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.
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Document Title:
Master Decommissioning Trust Agreement changes for Indian Point Nuclear Generating Units 1, 2 and 3, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Palisades Nuclear Plant and the Non-Qualified Trust for Big Rock Point
Document Type:
Decommissioning Funding Plan DKTs 30, 40, 50, 70
Document Date:


                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                  The Ohio Nuclear Free Network (ONFN)          
                             and Beyond Nuclear  
are not-for-profit research and education organizations concerned with the health, safety, environmental and accident risks posed by commercial nuclear power plants.                            
                                                                              Contact: Terry Lodge, esq.                            
                                                                                                 Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear       240-462-3216 
                                                                                                 Julie Weatherington-Rice               614-436-5248 
                                               Connie Kline                     440-946-9012
On Tuesday November 28, 2023, these groups filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to intervene and requested an adjudicatory hearing in opposition to a 20-year license extension for the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. The petitioners raised three contentions regarding the inadequacy of Energy Harbor's (EH) License Renewal Application (LRA).  
CONTENTION 1: The Severe Accident Mitigation Analysis Is Inadequate. The Declaration on Perry Geological Problems by Julie Weatherington-Rice shows immediate as well as future risk due to: 
  • failure to undertake a thorough level of review of the structural integrity of the facility;  
  • an outdated geotechnical analysis of the Perry site that is not predictive of actual site conditions including earthquakes, lake erosion, and leaks from wet and dry storage moving to the lake; 
  • heat from the plant that could expand underlying shale and structurally undermine the facilities; 
  • solution of the underlying Salina (salt) Formation that could destabilize the entire site; 
  • landslides developing behind the rock shield of the bluff, dumping the rocks into the lake and exposing new faces of the bluff; 
  • known and unknown oil/gas and water wells threatening the integrity of nearby rock and soils. 
CONTENTION 2: The power generated by Perry is redundant; the plant can be permanently shut down without consequence to regional power availability. Energy Harbor exaggerates and misrepresents the importance of Perry as part of the post-2026 energy mix by: 
  • failing to provide projections, pricing information or assessment of incoming new generation resources; 
  • failing to provide statistical or factual analyses of electric overcapacity within Ohio, or from multiple neighboring states; 
  • neglecting to consider that Perry's generation is and will be too expensive; and 
  • failing to offer its customers voluntary energy efficiency programs. 
CONTENTION 3:  Perry's Tritium Problem 
Tritium is radioactive hydrogen.  It bonds easily with oxygen to form radioactive water.  Once tritium becomes part of the water molecule, it cannot be removed. Tritium readily crosses the placental barrier, resulting in significant biological consequences, including: 
  • damage to DNA; 
  • impaired physiology and development; 
  • reduced fertility and longevity; and 
  • can lead to elevated risks of diseases including cancer. 
     Yet over the proposed 20-year extension, Perry will routinely release all tritium in the primary coolant to the environs, either as water vapor or gas to the atmosphere. In addition, there have been numerous tritium spills and leaks of considerable concern over the past decade. 
The Petition for Leave to Intervene can be found here: 
Docket NRC-2020-0034-0008  
Increased Enrichment of Conventional and Accident Tolerant Fuel Designs for Light-Water Reactors
Capitol News Illinois | By Jerry Nowicki Andrew Adams
Published December 10, 2023 at 6:00 AM CST

A nuclear reactor

Andrew Adams Capitol News Illinois

While large-scale nuclear facilities like the Byron Generating Station won’t be allowed under a new law signed by Gov. JB Pritzker Friday, smaller-scale modular reactors are authorized under the plan.

Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday signed into law a measure that will allow for the limited development of new nuclear power generation technology in the state.

The measure, House Bill 2473, does not allow new large-scale power generation facilities like the six plants that are already operational in the state, but rather allows for new smaller-scale emergent technology.

Since 1987, the state has had a moratorium on any new nuclear power construction until the federal government designates a long-term disposal site for nuclear waste — something that has never occurred. The new law will take effect on June 1, 2024, but because permitting nuclear energy takes many years at the federal level, the earliest a nuclear project could be brought online in Illinois would be in the 2030s.

HB 2473 creates a regulatory structure for the construction of small modular nuclear reactors, or SMRs. The bill limits the nameplate capacity of such reactors to 300 megawatts, about one-third the size of the smallest of the six existing nuclear power plants in Illinois. It also requires the state to perform a study that will inform rules for regulating SMRs, which must be adopted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency by January 2026.

The bill’s proponents say it’s a necessary step as Illinois tries to end its reliance on carbon-emitting power sources over the next two decades. But its opponents say it distracts from Illinois’ efforts to deploy 100 percent renewable energy production and is an endorsement of unproven technology.

The bill passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, 44-7, and the House, 98-8, on the final day of the fall veto session last month. The opposition came exclusively from Democrats. Pritzker vetoed an earlier version of the measure but helped usher the compromise through the legislature.

The bill’s sponsors said after its passage that it has the potential to bolster Illinois’ electric grid reliability as the state’s energy mix becomes increasingly reliant on intermittent technologies such as wind and solar.

Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, sponsored the bill in the Senate, while Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, was its House sponsor. Rezin noted last month that she is particularly interested in the potential for SMRs to be developed at the sites of former coal plants, avoiding the need to build new transmission lines, although that process could take many years.

David Kraft, an outspoken critic of nuclear energy and head of the Chicago-based advocacy group Nuclear Energy Information Service, testified against the measure at several points during the legislative process.

Kraft said he was concerned about the lack of existing SMR installations and the unproven nature of the technology. While some nuclear reactors of this scale exist in other countries, no commercial SMRs have ever been built in the United States.

Counting Illinois, 11 states currently have some level of nuclear construction bans on the books. Since 2016, five other states have either repealed or weakened their bans. Several of the states that have lifted their bans have done so to pave the way for SMR technology.

But the biggest U.S. player in that industry has seen several recent setbacks.

In November, NuScale Power – the only company with a federally approved SMR design – announced that it was canceling its highly watched “Carbon Free Power Project” in Utah, which would have been the first commercial project with a NuScale reactor. Still, its leaders say the company will continue with its other projects, which are at varying steps of regulation and planning.

Rezin told Capitol News Illinois last month she hopes Illinois’ and other states’ moves to reverse their construction bans will encourage nuclear energy development in the U.S.

Pritzker did not issue a statement but signed the bill along with 15 others that were sent to his desk following November’s fall veto session. That included a measure a that would require the state to purchase exclusively “zero-emission vehicles,” such as electric vehicles, after Jan. 1, 2030.

Senate Bill 1769 excludes law enforcement vehicles and vehicles purchased by the Illinois Department of Transportation as part of a program that provides buses to some mass transit systems.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Send questions and comments about this story to

Subject: NRC Request for Additional Information re. Susquehanna Relief Request RR-01 (EPID L-2023-LLR-0043)
ADAMS Accession No.: ML23334A168
Using Web-based ADAMS, select “Advanced Search”
Under “Property,” select “Accession Number”
Under “Value,” enter the Accession Number
Click Search 
Subject: NRC Request for Additional Information re. Susquehanna Relief Request RR-02 (EPID L-2023-LLR-0044)
ADAMS Accession No.: ML23334A150
Using Web-based ADAMS, select “Advanced Search”
Under “Property,” select “Accession Number”
Under “Value,” enter the Accession Number
Click Search
The State, Columbia, SC
Westinghouse official who helped SCANA fool the public on nuclear project to plead guilty 
By John Monk   Updated December 07, 2023 12:44 PM
The last defendant in the six-year-plus financial and nuclear construction scandal involving the now-defunct SCANA utility has agreed to plead guilty. 
The defendant, Jeffrey Benjamin, a former top executive at Westington Electric Co., is scheduled to plead guilty next Thursday in federal court in Columbia to the felony charge of “aiding and abetting the failure to keep accurate corporate records” — an action that in turn helped allow SCANA officials to lie to the public and regulators about the perilous state of its ongoing nuclear construction project in Fairfield County, according evidence in the case and documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. 
A plea deal says that Benjamin will be sentenced to between probation and 12 months in prison. He could also have a financial penalty of up to $100,000.
Had Benjamin been found guilty in a trial, the maximum penalty he would have been exposed to is 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. However, as a first time offender with no criminal history, his sentence would have been much less than the maximum.
A statement issued Thursday through Benjamin’s attorney, William Sullivan of Washington, said, “When Mr. Benjamin became aware in late 2016 that SCANA’s securities disclosures were misrepresenting the risk of further construction delays, he regrettably allowed Westinghouse to continue to primarily focus on the potential for the construction schedule being achievable, rather than delivering a clear and specific message emphasizing the likelihood of further delays that would force SCANA to correct its securities disclosures.” 


  For immediate release 

 Contact: Michael J. Keegan, Don't Waste Michigan, (734) 770-1441, 
 Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, (240) 462-3216,


Environmental Coalition Legally Intervenes Against Palisades Atomic Reactor Restart

“Zombie” Nuke, and “Small” Modular Reactor New Builds, Would Compound Radioactive Risks

Covert, Michigan and Washington, D.C., December 6, 2023--A coalition of environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, Don’t Waste Michigan, and Michigan Safe Energy Future, has submitted a petition to intervene, and request for hearing, to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), opposing the unprecedented scheme to restart the permanently closed, more than half-century old Palisades atomic reactor.

The petition and request raised four contentions, namely: (1) a mere paperwork reshuffle, via an NRC exemption to regulations, is unacceptable to permit reactor restart, given the previous owner Entergy’s June 2022 termination of the operating license, as well as the high risks to safety, security, health, and the environment; (2) Holtec has inappropriately and perhaps even illegally expended Decommissioning Trust Fund money, to the tune of many tens of millions of dollars, on the restart scheme and other unapproved non-decommissioning expenses, putting the future radiological cleanup of the contaminated site in serious jeopardy; (3) the license transfer from previous owner Entergy to Holtec is illegitimate and should be nullified, given Holtec’s bait and switch trick, from supposed decommissioning-only, to the reactor restart scheme; (4) Holtec’s attempt to do an end run around National Environmental Policy Act requirements through a so-called categorical exclusion should be rejected by NRC, especially considering the extreme risks to the environment of the restart scheme.

Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer of Fairewinds, prepared an expert declaration on behalf of the environmental coalition, detailing the severe safety risks and exorbitant costs associated with the unprecedented reactor restart scheme. Gundersen’s expert declaration concluded, in part, that “…the degraded condition of every aspect of this nuclear power plant, the lack of a long-term experienced, skilled staff, and the non-existent QA [Quality Assurance] and management oversight programs flunk every atomic power failsafe feature that are hallmarks of our country’s nuclear safety and licensing process and programs.”

Not only did Palisades have the worst neutron-embrittled reactor pressure vessel in the country when it closed for good on May 20, 2022, it had several additional major safety concerns: steam generators and the reactor vessel closure head, all in need of replacement for two decades; Control Rod Drive Mechanism seal leaks that have plagued Palisades since 1972; and now safety-significant systems, structures, and components, such as the turbine-generator, steam generators, pumps, and valves, that have very likely gone unmaintained for a year and a half, and counting, leading to dangerous degradation.

Mark Z. Jacobson, environmental engineer and Stanford University professor, also prepared an expert declaration on the renewable, efficiency, and storage electricity alternatives to nuclear power in the contexts of supply reliability and climate mitigation.

Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, also prepared an expert declaration, dissecting the nearly $4.5 billion, and counting, of federal and state bailouts Holtec is seeking for the reactor restart scheme, as well as the $7.4 billion in additional U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees associated with its SMR new build plans.

“Holtec’s reckless nuclear plans at Palisades represent an existential risk to the Great Lakes on par with Enbridge’s oil pipeline shenanigans at the Straits of Mackinac,” said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear. “Incredibly enough, the public is being forced to pay for this high-risk game of radioactive Russian roulette on the Lake Michigan shoreline, to the tune of nearly $12 billion and counting,” Kamps added.

"The opportunity costs are astronomical,” said Michael Keegan, co-chair of Don't Waste Michigan. "Substantially greater quantities of clean, safe, secure renewable energy coupled with efficiency and storage should be purchased far cheaper than spending an absurd $16 million for each of 280 restored jobs at the zombie reactor,” Keegan added.

“The Palisades reactor restart would resume generating 20 metric tons of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel annually for decades to come. The proposed SMRs would generate two to 30 times the amount of high-level radioactive waste, per unit of electricity produced, as do current reactors,” said Bette Pierman of Michigan Safe Energy Future-Shoreline Chapter, a Benton Harbor resident. “Holtec’s high-risk plan to barge high-level radioactive waste on Lake Michigan from Palisades to Muskegon could prove catastrophic if a single container sinks, whether due to accident or attack,” Pierman added.

“A year after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe began, the Japanese Parliament published an independent root cause investigation report, unique in its history. The root cause, it concluded, was collusion between the company, the regulatory agency, and government officials, which left the nuclear power plant catastrophically vulnerable to the natural disasters that struck on March 11, 2011,” said Kamps. “Such collusion exists in spades at Palisades, and it wouldn’t necessarily take a natural disaster to unleash catastrophe. The breakdown phase risks at the zombie reactor, co-located with the break-in phase risks at the SMR new builds, could lead to domino-effect multiple reactor meltdowns at Palisades,” Kamps added.

Yesterday’s legal filing deadline fell on the same day that Holtec served up another bait and switch with an announcement to build yet to be design-certified SMR-300s instead of previously announced SMR-160s. The newly proposed Small Modular Reactors, of 300 Megawatts-electric each, would supposedly be built by 2030.

Attorneys Terry Lodge of Toledo, Ohio, and Wally Taylor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, serve as the environmental coalition’s legal counsel. To establish legal standing, the intervention was made on behalf of members and supporters of the environmental groups, most of whom live within two miles or less of the Palisades nuclear power plant.

Beyond Nuclear is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization. Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abolish both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. The Beyond Nuclear team works with diverse partners and allies to provide the public, government officials, and the media with the critical information necessary to move humanity toward a world beyond nuclear. Beyond Nuclear: 7304 Carroll Avenue, #182, Takoma Park, MD 20912.

Hello Community!

We hope you are all staying warm and enjoying good company this season. Many of us are feeling how rough things are on the planet right now, but we are keeping to heart what Grandmother Jessie Collins, our eldest, reminds us: "think globally, act locally." CRAFT is here in Southeastern Michigan to protect Lake Erie from the nuclear threat of Fermi 2 and we want to thank everyone who's been stepping up to support us, the waters, and all our relations.

For those of you keeping up with the Permit to Pollute saga, we want to extend another HUGE thank you to everyone who showed up to the public hearing this past Tuesday. Over 50 allies spoke up to oppose DTE's Permit to Pollute (number MI0037028) at the hearing hosted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). This hearing came at the behest of 200+ signees onto our public letter back in October.

But, even with all of this public support for our health and waters, they are still trying to sneak this rogue permit by. As Grandmother Jessie pointed out at the hearing, the permit was showing up as approved even a month before this meeting. They are still accepting written comments through tonight, December 1st, at Midnight EST - let's show them the people are still watching! If you couldn't attend the hearing and want to stand for Lake Erie, click below to submit a written comment.

Submit Written Comments

You can copy and paste this as your comment if you want:

Fermi 2 is polluting Lake Erie with dangerously heated, toxic wastewater, and I call on EGLE to redraft Fermi 2’s permit to protect our waters and our health.

We need:

• Thermal limits for Fermi 2, in alignment with EPA recommendations

• Regulation of radionuclide discharges to protect our drinking water

• Fermi 2 to immediately stop discharging banned chemicals into Lake Erie

• EGLE must issue a new and approved permit with these protections

Thank you for calling this hearing - please take this chance to protect our communities.

You can watch the public hearing and hear the amazing public comments at the link below. Comments begin at 53 minutes in:

Recording of the Public Hearing

And now, a few highlights from this month's newsletter:

  • We've included a brief report on the public hearing with EGLE. The team of 6 panelists they sent to speak with us was entirely underwhelming and uninformed as they knew very little about Fermi 2, its shutdowns and accidents, even coming from the permit writer herself. Check out the links above to make a last-minute comment before midnight and to watch the hearing online.
  • Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law several clean energy bills aiming to make the state carbon neutral by 2050. One in particular is Senate bill 271 requiring Michigan to get 100% of its electricity from clean sources by 2040. The problem is that their definition of "clean" includes nuclear and natural gas. Nuclear is absolutely NOT a clean industry, read on to learn why...
  • The National Radioactive Waste Coalition has written a succinct list breaking down why the nuclear fuel cycle is a dirty reality from cradle to coffin. Beginning with mining and milling of uranium, to ore enrichment, the fabrication of fuel for power plants, and the storage of radioactive waste, nuclear is NOT a clean energy solution. Check out the insert to learn more about this process.

Read about these topics and more in the Newsletter that our own Grandmother Jessie very thoughtfully researches and curates every month for our benefit.

CRAFT December 2023 Newsletter & Insert

Thank you all so much, here is to a safe and just energy future.

Peace and Safety,

The CRAFT Team

Donate to Support

Citizen's Resistance At Fermi Two (CRAFT) is an Indigenous-led, grassroots, organization, committed to an accessible, fair, and just energy future for all! CRAFT originally formed after the Christmas Day 1993 incident at the Fermi2 nuclear reactor that dumped 1.5 million gallons of untreated toxic, radioactive water into Lake Erie. We will continue to push for the closing of Fermi2, and for a safer world powered by renewables.