Nuclear waste: stop making it Since September 28th, Indian Point Unit 2, just north of NYC, has been operating without an operating license. This is more clear evidence that the NRC has been asleep since before the government shutdown, but it has now indefinitely postponed it’s ‘Waste CONfidence’ meetings. The industry watchdog puppydog maintains that it can guarantee isolation of nukewaste from the environment for a quarter-million years, yet it now lacks funds to allow citizen input on the issue. No problem, after all, the puppy, devoted only to it’s master, thinks radioactive forks are a good idea.

Lack of Security at Pilgrim – On June 27, 2013, a young couple was arrested for trespass after they “walked through the main gates of Pilgrim Station Saturday and made their way to the waterfront”. Early last June, another couple were arrested after walking through the gate and into a building looking for a tour. Early in May, 2012, four Cape Downwinders drove through the main gate, waited several minutes at a guardhouse, drove to another guardhouse-looking building and waited again. With still no response, they drove through the parking lot, near the reactor building, and out again without raising an eyebrow. In January, 2012, duck hunters fired shots on the property before being noticed, and twice in 2011 boaters entered the ‘secure zone’ before being challenged. In none of the above cases was anyone challenged prior to entering the property. Fortunately, in all of these cases the ‘trespassers’ meant no harm.

Pilgrim is among 12 reactors “that face particularly intense challenges” according to a new economic study of the U.S. nuclear industry. Titled “RENAISSANCE IN REVERSE: Competition Pushes Aging U.S. Nuclear Reactors to the Brink of Economic Abandonment”, the study examines the shock waves within the U.S. nuclear industry as concerns mount over the viability aging U.S. reactors. Read more.
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On July 10th, the Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals ruled against 16 Plymouth residents who appealed a prior decision to allow Entergy to begin an Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installation without a special permit. Building a garage on your property requires a special permit, but building a facility to store nuclear waste for about 300 years evidently does not.

The board found that a special permit was not needed because storing fuel outside of the reactor in dry casks was a conforming  or accessory use to the 1967 special permit which allowed construction of the reactor. Just 2 members of the 5-member board voted in favor of the appellants – 4 votes were needed. The ZBA decision will probably be appealed to a state court.

However, in 1967 dry cask storage hadn’t been invented, and there was no perceived need to storage beyond the fuel pool since the plan was to ship all the high-level waste to a permanent repository (which never materialized).

Three-minute clip of Frank Mand of the Old Colony Memorial describing this story.
Patriot Ledger story.

Previous article What to ask about casks by Frank Mand explains citizens’ concerns about Entergy’s construction of a nuclear waste dump in Plymouth with no input by citizens or oversight by the town.

Can’t-Make-This-Up department: President Obama has approved “a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace” – a proposed new EPA rule for “cleanup” standards after a meltdown, dirty bomb, whatever. The proposed rule was posted on the EPA website on April 5th, already labeled for “interim use.” The EPA rule would increase the allowable limit for radioactive iodine to 27,000 times the present standard.

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Newly found court documents from long ago are raising fresh questions about the safety of nuclear reactors made by General Electric. After it introduced its first reactor in 1958, GE engineers soon figured out that the company’s reactors had a number of defects, but it would be many years before GE let the public in on the secret.

April 2, 2013, NRC visited Plymouth to share their glowing report on Pilgrim: Plymouth selectman asks NRC to organize meeting of 104 nuke towns (Old Colony Memorial story); NRC meeting melts down (Cape Cod Times)

The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, a symposium presented by the Helen Caldicott Foundation in New York City on March 12-13, 2013.

May 20, 2012: residents engage in Civil Resistance against Pilgrim
May 20, 2012: residents engage in Civil Resistance against Pilgrim.

Pilgrim Nuclear – a Maggie Jones’ Salty Shorts – Pilgrim Nuclear animation.

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