Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR)
“Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations” (40 CFR 190)
Comments due June 4, 2014
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Center for Radiation Information and Outreach
Senators Boxer, Sanders and Markey Call on NRC to Protect Communities Living Near Decommissioning Nuclear ReactorsSubmitted by webEditor on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:06
For Immediate Release Contact: Mary Kerr or Kate Gilman: 202-224-8832
May 15, 2014 email@example.com_gilman@epw.senate.gov
Michael Briggs (Sanders): 202-224-5141
Giselle Barry (Markey): 202-224-2742
U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works
Senators Boxer, Sanders and Markey Call on NRC to Protect Communities Living Near Decommissioning Nuclear Reactors
Noting wildfires and evacuations near the San Onofre nuclear plant, Senators call on NRC to stop waiving emergency response measures at decommissioned sites
Washington, D.C. -- In light of the dangerous, fast-moving wildfires that erupted in San Diego County, including in an area near the San Onofre nuclear power plant,Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) urging the Commission to reverse its unwise policy of granting requests to terminate emergency response regulations at decommissioning nuclear reactors throughout the nation. Southern California Edison evacuated a dozen employees yesterday from the now closed San Onofre nuclear plant due to the wildfires. The EPW Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to examine the issues facing communities located near decommissioning nuclear reactors. During the hearing, the NRC acknowledged the dangers associated with a spent nuclear fuel fire, which could result in large radioactive releases and widespread contamination.
Senators Boxer, Sanders and Markey introduced legislation on Tuesday to address spent fuel storage, emergency preparedness and decommissioning plans at nuclear plants across the country.
The full text of the letter is below:
May 15, 2014
The Honorable Allison M. Macfarlane
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Rockville, MD 20852
Dear Chairman Macfarlane:
As you know, we are extremely concerned about safety issues surrounding decommissioning nuclear power plants.
On the same day as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s hearing on these issues, a dangerous, fast-moving set of fires erupted in San Diego County, including in the vicinity of the San Onofre nuclear plant. In response to one of these fires, Southern California Edison evacuated a dozen employees from the plant.
As you know, San Onofre currently contains 2,600 highly radioactive fuel rods in its spent nuclear fuel pools that were originally designed to hold only 1,600. In the event of a fire at the plant, the electricity needed to keep the pools full and cooled could be cut off, causing the water in the pools to boil off and the spent fuel to spontaneously ignite. The National Academy of Sciences(NAS) and the NRC have both found that a spent fuel fire could result in large radioactive releases and widespread contamination. NRC’s analysis has concluded that the health and economic impacts of a spent fuel fire could equal those caused by an accident at an operating reactor. In addition, you co-authored a paper that found that the consequences of such an event could exceed those that occurred at Chernobyl. At yesterday’s hearing, NRC acknowledged these dangers in response to our questions.
Southern California Edison and Entergy have recently requested exemptions from the emergency response regulations designed to protect the surrounding communities from the consequences that events such as wildfires, earthquakes or terrorist attacks could cause. The NRC has never once refused a request to terminate the emergency response measures designed to protect the safety of communities living near decommissioning reactors. We trust the Commission will reverse this unwise policy, and insist on continued compliance with all safety and security precautions at shut down plants going forward.
We also urge the Commission to require all nuclear reactor operators to move the spent fuel rods stored in spent fuel pools into safer dry cask storage as quickly as it can be done, and to require operators to also incorporate state and local government views into their plans for decommissioning reactors.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We expect the Commission’s response as soon as possible, and plan a hearing with the Commission to further discuss these and other vital safety concerns.
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Edward J. Markey
Majority Staff Assistant/Press Assistant
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
410 Dirksen Senate Office Building
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey): 202-224-2742
Mary Kerr or Kate Gilman: 202-224-8832
Michael Briggs (Sanders): 202-224-5141
Senators Markey, Boxer and Sanders Introduce Legislation to Increase Safety at Nuclear Plants
Three bills address safety of spent fuel storage and decommissioning plans
Washington, D.C. (May 13, 2014) -- Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) joined Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to introduce three bills today aimed at improving the safety and security of decommissioning reactors and the storage of spent nuclear fuel at nuclear plants across the nation.
When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the part of the reactor that generates electricity, it continues to produce significant quantities of heat and radiation for years. Spent nuclear fuel is too dangerous to be removed from the spent fuel pools for 5-7 years. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and independent experts have shown that partial draining of the water from a spent fuel pool caused by an accident or terrorist attack could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination. However, NRC regulations allow spent fuel to remain stored in spent fuel pools until the reactor completes decommissioning, which can take as long as 60 years. Current NRC regulations also allow the NRC and the nuclear plant operator to adopt a decommissioning plan without considering the concerns of nearby states and communities. The three bills introduced today will solve all of these problems.
Senator Markey said: “Experts agree that a spent fuel pool accident could have consequences that are every bit as bad as an accident at an operating reactor. In Massachusetts, Pilgrim nuclear plant’s spent fuel pool contains nearly four times more radioactive waste than it was originally designed to hold. Nuclear waste must be moved to safer storage now before the next nuclear disaster occurs.”
Senator Boxer said: “ In my home state of California, the San Onofre nuclear plant has closed permanently, and this legislation will help guarantee that this facility, and others like it, are safely decommissioned and are no longer a liability for local communities."
Senator Sanders said: “Every state with a nuclear power plant has a strong interest in how that plant is decommissioned. This is about making sure that states and local communities can play a meaningful role in a decision that has enormous economic, environmental, and community impacts.”
Dry Cask Storage Act of 2014 (Markey, Boxer, Sanders)
The Dry Cask Storage Act of 2014 would ensure that every nuclear reactor operator complies with an NRC-approved plan that would require the safe removal of spent nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pools and place that spent fuel into dry cask storage within 7 years of the time the plan is submitted to the NRC. The legislation also provides funding to help reactor licensees implement the plans and expands the emergency planning zone for non-compliant reactor operators to 50 miles.
Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2014 (Boxer, Sanders, Markey)
The Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2014 would prohibit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from issuing exemptions from its emergency response or security requirements for spent fuel stored at nuclear reactors that have permanently shut down until all of the spent nuclear fuel stored at the site has been moved into dry casks, which are a more secure and safe option for storage. NRC has determined that earthquakes would be the most likely cause of a spent fuel pool failure that could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination, but has granted every request from emergency response requirements that it has ever received from a licensee of a decommissioning reactor.
Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2014 (Sanders, Boxer, Markey)
The Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2014 would ensure that states and local communities have a meaningful role in the crafting and preparation of decommissioning plans for retired nuclear plants located in those areas. The bill also requires NRC to publicly and transparently approve or reject every proposed decommissioning plan, which it currently is not required to do.
NRC Violation: Exelon Provided "Incomplete" and "Inaccurate Decommissioing Funding Data from 2005-2009Submitted by webEditor on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:00
Exelon: Oyster Creek; Dresden Units 1, 2 & 3; Quad Cities Units 2 & 3, Clinton; Peach Bottom Units 1, 2, & 3; Limerick Units 1 & 2; Three Mile Island 1; LaSalle County Units 1 & 2; Byron Units 1 & 2; Braidwood Units 1 & 2; Salem Units 1 & 2; Zion 1 & 2 – Re: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Investigations Investigation; Summary of OI Report No. 3-2010-034; NRC Inspection Report 05000456/2012012, 5000454/201201, 05000249/2012012, 05000373/2012012, 05000374/2012012, 05000352/2012012, 05000353/2012012, 05000219/2012012, 05000171/2012012, 05000277/2012012, 05000278/2012012, 05000254/2012012, 05000265/2012012, 05000272/2012012, 05000311/2012012, 05000289/2012012, 05000295/2012012, 05000304/2012012
THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - STAFF ASSESSMENT OF THE SEISMIC WALKDOWN REPORT SUPPORTING IMPLEMENTATION OF NEAR-TERM TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATION 2.3 RELATED TO THE FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENT (TAC NO. MF0185)Submitted by webEditor on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:56
THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - STAFF ASSESSMENT OF THE SEISMIC WALKDOWN REPORT SUPPORTING IMPLEMENTATION OF NEAR-TERM TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATION 2.3 RELATED TO THE FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENT (TAC NO. MF0185)
Seismic Screening and Prioritization Results Regarding Information Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 50.54(f) Regarding Seismic Hazard Reevaluations for Recommendation 2.1 of the Near-Term Task Force Review of InsightsSubmitted by webEditor on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:53
Seismic Screening and Prioritization Results Regarding Information Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 50.54(f) Regarding Seismic Hazard Reevaluations for Recommendation 2.1 of the Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights
05/13/2014 FORTHCOMING TELECONFERENCE WITH EXELON GENERATION COMPANY, LLC (EXELON) TO DISCUSS THE FLOODING HAZARD REEVALUATION EXTENSION REQUEST FOR PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION (PBAPS), UNITS 2 AND 3Submitted by webEditor on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:32
05/13/2014 FORTHCOMING TELECONFERENCE WITH EXELON GENERATION COMPANY, LLC (EXELON) TO DISCUSS THE FLOODING HAZARD REEVALUATION EXTENSION REQUEST FOR PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION (PBAPS), UNITS 2 AND 3
Retro Report's Three Mile Island page - the short documentary:
New York Times write up with video:
Scoping Summary Report Related to the Environmental Scoping Process for the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant Combined License ApplicationSubmitted by webEditor on Mon, 04/28/2014 - 21:36
Scoping Summary Report Related to the Environmental Scoping Process for the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant Combined License Application.
NRC GENERIC LETTER 95-08, REVISION 1 “10 CFR 50.54(p) PROCESS FOR CHANGES TO SECURITY PLANS WITHOUT PRIOR NRC APPROVAL”Submitted by webEditor on Mon, 04/28/2014 - 21:33
NRC GENERIC LETTER 95-08, REVISION 1 “10 CFR 50.54(p) PROCESS FOR CHANGES TO SECURITY PLANS WITHOUT PRIOR NRC APPROVAL”