For some, Japanese nuclear emergency mirrors 1979's Three Mile Island accident

From the Patriot News:

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh said he experienced “a large dose of deja vu” as he watched news of the nuclear reactor crisis in Japan.

In March 1979, Thornburgh had been in office for only 72 days when a relief valve failed to close on the Unit 2 reactor at Three Mile Island, producing what Thornburgh called "the chilling prospect of a meltdown at the facility."

The circumstances are different in Japan, said Thornburgh, but the problems are very similar.

Read more

Fukushima vs. Three Mile Island (Background: March 12, 2011)

The crippled Fukushima reactor is a grim reminder of the Three Mile Island crisis. It has some common technical and safety aspects, and brings to mind broken promises by the industry to resolve open safety issues. The Japanese crisis certainly demonstrates the propensity for obfuscation by the industry while the public is left sifting through hundreds of media reports.

Japan Issues Emergency at Nuclear Plant

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Japanese government issued an official emergency at one of the country's nuclear plants Friday after a massive earthquake automatically shut down its reactors and caused problems with its cooling system, but said there are currently no reports of radiation leakage.

"There are no reports of leakage from any nuclear power plants at the moment and no signs of any leakage," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Friday. As a result of the state of emergency, the government will set up a special emergency task force to deal with the situation.

 As a precaution, the government ordered nearly 2,000 people living within three kilometers, or nearly two miles, of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to evacuate Friday night.

Read more

Nuclear Energy Insider: NRC, Exelon, Progress Energy, and TVA Look at the Importance of Uprates for the Operating Nuclear Fleet

With an increasing number of US utilities opting to increase the generating capacities of their existing nuclear power plants, the power uprate market is now worth an estimated $25 billion. In order to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget and that all risks are mitigated, the industry needs solutions that will aid this multi-billion dollar market. If profits are going to be maximized on all projects, careful planning is essential and common sense strategies must be put in place.

(PRWEB) March 9, 2011

In May 2009, a survey of reactor licensees indicated that some 36 power uprate applications are likely to be submitted to the NRC over the next five years – it is therefore essential for the industry to discuss potential hurdles and solutions.

Over 9 key utilities in the USA will be meeting at the 2nd Annual Nuclear Power Uprate Conference to discuss the future for power uprates and to meet with key suppliers to network and discuss how the industry can move forward with the 36 planned projects. The 2 day conference (June 16-17, Charlotte, North Carolina) is expected to host 300 key industry decision-makers with attendees from all major stakeholders within the uprate supply chain in attendance.

This expert-led discussion will give the industry all of the tools to understand current regulatory, licensing and technical challenges surrounding power uprates to master project execution.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Nuclear Power Uprate

For more information on this press release, contact:

Dean Murphy
Senior Industry Analyst
Nuclear Energy Insider
+44 (0) 207 375 7204
dmurphy(at)eyeforenergy(dot)com

Action Alert: Help Stop Radioactive Waste Shipment on the Great Lakes!

On Feb. 4th, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) approved Bruce Power's proposed shipment of 16 radioactive steam generators to Sweden for so-called "recycling" (which would contaminate the metal recycling stream with hazardous radioactivity).

The boat would travel on Lake Erie. The shipment is risky and unnecessary. If it sinks and leaks radioactivity into the Great Lakes or connecting rivers or locks, serious risks to human health, the environment, and the economy could ensue, including to drinking water, fisheries, recreation, etc.

Even if this particular shipment doesn't involve an accident or attack, it would nonetheless set a very bad precedent that could lead to more and worse to come -- including ultra-hazardous high-level radioactive waste shipments on the Great Lakes.

What can you do?

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has to approve the Canadian radioactive waste shipment before it enters U.S. territorial waters on the Great Lakes.

Please contact PHMSA's Administrator, Cynthia Quarterman, and urge her to conduct a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on water-borne shipments of large, radioactive nuclear components, including an adequate public comment period and public hearings in Erie, Pennsylvania. You can email her at phmsa.administrator@dot.gov; fax her at (202) 366-3666; phone her at (202) 366-4433; or send her a letter at Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, East Building, 2nd Floor, Mail Stop: E27-300, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Also, contact U.S. Senators Casey and Toomey, as well as your U.S. Representative, via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Thank Sen. Casey for having written PHMSA, along with six other Democratic Senators from across the Great Lakes, last October about their concerns with this shipment and the risks of contaminating the metal recycling stream with radioactivity. Request that Sens. Casey and Toomey urge PHMSA Administrator Quarterman to carry out a full PEIS, including public hearings in Erie.

Pennsylvania's U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (Republican-Erie) also sits on strategic committees where he could influence PHMSA. He sits on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, including its Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, as well as its Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, as Vice Chairman. He too could demand the U.S. federal regulatory agency PHMSA carry out a PEIS, and  hold a hearing in his district, about this risky Canadian radioactive waste shipment on U.S. territorial waters on the Great Lakes.

If you'd rather fax, mail a letter, or send an email to your Members of Congress, or track down their local district office phone numbers, you can find that information via: http://thomas.loc.gov/ (click on House of Representatives or Senate on the left hand side menu bar).

Additional information on the Bruce Power radioactive steam generator shipment from Canada, via the Great Lakes, to Sweden can be found at: http://www.beyondnuclear.org/canada/

Reconstruction of Chernobyl plume

This is a reconstruction of the Chernobyl radioactive plume by the French Government's official agency on radiation and nuclear matters, the Institut de Radioprotection et Surete Nucleaire.

It is based on weather patterns for the time period April 26 to May 6 when the fire was burning inside the stricken reactor, and on known Cs-137 measurements.

View website

TMI: Notice of Licensee Meeting, March 24, 2011

Notice of Licensee Meeting - Three Mile Island Power Station, Unit 1, on March 24, 2011

ADAMS Accession No. ML110620589

TMI: Annual Assessment Letter

Annual Assessment Letter for Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, Unit 1 (05000289/2010001)

ADAMS Accession No. ML110620216

Susquehanna: Annual Assessment Letter

Annual Assessment Letter for Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 (05000387/2010001 and 05000388/2010001)

ADAMS Accession No. ML110620317

TMI: Emergency Preparedness Annual Inspection

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION:  NRC EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS ANNUAL INSPECTION REPORT AND NRC SECURITY ANNUAL INSPECTION REPORT

ADAMS ACCESSION NO.:  ML110630512

Syndicate content