National Guard troops and State Police no longer will provide regular patrols at the state's three nuclear plants, including Oyster Creek Generating Station, the state Attorney General's Office announced Friday morning, seven years after troops were first stationed there in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Enhanced private security forces and systems have improved the plant's security to the point where 52 troops and officers are unnecessary, officials said. They also said New Jersey is the last state in the country to withdraw soldiers and officers who were on active duty protecting Oyster Creek as well as the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
(Lebanon County, 12:04 a.m., 12/27/08) A 3.4 magnitude earthquake occurred northwest of the city of Lancaster, Lancaster County. The quake was felt by residents in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Lancaster. No damage or injuries were reported. The incident was terminated at 6:23 a.m. Notifications: Departments of Health, Environmental Protection (Southcentral Regional Office and Headquarters) and Transportation, Public Utility Commission, Federal Emergency Operations Center, Turnpike Commission, PA-1 Call, Millersville University Geology Department, National Earthquake Information Center, State Police, affected counties and PEMA Central and Eastern Area OfficesUSGS
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Nevada reached a milestone Friday in its 30-year war to defeat the federal Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project by filing 229 challenges to the Department of Energy's license application for the planned repository 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
"Clearly this is a seminal day for us," state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said at the Sawyer Building with Nevada Nuclear Projects Agency Director Bob Loux at her side. The state's petition was filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is expected to take at least four years to review the application and contentions.
Loux declared the project dead.
"I do believe it's truly over," he said.
The pitfalls of entombing 77,000 tons of highly radioactive waste and spent fuel in a porous, volcanic rock ridge flanked by earthquake faults can't be fixed, he said.
NRC Seeks Public Input On Draft Environmental Report For Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant License Renewal Application
Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is seeking public comments on its preliminary conclusion that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude renewal of the operating license for the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (TMI-1) in Middletown, Pa.
As part of TMI-1’s license renewal application, dated Jan. 8, AmerGen Energy Company, LLC, submitted an environmental report. The NRC staff reviewed the report and performed an on-site audit. The staff also considered comments made during the environmental scoping process, including comments offered at public meetings held May 1, 2007. Based on its review, the NRC staff has preliminarily determined that the environmental impacts of the license renewal for TMI-1 are not so great that they preclude license renewal.
On December 17, 2008 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “approved a rule that enhances security requirements for nuclear power reactors.” In part, the new rule reflects input from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace. In a Petition for Rulemaking filed April 28, 2003, the two groups sought changes to the NRC's security regulations in two areas: safety and security evaluation integration; and aerial hazards. With the final rulemaking announced yesterday, the NRC accepted and acted upon the safety and security evaluation integration portion of the petition. They did not accept the aerial hazards part.Mothers for Peace
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today approved a rule that enhances security requirements for nuclear power reactors. Many of the requirements of this rule are similar to those previously imposed by orders issued after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The new rule adds several new requirements as a result of experience in implementing previous security orders and updates the regulatory framework in preparation for the licensing of new nuclear power plants.
Steven Chu, the federal laboratory director selected this week to lead the Department of Energy, signed onto a nuclear energy report whose recommendations included licensing for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Chu’s signature on the August report, alongside those of nine other high ranking federal science managers, is suggesting to some people that there might be a gap between his thinking on the controversial Nevada project and that of his expected soon-to-be boss, President-elect Barack Obama. While some Nevada lawmakers have been quick to characterize Chu as no friend of Yucca Mountain, the report indicates there might be more nuance to his position, even if in the end he carries out an Obama campaign pledge to end the project.Las Vegas Review-Journal
Growing concerns over climate change and energy security have kicked research on alternative energy sources into high gear. The list of options continues to expand, yet few papers have comprehensively reviewed them. And fewer still have weighed the pros and cons in as much depth as a new study published earlier this month in the journal, Energy & Environmental Science. The results are a mixed bag of logical conclusions and startling wake-up calls. The review pits twelve combinations of electric power generation and vehicular motivation against each other. It is a battle royal of nine electric power sources, three vehicle technologies, and two liquid fuel sources. It rates each combination based on eleven categories. And it was all compiled by one man, Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.Ars Technica
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Four hunters were found trespassing at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Peach Bottom Township Wednesday morning, officials said.
A maintenance worker spotted the men trespassing on company property near the north substation and notified security, said Bernadette Lauer, spokesman for Exelon Corp., which owns and operates the nuclear plant.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will discuss the results of an inspection of the proposed aging-management approach for the Susquehanna nuclear power plant on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at a meeting with the facility’s management.
PPL Susquehanna, LLC, which owns and operates the Salem Township (Luzerne County), Pa., plant, has applied for a 20-year license extension for each of the two units at the site. The inspection is part of an ongoing review of that application.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Eagles Building, at 107 S. Market St. in Berwick, Pa. After a discussion of the inspection results, NRC staff will conduct a question-and-answer session regarding the review for interested members of the public.
Vermont Yankee is one of the oldest nuclear reactors in the United States and routinely releases greater amounts of radioactive iodine-131, (the 13th highest in 2002) than the other 104 U.S nuclear reactors. The Vermont Department of Health 2008 surveillance report released this past July, reports, "The ionizing radiation to which people are exposed as a result of Vermont Yankee operations is a known human carcinogen. As with other carcinogens, it is impossible to prove that low doses are without risk. With radiation exposure it is assumed that no dose is without risk." A National Academy of Sciences panel also recently concluded that even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer over a person's lifetime.Rutland Herald
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
PPL said today it has dropped plans to expand its Holtwood hydroelectric plant, citing the venture's soaring estimated cost and other factors. The project price tag has grown to $440 million, compared to initial estimates of $250 million when the project was unveiled in March 2006. "As we evaluated this project in light of current economic conditions and projections of future energy prices, we reached the conclusion that it is no longer economically justifiable," said PPL's William H. Spence in a prepared statement.LancasterOnline.com
Monday, December 1, 2008
Since 2000, according to NRC records, 50 of the nation's 104 reactors have been relicensed, 13 of those at least 15 years before their original licenses will end. Another 19 had licenses renewed at least 10 years before the originals will expire.
Among the 18 reactor license renewals now under review by the NRC, six are operating under original licenses that won't expire until 2022 at the earliest. The original license for one, the Vogtle Unit 2 reactor in Waynesboro, Ga., won't end until 2029.
The nuclear power industry says the early renewals are necessary for long-term planning, investment, maintenance and a stable electricity supply.
But citizen groups and industry watchdogs have criticized the process as perfunctory and inadequate to ensure safe operation and public health as the plants age.