Holtec in (even more) hot water

A big expose about corruption at Holtec on ProPublica today. Here's the headline:

A False Anwer, A Big Political Connection and $260 Million In Tax Breaks.

Holtec International gave false answer in a 2014 New Jersey tax break application connected to political boss George E. Norcross III, a Holtec board member. Five days after WNYC and ProPublica asked about it, lawyers called it "inadvertent" and asked the state to correct it.

And here is the lead:

"A company that won the second-largest tax break in New Jersey history gave a false answer about being prohibited from working with a federal agency in sworn statements made to win $260 million in taxpayer assistance for a new plant in Camden.

"A review by WNYC and ProPublica found that Holtec International CEO Kris Singh responded “no” on certified forms submitted to the state in 2014 that asked if the applicant had ever been barred from doing business with a state or federal agency. The forms were submitted to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as part of the company’s successful application for tax breaks.

"In fact, the international nuclear parts manufacturer was caught up in a contracting investigation at the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority. In 2010, Holtec was barred for 60 days from doing any federal business and paid a $2 million administrative fine to the TVA, according to an agency report. Holtec’s debarment marked the first time the agency had taken such action against a contractor.

Read the full story.



The importance of the creative arts to anti-nuclear activism


We ran an entry in our weekly email bulletin by that title a couple weeks ago. Here are some additional examples of the creative arts as a form of anti-nuclear activism: To the Village Square, a book by Lionel Delevingne; and the work of the Atomic Photographers Guild.

The importance of this medium has come into sharp focus currently with the powerful and widely acclaimed HBO drama series, Chernobyl.

There is of course a long history of the use of visual and lively arts in activism, and the anti-nuclear movement is no exception. Indeed, the International Uranium Film Festival has been able to garner countless films on the topic for its globe-trotting screenings and street theatre has been an integral part of anti-nuclear protest around the world. We believe this medium is an excellent one with which to communicate an otherwise sometimes dry and arcane subject matter. That is in part why Beyond Nuclear launched Beyond Nuclear International -- which showcases filmmakers, painters, photographers, multi-media and theatrical performances and others. You can find these stories mainly under the Events & Actions or People tabs on the Beyond Nuclear International website.


Beyond Nuclear names Rose Gardner of AFES, NM as Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud "Unsung Hero" award recipient at ANA's 2019 DC Days

Left to right, front row -- Rose's daugther Bridget, granddaughter Aubrey, Rose Gardner, daughter Jessica; back row -- Beyond Nuclear's Linda Gunter, Paul Gunter, Kevin Kamps.From May 19-22, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability will hold its annual "DC Days." Beyond Nuclear has been a proud ANA member group since our founding in 2007. A highlight of every DC Days is the awards ceremony. Beyond Nuclear gives the Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud "Unsung Hero" Award* each year. We are happy to announce this year's "Unsung Hero" awardee: Rose Gardner, with the Alliance for Environmental Strategies (AFES) in Eunice, New Mexico.

(See a photo of Rose with her grandchildren, in the following NPR link. The photo is captioned "I've got three little babies here and nobody's speaking up for them," says Rose Gardner, who's worried about what the proposed facility would mean for her grandchildren's future, and was taken by Nathan Rott/NPR. See his April 11, 2019 story, "New Mexico Is Divided Over The 'Perfect Site' To Store Nation's Nuclear Waste," here.)

Rose is our ally in the fight against irradiated nuclear fuel consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs) at Interim Storage Partners/Waste Control Specialists, across the state line in Texas, just several miles from her home (including helping to provide us legal standing in this case, as a member and supporter of Beyond Nuclear), and at Holtec/Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, halfway between Carlsbad and Hobbs, NM, about 40 miles from her home (see Beyond Nuclear's Centralized Storage website section, for more info. on the CISFs).  
Also receiving awards at DC Days are: Congressman Adam Smith, of Washington's 9th District; Patricia Mellen, attorney; and the Bill Mitchell Grassroots Activist of the Year Award, the mystery recipient to be announced at the ceremony itself, taking place Tues., May 21st from 6-7:30pm Eastern, at 2060 Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. See ANA's awards reception announcement, here. It is not too late to register for and attend DC Days, if you can make it. 
*Judith Johnsrud (1931-2014) was a founding board member of Beyond Nuclear. She also co-founded Nuclear Information and Resource Service, as well as the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power. One of her many claims to fame was helping co-lead the intervention against the building of the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in the first place, in the 1970s, years before the TMI-2 meltdown. Another was being honored, in 2012, by Sierra Club for a half-century of anti-nuclear activism. See a tribute to Judith on the bottom of the last page of our 2014 newsletter about the Three Mile Island meltdown.

Beyond Nuclear at "Decommissioning: A New Era in the U.S. Nuclear Power Industry; a Critical Need for Congressional Oversight," on Capitol Hill

Beyond Nuclear was honored and privileged to speak at a May 13th congressional briefing, co-sponsored by Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Energy Information Service, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Riverkeeper and other participating groups, including ours.  
A recording of the briefing, about urgent atomic reactor decommissioning and highly radioactive waste management issues, is posted online at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) website, here. (Beyond Nuclear's presentation, by radioactive waste specialist, Kevin Kamps, is from the 46 minute 10 second mark, to the 59 minute 58 second mark; also see the Q&A period, beginning at the 1 hour 20 minute mark.) Also at the link above are posted supporting materials for the briefing, including Beyond Nuclear's briefing paper, by Paul Gunter, reactor oversight project director, entitled "'Nuclear Autopsy': The Missing Link between Decommissioning Reactors and Operating License Extensions."


The Chernobyl Podcast -- HBO

Adi Roche, founder, Chernobyl Children International, Cork, Ireland, at the United Nations on Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, April 26, 2019The second episode of the "Chernobyl" miniseries on HBO and Sky aired earlier this week, with episode three of five scheduled for Monday, May 20th at 9pm Eastern on HBO.
HBO and Sky also have an official podcast accompanying the miniseries: The official podcast of the miniseries Chernobyl, from HBO and Sky. Join host Peter Sagal (NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!") and series creator, writer and executive producer Craig Mazin after each episode as they discuss the true stories that shaped the scenes, themes and characters. Chernobyl airs Mondays at 9 PM on HBO and Tuesdays at 9 PM on Sky Atlantic. The Chernobyl Podcast is also available to stream on HBO NOW and HBO GO starting Monday, May 6 at 10 PM. 
Here are links to the podcasts themselves that have run thus far: Part 1 (May 6); Part 2 (May 13)