Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Op-ed: Three Mile Island By the Numbers, What Exelon Won’t Tell You

Dear Editor:

Exelon has been targeting the media, elected officials, 
and the public with doomsday predictions regarding the 
closure of Three Mile Island Unit-1. Their numbers are 
misleading, don’t add up, and fail to account for the 
$1.1 billion rate payers were charged to build Three Mile
Island, the $987 million rate payers and taxpayers were
billed to defuel TMI-2, and the $5.26 billion in stranded
costs Exelon collected from rate payers to bailout their 
nuclear fleet as a result of deregulation.

When considering more bail out money for Three Mile 
Island, please remember the following numbers:

History of Three Mile Island Unit-1, (1966-2016)

History of Three Mile Island Unit-1: PDF

Wolf Administration To Distribute Free Potassium Iodide August 24 for Pennsylvanians Near the State’s Five Nuclear Power Plants


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2017

Wolf Administration To Distribute Free Potassium Iodide August 24 for Pennsylvanians Near the State’s Five Nuclear Power Plants

Harrisburg, PA – As part of its annual distribution to replace expired potassium iodide, or KI tablets, the Department of Health will offer free tablets on Thursday, August 24, to Pennsylvanians who live or work within 10 miles of the state’s five nuclear power plants. Those picking up tablets will receive specific instructions on site from community health nurses on how many pills they should receive.
“Potassium iodide is an important part of emergency preparedness for residents who live or work within 10 miles of a nuclear facility in the case of an radiological emergency,” Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine and is safe for pregnant women, children and infants. It’s important to remember potassium iodide should only be taken when told to do so by state health officials or the governor, and is not a substitute for evacuation in the case of an emergency at our nuclear facilities.”
KI can be taken by anyone, as long as they are not allergic to it. It is safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medication, children and infants. Individuals who are unsure if they should take potassium iodide should ask a health care provider.
Individuals can get KI tablets for other family members or those who are unable to get it on their own. Directions detailing when to take the tablets and how to store it are provided with the KI, and Department of Health staff will be available to assist those with questions.
School districts and employers within the 10-mile radius can make arrangements with the Department of Health to obtain their supply of tablets.
The Department of Health also has KI tablets available year-round at county and municipal health departments or state health centers for individuals who live or work near a power plant.
The state’s five nuclear facilities are closely regulated, secure and well-maintained. The facilities are: Beaver Valley Power Station; Limerick Generating Station; Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station; and Three Mile Island Generating Station.
Additional information on KI tablets and nuclear power plant safety can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT:  April Hutcheson, 717-783-1787 or RA-DHPressOffice@pa.gov
#  #  #

EDITOR’S NOTE:
KI tablets will be distributed between 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted on August 24 at the locations below. No appointments are necessary.
Beaver Valley Power Station
  • Beaver Valley Mall – Center at the Mall, 570 Beaver Valley Mall Blvd., Monaca
Limerick Generating Station
  • Kimberton Fire Hall, 2276 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville
  • Keystone Steam Fire Company, 240 North Walnut St., Boyertown
  • Montgomery County Health Department - 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Pottstown Health Center, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, 364 King St., Pottstown
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station
  • East Drumore Township Municipal Building, 925 Robert Fulton Highway., Quarryville
  • Peach Bottom Community Center, 5 Pendyrus St. Delta, PA 17314
Susquehanna Steam Electric Station
  • Butler Township Community Center, 411 West Butler Drive, Drums
  • Luzerne County Community College – Educational Conference Center, 1333 South Prospect St., Nanticoke
  • Salvation Army Community Corps Building, 320 W 2nd St., Berwick
Three Mile Island Generating Station
  • Fairview Township Fire Department, 340 Lewisberry Road, New Cumberland
  • Hummelstown Fire Hall, 249 E. Main St., Hummelstown
  • Manchester Township Municipal Building, 3200 Farmtrail Road, York
  • Masonic Villages – Salon 2, Freemasons Cultural Center, One Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown
  • Middletown Borough Building, 60 W. Emaus St., Middletown

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Westinghouse Columbia Fuel Facility

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: II-17-040 August 11, 2017
Contact: Roger Hannah, 404-997-4417
Joey Ledford, 404-997-4416

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Westinghouse Columbia Fuel Facility
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a confirmatory order to Westinghouse Electric Company that addresses issues stemming from a 2016 event at the company’s Columbia, S.C., fuel fabrication facility.

In May 2016, plant employees discovered an accumulation of uranium-bearing material in a scrubber system, which is designed to remove unwanted material from a number of plant processes. After an analysis showed the amount of uranium exceeded safety limits, the NRC launched an inspection and later issued a confirmatory action letter, or CAL, which outlined a series of corrective actions. Some of those actions have been completed and others have been incorporated into the new confirmatory order.

The NRC conducted additional inspections last fall and identified several violations of NRC requirements. Westinghouse officials chose to participate in the NRC Alternative Dispute Resolution process, and the order is the result of a settlement under that process. The NRC ADR process is facilitated by a neutral third party with no decision-making authority who assists the NRC and the licensee in reaching an agreement when there are differences regarding an enforcement action. A mediation session between the NRC staff and Westinghouse was held May 19 and discussions between the two parties continued until early August. The order captures the details of the settlement reached during those discussions.

Under the order, Westinghouse has taken and agreed to take a number of corrective actions, including a survey of the safety culture among employees at the site, improvements and modifications to scrubbers and other systems to minimize the likelihood of a similar accumulation, and development of additional methods to provide early indications of abnormal accumulations.


In consideration of the commitments contained in the order, the NRC will not issue a civil penalty or cite the company for the violations, although Westinghouse officials acknowledged that the violations occurred. The company has also agreed to provide the NRC with a notification letter once it has completed the terms of the order and the basis for concluding that the order has been satisfied.

TMI: INTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT


THREE MILE ISLAND STATION, UNIT 1 – INTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT 05000289/2017002

DEP Chronicles Story of Susquehanna River Stresses and Cites Successes on New Interactive Multimedia Website

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA 
Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau 
Room 308, Main Capitol Building 
Harrisburg PA., 17120 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08/8/2017
CONTACT: 
Deborah Klenotic, DEP
717-783-9954

 
DEP Chronicles Story of Susquehanna River Stresses and Cites Successes on New Interactive Multimedia Website 


Harrisburg, PA – Fans of the Susquehanna River can learn about adverse human impacts on the East Coast’s longest river and its tributaries and follow the progress of the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) efforts to tackle them on a new interactive, multimedia website called the Susquehanna River Story.

“Working with many partners, we’re developing and implementing programs that are paying off in addressing the wide range of challenges the Susquehanna faces,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “These are informed by innovative pollution assessment methods and stores of data we’ve developed that have made us a national leader in large-river monitoring.”

DEP has played an instrumental role in improving the health of the Susquehanna River Basin. For example, as a direct result of DEP acid mine drainage cleanup projects, the West Branch Susquehanna River—which was biologically dead about 15 years ago—now has aquatic life from near Clearfield to Lock Haven, including the return of healthy populations of native mussels from Sunbury to Williamsport.

The Susquehanna River Story website uses GIS maps, videos, charts, and photos to show where mining, agriculture, stormwater, and dams have impaired macroinvertebrate, fish, and plant life, as well as DEP’s progress in addressing these impairments. DEP research on smallmouth bass is also shared.

Site visitors can see which streams have been impaired by farming activities as well as samples of agricultural best management practices that have been implemented to repair impacts and which streams have been impaired by acid mine drainage and locations of successful treatment projects. 

DEP has developed innovative continuous in-stream monitoring protocols to analyze water quality. Water samplers and computerized monitoring devices are left in the river for months to enable DEP to continually detect chemicals and other pollutants that would be difficult to discover with conventional testing methods. 

These devices have enabled DEP to collect a great volume of data, including probably more data than any other state environmental agency on contaminants of emerging concern, such as certain hormones, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. 

Although initiatives to restore water quality and aquatic life in the Susquehanna have had positive results, the river continues to face many challenges from human activity. DEP will chronicle new developments as it works toward a fully healthy Susquehanna River.

Interactive river story websites are also planned for the Delaware, Ohio, Great Lakes, and Potomac River Basins in Pennsylvania.

Peach Bottom: Request for Additional Information

Peach Bottom Units 2 and 3 - Request for Additional Information - TSTF-542 Amendment Request (CACs MF9138 and MF9139)


Peach Bottom - Integrated Inspection Report & Exercise of Enforcement Discretion

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION – INTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT
  05000277/2017002 AND 05000278/2017002 AND EXERCISE OF ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION

Susquehanna: Integrated Inspection Report & Exercise of Enforcement Discretion

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION –
NTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT 05000387/2017002 AND 05000388/2017002
AND EXERCISE OF ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

'Advanced' Grid Hackers Targeting Nuclear Plants

Energywire, by Blake Sobczak, July 7, 2017
and

A sophisticated group of hackers has taken aim at U.S. energy, nuclear and manufacturing firms in recent weeks. Cyberattacks recently breached a dozen or more U.S. power plants, including conventional and nuclear generators. The Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp. was among the companies targeted by the hacking campaign. That company, jointly owned by three different energy firms, runs a nuclear power facility near Burlington, Kansas. The North American Electric Reliability Corp. has warned grid operators about an "advanced persistent threat," which is jargon for a well-resourced hacking campaign typically backed by a nation-state. Bloomberg reports that Russia is a chief suspect in the hacking, though some analysts warn attribution is premature. The NERC alert came on the heels of a separate report from the Department of Homeland Security and FBI. That document outlined active hacking threats to the nuclear, electricity and manufacturing industries, among others. Lloyd's of London has estimated the potential impacts of a successful attack on the U.S. power grid, and concluded the total economic loss could range from $243 billion up to $1 trillion in the most damaging scenarios.

EXELON TO RETIRE THREE MILE ISLAND GENERATING STATION IN 2019

Contact:
Paul Adams
Corporate Communications
410-470-4167

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE




EXELON TO RETIRE THREE MILE ISLAND GENERATING STATION IN 2019
Focus is on site employees and community as lack of state and federal energy policies that properly value zero-emissions energy drives decision
CHICAGO (May 30, 2017) — Exelon Corporation today said it will prematurely retire its Three Mile Island Generating Station (TMI) on or about September 30, 2019, absent needed policy reforms. Officials met with employees and informed community leaders, and pledged continued open dialogue as they prepare for this transition.
“Today is a difficult day, not just for the 675 talented men and women who have dedicated themselves to operating Three Mile Island safely and reliably every day, but also for their families, the communities and customers who depend on this plant to produce clean energy and support local jobs,” said Chris Crane, Exelon president and CEO. “Like New York and Illinois before it, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to take a leadership role by implementing a policy solution to preserve its nuclear energy facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide. We are committed to working with all stakeholders to secure Pennsylvania’s energy future, and will do all we can to support the community, the employees and their families during this difficult period.”
Exelon is taking the first steps to shut down the nuclear plant, including:
·         Informing key stakeholders, which will include sending PJM a deactivation notice and making permanent shutdown notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission within 30 days;
·         Immediately taking one-time charges of $65-110 million for 2017, and accelerating approximately $1.0-1.1 billion in depreciation and amortization through the announced shutdown date;
·         Terminating capital investment projects required for long-term operation of TMI; and
·         Canceling 2019 fuel purchases and outage planning, impacting about 1,500 outage workers.
Absent policy reforms, the loss of Pennsylvania nuclear plants would increase air pollution, compromise the resiliency of the electric grid, raise energy prices for consumers, eliminate thousands of good-paying local jobs and weaken the state’s economy.
Despite producing 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s emissions-free electricity and avoiding 37 million tons of carbon emissions — the equivalent of keeping 10 million cars off the road every year — nuclear power is not included in the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). Yet 16 clean power sources including solar, wind and hydro energy are supported by this state energy policy.
Amending the AEPS is one of many potential solutions to preserve Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants. Other options include establishing a zero emissions credit program, similar to the approach being implemented in Illinois and New York. Exelon is committed to working with its stakeholders to find the best solution for Pennsylvania — one that will maintain nuclear energy’s $2 billion annual contribution to the state’s economy and its approximately 16,000 direct and indirect Pennsylvania jobs.
TMI directly employs 675 workers and contracts another 1,500 local union workers for refueling outages. The station provides more than $1 million in state property taxes and more than $300,000 in local community giving each year.

Exelon’s highly trained employees will continue to operate the plant at world-class levels of excellence, with staff transitions expected within six months of the plant’s final shut down. 

EXELON ANNOUNCES OUTCOME OF 2020-2021 PJM CAPACITY AUCTION

Contact:
Paul Adams
Corporate Communications
410-470-4167
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


EXELON ANNOUNCES OUTCOME OF 2020-2021 PJM CAPACITY AUCTION

Three Mile Island nuclear plant among facilities that did not clear in auction, placing it at risk of early retirement

CHICAGO (May 24, 2017) — Exelon Corporation today announced that its Three Mile Island (TMI) and Quad Cities nuclear plants did not clear in the latest PJM capacity auction, highlighting the challenge nuclear energy continues to face without compensation for its ability to produce electricity without harmful carbon and air pollution and to contribute to grid resilience.

TMI did not clear in the past three PJM base residual auctions. TMI remains economically challenged as a result of continued low wholesale power prices and the lack of federal or Pennsylvania energy policies that value zero-emissions nuclear energy. Exelon has been working with stakeholders on options for the continued operation of TMI, which has not been profitable in five years.

States like New York and Illinois have enacted innovative policies that fairly compensate nuclear and renewable energy for their environmental attributes. Signed into law in December, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) will create significant environmental and consumer benefits in Illinois, while also creating thousands of clean energy jobs and providing job training for the future workforce.

“Exelon remains fully committed to keeping the Quad Cities plant open, provided that FEJA’s Zero Emissions Credit program is implemented as expected and provided that Quad Cities is selected to participate,” said Joe Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice
president of Government and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy. “However, Quad has not been selected to receive ZECs under the FEJA program to date.”

Exelon’s other nuclear plants in PJM cleared in the auction for the 2020-2021 planning year. Oyster Creek did not participate in the auction, as the plant is scheduled to retire in 2019.

Capacity auctions are held annually by grid operator PJM to ensure enough power generation resources are available to meet demand in its region covering all or part of 13 states and the District of Columbia. This is the fifth delivery year for which capacity auctions have been held under “capacity performance” reforms ordered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to increase power plant reliability and strengthen the region’s energy supply. The reforms were an important step in recognizing nuclear energy for its year-round reliability in all weather extremes. The auction results take effect June 1, 2020.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made by Exelon Corporation and Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Registrants) include those factors discussed herein, as well as the items discussed in (1) Exelon’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K in (a) ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (b) ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and (c) ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data: Note 24, Commitments and Contingencies; (2) Exelon’s First Quarter 2017 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q in (a) Part II, Other Information, ITEM 1A. Risk Factors; (b) Part 1, Financial Information, ITEM 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and (c) Part I, Financial Information, ITEM 1. Financial Statements: Note 17; and (3) other factors discussed in filings with the SEC by the Registrants. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of the date of this press release. None of the Registrants undertakes any obligation to publicly release any revision to its forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.

# # # #

Norther Trust Co - Notice of Objection re: Exelon

Subject:  The Northern Trust Company - Notice of Objection to Disbursement from Decommissioning Trusts for Exelon Generation Company, LLC Units (CAC Nos. MF9603-MF9620)


Download: ML17124A115

U.S. Nuclear Capacity and Generation Expected to Decline as Existing Generators Retire:

U.S. Energy Information Administration, May 12, 2017

EIA’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook Reference case assumes that about 25% of the nuclear capacity now operating that does not have announced retirement plans will be removed from service by 2050. Nearly all nuclear plants now in use began operation between 1970 and 1990. These plants would require a subsequent license renewal before 2050 to operate beyond the 60-year period covered by their original 40-year operating license and the 20-year license extension that nearly 90% of plants currently operating have either already received or have applied for. The AEO2017 Reference case projections do not envision a large amount of new nuclear capacity additions. By 2050, only four reactors currently under construction and some uprates at existing plants are projected to come online.

Three Mile Island Is the Sixth Announced Nuclear Retirement in the Past Seven Years

U.S. Energy Information Administration, June 13, 2017

Currently, 99 nuclear reactors at 60 nuclear power plants operate in the U.S. Since the first commercial U.S. nuclear reactor came online in 1957, more than 30 nuclear reactors have retired. Some of these retired plants were test projects or experimental designs, but most provided commercial power for some portion of their operational lives. Prior to the retirement of the Crystal River, Kewaunee, and San Onofre nuclear power plants in 2013, no nuclear reactor had been retired since 1998. Since 2013, two more plants -Vermont Yankee in 2014 and Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun in 2016 - have retired. In total, the five nuclear plants that retired in the past four years had a combined capacity of nearly 5,000 megawatts. In addition to these recent retirements, six plants are scheduled to retire within the next nine years. Four of these - Palisades, Pilgrim, Oyster Creek, and Three Mile Island - have planned retirement dates more than a decade before their operating licenses expire.

EXELON ANNOUNCES OUTCOME OF 2020-2021 PJM CAPACITY AUCTION

Contact:
Paul Adams
Corporate Communications
410-470-4167
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


EXELON ANNOUNCES OUTCOME OF 2020-2021 PJM CAPACITY AUCTION

Three Mile Island nuclear plant among facilities that did not clear in auction, placing it at risk of early retirement

CHICAGO (May 24, 2017) — Exelon Corporation today announced that its Three Mile Island (TMI) and Quad Cities nuclear plants did not clear in the latest PJM capacity auction, highlighting the challenge nuclear energy continues to face without compensation for its ability to produce electricity without harmful carbon and air pollution and to contribute to grid resilience.

TMI did not clear in the past three PJM base residual auctions. TMI remains economically challenged as a result of continued low wholesale power prices and the lack of federal or Pennsylvania energy policies that value zero-emissions nuclear energy. Exelon has been working with stakeholders on options for the continued operation of TMI, which has not been profitable in five years.

States like New York and Illinois have enacted innovative policies that fairly compensate nuclear and renewable energy for their environmental attributes. Signed into law in December, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) will create significant environmental and consumer benefits in Illinois, while also creating thousands of clean energy jobs and providing job training for the future workforce.

“Exelon remains fully committed to keeping the Quad Cities plant open, provided that FEJA’s Zero Emissions Credit program is implemented as expected and provided that Quad Cities is selected to participate,” said Joe Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice
president of Government and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy. “However, Quad has not been selected to receive ZECs under the FEJA program to date.”

Exelon’s other nuclear plants in PJM cleared in the auction for the 2020-2021 planning year. Oyster Creek did not participate in the auction, as the plant is scheduled to retire in 2019.

Capacity auctions are held annually by grid operator PJM to ensure enough power generation resources are available to meet demand in its region covering all or part of 13 states and the District of Columbia. This is the fifth delivery year for which capacity auctions have been held under “capacity performance” reforms ordered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to increase power plant reliability and strengthen the region’s energy supply. The reforms were an important step in recognizing nuclear energy for its year-round reliability in all weather extremes. The auction results take effect June 1, 2020.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made by Exelon Corporation and Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Registrants) include those factors discussed herein, as well as the items discussed in (1) Exelon’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K in (a) ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (b) ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and (c) ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data: Note 24, Commitments and Contingencies; (2) Exelon’s First Quarter 2017 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q in (a) Part II, Other Information, ITEM 1A. Risk Factors; (b) Part 1, Financial Information, ITEM 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and (c) Part I, Financial Information, ITEM 1. Financial Statements: Note 17; and (3) other factors discussed in filings with the SEC by the Registrants. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of the date of this press release. None of the Registrants undertakes any obligation to publicly release any revision to its forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.

# # # #

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

York Dispatch: Let market forces dictate TMI future

It appears market forces are about to do what even the nation’s worst nuclear accident couldn’t: permanently close the Three Mile Island nuclear plant.
Exelon Corp, owner of the nuclear facility located some 10 miles south of Harrisburg, has announced plans to shutter the plant in 2019 absent state subsidies.
That’s exactly what state subsidies should be in this case: absent. With natural gas and renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar providing less expensive alternatives, and state leaders already wrestling with a budget deficit estimated in the neighborhood of $3 billion, there is little argument to be made for propping up an energy source that is no longer competitive.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Three Mile Island nuke accident linked to thyroid cancer

A new Penn State Medical Center study has found a link between the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident and thyroid cancer cases in south-central Pennsylvania.

The study marks the first time the partial meltdown of Unit 2's reactor can be connected to specific cancer cases, the researchers have said.

The findings may pose a dramatic challenge to the nuclear energy industry's position that the radiation released had no effect on human health.

The study was published Monday in the medical journal Laryngoscope, one day before Exelon Corp. (EXC) announced that Three Mile Island would close in 2019. It’s likely to come as another blow to a nuclear-power industry already struggling to stay profitable.

Exelon: Still Time for Pennsylvania to Help Three Mile Island

Pennsylvania’s legislature still has time to help keep Exelon Corp.'s financially struggling Three Mile Island nuclear plant operating, Exelon’s Joseph Dominguez told Bloomberg BNA.
“We’re continuing the discussion with policymakers that we really began six or seven months ago: talking about the value proposition of nuclear, both from an environmental standpoint, as well as from fuel diversity and grid resilience standpoint,” Dominguez, Exelon’s vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy, told Bloomberg BNA May 31.
Exelon announced May 30 that it plans to prematurely close Three Mile Island by Sept. 30, 2019, due to financial losses at the plant from low wholesale power prices tied to the natural gas shale boom. In a statement announcing those plans, the company identified some potential policies that could keep the plant viable, including amendments to the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and the creation of a zero-emissions credit program.

Three Mile Island Nuke Plant Closure Strengthens Call for Renewable Energy Future

Tuesday's announcement that the Three Mile Island Unit One nuclear plant will close unless it gets massive subsidies has vastly strengthened the case for a totally renewable energy future.
That future is rising in Buffalo, and comes in the form of Tesla's massive job-producing solar shingle factory which will create hundreds of jobs and operate for decades to come.
Three Mile Island, by contrast, joins a wave of commercially dead reactors whose owners are begging state legislatures for huge bailouts. Exelon, the nation's largest nuke owner, recently got nearly $2.5 billion from the Illinois legislature to keep three uncompetitive nukes there on line.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Exelon Announces TMI Closure – As the Nuclear Age Draws to an End

PRESS STATEMENT
May 31, 2017
David A. Kraft, Director, NEIS

Exelon Announces TMI Closure – As the Nuclear Age Draws to an End
 
It’s not nearly as much ironic as it is emphatic that on the same day Exelon Corporation announced that it might close the economically unviable Three Mile Island 1 reactor in Pennsylvania, SCANA is reported to have suggested that it might only complete one of two “next-generation” reactors it had proposed for South Carolina.  Add to that the recent Westinghouse (and by extension, Toshiba) bankruptcy and the message is clear: nuclear of the past can’t compete in the present, and apparently has no future either.  In short – the Nuclear Age is over.
 
But old bad habits die hard, especially when they are funded by somebody else’s pocketbooks, like, say, powerless ratepayers who have no choice.  And Exelon is not about to give up on its nuclear jones when there are plenty of ratepayers left to fleece.
 
Exelon is playing the same 'nuclear hostage crisis' game of, "Give us a bailout, or we’ll kill your local economy!" in Pennsylvania that they played in Illinois – and which they ironically opposed in Ohio when utility bailouts competed against Exelon’s corporate interests.  This nuclear extortion – dare we say ‘terrorism’? – game was successfully used in New York as well, and threatens to spread like some form of radioactive ebola to other states and their legislatures.
 
The threat of job and tax base loss to the reactor communities inspires local political leaders dependent on that largesse to lobby like crazy in state legislatures for nuclear bailouts – especially in election years, as we learned in Illinois.  And while these are legitimate concerns needing to be addressed, nuclear bailouts are not the answer.  There are other, more practical and economic ways to soften the blow of losing a “company town” employer and preserving a tax base that can support essential public services like schools and police/fire departments until local economies can rebound from the loss of an Exelon-sized employer.
 
One way is to establish “just transitions” funds for reactor (and we would suggest, coal) communities PRIOR to closures, threatened or real.  These would be escrowed funds set up that would become available only upon termination of a reactor operating license, to be used to preserve essential public services, and mitigate economic impacts through job re-training and attracting and establishing replacement business and industry.  The funding mechanisms are negotiable, and numerous; and would involve the utility, the community, and possibly the state. 
 
The point is – the utility would no longer be in a position to put the economic gun to the puppy’s head to force the state legislatures to grant an unwise bailout.
 
But if bailouts are the “answer” (and if they are, what on earth was the question?), then be sure to bailout the right party.  It is the affected communities that need the bailout, not for-profit private corporations.  No state constitution requires the legislature to insure the profitability of private corporations; that’s why corporations have boards of directors.  The legislatures supposedly are to represent the interests of the people – like the ~4 million ratepayers in Illinois who are now forced to pay Exelon Corporation $230 million per year, for the next ten years, and get nothing back in return for this coerced ‘investment.’
 
In Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said he supported the Exelon bailout because, "closing the plants would have "devastated the two communities." If he really and truly believed that, then he should have worked to bail out the potentially devastated communities, not the hugely profitable Exelon corporation.
 
In Illinois NEIS made this suggestion public in our testimony before the legislative energy committees, suggesting that Gov. Rauner provide funding for the Clinton and Quad Cities communities affected by Exelon’s closure plans, not profitable Exelon.  Instead Governor Rauner decided to increase the Exelon bailout period from the original six years to ten! 
 
If one were to amortize the $2.35 billion Illinois electric rate hike bailout over the 1,500 direct jobs Exelon claims would be lost if it had closed the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear stations, Governor Rauner and Exelon are now forcing Illinois ratepayers to pay $1.57 million per job “saved.”  We could have bought these workers out cheaper, closed the reactors, and prevented the production of ~900 tons of high-level radioactive wastes over the next 10 years those uneconomic reactors will operate.
 
It is time to end the Exelon ‘nuclear hostage crisis.’  There are now plenty of blueprints available illustrating the folly of nuclear bailouts.  Given the End of the Nuclear Age, one can only hope that Pennsylvania legislators will realize by now that it's stupid energy policy to mortgage your energy future by bailing out the past.  ■
 
 
 
Nuclear Energy Information Service -- NEIS -- was founded in 1981 to provide the public with credible information on nuclear power, waste, and radiation hazards; and information about the viable energy alternatives to nuclear power.  For more information visit the NEIS website at:  http://www.neis.org

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

TMI Alert Press Release - planned closure of Three Mile Island


for immediate release: 5/30/17
Three Mile Island Alert


Contact:  Scott D. Portzline 717-232-8863 and cell 717-421-7574
 
Three Mile Island Alert suspects that the announcement of Three Mile Island's planned closure is actually an attempted "shot across the bow" of PA's Nuclear Caucus.  It is designed to make the General Assembly pass legislation to rescue nuclear power.

Scott Portzline of TMI Alert said, "Exelon has used this same tactic in the last two years to pressure the states of Illinois and New York to artificially restructure the playing field. The result was tens-of-billions of dollars in bailouts for nuclear plants. This nation has already bailed out the nuclear power fleet on several occasions to the tune of a third of a trillion dollars. Nuclear power is not economically feasible and Wall Street knew that 20 years ago."

Portzline said, "Exelon took a very bad risk and should face the consequences. It was like betting that the mythical Washington Generals would beat the Harlem Globetrotters, it just wasn't going to happen. PA has a surplus of electricity and our taxpayers and ratepayers should not be forced to salvage a doomed decision."

Three Mile Island Alert believes that PA Legislators should pave the way for upstart wind and solar power equipment manufacturers. Pennsylvania could in effect create 20 times more jobs than are lost to nuclear plant closures. Nuclear power releases thousands of tons of chemicals into PA waterways and the mining and processing of nuclear fuel take a heavy toll on carbon releases to the atmosphere. Alternative power does not represent a terrorist target like nuclear reactors do. 

Three Mile Island Unit #2 provided electricity for less than 90 days, yet a federal court ordered ratepayers to continue to pay for the destroyed power plant as if it were benefiting the area. TMI Alert believes that Pennsylvania's have already endured too many financial hardships from nuclear power.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What's nuclear energy caucus looking to achieve?

Most discussions of energy in Pennsylvania today start with natural gas.  For much of the past decade, drilling in the Marcellus Shale regions of the state has made Pennsylvania one of the nation's leading energy producers.  During his campaign for president, Donald Trump promised to bring coal back and many are still clamoring for expansion and more use of renewable energy in the state.
What doesn't get mentioned often is nuclear energy.  Which is surprising since about 35% of Pennsylvania's electricity comes from nuclear.

NRC to Hold Open House in Middletown to Discuss 2016 Performance of Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: I-17-012 April 13, 2017
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331

NRC to Hold Open House in Middletown to Discuss 2016 Performance of Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will be available to discuss the 2016 safety performance of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, operated by Exelon Generation Co., during an open house on April 20 in Middletown, Pa.

The open house will run from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Londonderry Township Municipal Building, 783 S. Geyers Church Road. NRC staff responsible for inspections of the plant, including the site- based resident inspectors, will be on hand to discuss the plant’s performance and the NRC’s oversight of the facility.

Overall, Three Mile Island Unit 1 operated safely during 2016. As of the end of last year, the plant had no inspection findings or performance indicators outside the normal band. As a result, it is currently under the NRC’s baseline level of oversight, which entails thousands of hours of inspection each year.

Under the NRC’s Reactor Oversight Process, the agency gauges plant performance through the use of color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators, which are statistical measurements of plant performance that can trigger additional oversight if exceeded. Any inspection findings or performance indicators that are greater than green (very low safety significance) trigger increased NRC oversight.

Day-to-day inspections are performed by two resident inspectors assigned to the plant. Reviews are also carried out at the site by specialist inspectors assigned to the agency’s Region I office in King of Prussia, Pa.


Reserved EnergyPath scholarships for PERC Members!


Dear Colleague:
In cooperation with the Sustainable Energy Fund, PERC is pleased to offer 25 reserved scholarships to EnergyPath 2017. This is a unique Members-Only opportunity for PERC Faculty, Staff and Students to attend this four day event on July 24th to 27th in a group from your school for a fraction of the value.

EnergyPath consists of 3 days of hands-on "Energy Camps" followed by a one day conference. More about the event can be found here... (You must first log in to PERC's website (do so at the upper right of any page) in order to access this page.)
Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Arnie Gundersen at TMIA 40th Anniversary

DARK CIRCLE: "Completely riveting" (Roger Ebert)

In this new era of sabre rattling, our "classic" film is being screened at the Roxie Cinema as part of the San Francisco Green Film Festival. Raye Fleming (second from left in photo above) will join me and co-producer Ruth Landy for the Q&A. Hope to see you! April 23rd, 12:30 pm. Tickets & info here.

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION - DESIGN BASES ASSURANCE INSPECTION REPORT

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION – DESIGN BASES ASSURANCE INSPECTION REPORT 05000277/2017007 AND 05000278/2017007

Download  ML17082A043

Request for Withholding Information from Public Disclosure for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station

Request for Withholding Information from Public Disclosure for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 (CAC Nos. MF9289 and MF9290)
 

Download ML17066A064

Saturday, March 25, 2017

April 5 NIRS Telebriefing: Arnie Gundersen, Nuclear Spring TMI, CHERNOBYL and FUKUSHIMA

Dear friend,

Arnie Gundersen of  Fairewinds Energy Education will present Spring: The Season of Nuclear Disaster--Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima. 
This will be an opportunity to learn more about three of the most disastrous nuclear accidents and their global impact: Three Mile Island (March 1979), Chernobyl (April 1986) and Fukushima (March 2011). These dates mark the beginning of catastrophic events that will impact humanity for milinea to come.    
As we move through the season that commemorates these events, join us as Arnie leads our discussion on their far-reaching effects.  
This national conversation is appropriate for newcomers unfamiliar with this history and seasoned activists alike! We will reserve plenty of time for your questions and short comments at the end of Arnie's presentation.
The telebriefing is free, but registration is required. Your confirmation email will include the dial-in number. 
We will begin promptly at 8:00pm (EDT)/7:00pm (CDT). We hope you will join in!
If you cannot attend, but would like to receive the link to the recorded telebriefing, please register. We will send a link to the telelbriefing recording to all registered participants. 
Please forward this invitation widely; there are tons of younger people who may have never heard of one or more of these nuclear disasters who have a right to know.  We need them to hear about these events, and to join the commitment to SHUT DOWN BEFORE MELTDOWN! 
Thanks for all you do!


Mary Olson
Director, NIRS Southeast Office

Friday, March 17, 2017

NRC Extends Public Involvement Opportunities for Waste Control Specialists’ Spent Fuel Storage Application


Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: 17-013 March 16, 2017
CONTACT: Maureen Conley 301-415-8200

NRC Extends Public Involvement Opportunities

for Waste Control Specialists’ Spent Fuel Storage Application

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is providing additional opportunities for the public to comment on Waste Control Specialists’ application for an interim spent nuclear fuel storage facility proposed for Andrews County, Texas.

WCS is seeking to store spent fuel received from commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States. The NRC is reviewing the WCS application along two parallel tracks – one on safety issues, the other on environmental issues. Both the safety and environmental reviews must be completed before the NRC makes a final licensing decision on the application.

The NRC will now take comments on the scope of its Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed facility through April 28. The staff will host an additional public meeting April 6 at NRC headquarters so members of the public can ask questions of NRC staff and present oral comments. The meeting will be webcast. The meeting will be held from 7-10 p.m., in the Commissioners’ Conference Room, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. Details on the webinar, including the call in number, are being finalized. This information will be posted on the NRCpublic meeting schedule.

Written comments on the EIS scope should refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0231. Comments will be made publicly available and should not include identifying or personal information you do not wish to be disclosed. Comments can be filed via the federal rulemaking website; by email toWCS_CISF_EIS@nrc.gov; or by mail to Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12 H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.