Op Eds

From TMI Alert:

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.


Beyond Nuclear Bulletin   October 1, 2009


The "peaceful" atom leading to war with Iran


Background: The discovery of a second uranium enrichment facility in Qum, Iran prompted the government of Saudi Arabia to open its air spacefor potential Israeli air attacks on a growing number of nuclear infrastructure targets in Iran.

Ironically, "atoms for peace" have often led to wars. In 1980, Iran attacked Iraq's partially-built Osirak reactor, but French engineers repaired the light damage quickly. The very next year, Israel bombed Osirak before it could be loaded with fuel. These attacks set the precedent for future conventional military pre-emptive strikes against commercial or research atomic facilities, as a non-proliferation tactic. In 1984, Iraq initiated several years ofattacks against Iran's partially-built Bushehr reactor complex, inflicting severe damage on the facility. The following year, Bennett Ramberg publishedNuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. bombed Iraqi research reactors at Tuwaitha, possibly causing radiological releases. In 2007, Israel bombed an atomic reactor being secretly constructed by North Koreans in Syria. Last year, Ramberg warned about the radiological consequences should the Dimona reactor, at the heart of the Israeli nuclear weapons manufacturing complex, be bombed.


Boston Globe, Letters to the editor


Enormous risk for taxpayers


September 27, 2009

MARVIN FERTEL of the Nuclear Energy Institute is right about one thing: an Environmental Protection Agency analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate bill did indeed state that by placing a cost on carbon, the bill would encourage the construction of some 187 new nuclear reactors in the United States (“Nuclear must be part of energy equation,’’ Op-ed, Sept. 21).

You’d think such a competitive boon would be enough for the nuclear industry. But no, they also want taxpayers - rather than electric utilities - to take the financial risk of building new nuclear reactors. And with recent cost estimates for new reactors ranging from $9 billion (Turkey Point, Florida) to $15 billion (Bell Bend, Pennsylvania), that’s an enormous risk for taxpayers to take.


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.


Beyond Nuclear Bulletin


September 3, 2009


Regulatory decay allows more radioactive leaks from aging nuclear power plants

Background: More radioactive leaks from reactors like Dresden, Oyster Creek, Vermont Yankee and Indian Point are calling attention to a largely ignored Nuclear Regulatory Commission document dating back to 1979 when the agency first asked operators to periodically inspect pipes and tanks to prevent uncontrolled leaks. 


The Nuclear Engineering Institute on the French energy legacy:


"French nuclear policy is neither green nor sustainable. The decision to separate and use plutonium – which French and UK accounts show at zero book value and negative market value – entails a radiological impact equivalent to all other nuclear activities in Europe combined."


To read the full commentary, go to: 




By Kathryn Casa | Vermont Guardian


Posted March 24, 2005


The casks that Vermont Yankee plans to use to store highly radioactive nuclear waste in Vernon are “time bombs” riddled with material, design and welding flaws, according to a former nuclear industry inspector and auditor of the Holtec cask system.



Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear plant engineer dddresses the NRC: 

Mr. Szabo, 

I participated in the NRC meeting on Decommissioning on Thursday morning, August 20, 2009, via teleconference link and have the following broad formal comments that I anticipate the NRC will consider.  Fairewinds Associates, Inc is highly qualified to comment on this matter, as two years ago we developed the first Decommissioning White Paper identifying the likelihood of decommissioning fund shortfalls at Vermont Yankee, which proved to be quite prescient.

As I stated on the teleconference it is my opinion that the NRC continues to ignore three broad issues concerning Decommissioning.  


Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

July 28, 2009

Sign grassroots letter to President Obama opposing William Magwood nomination to NRC


Background: Last week, the New York Times reported that President Obama would soon nominate William Magwood to fill an open seat on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Mr. Magwood served for seven years as head of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy. While there, he was a chief proponent for the expansion of atomic energy, helping lead the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (radioactive waste reprocessing), Nuclear Power 2010 program, and the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative. Also while at DOE, and as recently as this year, Mr. Magwood has expressed supportfor commercial radioactive waste reprocessing, as well as the Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste dumpsite proposal. If nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Magwood would serve a five year term as one of five NRC Commissioners, with the possibility that he serve additional five year terms after that.



Background on Beaver Valley Unit 1 Steel Containment Liner Corrosion

Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear

July 10, 2009


Beaver Valley nuclear power station owned and operated by First Energy Generation Group is a two-unit Westinghouse Pressurized Reactor near McCandless, PA. Beaver Valley is a sub-atmospheric containment design where the pressure inside the containment is 4 psi below the pressure outside containment. There are only seven Westinghouse plants in the United States that rely on this sub-atmospheric design; Beaver Valley 1 & 2, North Anna 1 & 2, Surry 1& 2 and Millstone 3.