Connecticut Coalition Against the Millstone Nuclear Power Reactor

 

CCAM NEWS 2007 part 2

 

water bladders

TVA's nuclear reactor at Browns Ferry, Alabama
July 9 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush plunged into the cotton fields of northern Alabama last month to fete the restart of the Tennessee Valley Authority's oldest, most troubled nuclear reactor after a $1.8 billion renovation.
``We want to start building plants,'' said Bush, whose administration is promoting loan guarantees and tax breaks to get the first new U.S. reactors constructed since 1996.
U.S. electricity producers aren't leaping to embrace that vision. Bankers and their utility clients are demanding more generous loan guarantees than the Bush administration is offering. And consumers probably will have to pay more for power to make the $4 billion needed to build each new reactor a worthwhile investment.
``It's a whopping amount of money,'' says Rob Graber, vice president of EnergyPath Corp., an energy consulting firm.
Far more than safety and environmental concerns, the biggest hurdle to fulfilling Bush's ambition to build the equivalent of three new nuclear plants a year by 2015 is money.
U.S. utilities will have to invest about $350 billion by 2025 to satisfy the country's growing appetite for electricity, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, consultant.
At a time when the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington trade group, is heralding a ``nuclear renaissance,'' TVA is alone in executing the objective. Of the 16 U.S. electricity producers that have told the government they are interested in building new nuclear plants, none has committed to the projects.
Challenges
The challenges TVA faced at Browns Ferry, a former stagecoach crossing 11 miles (18 kilometers) southwest of Athens, Alabama, demonstrate how difficult it will be to relaunch the U.S. nuclear power industry.
The tasks range from lining up billions of dollars in financing to securing scarce components in a manufacturing sector decimated decades ago, and hiring and training a new generation of skilled workers at a time when about one-third of the industry's existing workforce is close to retirement.
Yet, now that TVA has finished the overhaul of its Browns Ferry Unit One reactor, which is generating enough electricity to light 650,000 homes, the company is already looking to build or complete three other reactors it abandoned in the 1980s.
U.S. nuclear power utilities have scared away investors ever since the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania. These days, the overwhelming stumbling block is that it costs about 28 percent more to build a new nuclear plant than the value Wall Street assigns to existing reactors.
New Versus Old
Investment banking consultant Gary L. Hunt, president of Global Energy Advisors in Sacramento, California, estimates the cost of building a plant at $2,214 per kilowatt of generating capacity. The market places a value of $1,730 per kilowatt of generating capacity on currently operating reactors, he says.
TVA's renovation of Browns Ferry Unit One was attractive because it retooled an old reactor for just $1,558 per kilowatt.
By comparison, traditional coal-fired plants cost $2,022 per kilowatt to build, Hunt says. And Congress is considering clean-air legislation that would add about $500 per kilowatt to the cost of those conventional coal plants.
Because nuclear power runs on uranium, it doesn't emit the greenhouse gases associated with carbon-emitting coal. Its disadvantage is producing permanent stores of radioactive waste.
To satisfy an estimated 40 percent increase in U.S. electricity demand by 2025, the Bush administration is promoting nuclear power's development with tax credits, loan guarantees and a streamlined regulatory review process.
Higher Rates
Several state governments in the south -- Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina -- have assured utilities they will be able to recapture the costs of new nuclear plants through higher electricity rates, says Mary Quillian, director of business and environmental policy at the Nuclear Energy Institute.
James Curtiss, an energy lawyer at the Washington law firm Winston & Strawn LLP, predicts that applications to build and license the new reactors will start coming in to the government overseer, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, at the pace of about one a month beginning in the fourth quarter. That would surpass the peak of applications in the 1970s.
Still, bankers and utility executives say more incentives are necessary to make the projects viable. That is because $3 of nuclear power-generating assets -- reactors hooked up to steam generators -- are needed to produce $1 of revenue, making it the most capital intensive of all major industries, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
Loan Guarantees
In March, five bankers told U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman -- who accompanied Bush to Browns Ferry -- that the administration's offer to support new plant development with loan guarantees covering 72 percent of a reactor's construction costs should be increased to 80 percent.
In a letter, energy partners at Goldman, Sachs & Co., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities LLC, Lehman Brothers Inc. and Morgan Stanley told Bodman that without the added concession it wouldn't be possible to raise financing for new nuclear plants ``on commercially reasonable terms.''
Democrats' hold on Congress, meantime, has taken some steam out of the nuclear lobby. ``It is not unqualified or unambiguous support we are enjoying,'' says the Nuclear Energy Institute's chief executive officer, Frank L. ``Skip'' Bowman.
Morgan Stanley Executive Director Caren Byrd says political consensus may not emerge until after the 2008 presidential election: ``Both parties -- certainly the Democrats -- are concerned about the environment. But I don't see a lot of Democrats pounding the table of new nuclear yet.''
Shift to Customer
Government backing is necessary, says Goldman Managing Director John Gilbertson, a signatory on the bankers' letter to Bodman.
``Nobody can have confidence now that when the bell rings and the time comes to go raise the money that they'll find it,'' he says.
Government incentives are too generous already, says Peter Bradford, an NRC commissioner from 1977 to 1982. Now a critic of nuclear power, he says the state and federal programs to promote a nuclear revival shift investment risks from the utilities to consumers and taxpayers.
``The reforms of the '80s said, `Let's put the risk on the utilities and the builders because they're in charge of managing these projects and are in a position to assess and manage the risk,''' Bradford says. ``What's offensive about what's happening now is Congress and the state legislatures are doing it in much the opposite direction.''
$300 Million New
TVA, with its headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee, was created by Congress in 1933 as a self-regulated utility and development corporation to produce jobs and electricity in the rural South. Today, TVA is the largest U.S. power producer, serving 8.7 million people in seven states.
``It really broke a mold of what we call total poverty,'' says sketch artist James Croley Smith, 83, of Athens, Alabama, who remembers life without electricity before TVA changed the landscape in the seven states the Tennessee River traverses.
TVA began building the Browns Ferry plant in 1967. It completed Unit One in 1974 for $300 million.
At the time, TVA was promoting plans to build 17 reactors to contend with forecasts for rising energy costs and fast- growing demand -- a scenario much like today's.
It completed only six, including three reactors at Browns Ferry, while spending $10.9 billion on 11 unfinished projects.
$3.3 Billion Debt
The debacle almost led to TVA's insolvency and saddled it with $3.3 billion in debt still on its balance sheet.
The last U.S. nuclear plant completed was TVA's Watts Bar I reactor in Spring City, Tennessee. It was finished in 1996 for $6.9 billion, after a quarter-century of management missteps, shifting regulations and spiraling costs.
During those years, TVA spent $1.8 billion on a second, uncompleted reactor at Spring City and about $4 billion on another uncompleted reactor in Hollywood, Alabama.
Meanwhile, danger signs dogged its existing fleet.
A fire at Browns Ferry Unit One in March 1975 -- caused by an electrician working with a candle -- burned out of control for almost seven hours. The reactor, then only eight months old, was closed for 1 1/2 years.
From 1980 to 1985, the NRC assessed TVA's nuclear fleet with more than 1,000 regulatory violations.
`A Certain Arrogance'
In March 1985, TVA closed the Browns Ferry plant due to safety concerns that temporarily sidelined its entire fleet of reactors and prompted it to abandon the costliest nuclear energy building program in U.S. history. The NRC says 28 U.S. nuclear plants have shut since the 1960s, 16 are being decommissioned and 97 were canceled before completion.
Craven Crowell, TVA's chairman from 1993 to 2001, says hubris brought on the government enterprise's ills.
``There was a certain arrogance at TVA that `We can do anything, we can build anything': `We've harnessed a river, we've built carbon plants, and there's nothing different about how a nuclear plant boils water,''' Crowell says. ``It took until the mid-80s until people realized there had to be a different approach to how people managed the nuclear program.''
Today, Ashok Bhatnagar, 51, TVA's senior vice president of nuclear development, defends the decision to rehabilitate the 1960s-era Browns Ferry reactor.
``These are very robust designs,'' he says. ``And there is so much experience built in over the years, you can't discount what the experience is worth to you.''
Latest Technology
Andrew C. White, who runs nuclear operations for General Electric Co., says the refurbished unit is fully modern. General Electric designed the original Browns Ferry reactor and performed $170 million in renovation work on it.
``This has probably brought in all the latest and greatest technology, fuel, instrumentation and technology that we have today for an existing plant,'' White says.
Yet building nuclear reactors will remain challenging, as revealed by TVA's efforts to secure the scarce components -- which took it from Brazil to Japan -- and the skilled personnel it needed to bring back the Browns Ferry reactor.
The Nuclear Energy Institute estimates that only about 10 percent of the U.S. manufacturing capacity that existed to build the current generation of nuclear reactors remains.
Most companies that produced the heavy steel forgings, cables, pumps and valves that went into U.S. reactors in the 1960s and 1970s have since been acquired by non-U.S. companies or folded, making parts hard to find and expensive.
Lost Infrastructure
Former TVA Chief Nuclear Officer Oliver Kingsley says, ``I don't believe the United States is really ready to start the new construction of nuclear reactors. We've lost our previous infrastructure, and it wasn't too good.''
Thomas Retson, president of EnergyPath in Wilmington, North Carolina, takes a more hopeful view. ``The entire supply chain has been weakened over the years,'' he says. ``This project has brought back into the game the functionalities, some of which had gone dormant.''
The Browns Ferry restoration also cost federal regulators more than 60,000 hours of review time over five years. The restoration was replete with surprises, from welding defects to an unexpected shutdown of the reactor during testing in June.
``It's absurd,'' says Faith Young, a Hartsville, Tennessee, environmental activist who has opposed TVA's nuclear program since the 1970s. ``I think they learned no lessons.''
`Massive Undertaking'
NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein responds that the time and care taken shows how much has been learned. ``What I hope Browns Ferry does is give the public and industry confidence in the NRC,'' Klein says. ``This was a massive undertaking.''
TVA will have to continue to expand. Peak demand for its electricity is increasing by 1.9 percent a year, resulting in the need for new generating capacity comparable to Browns Ferry Unit One every 20 months.
TVA CEO Tom Kilgore told his board May 31 that the enterprise will have to buy $1.06 billion of power on the open market this year to cover its generating shortfall.
The situation is heightened by a drought in the Tennessee Valley that has reduced by 50 percent TVA's river-based hydro- electric generation, its cheapest energy source.
``We need to be self sufficient,'' Kilgore said.
The CEO told his board he would like to finish the uncompleted Spring City reactor by 2013, if cost studies support the project. Some TVA managers, contractors and government inspectors already have moved from Browns Ferry to Spring City. Kilgore said TVA also is considering whether to build two reactors by 2019 at its Hollywood, Alabama, site.
Financial Stretch
Even the Browns Ferry renovation was a financial stretch. TVA funded the project in part by borrowing $1.3 billion against its gas-fired turbine generators and other equipment. It also raised cash through the pre-sale of $1.5 billion in electricity, at about a 1 percent discount, to its largest customer, the city-owned Memphis Light, Gas and Water utility.
TVA's Bhatnagar says the Browns Ferry restart will pay for itself in five years. ``We've shown the value of nuclear once again as a good source of energy for the country,'' he says.
Within the nuclear power industry, TVA's example is seen as a symbol of progress that others may follow.
``They did go procure nuclear-grade materials on a global scale,'' says Randy Hutchinson, senior vice president of nuclear development at New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., which is considering building two nuclear plants, in Louisiana and Mississippi. ``They were able to go out, and -- even though it was difficult -- to marshal a workforce to do this.
``They brought a nuclear plant that had been shut down for a number of years -- that everybody in the industry thought would never restart -- and they started it,'' he says.
To contact the reporter on this story: Elliot Blair Smith in Athens, Alabama at esmith29@ bloomberg.net
Last Updated: July 9, 2007 00:10 EDT

Phillip Musegaas
Staff Attorney/Policy Analyst
Riverkeeper, Inc.
828 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-478-4501 x224


Stop the nuclear Blackmail.
No more Nuclear Hocus Pocus!
Billions spent on another centralized power station
Controlled by the Cor-“pirate’ War Machine!
With little white men,
Running around in little white coats.
Extracting money from your wallets!
Why do we need a middleman?
For what?
Corpirate profits?
All hail the power of greed.
Load all the nuclear waste into cannons
With a half life of a million years.
Get your sons and daughters to sit on top,
Pull the trigger and
Shoot it everywhere!
All over the world.
That’s what’s happening NOW!
Bush & Co’s idea of conservation.
What a waste!
It’s a crime.
A crime against humanity!
Imagine everyone having a wind mill or solar panel in their backyard,
Connected to the grid.
Selling all the extra energy back to the companies,
Manufacturing them.
We need to decentralize power production.
Take the energy out of the hands of the Enron’s
And give it back to the people.
Do we really need?
Dick Chaney!
Telling us what to do?
A decentralized energy production system.
Is the answer.
Energy produced at point of consumption.
Millions of wind mills and solar panels.
Power to the people.
Spend those billions on clean renewable energy.
Conserve!
Effect higher efficiency standards.
This benefits all of the people,
All of the time.
Our myopic economic system,
Run by greedy psychopaths!
Is a failure.
Or haven’t you noticed?
It benefits the few
At the cost of the many.
It is passé.
It is over.
We are witnessing the death throws of
Greedy Cor-“pirate” Dinosaurs.
Left over from the Fossil Fuel age.
Frozen in time.
Fossils of a bygone age.
Trying to perpetuate their monopoly.
Beyond the point of extinction.
At gun point.
We need a decentralized system that stops wasting energy transporting goods all over the world.
Everything should be point of source.
Local food production.
Local manufacturing.
Local energy production.
Stop the Corpirates and help free the world.

Visit article and blog on Alternet


Secrecy Shrouds Accident at Nuclear Plant By Matthew L. Wald The New York Times 5/7/2005

Washington - A factory that makes uranium fuel for nuclear reactors had a spill so bad that it kept the plant closed for seven months last year and became one of only three incidents in all of 2006 serious enough for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to include in an annual report to Congress. After an investigation, the commission changed the terms of the factory's license and said that the public had 20 days to request a hearing on the changes.
But no member of the public ever did. In fact, no member of the public could find out about the changes. The document describing them, including the notice of hearing rights for anyone who felt adversely affected, was stamped "official use only," meaning that it was not publicly accessible. "Official use only" is a category below "Secret" and, while documents in that category are not technically classified, they are kept from the public.
The agency would not even have told Congress which factory was involved were it not for the efforts of one of the five commissioners, Gregory B. Jaczko, who named the company, Nuclear Fuel Services, of Erwin, Tenn., in a memo that became part of the public record. His memo said that other public documents would allow an informed person to deduce that the factory belonged to Nuclear Fuel Services. Such secrecy by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is now coming under attack by influential members of Congress who complain that the agency is withholding numerous documents about the country's nuclear facilities in the name of national security, but that many withheld documents are not sensitive. The lawmakers say the agency must move to balance its penchant for secrecy with the public's right to participate in the licensing process and its right to know about potential hazards.
Additional details of the 2006 incident are coming to light now because of a letter sent on Tuesday to the nuclear agency by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee chairman, Representative John D. Dingell, and the chairman of the oversight subcommittee, Representative Bart Stupak, both Democrats from Michigan, complained that the N.R.C. "went far beyond" the need to protect sensitive security information by keeping documents about Nuclear Fuel Services, a private company, from the public. The agency, the congressmen complained, "has removed hundreds of otherwise innocuous documents relating to the N.F.S. plant from public view."
Mr. Jaczko, in a telephone interview, said, "ultimately, we regulate on behalf of the public, and it's important for them to have a role." He said that he believed other information about Nuclear Fuel Services that should be public had been marked "official use only."
With a resurgence of nuclear plant construction expected after a 30-year halt, agency officials say frequently that they are trying to strike a balance between winning public confidence by regulating openly, and protecting sensitive information. A commission spokesman, Scott Burnell, said that the designation as "official use only" was now under review.
As laid out by the commission's report to Congress and other sources, the event at the Nuclear Fuel Service factory was discovered when a supervisor saw a yellow liquid dribbling under a door and into a hallway. Workers had previously described a yellow liquid in a "glove box," a sealed container with gloves built into the sides to allow a technician to manipulate objects inside, but managers had decided that it was ordinary uranium.
In fact, it was highly enriched uranium that had been declared surplus from the weapons inventory of the Energy Department and sent to the plant to be diluted to a strength appropriate for a civilian reactor. The factory is under contract to prepare such uranium for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
In a puddle, the uranium is not particularly hazardous, but if it formed a more spherical shape, according to the commission, it could become a "critical mass," a quantity of nuclear fuel sufficient to sustain a chain reaction, in this case outside a reactor. According to the letter sent by the lawmakers, the puddle, containing about nine gallons, reached to within four feet of an elevator pit. The letter from the congressmen says the agency's report suggests "that it was merely a matter of luck that a criticality accident did not occur."
If the material had gone critical, "it is likely that at least one worker would have received an exposure high enough to cause acute health effects or death," the commission said. A spokesman for the company, Tony Treadway, said the elevator was better described as a dumbwaiter, meaning it was far smaller than a passenger elevator.
Almost anywhere else, the commission would have disclosed the details. But in 2004, according to the committee's letter, the Office of Naval Reactors, part of the Energy Department, reached an agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that any correspondence with Nuclear Fuel Services would be marked "official use only." The plant processes high-enriched uranium for Navy submarine propulsion reactors.
The memorandum that declared such correspondence to be "official use only" was itself designated "official use only."


Nuclear Expansion is a Pipe Dream, Says Report
By John Vidal The Guardian UK Wednesday 04 July 2007
Hope for new era of cheap, clean power is a "myth." Building more stations would increase terror risk.
A worldwide expansion of nuclear power has little chance of significantly reducing carbon emissions but will add dangerously to the proliferation of nuclear weapons-grade materials and the potential for nuclear terrorism, says a leading research group that has analysed the possible uptake of civil atomic power over the next 65 years.
The Oxford Research Group paper, funded by the Joseph Rowntree charitable trust, says that the worldwide nuclear "renaissance" planned by the industry to provide cheap, clean power is a myth. Although global electricity demand is expected to rise by 50% in the next 25 years, only 25 new nuclear reactors are currently being built, with 76 more planned and a further 162 proposed, many of which are unlikely to be built. This compares with 429 reactors in operation today, many of which are already near the end of their useful lives and need replacing soon.
For nuclear power to make any significant contribution to a reduction in global carbon emissions in the next two generations, the paper says, the industry would have to construct nearly 3,000 new reactors - or about one a week for 60 years.
"A civil nuclear construction and supply programme on this scale is a pipe dream, and completely unfeasible. The highest historic rate [of build] is 3.4 new reactors a year," says the report.
The paper - Too Hot to Handle? The Future of Civil Nuclear Power - comes as the UK government consults on a new generation of nuclear power stations and at a time of increased terrorist activity. It argues that worldwide stocks of high-grade uranium are expected to have run dangerously low within 25 years and that a significant increase in nuclear power beyond then will require a new generation of "breeder" reactor.
Though this will reduce the need for high-grade uranium, it says, it will also add immensely to the amount of weapons-grade plutonium being produced. "Even a small expansion in the use of nuclear power for electricity generation would have serious consequences for the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that do not now have them and for nuclear terrorism," it says.
The researchers say that nuclear proliferation is inevitable in the next decade. If all the reactors planned today are built, a further seven countries will have nuclear power. Nine more potentially volatile Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and Syria, have expressed interest in civil nuclear power, says the paper.
In addition, future demand for electricity will come from the world's poorest countries, which are expected to add nearly 3.5 billion to their populations in the next 60 years. "If nuclear power is to play more than a marginal role in combating global warming, then nuclear power will have to be operated in countries like Bangladesh, Congo, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan, which at present have no nuclear reactors", it says.
"According to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, within 30-40 years at least 30 countries are likely to have access to fissile materials from their civil nuclear power programmes that can be used for nuclear weapons and competent nuclear physicists and engineers who could design and fabricate them.
"Future breeder reactors will be fuelled with plutonium and only a small input of uranium. The plutonium will be of a type suitable for use in the most efficient nuclear weapons. The normal operation of these reactors will, as a matter of course, multiply the amount of weapons-usable plutonium available across the world.
"If the decision to go with nuclear power is taken, then the UK will implement a flawed and dangerously counter-productive energy policy.
"The question is whether in the 21st century the security risks associated with civil nuclear power can be managed, or not? Society has to decide whether or not the risks of proliferation and nuclear terrorism in a world with many nuclear power reactors are acceptable."
Backstory
A scramble for uranium to feed the new generation of nuclear plants in China and Russia has led to a huge price increase: the commodity shot up 45% to $138 a pound in the past three months alone - as compared with $10.75 in early 2003, when atomic power was out of favour and nobody wanted to construct facilities. Nuclear is now seen as one way of meeting soaring energy demand while keeping greenhouse gas emissions low.
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Cool Hand Nuke: Paul Newman endorses power plant
WASHINGTON (AP) — Call him Cool Hand Nuke. Actor and salad dressing salesman
Paul Newman weighed in Wednesday on the Indian Point nuclear power facility
in the New York suburbs, pronouncing it safer than military bases he had
visited.
Newman, the star of such films as Cool Hand Luke,Slap Shot and Nobody's
Fool, visited the Buchanan, N.Y., facility on Monday, according to Jim
Steets, a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear, the company that owns Indian Point.
The veteran actor, restaurateur and organic-food producer praised the
nuclear power facility as an important part of the region's energy future
because it doesn't produce greenhouse gases, which contribute to global
warming.
Through a statement issued by an industry group, Newman said he was
impressed with the safety measures in place at Indian Point — a key worry
point for local residents, some of whom want the plant, 35 miles north of
midtown Manhattan, shut down as a potential target of terrorism.
In stark contrast to his Cool Hand Luke character, who was always trying to
break out of prison, Newman was apparently given a security card to enter
the highly sensitive area.
"What I saw exceeded my expectations," Newman said in the statement. "No
Army or Navy base I've ever visited has been more armored, and I couldn't
walk 30 feet inside the plant without swiping my key card to go through
another security checkpoint."
Newman, who has electrified audiences for decades with his 100-watt smile
and raffish charm, called the plant an important source of electricity for
millions of New Yorkers.
He also sounded confident that the spent fuel rods are safely stored "in a
pool that, in my younger days, I could jump across."
Steets, the Entergy spokesman, called Newman's visit "a terrific tour."
"We had a good time showing him around the plant," Steets said. "He was very
engaging, very interested in the issues."
USA TODAY 5/23/2007 Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
Lisa Rainwater, PhD
Indian Point Campaign Director
Riverkeeper, Inc.
914-478-4501
http://www.riverkeeper.org


"Data storm" blamed for nuclear-plant shutdown
Robert Lemos, SecurityFocus 2007-05-18

NukeNet Anti-Nuclear Network (nukenet@energyjustice.net)
http://www.securityfocus.com/print/news/11465
The U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Homeland Security
called this week for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to
further investigate the cause of excessive network traffic that shut
down an Alabama nuclear plant.
During the incident, which happened last August at Unit 3 of the
Browns Ferry nuclear power plant, operators manually shut down the
reactor after two water recirculation pumps failed. The recirculation
pumps control the flow of water through the reactor, and thus the
power output of boiling-water reactors (BWRs) like Browns Ferry Unit
3. An investigation into the failure found that the controllers for
the pumps locked up following a spike in data traffic -- referred to
as a "data storm" in the NRC notice -- on the power plant's internal
control system network. The deluge of data was apparently caused by a
separate malfunctioning control device, known as a programmable logic
controller (PLC).
In a letter dated May 14 but released to the public on Friday, the
Committee on Homeland Security and the Subcommittee on Emerging
Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology asked the chairman
of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue to investigate
the incident.
"Conversations between the Homeland Security Committee staff and the
NRC representatives suggest that it is possible that this incident
could have come from outside the plant," Committee Chairman Bennie G.
Thompson (D-Miss.) and Subcommittee Chairman James R. Langevin (D-RI)
stated in the letter. "Unless and until the cause of the excessive
network load can be explained, there is no way for either the
licensee (power company) or the NRC to know that this was not an
external distributed denial-of-service attack."
The August 2006 incident is the latest network threat to affect the
nation's power utilities. In January 2003, the Slammer worm disrupted
systems of Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, but did not pose a
safety risk because the plant had been offline since the prior year.
However, the incident did prompt a notice from the NRC warning all
power plant operators to take such risks into account.
In August 2003, nearly 50 million homes in the northeastern U.S. and
neighboring Canadian provinces suffered from a loss of power after
early warning systems failed to work properly, allowing a local
outage to cascade across several power grids. A number of factors
contributed to the failure, including a bug in a common energy
management system and the MSBlast, or Blaster, worm which quickly
spread among systems running Microsoft Windows, eventually claiming
more than 25 million systems.
No digital contagion has been fingered in the latest incident, said
Terry Johnson, spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority, the
public power company that runs the Browns Ferry power plant.
"The integrated control system (ICS) network is not connected to the
network outside the plant, but it is connected to a very large number
of controllers and devices in the plant," Johnson said. "You can end
up with a lot of information, and it appears to be more than it could
handle."
The device responsible for flooding the network with data appears to
be a programmable logic controller (PLC) connected to the plant's
Ethernet network, according to an NRC information notice on the
incident (PDF). The PLC controlled Unit 3's condensate demineralizer
-- essentially a water softener for nuclear plants. The flood of data
spewed out by the malfunctioning controller caused the variable
frequency drive (VFD) controllers for the recirculation pumps to hang.
Such failures are common among PLC and supervisory control and data
acquisition (SCADA) systems, because the manufacturers do not test
the devices' handling of bad data, said Dale Peterson, CEO of
industrial system security firm DigitalBond.
"What is happening in this marketplace is that vendors will build
their own (network) stacks to make it cheaper," Peterson said. "And
it works, but when (the device) gets anything that it didn't expect,
it will gag."
In many cases, a simple vulnerability scan will even cause the
devices to crash, Peterson said. During tests in an electrical
substation, Nessus running in safe scan mode crashed devices, he
said. In some cases, sending out broadcast data on the network will
crash several of connected devices, he added.
"If you were to test any control systems that have any more than
three or four different network-connected devices, they could be
knocked over very easily," Peterson said.
The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant has had its share of
difficulties. All three units of the plant were shutdown in 1985 due
to performance and management problems, according to the NRC. Unit 2
was restarted in 1991, and Unit 3 started operating again in 1995. On
Tuesday, the NRC gave the Tennessee Valley Authority permission to
restart Unit 1.
The Committee on Homeland Security gave the NRC until June 14 to
respond to its letter.
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Copyright 2006, SecurityFocus


Connecticut Highways Would Be Conduit for
New England Radioactive Waste Transport
Under Bush Nuke Waste Transport Plan

For Immediate Release May 22, 2007
Contact:
Kevin Kamps 301-270-6477 ex 14
John Sticpewich 828-675-1792
Nancy Burton at NancyBurtonCT@aol.comNIRS Nuclear Information and Resource Service
6930 Carroll Avenue # 340 Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
301-270-6477, www.nirs.org nirsnet@nirs.org

May 22 – Connecticut will be a conduit for all high-level nuclear waste from nuclear facilities in New England states to be transported to new dumpsites in the south if a measure proposed by the Bush Administration is approved, the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone reported today.

Shipments of thousands of tons of deadly radioactive waste from nuclear reactors in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire would converge on Connecticut’s three interstates - 91, 95 and 84 - and pass through the state’s major metropolitan areas in hundreds of trips as well as along railroads routes and waterways, the Coalition reported.

“This unprecedented migration of nuclear waste - containing plutonium, americium and other deadly radioisotopes in large quantities which remain deadly for thousands of years - would be a mobile Chernobyl, posing unparalleled opportunities for terrorists and ordinary transit accidents,” said Nancy Burton, Coalition director.

“This plan represents nuclear madness to an extreme,” Burton added.

“The Bush Administration’s deadly love affair with the atom must be stopped by Congress and public opinion,” Burton said.

At present, the thousands of tons of high-level spent nuclear fuel generated by New England’s six nuclear power stations over nearly 40 years is maintained at each site in storage pools or above-ground casks.

“At present, in situ storage is the safest way to keep this spent nuclear material,” Burton said. “A massive migration of deadly nuclear waste across our highways, over our rails and along our rivers and waterways poses unacceptable risks to all the communities that will be unwitting hosts.”

The Coalition joined 40 other community-based groups nationwide teaming with Nuclear Information and Resource Service and the Common Sense at the Nuclear Crossroads Campaign are releasing new maps showing likely transport routes (road, rail and water) that high-level radioactive waste (irradiated or spent fuel) would take from nuclear power reactors to the federal Savannah River Site in South Carolina for reprocessing, if that location is chosen under the federal Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).

Eleven sites are currently under consideration for GNEP; two in South Carolina. Implementation of GNEP would redirect the transportation of this waste, previously assumed to target the flawed and unsuitable Yucca Mountain site in Nevada.
Part of a study by John Sticpewich entitled “A Study of the Problems With Transport and Reprocessing of Nuclear Waste in the Carolinas,” the maps were generated using Department of Energy (DOE) data and the on-line DOE routing program, TRAGIS.

“Credit analysts on Wall Street have suggested that moving the accumulated high-level waste from the reactor sites would make investment in new nuclear power more likely,” said Sticpewich.

“This report documents the huge tonnage of radioactive waste that must be dealt with, the very high costs of transporting it, and the potential for impact that such a move would have on hundreds of communities along the way.”

John Sticpewich did this work on behalf of the Common Sense at the Nuclear Crossroads Campaign based in Asheville, NC.

The maps and his report are available at: http://www.nuclearcrossroads.org/secondreport.htm

If implemented, GNEP would move accumulated waste from 75 sites in 33 states. Due to limited resources, the new maps show only a defined “study area:” waste sites that are east of the Mississippi River, and from the Carolinas, north. While routes are shown in all states east of the Mississippi, those in MS, AL, GA and FL include only out-of-state waste – the reactors in those states are not included as a points of origin – though they would be under the GNEP program.
“This case study of one scenario and a limited study area includes two thirds of the nation’s reactors. It is a good start on looking at the impact of bringing the nation’s high-level waste into the South,” said Mary Olson, Director of the Southeast Office of Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Another scenario we do not show is a possible plan for this deadly waste to be centralized for storage at a “parking-lot dump” -- a top candidate for so-called “temporary” storage is the Piketon site in Appalachian Ohio” concluded Olson. Piketon is another of the 11 sites being considered under GNEP.
“NIRS coined the slogan ‘Mobile Chernobyl’ back when Congress weighed shipping this high-level nuclear waste to Nevada to a parking-lot style dump. It refers to the elevated risk of accidents or incidents that will travel with this deadly waste if put on the roads and rails,” said Kevin Kamps, Nuclear Waste Specialist with Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “The risk of terrorist attack means that these shipments are potential dirty bombs on wheels or water,” says Kamps. “The big news in these maps is the water routes to SRS – the Great Lakes could be hit by many hundreds to thousands of these shipments, along with rivers, canals, and coastlines in every region.” Although Yucca Mountain cannot be approached directly by water, DOE proposed barge shipments for segments of transports there as well.
“Coincidentally, Dairyland Power’s intensely radioactive Genoa atomic reactor pressure vessel shipment by train from LaCrosse, Wisconsin to Barnwell, South Carolina for dumping in a ditch, is about to roll – perhaps as early as today -- down the tracks, most likely via IL, IN, KY, TN, and GA, the very routes identified in this new study,” said Kevin Kamps of NIRS. “This real-life shipment, happening right now, has its own radiological hazards, but these are dwarfed by the many thousands of high-level radioactive waste shipments that would follow it in years ahead if South Carolina opens a reprocessing facility,” said Kamps.
“There are 32 new reactors moving forward, and of these 30 are in the South,” said Mary Olson. “In 2005 Congress started talking about reviving the failed, unprofitable reprocessing technology – that would bring the worst nuclear waste to South Carolina. This is a major shift in ‘the deal.’ We were told that nuclear waste would not be a problem—effectively it would be dumped on someone else! Now if GNEP goes forward, more of the real cost of those new nuclear power reactors will be clear: nuclear waste would stay here in the South and more would come from all over the country – and possibly the world!” concluded Olson.
Groups taking participating in the May 22nd release:
Common Sense at the Nuclear Crossroads (Asheville, North Carolina); Nuclear Information and Resource Service (Takoma Park, MD and Asheville, North Carolina); Physicians for Social Responsibility of Western North Carolina; Citizen’s Awareness Network (Massachusetts); Green Party of Onondaga County (New York); Central New York Citizens Awareness Network; Syracuse Peace Council (New York); Don't Waste Michigan; Nuclear Energy Information Service (Chicago, Illinois); Earth Day Coalition (Cleveland, Ohio); Southern Ohio Neighbors Group; Citizen Action Coalition of Indiana; Yggdrasil/Earth Island (Kentucky); Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League; The Canary Coalition (North Carolina); Nuclear Watch South (Atlanta, Georgia); Citizens For Environmental Justice (Savannah, Georgia); Atlanta WAND (Georgia); Action for A Clean Environment (Georgia); South Carolina Chapter, Sierra Club; HIPWAZEE (Columbia, South Carolina); Environmentalists Inc. (Columbia, South Carolina); Carolina Peace Resource Center (Columbia, South Carolina); Columbia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (South Carolina); Charleston Peace (South Carolina); Thinking People (Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina); South Carolina Alliance for Sustainable Campuses + Communities; Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power (Pennsylvania); Energy Justice Network (Pennsylvania); Don't Waste Connecticut; Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone; North American Water Office (Lake Elmo, Minnesota); Citizen Alert (Las Vegas, Nevada); Southern Nevada Group of the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club; NatCap Inc. (Colorado); Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes (Monroe, Michigan); Citizens Resistance at Fermi Two (Livonia, Michigan); Toledo Coalition for Safe Energy (Ohio), Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee (Port Hope, Ontario), Canada Voices for Earth Justice (Roseville, MI), Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (Lake Station, MI), Huron Environmental Activist League (Alpena, MI).

.

SECOND REPORT
CSNC is preparing to release a second report on the problems of the transport of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. This report considers the implications of the proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership program for reprocessing the waste from commercial power generating reactors. The routes that would be used to transport the waste by road, rail and water if the Savannah River National Laboratory or Barnwell are chosen as locations for reprocessing are examined.

The report will be released in the third week of May at public meetings and made available on this web-site. Printed coppies of the report will be made available to the public. We are asking readers to consider a donation of $5 per copy to defray printing costs. Media inquiries about the upcoming report should be directed to: media_info@nuclearcrossroads.org. Summary Maps from the Report.The maps below are the summary maps for the road, rail and water routes to SRS that are presented in the report. A PDF version of the map can be downloaded by clicking on the title of each map.

Roads


Rail


Water


Statewide environmental groups join CT Coalition Against Millstone and Soundkeeper in call to convert Millstone to closed cooling

On May 1, 2007, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound intervened in the proceedings before DEP on Millstone's Clean Water Act permit renewal to advocate for Millstone conversion from once-through to closed cooling.

CCAM and Soundkeeper are already intervenors in the case.

The intervenors argue that convertion to an environmentally-friendly closed cooling system would substantially eliminate mortality of billions of marine organisms at the Millstone intakes, the harmful thermal plume and the discharge of toxic chemicals and radionuclides to the Long Island Sound.

The intervenors maintain conversion to a closed cooling system is required as a result of a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, in which Connecticut Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal argued that closed cooling is a superior technology to reduce adverse ennvironmental impacts from nuclear power plants. However, in the current DEP proceedings, Blumenthal is advocating on behalf of Dominion's position, to maintain the status quo.
Read more: http://www.theday.com


GOVERNOR SPITZER JOINS FORCES WITH CONGRESSMAN HALL AND NEW YORK'S HUDSON VALLEY CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO CALL FOR INDEPENDENT SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF INDIAN POINT

April 26, 2007
ELIOT SPITZER, GOVERNOR
CONTACT: Christine Anderson
canderson@ chamber.state.ny.us
212.681.4640
518.474.8418

Governor Eliot Spitzer joined with Congressman John Hall and New York's
Hudson Valley members of Congress, including Congressman Maurice Hinchey,
Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Congressman Eliot Engel, Senator Charles Schumer
and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in calling on Dale Klein, Chairman of the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), to order an Independent Safety
Assessment (ISA) at Indian Point Energy Center before the plant is
re-licensed.
In his letter to Chairman Klein, Governor Spitzer detailed the issues
plaguing the Indian Point facility and the need for swift action on the part
of the NRC.
"I continue to be gravely concerned about the safety and security of Indian
Point, especially given the recent operational problems at the plant," said
Governor Spitzer. "Public safety must be our foremost concern and for that
reason it is imperative that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conduct an
Independent Safety Assessment to fully review the facility before it is
re-licensed."
Governor Spitzer endorsed H.R. 994 and S. 649, and commended Congressman
Hall for his leadership in introducing the legislation in the U.S. House of
Representatives. He lauded the dedication of the bill's co-sponsors:
Hinchey, Lowey, and Engel and Senators Schumer and Clinton for introducing a
companion Senate bill.
On February 12th Congressman Hall introduced legislation, co-sponsored by
Hinchey, Lowey and Engel, requiring the NRC to oversee an in-depth
independent inspection at Indian Point. Hall's bill, H.R. 994, would also
require that the plant comply with the ISA recommendations or be denied a
license extension in 2013. Senators Schumer and Clinton reintroduced a
companion bill (S.649) in the Senate.
On Monday the NRC fined the owners of Indian Point, Entergy Nuclear
Operations Inc., $130,000 for failing to meet last week's deadline for a new
emergency siren plan.
Congressman John Hall said, "Indian Point is the nation's most problematic
power plant in the nation's most densely populated corridor. With 8% of the
population of the United States within a 50 mile radius of the plant, the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to give this plant the special attention
it requires. Entergy's inability to install a functioning alert system and
the seemingly weekly string of mishaps at Indian Point make it clearer than
ever that the NRC needs to conduct an Independent Safety Assessment before
allowing this plant to get re-licensed."
Congressman Hinchey said, "I am very pleased that we continue to make
strides in our efforts to convince the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to
agree to an Independent Safety Assessment at Indian Point. The recent shut
downs and siren failures at Indian Point clearly show that the plant is not
functioning properly, which is why we desperately need a thorough safety
examination of the plant that would then lead to improvements. The NRC must
act soon before an accident with greater consequences occurs."
Congressman Engel said, "Today Governor Spitzer continues his leadership and
his willingness to take on industries that threaten the well being of New
Yorkers. Only a truly independent assessment will give our residents any
hope of feeling safe with Indian Point in their backyard." Senator Chuck
Schumer said, "When it comes to nuclear safety and security, we expect the
highest standards. Safety must be the number one priority, that's why we
need an independent investigation."
Senator Clinton said, "I applaud Governor Spitzer for joining the call for
an Independent Safety Assessment at Indian Point. It's time for the NRC and
Entergy to heed the call that is echoing throughout the community and only
gets louder as more incidents occur. It is way past time for the NRC to
undertake a detailed, independent review of the plant to answer the
questions that more and more New Yorkers have about the safety of the
plant."
Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, Michael Balboni said, "The state
continues to work with the counties in the emergency planning zones as well
as the federal government to ensure that we are doing everything possible to
ensure the security of the plant during its operation. The Governor has
indicated that he would support the closure of Indian Point at such a time
when alternative energy sources are developed and which meet the energy
needs of the region. Until that time, we must do all that we can to make
sure that the Indian Point facility complies with all federal laws and
regulations and is operated as safely as possible."
Last week, Governor Spitzer established an energy conservation goal that is
the most ambitious in the nation. The plan focuses on energy efficiency,
conservation, and investment in renewable energy sources as the keys to
achieving economic and environmental goals.
A copy of the Governor's letter to Chairman Dale Klein is attached.
Meaghan Smith
Press Secretary
Congressman John Hall (NY-19)
1217 Longworth HOB
202.225.5441 (o) 202.253.7700 (c)
Sign up for Congressman Hall's E-newsletter at
http://johnhall.house.gov/emailjohn.asp


NRC disregards the law,
slapping Entergy on the wrist for Indian Point siren failure:
What do 20 million people within 50 miles of IP matter?

NRC shirks its public guardian responsibilities - again

On April 23, 2007, the NRC announced it had proposed a $130,000 fine on the owner of Indian Point for the company's failure to provide backup power to emergency sirens as it had been ordered to do.
Big deal.
Not really.
Small potatoes. It's a David Copperfield-styled antic designed to provide the mere appearance of regulatory "bite." But it's with Nerf-teeth.
The NRC's authority to fine Indian Point's owner for violating federally mandated requirements is contained in Section 2.205 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations. (Available online at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part002/part002-0205.html )
Specifically, paragraph (j) in 10 CFR 2.205 specifies the amount of the ticket:
"(j) Amount. A civil monetary penalty imposed under Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or any other statute within the jurisdiction of the Commission that provides for the imposition of a civil penalty in an amount equal to the amount set forth in Section 234, may not exceed $130,000 for each violation. If any violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation for the purpose of computing the applicable civil penalty."
The first sentence of this two-sentence paragraph limits the fine to a maximum of $130,000 per violation.
The second sentence of this two-sentence paragraph says that "if any violation is a continuing one [as this Indian Point violation be], each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation...".
The NRC apparently lost interest and didn't read the second sentence of this two-sentence paragraph. Or read it and deliberately chose to ignore it.
Entergy violated the NRC's order. The NRC determined that violation to be deliberate. The applicable federal regulation calls for a fine of $130,000 per violation per day. The NRC proposed a mere $130,000 fine as if it were a one-day violation and not a continuing violation.
$130,000 appears to be a hefty sanction. But not to a billion dollar company like Entergy. Entergy spends far more than $130,000 to sponsor events like golfing tournaments such as the Southern Farm Bureau Classic ( http://www.sfbclassic.com/sponsor-info.php ) and the Louisiana Pelican Classic ( http://www.lapelicanclassic.com/sponsors.php ).
Congress, which passed a law that required the NRC to make Entergy install backup power for the emergency sirens at Indian Point, might want to ask the NRC why the agency opted to apply only half of its enforcement arsenal and issue a token sanction. Congress might want to ask the NRC why the agency opted NOT to fine Entergy for each and every day of its continuing violation as provided in the regulation.
Thanks,


Dave Lochbaum
Director, Nuclear Safety Project
Union of Concerned Scientists
1707 H Street NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006-3962
(202) 223-6133 (office)
(202) 331-5430 (direct line)
(202) 223-6162 (fax)

Indian Point Nuclear Plant Stable After Explosion
Tony Aiello Reporting (CBS) BUCHANAN, N.Y.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of Friday's explosion and fire on the grounds of the Indian Point nuclear energy center.
The incident forced the shut down of the Indian Point 3 nuclear reactor, and caused plant owner Entergy Nuclear Northeast to issue a "notice of unusual event."
Plant safety director Michael Slobodien said an electrical transformer exploded and caught fire near the reactor shortly after 11 a.m.
"It's in an area outside the nuclear part of the plant," Slobodien told reporters. "The plant shut down safely and is under control.
"Anytime you have something of this nature that affects a major component like the transformer, you would shut down for safety sake and to conduct an investigation," Slobodien said.
The transformer takes electricity from the reactor and feeds it to overhead power cables. It was protected by a sprinkler deluge system that automatically knocked down much of the fire, Slobodien said.
The plant's own fire brigade also worked to put out the fire. The Verplanck Fire Department sent several units to Indian Point to serve as mutual aid, but they were not needed.
Westchester County sent health workers to monitor air quality near the plant after the fire. The monitors detected no release of radiation, according to Tony Sutton, the county's Commissioner of Emergency Services.
"We always want to err on the side of caution," Sutton said. "That's why we dispatched a couple field teams to monitor air quality and check for radiation."
"We have nothing to indicate this had any impact at all on public health and safety."
Smoke from the fire was visible across the Hudson River in Rockland County, and prompted concerned calls from many residents.
Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef complained it took Entergy 30 minutes to notify the county of the event.
In Buchanan, many residents took the scare in stride.
"I didn't even really get scared when I saw the fire trucks," said Norma Barrett. "I just went with the flow."
The fire marked the fourth time since July that Indian Point 3 was forced to shut down. Critics said the problems illustrated the need for an independent safety analysis of the entire plant.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission downgraded the plant's safety rating after the fire, from green, the best rating, to white, one step lower. The commission said the plant would be under increased scrutiny for several weeks.
Operations at the Indian Point 2 generator were not affected, Entergy said.
(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)



Nuclear Power 'Can't Stop Climate Change
by Geoffrey Lean Published on Saturday, June 26, 2004 by the lndependent/UK

Nuclear power cannot solve global warming, the international body set up to promote atomic energy admits today.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which exists to spread the peaceful use of the atom, reveals in a new report that it could not grow fast enough over the next decades to slow climate change - even under the most favorable circumstances.
The report - published to celebrate yesterday's 50th anniversary of nuclear power - contradicts a recent surge of support for the atom as the answer to global warming.
That surge was provoked by an article in The Independent last month by Professor James Lovelock - the creator of the Gaia theory - who said that only a massive expansion of nuclear power as the world's main energy source could prevent climate change overwhelming the globe.
Professor Lovelock, a long-time nuclear supporter, wrote: "Civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear - the one safe, available, energy source - now or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet."
His comments were backed by Sir Bernard Ingham, Lady Thatcher's former PR chief, and other commentators, but have now been rebutted by the most authoritative organization on the matter.
Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear power emits no carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change. However, it has long been in decline in the face of rising public opposition and increasing reluctance of governments and utilities to finance its enormous construction costs.
No new atomic power station has been ordered in the US for a quarter of a century, and only one is being built in Western Europe - in Finland. Meanwhile, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden have all pledged to phase out existing plants.
The IAEA report considers two scenarios. In the first, nuclear energy continues to decline, with no new stations built beyond those already planned. Its share of world electricity - and thus its relative contribution to fighting global warming - drops from its current 16 per cent to 12 per cent by 2030.
Surprisingly, it made an even smaller relative contribution to combating climate change under the IAEA's most favorable scenario, seeing nuclear power grow by 70 per cent over the next 25 years. This is because the world would have to be so prosperous to afford the expansions that traditional ways of generating electricity from fossil fuels would have grown even faster. Climate change would doom the planet before nuclear power could save it.
Alan McDonald, an IAEA nuclear energy analyst, told The Independent on Sunday last night: "Saying that nuclear power can solve global warming by itself is way over the top." But he added that closing existing nuclear power stations would make tackling climate change harder.
© 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

Greenpeace activists scale nuclear cooling tower in France today 3/27/07

Greenpeace activists on Tuesday scaled a nuclear cooling tower in central France in a spectacular stunt to draw attention to its campaign against nuclear power.
Activists from eight different countries targeted a plant in Belleville sur Loire, climbing the tower's outer ladder and absailing half-way back down to spray-paint the words "EPR = Danger".
Construction of France's first so-called "third-generation" European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR), located in Flamanville near the English Channel, is due to begin by the end of the year.
But the project is opposed by anti-nuclear activists, who drew tens of thousands of people into the streets in protest earlier this month."We want to denounce the dangers of nuclear power in general and the EPR in particular," said a Greenpeace spokeswoman Adelaide Colin.
France derives more than three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest ratio of any country in the world, and many of its 58 reactors are nearing the end of their usefulness.
Designed to generate power for 60 years, the EPR will gradually take over as the reactors currently in service are start to be decommissioned from 2015.
Around 60 police officers, backed by elite commando squads and four helicopters, were mobilised during the operation, although the power provider Electricite de France said the demonstrators had not come close to any dangerous installations.
March 27, 2007
Nuclear power: neither as secure, nor carbon-free, as industry hacks would
have you believe.
Posted by brianfit
Twelve activists, from eight countries, have managed to get inside the security perimiter of a nuclear power plant at Belleville Sur Loire in France and scale the cooling tower. Notable in this video (in French) is the complete lack of any security personnel whatsoever. (More here from Greenpeace France)
To be honest, I think I'd prefer to see our banner-hanging sprees foiled by security than know that a potential source of dirty bomb material can be gotten into with equipment little more advanced than a ladder.
And if you're of the school that says "ok, it's a risky technology, vulnerable to break-ins by unsavory types who might take an interest in dirty bomb or fissionable material, but at least it doesn't cause climate change," you may want to read this article in Business Week:
Is [nuclear power] really as clean as supporters contend? A report, released on Mar. 26 by a British nongovernmental organization called the Oxford Research Group, disputes the popular perception that nuclear is a clean energy source. It argues that while nuclear plants may not generate carbon dioxide while they operate, the other steps necessary to produce nuclear power, including the mining of uranium and the storing of waste, result in substantial amounts of carbon dioxide pollution. "As this report shows, hopes for the climate-protecting potential of nuclear energy are entirely misplaced," says Jürgen Trittin, a former minister of the environment in Germany and a contributor to the report. "Nuclear power cannot be promoted on environmental grounds." [...] "The assumption has long been that the [greenhouse] effect is zero, but the evidence shows otherwise." The report comes as British Prime Minister Tony Blair is pushing to build a new generation of nuclear plants in the name of curbing global warming.
Environmental groups like Greenpeace, the Rocky Mountain Institute and Germany's Öko-Institut have argued in recent years that nuclear power comes with hidden carbon emissions. But the Oxford Research Group study is the most quantitative and up-to-date advancement of this assertion...So lets see. It's not safe. It's not a solution to climate change. Even the Nevada Nuclear Test Site is a non-starter for storing the waste. What exactly is left to argue for Nuclear Power?
Ah, of course! It's "too cheap to meter." Oh wait, that one fizzled years ago, didn't it...


Annual NRC Cover-Up Time - March 22!
The NRC's Region I inspectors are holding their annual "performance assessment" public meetings on Thursday, March 22, 2007 in Waterford.
You can speak at two public sessions:
3 P.M.: Sillin Training Center, Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Rope Ferry Road, Waterford (prepare to provide photo ID);
6 PM: Waterford Town Hall, Rope Ferry Road, Waterford
Help us to expose a corrupt federal agency and a corrupt corporate profiteer! Set the truth free! BE THERE!



During last year's annual assessment meeting, the NRC inspectors covered up the truth about Dominion's illegal retaliation against Sham Mehta because he truthfully reported that Dominion routinely disables its security system to save money - putting the public at high risk of nuclear sabotage.
During last year's annual assessment meeting, Millstone Unit 2 was running at 100 per cent power with a broken pump system. Dominion's top brass and the NRC kept us in the dark about this high safety risk during the meeting. When the meeting was over and the inspectors and Attorney General Blumenthal and the media all went home, Millstone Unit 2 tripped to an unplanned and very dangerous shutdown, releasing excessive levels of radiation to the surrounding residential environment.
This year, the NRC inspectors will congraulate Dominion for a "job well done" as they do every year. THEY ARE LYING. Dominion's top brass will then disappear from the meeting. The public will then be given a brief period to make comments and ask questions of the NRC which will be answered if at all through falsehoods and contorted logic contrived to cover up Dominion malfeasance and misfeasance and deliberate illegal conduct.
Tell the NRC you demand answers from Dominion. Make Dominion's management accountable to the people, not their lapdog government "regulators."
You can speak at two public sessions:
3 P.M.: Sillin Training Center, Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Rope Ferry Road, Waterford (prepare to provide photo ID);
6 PM: Waterford Town Hall, Rope Ferry Road, Waterford
Help us to expose a corrupt federal agency and a corrupt corporate profiteer! Set the truth free!


 

SOUNDKEEPER TERRY BACKER JOINS
CT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
CALLING FOR MILLSTONE MODIFICATION
TO SPARE FISH, PROTECT LONG ISLAND SOUND

For Release March 19, 2007 at 9 A.M.
Contact Nancy Burton: 203-938-3952--cell 203-545-9252-NancyBurtonCT@aol.com
Contact Terry Backer: 203-943-2764-- Soundkeeper@gmail.com

Long Island Soundkeeper Terry Backer joined the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone today in calling for converting the Millstone nuclear reactors to a fish-friendly cooling system.

“Once-through cooling - what is used at Millstone - is equivalent to a fish-killing machine and it needs to stop,” said Backer.

“Millions of marine organisms are doomed to die this spring when they’ll be swept into Millstone’s once-through cooling system,” said Nancy Burton, Coalition director.

“Millstone is the worst predator of fish in the Northeast,” Burton said. “Indigenous fish species are being driven to extinction by the Millstone cooling system.”

Backer and Burton spoke at a press conference prior to a hearing in the Hartford Superior Court on Burton’s application for a temporary injunction to place Millstone’s two operating nuclear reactors in “cold shutdown” during the peak period of larval entrainment, April 1 through May 15.

A cold shutdown would reduce water intake by nearly 70 per cent yet allow sufficient inflow to cool the Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors and nuclear components, Burton said. It would substantially reduce the entrainment of the fish larvae.

Burton is seeking a court order to force Dominion Nuclear Power, Inc., Millstone’s owner, to convert the two operating reactors to a closed cooling system.

“Dominion’s notorious excess profits should be diverted to a program to stop killing fish by converting to a closed cooling system,” Burton said.

“That would virtually eliminate entrainment of marine organisms, stop the routine discharge of toxic and radioactive waste products to the Long Island Sound and reduce the thermal plume,” Burton said.

Burton’s lawsuit asks the court to relieve the state Department of Environmental Protection of its role in the Clean Water Act permitting process that allows Millstone to operate its once-through cooling system.

“DEP has allowed Millstone for operate 10 years after its discharge permit expired in 1997,” Burton said, “and for the past 7 years DEP has allowed Millstone to exceed the conditions of the expired permit with illegal ‘emergency authorizations,’” she said.

“Clearly, DEP has demonstrated that when it comes to Millstone it lacks the will to uphold the public trust in the environment,” Burton said.

Note to Editors: Long Island Soundkeeper Terry Backer and Nancy Burton and others will appear at a press conference on Monday, March 19, 2007, at 9 A.M. in front of the Hartford Superior Court, 95 Washington Street, Hartford. A court hearing on Burton's application for a temporary injunction is scheduled for 9:30 A.M. in Courtroom 2.


Mr. Blumenthal’s Challenge

DEP Commissioner Regina McCarthy and Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal are fierce opponents of Broadwater, the Shell Oil-TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. proposal for an aircraft carrier-size floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.

Blumenthal calls Broadwater “an unacceptable security danger, an environmental atrocity and an aesthetic monstronsity.”

He’s right.

To demonstrate the point, in January, Blumenthal “took the plunge” into the Sound at Branford with other Broadwater opponents to attract publicity for the cause.

As bad as Broadwater would be, it is a hill of beans compared with the “unacceptable security danger, environmental atrocity and aesthetic monstronsity” that Millstone poses TODAY and EVERY DAY IT OPERATES.

We invite Mr. Blumenthal to “take the plunge” against Broadwater AND Millstone at Pleasure Beach in Waterford across Jordan Cove from Millstone.

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone is challenging Regina McCarthy’s tentative decision to allow Millstone to continue dumping toxic and radioactive waste into the Sound along with its thermal plume. The Coalition demands that McCarthy order Millstone converted to a closed cooling system that would avoid fish kills and pollution and heating of the Sound.

The Coalition has asked Mr. Bumenthal to intervene in the proceedings in support of the Coalition’s position. So far, Mr. Blumenthal has ignored the challenge.

Mr. Blumenthal: Won't you take a public plunge at Pleasure Beach?


Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone Statement to Energy & Technology Committee on Advance Radiation Release Notice and the Nuclear Whistleblower Act 3/6/07

www.MothballMillstone.org
“Millsteam” April 17, 2005 - Class II Emergency

March 6, 2007

Energy & Technology Committee
Legislative Office Building
Hartford CT 06106

Re: An Act Concerning Whistleblowers and Planned Releases
Raised Bill H.B. No. 7312

Dear Committee Members:

My name is Nancy Burton. I am Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, which consists of safe-energy organizations, Millstone whistleblowers and families throughout the state. The Coalition was organized in 1998 to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear power and the need to replace it with clean, safe, renewable energy. We serve as a watchdog over operations of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford.

With comments, we support Raised Bill H.B. No. 7312, An Act Concerning Whistleblowers and Planned Releases: To Protect Nuclear Whistleblowers and to Require Nuclear Plant Operators to Notify the Public in Advance of Planned Radiation Releases.

Planned Radiation Releases

On April 17, 2005, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., Millstone’s corporate parent, declared a Class II - on a scale of four - emergency. For more than ten hours, steam, accompanied by clamorous noises, gushed uncontrolled from Unit 3. A major unplanned release of radiation occurred during this event. From the outset of the event, Dominion released knowingly false information to the public on its website and through the news media. Compare Dominion’s website pronouncement on the day of the event (“No release of radioactive material has occurred [later revised to ‘during the event’] beyond those minor releases Associate with normal plant operations. These minor releases pose no danger to the public or plant workers. The minor releases are below federally approved operating limits, below natural background levels and can not be detected at the site boundary.”) with its website pronouncement on April 20, 2005 (“There were no injuries and no radioactive materials were released as a result of this event.”) Further compare these statements with those of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in press releases (April 17: “Radiological monitoring by the company to this point indicates there have been no detectable releases of radioactivity from the plant. There has been no impact on public health and safety.”)(April 20: “No injuries resulted from the event and preliminary evaluations indicate there were no releases of radioactivity above allowable levels.”)(May 11: There were no injuries due to the event and any releases of radioactivity were small and well below allowable federal limits.”)

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone demanded a full explanation by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which responded with a public information meeting a month later. At that time, the NRC admitted that there had been unusual radiation releases of noble gases on April 17, 2006, including radioactive krypton which quickly decays to the deadly radioisotope strontium-90. The NRC representatives acknowledged they withheld information from the public to avoid panic. Thus we learned long after the event that the public had been exposed to a significant unplanned radiation release to the air we breathe.

Greater accountability is required to protect the public.

A necessary first step is to mandate that Dominion notify the public in advance of all planned releases of radiation. Millstone routinely releases radiation to the environment. On occasion, Dominion plans “batch” releases of radioactive effluents which have been stored to allow for radioactive decay. The public has a right to know that this is occurring before it happens. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are most vulnerable to radiation exposure. Cell damage leading to fatal cancers begins at the molecular level. It does not take a large dose of ionizing radiation to trigger this fateful process. No dose is safe and the human body bioaccumulates radiation exposures. Unlike other carcinogens, radiation cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. It also cannot be felt or heard. It is an insidious killer.

At present, the public learns of Millstone’s routine releases, if at all, long after they have occurred, when Dominion publishes its “Annual Radiological Environmental Operating Report” for the prior year. Dominion’s report for 2005 - released on April 27, 2006, a year after the “Millsteam” Class II Emergency - refers to the event in its totality as follows: “In April, Unit 3 was temporarily shut down due to safety injection caused by a tin whisker.” There is no mention of the unplanned radiation releases.

Millstone’s owners are presently required to report unplanned releases of radiation to the Department of Environmental Protection after they occur. Connecticut General Statutes Section 22a-135. They are not required to report planned releases in advance of their occurrence.

During proceedings before the Department of Public Utility Control in 2000-2001 on the sale of Millstone to Dominion, we asked Dominion’s representatives to commit to providing notice to the community in advance of planned releases. Dominion refused, stating that such notification is not required by the terms of Millstone’s federal license. While that may be technically correct, it is no barrier to the state enacting the proposed bill. Connecticut General Statutes Section 22a-135(b) already provides that a nuclear licensee must report to the DEP “any additional occurrence, incident or abnormal circumstance which is not required to be reported within twenty-four hours or sooner to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

We request that you impose upon nuclear power plant operators in the state the requirement that they post on their website - in Millstone’s case www.dom.com - all plans for releases of radiation to the atmosphere, including dates, times and fissile materials, as soon as such releases are scheduled. In the event of routine and continuous releases, these should be noted.

To ensure that the nuclear power plant operator is acting fully consistent with the law, we recommend that DEP designate an individual to be assigned on a full-time basis to the nuclear power plant in order to carry out DEP’s statutory charge (Connecticut General Statutes Section 22a-135(a)(4)(to “monitor radiation originating from nuclear plants”). This individual’s salary should be paid by the nuclear licensee. The DEP monitoring should be subject to annual public review.

Finally, we recommend that a monetary penalty and criminal sanctions be imposed in the event the nuclear power plant operator fails to conform to this law. Should members of the public carry out independent radiation monitoring which leads to such penalties, they should be recipients of the monetary sanctions.

Nuclear Whistleblower Act

The current Connecticut Nuclear Whistleblower Act (Connecticut General Statutes 16-8a et seq.) Is an abominable failure.

While intended to protect nuclear whistleblowers at the state’s nuclear power plants, in practice it does the opposite: it has been applied to insulate the corporate owners from accountability when they retaliate against conscientious employees who have raised serious issues by firing them, thereby creating a workplace environment hostile to whistleblowing and heightening the risk of the nuclear operation.

There is no greater danger to the public health and safety than a nuclear power plant whose owners and operators retaliate against whistleblowers with impunity. Yet this has occurred at least three times in the recent past. The law provided no protection when it was so needed. The following information is gleaned from information in the public domain.

A. Pete Reynolds

Pete Reynolds worked in maintenance at Millstone while Northeast Utilities was the corporate parent. He reported safety violations to OSHA which were verified correct and as a consequence NU had to pay thousand of dollars in fines. Reynolds was a committed employee of high integrity. NU created a pretext to fire him. Reynolds filed a Whistleblower complaint with the DPUC. Whistleblower complaints follow a two-step process. Once a complaint is filed, a preliminary investigation occurs. (Connecticut General Statutes Section 16-8a(c)). Within 30 days, the DPUC must issue written findings. If DPUC finds preliminarily that the whistleblower has satisfied statutory standards, it must order the employee reinstated immediately. In Reynolds’ case, he succeeded at the initial phase. The DPUC ordered Reynolds reinstated - but it stayed its own order (a step the law does not allow), because NU brought a lawsuit to have the Whistleblower Act declared unconstitutional in a federal court action. (In that case, the Attorney General’s office and NU made a secret deal that Reynolds would not be reinstated to his former employment, notwithstanding the pendency of the DPUC order for reinstatement. Reynolds was not even brought in as a party to defend his rights. Reynolds v. Blumenthal, Civ. No. 3:04CV218 (PCD)) Reynolds brought an action to the Connecticut Superior Court seeking to avail himself of the remedies provided in the Whistleblower Act. Astonishingly, the Connecticut Supreme Court dismissed his case on procedural grounds (Reynolds v. Department of Public Utility Control, 266 Conn. 606 (2003)), agreeing with a Superior Court judge who observed: “It is ironic, that Section 16-8d provides a whole set of remedies for a cause of action that the General Assembly failed to formulate.” (Reynolds v. Department of Public Utility Control, 48 Conn. Supp. 188(2001)). These are harsh consequences for a conscientious nuclear whistleblower thrown out of work and left without financial means to survive.

B. Sham Mehta

Sham Mehta was a trusted employee in employee concerns when he discovered in 2006 that Dominion was routinely disabling Millstone’s security system -intended to keep out malevolent intruders - because it was recording hundreds of false alarms per day which it did not wish to investigate in contravention of federal law because it is more cost-effective to simply disable the system. Mehta’s complaints to Dominion management and the NRC produced a disgraceful result: Dominion fired Mehta under the pretext of “downsizing” the employee concerns program. Mehta complained to DPUC under the Nuclear Whistleblower Act. He won the first round. Therefore, DPUC should have ordered him reinstated forthwith. However, DPUC sat on the case and did nothing for six months. Mehta was finally reinstated - although not to his former job - and he subsequently entered into a confidential agreement with Dominion whereby he resigned, presumably for a monetary settlement. Attorney General Richard S. Blumenthal, who had intervened on Mr. Mehta’s behalf, initially urged the DPUC to continue its investigation of the circumstances of Mr. Mehta’s firing, but DPUC declined to do so and Mr. Blumenthal did not appeal.

C. Harry Blank

Harry Blank worked at Dominion as an engineer. He discovered many of his co-workers were being diagnosed with cancer or were dying from cancer. He reported this fact to Dominion management, which created a pretext and fired Mr. Blank in 2006. Mr. Blank appealed to the DPUC, which failed to act within the statutory period. Ultimately, DPUC dismissed Mr. Blank’s complaint and Mr. Blank did not appeal because he could not find an attorney to take his case on terms that he could afford.

In each of these three tragic instances, conscientious, dedicated nuclear workers were fired in retaliation for whistleblowing and the Nuclear Whistleblower Act accorded them inadequate or simply no relief.

The larger consequence is the creation of a workplace culture at Millstone in which workers will fear to do their jobs properly and report safety or operational defects to Dominion for fear of retaliatory firing. This phenomenon bodes ill for the protection of the health and safety of the public.

We recommend that the Nuclear Whistleblower Act be revised as follows:

I. Provide that nuclear whistleblowers be reinstated within 30 days of a preliminary finding in their favor; should DPUC fail to comply, the worker shall have an immediate remedy: a special state attorney will make application to the Superior Court for immediate reinstatement at no charge to the employee; for each day the worker is not reinstated he shall be paid treble damages by the nuclear operator; if the worker is not reinstated within 10 days, the nuclear facility must shut down until such time as the worker is reinstated.

2. In clear language, address the Superior Court finding in Reynolds, as affirmed by the Supreme Court, that “Section 16-8d provides a whole set of remedies for a cause of action that the General Assembly failed to formulate.”

3. DPUC has failed to enact regulations implementing the Nuclear Whistleblower Act. See Section 16- 8a(f) (“The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations, in accordance with Chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section.”) The General Assembly should take it upon itself to draft such regulations and enact them as statutory law.

4. The proposed revision to Section 16-8a(c)(3) (substituting “a fair preponderance of the” for “clear and convincing” should be stricken. The more stringent standard is appropriate.

5. In Section 16-8a( c )(4), the order for immediate reinstatement should accompany the findings to avoid delay.

6. Proposed Section 16-8a(h) should be incorporated in Section 16-8a(d) and a maximum amount set commensurate with the heightened risk to the public attendant upon the operation of a nuclear power plant with a degraded safety culture.

7. In order to correct the harsh results to Messrs. Reynolds, Mehta and Blank, and in light of the Judicial Department’s faulting of the General Assembly for providing an unformulated remedial statute, it is highly recommended that the Nuclear Whistleblower Act revisions recommended herein be made retroactive whereby Messrs. Reynolds, Mehta and Blank - and a potential body of other unknown nuclear whistleblowers - may revive their actions to avail themselves of all the remedies provided in Connecticut General Statutes Section 16a-8d and find justice under law. This result would help correct a culture of fear among nuclear power plant workers in the State of Connecticut.

We thank you for considering our comments.

Sincerely,

Nancy Burton
Please reply to:
Nancy Burton
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
Tel. 203-938-3952
NancyBurtonCT@aol.com


COURT HEARING SET
ON ACTIVIST’S LAWSUIT
FOR MILLSTONE INJUNCTION


March 5, 2006
Contact: Nancy Burton Tel. 203-938-3952 / NancyBurtonCT@aol.com

WATERFORD - A hearing has been scheduled for March 19, 2007 in the Superior Court on an environmental activist’s application for an injunction against the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford.

Nancy Burton, director of the grassroots Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, seeks an order for Millstone cooldown during the upcoming fish larvae spawning season which peaks from April 1 through May 15.

Burton also seeks an order by which a judge will assume the task of adjudicating the application to renew Millstone’s water discharge permit because she alleges the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is unwilling to protect the public from environmental impacts of the nuclear facility.

“Millions of fish larvae will be destroyed at the Millstone intakes if this injunction is not granted, bringing indigenous fish species close than ever to extinction” Burton said.

The fish larvae are about to undergo the spring migration from their spawning habitat in the Niantic River, Burton explained. En route to the sea, the microscopic specimens are swept into the Millstone intakes, which suck more than two billions gallons of water per day from the Long Island Sound to cool the components of the two operating nuclear reactors.

The lawsuit seeks an order to main Units 2 and 3 at “cold shutdown” mode with just enough flowage to keep the reactor components cooled .

Eight years ago, Burton won a temporary restraining order as attorney for Fish Unlimited which kept Unit 2 shut for ten days during the Niantic winter flounder larvae migration period.

“Since that landmark decision, Connecticut’s DEP has allowed Millstone to operate on an expired Clean Water Act permit and has done nothing to protect the irreplaceable fisheries,” Burton said.

“DEP recently convened proceedings to renew the permit, which expired in 1997, but the proceedings are a rubber stamp for Dominion, Millstone’s corporate owner,” said Burton, who is an intervenor in the administrative case along with the Coalition.

“The obvious solution to spare the fish from entrainment and spare the Sound from discharges of radioactive and toxic wastewater discharges is to make Millstone convert to a closed cooling system,” Burton said.

“I will ask the judge to issue the order which DEP lacks the political will to issue,” Burton said.

- 30 -

Note to Editors: A copy of the complaint appears below.

RETURN DATE: MARCH 27, 2007 : SUPERIOR COURT

NANCY BURTON : JUDICIAL DISTRICT
: OF HARTFORD
v. :

REGINA McCARTHY, :
COMMISSIONER, :
DEPARTMENT OF :
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION :
DOMINION NUCLEAR CONNECTICUT, :
INC. : MARCH 2, 2007

COMPLAINT

1. The Plaintiff, Nancy Burton, is a citizen of the state of Connecticut

who institutes this action pursuant to the provisions of the Connecticut

Environmental Protection Act (“CEPA”), Connecticut General Statutes

Section 22a-1 et seq.

2. The Defendant, Regina McCarthy (“Commissioner McCarthy”), was

appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell to serve as successor to Arthur J.

Rocque, Jr., as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental

Protection (DEP) and has such authority as is set forth in Connecticut

General Statutes Section 22a-2, including authority to adjudicate National

Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) applications to

discharge pollutants into public waters pursuant to Connecticut General

Statutes Section 22a-430, as duly delegated to do so by the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency, and to enforce the conditions of

NPDES permits.

3. The Defendant, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (“Dominion”) is

the owner and operator of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station

(“Millstone”) located in Waterford, Connecticut.

4. Millstone consists of two operating nuclear reactors and one nuclear

reactor undergoing decommissioning.

5. Millstone utilizes a “once-through” cooling system which sucks in

approximately 2 billion gallons of water per day from NianticBay/Long

Island Sound to cool and clean the reactors and their components;

the water is discharged as waste treatment effluent into Jordan Cove/Long

Island Sound polluted with toxic chemicals and radioactive byproducts of

the nuclear fission process; the wastewater exits Millstone at heightened

temperatures as a thermal plume.

6. The toxic chemicals and radioactive waste byproducts discharged by

Millstone into the Long Island Sound are washed ashore by waves, tidal

action and wind to the closest estuaries, Niantic Bay and Jordan Cove,

which are public recreation and swimming areas, and beyond; in 1997,

Millstone’s environmental laboratory caught a fish in Niantic Bay

contaminated with cesium-137, a deadly radioisotope which causes cancer

in muscle tissue and which it admitted was discharged into the Niantic Bay

by Millstone; other radioisotopes have accumulated in the estuaries.

7. At the reactor intakes, billions of microscopic and larger marinelife

are destroyed through entrainment and impingement annually; the

cumulative impact of Millstone’s intake suction during the 37-year history

of the nuclear power plant has devastated the populations of indigenous

fish and other species, according to reports filed by Dominion’s owner and

operators with DEP.

8. The Millstone discharge of effluents and devastation of marinelife as

so described herein constitute unreasonable pollution of the waters of the

state within the meaning of CEPA; in addition, they are believed linked to

the area’s high incidence of cancers, associated diseases and early

childhood mortality.

9. Virtually all of the adverse environmental effects of Millstone’s once-

through cooling system would be radically reduced if not virtually

eliminated if Millstone were converted to a “closed” cooling system which

would recirculate cooling water from an onsite pool.

10. The State of Connecticut has taken the position with regard to

power plants that a closed cooling system is a “clearly superior

technology” to a once-through cooling system, according to a brief jointly

filed on April 18, 2006 by Connecticut Attorney General Richard S.

Blumenthal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the

case of Riverkeeper, Inc. v EPA., 04-6692.

11. According to the said State of Connecticut brief, other power

stations have been ordered to convert to closed cooling systems from

once-through cooling systems, including the Palisades Nuclear Power

Plant near Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as fossil fuel plants in Rhode

Island (Brayton Point, owned by Dominion), Florida (Crystal River) and

South Carolina (Jefferies).

12. In 1993, Millstone’s then-owner, Northeast Utilities, produced a

report on the feasibility of converting Millstone to a closed cooling system

and pronounced the option feasible; the report was filed with DEP

pursuant to its request but DEP ignored it and failed to implement it.

13. Most recently, on or about December 14, 1992, DEP issued a

renewed NPDES permit to Millstone permitting it to maintain its once-

through cooling system and thereby pollute the waters of the state, release

thermal plumes and destroy billions of marinelife annually, for a five-year

term.

14. The NPDES permit expired on December 14, 1997 and has not

been renewed; in the interim Millstone’s prior owner, Northeast Utilities,

pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court to committing federal felonies by

wilfully violating the terms of the NPDES permit over a period of years,

including by discharging the highly toxic carcinogen hydrazine in a manner

forbidden by the permit.

15. Beginning in 1998, Commissioner McCarthy’s predecessor, Arthur

J. Rocque, Jr., routinely issued “emergency authorizations” for an indefinite

term and without public notice or hearing purportedly pursuant to

Connecticut General Statutes Section 22a-6k at the request of Millstone’s

owners and operators to increase permissible water discharges and

discharges of pollutants, as otherwise forbidden by the NPDES permit.

16. Commissioner Rocque himself believed he lacked legal authority to

issue and renew such “emergency authorizations” but issued them

nevertheless.” See Exhibit A.

17. Commissioner McCarthy has permitted Millstone to operate

pursuant to the illegal “emergency authorizations” since her appointment.

18. On or about August 29, 2006, Commissioner McCarthy published

notice of a “draft permit” permitting Millstone to continue operating its once-

through cooling system and thereby discharging toxic chemicals and

radioactive waste byproducts and a thermal plume into the Long Island

Sound and assuring the destruction of billions of marineline through

entrainment and impingement at the Millstone intakes.

19. Commissioner McCarthy has commenced proceedings on an

application by Dominion to renew the NPDES permit which expired in

1997, ten (10) years ago.

20. The proceedings are presided over by a hearing officer who suffers

from a conflict of interest and bias related to her past employment as

executive director of the agency which oversees transport of radioactive

waste produced at Millstone to a dump in Barnwell, South Carolina.

21. Commissioner McCarthy and the DEP have prejudged the Millstone

NPDES application as evidenced by the terms of the draft permit, by permitting

Millstone to continue operating pursuant to illegal “emergency

authorizations,” by refusing to consider the environmental impacts of

radiological releases to the Long Island Sound and other relevant issues

and by refusing to condition renewal of the permit on a conversion of the

nuclear facility to a closed cooling system; exhaustion of available

administrative remedies is therefore futile; moreover, collusion and

corruption characterize the relationship between DEP and Dominion.

22. The period between April 1 and May 15 is recognized as the peak

period of indigenous Niantic winter flounder larvae migration when 95 per

cent of entrainment at the Millstone intakes occurs.

23. On April 27, 1999, State Trial Referee Robert Hale issued a

temporary restraining order, at the request of environmental

organizations, keeping Millstone Unit 2 shut down for a period of ten (10)

days during the period of peak larvae migration. A copy of Judge Hale’s

Memorandum of Decision in Fish Unlimited v. Northeast Utilities Service

Company, 1999 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1180, is appended hereto as Exhibit

B.

24. If the Millstone intakes are not shut down to “cold shutdown” state -

that which allows sufficient availability of water for reactor and related

cooling purposes - between April 1 and May 15, it is inevitable that

millions if not billions of marinelife will be destroyed through entrainment

and their population dynamics further threatened.

25. If Millstone is not ordered to convert forthwith to a closed cooling

system, it is inevitable that unreasonable, deadly and avoidable pollution

and destruction of the waters of the state will occur with harmful and avoidable impacts

to the marine and human environment.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff seeks the following relief:

1. A temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction ordering

Dominion to reduce Millstone Units 2 and 3 water intakes to “cold shutdown”

levels from April 1 through May 15, 2007;

2. That this Court order Dominion to convert Millstone to a closed

cooling system by a date certain prior to 2010; and

3. That this Court find the DEP’s existing administrative and regulatory procedures

inadequate for the protection of the rights within the meaning of Connecticut General

Statutes Section 22a-20 and the public trust in the environment and therefore stay

such proceedings pending judicial adjudication of the Millstone NPDES permit renewal

application; and

3. Such other relief as is appropriate.

THE PLAINTIFF
NANCY BURTON

Nancy Burton
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
Tel. 203-938-3952


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