Berwick nuclear reactor shut down after steam leak

From the Scranton Times Tribune:

The Susquehanna 1 nuclear power plant was manually shut down this morning due to a steam leak, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Susquehanna 2 power plant was not affected and continues to operate normally, the NRC said.

The shutdown came at 6:10 a.m., after operators decided steam from the boiling water reactor could not be contained "without impacting other systems," the NRC said. All plant safety systems operated as expected during the shutdown, the NRC said.

An NRC inspector was sent to the scene, and PPL Corp., which operates the power plant, is investigating the cause of the leak, the NRC said. No injuries or releases of radioactivity to the environment were reported.

Why nuclear energy is on hold for Alaska

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Nuclear energy isn’t a good fit for Alaska right now but could be within a decade or two. If a new generation of small, user-friendly reactors hits the market, nuclear power could actually be a viable energy source for Fairbanks, according to a report coming soon by University of Alaska researchers. But it would take even higher energy prices and years of product testing and development before the chain reaction were initiated in Alaska.

“This has possible applications in Alaska, there’s no question about that,” said Gwen Holdmann, director of the UA Alaska Center for Energy and Power in Fairbanks. “But we have some time here.”

Nuclear energy doesn’t make sense now because current gigawatt-sized reactors are too big for Alaska’s power needs. But a renewed push for nuclear power by the federal government and industry could be clearing the way for new technology. Now smaller-scale, modular reactors are approaching the permitting process that could redefine the look and usefulness of nuclear power.

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Footprints for Peace Events

Dear Friends,
We here at Footprints for Peace would like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful 2011.  Our first event starts in less than a month and we have a lot planned for this year with something that should appeal to everyone.  So our 2011 schedule is:
Walk to Stop Mountain Top Removal
Walking for a Sustainable Future
Prestonsburg, KY to Frankfort, KY for I Love Mountains Day hosted by KFTC
February 2nd - February 14th
Run for Freedom
For Leonard Peltier and all Prisoners Of Conscience
Covington, KY to Washington DC via Lewisburg, PA
June 26th through July 8th

Bikes not Bombs
Carbon Free - Nuclear Free - Self Sufficient
Cincinnati, OH to Oak Ridge, TN
July 31st - August 6th

Walk For A Nuclear Free Future
Wiluna to Perth
August 21st to October 30th

We would like to invite you all to come out and participate with us on any of these events for a step, a day or the whole event.  Please call 513-843-1205 or visit our website for information about how to participate.
What can you do to help?

  • Plan an overnight for us; we don't require much just a place to put down a bedroll and restrooms.  Schedules are on the website.
  • Help organize a pot luck dinner and a meeting with the community.
  • Help distribute information on the event and about FootPrints for Peace.
  • Also please consider making a modest donation by writing a check to FootPrints for Peace (in the memo write which event you would like to donate to) and sending it to 1225 North Bend Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224, USA.
  • Or by making a credit card donation through PayPal

Hope to see you on the road.
Peace and love,
Jim, Larry, Jon, KA, and Marcus
Phone: 513-843-1205
For more information on FootPrints for Peace please visit our web site. click here

Are You There, God? It's Me, Fake-Rob Williams

From Fake Rob Williams:

It's so cool. You know, one of the things that people don't really appreciate about Vermont Yankee is how much fun we have around here forgiving each other for our blunders and mistakes. It's really a "peace, man" and "no worries" kind of place. Another very cool fact about us: Our employees are happy, picturesque people with good singing voices.

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Pa. Supreme Court sides with developer in Chester County case

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A state law designed to shield people from lawsuits when they try to protect the environment suffered a blow Wednesday when the state Supreme Court ruled in a long-running case involving a Chester County development.

The court ruled, in part, that the Environmental Immunity Act does not shield parties who may have already reached a court-approved agreement on an issue.

"It looks like, environmentally, we took one on the chin," said State Rep. Camille "Bud" George (D., Clearfield), who led the effort to pass the Environmental Immunity Act in 2001.

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Energy Subsidies Black, Not Green

A study released by the Environmental Law Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization, shows that the federal government has provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Subsidies to fossil fuels totaled approxi- mately $72 billion over the seven-year study period, while subsidies for renewable fuels totaled $29 billion over the same period. The vast majority of subsidies support energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases when used as fuel. Moreover,
just a handful of tax breaks make up the largest portion of subsidies for fossil fuels, with the most significant of these, the Foreign Tax Credit, supporting the overseas production of oil. More than half of the subsidies for renewables are attributable to corn-based ethanol, the use of which, while decreasing American reliance on foreign oil, has generated concern about climate effects.These figures raise the question of whether scarce government funds might be better allocated to move the United States towards a low-carbon economy.

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The Curies, Seen Through an Artist's Eyes

From the New York Times:

Described simply, “Radioactive” is an illustrated biography of Marie Curie, the Polish-born French physicist famous for her work on radioactivity — she was the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice — and her equally accomplished husband, Pierre. It lays bare their childhoods, their headlong love story, their scientific collaboration and the way their toxic discoveries, which included radium and polonium, poisoned them in slow motion.

Described less simply, it’s a deeply unusual and forceful thing to have in your hands. Ms. Redniss’s text is long, literate and supple. She catches Marie Curie’s “delicate and grave” manner as a young student, new to Paris; she notes the “luminous goulash” of radium and zinc that one chemist prepares; she observes with pleasure another man’s “thriving mustache.” She has a firm command of, but an easy way with, the written word.

The electricity in “Radioactive,” however, derives from the friction between Ms. Redniss’s text and her ambitious and spooky art. Her text runs across and over these freewheeling pages, the boundaries between word and image constantly blurring. Her drawings are both vivid and ethereal. Her people have elongated faces and pale forms; they’re etiolated Modiglianis. They populate a Paris that’s become a dream city.

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France plans underwater nuclear reactor


Plans to build underwater civilian nuclear reactors are in the works in France, with a prototype expected to be rolled out in 2016, officials said.

DCNS, the French state-controlled naval company, said it will work in partnership with French companies Areva, EDF, and the French Atomic Energy Commission to build small- and medium-sized underwater reactors to provide electricity to consumers on land, Radio France Internationale reported Wednesday.

The company said its Flexblue project, expected to enter the building phase in 2013, is in response to global energy challenges and renewed interest in nuclear power.

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FirstEnergy Corp. reports electrical fire at construction site of an auxiliary building


FirstEnergy Corp. reported to federal regulators today that a small electrical fire erupted overnight at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Toledo.

An apparent short about 2:30 a.m. in 480-volt temporary power cable running on the ground to a building under construction sparked the blaze in plastic and rubber material covering the cable.

A plant fire brigade put the fire out in 10 minutes, using two dry powder fire extinguishers. There were no injuries and operations at the power plant were not disrupted.

"We are investigating the cause and will be meeting with the contractor," said Todd Schneider, company spokesman.

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Davis Besse: Notification Of Unusual Event Due To A Fire And Explosions In The Protected Area

Event Number: 46551
Event Date: 01/19/2011



"An electrical fire and explosions were reported near the Containment Access Facility construction area. An Unusual Event was declared based on HU4. Temporary electrical power at service disconnect DSLM3-3 was isolated. The fire was out at 0243 EST. The fire was extinguished using dry chemical. The fire was reported at 0232 EST on 1/19/11. The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time."

The fire and explosions were initially reported by site security personnel. The licensee declared the NOUE at 0243 EST based on criteria HU4. The licensee initially called for offsite assistance in putting out the fire, however, the fire was extinguished by plant personnel and the offsite assistance was turned back. The licensee posted a reflash watch. The fire reportedly involved temporary cables and possibly a transformer supplying power to the construction area which is located inside the protected area outside the auxiliary building.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.


The licensee terminated the Notification of Unusual Event at 0358 EST. No additional information is available at this time.

Notified R3DO (Bloomer), NRR EO (Skeen), IRD (Gott), DHS (Stringfield), and FEMA (Casto).

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