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U.S. Senate Hearing on “Three Mile Island: Thirty Years of Lessons Learned”

Testimony of Peter A. Bradford 

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works 

Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety 

March 24, 2009 

 

 

I’d like to begin with a review of the status of nuclear power and nuclear regulation the day before the 

accident at Three Mile Island.  As of that time, the NRC’s licensing process, maligned though it often was, 

had issued more licenses than the next five nations combined, though half of the construction permit 

recipients did not complete their power plants.   

 

Nuclear Alternatives Organization Remembers Accident

 Remember TMI, March 28, 2009: Thirty Years since the Atomic Accident

 

The NRC and the nuclear industry are attempting to revise the history of the Three Mile Island accident on March 28, 1979. They say no significant amount of radiation got out and nobody got sick or died. The nuclear industry's sophists-for-hire call TMI a nuclear industry success story.  Nothing is farther from the truth.

 

Please visit our TMI Accident 30th Commemoration link at www.beyondnuclear.org

Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Fund Declines, Again.

 

By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

 

BRATTLEBORO If you've been keeping an eye on Vermont Yankee's decommissioning trust fund, it has had so many ups and downs in the past year you might need to take some anti-nausea medication.

 

In just the past year, the fund has lost $80 million, from $427 million in March 2008 to $347 million by the end of last month. Since September 2007, the fund has lost $93 million.

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

 

March 20, 2009 

Top Stories

TMI Accident 30th Commemorative, March 28, 2009

Background: It will be 30 years ago on March 28 since the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant had a radioactive accident near Harrisburg, PA.There were no sirens in place to warn communities around the melting reactor. Instead, the warning came with early morning sightings of an iridescent cloud billowing out of the cooling tower, people downwind experiencing a metallic taste, sunburn-like symptoms and loss of hair. Birds fell in large numbers from the trees and the insects fell silent. X-ray film became mysteriously fogged in a local dentist's office vault. After two terrifying days, tens of thousands of area residents had spontaneously evacuated before then-Governor Thornburg advised pregnant women and young children within five miles of the reactor to leave the area.

NRC Issues Final Environmental Impact Assessment for Susquehanna Nuclear Plant License Renewal

 March 16, 2009

 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has completed its final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2, and concluded that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude license renewal for an additional 20 years of operation. The staff has also issued a safety evaluation report (SER) that documents the interim results of the NRC staff’s review of the license renewal application and site audits of Susquehanna’s aging management programs to address the safety of plant operations during the period of extended operations. Overall, the interim results show that PPL has identified actions that have been or will be taken to manage the effects of aging in the appropriate safety systems, structures and components of the plant and that their functions will be maintained during the period of extended operation. 

The Curse of Three Mile Island on Nuclear Industry

By Ad Crable

Lancater New Era

 

Forget that 17 utilities have applied to build 30 new nuclear plants in the United States.

 

Forget that concerns over global warming have made even environmentalists cast an 

eye toward nuclear power.

 

Forget that a recent survey shows 55 percent of Americans now are behind more nukes.

 

No new nuclear plant has been built in the country since the accident at Three Mile Island

 — 30 years ago this month. 

 

The infamous accident and its once unthinkable partial meltdown of the reactor core brought

new construction of nuclear plants to a grinding halt. 

NRC Issues Safety Evaluation for TMI License Renewal Application

 March 13, 2009


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has issued its safety evaluation report (SER) with Open Items for the proposed renewal of the operating license for the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (TMI-1), located in Middletown, Pa. The report documents the interim results of the NRC staff’s review of the license renewal application and site audits of TMI-1’s aging management programs to address the safety of plant operations during the period of extended operations. Overall, the results show that the applicant has identified actions that have been or will be taken to manage the effects of aging in the appropriate safety systems, structures and components of the plant and that their functions will be maintained during the period of extended operation. 

Consumer Advocate Estimates Rate Hike Ranges for Utilities

 Sonny Popowsky, consumer advocate, offers Gov. Ed Rendell an informed estimate of the possible rise in utility rates once caps are removed in Pennyslvania. 

PPL, notes Popowsky, estimated in 2008, and average increase of about 24 to 43 percent, but he acknowledges the actual increases may be higher or lower. 

Read the rest of his letter to the governor. 

Open pdf: 

 

TMI Alert March Newsletter

 Download Three Mile Island Alert's March 2009 newsletter for a summary of news and a printable list of events coming up in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the nuclear accident at TMI's Unit 2 reactor. 

For pdf, open attachment: 

 

 

Controversy Over Yucca Mountain May Be Ending; Cash Cut Off

   

March 4, 2009

By Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
 

More than two decades after Yucca Mountain in Nevada was selected to be the national nuclear waste repository, the controversial proposal may finally be put to rest by the Obama administration.

In keeping with a pledge President Obama made during the campaign, the budget released last week cuts off almost all funding for creating a permanent burial site for a large portion of the nation's radioactive nuclear waste at the site in the Nevada desert. Congress selected the location in 1987 and reaffirmed the choice in 2002. About $7.7 billion has been sunk into the project since its inception.

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