Routine Releases of Radioactive Materials from U.S. Nuclear Plants
Dave Lochbaum
Union of Concerned Scientists
August 2014
Revision 0

The idea for this material came during a November 2013 workshop on radiation monitoring conducted by the Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team (BEST) and the Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (MATRR) in Chattanooga, TN (check out

Thanks to Garry Morgan and Gretel Johnston of BEST/MATRR for reviewing drafts and providing very helpful feedback.

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Good Day:
I made the attached presentation during an NRC Commission briefing on Fukushima lessons learned and status this morning. The chair and co-chair of the NAS committee that authored the report issued last week also made presentations, which are or soon will be archived (somewhere) on the NRC's website.
Dave Lochbaum

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Join NIRS and a cast of thousands for the nuclear-free, carbon-free contingent to the People's Climate March September 21 in New York City. Details for the event are evolving rapidly; check here regularly for new materials and information.

The route of the March has now been agreed to with NYPD:

- Assemble in area north of Columbus Circle
- leave Columbus Circle and go east on 59th Street
- turn onto 6th Ave. and go south to 42nd Street
- turn right onto 42nd Street and go west to 11th Ave
- turn left on 11th Ave. and go south to 34th Street

End Location: on 11th Ave. in the streets between 34th Street and 38th Street

Time of the March, assembly location for Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent and other details are not completed. We will update here as more information is confirmed.


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Date:  July 24, 2014


Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Underscores Need to Actively Seek Out and Act on New Information About Nuclear Plant Hazards, Says New NAS Report

WASHINGTON – A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that the overarching lesson learned from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards with the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants.  The committee that wrote the report examined the causes of the Japan accident and identified findings and recommendations for improving nuclear plant safety and offsite emergency responses to nuclear plant accidents in the U.S.

The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was initiated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.  The earthquake knocked out offsite AC power to the plant, and the tsunami inundated portions of the plant site.  Flooding of critical equipment resulted in the extended loss of onsite power with the consequent loss of reactor monitoring, control, and cooling functions in multiple units.  Three reactors -- Units 1, 2, and 3 -- sustained severe core damage, and three reactor buildings -- Units 1, 3, and 4 -- were damaged by hydrogen explosions.  Offsite releases of radioactive materials contaminated land in Fukushima and several neighboring prefectures, prompting widespread evacuations, distress among the population, large economic losses, and the eventual shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan.  

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Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Relaxation of Response Due Dates Regarding Flooding Hazard Reevaluations for Recommendation 2.1 of the Near-Term Task Force Review of the Insights from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Accident (TAC Nos. MF3671 and MF3672)

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Peach Bottom Atomic Station, Units 2 and 3 - Staff Assessment of the Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to the Fukushima DAI-ICHI Nuclear Power Plant Accident (Tac Nos. MF0261 and MF0262)

Download ML14119A057


Three Mile Island, Unit 1 - Staff Assessment of the Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (Tac No. MF0290)

Download ML14156A238


Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2, Staff Assessment of The Flooding Walkdown Report Supporting Implementation of Near-Term Task Force Recommendation 2.3 Related to The Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident (MF0288 and MF0289)

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San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace among 34 organizations demanding the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission consider new and significant information on the environmental impacts of high-density pool storage.

For immediate release: July 2, 2014


Linda Seeley, Spokesperson
Jane Swanson, Spokesperson

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) is among 34 organizations filing an amended rulemaking petition on June 26, 2014.  The amended petition supplements the rulemaking petition filed on February 18, which asks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to revise its environmental analysis of “spent” fuel storage impacts based on new and significant information generated in the NRC’s Expedited Spent Fuel Transfer proceeding.  In that proceeding, the NRC admitted for the first time how devastating the impacts of a pool fire could be, i.e., thousands of square miles contaminated, millions of people relocated.  It also conceded that transferring spent fuel from high-density pools to dry storage could be a cost-effective mitigative measure.  The 34 organizations, represented by SLOMFP attorney Diane Curran and Mindy Goldstein of Emory Law School, argue that this information must be considered before licensing or re-licensing any nuclear reactors.

See the Amended Petition  at


An Update To The On-going Revision to NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1

Development of draft Revision 2 of NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1 continued during the 1st quar- ter of calendar year 2014 in preparation for the formal public comment period, which is scheduled to start in Octo- ber 2014. A preliminary draft of Section I was developed and changes to the evaluation criteria in Section II were com- pleted after considering feed- back from the stakeholder engagement sessions held in October 2013. Prior to holding another stakeholder engage- ment session, the document was provided to NRC and FE- MA staff for comment in April 2014. During May 2014, the lead NRC-FEMA writing team made further changes to Sec- tions I and II based on staff input.

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