Commission Denies Pepco/Exelon Merger Application

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (“Commission”) voted to deny an application for acquisition of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI) by Exelon Corporation as not being in the public interest. In determining whether the Proposed Merger is in the public interest pursuant to D.C. Code §§ 34-504 and 34-1001, the Commission first considered the effect of the Proposed Merger transaction on each of the seven public interest factors. This included the effects of the transaction on ratepayers and shareholders, on competition in the local retail and wholesale markets and on conservation of natural resources and preservation of environmental quality. In doing so, the Commission identified how the effects of the Proposed Merger on each of the seven public interest factors would benefit or harm the public (including Pepco, District ratepayers, and the District community). The Commission then used its findings to assess the transaction as a whole. The Commission concluded that, taken as a whole, the transaction as proposed by Exelon and Pepco is not in the public interest. In a separate opinion, Commissioner Phillips concurred in part and dissented in part.

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Join Us at Three Mile Island for Community Information Night!

Three Mile Island invites you and your family to join us on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at our Community Information Night.

Open House: September 10, 2015 5 to 8 p.m. at the TMI Training Center
The training center is located on Rt. 441 at 1009 Pecks Road, across the street from TMI.

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Markey: Filtered Vent Vote Adds to Litany of NRC Post-Fukushima Safety Failures

Boston (August 21, 2015) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) yesterday announced by a vote of 3-1 that it will not even put out for public comment the question of whether to upgrade America’s Fukushima-style reactors with a commonsense safety measure to prevent radiation exposure when vents are used to prevent hydrogen explosions during a meltdown. Commissioner Jeff Baran was the dissenting vote. In 2013, then-Rep. Markey and a group of House committee leaders called on the NRC to require that all U.S. nuclear reactors of the same design as the ones that melted down at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear facility install such vents in order to reduce exposure to radiation when the vents are used. Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Massachusetts has a reactor design that would utilize a filtered vent.

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement:

“Yet again, the NRC has missed another opportunity to take the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster and upgrade America’s nuclear fleet to make it safer in the face of a severe nuclear accident. The NRC has yet to require the nuclear industry complete implementation of a single Fukushima Task Force recommendation. It’s irresponsible, inexplicable and an abdication of NRC’s duty to protect public safety. Instead of following its top experts’ safety recommendations, the NRC chose to do nothing, leaving the people who live around these vulnerable nuclear facilities without an important protection. ”

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NRC to Hold Public Meetings in Maryland and Nevada on Yucca Mountain Environmental Report Supplement

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold a series of public meetings at agency headquarters in Rockville, Md., and in Nevada to seek public comment on a supplement to the Department of Energy’s Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed geologic high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The draft supplement, which evaluates the proposed repository’s potential impacts on groundwater and from surface discharges of groundwater, was released on Aug. 13. The public comment period begins today, with publication of a notice in the Federal Register and ends Oct. 20. The NRC staff will hold a public conference call Aug. 26 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time to explain how to submit comments. Call-in information is available on the NRC website. Procedures for submitting comments are also explained in today’s Federal Register notice.

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State Challenges NRC In Federal Court Over Yankee Decommissioning Funds

The state of Vermont has gone to court to fight a decision by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission that could affect the decommissioning of the now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

The NRC ruled recently that Vermont Yankee can dip into its decommissioning fund and use some of the money to handle spent nuclear fuel.

On Thursday, the state challenged the NRC in the U. S Court of Appeals in Washington. Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia -- whose department represents ratepayers -- said that NRC rules are clear that decommissioning funds can only be used for decommissioning.

“It’s got to be used for, I think the NRC terms are, ‘activities that reduce the radiological exposure at the site.’ So yes, decommissioning,” Recchia said.

The NRC in June granted Yankee an exemption and allowed it to spent about $225 million of the roughly $660 million fund for spent nuclear fuel. Recchia is concerned that diverting some of the money from the decommissioning fund could slow the timetable for dismantling the plant.

The state was joined in its legal challenge by two utilities that collected the decommissioning fund from ratepayers. Recchia said Green Mountain Power and the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. have a clear stake in how the decommissioning money is spent.

“They are the ones that have an interest in this fund. And we obviously want to support the ratepayers but they have a more direct claim to it. So we thought it would be useful, and they agreed, to join the suit,” he said.

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Decommissioning Funding (Reissued with larger conference room, gotomeeting and conference information)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. EST   5:30am-8:30am PDT

LOCATION: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ACRS Conference Room, T-2B3 11545 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 PURPOSE: NEI to present its proposal for developing an industry guidance document on decommissioning funding, as stated in the April 17, 2015, NEI letter to the NRC (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System Accession No. ML15209A887).

Below is the information for registering with go to meeting and the conference line.
Tue, Aug 25, 2015 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Join the conference call.
Call in: 888-609-9306 Passcode: 69221


NRC Approves Changes to Petition-for-Rulemaking Process

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today approved a final rule that will streamline and clarify its process for addressing petitions for rulemaking. The new rule will be published shortly in the Federal Register.

Any member of the public can petition the NRC to issue a new regulation or amend an existing one. The final rule marks the first comprehensive update to the NRC’s process for considering rulemaking petitions since the process was established in 1979. The NRC published proposed changes for comment in May 2013, and considered the comments received in finalizing the rule.

The revisions will clarify the NRC’s policies and practices at each stage of the petition-for- rulemaking process, including how the staff evaluates petitions and how it communicates information about both the status of petitions and rulemaking activities that address them. It also improves the process for resolving a rulemaking petition and for closing the petition docket, which would occur after the NRC denies a petition or initiates a rulemaking to address a petitioner’s concerns. The changes are intended to enhance the consistency, timeliness and transparency of the process and improve its efficiency.

More information about the petition-for-rulemaking process can be found on the NRC’s website.

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It was the fourth time in the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s 43-year history that seawater flowing through its intake pipes exceeded the 75-degree federal limit.


Sea water flowing into Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from Cape Cod Bay over the weekend reached an excessive temperature that forced the Plymouth plant to cut power and prepare for a rare shutdown, Pilgrim officials said Tuesday.

The operators of the station, which is about 35 miles south of Boston, cut power by 10 percent around 4 p.m. on Sunday to cool sea water pulled into the plant.

The plant resumed full power about 3½ hours later, and Lauren Burm, a spokeswoman for Entergy Corp., the plant’s owner, said, “the plant remained in stable condition the whole time, and there was never a threat to the public or the plant.”

Plant officials suggested that the elevated temperature — 75.09 degrees — was the result of a combination of tides and wind mixing water discharged from the plant with the water being drawn into its intake pipes.

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"It's important not to validate or amplify Exelon's message that wind is what is causing problems for nuclear. This article makes an interesting counterpoint, highlighting the benefits wind energy provides to rural Illinois: property taxes, rent to farmers, jobs, community projects, etc. Same as what Exelon claims to do, but with the potential to do a lot more."

Tim Judson, Executive Director
Nuclear Information & Resource Service

Quad City wind energy farms on the rise, future of Exelon questionable

Wind energy is on the rise while nuclear energy is steadily falling, as officials at the Exelon Power Plant in Cordova consider closing their doors for good.

“This really is a critical time in the 41-years at the Quad Cities station where we have never been in a position where me may have premature shutdown,” said Bill Stoermer, Senior Communications Manager at Exelon in Cordova. “We really need the state legislature to act. They of course are focused on the budget and to try to get some budget resolved. We certainly understand that, however we’re going to be forced to make some decisions by the end of the year regarding our plans here in Illinois.”

At the Invenergy Wind Farm in Cambridge, Illinois on Tuesday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos started a month-long renewable energy tour and talked about how important clean energy is to the local economy.

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