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The Pros and Cons
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Updated: Sept. 30, 2019

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Nuclear Power (or Nuclear Danger) News Stories
(In the Past Year)

 
  • Three Mile Island Last Nuclear Reactor Shut Down
    Three Mile Island Nuclear Power
    Plant Shuts Down Last Reactor

    Sept. 20, 2019 (GIZMODO)-The last reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania—the site of the worst nuclear plant meltdowns in the U.S.—is officially dead as of Friday.

    Plant operator Exelon Corp. announced the closure was coming back in May, and now the day has finally come. The plant’s closure comes some 40 years after Unit 2 reactor at the site partially melted down on March 28, 1979, due to human error, equipment failure, and design issues, releasing radiation into the environment. That event not only exposed the public to higher levels of radiation—it also set back public trust in our ability to do nuclear right.

    Click now for more.

  • Duke Energy Carbon Reduction Could Come at a Nuclear Price
    Duke Energy Seeks to Renew
    Nuclear Plant Licenses to Support
    Its Carbon Reduction Goals

    Sept. 20, 2019 (EnergyCentral)-Duke Energy will apply for 20-year license renewals for all six of its nuclear power plants in the Carolinas, potentially extending their working lives to eight decades.

    The announcement Thursday followed Duke’s pledge earlier this week to cut its CO2 emissions in half by 2030, compared to 2005, and to zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Nuclear power plants don’t directly release carbon dioxide and generate nearly half of Duke’s electricity in the Carolinas.

    Editorial Comment from the editor of this website:How safe is extending the life of a nuclear plant well beyond its original expectancy?

    Click now for the story.

  • TEPCO Calls It Quits for 5 Reactors at Nuclear Station
    Japan Losing Ground
    on Nuclear Reactor Restarts

    Aug. 25, 2018 (Energy Central)-Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said last week it will submit a plan regarding the decommissioning of five reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station, the world’s biggest atomic plant. The five units involved are 1100 MW BWRs built in the 1980s.

    The net effect of the plan, if implemented, could take to a national total of 26 the units set to be decommissioned by Japanese nuclear operators, or nearly half their pre-disaster fleet. TEPCO will be left with just two of its 17 units both newer 1300 MW ABWRs at the same site built in the mid-1990s.

    Click now to read more.

  • Our Nuclear Plants Are Aging - Can They Remain Safe?
    The Nuclear Dilemma

    Aug. 23, 2018 (Allegheny Front)-Nuclear Power. It’s often touted as a low-carbon energy source and an important part of stemming climate change. Today, nuclear plants provide 20% of U.S. power generation. But the nation’s nuclear fleet is aging and nuclear plants around the country are slated to close in the coming years. In an effort to keep them running, some in the Trump administration are pushing to reduce safety regulations for nuclear reactors.

    Click now to read the story
    or listen to the podcast.

  • The Latest Russian Nuclear Disaster
    Russia Urges Villagers to
    Leave Radioactive Blast Site

    Aug. 13, 2019 (The Wall Street Journal) -MOSCOW—Authorities urged residents of a village in Northwestern Russia to leave their homes, days after a nearby Defense Ministry test of a nuclear-powered engine exploded, boosting radiation levels that alarmed nearby inhabitants.

    Russian officials’ failure to release full details surrounding the explosion, which killed at least seven employees of Rosatom, Russia’s atomic energy monopoly, and of the Defense Ministry, have raised suspicions over the severity of the accident and whether officials are covering up details.

    Click now for the whole story.

  • A 2017 Radioactive Plume May Be Tied to Russia
    How a 2017 Radioactive
    Plume May Be Tied to Russia and Nixed Neutrino Research

    July 29, 2019 (Science News) -It was a nuclear whodunit: A cloud of radioactive material was hanging over Europe, but no one knew where it was coming from.

    The plume persisted for a few days in September and October 2017, detected by a network of atmospheric monitoring sites across Europe. Although not at levels dangerous to human health, the cloud was enough to raise alarm before dissipating.

    Click now for the whole story.

  • Nuclear Energy is Not Impervious to Climate Change
    Hot Weather Cuts French,
    German Nuclear Power Output

    July 25, 2020 (REUTERS) -Heat waves limit the ability to use river water to cool reactors and, as a result, the reactors are generally taken offline. This is the second year in a row that a heat wave has affected nuclear plant functioning. Last year, EDF shut down four reactors at three power plants.

    Scorching temperatures across Europe coupled with prolonged dry weather has reduced French nuclear power generation by around 5.2 gigawatts (GW) or 8%, French power grid operator RTE’s data showed on Thursday.

    Electricity output was curtailed at six reactors by 0840 GMT on Thursday, while two other reactors were offline, data showed. High water temperatures and sluggish flows limit the ability to use river water to cool reactors.

    Click now for this surprising story.

  • The NRC Doesn’t Need to Inspect Nuclear Facilities?
    NRC May Cut Back On Nuclear Power Plant Inspections

    July 17, 2020 (Electric Light & Power) -In an action prompted by Nuclear Power Industry, Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is recommending that the agency cut back on inspections at the country's nuclear reactors, a cost-cutting move promoted by the nuclear power industry but denounced by opponents as a threat to public safety.

    The recommendations, made public Tuesday, include reducing the time and scope of some annual inspections at the nation's 90-plus nuclear power plants. Some other inspections would be cut from every two years to every three years.

    Some of the staff's recommendations would require a vote by the commission, which has a majority of members appointed or reappointed by President Donald Trump, who has urged agencies to reduce regulatory requirements for industries.

    Click now for this freightening story.

  • Wave ‘Byebye’ to Oyster Creek Nuke Generating Station
    GE Hitachi to Help
    Decommission Oyster Creek
    Nuclear Generating Station

    July 10, 2019 Electric Light & Power -GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy won a contract by Comprehensive Decommissioning International to decommission reactor internals and the reactor pressure vessel at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, New Jersey.

    GEH will dismantle, segment and pack reactor internals and the reactor pressure vessel of the boiling water reactor that was shut down in September 2018.

    All handling and segmentation will be carried out underwater and will be accomplished using the primary segmentation system that was designed in conjunction with REI Nuclear. GEH acquired the business and certain assets of REI Nuclear in December 2018.

    Click now for a good-news story.

  • Russia Criticized For Arctic Nuclear Activity
    Russia Plans to Tow a Nuclear
    Power Station to the Arctic.
    Critics dub it a ‘Floating Chernobyl'

    June 30, 2019   CNN - In August, 2019, a floating nuclear power plant called the Akademik Lomonosov will be towed via the Northern Sea Route to its final destination in the Far East, after almost two decades in construction.

    It's part of Russia's ambition to bring electric power to a mineral-rich region. The 144-meter (472 feet) long platform painted in the colors of the Russian flag is going to float next to a small Arctic port town of Pevek, some 4,000 miles away from Moscow. It will supply electricity to settlements and companies extracting hydrocarbons and precious stones in the Chukotka region.

    Click now to get radio-active.

  • Is This Nuke Plant For Fuel, or Weapons?
    Nuclear Watchdogs Warn
    Against Blurring Energy,
    Military Uses at Ohio Fuel Plant

    Feb. 13, 2019 Energy News Network -A planned nuclear fuel plant in Ohio could help enable the nation’s next wave of carbon-free electricity, a fleet of small reactors providing continuous power to the grid.

    The U.S. Department of Energy fuel facility would be unique in part because it could also produce material for use in nuclear weapons. That crosses a potentially dangerous line, nuclear watchdog groups say — one that could undercut efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

  •  China Will Resume Its Nuclear Reactor Program 
    China’s Nuclear Hiatus May
    Be Coming to an End

    Feb. 1, 2019 M.I.T. Technology Review - Beijing has approved the construction of four new nuclear reactors using a domestically developed design, according to Chinese news reports. If confirmed, the deployment of China’s Hualong One reactor would end a more than two-year hiatus in approvals that had cast a shadow over China’s nuclear enterprise.

    The reactors are slated for two new sites along China’s coast: CNNC’s Zhangzhou power project in Fujian and CGN’s Huizhou Taipingling project in Guangdong.

  •   Cutting Nuclear Reactors Down to Size  
    Honey, I Shrunk
    the Nuclear Reactor!

    Energy Central, Jan. 4, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Energy has been touting their efforts into Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) as a key part of the future of clean and affordable energy.

    Advanced SMRs offer many advantages, such as relatively small size, reduced capital investment, ability to be sited in locations not possible for larger nuclear plants, and provisions for incremental power additions. SMRs also offer distinct safeguards, security and nonproliferation advantages.

  •  China Grows Wary about Nuclear Cost and Safety 
    China’s Losing Its
    Taste for Nuclear
    Power. That’s Bad News.

    M.I.T. Technology Review, Dec. 12, 2018 - “Most beautiful wedding photos taken at a nuclear power plant” might just be the strangest competition ever. But by inviting couples to celebrate their nuptials at the Daya Bay plant in Shenzhen and post the pictures online, China General Nuclear Power (CGN), the country’s largest nuclear power operator, got lots of favorable publicity.

    A year later, the honeymoon is over, and you can read why.

  •   Ukraine Learned From the Chernobyl Disaster   
    Ukraine Found the Perfect
    Use for the Radioactive
    Land of Chernobyl

    Oct. 5, 2018 -Chernobyl is producing power again—though not the kind that triggered a nuclear meltdown 32 years ago. Ukraine is now turning to solar power, and in the process, making good use of land that won’t be habitable to humans for another 24,000 years.

    A modest one-megawatt plant, located just a hundred yards from the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant, was launched earlier today by Ukranian authorities, AFP reports. The photovoltaic cells of this 1-million euro ($1.2 million) solar station take up 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of land and produce enough energy to power about 2,000 households.

    Click to read more from
     Earther-Gizmodo.


Of Interest

  • TerraPower: Nuclear Innovation Striving to Improve the World
    We Need Advanced Nuclear Now
    TeraPower Says It's Rready

    TeraPower-TerraPower’s founders entered the nuclear energy arena to meet growing electricity needs and lift billions out of poverty. Advanced reactors and other isotopic applications are now possible with technology and enhanced computing capabilities that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. TerraPower says that they are ready to build the clean energy of tomorrow - today.

    One of their founders, incidentally, is Bill Gates.

  •  The Hanford Nuclear Leak Is Irreparable  
    D.O.E. To Permanently
    Close Damaged Hanford Tank

    Jan. 2, 2018 - The Energy Department says it will permanently close a damaged radioactive waste storage tank on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

    The department says that Tank AY-102 has widespread damage and should not be repaired.

    Click now for more on this earthFix story.

  •  The U.S. Backs Off Nukes - But Not Georgia 
    The U.S. Backs Off Nuclear
    Power. Georgia Wants to
    Keep Building Reactors

    Aug. 31, 2017,  The New York Times - Even as the rest of the United States backs away from nuclear power, utilities in Georgia are pressing ahead with plans to build two huge reactors in the next five years — the only nuclear units still under construction nationwide.

    Click now for to learn more.

  • Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon?
    Keeping Uranium Mining
    Out of the Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon is an irreplaceable natural treasure. Its stunning vistas, ancient geology, and winding Colorado River are world renowned — drawing over 5.5 million visitors to the park each year. Moreover, more than 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland depend on the Colorado River for clean, safe water.

    Yet, irresponsibly operated uranium mines located on federal public land just miles from the North and South Rims threaten to permanently pollute the Grand Canyon landscape and the greater Colorado River.

  • What's the NRC Hiding on Palo Verde?
    Nuclear Leaks: The Back Story
    the NRC Doesn’t Want You to
    Know about Palo Verde

    June 14,2017 - One of two emergency diesel generators (EDGs) for the Unit 3 reactor at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station in Arizona was severely damaged during a test run on December 15, 2016.

    The operating license issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allowed the reactor to continue running for up to 10 days with one EDG out of service. Because the extensive damage required far longer than 10 days to repair, the owner asked the NRC for permission to continue operating Unit 3 for up to 62 days with only one EDG available. The NRC approved that request.

  •   The USA's 10 Riskiest Nuclear Power Plants 
    Where Are They - And
    What Are the Dangers?

    March 18, 2011 - As we watch the continuing catastrophe in Japan unfold with no clear expectations of the outcome, one thing is for certain: The safety of nuclear power has become a hot topic of conversation. While some countries are shutting down plants, many other are reevaluating the safety of theirs and strategizing over future plans.

    Click now to read the complete article.

  • Old Nuke Plants Are Dragging Down Clean Energy
    Why America’s Old Nuclear
    Plants Could Be Dragging Down
    Clean Energy Development

    Apr. 25, 2017 -New York and Illinois are investing billions to keep old facilities in action, and Connecticut, New Jersey, and Ohio are among states contemplating the same idea. It’s an expensive process, though it does mean that new natural gas plants aren’t required to fill the gaps left by wind and solar.

  •    Revisiting the Three Mile Island Meltdown 
    Documentary:Meltdown at Three
    Mile Island 40 Years Later

    EnergyCentral Mar. 28, 2019 -The Three Mile Island accident on March 28, 1979 is still considered the worst at a U.S. nuclear plant in history. Due to a series of human and technical errors, the core of the Unit Two reactor at TMI partially melted down.

    Though debated and controversial, research over the past 40 years concluded only a small amount of radiation escaped into the atmosphere and didn’t result in any deaths or injuries.

    This documentary details what happened inside the containment building at TMI on March 28: the chaos, confusion, miscommunication and fear in the area surrounding the plant afterwards and the legacy of TMI after the accident.

  • British Nuclear Project Becomes Messy
    Huge British Nuclear
    Project Becomes a
    Diplomatic Flash Point

    Aug. 15, 2016 -Once considered a vital part of Britain’s clean-energy future, the beleaguered Hinkley Point nuclear plant project looked further than ever from becoming reality this week as a row erupted between the three countries developing the massive facility: the U.K., France, and China.

  •  Does Fail-safe Nuclear Power Actually Exist?   
    Could We Actually Have
    Fail-safe Nuclear Power?

    Aug. 2, 2016 -The Shanghai Institute’s effort to develop molten-salt reactors, a technology that has sat all but forgotten in the United States for decades, reflects just how daring China’s nuclear ambitions are. Already, the government has invested some two billion Chinese renminbi ($300 million) over the last five years in molten-salt R&D. Building actual plants will require tens of billions more.

  •  Florida Power & Light Sued For Radio-Active Leak 
    Florida Nuclear
    Plant Operator Sued for
    Polluting Drinking Water

    July 15, 2016 -Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against Florida Power & Light Co., operator of the Turkey Point nuclear facility, saying that the company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging contaminants from the plant, impacting nearby drinking water.

    Click now to read the story
    (Hint: Bring your Geiger Counter).

  •  Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant to Close
    Diablo Canyon Nuclear
    Reactors to Be Replaced With
    100% Renewable Energy

    June 21, 2016 -An historic agreement has been reached between Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Friends of the Earth and other environmental and labor organizations to replace the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors with greenhouse-gas-free renewable energy, efficiency and energy storage resources.

    Click now to read the great news.

  •    The Protrusion of Confusion Over Fusion
    The Real Problem With
    Fusion Energy

    May 27, 2016 -The longstanding joke about fusion — that it’s the energy source of the future, and always will may not be the field’s biggest problem.

    Click now for what
    might be encouraging news.

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Resources

  • All Things Nuclear
    Fukushima: Taking On the NRC

    Union of Concerned Scientists - If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission balks at implementing new safeguards in a reasonable time frame on the grounds that it does not have enough information about what happened in Japan, then the agency also cannot have enough information to relicense operating reactors or license new ones...

    More by clicking now.

  • Russia Criticized For Its Arctic Nuclear Activity
    Nuclear Security: Power
    Plants Are Poorly Protected
    Against Malicious Acts

    Oct. 10, 2017   Greenpeace - The nuclear power plants around us are “The Sword of Damocles” over our heads.

    A new report by independent experts, submitted to authorities in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, questions security at French and Belgian nuclear facilities and points at their vulnerability to outside attacks. These experts are particularly concerned about a certain type of facility at nuclear plants: the spent fuel storage pools.

    These pools tend to contain the highest volume of radioactive matter in a nuclear plant and are very poorly protected. Rather than wait for the worst to happen, let’s address this issue and take action.

  • Dangers of Densely Packed Nuclear Waste Pools
    The Case for Moving U.S.
    Nuclear Fuel to Dry Storage

    Apr. 14, 2011   M.I.T. Technology Review - One of the lesser-noted facts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster—where loss of coolant in spent-fuel pools has resulted in massive radiation releases—is that some fuel at the plant was stored in so-called dry casks, and these casks survived the March 11 earthquake and tsunami intact.

    This fact is likely to result in new calls to move some spent fuel out of water pools at reactor sites in the United States—where it is packed more densely than the fuel in the stricken Japanese pools—and into outdoor dry casks, experts say.

    Worried? Click now to get radio-active.

  • Links Between Nuke Power and Weapons
    The Links Between Nuclear
    Power and Nuclear Weapons

    - Nuclear weapons and nuclear power share several common features. The long list of links includes their histories, similar technologies, skills, health and safety aspects, regulatory issues and radiological research and development. For example, the process of enriching uranium to make it into fuel for nuclear power stations is also used to make nuclear weapons. Plutonium is a by-product of the nuclear fuel cycle and is still used by some countries to make nuclear weapons.

    There is a danger that more nuclear power stations in the world could mean more nuclear weapons. Because countries like the UK are promoting the expansion of nuclear power, other countries are beginning to plan for their own nuclear power programs too. But there is always the danger that countries acquiring nuclear power technology may subvert its use to develop a nuclear weapons program.

    Click to read more from
    the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.


Decades have passed since the first power plant of this type went on line, and no viable solution for the storage of this contaminant has yet to emerge.

Industry spokespersons have long touted nuclear energy as cost-effective when compared to fossil based fuels, but their conclusions fail to consider the cost of decommissioning a plant when it has reached its maturity.

Recent studies have revealed that greenhouse gasses resulting from nuclear power may
be even higher that those produced from the burning of natural gas (latest findings).
U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Locations
Worldwide Nuclear Leaks

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