TMI Update: Jan 14, 2024


Did you catch "The Meltdown: Three Mile Island" on Netflix?
TMI remains a danger and TMIA is working hard to ensure the safety of our communities and the surrounding areas.
Learn more on this site and support our efforts. Join TMIA. To contact the TMIA office, call 717-233-7897.

    

France's EDF shuts down two nuclear reactors after fire at Chinon plant
Nuclear energy operator EDF has shut down two reactors at Chinon in western France after a fire in a non-nuclear sector of the plant in the early hours of Saturday, the company said.

 
 
The 100 Year Canister Life Act aims to double nuclear waste storage lifespan to 100 years, ensuring safety and security for communities.

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Background

Type: 
TMI-2 SOLUTIONS, LLC, THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 2 - NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 05000320/2023004
 
ADAMS ACCESSION NO. ML24031A275
 
 
Document Title:
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station - Late LLRW Shipment Investigation Report Pursuant to 10 CFR 20, Appendix G
Document Type:
Letter
Document Date:
02/02/2024

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https://files.constantcontact.com/abc65024401/7ee258bf-32c2-48a3-bbd6-c0cec7c545aa.jpg?rdr=true

 
Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
February 1, 2024
 


HOLTEC'S LEGAL WOES
$5 Million Fine, Oral Arguments on CISF

New Jersey's Attorney General announceda $5 million fine, and three years of probationary supervision, for Holtec, after its latest series of lies to the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). As reported by NJ Spotlight News, Holtec sought twice the tax break for which it was eligible, and after the deadline, backdating documents. In 2019, the story broke that Holtec provided false answers on its application for $260 million in tax breaks. Also, its fired Chief Financial Officer continues his whistleblower lawsuit, alleging Holtec concealed $750 million in projected losses at its consolidated interim storage facility in New Mexico. Federal appeals against this CISF have been scheduled for oral argument on March 5 at the District of Columbia Circuit Court.

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US NUKES IN BRITAIN?
CND sees imminent deployment

The longtime UK anti-nuclear group, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has responded to compelling evidence that US nuclear weapons are about to return to UK soil. Files show construction plans for guard shacks at the US air base at Lakenheath in Suffolk, designed for ballistic protection. An earlier US Air Force report outlined plans for a dormitory to house the additional personnel needed to handle nuclear weapons at the base. The latest US capable jet fighter, the F-35A, is already at Lakenheath, designed to drop the B61-12 guided nuclear bomb. 110 US free-fall B61 nuclear bombs were removed from Lakenheath in 2008, following sustained protest. The return of US nuclear weapons to Britain makes the country a nuclear target, says CND.

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ZOMBIE REACTOR?!
$1.5 Billion for Palisades Restart
 
Bloomberg broke the story that the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office is poised to award Holtec a loan guarantee for $1.5 billion, for the unprecedented, extremely high-risk restart of Michigan...
Happy Groundhogs Day!
 
Not surprisingly, Vogtle Unit 4 in GA is delayed...yet again. Several links below w/the Bloomberg/E&E/EnergyWire pasted below.
 
AJC's coverage was longer, more in depth.
 
AP picked up widely:
 
 
Thanks,
Sara Barczak, 912-201-0354
 

Vogtle nuclear project is delayed again

BY BLOOMBERG | 02/02/2024 06:52 AM EST

ENERGYWIRE | Southern expects its long-delayed Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia to be pushed back again.

The Unit 4 reactor is expected to go into service in the second quarter, according to a filing Thursday. In November, the company said it would be done in the first quarter.

Southern said the delay stems from vibration issues with pipes in the cooling system that have to be resolved. The delay isn’t expected to add to total costs for the project, but Southern said it could be a drag on profit. If the plant doesn’t go into service by March 31, it would negatively impact earnings by “approximately $30 million per month until the month following the date commercial operation for Unit 4 is achieved,” according to the filing.

The Vogtle project to add two reactors to the facility is nearing completion, but it’s years behind schedule and costs have more than doubled to over $30 billion. Unit 3 went into service in July.

The intensifying threat of climate change is boosting the value of nuclear energy, and there’s a realization that the expensive, long-delayed Vogtle project could play an important role in US efforts to curb emissions.

Biden admin poised to aid nuclear plant with massive loan

By Brian Dabbs
01/31/2024 01:29 PM EST

The owner of a shuttered nuclear plant in Michigan is signaling a massive loan could come soon from the Department of
Energy, a move that would mark the latest attempt by the Biden administration to bolster the struggling nuclear sector in the
U.S.

Holtec International — the owner of the Palisades nuclear plant southwest of Grand Rapids — is “hopeful” it will “hear a
favorable decision in the near future” on the DOE loan, a spokesperson for the company, Nick Culp, told E&E News on
Wednesday.

“We are very optimistic about the federal loan process and confident in the strength of our application,” Culp said. “The
unified effort to bring Palisades back online will return 800 megawatts of safe, reliable and carbon-free baseload generation
back to our electric grid — ensuring Michigan and the country meet climate goals while boosting around-the-clock reliability
for families and businesses.”

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Holtec is poised to get a $1.5 billion loan to reopen the shuttered plant on the shores of
Lake Michigan from the DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO), an arm of the department with hundreds of billions of dollars in
authority. A spokesperson for the LPO declined to comment.

The potential loan comes in the wake of a for the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California.$1.1 billion DOE bailout
The bailout program, authorized in the bipartisan infrastructure law of 2021, is designed to provide grants to unprofitable
nuclear plants. A recent round of bailout offerings . Many energy experts expected Holtec to apply for theyielded no takers
grants.

Speaking to E&E News last week, CEO Kris Singh said the Palisades plant is a boon to U.S. clean energy.

“Right now, clean energy is in short supply. Companies want to switch. The consumers want to switch,” he said in an
interview. “The state government, local community, the Department of Energy, and finally the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission],
which has the last word, in our meetings have not shown any reluctance to restart the plant, if we are able to show to them that all
the safety metrics are preserved.”

Nuclear critics say the plant is a threat to the local community.

"The problem with a DOE loan guarantee, at least for taxpayers, is that it is interest-free, and risk-free. Holtec need not pay it
back, leaving taxpayers holding the bag,” Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, said in an email.

“But the extreme risks to health, safety, security, and the environment of restarting this severely age-degraded zombie reactor
could prove much more costly to those living downwind, downstream, up the food chain, and down the generations."

The LPO has more than $400 billion in lending authority after a. Among its morebig injection in the Inflation Reduction Act
controversial loans, the office is lending $3 billion to Sunnova Energy for a . Nationwide virtual power plant project
month, DOE also extended a loan to LongPath Technologies for that company's efforts to monitor methane emissions at
production sites in the U.S. West

Republicans on Capitol Hill have repeatedly targeted the LPO. Last week, House Republicans LPO threatened to subpoena
Director Jigar Shah.

Nuclear energy, which does not directly produce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, currently provides about a tenth
of global electricity. The fuel provided on the grid in 2022.18 percent of U.S. electricity

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is currently to boost next-generation nuclear production. collaborating to advance legislation
On Tuesday, Holtec as part of a criminal investigation into state tax credits the agreed to pay New Jersey $5 million
sought in 2018.

Reporter Zachary Bright contributed.

Efforts are underway to block Perry nuclear plant's license extension

Tom Henry
The Blade
thenry@theblade.com
Jan 31, 2024
7:00 AM

A three-judge panel took testimony on Tuesday related to Energy Harbor’s request to get the operating license of its Perry nuclear plant east of Cleveland extended another 20 years.

The Perry nuclear plant and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant east of Toledo are Ohio’s two nuclear plants.

Both are owned and operated by Energy Harbor, both are along the Lake Erie shoreline, and both are in the process of being transferred to Texas-based Vistra Corp.

Davis-Besse went online April 22, 1977. Its operating license was extended to April 22, 2037 in 2015.

Perry went online Nov. 13, 1986. Its operating license is currently scheduled to expire on Nov. 7, 2026.

Energy Harbor is now trying to get Perry’s license extended another 20 years.

Judges hearing the case are part of an independent panel created by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.

They weren’t hearing the actual challenge on Tuesday, but whether there is enough evidence to convene a more in-depth hearing in the future.

One of the contentions raised by opponents of the relicensing plan, Ohio Nuclear Free Network and Takoma Park, Md.-based Beyond Nuclear, centered around viable options that would be available if Perry’s license was not extended.

Four years after Davis-Besse’s license was renewed, the region’s 13-state grid operator, PJM Interconnection, said in a report to an Ohio legislative committee that it believed there would be enough electricity produced from other sources to make up for the shortage if the previous owner, FirstEnergy Solutions, had gone through with its plan to shutter those two plants and the twin-reactor Beaver Valley complex in western Pennsylvania in 2020. 

That was the original plan, announced and filed with the NRC, because of economic issues. Nuclear plants have had trouble competing against lower-priced sources of energy production, such as natural gas, solar, and wind energy.

Terry Lodge, a Toledo attorney representing the two opposition groups, told judges that the report is a key finding now that the Perry plant is up for its license extension. One of the questions raised during relicensing hearings is based on alternative options to continued nuclear power production.

Energy Harbor dismissed the viability of other sources as unreasonable, stating that nuclear power is too important to the baseload component.

Mr. Lodge, in his argument, accused Energy Harbor of “ducking under the regulation” by just stating in a report to the ASLB panel there are not enough viable alternatives without supporting that with evidence.

“We are not quibbling over a need for power. We’re quibbling over whether there is adequate disclosure,” Mr. Lodge told the judges. “There’s no analysis whatsoever.”

He said the 2019 PJM report claiming there are enough other sources of power in the 13-state region should be enough to merit a full hearing.

Ryan Lighty, a Washington-based partner in the Morgan Lewis law firm representing Energy Harbor, said Mr. Lodge is basing his claim on “an isolated comment at a state legislative hearing five years ago.”

“We certainly believe the baseload capability [of the Perry nuclear plant] is the area that introduces some uncertainty into the analysis,” Mr. Lighty said.

Reuben Siegman, an NRC staff attorney, said the regulatory agency was not taking a position on that debate.

PJM’s testimony came when Ohio lawmakers were considering passage of what has now become known as scandal-ridden House Bill 6, the $1 billion, 2019 bailout legislation for the two nuclear plants that federal prosecutors have shown was the result of a $61 million bribery scheme involving former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

Evelyn Robinson, PJM manager of state governmental affairs, testified before Ohio’s House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight in September of 2020 when lawmakers were considering a repeal of House Bill 6.

 

 

 

PJM’s Evelyn Robinson Testifies Before Ohio Legislators | PJM Inside Lines
 

PJM issued a report in 2019 at the request of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. PJM. The grid operator claimed there could have been a $1.6 billion savings across the grid operator's 13-state region by 2023 if reactors at the Davis-Besse, Perry, Three Mile Island, and Beaver Valley nuclear complexes had continued on their paths toward early closures.

That's because PJM gets enough power from other sources that it is always at least 15 percent above capacity, and usually 20 percent or more. The surplus of electricity is meant to keep this part of the country from experiencing the type of rolling blackouts that California has experienced, Ms. Robinson said at the time.

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