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Environmental Impacts

The entire nuclear fuel chain involves the release of radioactivity that contaminates the environment. Radiation can affect the air, water, soil, plants, animals, places of residence and recreation and elsewhere.

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Thursday
Feb232017

280 Groups Oppose Western Governors' Association's Efforts to Weaken Endangered Species Act

As reported by a Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) press release, Beyond Nuclear joined with CBD, the Endangered Species Coalition, Humane Society of the United States, and 276 other organizations, opposing the Western Governors' Association's efforts to weaken Endangered Species Act. See a copy of the coalition's letter to National Governors' Association head, Terry McAuliffe (Democrat-Virginia), and the other 49 governors, here.

A current example of Beyond Nuclear's work to protect endangered/threatened species is its intervention, along with coalition partners in southeast Michigan, against the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor on the Great Lakes shoreline. The coalition, represented by attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, OH, pursued an endangered species contention against Fermi 3 from 2008 until 2014, attempting to protect the threatened Eastern Fox Snake (an indigenous contstrictor). Unfortunately, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ultimately ruled against the contention, effectively greenlighting the destruction of the Eastern Fox Snake species Great Lakes coastal wetland habtitat at the Fermi 3 site -- only one of four such habitats that still exist.

But the coalition is still challenging Fermi 3's NRC rubber-stamped construction and operation license, at the second highest court in the land, just below the U.S. Supreme Court -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A part of that appeal involves the proposed new transmission line corridor connected to Fermi 3, challenging its exclusion from NRC's Environmental Impact Statement. That transmission line corridor, if built, would destroy critical habitat, including forested wetlands, where Eastern Fox Snakes can also live.

While Beyond Nuclear et al.'s focus has been on the Eastern Fox Snake, there are numerous additional endangered/threatened plant and animal species that would be harmed by Fermi 3's construction and operation.

Monday
Jan092017

Washington Congressional Delegation Urges President-Elect Trump to Prioritize Hanford Cleanup, Worker Health, Tri-Cities’ Safety

“This work is essential to protecting the health and safety of the Tri-Cities community, the Columbia River, Washington state and our nation.”

As posted on the website of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Democratic News section. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is the Ranking Member (Minority/Democrat) on the Committee.

Hanford is the worst radioactively contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere. It got that way, due to military reprocessing, to extract plutonium from high-level radioactive waste, for use in the American nuclear weapons arsenal.

Thursday
Jan052017

Lawsuit Launched Against Radioactive Phosphate Mining in Florida

Update provided by Center for Biological Diversity:

Florida is saddled with 1 billion tons of radioactive phosphogypsum -- the result of turning phosphate mined in Florida into fertilizer -- as well as scars and pollution from thousands of acres of phosphate mining.

So just before the holidays, the Center and allies tackled the problem, notifying two federal agencies we'll sue over their approval of more than 50,000 additional acres of mining in central Florida unless they take steps to improve the situation. The new mining would destroy habitat for eastern indigo snakes and Florida panthers, hurt water quality and damage the landscape.

"Phosphate mining violently disfigures the environment, destroying habitat and displacing wildlife," said Jaclyn Lopez, our Florida director.

Read more in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and check out our new phosphate mining webpage.

Saturday
Dec242016

Environmental coalition defends its legal appeal, seeks to block Fermi 3 proposed new reactor in Michigan

Terry Lodge, legal counsel for the environmental coalition resisting Fermi 3

An environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, is entering its 10th year of resistance (2008-2017) against Detroit Edison's proposed new Fermi Unit 3 reactor in southeast Michigan on the Great Lakes shoreline.

On Dec. 23rd, Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge filed a Reply Brief, in defense of a legal appeal originally filed in October, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second highest court in the land, just below the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Reply rebuts challenges to the appeal brought by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Detroit Edison (DTE).

The appeal challenges NRC's exclusion of the transmission line corridor from the Environmental Impact Statement, a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The appeal also challenges DTE's violations of NRC's quality assurance (QA) regulations (Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates, Inc. serves as the coalition's QA expert).

More.

Thursday
Oct062016

Yet another oil spill at Indian Point, into the Hudson River

Riverkeeper map showing risks to the Hudson River, New York City, and beyond, from Indian Point.As reported by Nuclear Street, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered two state agencies to investigate the latest oil spill at Entergy's Indian Point nuclear power plant, located on the banks of the Hudson River, not far upstream from New York City.

The article reports:

Since 2011, there have been over 40 spills and unexpected shutdown events at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor, which as been criticized repeatedly by Gov. Cuomo, who has said the plant, run by Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc. and just 24 miles north of New York City, is too close to a major population center to allow for a reasonable evacuation process in the event of a significant emergency.