DeMystifying Nuclear Power


Nuclear Radiation Alert: Could You Have A Dirty Bomb NextDoor?


Many years ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning to find three State Police Bomb Squad cars and one truck pulling a bomb disposal trailer parked on the lot next door to our home in rural Connecticut…

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One Week Until Election Day

You may be well aware, but we wanted to remind our readers that the 2020 Electionis in 7 days! Now, more than ever, we realize that climate challenges are nonpartisan!


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In case you missed these other Fairewinds Updates



Regulatory Capture: Flying on the SmallModular Reactor


Yes, Fairewinds tracks nuclear safety issues, and no, Boeing will not build Small Modular Reactors that fly. However, when most of my colleagues and I look at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its supposedly thorough technical review of an allegedly different and newly designed Small Modular Reactor (SMR)…

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SAT, SEP 19 in the NuclearHotseat & Nuclear Hostage Crisis


This week, Fairewinds Energy Education founder, Maggie Gundersen, joined Robert Manning, founder and organizer of, on Nuclear Hotseat with host, Libbe HaLevy…

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Nuclear Alert: NRC & Nuke Safety In the Time of COVID-19


Did you know that nuclear plants close for scheduled refueling every 18-months, meaning that 1/3 of the operating reactors are off-line each spring and fall?

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Moving Energy Education Forward 


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The Fairewinds Crew works hard to demystify nuclear power through education. 

Subject:  Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Regulatory Virtual Audit Plan Regarding License Amendment Request to Adopt TSTF-505, Revision 2 (EPID L-2020-LLA-0120))
ADAMS Accession No.:  ML20290A524
Agreement State Event Number: 54936 
Licensee: Private Residence 
Region: 1 
City: Harrisburg   State: PA
License #: 
Agreement: Y
NRC Notified By: John Chippo
HQ OPS Officer: Thomas Herrity
Notification Date: 10/07/2020 
Notification Time: 13:19 [ET] 
Event Date: 09/28/2020 
Event Time: 00:00 [EDT] 
Last Update Date: 10/07/2020
Emergency Class: Non Emergency 
10 CFR Section: 
Agreement State 
Person (Organization): 
This material event contains a "Less than Cat 3" level of radioactive material. 

Event Text


The following was received from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Radiation Protection (BRP; the Department) via email:

"On Sunday afternoon, September 28, 2020, the Department was notified of radioactive material found in a private residence being cleaned-out for an auction sale. BRP staff responded and found several sealed radium-226 sources and small quantities of uranium ore. The initial investigation revealed an additional nearby property also had radioactive material present. Staff inspected that property as well and discovered several more items. Owners of the houses were related and have passed away. HazMat responder's shoes and gloves were surveyed on September 28, with no removable contamination noted. Ambient dose rates were in the microrem to few millirem per hour range around the sources. The houses were secured that evening and further investigation continued through the week. As of October 7, 45 items have been collected. Note, some items contain multiple exempt sources, pieces of rock, or bottles of circa 1920 quack medical tablets with radium-226. These items include: old quack radium consumer products, exempt check sources, vacuum tubes, a military compass, luminous tubes and deck markers, cans of thorium oxide, and various other items containing radium-226, thorium-232, strontium-90, carbon-14, and natural uranium in quantities ranging from less than a microCurie to a few milliCuries (in the case of two radium-226 sources). An empty 5 gallon pail with 'US Radium, Bloomsburg PA' stenciled on the side was found. It is believed this old manufacturer of radium products, and now an EPA Superfund site, is where these items originated from. No exposure to members of the public above the public dose limit of 100 mrem per year are believed to have occurred during discovery and recovery, as the higher activity sources were within lead containers when found. BRP will update this event if more information becomes available. A complete inventory and activity calculations are underway for proper disposal."

Event Report ID No: PA200020


Sources that are "Less than IAEA Category 3 sources," are either sources that are very unlikely to cause permanent injury to individuals or contain a very small amount of radioactive material that would not cause any permanent injury. Some of these sources, such as moisture density gauges or thickness gauges that are Category 4, the amount of unshielded radioactive material, if not safely managed or securely protected, could possibly - although it is unlikely - temporarily injure someone who handled it or were otherwise in contact with it, or who were close to it for a period of many weeks. For additional information go to 


GPU Nuclear, Inc., Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 2 – NRC Inspection Report 05000320/2020002
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 20-050 October 15, 2020
CONTACT: Office of Public Affairs, 301-415-8200
NRC 2020-2021 Information Digest Now Available Online
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published the 2020-2021 edition of its Information Digest, which describes, in plain language and with visual aids, the agency's mission, responsibilities, accomplishments and activities related to the civilian use of radioactive materials.
The NRC Information Digest is published annually and, beginning this year, will be available only electronically on the NRC website. This new online-edition, NUREG-1350, Volume 32, is a quick reference guide to the agency and industry in an easy-to-use format.
The Digest has embedded hyperlinks for ready access to additional information on major topics. The NRC graphics, figures, maps, and data sets also will be available online.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Failure to Protect Public Safety During the COVID- 19 Public Emergency
In Pennsylvania, the three nuclear plants that shut down for refueling in the spring reported outside workers testing positive for COVID. At the Limerick Generating Station Montgomery County officials rejected Exelon’s coronavirus plan, and requested that the company postpone the refueling operation until it had put adequate protections in place. Exelon ignored the request.
Senator Katie Muth said, “Thus far, Exelon has provided an inadequate pandemic response plan, withheld information from county and state officials, and failed to prioritize the safety of its employees, contract workers, community first responders, as well as all residents of the 44th senatorial district and entire region,” Senator Muth wrote. “This is grossly irresponsible as Exelon has brought at least 1,400 workers to the epicenter of Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 pandemic.”
In addition, Beaver Valley, Limerick, and Susquehanna nuclear plant owners used the cover of the pandemic to collude with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay safety repairs. Energy Harbor, Exelon and Talen Energy received permission to violate fitness for duty protections, implement forced overtime, and skip necessary inspections.  
Peach Bottom's refueling outage is currently underway as COVID numbers are spiking in York County. Exelon will bring in over  1,000 workers from hot spots throughout the
country. The NRC will "monitor" the refueling outage from the safety of remote locations in Bethesda and Washington.
Eric Epstein, Chairman of Three Mile Island, Alert, a safe-energy organization based in Harrisburg and founded in 1977, stated: The nuclear industry has exploited the pandemic to delay repairs on aging plants, eliminate emergency preparedness, and reduce safeguards. The NRC has abdicated its oversight mission, and 
embraced its role as a regulatory doormat.”
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: I-20-020 October 14, 2020
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
NRC Names New Resident Inspector at Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has selected Ronald Rolph as the new resident inspector at the Beaver Valley nuclear power plant in Shippingport, Pa.
Rolph joined the NRC in 2004 as a materials inspector in the Division of Nuclear Materials Safety at the agency’s Region I Office in King of Prussia, Pa. In 2007, he worked as a reactor health physics inspector, also in the Region I Office.
He became qualified as an NRC resident inspector and has performed in various acting positions as a resident inspector while also conducting health physics inspections. Most recently, he served as acting resident inspector at the Salem nuclear power plant from July through September 2020.
Rolph holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematical science and master’s degree in information technology from Pennsylvania State University.
Each U.S. commercial nuclear power plant has at least two NRC resident inspectors. Rolph joins the NRC’s senior resident inspector at Beaver Valley, Gwynne Eatmon, serving as the agency’s eyes and ears at the facility, carrying out inspections, monitoring significant work projects and interacting with plant workers and the public.
SUBJECT:  Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Issuance of Amendment Nos. 276 and 258 Re: Revise Technical Specification 5.5.2 to Modify the Design-Basis Loss-of-Coolant Accident Analysis (EPID L-2020-LLA-0000)
ADAMS Accession No.  ML20199G749