Exelon announces (yet again) closure of TMI-1 by Sept. 30; ongoing vigilance needed against attempted bailouts in PA and OH

From left to right: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear; Eric Epstein, Three Mile Island Alert (at podium); Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear. PA state capitol rotunda, October 2, 2018.Since 2012, a record-breaking eight atomic reactor permanent shutdowns have taken place in North America: Gentilly-2, Quebec; Crystal River, FL; Kewaunee, WI; San Onofre 2 & 3, CA; Vermont Yankee; Fort Calhoun, NE; Oyster Creek, NJ. The good news about reactor shutdowns is, core meltdowns are no longer possible, and no more radioactive waste will be generated (although way too much has already been generated and needs to be isolated from the environment forevermore, and radioactive contamination on-site still has to be addressed during years- or decades-long plant decommissioning).

If Exelon Nuclear can be believed, another most infamous name will soon be added to that list: Three Mile Island Unit 1 in Pennsylvania. Yesterday, Exelon confirmed it will shut down TMI-1 by September 30, 2019. Exelon's surrender comes in the face of its failure to secure ratepayer and/or taxpayer bailouts from the PA state legislature. (The closure confirmation comes after the 40th annual commemoration of the TMI-2 reactor core meltdown on 3/28/79. Beyond Nuclear has been honored and privileged to stand with our friends and colleagues, such as TMI Alert, during this commemoration period. See Beyond Nuclear staff Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps, with TMI Alert's Eric Epstein, at a press conference in PA's state capitol rotunda, in Oct. 2018, above left.) 

However, as Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts in Pennsylvania has warned, the fight against attempted bailouts at several additional dangerously age-degraded atomic reactors in the Keystone State continues. In fact, TMI supporters' surrender could be yet another feign, using the threat of job and local tax revenue loss as leverage, to still force a bailout even at TMI-1. Similar "hostage taking" political arguments have succeeded in the past, as in New York and Illinois, to secure massive public bailouts, to prop up economically failing old reactors, even after Exelon had announced date-certain closures, which then were reversed upon securing the bailouts. The attempted nuclear bailouts may be dead for now in the PA state legislature, especially considering the busy legislative schedule into 2020 there. But we must remain vigilant, as Exelon's announced closure of TMI-1 by October could be a last ditch effort to force legislative action. If you reside in PA, please contact your state legislators and governor, urging they block attempted nuclear bailouts. If you know folks in PA, please pass this action alert on to them.

A similar battle rages on in Ohio (as it has been raging for several long years, but never more urgently than right now). FirstEnergy Nuclear (which is also seeking PA bailouts for its Beaver Valley Unit 1 & 2 reactors in that state, just several miles from the OH state line) is seeking ratepayer and/or taxpayer bailouts for its dangerously age-degraded Davis-Besse reactor east of Toledo, and Perry reactor east of Cleveland. Beyond Nuclear has submitted extensive testimony to state legislative subcommittees and committees, opposing the attempted bailouts. If you are an OH resident, please contact your state legislators and governor, urging their opposition to the bailouts. And if you know folks in OH, please urge them to take action.
Learn more about nuclear subsidies at our Nuclear Costs website section.



Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant To Close, Latest Symbol Of Struggling Industry

NPR coverage.

See Beyond Nuclear's hopeful REACTORS ARE CLOSING website page, for more such good news.


Beyond Nuclear vows to fight on against illegal high-level radioactive waste dump targeted at New Mexico: Atomic Safety and Licensing Board winks at acknowledged violations of federal law


POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES -- Nuclear Power Series on Facebook Live in May

POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES -- Nuclear Power Series on Facebook Live in May
Free Speech TV will host POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES, a four-part series of half-hour Facebook Live conversations about nuclear power, safety, waste, and environmental justice, beginning on Wednesday, May 1 at 2 pm ET. New episodes of POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES will go live on Free Speech TV’s Facebook page ( at 2 pm ET every Wednesday through May 22.
 The Facebook Live series POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES extends the conversation around and supplements FSTV’s continued on-air broadcasts of POWER STRUGGLE, filmmaker Robbie Leppzer’s timely documentary chronicling a successful grassroots citizens’ effort to shut down an aging nuclear power plant in Vermont. 
 Robbie Leppzer will serve as the moderator for each Facebook Live panel discussion, which will feature candid and far-reaching conversations with activists featured in POWER STRUGGLE, as well as national nuclear safety watchdogs, organizational advocates, and representatives of communities directly impacted by production of nuclear energy.
 For more information about the POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES Facebook Live series, and broadcast times for POWER STRUGGLE, visit:


 POWER STRUGGLE is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital.  For more information:
POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES: Nuclear Waste (Episode 1) • May 1 at 2pm ET / 11am PT [See recording here.]
Filmmaker Robbie Leppzer examines the long-term public health hazards from high-level radioactive waste generated from nuclear power plants, and specific proposals to site nuclear waste dumps in Latino and indigenous communities in New Mexico, Texas and Nevada. Program guests include: Kevin Kamps, nuclear waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, Ian Zabarte, Principal Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians in Nevada, and Rose Gardner, cofounder of Alliance For Environmental Strategies, based in New Mexico and Texas.

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster 33 years on

The 33rd “anniversary” of the world’s worst nuclear disaster is upon us as we remember the April 26, 1986 explosion and meltdown at Ukraine’s Chernobyl reactor. Many papers, books, and even a novel have been written about the Chernobyl accident, as well as films, including dramas as well as documentaries.

The lasting legacy of Chernobyl will be with us forever, as damage due to radiation exposure is passed down the generations, and on-going exposures to humans, as well as animals and plants in the Chernobyl Zone, continue to do lasting harm.

On Beyond Nuclear International this week, we feature the firsthand experience of Natalia Manzurova, a Chernobyl “liquidator” who has lived with horrendous health effects ever since. Manzurova, with the help of US activist, Cathie Sullivan, also wrote a book about her ordeal — Hard Duty

And we run a review of Kate Brown’s landmark book, Manual For Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future. Her deep look into the Chernobyl aftermath came out shortly after another definitive analysis, Adam Higginbotham’s book, Midnight in Chernobyl, which examines exactly what happened. And that came out just after Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy who lived through the disaster as a young university lecturer living 500km downstream from Chernobyl at the time.

Libbe HaLevy’s Nuclear Hotseat this week features an interview with Kate Brown. 

Last year, because there are so many myths in circulation about Chernobyl, Beyond Nuclear released a special edition of its Thunderbird newsletter, Chernobyl:The Facts, to set the record straight.

Scientific illustrator, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger's beautiful but tragically revealing drawings of deformed true bugs hit by Chernobyl fallout, are often displayed as art, but their scientific warnings should be heeded. Many of these ilustrations are collected in scientific studies as well as a spectacular coffee table book.

A new Cuban film, Un Traductor (A Translator) a true life drama about a Havana academic who is brought in to translate for Russian patients and their families flown in from Chernobyl, is featured this week in FilmFest DC and reviewed on BNI.

Dr. Tim Mousseau, a researcher who with various colleagues has done numerous and definitive studies on the impact of Chernobyl (and now Fukushima) on plant and animal life in the region, has a new study out that points to reduced success in breeding among a type of rodent living in contaminated areas of Chernobyl. The more radiation, the greater the impact. Previously, we featured Mousseau’s earlier work which debunks notions that animals around Chernobyl are “thriving.”

There are many more films, plays, books, studies — too many to list here. Some notables include Chernobyl Forever, Chernobyl Heart and numerous others. For a good list of films on the subject of nuclear power, see the Uranium Film Festival list. In some cases, when you click on the title, the complete film is available for viewing.