Monthly Archives: September 2011

Action List Contributors Nuclear Advocacy

Rally for Vermont Yankee Sept 12 at Brattleboro Courthouse

For Immediate Release:
Contact Meredith Angwin

Early in the morning of September 12, local supporters of nuclear energy will rally near the Brattleboro Courthouse to show support for continued operation of Vermont Yankee power plant. At 9 a.m. that morning, hearings will begin in Federal Court on the lawsuit between the State of Vermont and Entergy. Among other things, Entergy contends that Vermont has attempted to regulate the radiological safety of Vermont Yankee, in direct defiance of federal law.

A group of people supporting nuclear power will be near the Courthouse that morning. The group includes members of the Ethan Allen Institute Energy Education Project, the American Nuclear Society Vermont Pilot Project, and the Coalition for Energy Solutions. We will be there to support continued operation of Vermont Yankee power plant, a plant that produces one-third of Vermont’s electricity with virtually no emissions. Many of the members of our group have advanced degrees in engineering, chemistry and physics. We will be happy to answer questions about nuclear energy. However, we are not there to argue with dedicated nuclear opponents. We will avoid confrontations and name-calling, which are both unfortunate tactics of some plant opponents.

This rally is not planned by Entergy or sponsored by Entergy. However, any Entergy employees who decide to join us are very welcome.

Participants will include:

• Meredith Angwin, director of the Energy Education Project of the Ethan Allen Institute
• Dr. Robert Hargraves, energy educator at Dartmouth ILEAD and advanced reactor specialist
• Willem Post, well-known energy commentator on The Energy Collective: conservation advocate and wind critic
• Richard Schmidt, nuclear engineer and advocate for small-scale solar

All these people will be available for on-site interviews.

Meredith Angwin

Action List Contributors

Nuclear Carnival Number 68

Collection of posts from Pronuclear Bloggers Sept 3/2011 in its 68th week:

Meredith Angwin:
(Yes Vermont Yankee)

“What is the Real Impact? Richard Schmidt on Strontium, Mercury and Potassium in Fish”

“In this guest post, Richard Schmidt discusses how much Sr-90 was in the fish caught in the Connecticut River, the fish that caused Governor Shumlin to say he wouldn’t eat fish from the river. Schmidt points out that people are advised to restrict their intake of local fish due to mercury. The mercury comes from coal plants. Neither the strontium nor the potassium in the fish is a hazard.”


Margaret Harding:

Pest(el) in the Nuclear Industry the Economic Part 5

Margaret returns to her strategic analysis with an overview of some of the international economic drivers for the nuclear industry.


Brian Wang:

1. Building More Efficient Nuclear Fission Reactors

An exclusive Interview with Nextbigfuture with Terrapower nuclear Engineer Robert Petroski. He describes how reactors using depleted uranium could potentially play a major role in ameliorating the world’s energy problems.

2. China Energy Plan through 2015

Progress on low-carbon energy will come from a four-fold growth in nuclear power to 40GW (gigawatts), 63GW of new hydroelectric capacity, a growth of 22GW in gas-fired generation18, 48GW19 of new wind capacity to more than double the current capacity and solar capacity expected to reach 5GW of by 2015. The country aims to have 100 gigawatts (GW) of on-grid wind farm generating capacity by the end of 2015 and to generate 190 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of wind energy annually, the China Securities Journal reported, citing a government plan. Of the planned 10 GW of solar power capacity in 2015, photovoltaic power installations will account for 9 GW and concentrated solar thermal power capacity will make up the rest, the report said.

3. Japan’s 13 Month Maintenance Schedule

Japan’s 13 month maintenance cycle could shutdown all of their reactors and Germany has blackout risks as they exit nuclear


Rod Adams:

1. NRC Lack of planning may increase delays for new reactor licenses

It has been more than five months since the US NRC started spending a large quantity of unplanned resources in response to the Fukushima event. However, the agency has not requested any additional resources from congressional appropriators. The result is a squeeze on activities associated with new license applications. That will slow those efforts.

The NRC Public Affairs Office has indicated that there is no plan to change the situation.

2. Nuclear Fission Energy is superior to other energy sources

3. Shoreham Chapter 6 – Logical inconsistency. Wanting clean air while fighting to shut down nuclear


Dan Yurman: (Idaho Samizdat)

1. Debunking Rep. Ed Markey over hurricane Irene

In a breathless press release issued early this morning (08/29/11), Rep. Ed Markey, D- Mass., claims that U.S. nuclear reactors impacted by hurricane Irene had a far rougher time than reported in the news media.

What’s important is that none of the information items in the NRC Event Report indicate that the safety of the reactors was compromised in any way. There were no injuries to plant personnel and no radioactive releases.

It appears the NRC gave Markey’s office an early look at the event report from its private stock of information before it was posted on the agency’s website. How else would he have gotten the press release out so fast. This is flat out cheesy work. All federal agencies leak like sieves. NRC just happens to push a little harder for Ed Markey.

There is another problem with the NRC’s report, and that is that PR offices for the affected reactors never mentioned these reports to the NRC that took place throughout the weekend. And that comes after they were constantly providing updates via Twitter and Facebook. As for the NRC itself, why did it wait until Monday to release this information?

2. China restarts progress on it’s nuclear energy program

Post-Fukushima safety checks are done, but the size of the new build will be smaller

After five months China has mostly completed the safety inspections of its 11 GWe of nuclear energy plants. Work will resume on on the start of construction of new nuclear power stations. China temporarily suspended its nuclear new build on March 16, 2011.

In May 2011 the Chinese Environmental Ministry announced a series of supplemental measures to improve safety at the nation’s nuclear power plants. In August an IAEA team completed a review of China’s nuclear regulatory program with a series of recommendations to beef up its capabilities.

It’s not clear that work ever stopped on construction of reactor projects that had already broken ground. That includes four reactors being built by Westinghouse and two being built by Areva.

No operating reactors were reported to be closed by the inspections. The government did not released the results of the safety inspections. The report said that the safety checks would continue through October 2011.


John Bickel:

No! We did not almost lose North Anna

John Bickel discusses the margin of safety and the factors used to assess the amount of work used to design earthquake safe reactors and how critics can mislead or misunderstand the numbers.


Steve Aplin:

“Faced with choosing environment or jobs, Obama chooses… jobs”

“President Obama on Friday walked away from a commitment to reduce smog. That was obviously because he does not want to hamper a U.S. jobs recovery by making energy more expensive. But the president could, with a stroke of the pen, create thousands of high paid jobs and create huge amounts of smog-free energy. How? By getting his Office of Management and Budget to stop stonewalling loan guarantees for new nuclear energy projects.”


Charles Barton:

Indian and Chinese Development, Essay Part 1

Deproliferation India and Thorium Fuel, Essay Part 2

MSR/LFTR Development and Chinese Economic Growth, Essay Part 3

“… a series of posts which I plan to offer that will argue that current nuclear nonproliferation schemes are at best transitory, and are likely to undergo significant changes before the middle of the 21th century.

Barry Brook:

“What is your energy philosophy?”

Barry describes how many skeptics or those people with selfish motives often suggest that pronuclear environmentalists have hidden or dishonest intentions.



Japanese government and transparency

Gail Marcus discusses the issue of transparency, and compares the NRC response to TMI with the Japanese response to Fukushima.



Upcoming Films About Nuclear Power


My Newest Post: F.E.A.R. Fukushima Emits Acceptable Radiation

Some of my colleagues pointed me to the important article by British activist and journalist Mark Lynas. He explains very well how the hardship faced by Japanese residents living in fear and forced to leave their homes is far worse than returning with a properly assessed understanding of the true risks.

 Other past Nuclear Carnivals which is a weekly collection of pronuclear blogger roundups:
62. (Idaho Samizdat)

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

F.E.A.R. Fukushima Emits Acceptable Radiation

Mark Lynas – How dangerous is the Fukushima exclusion zone?

What Lynas says here is good timing and I sure hope the residents around Fukushima Daichi get a chance to read this. With the new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda things look more promising than the direction things were going in under Naoto Kan. As Lynas points out the emotional impact of being forced from your home outweighs the possible effects from radiation. Read on because my title was carefully zeroing in on “fear” for a reason.

“So the scientific consensus currently is that the radioactivity released by the accident at Fukushima will very likely present a small additional lifetime risk of cancer for people whose homes are in the relatively high 10-100 mSv contamination range. Given that the contamination comes largely from caesium-137 (which has a half-life of about 30 years) this will persist for long enough to make permanent evacuation a worrying prospect. Think about it seriously: would you return to your home if doing so presented you with a one-in-a-thousand to one-in-a-hundred additional risk of cancer? This is the choice faced by the Japanese population and authorities.”

Mark Lynas makes some very good points here and makes the statements that many pronuclear people already know. For example the linear no-threshold model cannot and should no longer be taken seriously with the overwhelming evidence that indicates that low radiation levels are not harmful and a significant body of evidence indicates it may even be beneficial.

“…The study estimates that were the same adult to undergo annual CT scans until age 75 – giving them similar exposure to living in Fukushima-contaminated areas with radiation doses of 10mSv/yr – the additional risk of cancer mortality would be about 1.9%, or 19 in 1000. By comparison, an individual’s lifetime chance of dying in a traffic accident in the US is estimated at 1 in 77 (or 13 in 1000).

For the purposes of argument, therefore, if everyone living in the exclusion zone (and other severely-contaminated areas) could be persuaded to give up driving (and to eschew smoking, which presents a massive lifetime risk of 100 in 1000 of causing lung cancer) then everyone could in theory be allowed to return with no additional loss of life to the impacts of radiation. The risks could simply be traded off each other. One could also make a strong case that people living in the Fukushima exclusion zone would still be better off statistically than those in heavily-polluted city centres, near coal-fired power stations and in industrial zones, which likely present higher carcinogenic risks…”

But read the whole article and the comments!!!