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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From the New York Times:

Over six days in May, far from the familiar choreography of Washington hearings, federal investigators grilled workers involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in a chilly, sterile conference room at a hotel near the airport here.

The six-member panel of Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service officials pressed for answers about what occurred on the rig on April 20 before it exploded. They wanted to know who was in charge, and heard conflicting answers.

They pushed for more insight into an argument on the rig that day between a manager for BP, the well’s owner, and one for Transocean, the rig’s owner, and asked Curt R. Kuchta, the rig’s captain, how the crew knew who was in charge.

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From The Nation:

A tour of Dimock, Pennsylvania, with Victoria Switzer is a bumpy ride over torn-up roads, around parking lots filled with heavy machinery and storage tanks, and past well pads that not long ago were forests. The winter here was quiet, but with the thawing ground came the return of the rigs, the trucks, the constant noise and lights of a twenty-four-hour-a-day gas drilling operation. "It's a modern-day Deadwood out here," Switzer says, likening the activity to the gold rush. "No rules, no regs, just rigs."

The "occupation," as she calls it, hasn't just transformed Dimock into an industrial hub; it has also damaged the local water supply and put residents' health at risk. After a stray drill bit banged four wells in 2008, Switzer says, weird things started happening to people's water: some flushed black, some orange, some turned bubbly. One well exploded, the result of methane migration, and residents say elevated metal and toluene levels have ruined twelve others. Then, in September 2009, about 8,000 gallons of hazardous drilling fluids spilled into nearby fields and creeks. The contamination and related health problems have prompted fifteen families to file suit against Cabot Oil and Gas, the primary leaseholder in the area, alleging fraud and contract violation and seeking to stop the damage from spreading.

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From the Sandusky Register:

FirstEnergy officials said Thursday that nozzle cracks discovered months ago in the reactor at Davis-Besse nuclear power plant were caused primarily by hot temperatures and weaknesses in manufactured material.

Officials from the energy giant said they've fixed the problem -- discovered during a routine shutdown this past spring -- and are ready to start producing power again.

The company's leaders met Thursday with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at a public meeting.

NRC officials said they'll make an independent decision about whether the 1970s-era nuclear plant is ready to power up.

During the hour-long presentation, which drew 100 area residents, First Energy officials said they determined "primary water stress corrosion cracking" was the likely cause of cracking in nozzle welds in the reactor.

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Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120


EOG Resources Well Released Fracking Fluid, Natural Gas for 16 Hours

HARRISBURG -- Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said today that his agency intends to investigate aggressively the circumstances surrounding a blowout at a Marcellus Shale natural gas well in Lawrence Township, Clearfield County, and take the appropriate enforcement action.

At approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, the operators of the well, which is owned by EOG Resources, Inc., lost control of it while preparing to extract gas after hydrofracturing the shale. As a result, the well released natural gas and flowback frack fluid onto the ground and 75 feet into the air. The well was eventually capped around noon on June 4.

“The event at the well site could have been a catastrophic incident that endangered life and property,” said Hanger. “This was not a minor accident, but a serious incident that will be fully investigated by this agency with the appropriate and necessary actions taken quickly.

“When we arrived on scene, natural gas and frack fluid was flowing off the well pad and heading toward tributaries to Little Laurel Run and gas was shooting into the sky, creating a significant fire hazard. That’s why emergency responders acted quickly to cut off electric service to the area.

“Right now, we’re focused on limiting any further environmental damage, but once that work is complete, we plan to aggressively look at this situation and see where things went wrong and what enforcement action is necessary. If mistakes were made, we will be certain to take steps to prevent similar errors from happening again.”

DEP learned of the leak at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Friday after it was informed by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. DEP immediately dispatched its Emergency Response and Oil and Gas program staff to the site.

PEMA, which elevated its activation level to coordinate resources among multiple state agencies, also worked with PennDOT to initiate an airspace restriction above the well, which the Federal Aviation Administration authorized on a temporary basis earlier today. The restriction prohibits flights at and below 1,000 feet of ground level within a three nautical mile radius of the well site. The restriction is in effect until further notice.

The EOG well pad is located in a rural area near the Penfield/Route 153 exit of Interstate 80 in northwestern Clearfield County. Three other wells on the same pad that have been drilled and fractured remain plugged and are not in danger.

EOG Resources, formerly known as Enron Oil & Gas Co., operates approximately 265 active wells in Pennsylvania, 117 of which are in the Marcellus Shale formation.


Sustainable Energy Fund

For Immediate Release

(Allentown, PA) – In testimony filed today with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Sustainable Energy Fund (“SEF”) opposed PPL’s proposed rate increase in that it continues to align utility profits with increases in energy use, negatively impacts economic growth and is in part based on decreased revenues that have not yet and may never occur.

SEF’s Director of Technical Services, John Costlow stated that “under PPL’s proposal the distribution portion of the average residential bill will increase 27%.” Costlow continued that “those that use the least will see the greatest increases.”

Mr. Costlow points out that PPL proposes to increase the residential customer charge, a portion of the distribution charge, 82% and institute a demand charge on all commercial customers. Consequently, a residential customer who only uses 350 kWh per month will see their distribution charges increase 36.5% and a customer who uses 1500 kWh per month will see their distribution charges increase 17.9%. This move is part of a progression on PPL’s behalf to charge a flat rate for distribution regardless of how much electricity you use.

Over the next several years Pennsylvania and utility customers will spend more than a billion dollars to reduce their energy use and associated costs. One of the goals of the investments is to reduce utility bills leaving families with more disposable income. Utility bill savings are a significant driver of economic growth and jobs. A recent study by Oppenheim & MacGregor shows that nationally for each one million dollars invested in energy efficiency utility bill savings drive more than five million dollars in economic activity and associated jobs.

When speaking about customers who save energy Mr. Krall, PPL’s Manager of Regulatory Strategy, testified that “they are harming utility investors because the utility’s rate of return will be reduced until rates can be reset in a future proceeding.”

Mr. Costlow stated, “PPL’s proposal essentially takes back hard earned savings from customers who have reduced their usage” he continued “this is a drag on the local economy and a threat to jobs, the very two things we do not need right now with more than 590,000 Pennsylvanian’s out of work.”

As one of its recommendations to the Public Utility Commission, SEF proposed a cap to limit PPL’s revenues and better align PPL’s profit motive with its customers desire to reduce usage and cost.

About SEF- Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) is a private non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy and education initiatives in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SEF seeks out, focuses on, and invests in economically viable, energy related businesses, projects, and educational initiatives that create innovative, market-based technologies and solutions to enable environmentally sound and sustainable energy use. Headquartered in Allentown, SEF finances certain projects in the eastern PJM grid, which includes New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. By offering financial incentives that promote sound energy strategies, SEF can help municipalities, school districts, non-profits, farmers, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, transportation companies and other businesses save energy and reduce costs. SEF also provides educational services which include the Sustainable Scholars, Solar Scholars®, Wind Scholars, and the Sustainable Energy Conference being held in Easton this year.


Groups participating in the federal licensing process of the proposed Calvert Cliffs-3 nuclear reactor on the Chesapeake Bay filed a new contention late Friday, June 25, 2010.

The contention charges that the NRC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) undercuts assertions filed in the license application by the proposed reactor’s owner, UniStar Nuclear, that electricity from Calvert Cliffs-3 would be produced for 3.1 to 4.6 cents per kilowatt/hour. According to UniStar’s license application, that cost number was derived from a 2004 study that put the construction cost of a reactor at $1200-1800 per kilowatt.

But the DEIS—using more recent estimates supplied by UniStar—put the estimated construction cost 300-500% higher, at $7200-9600 per kilowatt.

“UniStar has attempted to mislead the NRC—and the public—about the costs of Calvert Cliffs-3 both in absolute terms and in comparison to other possible sources of electricity,” charged Michael Mariotte, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, one of four organizations participating in the NRC licensing hearings.

“UniStar uses these grossly underestimated cost projections eight separate times in its application when comparing projected costs of electricity from Calvert Cliffs-3 to alternatives like wind and solar power,” explained Mariotte. “Even if it thought those numbers were correct when they first submitted their application in 2007, they are now on their sixth revision of the application and they’ve never updated those numbers. That’s probably because they know no one in Maryland would support the reactor if they were aware how much electricity from it would cost.”

The groups also pointed out that the DEIS—as well as UniStar’s license application—completely ignores the potential contribution of offshore wind power to the region’s electrical system, even though a company called Bluewater Wind has proposed building a 600 Megawatt wind farm off the Maryland coast, as well as large wind farms off the New Jersey and Delaware coasts.

The groups further charged that the DEIS failed to even attempt to quantify the possible contribution of solar photovoltaic power in the region, and that the DEIS failed to account for the decline in electrical demand in the region over the past three years and the impact of energy efficiency programs—thus overstating future need for electricity.

The DEIS and the license application are required by law to show a need for the project and to examine alternatives to the proposed project as well as provide a cost-benefit analysis.

“It’s easy to show a benefit if you understate your costs by 300-500%, disregard the generation potential of your competitors and overstate the need for your project,” said Mariotte. “But Marylanders—and U.S.taxpayers, who will be called on to loan the money to build this reactor—deserve better. An honest, defensible examination of the costs of this reactor, the actual need for its electricity, and potential alternative sources of electricity will show that Calvert Cliffs-3 is unnecessary, too expensive, and plenty of clean sources of electricity exist to meet whatever need for power does exist,” said Mariotte. “That’s why we submitted this contention—in the hope that the NRC will heed the warning signs and hold that honest hearing.”

The groups involved in the licensing proceeding are NIRS, Public Citizen, Beyond Nuclear and Southern Maryland CARES.

The full text of the contention is available at:



A coalition of environmental groups has stated that two recently released documents show that tritium leaks at the Oyster Creek Generating Station were caused, in part, by failures by the plant's owner to submit correct documents to support its license renewal application and a federal agency's failure to review those documents adequately.

Richard Webster, the legal director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center who represents the coalition said Tuesday that the first document is the complete root cause report for the April 2009 underground tritium pipe leaks at the Forked River facility. Tritium is a low level radioactive isotope which can be harmful in large concentrations.

Webster said that the report revealed "the basis used for license renewal was wrong and there was no independent review of the pipe inspection program leading to insufficient/nonexistent program reviews."

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From the Patriot News:

John Erickson has cut his electrical use at home as much as possible, from using compact fluorescent light bulbs to setting the heat at 65 in the winter. Short of “not using any lights whatsoever,” he said he and his wife can do nothing more.

“We’re pretty much at the far bottom of what we can cut,” said the retired educator from Hampden Township.


From Beyond Nuclear:

There is still time to act against expanded nuclear power loan guarantees before the U.S. House finalizes its supplemental war funding and disaster relief bill by its Independence Day recess.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Dave Obey (Democrat-Wisconsin), is considering an emergency supplemental war funding and disaster relief bill. The Obama administration has pushed for $9 billion in additional nuclear power loan guarantees to be attached as a rider onto this bill, thus attempting to rush part of a $36 billion expansion request to the nuclear power loan guarantee program, originally requested for next year's Fiscal Year 2011 budget, onto this fiscal year's budget.

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In this issue:

Popular Resistance Stops Site Preparations for NPP in India
'Uranium Is the New Asbestos': Union Ban on Nuclear Work
Uprating Nuclear Reactors Reduces Safety
Turkey: Hard Times Ahead
Banktrack Exposes Nuclear Secrets of Commercial Banks
Sellafield Cancer Statistics Will Remain a Secret
Australian Waste Dump Challenged in Court
NDA Announce Japanese MOX With the Sellafield MOX Plant
Obama Brings Back Space Nuclear Power

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