Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Due to inclement weather, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is canceling two public meetings scheduled for today regarding the license renewal application for the Three Mile Island 1 nuclear power plant. The meetings, which were to take place at 1:30 and 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, Pa., will be rescheduled for a date in the near future. The purpose of the meetings was to solicit public comments on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the application. The NRC staff prepared the draft EIS.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Three Mile Island’s Flawed Poll

September 8, 2008 Dear Editor: TMI-Alert, Inc. sharply disagrees with the results of a recent poll paid for and released by Exelon on September 8, 2008. At issue are the questions that were not asked. The poll also failed to note that a majority of the folks who actually testified before the NRC were against extending the license of TMI-1. When the community held a non-binding referendum on May 18, 1982, over 67% of the voters in Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon County opposed the restart of Three Mile Island. TMI and the NRC ignored the results. How many people would support nuclear power if you asked the following fact-based questions? 1) Did you know taxpayers and rate payers have spent $1 billion to remove the damaged fuel from TMI-2 since the reactor meltdown in 1979? The plant still needs to be cleaned up and decommissioned. Did you know Three Mile Island Unit-2 pays no taxes? Should TMI-2 be cleaned up before Exelon builds more nuclear reactors? 2) Did you know that Exelon has at least 11 full-time registered lobbyists working in Harrisburg as of July, 2008? (Pa. Department of State) Do you trust nuclear lobbyists to make energy policy for Pennsylvania? 3) Currently Exelon is recovering $5.5 billion in nuclear taxes on electric bills referred to as “Competitive Transition Costs” for overruns associated with construction of the Limerick nuclear power plant. Should Exelon refund the $5.5 billion to rate payers before building another nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania? 4) Three Mile Island has failed to include child care facilities in their Radiological Emergency Plans for the past 22 years. The NRC, FEMA, PEMA, and Governor Rendell refuse to adopt dedicated plans, designated transportation routes, or provide vehicles for these children. Should Exelon implement safety plans for kids before building another nuclear power plant? 5) TMI generates 30 metric tons of high level radioactive waste annually and there are over 1,000 tons of toxic garbage on site. Should Exelon remove nuclear garbage stored next to the Susquehanna River before we build more plants? 6) Did you know the enrichment of uranium releases massive amounts of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are more damaging as a global warmer than carbon dioxide? Nuclear fuel production in America creates at least 800,000 pounds of CFCs annually, or 80% of all CFC’s released into the atmosphere by the USA. CFCs remain the primary agent for stratospheric ozone depletion. Do you still think nuclear power is "clean" and "green"? 7) There were 804 employees working at TMI prior to the purchase of the plant by Exelon. Now the number is 600, and the company has recently suffered from workers sleeping on the job. Should Exelon hire more workers before building another nuclear power plant? 8) Did you know TMI does not have to conserve water during periods of drought? Should new nuclear power plants be exempt from water conservation practices? Sincerely, Eric Joseph Epstein, Chairman Three Mile Island Alert, Inc. 4100 Hillsdale Road Harrisburg, PA 17112 (717)-541-11o1

TMI-Alert to Oppose Relicensing of the Susquehanna Nuclear Plant

(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 Fact Sheet (pdf) TMIA Testimony (pdf)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Nuclear's Comeback: Still No Energy Panacea

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." ...

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.


TMI information center relocated to Coatesville

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.

The Patriot-News

Security update needed on plant

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.

Asbury Park Press