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By Arnie Gundersen
Welcome to Fairewinds Nuclear Spring Series. This third installment will share some newly discovered archival material about the March 28, 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island (TMI) atomic power reactor. You may remember Fairewinds asserted that the meltdown at TMI was much worse than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) insistently portrays. These archival documents substantiate what we have always said.
 
Back in the day (1993-1997), I was an expert witness retained to testify in the plaintiffs' case for the people living near TMI in the litigation against the owners of that failed nuke. Fairewinds posted some of my expert reports and reports of other renowned scientific experts that clearly dispute the fictional narrative that nobody was hurt due to the meltdown at TMI, as claimed by the nuke industry and the NRC. Here is a link to the Fairewinds TMI report section for researchers who want to know the TMI meltdown truth.
 
Fairewinds is proud to host an archive of detailed technical analyses of the TMI meltdown by various nuclear experts, including Dr. Ignaz Vergeiner, Dr. Henry Meyers, Dr. Steven Wing, and me. We also believe it is essential for scientists, researchers, medical doctors, and citizen scientists to have unrestricted access to the truth of what happened at TMI.

Arnie at the entrance to Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

 

While recently cleaning the garage, I came across a box with three more reports that have significant ramifications to the thorough understanding of the disaster's full magnitude at TMI. I wrote these reports in 1996 and printed them on what was then a brand new dot-matrix printer with tractor feed paper. With no internet yet invented, I used the fax machine to submit my expert reports to the attorneys in the case. Obviously, this was long before the internet and laser printers!
 
Overview of Reports
 
I wrote my first report Post Accident Containment Leakage in January 1996. It provides convincing evidence that there was a hydrogen explosion at TMI between 1 and 2 PM on the meltdown's first day. The evidence I reviewed, and the nuke industry ignored, shows that immediately following the hydrogen explosion, the atomic reactor’s containment began to leak radiation into the surrounding community.


In February 1996, I wrote Forensic Evidence to Support Blowout, the second report in the series. I think I channeled my inner Sherlock Holmes on this project. I dug up forensic evidence showing unmonitored hot radioactive gases bypassed the containment and were released into the environment. The evidence I uncovered is known as the TMI Blowout. The ‘letdown system’ is used to clean reactor water as the radioactive water travels in its loop to get reheated. In a Blowout, the letdown system drains and ends up dry enabling hot radioactive gases to escape directly from the containment building into the surrounding community. Most likely, this highly radioactive release accounts for the metallic taste that so many TMI area residents experienced on the first day of the meltdown.
I believe that the atomic power industry and its captured regulator, the NRC, try to maintain the illusion of no containment blowout and leakage to the environment to avoid public liability and continue the myth that nuclear power plants are safe. According to the NRC and the atomic power industry, containments never leak, that is until the three meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors on March 11, 2011. 


TMI sleuths will remember that in March 2019, on C-Span’s 40th Memorial of the TMI meltdown held at Penn State, I said that radioactive releases from TMI were likely 10-times-higher than the numbers claimed by the NRC and nuclear industry. Entitled Major Discrepancy between Daniel and Akers data which may increase exposures to support Plaintiff’s claimsI wrote my third report in March 1996, and this newly posted report provides all the details discussed in my C-Span analyses. 

 
Fairewinds will keep you informed!
 Radiation knows no borders
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Subject: 2021/03/24 NRR E-mail Capture - Exelon Generation Company, LLC - Acceptance of License Transfer Application (EPID L-2021-LLM-0000)
 
ADAMS Accession No. ML21084A253
 
**EIE Update**  Due to certain NRC computer security enhancements the process to open submissions having more than one attachment has had to be changed. Now, after opening the link in the e-mail and validating their certificate, users will see a page with a button saying “Download Attachments". Selecting that button will cause the attached .zip file to be downloaded to the users' computer. Thereafter, the files can be opened using the normal protocol.  **EIE Update**

MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Re: NRC Proceeding "Three Mile Island 50-320 LT"

The Office of the Secretary has received a Submission entitled

"ORDER (Setting Briefing Schedule)"

submitted by Krupskaya T. Castellon who is affiliated with NRC SECY.  It contains 1 attachment(s).

It is intended for inclusion in the referenced proceeding. It was submitted through the NRC Electronic Information Exchange (EIE) system and arrived on 03/19/2021 at 03.31 PM.

As a hearing participant, you are entitled to view and/or retrieve this Submission by visiting the following web link.  

ORDER (Setting Briefing Schedule) - https://eie.nrc.gov/eie/adj/downloadAttachment.eie?submissionId=56011&docId=27250 (302 KB)


If the submission contains 2 or more attachments, they will be delivered to you as a single compressed zip file from which you may open the attachments.  The delivery model works best with the free download product named "SecureZip".  This is the product used in the screen shots in the Adjudicatory User's Guide.  Other compression products will work but the access steps may vary.

The link will remain active for 30 day(s) after which its contents will be removed from the EIE system. Not later than 3 days from the date of this message the attachment(s) will also be available through NRC Electronic Hearing Docket (EHD) web site. The web link for this site is: https://adams.nrc.gov/ehd and the documents can be located by browsing in the appropriate hearing folder.

Receipt of this message constitutes completion of service of this filing.

PARTIES SERVED WITH THIS SUBMISSION:  Campbell, Tison A.; Castellon, Krupskaya T.; Desai, Sachin; Docket, Hearing; Duke, Alicia R; Epstein, Eric; Eskelsen, Grant; Halnon, Gregory H; Krause, Emily I.; Lighty, Ryan K.; Matthews, Timothy P; Naber, Anita G.; Newell, Brian P.; ocaamail, ocaamail; Roth, David E.; Schumann, Stacy M.; Sealy, Karen; Sola, Clara I; Speiser, Herald; Stenger, Daniel Frank; van Noordennen, Gerard Peter; Wachutka, Jeremy L.
 
Re: Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 2     
           Transaction
Motion To Hold in Abeyance the Proposed License    
   Transfer to TMI-2 Solutions, LLC       
       
   The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”)  
received an application filed by GPU Nuclear, Inc., Metropolitan 
Edison Company, Jersey Central Power and Light Company, 
Pennsylvania Electric Company (collectively, the First Energy 
Companies), and TMI-2 Solutions, LLC (together with the First 
Energy Companies, the Applicants) on November 12, 2019. 
            
  The application requested the NRC’s approval of the direct
transfer of NRC Possession-Only License No. DPR-73 for Three 
Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit No. 2 (“TMI-2”) from the current
holders, the First Energy Companies, to TMI-2 Solutions, LLC, 
which is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Solutions.
 
On March 26, 2020, the NRC published a Notice in the Federal 
Register, Re: Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit No. 2; 
Consideration of Approval of Transfer of License and Conforming 
Amendment.
 
The NRC notified the service list on January 14, 2021, of a Short 
Notice Commission Affirmation Session - Three Mile Island Nuclear 
Station, Unit 2. “The Commission Affirmation Session is scheduled
for 10:00 A.M., January 15, 2020.”  
 
This Motion is to inform the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that
 the decisions to approve the above stated license transfer on December 18, 
2020, and the Order to “terminate the proceeding” on January 15, 2021, 
are in error. The NRC failed to account, acknowledge or address the failure
of Applicants, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,
and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to comply with the Clean 
Water Act, Section 401.
        
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has identified the need for
state related agencies - including the DEP or SRBC - to review the 
criteria from  the updated Clean Water Act,  Section 401, Water 
Quality Certification at nuclear plants amending and/or extending 
their licenses.
 
Respectfully Submitted by,
 
Eric J. Epstein, Chairman
Three Mile Island Alert
4100 Hillsdale Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112
(717)-635-8615  
 
Dated: March 15, 2021
 
Subject: Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Issuance of Amendment Nos. 280 and 262 Re: Revise Technical Specification 3.8.1, "AC Sources-Operating," to Create a New Condition for an Inoperable Manual Synchronization Circuit (EPID L-2019-LLA-0118)
 
ADAMS Accession No. ML20317A314
 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 21-013 March 5, 2021
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200
 
NRC Issues Annual Assessments for Nation’s Nuclear Plants
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued annual letters to the nation’s 94 operating commercial nuclear reactors, regarding their performance in 2020.
 
“Ninety reactors reached the highest performance category and fully met our safety and security performance objectives,” said Acting Director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Andrea Veil. “Those 90 units will receive thousands of hours of inspection under our ‘baseline’ inspection program.”
 
Three reactors were in the second performance category, needing to resolve one or two items of low safety significance. For this performance level, regulatory oversight includes additional inspection and follow-up of corrective actions. Plants in this category are Callaway (Missouri); Clinton (Illinois); and Surry 2 (Virginia).
 
The Grand Gulf reactor in Mississippi was in the third performance category with a degraded, and still acceptably safe, level of performance. For this category, regulatory oversight includes more NRC inspections, senior management attention, and oversight focused on the cause(s) of the degraded performance.
 
There were no reactors in the fourth performance category.
 
Later this spring and summer, the NRC will host a public meeting or other event for each plant to discuss the details of the annual assessment results. These meetings are expected to be held via webcast to meet local restrictions due to the public health emergency. A separate announcement will be issued for each public assessment meeting. It is likely that several meetings will be consolidated into one virtual event. In addition to the annual assessment letters, plants also will receive an NRC inspection plan for the coming year.
 
The NRC’s website outlines oversight of commercial nuclear power on the Reactor Oversight Process page. The NRC routinely updates each plant’s current performance and posts the latest information as it becomes available to the action matrix summary. Assessment letters are posted on our website (click on “2020q4” for each plant). Annual construction oversight assessments for new reactors at the Vogtle units 3 and 4 sites will also be on the NRC website.
 
Greetings,
 
We have so many exciting things to share with you, thank you for being here with us, for caring about the safety of the earth and water, and for investing in a nuclear-free, clean energy future.
  • We have a brand new website. We hope and trust it will make it easier for people to find us, stay connected, and updated on important news. We will also be rolling out some very useful resources and opportunities to take action there. So, please do check it out and let us know what you think.
     
  • Our March Newsletter is ready for you as a downloadable, and/or printable PDF, here on our website.
     
  • We are hosting an amazing event, featuring a phenomenal lineup of speakers and musicians, on Thursday, March 11, from 4:00 - 6:00 PM ET:
 
In this event, we seek to acknowledge and remember Fukushima, the trauma caused to the earth and the lives forever impacted by its meltdown. We carry with us the ties to the terrible incident, not only by shared earth, but also by way of a shared, and fatally flawed, reactor model. Not only is Fermi 2 the same Mark1 design, but is the world’s largest! The accountability to safety not only falls on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) but on the Detroit Edison (DTE) utility company as well. 
 
In the ten years since the Fukushima meltdown, we have gathered ten years’ worth of evidence against Mark 1 reactors and dirty, dangerous nuclear energy in general. We’ve also gathered ten years of momentum in renewable energy development and generation capacity. At this crossroads, we stand in acknowledgment of the importance of the waters of the Great Lakes and commit to ensuring their safety. 
You can learn more about and/or sign up to attend this FREE event here. And/or follow us on social media to stay in the know.
We hope to see you at Protecting Our Earth on March 11th, thank you again for being with us.
 
Sincerely,
 
The CRAFT Team
NEWS FROM BEYOND NUCLEAR
Source:  Beyond Nuclear http://www.beyondnuclear.org/

 
For immediate release

Contact:
Terry Lodge, legal counsel, Toledo, OH, (419) 205-7084, tjlodge50@yahoo.com
Michael Keegan, Co-Chair, Don't Waste Michigan, Monroe, MI, (734) 770-1441, mkeeganj@comcast.net
Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist, Beyond Nuclear, Takoma Park, MD, (240) 462-3216, kevin@beyondnuclear.org
Bette Pierman, President, Michigan Safe Energy Future, Benton Harbor, MI, (269) 369-3993, bette49022@yahoo.com
Gail Snyder, Board President, Nuclear Energy Information Service, Chicago, IL, (630) 363-6417, gail.snyder@comcast.net
 
Environmental Coalition Intervenes against Holtec Takeover of Palisades Atomic Reactor
Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, and Michigan Safe Energy Future Petition U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Raising Health, Safety, Environmental, and Financial Concerns
 
[WASHINGTON, DC and COVERT, MI – February 25, 2021] -- Meeting the agency's truncated 20-day deadline, an environmental coalition's legal counsel, Toledo, Ohio attorney Terry Lodge, has submitted a petition to intervene and request for hearing to NRC, on behalf of members of the groups, some of whom live less than a mile from the Palisades nuclear power plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The legal and technical challenges opposed to current owner Entergy Nuclear's license transfer to Holtec International for decommissioning purposes and high-level radioactive waste management include Holtec's disqualifying bad corporate character, and its unnacceptable bids to drain the already woefully inadequate Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund for non-decommissioning expenses, such as irradiated nuclear fuel management and site restoration.
 
The intervention also objects to Holtec's large underestimation of both decommissioning expenses, as well as irradiated nuclear fuel management expenses. For example, the coalition's expert witness, Robert Alvarez, an Institute for Policy Studies senior scholar, and a former senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Secretary, has shown that Holtec has given no consideration to high burnup irradiated nuclear fuel's higher thermal heat load and radioactivity levels, even though it comprises a large fraction of the fuel to be stored on-site, and likely for much longer than Holtec's overly optimistic year 2066 terminus date.
 
Lastly, the coalition has argued for NRC to undertake a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, to address: the site's radioactive contamination of soil and groundwater; various "low" level radioactive waste streams, such as steam generators and highly radioactive Reactor Vessel Internals; the need for repackaging irradiated nuclear fuel from non-transportable and even defective current containers into new replacement containers; and increasing radiologic risks due to the current historic high, and worsening, Lake Michigan water levels.
 
Holtec's proposed takeover would also include Palisades' sibling, the Lake Michigan shoreline Big Rock Point nuclear power plant site in Charlevoix, Michigan, as part of the package deal. Although NRC in 2006 approved the decommissioned site's release for unrestricted use, watchdogs remain very concerned about significant documented radioactive contamination abandoned there. In addition, eight casks of highly radioactive waste are still stored there, with nowhere else to go.
"With no ability to unload the high-level radioactive waste from an already known defective VSC-24 cask, and potentially additional faulty casks of this and other models in the future, Entergy and Holtec have teed up a cataclysmic disaster on the shore of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is about to eat Palisades, and this unaddressed problem amounts to 'Criminal Negligence,'" stated Michael J. Keegan, Co-Chairman of Don't Waste Michigan in Monroe, MI.  
 
"We continue to call for a safe and complete decommissioning which requires the removal of all radioactive waste that will likely be stored onsite indefinitely," said Bette Pierman, President of Michigan Safe Energy Future in Benton Harbor, MI. "It must be secured in non-permeable hard casks because of the highly radioactive waste. We strongly question Holtec International's decommissioning proposal with no guarantee of this to safeguard our health and that of our precious Lake Michigan. We also have serious concerns about the current Decommissioning Trust Funds--which were previously raided by Consumers Power and Entergy—to cover the complete costs of cleanup and restoration of the Palisades site. We do not want Holtec to leave Michigan ratepayers with a bill and a radioactive legacy," Pierman added.
 
"We object to NRC allowing Holtec to drain $166 million from the Palisades Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund for unrelated high-level radioactive waste management expenses, because that will severely shortchange the cleanup of documented extensive hazardous radioactive contamination of soil and groundwater," said Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist with Beyond Nuclear, a national watchdog group based in Takoma Park, MD. "Abandoned radioactive contamination will flow downstream over time, into Lake Michigan and inland aquifers, both drinking water supplies. The radioactivity will not dilute, but rather bio-concentrate up the food chain, endangering current and future generations," Kamps added.
 
“As people who share the same Lake Michigan drinking water supply with 16 million other people, we are deeply concerned with how the Palisades closure and decommissioning is handled,” stated Gail Snyder, Board President of Nuclear Energy Information Service, based in Chicago, IL. “Having witnessed the numerous highly questionable dealings surrounding the decommissioning of the Zion nuclear reactors in Illinois from 2010 to the present, we are highly suspicious of Holtec’s motives and capability to conduct a credible and safe decommissioning, and skeptical that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will do more than a check-box oversight of the project. For those reasons constant and direct oversight from state and federal legislators in Michigan is imperative,” Snyder warned.
 
Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, and Nuclear Energy Information Service have also intervened against Holtec's proposal to target majority minority (Hispanic, Indigenous) New Mexico with the country's high-level radioactive waste dump, a so-called "consolidated interim storage facility" (CISF) for irradiated nuclear fuel that risks becoming de facto permanent surface storage. Terry Lodge serves as legal counsel for Don't Waste Michigan and Nuclear Energy Information Service, and five additional grassroots environmental groups from across the U.S., in that proceeding as well. NRC has rejected all opponents' appeals, and the groups have now appealed the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second highest court in the land.
 
"At the very top of the list of CISF non-starters is highly radioactive waste barge shipments, from Palisades to the Port of Muskegon, for offload onto a train for export out to the Southwest," said Terry Lodge, the environmental coalition's legal counsel. "Irradiated fuel sunk to the bottom of Lake Michigan could cause ruinous radioactive releases into the drinking water supply for tens of millions of people downstream in seven states, two provinces, and a large number of Indigenous Nations. Radioactive steam generator barge shipments across Lake Michigan, through Chicago's waterways, and down the Mississippi River could likewise lead to drinking water catastrophes," Lodge added.
 
-30-
Beyond Nuclear is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization. Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abolish both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. The Beyond Nuclear team works with diverse partners and allies to provide the public, government officials, and the media with the critical information necessary to move humanity toward a world beyond nuclear. Beyond Nuclear: 7304 Carroll Avenue, #182, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Info@beyondnuclear.orgwww.beyondnuclear.org.
 
Dear National Decommissioning Working Group,
 
Below you will find citations and hotlinks / urls to Petitions filed
Thank you to everyone for showing up at Palisades / Big Rock
 
Congratulations!
Michigan AG jumping is HUGE
ELPC Jumping is HUGE
BN/MSEF/DWM Present!
 
Comments due March 8th for Palisades / Big Rock
02/04/2021
Palisades Nuclear Plant and Big Rock Point Plant Consideration of Approval of Transfer of Control of Licenses and Conforming Amendments
03/08/2021
 
N2
Michael J. Keegan
Don't Waste Michigan
 
Document Title:
Petition of the Michigan Attorney General for Leave to Intervene and for a Hearing.
Document Type:
Legal-Petition To Intervene/Request for Hearing
Document Date:
02/24/2021
 
Document Title:
Petition of Beyond Nuclear, Michigan Safe Energy Future and Don't Waste Michigan for Leave to Intervene, and Request for an Adjudicatory Hearing.
Document Type:
Legal-Pleading
Document Date:
02/24/2021
 
Document Title:
The Environmental Law & Policy Center Petition to Intervene and Hearing Request.
Document Type:
Legal-Petition To Intervene/Request for Hearing
Document Date:
02/24/2021
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 21-012 February 23, 2021
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200
 
NRC Proposes $75,000 Civil Penalty to California Company for Import and Distribution Violations
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $75,000 civil penalty against CampCo Inc. of Los Angeles for various violations of requirements related to importing and distributing watches containing radioactive material. An NRC Notice of Violation, issued Feb. 11, lists nine separate violations, including repeat violations.
 
The NRC found the company failed to comply with requirements of its license, namely importing and distributing watch models for which it was not authorized. The company also provided inaccurate information to the NRC.
 
These violations are similar to ones issued to CampCo in 2015. At that time, the company and the NRC negotiated a settlement, and the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order setting out certain conditions to bring the company into compliance with its license and NRC regulations. In the current action, the NRC determined that the company continued to import watch models that were not authorized under its license, continued to violate NRC reporting requirements, and failed to comply with portions of the Confirmatory Order.
 
CampCo Inc. holds an NRC exempt distribution license and is authorized to distribute several models of watches containing tritium, which are exempt from regulation once they are initially distributed. Retailers and consumers do not need a license to own them; however, the initial distribution must be made under an NRC license to ensure that the devices meet safety requirements.
 
The watches contain a small amount of tritium encapsulated in glass vials. The radioactive material ionizes a luminescent coating on the inside of the glass vial to produce light, so the markers on the watch face and hands can be seen in low light.
 

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