Tag Archives: Nuclear

Another No Nuke Victory: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant to Close in 2014

28 Aug

by Laura Beans / EcoWatch

The Vermont Yankee Power Plant is a boiling water nuclear reactor located in Vernon.

The Vermont Yankee Power Plant is a boiling water nuclear reactor located in Vernon.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the nuclear energy sector has seen a downturn, enduring bad press and changing financial trends as well as racking up a running list of safety issues in plants around the world. 

Nuclear energy opponents have seen a series of successes recently, from the closing of San Onofre in California to the Paducah plant in Kentucky in May. Yesterday, Entergy Corp. announced it would decommission Vermont Yankee in 2014, the state’s only nuclear power plant.

The decision to close and dismantle the plant ends a nasty legal battle between Entergy and the state of Vermont, and is another win for the growing anti-nuclear energy movement. Global electricity generation from nuclear power dropped by seven percent in 2012, after a four percent decline in 2011, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

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Great Lakes Saved from Nuke Waste Shipments

5 Aug

by Emma Lui / Intercontinental Cry

Detroit-News-graphic-of-route

Communities and organizations around the Great Lakes received heartening news over the weekend. A plan to ship radioactive waste across the Lakes was officially cancelled after years of community opposition.

Swedish company Studsvik announced that the plan was annulled in its interim report for the first half of 2013.   Continue reading

Fracking, Climate Change Stressing U.S. Energy Infrastructure

13 Jul

from Root Force

Power lines downed by Hurricane Sandy (Photo: Arlington County/cc/flickr)

Power lines downed by Hurricane Sandy (Photo: Arlington County/cc/flickr)

The combination of fracking and global warming-driven drought is placing an increasing strain on U.S. energy infrastructure, which depends on water for cooling power plants, the Department of Energy has warned. And that’s not all.

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DIY Nuclear Safety at Fukushima

31 May

Photo from Energy News

"[...] this photo, which was taken inside of the crippled Unit 4 reactor building, showing a orange safety cone which has been flipped upside down to direct leaking materials into a hose which has been attached with duct tape."

This photo was reportedly taken inside the crippled Unit 4 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant. An orange safety cone has been flipped upside down to direct leaking materials into a hose which has been attached with tape. Workers have reported that there is nothing left that they can do about the damage anymore.

For more on the current state of the leaking nuclear facility, see:

Leaks, Rats and Radioactivity: Fukushima’s Nuclear Cleanup Is Faltering

83-year-old Nun and 2 Others Convicted of Sabotage

8 May

Cross Posted from BBC News

An elderly Catholic nun and two peace activists have been convicted for damage they caused while breaking into a US nuclear defense site.

Sister Megan Rice, 83, Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 56, admitted to cutting fences and entering the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which processes and stores uranium.

The July 2012 incident prompted security changes.

Sister Megan said she regretted only having waited 70 years to take action.

A jury deliberated for two and a half hours before handing down its verdict. The three face up to 20 years in prison following their conviction for sabotaging the plant, which was first constructed during the Manhattan Project that developed the first nuclear bomb.

The three, who belong to the group Transform Now Plowshares, were also found guilty of causing more than $1,000 of damage to government property, for which they could face up to 10 years in prison.

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Leaks, Rats and Radioactivity: Fukushima’s Nuclear Cleanup Is Faltering

1 May

by Bryan Walsh, Cross Posted from Time:

JAPAN-DISASTER-ACCIDENT-NUCLEAR-ENERGY-IAEA

Honestly, if the consequences weren’t potentially so dire, the ongoing struggles to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northern Japan would be the stuff of comedy. In March, an extended blackout disabled power to a vital cooling system for days. The cause: a rat that had apparently been chewing on cables in a switchboard. As if that’s not enough, another dead rat was found in the plant’s electrical works just a few weeks ago, which led to another blackout, albeit of a less important system. The dead rats were just the latest screwups in a series of screwups by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the owner of the Fukushima plant, that goes back to the day of March 11, 2011, when an earthquake and the resulting tsunami touched off a nuclear disaster that isn’t actually finished yet. I’m not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were TEPCO’s CEO.

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Six Arrested Blocking Road in front of Duke Energy HQ During DNC

7 Sep

Protesters sitting on a banner that reads “Duke is destroying our earth with taxpayer dollars” were arrested Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Tryon and Stonewall streets, near the Duke Energy building. Photo: Meghan Cooke

Six protesters were taken away in handcuffs earlier Thursday near the corporate headquarters for Duke Energy. They had locked arms and were sitting on top of a banner claiming that the energy company was harming the environment.

Two dozen officers surrounded them and eventually lifted up the protesters, who refused to move. They then put them into prisoner transport vans.

Just before her arrest, 26-year-old Christina Mounce of Casper, W. Virginia, criticized the utility company for burning coal and running nuclear power plants.

“We want President Obama to stop accepting their campaign money,” said Mounce, a marine biologist. “The president is setting a horrible example by being linked with them.”

The demonstrators at Stonewall and Tryon streets said they were demanding an audience with Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy.

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Jellyfish Swarm Shuts Down Nuclear Power Plant in St.Lucie

8 Dec

Jellyfish invasions of this magnitude are rare. Biologists at the plant could recall only three other similar events in the past 30 years.

The plant, which is designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, was shut down for two days because of the jellyfish invasion and to repair a leak that was discovered in another pump after the shutdown, Doug Andrews said.

Unfortunately many giant groupers were also killed with the jellyfish that were sucked into the power plants cooling system.

Re-posted from Palm Beach Post

Read full article here

Rise up Vermont!

3 Sep

A CALL TO JOIN THE ORGANIZING OF A REGIONAL CAMPAIGN OF NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION TO SHUT DOWN VERMONT YANKEE

Sunday, Sept 18, 2011—10 am – 4 pm

Bugbee Senior Center, White River Junction

262 North Main Street, White River Jct.,VT

(see directions below)

PURPOSE OF MEETING: to develop a people’s campaign of nonviolent direct action to shut down Vermont Yankee on schedule – by March 21st, 2012. Vermonters and our tri state community have worked for 20 years to shut down Vermont Yankee and are committed to a green energy future. Our voices were resoundingly heard when the Vermont Senate voted overwhelming to replace Vermont Yankee in 2012. Now Entergy is trying to undermine the will of the people and steal our vote away.

We support the state of Vermont in its efforts to fight this untrustworthy, corporation. However, the people must also make it clear to Entergy, the courts, the State of Vermont and the media, that it is unacceptable for Vermont Yankee to continue to operate after its license expires in March 2012. In the event that Entergy Corporation defies Vermont law and continues to operate Vermont Yankee or, that the courts, ruling on the lawsuit brought by the Entergy against the State of Vermont, refuse to uphold Vermont law, the democratic process, and the will of the majority of Vermonter’s and our neighbors in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we will act. We must not allow this Louisiana, profit-driven corporation to subvert democracy and imperil the future of the New England region.

In the aftermath of Fukushima, there is no longer any doubt that nuclear power is an imminent threat to our lives, health, environment, and livelihoods. Vermont Yankee, approaching the end of its 40-year operating license, and running at 120% of its original design capacity, is an aging Mark-I reactor, identical in design and age to the reactors that exploded and melted down in Fukushima. The inadequacy of the Mark-I design has long been known, yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has allowed 23 of these reactors to continue to operate in America. It is time to close these dangerous reactors, starting here and now with Vermont Yankee.

September 18th will be a meeting, for those who want to commit the time necessary for organizing a non-violent direct action campaign with the goal of closing Vermont Yankee on schedule. The focus of this meeting will be on affirming a participatory organizational structure and an open decision making process and approving action guidelines. as well discussion of possible scenarios for a broad and sustained non-violent direct action campaign and a name for the organization will be chosen.

Informational sessions about Vermont Yankee, action camps and nonviolence training workshops will be scheduled for later dates.

WHO IS INVITED: Anyone who agrees with the purpose of this meeting and is willing to dedicate the time necessary to organize the campaign.

WHEN & WHERE: This founding assembly will take place on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 from 10 – 4 pm pm at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction, VT. Please try to carpool, and to arrive early. Coffee, tea, etc. will be available. A small lunch will be provided; as well, potluck offerings would be appreciated (there may be up to 50 people at the meeting).

RATIONALE: We, the People, cannot allow a mega-corporation like Entergy to subvert democracy and continue irradiating our region while adding to the tons of high level nuclear waste stored high above the banks of the Connecticut River. The people of this region—by means of petitions, letters, public hearings as well as demonstrations, and votes by the Vermont legislature and annual town meetings—have long and repeatedly expressed their will to close Vermont Yankee and replace its power with safe, renewable alternatives. Many nations—including Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan—are taking action to halt the continued use of nuclear power. Vermont has done the same.

Entergy is determined to keep the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant operating. In a last ditch effort, Entergy is suing in federal court to prevent the sovereign will of Vermont from prevailing in the shutdown of Vermont Yankee. If the courts rule against Vermont or if Entergy defies Vermont law we must take action for the sake of our lives, democracy, future generations, and the environment.

PLEASE JOIN US! In a People’s Campaign to Close Vermont Yankee

Signed by:

Randy Kehler, Bob Bady, Nancy Braus for Safe and Green Campaign; Debra Stoleroff, Chris Williams, Robin Cappuccino, David Detmold for the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance;

Deb Katz and Chris Williams for VT Citizens Awareness Network Hattie Nestel for the Shut it Down Affinity Group. Erik Gillard for Green Mountain EarthFirst!

Respond by email confirming you will come by September 16 to the following addresses:

Erock at : greenmountainearthfirst@hotmail.com

Bob Bady (Safe and Green) email: bobbady@gmail.com

Deb Katz (CAN) email: deb@nukebusters.org

Debra Stoleroff (VYDA) email: debra@vtlink.net

for DIRECTIONS email greenmountainearthfirst@hotmail.com

 

Earthquake reignites debate over safety of nuclear power

24 Aug

cross-posted from The Hill

by Andrew Restuccia

Virginia’s largest earthquake in more than a century shook the East Coast on Tuesday and is likely to revive a long-standing debate about the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants.

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake caused the shutdown of two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va. The plant, which is located less than 20 miles from the epicenter of the quake, lost offsite power and was running its cooling systems on diesel generators Tuesday.

While there were no reports of damage at the North Anna reactors and plant operator Dominion said the cooling systems were working properly, nuclear opponents quickly pounced on the incident Tuesday.

They say the incident shows that U.S. nuclear reactors are vulnerable to major natural disasters and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should move quickly to implement a series of sweeping regulatory changes recommended by a federal task force last month.

“The earthquake near the North Anna reactors clearly underscores the need for the rapid implementation of the recommendations of the NRC’s Fukushima task force,” said Tom Clements, southeastern nuclear campaign coordinator at Friends of the Earth, a group that has long been critical of nuclear power.

“This event affirms that reactors located outside active earthquake zones are also at risk and that increased steps to protect against earthquakes must be implemented at all sites. It is time to push aside industry and NRC foot-dragging and strengthen nuclear reactor safety regulations.”

Paul Gunter, director of reactor oversight at the group Beyond Nuclear, echoed Clements sentiments.

“Once again, Mother Nature is warning us that nuclear power is the most brittle of electrical power systems,” Gunter said.

The earthquake comes at a sensitive time for the NRC and the nuclear industry, which is dealing with the fallout from the March disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

A task force mandated by President Obama in the aftermath of the Japanese disaster said in a report released last month that the NRC should make wide-ranging improvements to the its “existing patchwork of regulatory requirements and other safety initiatives.”

Read the rest of the article here.