Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
(Berwick, Pa) - Three Mile Island Alert, Inc. (TMIA) will testify this evening in opposition to PPL’s premature request to relicense the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station (SSES) to operate for 20 more years. PPL has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for permission to run the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station until 2043 [Unit-1] and 2045 [Unit-2]. Eric Epstein, the group’s chairman stated, "TMI-Alert will vigorously oppose relicensing until PPL pays its back taxes, secures radioactive waste, and proves it has the financial resources to decommission the plant.” Mr. Epstein has sued the NRC, FEMA and the Department of Justice, “to compel PPL to provide radiological emergency plans that include nursery schools, day care facilities, and senior citizen residences." TMI-Alert believes PPL’s application is premature. “It would be irresponsible for federal regulators to begin a relicensing process 17 years before the original license expires. PPL wants to secure an extension to preempt public challenges over additional safety problems, which tend to increase as nuclear reactors’ age.” * TMI-Alert is a safe-energy organization based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and founded in 1977. TMIA monitors Peach Bottom, Susquehanna, and Three Mile Island nuclear generating stations. tmia.comTMIA Fact Sheet (pdf) TMIA Testimony (pdf)
Friday, January 9, 2009
Nuclear power is on the verge of a remarkable comeback. It's been three decades since an American utility ordered a nuclear plant, but 35 new reactors are now in the planning stage. The byzantine regulatory process that helped paralyze the industry for a generation has been streamlined. There hasn't been a serious nuclear accident in the U.S. since the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979. And no-nukes politics has become a distant memory. It was a sign of the times when John McCain ridiculed Barack Obama for opposing nuclear energy--and the allegation wasn't even true. "There's only a very small minority in Congress that still opposes nuclear power," says Alex Flint, the top lobbyist at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). "That's quite a change." ...Time
But some little-noticed rain has fallen on the nuclear parade. It turns out that new plants would be not just extremely expensive but spectacularly expensive. The first detailed cost estimate, filed by Florida Power & Light (FPL) for a large plant off the Keys, came in at a shocking $12 billion to $18 billion. Progress Energy announced a $17 billion plan for a similar Florida plant, tripling its estimate in just a year. "Completely mind-boggling," says Charlie Beck, who represents ratepayers for Florida's Office of Public Counsel. "A real wake-up call," says Dale Klein, President Bush's chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). "I'll admit, the costs are daunting," says Richard Myers, NEI's vice president for policy development.
During an accident at Three Mile Island, the main source of information would be 55 miles away in Coatesville.
Since the aftermath of the TMI nuclear power plant accident in 1979, its information center had been in Susquehanna Twp., about 11 miles from the Londonderry Twp. plant.
TMI owner AmerGen Nuclear recently moved it to Coatesville, where a similar center served AmerGen's Peach Bottom and Limerick nuclear power plants.
Without any advance notice, the Corzine administration last week pulled the National Guard and State Police details that had been stationed at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey and the state's three other nuclear reactors since soon after the 9/11 attacks.
"We have evaluated how to more effectively deploy our resources and utilize state-of-the-art technology to enhance security arrangements at the nuclear reactors," state Attorney General Anne Milgram said. It would have been a nice gesture if Milgram or state Homeland Security Director Richard Canas had reviewed the new arrangements with state and local lawmakers first. Ocean County officials must insist they do so now.
Milgram says the National Guard and State Police are no longer needed because of the millions of dollars in security upgrades at the plant, a new video surveillance system tied to the State Police headquarters in Ewing and in-house security, which has replaced private security guards.