exelon Corporate Communications
312.394.7417

Entergy official leaves company

From the Rutland Herald:

One of Entergy's top-ranking officials who tried to salvage Vermont Yankee's reputation in the state after a series of environmental and public relations blunders has left the company.

Curt Hebert, executive vice president of external affairs for Entergy, stepped down recently from his position with Entergy Corp. in New Orleans. He was the public face of the company for nearly a decade.

The reasons for his departure – which came one day after the Vermont Public Service Board fined Entergy for making false statements under oath – were not known Tuesday. Entergy on Tuesday would only say that Hebert was no longer an employee.

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New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution

New England Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On June 7, 2010, New England Coalition submitted a 10 CFR 2.206 petition, asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to lower Vermont Yankee’s licensing basis maximum fuel rod temperature, in order to provide a necessary margin of safety—to help prevent a partial or complete meltdown—in the event of a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA).
 
In the event of a LOCA, at Vermont Yankee, the pressurized core would partly or almost completely lose water and the temperature of the Zircaloy clad fuel rods in the core would rapidly increase.  Vermont Yankee’s emergency core cooling system is designed to prevent a meltdown if there is a LOCA, by injecting water into the core to prevent the fuel rods from overheating.
 
At Vermont Yankee’s current licensed power level, in the event of a LOCA, the predicted maximum temperature the fuel rods would reach is 1960°F (the licensing basis maximum fuel rod temperature), before being quenched by water injected into the core.
 
New England Coalition has submitted its 2.206 petition, because there is a preponderance of certified experimental data that supports the need to lower Vermont Yankee’s licensing basis maximum fuel rod temperature of 1960°F by more than one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
 
In the event of a LOCA, if the fuel rods (in a local area) were to approach current calculated maximum fuel rod temperatures, it is probable that their Zircaloy cladding would begin to rapidly oxidize, like a fire, causing a temperature excursion—termed “runaway oxidation”—that would lead to a partial or complete meltdown.  At its current licensed power level Vermont Yankee lacks a necessary margin of safety to help prevent runaway oxidation, in the event of a LOCA.
 
NRC is presently a considering an NEC 2,206 petition regarding leaking underground piping at Vermont Yankee and the adequacy of NRC oversight at the incident-ridden plant.  In addition New England Coalition is the sole intervenor in Vermont Yankee’s license renewal application, now in its 57th month of litigation.  (more)
A complete copy of the petition (90+ pages/ 1+ Mb) may be had on request.  The following is the Petition Cover Letter, which summarizes NEC’s concerns.
 


 

R. William Borchardt

Executive Director for Operations U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington D.C. 20555-0001

Subject: 10 C.F.R. § 2.206 Request to Lower the Licensing Basis Peak Cladding Temperature of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (Docket-50-271) in Order to Provide a Necessary Margin of Safety—to Help Prevent a Meltdown—in the Event of a Loss-of-Coolant Accident

Dear Mr. Borchardt:

The enclosed 10 C.F.R. § 2.206 petition is submitted on behalf of New England Coalition of Brattleboro, Vermont by Mark Edward Leyse.

10 C.F.R. § 2.206(a) states that "[a]ny person may file a request to institute a proceeding pursuant to § 2.202 to modify, suspend, or revoke a license, or for any other action as may be proper."

New England Coalition requests that the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") order the licensee of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station ("VYNPS") to lower the licensing, basis peak cladding temperature ("LBPCT") of VYNPS in order to provide a necessary margin of safety—to help prevent a partial or complete meltdown— in the event of a loss-of-coolant accident ("LOCA"). Experimental data indicates that VYNPS's LBPCT of 1960°F' does not provide a necessary margin of safety—to help prevent a partial or complete meltdown—in the event of a LOCA. Such data indicates that VYNPS's LBPCT must be decreased to a temperature lower than 1832°F in order to provide a necessary margin of safety.

To uphold its congressional mandate to protect the lives, property, and environment of the people of Vermont and locations within proximity of VYNPS, the NRC must not allow VYNPS's LBPCT to remain at an elevated temperature that would not provide a necessary margin of safety, in the event of LOCA. If implemented, the enforcement action proposed in this petition would help improve public and plant worker safety.

New England Coalition respectfully submits that—although revisions to the 10 C.F.R. § 50.46(b)(1) peak cladding temperature limit criterion have been proposed in a rulemaking petition—this petition is separately and appropriately brought under 10 C.F.R. § 2.206, because the concerns brought forward are plant specific, brought by a local, affected party, and have immediate bearing on safety margins at VYNPS, currently operating at its maximum permissible extended power uprate level. Furthermore, the concerns raised

Entergy, "VYNPS 10 C.F.R. § 50.46(a)(3)(ii) Annual Report for 2009," January 14, 2010, located at: www.nrc.gov, Electronic Reading Room, ADAMS Documents, Accession Number: ML100260386, p. 2.
in the enclosed 10 C.F.R. § 2.206 petition are of an immediate nature that require prompt NRC review and action, which are available to the petitioners only through the 10 C.F.R. § 2.206 process.

New England Coalition looks forward to providing any additional information or clarification as may be required by your office or by a petition review board.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Edward Leyse

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