Op Eds



Nuclear power plants are being pushed as part of climate-change legislation. But the focus should be on renewable power sources, which are getting cheaper and don't produce radioactive waste.


November 28, 2009


As the Senate debates climate legislation that could reinvent the country's energy infrastructure, it is richly ironic that lawmakers who consider themselves rock-ribbed fiscal conservatives are among the strongest backers of nuclear plants -- a vastly expensive, inefficient and dangerous source of energy that requires massive taxpayer bailouts.



Statement of Three Mile Island Alert, Inc. on the

Relicensing the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station


November 28, 2009

The NRC’s review and approval of the Susquehanna 

application has taken much longer than the usual 22 to 30 

months for a renewal request due to the NRC’s request for 

additional information. Susquehanna's license renewal took 

39 months, and included a $500,000 fine issued by the 

Susquehanna River Basin Commission for improperly 

uprating the plant in 2001.


November 24, 2009

by Harvey Wasserman


Yet another "perfectly safe" release at Three Mile Island has irradiated yet another puff of hype about alleged "green" support for new reactors. 


The two are inseparable. 

In 1979, when TMI's brand new Unit Two melted, stack monitors and other critical safeguards crashed in tandem. Nobody knows how much radiation escaped, where it went or who it harmed. Cancers, leukemia, stillbirths, malformations, asthma, sterility, skin lesions and other radiation-related diseases erupted throughout central Pennsylvania. Some 2400 families sued, but never got a full public hearing in federal court. 

Unit Two had operated just three months when it melted. By a 3-1 margin, three central Pennsylvania counties then voted that TMI-One, which opened in 1974, stay shut. But Ronald Reagan tore down that wall. 

This week TMI's owners were forced to evacuate 150 workers when radioactive dust "unexpectedly blew out of a pipe being cut by workers." Exelon was "trying to determine exactly how and why it happened." 


Consider TMI-Alert's satirical account of information flow regarding incidents at Three Mile Island: 






Let's talk about something no one is happy with--citizen and state participation in Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing hearings on nuclear plants and facilities. The industry and commission's view is that those who are flat out opposed should express themselves somewhere else, instead of tying up NRC hearings with safety issues best left to government experts. But because of federal preemption of safety regulation, states have no say in these matters and there is no somewhere else. Citizens and states can influence nuclear construction only by participating in NRC hearings, which allow only narrow technical arguments.



October 24, 2009      by Eric Joseph Epstein

In a place far away, not long ago, atomic scientists predicted the 

dawn of a new day where automobiles would be powered by nuclear fuel 

and weather could be controlled by atomic clouds. Their high priest  

promoted nuclear energy as "electricity too cheap to meter.” 

(Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 

September 16th, 1954, in a speech by National Association of Science Writers



Cleanup postponed, jobs decline, waste increases 


(Harrisburg, Pa.: October 22, 2009) - The Nuclear Regulatory 

Commission’s approval of a license extension at Three Mile Island (“TMI”) Unit-1 

further delays the decontamination and decommissioning of Three Mile Island 

Unit-2 the site of a core meltdown in March 1979. 

Eric Epstein, Chairman of TMI-Alert, stated, “At this rate, TMI-2 won’t be 

cleaned up until the next century. Relicensing adds another 600 metric tons of 

radioactive waste on the Island in addition to the 1,000 metric tons of toxic 

garbage Unit-1 has generated since 1974.” TMI also stores low-level radioactive 

waste on site since Barnwell’s closing in 2008. 

Mr. Epstein added, “TMI continues to reduce staffing and has slashed 284 

jobs over the last ten years. I just hope we have enough money and trained staff 

in place in 2034 to clean up TMI-1, TMI-2, and 1,600 tons of radioactive waste.” 


By Harvey Wasserman
October 15, 2009

Is the Climate Bill morphing into an excuse to promote fossil fuels and new nuclear power plants?


Renewable "Community Power" is Gaining Ground to Real Energy Independence
Background: A recent Washington Post news article reports that renewable energy development is transforming electricity manufacturing into a reliable, locally-owned and locally-generated, clean energy industry.  The story highlights that an investment in renewable solar and wind power, is an investment in "community power" and energy independence.  Towns like Rock Port, Missouri are producing 100% of their electricity through wind turbines, while other communities are emphasizing more compact and less obtrusive solar power like California's "Million Solar Roofs."


by Eric Epstein
PPL has declared that part of its strategy to cure global warming is to add another nuclear generating station. While PPL's nuclear  stations have less of a carbon "footprint" than their coal-generating  siblings, the company has failed to acknowledge the financial,  radioactive and aquatic "footprints" associated with adding on to  the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.