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ARTICLE ARCHIVE


 

Friday
Jan152010

Vermont Yankee says it didn't mean to mislead lawmakers

Entergy Nuclear officials have been caught in a lie regarding leakage of radioactive tritium from buried pipes at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in southeastern Vermont on the Massachusetts and New Hampshire borders along the Connecticut River. (Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, mentioned in the article as a consultant to the State of Vermont Legislature, which has been strongly critical of Vermont Yankee's requested 20 year license extension, also serves as an expert witness on Beyond Nuclear's quality assurance violations contentions at the proposed Fermi 3 atomic reactor in Michigan.) The Vermont State Department of Public Service, which has been generally supportive of Vermont Yankee and its bid for a 20 year license extension, may be reconsidering its position in light of Entergy Nuclear's misleading statements in the past regarding buried piping at the plant. The DPS may even seek to levy financial penalties against the company for the false information. Vermont lawmakers responded to the leaks of radioactive water from underground pipes that supposedly did not exist with a "storm of criticism."

Thursday
Jan142010

Congressmen call for investigation of leaky, buried piping at atomic reactors

U.S. Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA), John Hall (D-NY), and John Adler (D-NJ) have called upon the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to launch an investigation into the corrosion of and leakage from buried piping at the nation's nuclear power plants. In their letter to GAO, the Congressmen stated that "The recent discoveries of leaks of reactor cooling water, diesel fuel, and radioactive water at several plants suggest that NRC processes must be improved to help licensees adequately manage the aging of this infrastructure to ensure the safety of the reactors and of the public." The Congressmen cite leaking pipes at such nuclear power plants as Oyster Creek NJ, Indian Point NY, San Onofre CA, Byron IL, Perry OH, Dresden IL, and Braidwood IL to make clear that this is a nation-wide problem. Hazardous tritium -- a radioactive form of hydrogen -- is very often involved in such leakage into groundwater. (However, besides such accidental, uncontrolled, and unmonitored leaks, tritium is also "routinely" discharged from atomic reactors, with permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.)

Thursday
Jan142010

DOE and OMB "at odds" over speed of Yucca dump's cancellation?

A letter from U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag seems  to indicate a difference in positions as to how quickly the Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste dumpsite should be phased out. Although President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu have made clear time and time again that Yucca is no longer an option for high-level radioactive waste disposal, the proposed repository's construction and operating license application proceeding before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been allowed to continue (in fact an oral hearing will be held at the end of this month in Las Vegas), raising the specter that the supposedly cancelled dump could come back to life someday under the right political circumstances. In the meantime, the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe, and other dump opponents must remain vigilant until the final nail has been pounded down on the dump's coffin lid.

Thursday
Jan142010

"Step It Up To Shut It Down" -- 126 mile march through bitter cold against Vermont Yankee reaches Statehouse

Activists opposed to a 20 year license extension at Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant have marched 126 miles through bitter winter weather from the reactor in Brattleboro to the state capitol in Montpelier. Anti-nuclear activism in the Green Mountain State is ramping up, as the Vermont state legislature will likely vote by spring whether or not to support the license extension at one of the nation's oldest reactors.

Thursday
Jan142010

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists turns back Doomsday Clock

The board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has turned its Doomsday Clock back by one minute - from five minutes to midnight to six minutes. In a statement today, made during a live, web-cast conference, the board members stated: "We are poised to bend the arc of history toward a world free of nuclear weapons. For the first time since atomic bombs were dropped in 1945, leaders of nuclear weapons states are cooperating to vastly reduce their arsenals and secure all nuclear bomb-making material. And for the first time ever, industrialized and developing countries alike are pledging to limit climate-changing gas emissions that could render our planet nearly uninhabitable". The full statement can be found on the Bulletin's Web site.