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Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

September 10, 2009

 

Beyond Nuclear challenges new reactor & old waste at Fermi, Michigan

Beyond Nuclear has recently scored victories, and suffered defeats, in its intervention against the Fermi nuclear power plant on the Lake Erie shoreline. On July 31st, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) admitted four of the fourteen contentions Beyond Nuclear and its allies submitted opposing the Fermi 3 new reactor proposal. These included contentions on so-called "low level" radioactive waste, endangered species, groundwater contamination, and Lake Eriepollution concerns. On Aug. 21st, the same ASLB rejected Beyond Nuclear's call for security upgrades at Fermi 2's proposed dry cask storage facility for high-level radioactive waste. Beyond Nuclear will vigorously defend the four contentions at upcoming ASLB hearings, and appeal the exclusion of those rejected. Updates, intervention documents, and news articles are posted at our "Nuclear Reactors" Web site section.

Three Mile Island nears license renewal

by MONICA VON DOBENECK, Of The Patriot-News

Thursday September 10, 2009

 

Steam billows out of the Reactor One cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in Londonderry Twp.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant passed its last milestone on its way to a 20-year license renewal Thursday following a meeting with the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, an advisory group to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said it is likely a final decision will be made in November.

A difference of opinion on TMI changes

 

Critic says generators should have been replaced years ago; spokesman for owner says plant was safe, relicensing sought.

Sunday News

 

Sep 06, 2009 

 

By JON RUTTER, Lancaster Sunday News Staff Writer

 

Three Mile Island is replacing its two steam generators two decades late, contends nuclear industry critic Eric Epstein.

Lots of people are waiting to glimpse the ponderous new machines.

The generators will be slowly piggybacked through the county this month on their way from Port Deposit, Md., to the atomic power plant at Middletown.

 

NRC to evaluate buried pipe safety

NRC CHAIRMAN TASKS STAFF TO EVALUATE AGENCY ACTIVITIES ON BURIED PIPING AT NUCLEAR PLANTS 

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko has tasked the agency’s technical staff to review the NRC’s approach for overseeing buried pipes given recent incidents of leaking buried pipes at several U.S. commercial nuclear power plants.

KI pills to be distributed near nuclear plants

Radiation pills now available 

Middletown mayor questions why KI tablets are being distributed in Harrisburg instead of the borough

 

by Garry Lenton Press And Journal Staff : 9/2/2009

 

The state Department of Health is distributing potassium iodide, or KI, pills today and tomorrow to residents who live or work near a nuclear power station such as Three Mile Island.

 

 The pills protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, which can be released during a nuclear accident.

PPL can relicense its nuclear station

August 28, 2009

No safety issues found to prevent reactors from running another 20 years.

 

By Rory Sweeney 

Times Leader Staff Writer

 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded that there are no safety issues that would stop PPL Corp. from relicensing its Susquehanna nuclear station for another 20 years, according to a report released by the agency on Thursday.

Valve malfunctions at PPL's Susquehanna Plant

 Three Mile Island-Alert News Report

 By Marlene Lang

 

 
A turbine valve failed in mid-position at the PPL's Susquehanna Steam Electric Station nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa., on the morning of Aug. 18. 
 
According to a memo from PPL to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, plant inspectors performing a weekly functionality test found the high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) valve stem in the plant's Unit 1 nuclear reactor "was not in the full closed position." 
 

55-gallon Drum of Radioactive Material Misplaced in Cross-Country Transport Bumble

 August 19, 2009

Changed F.B.I. Agents’ Role Shown When Radioactive Material Went Missing

 

By ERIC SCHMITT

NORWALK, Calif. — The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack. Three hours later, the shipper found the drum — still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area — having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.

For an F.B.I. team here that vets tips and threats about possible terrorist activity, it was yet another false alarm in a job largely defined by hoaxes and bogus leads that must still be run to ground.

“A lot of time we are chasing shadows,” said Lee Ann Bernardino, a 20-year F.B.I. special agent who handled the case, “but it’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by.”

109 Radioactive Storage Casks Undertested Before Use

Article published Aug. 13, 2009

NRC: Dry cask test was eliminated

By Louis Porter Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER – The concrete-and-steel "dry casks" used at the Vermont Yankee plant to store spent nuclear fuel were not tested as completely as they should have been, according to federal regulators.

But the decision by Holtec International, the New Jersey company that built the casks, to omit one set of tests does not pose a safety risk, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said Wednesday. That's because there were other kinds of inspections done on those casks, and the waste stored in the casks is not as hot as allowed, meaning they are safe even though they were not tested with pressurized helium as required under a federal licensing agreement.

About 109 of the casks that were not completely tested are in use nationwide, including five at Vermont Yankee, regulators say.

NRC looks at nuke plant shutdown fund shortfalls

 

By ANDREW MIGA (AP) 

 

BETHESDA, Md. — Federal regulators said Thursday they hope to resolve funding shortfalls with the owners of 26 nuclear plants, who aren't saving enough money to dismantle them when they've run their course.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials are reviewing action plans owners were asked to submit, explaining how they'd address funding shortfalls for shutting down reactors. NRC officials in June notified owners of the shortfalls, caused in part by the nation's financial meltdown.

 

 

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