Which nuclear plants are really "under construction"?

The term "under construction" is often used by the nuclear industry to inflate the numbers to make the new nuclear sector appear to be booming. After all Watts Bar-2 was "under constrution" for 43 years before it finally opened last year. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report has now launched "a fully interactive visualization on nuclear power reactor construction. How many of the 55 reactors currently under construction in the world are behind schedule? Which 13 countries are building nuclear power plants? Who are the technology providers? How long did it take for a specific reactor to be connected to the grid? For how long were the 90 units actually under construction before they were abandoned? 

If you wish to find out these and more details about any of the 754 nuclear reactors that have been under construction sometime between 1951 and 2017, explore the Global Nuclear Power Database now available on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.


Environmental coalition legal challenge against unprecedented highly radioactive liquid waste shipments coming to a head in D.C.

Political cartoon by Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News. Buffalo, NY, as well as Thousand Island, NY, are the two most likely border crossings for these shipments, although others could also be used. DOE has invoked security-related secrecy on the routing and timing of the shipments.A Canadian-U.S. environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, has been resisting unprecedented shipments of highly radioactive liquid waste, from Chalk River, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site, South Carolina, U.S.A., since they were first announced in spring, 2013. Last August, the coalition filed a federal lawsuit, demanding an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be conducted. Various court filings have gone back and forth since, between the coalition and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

In the latest round of legal filings, on Jan. 10, 2017, attorneys for DOE and the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Defendants' Combined Reply in Support of their Motion to Strike and Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Supplement the Record and to Submit Extra-Record Documents.

On Jan. 12, 2017, Terry Lodge of Toledo and Diane Curran of Washington, D.C., the environmental coalition's legal counsel, responded, filing Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendants' Opposition to Motion to Supplement the Record and to Submit Extra-Record Documents.

On Jan. 18, 2017, at 10am Eastern, Lodge and Curran will square off against DOE/DOJ, and argue the environmental coalition's case at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20001.

If the environmental coalition prevails in the expedited legal proceeding, the court will order DOE to carry out a long overdue Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), significantly delaying or perhaps even aborting the truck shipments. If the DOE prevails, it could start trucking highly radioactive liquid wastes by mid-February, 2017. See Beyond Nuclear's Waste Transportation website section for more information.


US Senate ENR Committee announces Jan. 19 nomination hearing for former Texas governor Rick Perry for Energy Secretary

366 Dirksen [Senate Office Building] 10:00 AM, Thursday, Jan. 19th

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. EST in Room 366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the nomination of the Honorable Rick Perry to be the Secretary of Energy.

The nomination hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website. Witness testimony will be available online immediately before the start of the hearing.

[Beyond Nuclear has prepared a backgrounder on a blatant conflict of interest, involving the Waste Control Specialists radioactive waste dump in Texas, that should disqualify him from serving as Energy Secretary. Please review the list of ENR Committee members. If one of your U.S. Senators is on there, please urge him/her to ask direct questions to Rick Perry about this, and to block his confirmation due to this matter.]


Alexei Yablokov, Russian scientist who found huge consequences from Chernobyl, dies at 83

From Bellona: Alexei Yablokov, the towering grandfather of Russian ecology who worked with Bellona to unmask Cold War nuclear dumping practices in the Arctic, has died in Moscow after a long illness. He was 83.

As a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, he was also the lead author of the seminal 2009 book, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.”

The book presented the conclusion that the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was responsible for 985,000 premature deaths – the boldest mortality tally to date – by analyzing 6,000 source materials on the accident. (The 985,000 premature death figure only covered the time period from 1986 to 2004, so even more premature deaths from exposure to hazardous ionizing radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe would have happened from 2005 to the present.)

Yablokov commanded a broad environmental and political mandate in Russia, and published over 500 papers on biology, ecology, natural conservation and numerous textbooks on each of these subjects. He founded Russia’s branch of Greenpeace and was the leader of the Green Russia faction of the Yabloko opposition party.

Read the full Bellona tribute. 

Listen to Nuclear Hotseat's tribute, including a brief interview with Alexey.


Entergy to close Indian Point nuclear plant in landmark agreement

See the Riverkeeper/Scenic Hudson/NRDC press release, posted at the Riverkeeper website. A link to the 169-page agreement is included.