By Ad Crable
Staff Writer, Lancaster New Era
The economic downturn has caused funds set aside for the safe closure of the Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom nuclear plants to drop dramatically in the last two years.
Since 2007, estimates of dismantling costs at the nation's 104 nuclear plants have risen by more than $4.6 billion while the investment funds that are supposed to pay for the closures — or decommissioning as it's called — have dropped $4.4 billion, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.
According to decommissioning fund statements filed by Exelon Corp., owners of the two plants, the balance in the closure fund for Three Mile Island's Unit 1 dropped $69 million from 2007 to 2009.
For Peach Bottom, decommissioning funds dropped $64 million over the last two years for Unit 2 and nearly $70 million for the Unit 3 reactor.
The fund losses are tied to investments.
Is it a cause for concern?
June 8, 2009
FROM: UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
A watchdog group thinks satellite images could pose a risk, but the nuclear plant says no security measures are compromised.
Monday, June 08, 2009
BY MONICA VON DOBENECK firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors at Three Mile Island are asked not to photograph guard towers, vehicle barriers and other security measures. Yet these items are easily seen on the Internet through such sites as Microsoft's maps.live.com, now bing.com/maps.
Scott Portzline, a consultant for the watchdog group Three Mile Island Alert, thinks this is a security problem.
He has monitored sites such as Google Earth, which bring satellite images to home computers, for several years. Recently, he said, the level of detail has increased.
Experts working to determine source of leak, says plant VP
June 8, 2009 ATED STORY
A tritium leak was found during routine monitoring of Exelon Corp.'s Dresden nuclear plant last week, but contaminated water was contained to the property and did not pose a public health threat, company officials said today.
Testing at Dresden, near the Grundy County town of Morris about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, found tritium levels of 3.2 million picocuries per liter of water in a monitoring well, storm drains and concrete vault. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's limit for drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter.
WASHINGTON -- A security consultant with a citizen watchdog group claims that a list containing sensitive nuclear facilities' information that was inadvertently leaked to the Internet could provide terrorists with the tools needed to formulate a plan to attack a commercial nuclear plant.
Nuclear license renewal sparks protest
Coalition asks federal court to overturn NRC
June 02, 2009
BY MARYANN SPOTO
Two months after the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, New Jersey, won a 20-year extension of its license, a coalition of environmental and citizens groups has asked a federal court to overturn the decision.
Citing inadequate information provided to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the plant's safety, the coalition wants a federal court to invalidate the relicensing of the 40-year-old facility.
Public Interest Group Appeals South Carolina Public Service Commission Decision Approving Nuclear Reactors to State Supreme CourtSubmitted by webEditor on Sat, 05/23/2009 - 23:40
Friends of the Earth Asserts Decision in Error and Not in the Public Interest
May 22, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The environmental organization Friends of the Earth has today filed an appeal with the South Carolina Supreme Court challenging the legality of a South Carolina Public Service Commission decision approving an application by South Carolina Electric & Gas to build two new nuclear reactors. The filing is believed to be a first national challenge to the type of state law which unjustly forces consumers to pay for nuclear projects in advance, no matter if they fail.
ENERGY POLICY: No need to build new U.S. coal or nuclear plants -- FERC chairman
April 22, 2009
Noelle Straub and Peter Behr, E&E reporters
No new nuclear or coal plants may ever be needed in the United States , the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said today.
"We may not need any, ever," Jon Wellinghoff told reporters at a U.S. Energy Association forum.
The FERC chairman's comments go beyond those of other Obama administration officials, who have strongly endorsed greater efficiency and renewables deployment but also say nuclear and fossil energies will continue playing a major role.
On December 22, 2008 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted
PPL Bell Bend LLC, (1) Combined License Application (“COL” or "COLA") for an
Evolutionary Power Reactor (“EPR”) at the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant
Asbury Park Press
May 2, 2009