Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Apple VP and former EPA chief Lisa Jackson to speak at Penn State Nov. 6

Friends and colleagues -

The Penn State Institutes of Energy and Environment, The Office of Physical Plant, and the Sustainability Institute are excited to announce that Lisa P. Jackson, Vice President of Environmental Initiatives at Apple Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the annual Colloquium on the Environment, Thursday November 6 at 6 p.m. in Schwab Auditorium on the University Park campus.

This event is free and open to the public, doors open at 5:30. More details, directions, etc. are at

A flyer is attached. You can also share the event on Facebook:

For any questions, please contact Amanda Snyder at

Thank you, and we hope to see you there!

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Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant Combined License Application Environment Review Schedule Revision

Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant Combined License Application Environment Review Schedule Revision

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Eiko: A Body in a Station and A Body in Fukushima

Eiko: A Body in Fukushima
October 3, 2014 - April 5, 2015

Maguire Gallery, Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is pleased to present Part I of A Body in Places by Eiko, which consists of two related works: A Body in a Station and A Body in Fukushima. A Body in a Station is a series of four three-hour durational performances created by Eiko to be performed alone in the North Waiting Room of Amtrak 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. A Body in Fukushima is an exhibition of still photographs by William Johnston of Eiko alone in a radically different terminal, the abandoned rail station in Fukushima, Japan.

A Body in Fukushima recounts a visit made by Eiko and William Johnston, photographer and Wesleyan University Professor of Japanese history, to the irradiated communities that were evacuated in March 2011 after the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plants in Japan suffered massive damage in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami. The resulting explosions caused a wide swath of the countryside to be evacuated. The plants continue to emit radiation and the cleaning process is slow and difficult leaving the residents in temporary housing while entire towns are left desolate. Eiko and Johnston traveled through areas that have only recently been opened to visitors, following the path of a train line where the service has been discontinued.  Many of the stations were partially or completely destroyed or contaminated by radiation, the buildings crumbled and the tracks overgrown with dried vines and weeds. By walking into each station and placing her body within, Eiko sought to remember the people and day-to-day lives that passed through the stations and towns before the disaster.

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NRC Issues Security-related Inspection Finding for Limerick Nuclear Plant, Resulting in Increase in Agency's Oversight at Facility

No: I-14-040                                                                          October 23, 2014

NRC Issues Security-related Inspection Finding for Limerick Nuclear Plant, Resulting in Increase in Agency’s Oversight at Facility

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will increase its level of oversight at the Limerick nuclear power plant following the finalization of a security-related inspection finding that has been classified as “greater than green.” The twin-reactor plant is located in Limerick (Montgomery County), Pa., and is operated by Exelon.

The NRC uses a color-coded assessment system for inspection findings and performance indicators. The colors range from “green,” for very low safety or security significance, to “white,” “yellow” or “red,” for high safety or security significance. In the case of security-related inspection findings or performance indicators, the NRC notifies the public when the “greater than green” threshold has been crossed. However, the agency does not provide specifics because of the sensitivity associated with such findings and indicators.

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U.S. EPA 'Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2014' Report Available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the third edition of a report, ‘Climate Change Indicators in the United States.’ The report pulls together observed data on key measures of our environment, including U.S. and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others. With 30 indicators that include over 80 maps and graphs showing long-term trends, the report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting our environment and our society.

The third edition of the Indicators report, which was last published in 2012, adds additional years of data and four new indicators: Lyme disease, heating and cooling degree days, wildfires, and water level and temperature in the Great Lakes. In addition, the report adds four new features that connect observed data records to local communities and areas of interest, including cherry blossom bloom dates in Washington D.C., timing of ice breakup in two Alaskan rivers, temperature and drought in the Southwest, and land loss along the mid-Atlantic coast.

EPA compiles decades of observed data in cooperation with a range of federal government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and other institutions. The Indicators report focuses on long-term trends for key measures of our environment for which high-quality data exist. Each indicator and the report itself were peer-reviewed by independent experts, and extensive technical documentation accompanies the report.

To order a FREE copy of the report, send a request with your mailing address included  

More information about the Climate Change Indicators report: 

Kevin Rosseel
Climate Change Division
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC

NRC Renews Operating Licenses of Limerick Nuclear Plant for an Additional 20 Years

No: 14-070                                                                          October 20, 2014
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200

NRC Renews Operating Licenses of Limerick Nuclear Plant for an Additional 20 Years

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating licenses of the Limerick Generating Station, Units 1 and 2, for an additional 20 years of operation. The new licenses will expire Oct. 26, 2044, for Unit 1 and June 22, 2049, for Unit 2.

The Limerick plant has two boiling water reactors and is located in Limerick Township, Pa., about 21 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Exelon Generation Co. LLC submitted the license renewal application on June 22, 2011. The NRC staff’s review of the application proceeded on two tracks. A safety evaluation report was issued Jan. 10, 2013, and supplemented on Aug. 12, 2014. A supplemental environmental impact statement was published Aug. 27, 2014. These documents, as well as other information on the Limerick license renewal, are available on the NRC website.

Renewal of the Limerick licenses brings to 75 the number of commercial nuclear power reactors with renewed licenses. Applications for an additional 17 renewals are currently under review. Information about those reviews can be found on the NRC website.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

KEEA Conference Federal Policy Panel

KEEA ENERGY EFFICIENCY 2014: The Utility of the Future Crowne Plaza Harrisburg Hotel AGENDA: November 13, 2014

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Inadequate Response to 2012 "Waste Confidence" Court Action Means Legal Challenge is Inevitable ... Unless NRC Halts Process.

WASHINGTON, D.C.///September 29, 2014///Firing a shot over the bow of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), 17 groups today took a necessary first step to seeking federal court intervention if the NRC does not stop on its own the licensing and relicensing of 23 reactors at 14 sites across the United States.

In urging the NRC to halt its process, the groups note that the federal agency has failed to address a major 2012 court action and longstanding prior decisions requiring the NRC to make "Waste Confidence" findings that the highly radioactive spent reactor fuel used in reactors can be disposed of safely.   In 2012, a federal court vacated NRC's safety and environmental rules regarding spent fuel storage and disposal and remanded them to the agency for an environmental study.  The NRC recently dismissed the notion that it needed to reasonably anticipate a national repository for nuclear reactor waste in order to proceed with reactor licensing and relicensing.

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Download Petition to Suspend FINAL (1)
Download 2014-09-29 Motion to File New Contention
Download NRC Waste Confidence Brief except

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Acceptance Letter Regarding Relief Request RR-14-01 Concerning Alternative Root Mean Square Depth Sizing Requirements (Tac No. MF4873)

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Acceptance Letter Regarding Relief Request RR-14-01 Concerning Alternative Root Mean Square Depth Sizing Requirements (Tac No. MF4873)

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Twitter 3 Comments ... Home Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station leaks 100 gallons of bleach in to the Schuylkill River

LIMERICK >> A faulty valve at Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station caused about 100 gallons of bleach to leak into the Schuylkill River Tuesday night.

The company issued a four-sentence statement announcing the spill Wednesday afternoon.

In an email, Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, wrote that the spill occurred around 9 p.m. and “had no impact on nuclear safety at the plant.”

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NRC Reorganizes Materials and Waste Programs

NRC Reorganizes Materials and Waste Programs

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has combined its two nuclear materials and waste program offices into one, completing a restructuring directed by the Commission in July to help the agency position itself to complete its work most effectively in the materials, waste and environmental areas.

Effective Oct. 5, programs housed in the Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs and the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards are merged. The new office will retain the name of the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards or NMSS, an office established by Congress when it created the NRC in 1974. The merger reflects changes in the NRC’s materials and waste management workload and an effort to integrate regulation of the front and back ends of the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as the agency’s goal to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

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Certainty about uncertainty

Good Day:

This morning, my commentary was posted to the UCS blog about decision-making using incomplete and potentially inaccurate information. See
Bias fills in missing information gaps with rosy or dire projections, clearly affecting decisions made.

Bias had the NRC paint a far more dire picture of the situation at Fukushima than did the Japanese regulator.

Bias had the NRC paint a rosy picture of the current situation at Diablo Canyon. Wonder what the Japanese regulator would recommend about the known earthquake and fire protection shortcomings at this plant? Bet they'd not be as nonchalant as the NRC has been.

Dave Lochbaum

Publication of Final Rule - Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has published the final rule, “Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel” (RIN 3150-AJ20; NRC-2012-0246).  As discussed in a previous e-mail dated September 10, 2014, the NRC prepared a final generic environmental impact statement that provides a regulatory basis for this final rule: NUREG-2157, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel.”

The final rule is available in the NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under Accession No. ML14262A011:  The final rule is also available on the Federal Register website:

NUREG-2157 is also available in ADAMS:
·         NUREG-2157, Vol. 1 (Accession No. ML14196A105)
·         NUREG-2157, Vol. 2 (Accession No. ML14196A107)

For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, at 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to

If you have any questions regarding the final rule or NUREG-2157, please contact Sarah Lopas, however, please note that this is the last e-mail notification that will be sent from

Thank you,

Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Waste Confidence Directorate