June 8, 2009

FROM: UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

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A watchdog group thinks satellite images could pose a risk, but the nuclear plant says no security measures are compromised.

Monday, June 08, 2009

BY MONICA VON DOBENECK mdobeneck@patriot-news.com

Visitors at Three Mile Island are asked not to photograph guard towers, vehicle barriers and other security measures. Yet these items are easily seen on the Internet through such sites as Microsoft's maps.live.com, now bing.com/maps.

Scott Portzline, a consultant for the watchdog group Three Mile Island Alert, thinks this is a security problem.

He has monitored sites such as Google Earth, which bring satellite images to home computers, for several years. Recently, he said, the level of detail has increased.

 

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Experts working to determine source of leak, says plant VP

June 8, 2009 ATED STORY

A tritium leak was found during routine monitoring of Exelon Corp.'s Dresden nuclear plant last week, but contaminated water was contained to the property and did not pose a public health threat, company officials said today.

Testing at Dresden, near the Grundy County town of Morris about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, found tritium levels of 3.2 million picocuries per liter of water in a monitoring well, storm drains and concrete vault. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's limit for drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter.

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 WASHINGTON -- A security consultant with a citizen watchdog group claims that a list containing sensitive nuclear facilities' information that was inadvertently leaked to the Internet could provide terrorists with the tools needed to formulate a plan to attack a commercial nuclear plant.

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Nuclear license renewal sparks protest

Coalition asks federal court to overturn NRC

June 02, 2009

BY MARYANN SPOTO

Star-Ledger Staff

Two months after the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, New Jersey, won a 20-year extension of its license, a coalition of environmental and citizens groups has asked a federal court to overturn the decision.

Citing inadequate information provided to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the plant's safety, the coalition wants a federal court to invalidate the relicensing of the 40-year-old facility.

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 PPL Electric Utilities may soon settle with petitioners, if a judge gives approval to offer customers a voluntary alternative energy program and to Bank Alternative Energy Credits. 

Read the joint settlement filed May 28, 2009, and related documents: 

 

 

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Friends of the Earth Asserts Decision in Error and Not in the Public Interest

May 22, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The environmental organization Friends of the Earth has today filed an appeal with the South Carolina Supreme Court challenging the legality of a South Carolina Public Service Commission decision approving an application by South Carolina Electric & Gas to build two new nuclear reactors. The filing is believed to be a first national challenge to the type of state law which unjustly forces consumers to pay for nuclear projects in advance, no matter if they fail.

 

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By Marlene Lang

 

We all know trash ain't cheap.  

Electricity users have long paid a "garbage fee" on that portion of their power produced by nuclear reactors – a fee of one tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour. The pennies go into the Nuclear Waste Fund. Since the fund was set up in 1982, about $30 billion has accumulated. 

The money has gone unused as politicians and scientists debate what is the best the location for a national dump where the radioactive waste will rest for thousands of years. 

Congress in 2002 designated Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the nation's – and possibly, the world's – nuclear waste repository site. But not every one thought the desert outside of Las Vegas was such a great location. Then-governor of Nevada Kenny Quinn vetoed Congress and the power-volley continues. 

Obama cut Yucca Mountain out of the budget and in response, a group of Republicans has sponsored a bill that would give the Nuclear Waste Fund back to the utilities and customers, if Yucca is not built and soon. 

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As part of a course in Engineering and Public Policy Carnegie Mellon, graduate student Katie Bastine and fellow students are gathering input from communities that are home to nuclear power plants. 

Three Mile Island Alert will post the results of the survey as they are made available.

To link to the survey web site, go to: www.epp.cmu.edu/httpdocs/undergraduate/summaries/Nuclear/index.html

 

Here is a response from the former editor of Middletown's hometown newspaper:

 

 1. As an outside observer, what is your impression of the nuclear power plant?

It scares me and I wonder when something will go wrong, and if  people will know about it, if and when it does. 

 

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Below are news reports on a hole found in the steel liner of a reactor containment wall; six days after the story was reported, the hole was attributed to a board embedded in the concrete containment wall. 

 

Beaver County Times

By Bill Vidonic, Times Staff

Friday, April 24, 2009 

SHIPPINGPORT — An inspection Thursday revealed corrosion in the steel lining of the nuclear reactor containment building of Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station’s Unit 1, according to FirstEnergy Corp.
No radiation was released from the building, and there was “no impact to the public health or safety of any employees,” FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider said Friday evening.
The Unit 1 reactor had been shut down since Monday for scheduled refueling and maintenance. As part of that work, Schneider said, the containment building that surrounds the reactor underwent a standard inspection.
The containment building has concrete walls that are 4 feet thick, Schneider said, and there’s a 3/8-inch-thick steel lining on top of that concrete in the building’s interior.
The steel is coated with what Schneider described as “nuclear-grade paint.” An inspection showed a blister in some of that coating. The blister wasn’t cracked, Schneider said.
Once the coating was cleaned, Schneider added, workers found that the steel underneath it had corroded through to the concrete wall. The affected area of the steel is in the shape of a rectangle, Schneider said, about one inch long by about 3/8-inch high. That’s just under the size of a standard paper clip.

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