The New York State Public Service Commission—in the face of strong opposition—this week approved a $7.6 billion bail-out of aging nuclear power plants in upstate New York which their owners have said are uneconomic to run without government support. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo—who appoints the members of the PSC—has called for the continued operation of the nuclear plants in order to, he says, save jobs at them. The bail-out would be part of a “Clean Energy Standard” advanced by Cuomo. Under it, 50 percent of electricity used in New York by 2030 would come from “clean and renewable energy sources”with nuclear power considered clean and renewable. “Nuclear energy is neither clean nor renewable,” testified Pauline Salotti, vice chair of the Green Party of Suffolk County, Long Island at a recent hearing on the plan. Read
Seven top Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) experts have taken the brave rare step of publicly filing an independent finding warning that nearly every U.S. atomic reactor has a generic safety flaw that could spark a disaster. The warning mocks the latest industry push to keep America’s remaining 99 nukes from being shut by popular demand, by their essential unprofitability, or, more seriously, by the kind of engineering collapse against which the NRC experts are now warning. As of Jan. 1, the world has more installed wind capacity than nuke. More than $360 billion was invested last year in renewables, dwarfing new reactor investments. A small but well-funded band of reactor proponents has been pushing nukes as a solution to climate change. That idea was buried at recent global climate talks in Paris, where a strong corporate pro-nuke push went nowhere. So some key industry supporters have shifted their efforts to keeping the old reactors open, which is where it gets really dangerous. Each of the 99 remaining U.S. reactors is in its own particular state of advanced decay. All are based on technology dating to the 1950s, and all but one are at least 30 years old. Ohio’s Davis-Besse has a shield wall that is literally crumbling. The operating licenses have expired
Government corruption has become rampant: Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes Nuclear Regulatory Commission workers watch porn instead of cracking down on unsafe conditions at nuclear plants An EPA employee who downloaded 7,000 porn files, then spent 2-6 hours each workday watching porn. He’s been doing it for years … but the EPA never fired him. Another EPA employee harassed 16 women co-workers … and then was promoted to a higher-paying job with more responsibility, where he harassed more women Read
SHUTTING THE PILGRIM NUKE is our primary focus of our roundtable talk with four tremendous activists. Pilgrim’s owner, ENTERGY, has announced it will close the ancient nuke by June 1, 2019. But the reactor is out of compliance on a large number of safety and engineering issues and will put the region at risk if it goes forward.
SHEILA PARKS, Boston-area founder of On Behalf of Planet Earth; ARLENE WILLIAMS of Cape Downwinder; TIM JUDSON of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service and PAUL GUNTER of Beyond Nuclear join us to cover the issue.
Among other concerns are violations of fire safety requirement now nearly a quarter-century out of compliance; spent fuel overflowing the site’s ability to handle it; a dertioriating work force and much more.
The latest shut-down announcement would take the US reactor fleet to 98, the lowest total in many years. But can we survive Pilgrim & its ancient siblings operating even another fuel cycle?
Paul Blanch has had 45 years experience in the nuclear power industry. Earlier he was a nuclear operations engineer and a Navy Submarine Reactor operator. He was been a nuclear engineer and designer for several reactors including the Millstone and Connecticut Yankee plants. In addition he has been employed or hired as a consultant for Maine Yankee, Indian Point via Entergy, the Electric Power Research Institute, Nuclear Entergy Institute and various state agencies. Paul has also been an expert witness on behalf states initiatives to prevent relicensing of aging reactors including Indian Point, Vermont Yankee and Seabrook, and in support of plaintiffs filing suit against energy corporations. Recently , Paul has had a chance to review withheld documents from the National Regulatory Commission through a freedom of information act submission that show the NRC and the owners of Indian Point nuclear reactor – Entergy – are jeopardizing the health and lives of 10s of millions of people throughout the tri-state area by pushing forward with a high pressured natural gas pipeline only 105 feet from the nuclear facility. More information and ways people can act to stop the pipeline can be found on Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion website SAPE2016.org
For the third time in a decade, a major fire/explosion has ripped apart a transformer at the Indian Pointreactor complex. News reports have taken great care to emphasize that the accident happened in the “non nuclear” segment of the plant. Ironically, the disaster spewed more than 15,000 gallons of oil into the Hudson River, infecting it with a toxic sheen that carried downstream for miles. Entergy, the nuke’s owner, denies there were PCBs in this transformer. It also denies numerous studies showing serious radioactive health impacts on people throughout the region. You can choose whether you want to believe the company in either case. But PCBs were definitely spread by the last IP transformer fire. They re-poisoned a precious liquid lifeline where activists have spent decades dealing with PCBs previously dumped in by General Electric, which designed the reactors at Fukushima. Meanwhile, as always, the nuclear industry hit the automatic play button to assure us all that there was “no danger” to the public and “no harmful release” of radiation. But what do we really know about what happened and could have happened this time around? At an integrated system like a reactor complex, are there really any significant components whose impacts are totally removed from the ability to
Yet another EXPLOSION AT INDIAN POINT has threatened the entire New York/New England region with a RADIOACTIVE APOCALYPSE. Another transformer has yet again blown up at Entergy’s rogue reactors on the Hudson River some 40 miles north of Manhattan. More than $8 TRILLION worth of damage could have followed along with more HUMAN DEATH AND INJURY than could ever be calculated. Long-time expert activists SUSAN HITO SHAPIRO, GARY SHAW and JUDY ALLEN give us a Solartopian hour’s worth of absolutely essential information on this catastrophe that nearly happened but still lurks in the balance at these unlicensed, unmanageable and unconscionable atomic reactors that YOU can help shut down RIGHT NOW!!!! Download this episode (right click and
In 1976, Robert Pollard, a rarity among U.S. government nuclear officials—honest and safety-committed—said of the Indian Point nuclear power station that it was “an accident waiting to happen.” Pollard had been project manager at Indian Point for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from which he resigned at that time charging the NRC “suppresses the existence of unresolved safety questions and fails to resolve these problems.” He joined the Union of Concerned Scientists. An explosion and fire at a transformer at Indian Point 3 on Saturday is but one of the many accidents that have occurred at the Indian Point facility through the years—none catastrophic as have been the disasters at the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants. But Indian Point 2 has been in operation for 41 years, although when nuclear power was first advanced in the United States, plants were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. So licenses were limited to 40 years. Indian Point 2 is thus now running without an operating license while the NRC considers an application before it from the plant’s owner, Entergy, to allow it
In what witnesses described as a huge explosion, a transformer at the Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City caught on fire Saturday, billowing smoke and prompting the operator to shut down the impacted unit. Onlookers documented the explosion on Twitter: pic.twitter.com/pABGZZN50F — Gustavus Gricius (@GustavusHimself) May 9, 2015 At a wedding at #monteverde at old stone and just watched an explosion happen at#indianpoint nuclear power plant. Should I be concerned? — chialing sarva (@chialinghsu) May 9, 2015 Large transformer explosion at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Several Westchester County units on scene operating pic.twitter.com/thmY8uNKsv — RocklandFires (@RocklandFires) May 9, 2015 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that, in the aftermath of the blaze, firefighters extinguished the flames with a “special kind of foam.” The governor voiced concern about the environmental implications of this substance and oil leaks from transformer: “There is a lot of foam and a lot of oil and now we are worried about that leaking in to the Hudson River.” Read