ONTPELIER, Vt. - Federal regulators today gave the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant a 20-year license renewal, despite calls for reconsideration following the nuclear disaster in Japan.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Boston Herald.
#334 May 8, 2013
Falling with the "argumentum ad verecundiam" which failed miserably due to the supposed authority (USB) being a bunch of incompetent embezzlers and tax evaders, it's back to the old reliable "argumentum ad passiones".
So, were is the REPLACEMENT reactor Dr. Jaczko was asking for?
A yankee (i.e. Northern cracker) BigOil stooge berating the NRC inspectors? What a disgrace! Ya'll think that NRC employees had nothing to do with US having zero nuclear accidents post- TMI?
#335 May 14, 2013
Study Shows Nuclear Much More Expensive than Natural Gas
May 14, 2013
"An analysis by the Tampa Bay Times seems to demonstrate very clearly what opponents of nuclear power have long asserted – that the supposed low cost of nuclear energy and the billions in savings to customers is a myth that doesn't hold up to inspection. The analysis http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/...
compared the cost of the Levy nuclear plant to a natural gas facility. Even after setting assumptions that were rounded to nuclear's favor at every turn, the paper found that natural gas would be cheaper by billions over the long term.
The analysis broke down the cost of a new plant into construction, operations/maintenance and fuel. While the cost of fuel was cheaper for nuclear, it was not nearly enough to overcome the much higher price of building and maintaining a nuclear facility. In fact, the report indicated that in order to see the savings that the industry is promoting, you would basically have to discount the entire cost of building the plant. In the case of the Levy facility that's just under $25 billion.
The Bradenton Times' John Rehill did a 3-part series examining the many hidden costs of nuclear power back in 2011, showing that the total cost once one considers the massive hidden subsidies, along with the environmental impact of nuclear power made a very poor case for its expansion. The Florida Public Service Commission will soon have the power http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/02/3377460...
to stop utility companies from collecting advanced fees for a nuclear plant. While the PSC has long been seen as a rubber stamp for the industries it supposedly regulates, it seems increasingly clear that such decisions will be harder to defend to citizens."
#336 May 14, 2013
Nuclear Power Plants: Freeloading in Florida
May 14, 2013
Lawmakers have reminded us once again who their masters are when they're in session in Tallahassee — and it's not the people of Florida. No, the Florida Legislature serves big business first, and nothing makes the point stronger than the House and Senate votes in the final week of this year's legislative session on what was touted as a reform of the state's nuclear Cost Recovery Act.
The Recovery Act was created by the Legislature in 2006 to help big power companies, particularly Duke Power (formerly Progress Energy) and Florida Power & Light, pay for the design and construction of costly nuclear power plants. The idea was to allow the companies to expand Florida's power-generating capacity on a pay-as-you-go basis, theoretically saving consumers in the long run.
But the law was and is flawed. It does not require the companies to actually build the plants for which they are collecting fees. Most offensive of all, it does not require the companies to reimburse customers if those plants are never built.
So far, Duke Energy and FP&L have collected some $1.5 billion, with most of Duke's portion presumably going toward the construction of two proposed Levy County nuclear power plants. Yet, increasingly it appears Duke has no immediate plans to move forward with the project. Slowed population growth and falling natural gas prices have made the urgency for more nuclear power wane.
The law that did pass May 2 requires the Florida Public Service Commission to give annual approval of companies' nuclear power plans and the accompanying Recovery Act fee. But history has shown the PSC has a very low bar for power companies to win its approval for anything they want. The last time the PSC dared say no to the power companies by rejecting rate hike requests, the Legislature conducted a purge of the commission.
Supporters of the "reform" measure that passed argue that it will save consumers money long term by adjusting the power companies' financing rate, yet it does not require those power companies to even specify on monthly bills how much they are taking for nuclear cost recovery. In other words, Florida power consumers have to pay the fee, but those who are profiting from it don't have to tell them how much.
"This bill does nothing, nothing to help the ratepayers back home, even though we were promised a bill to help ratepayers," said Rep. Mike Fasano, a vocal opponent of the NCR fee. "What it does is protect the utility companies of this state."
Yes, and it reminds us that those who presumably represent us in Tallahassee are quick to bow to their corporate masters, despite clear evidence the constituents back home are being fleeced by those corporations."
#337 May 14, 2013
Yes, let us deliver ourselves bound to the mercy of Big Oil.
They'll charge us a "fair" price...
#338 May 16, 2013
Ohio nuclear plant stumped by radioactive goldfish in lemonade pitcher with reactor water
By David Edwards May 15, 2013
"Security investigators at a nuclear power plant in Ohio say that they have not made much progress in determining who left radioactive goldfish in an underground steam tunnel.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced earlier this month http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/o... that it had launched an investigation after workers found two goldfish swimming in a lemonade pitcher filled with reactor water at the Perry nuclear power plant operated by FirstEnergy Corp.
The steam tunnel was monitored by video cameras, but investigators this week admitted that yellow protective radiological suits and including hoods made identifying suspects difficult.
“While we continue to look at the video for evidence, identifying folks in the video has been challenging,” Perry spokesperson Jennifer Young explained on Tuesday.
The NRC has been monitoring the plant closely since 2011 when four workers were exposed to radiation.
“Last year, Perry got into trouble with the NRC about weaknesses preventing unauthorized access to the plant,” David Lochbaum of the watchdog group Union of Concerned Scientists told The Plain Dealer. http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2... “Goldfish are not authorized to be inside the tunnel, yet they were there. And Perry cannot determine how they got there or who put them there. What if it hadn’t have been goldfish but a bomb?”
“What might be an amusing account of misplaced goldfish today could become tomorrow’s nightmare story if someone with an axe to grind, another Timothy McVeigh type, places a bomb instead of two goldfish in Perry.”"
Watch this video from WEWS, broadcast May 2, 2013.
#339 May 16, 2013
William Ostendorff, NRC Commissioner, Invested In Honeywell During Plant Lockout
By Ryan Grim 05/14/2013
"Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner William Ostendorff has invested in Honeywell International Inc., an NRC licensee, since as early as 2009, according to financial disclosure records reviewed by The Huffington Post. Honeywell operates a controversial uranium conversion facility in Illinois and has come before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission several times for a variety of issues at the site since Ostendorff became a commissioner.
A lockout of the union workforce at Honeywell in 2010 and 2011 raised safety concerns that the agency investigated. And Honeywell battled the commission over a critical regulatory exemption it sought, a fight that finally went against the company in January 2013. Honeywell has also held regular discussions with the NRC regarding an upgrade to its emergency preparedness in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.
Ostendorff personally visited the Illinois plant, known as the Honeywell Metropolis Works Uranium Conversion Facility, on Oct. 5, 2012, according to an NRC document. Later that month, on Oct. 16, the NRC issued a "confirmatory order" listing upgrades that needed to be made for earthquake and other natural disaster preparedness before the plant could re-open, at the same time praising Honeywell for its cooperation. "Due, in part, to Honeywell’s cooperation and stated commitment to protect workers and public safety, the NRC decided to issue a Confirmatory Order in lieu of a Notice of Violation and consideration of civil penalties," read the NRC's public statement http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections... at the time.
The NRC's commissioners are chosen by the president, but are typically selected in a bipartisan pair. Ostendorff was the GOP choice, picked in 2009. A former captain in the Navy, Ostendorff also worked in the Bush administration as a top official in the National Nuclear Security Administration, and was previously a GOP staffer on the House Armed Services Committee from 2003 to 2007.
His term officially began in April 2010, and he was confirmed to a second term in 2011, which runs until 2016. In 2009, he signed his personal financial disclosure form in November and listed his ownership of Honeywell International, putting it at a range of $1,000 to $15,000. In March and April 2011, two forms, the most recent available, list his Honeywell investment increasing in value to a range of $15,000 to $50,000.
Ostendorff, like all senior officials at the NRC, promised not to participate in decisions that could have "a direct and predictable effect on my financial interests," according to a letter he sent to the agency's ethics office when he was tapped for the post in 2009.
In a statement to the Huffington Post Monday, an Ostendorff spokesperson noted that top NRC officials are not specifically barred from owning shares of Honeywell. "The stock was sold last summer before the Commission considered an adjudicatory matter last fall involving the Honeywell operation that holds an NRC license. Commissioner Ostendorff followed applicable NRC requirements," the statement added.
When notified of Ostendorff's investment, Stephen Lech, president of the United Steelworkers Local 7-669, which represents workers at Honeywell's plant in Illinois, responded: "I'm speechless."
"Even if he did sell his stock before the decision to approve the current seismic work, his investment in the company prior to that is inappropriate," Lech added later. "He was on the commission prior to and during our lockout in 2010 and 2011 when we were pleading with the agency to prevent the company from operating our facility with unsafe and untrained scab labor."...
#340 May 16, 2013
..."During that same period, the scabs in [the] plant had a release of deadly hydrofluoric acid and the NRC took no enforcement action, instead referring the incident to OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration]."
A reader tipped off HuffPost to the existence of Ostendorff's Honeywell investment in response to a request for NRC staffers to share stories about the ongoing internal turmoil that led former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko to resign.(Send additional tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In August 2012, HuffPost reported that Ostendorff was under investigation for attempting to thwart a probe into safety concerns at the Palisades Power Plant on Lake Michigan, a location represented by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Last Monday, news broke that the plant was leaking "slightly" radioactive water.
The NRC updated its list of restricted securities in a December memo sent to The Huffington Post by an NRC official. But the memo also adds that even if a stock were not on the list, it could still present a conflict. "There is no prohibition against owning security interests in entities not on this list. However, employees are required to disqualify themselves from participation in any NRC particular matter involving parties affecting the financial interest of any entity not on this list if they, their spouse, or minor children, collectively hold securities worth more than $15,000 in that entity," the memo reads.
Honeywell does not appear on the December 2012 list of restricted securities, but the memo does bar commissioners from investing in "[e]ntities licensed or regulated by the Commission to mill, convert, enrich, fabricate, store, or dispose of source, byproduct or special nuclear material," which Honeywell does. The company's sheer size may have kept the firm off the list, since its nuclear operations make up only a small part of its overall business.
While Honeywell has had a host of issues before the NRC, few have come up for a vote, which meant that Ostendorff wasn't legally required to divest until fall of 2012. But current and former NRC officials say that rules focusing exclusively on cases that require a formal vote do not address how NRC policy is set, and understate the role commissioners can play in influencing issues that don't come up for a formal vote.
The NRC has some of the strictest restrictions on investment for its senior leaders, because its decisions don't just have a tangential relationship to companies' bottom lines, but can make or break a quarter, or a year. Honeywell's stock tanked in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis, but it has been rising steadily since.
"It's unfortunate that anyone in such a powerful position within the NRC would even own stock in a company that they have regulatory authority over," Lech said. "
#341 May 20, 2013
Dear ole' Arrianna H
Always looking out for Hre Majesty's Royal Shell Oil and British Petroleum.
We can only wish Americans would be as patriotic as veuve Huffington!
#342 May 23, 2013
So far against "nukular" have spoken British Oill stooges a la veuve Huffington (her patriotic dedication to mother country is admirable in abstract, but unfortunately from the UsofA POV treasonous), and the likes of USB a major embezzler, and tax evader.
Meanwhile, the long overdue replacement reactors are caught in NRC's red tape, and the man who tried to solve the impasse was backstabbed by treasonous bureaucrats.
#344 Aug 28, 2013
Entergy has squeezed every last atom of profit from this leaking, radioactive monster and will sure as strontium 90 skip town at the first opportunity.
Now all we have to do is dump a billion and a half taxpayer dollars into cleaning up this gigantic contaminated mess and guard the extremely dangerous highly radioactive waste for the next 100,000 years.
Lets all just hope that the cesium 137, cobalt 60, strontium 90, tritium etc. found in the soil OUTSIDE the plant isn't much more extensive than this lying company has led us to believe.
I think we all expect to see more tests come back positive for fission products though once this greedy, reckless illiable corporation makes off with it's profits.
Not exactly "too cheap to meter"...
Nuclear power is the modern worlds most reckless, largest, farthest-reaching, most expensive mistake ever.
The people who run these plants are criminals destroying our land and waterways for generations to make a quick profit at the taxpayers expense.
I don't feel the least bit sorry for anyone who knowingly sacrificed the public good to line their wallets.
Good riddance to Vermont Yankee, Entergy and all of those employees who knowingly took money to keep their mouth shut, you know who you are.
I hope you never live down the shame of profiting off of scr3wing the public for generations.
#345 Aug 29, 2013
Never seen so happy for the destruction of a 35,000 US$ an hour moneymaker. I guess vermonters will make up the shortage with increased chocolate and teddybear production ...
The hobgoblin is dead! I wonder where will the envirofascist petrojihad strike next?
Envirofascis activity on this very forum suggests Indian Point. We'll see.
#346 Aug 29, 2013
Although now Lake Champlain Chocolate will cost even MORE than their already inflated prices on account of energy costs.
Good luck, luddites, you will need it!
#347 Oct 7, 2013
Storage questioned at Vt. Yankee, other plants
AP / October 6, 2013
"MONTPELIER, Vt.(AP)— The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is being asked to restrict storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste in spent fuel pools like the one at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
The commission heard recently from two authors of a 2003 report saying densely packed fuel pools create a heightened danger of fire and a catastrophic release of radioactivity. They urged fuel older than five years be stored in dry concrete casks.
A third author of the report was Allison Macfarlane, then a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now chairwoman of the NRC.
A Vermont Yankee spokesman says about 85 percent of the waste in the plant’s spent fuel is more than 5 years old.
The Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group, says it believes the risks are small.
© Copyright 2013 Globe Newspaper Company."
#348 Oct 8, 2013
The hilarity of yankee-cracker anti-nukular agitation continues. Oh, well.
Someone gotta defend British Oil and Anglo Shell Oil's interests. If not their cracker subjects in the colonies, who?
#349 Mar 11, 2014
Study: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age
By Candice Bernd, Tuesday, 11 March 2014
"A study released this week shows that public health in the communities surrounding California's Diablo Canyon power plant in San Luis Obispo County declined dramatically after the plant was built. The findings also document the presence of Strontium-90 in baby teeth.
Is the baby tooth under your child's pillow radioactive? It could be if you live relatively close to a nuclear power plant that has been operating normally and in accordance with federal regulations, according to a new study.
The study, http://worldbusiness.org/wp-content/uploads/2... released last week by the Santa Barbara-based think tank World Business Academy for its Safe Energy Project, found that public health indicators such as infant mortality rates and cancer incidence in surrounding areas rose dramatically after Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon power plant began operations in 1984 and 1985.
"This should be a concern for any nuclear reactor and its health risks, whether it's been operating for a day or 30 or 40 years because these reactors create over 100 cancer-causing chemicals; much of it is stored as waste at the plant, but a portion of it is released into the environment and gets into human bodies through the food chain," said Joseph Mangano, who authored the study. He is the executive director of the nonprofit Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP).
The findings also document the presence of the radioactive isotope Strontium-90 in baby teeth, showing that the Strontium-90 levels in 50 baby teeth collected mostly from San Luis Obispo County, but also from Santa Barbara County, which is downwind from the Diablo Canyon plant, was 30.8 percent higher than the levels found in the 88 baby teeth from the rest of the state.
The isotope displays some biological similarity to the way calcium behaves in the body because of the way it becomes absorbed and deposited in bones and bone marrow. The effects of Strontium-90 on the human body are not completely understood, according to medical professionals, but it has been linked to bone cancer and leukemia.
The Academy study cites previous research conducted from 1996 to 2006 by RPHP, which remains the only analysis of radioactivity levels within the bodies of Americans who live close to nuclear reactors. RPHP tested about 5,000 baby teeth and found consistent elevation levels of Strontium-90 in the teeth of children born in counties closest to nuclear reactors and a consistent rise in these levels over time."...
read the rest:
#350 Mar 18, 2014
"Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas" story lacks the "toxic" component.
Now, "hydrocarbon/oil/gas & Coal soot still the most potent carcinogen known to mankind" applies to all of mankind, daily. But what do sheeple know?
Hence propagandizers have a very easy job, and whoever has the bigger budget, wins. Unfortunately, that winner is oil - and at a very high price for our and our children's future.
#351 Mar 24, 2014
Radiation Leak at New Mexico Nuclear Waste Storage Site Highlights Problems
Dahr Jamail, 24 March 2014
"A recent fire and radiation release http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/us-... at New Mexico's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) uranium repository has brought renewed focus on the problem of what to do with a growing stockpile of radioactive waste and spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors.
The radiation release February 14, 2014, exposed at least 13 workers, after an alarm sounded and high levels of radiation were released from the underground repository in southeastern New Mexico, where nuclear waste from federal nuclear labs and weapons sites, along with discarded machinery, clothing and other radioactive waste is stored.
A second alarm sounded shortly after the first, indicating radiation at even higher levels.
Less than two weeks earlier, on February 5, a truck delivering radioactive waste had caught fire inside the facility, although operators of the facility claim the two incidents were not related.
Experts have told Truthout that radiation leaks from the facility are "a troubling sign" and expressed concern about the future of storing radioactive material at the site, which is near Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP receives 17 to 19 shipments every week from sites around the country, including Los Alamos, New Mexico, and installations in Idaho, Illinois and South Carolina.
Numerous operational gas and oil wells within one mile of the site, in addition to the fact that fracking is now ongoing nearby, have other experts like Don Hancock, the director of the Nuclear Waste Safety Program at Southwest Research and Information Center, alarmed.
"The 16-square-mile WIPP site is surrounded by more than 100 operating oil and natural gas wells within a mile of the boundary," Hancock told Truthout.
"Fracking also is being done around the site, so there is some likelihood of fracking fluids penetrating areas at or near waste emplacement," he added.
Hydrofracturing, or "fracking," is a technique used in obtaining gas and petroleum in which water is mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, and the mixture is injected at extremely high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures, along which gas and petroleum migrate to the well.
Fracking also causes earthquakes, hence the concern of using the technique where tons of radioactive material are being stored, along with the fact that fracking could damage the container around the waste.
"Given that some of the wastes at WIPP are dangerous for thousands of generations, it is not an ideal place for storing wastes, Hancock added.
Fracking, Fires and Other Problems
Hancock, who has been monitoring WIPP since 1975 and is familiar with the technical, policy, regulatory and legal issues related to the site, believes that pressure to expand WIPP could have led to the recent fire at the site.
"In recent years, WIPP officials have put time, effort and money into proposals and actions to expand WIPP to additional, more radioactive wastes, rather than maintaining a strong safety culture," Hancock said. "In my view, those actions contributed to the underground fire on February 5 and the radiation leaks."
Steve Frishman, a geologist who has served as a technical and policy consultant to the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the attorneys representing the state in the Yucca Mountain licensing proceeding since 1987, expressed a similar opinion."...
read the rest:
#352 Mar 25, 2014
"a truck delivering radioactive waste had caught fire"
A oil-powered truck, I presume? But again, the dangers of hydrocarbons are overlooked so sheeple can once again be scared with horror stories about the eveel raydee-ayshun!
#353 Mar 31, 2014
Chelyabinsk: The Most Contaminated Spot on the Planet (1996)
#354 Mar 31, 2014
In Soviet Russia, Lake Contaminates You
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