Updates and stories we're following....
DOE reveals plutonium shipment from SRS to Nevada, Jan. 30 - SRS Watch
Columbia, South Carolina - The U.S. Department of Energy has secretly shipped a large amount of weapon-grade plutonium from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to Nevada. New release here - Jan. 30:
NV Governor and AG speak against DOE plutonium shipment
NRC Commissioners in partisan vote slash Fukushima upgrades for US reactors
On January 24, 2019, a majority of the five voting members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rolled back more than seven years of the agency's technical study on the hazards and lessons learned for US reactors from Japan's Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.
In a vote along party lines, the three appointed Republican Commissioners voted against incorporating years of new science and management strategies to safely contain a severe nuclear accident following extreme earthquakes and flooding. The Commission vote drastically undercut the requirement for safety upgrades at U.S. nuclear power stations that were built decades ago. Nuclear power stations will now only pay but a small fraction of the cost for implementing Fukushima upgrades originally determined as necessary by agency staff and independent nuclear safety experts. www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2019/1/29/nrc-commissioners-in-partisan-vote-slash-agency-rulemaking-o.html
From the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility
On Dec 13th PG&E filed to enhance its decommissioning fund to $4.8 billion (the most expensive decommissioning in the country.) By the time they finish decommissioning will cost more than the original construction. Even worse, PG&E is now planning on leaving all radioactive fuel rods in the pools at Diablo until closure - thwarting the direction of the CPUC, Energy Commission and state legislation. -- PG&E has filed this wish list while in threat of bankruptcy and likely bailouts. A4NR's press release. http://www.a4nr.org
Expanded plutonium pit production at LANL, SRS & LTEs at SRS in MOX plant
From SRS Watch
Obstacles and Concerns Related to "Repurposing" of the Abandoned Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS) to Production of Plutonium Pits for Nuclear Weapons," by Savannah River Site Watch
Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
- Plutonium Pit Production NEPA Talking Points underscores the legal requirement for preparation of a Programmatic EIS (PEIS) by NNSA on expanded pit production at Los Alamos and Savannah River Site: The conclusion is that DOE's semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is legally required to prepare a supplemental programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on its current plan to expand plutonium pit production. www.nukewatch.org/2019/01/28/plutonium-pit-production-nepa-talking-points/
Discrimination under the radioactive plume
Nuclear Dump Threatens NM & transport through 40+ States
In the wake of the still ongoing March 2011 Fukushima disaster, governments in Europe and Canada began implementing more pro-active radiological disaster plans - including pre-distribution of potassium iodide (KI) in reactor emergency planning zones (EPZs). Potassium iodide is now directly delivered in advance to populations around nuclear plants throughout Europe, including Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. However, no such program exists in the United States.
Representatives and attorneys from local, regional, and national groups, spanning public interest, environment, and environmental justice, spoke on objections to the proposal by Holtec International and New Mexico-based Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance for a "Consolidated Interim Storage Facility" between Carlsbad and Hobbs. Overview of Environmental Coalition Objections to Holtec/ELEA's CISF and NRC ASLB Proceeding. www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/2018/9/17/environmental-legal-interventions-opposing-holtecelea-cisf.html
Former top regulator now says nuclear power 'hazardous'
The former top regulator of nuclear power in America, who in the midst of an international crisis promoted U.S. nuclear power plants as operating "safely and securely," now says in an explosive new book that the United States should abandon the "failed technology" altogether.
Confessions of a Nuclear Regulator
Deference to industry trumps nuclear safety in the U.S., warns a controversial former regulator -- blogs.sciencemag.org/books/2019/01/15/confessions-of-a-rogue-nuclear-regulator/
Republicans at U.S. nuclear regulator pass stripped down safety rule
Aging H-Canyon Reprocessing Plant at SRS Suffers Rainwater Leaks, Radiation
SRS Watch news - Columbia, SC - The U.S. Department of Energy has revealed that a nuclear contamination incident at the nation's only operating spent fuel reprocessing plant was caused by chronic leaking of rainwater into the aging facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/srs_watch_news_h-canyon_leak_contamination_jan_17_2019.pdf
Keep The Klamath River Salmon Running
For countless generations of Klamath Basin tribes, spring Chinook were a staple. But today, Karuk ceremonial leaders struggle to harvest a single fish necessary to host their annual first salmon ceremony. The Karuk tribe has petitioned wildlife officials to protect the fish under California's Endangered Species Act. -- Add your voice to theirs: Tell the California Fish and Game Commission to protect Klamath-Trinity spring-run Chinook. www.act.biologicaldiversity.org/onlineactions/K8tjY_pookWRfntdqktpsg2
Trump's new tar sands pipeline
Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota would be larger than Keystone XL
Enbridge, which is proposing to expand its Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota, has a long track record of pipeline spills, both chronic small spills and large catastrophes. -
Read report: www.greenpeace.org/usa/reports/dangerous-pipelines/
- From 2002 to present, Enbridge and its joint ventures and subsidiaries reported 307 hazardous liquids incidents to federal regulators - one incident every 20 days on average. These spills released a total of 66,059 barrels (2.8 million gallons, or more than four Olympic-sized swimming pools) of hazardous liquids.
- Thirty Enbridge incidents were reported to contaminate water resources, including 17 which contaminated groundwater.
Stopping Bear Baiting in Idaho and Wyoming
Unlike Montana, the states of Idaho and Wyoming allow black bear baiting on national forest lands even in places where grizzly bears live. People seeking to kill black bears may dump hundreds of pounds of doughnuts or other food on public lands to attract and kill bears. Baiting bears for "hunting" not only increases human/bear conflicts and violates fair-chase ethical hunting principles, it also irreversibly habituates bears to relying on human sources of food. Importantly, baiting black bears harms iconic and protected grizzly bears. We plan to challenge the federal government's authorization of bear baiting on public lands.
Defeating "Double Drilling" in New Mexico
Texas-based Hilcorp Energy, which already operates over 5,000 oil and gas wells in New Mexico, convinced an outgoing oil-friendly state administration to double the oil and gas drilling density allowed on 1.3 million acres in northwest New Mexico. Our efforts, representing our partners at San Juan Citizens Alliance, caused the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission to hit the brakes, suspending the rule and committing to rehear the issue in full. On our request, Hilcorp will be required to provide better public notice this time around, including to the Navajo Nation and the Tribal Chapters in the area. Doubling drilling density across a 1.3 million-acre region risks public health, New Mexico's treasured lands, and will certainly increase methane waste. It's our job to protect the public interest and ensure decisions are transparent and inclusive. The rehearing will take place in May and we'll be ready.
They refused to sell out to nuclear....and saved their farm
The Jones family refused to sell their 300-year old family farm to Hitachi's Horizon for a proposed new nuclear plant in North Wales. Now Hitachi has put the two-reactor project on hold, vindicating the farmers and reprieving an area of natural beauty and rare wildlife. But a planned 6-reactor site in India is being given a fast-track green light by the French and Indian governments, with too many financial and safety questions still unanswered, write Suvrat Raju and M.V. Ramana. - www.beyondnuclearinternational.org/2019/01/20/the-farming-family