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Senator Larry Craig on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

Via Google Video and the office of Senator Craig:

Though the camera is first focused on Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell at the start of the video, the camera switches to Senator Craig a few seconds in.

For more, here, here and here.

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Paul said…
It is interesting to note that while Senator Craig was cheerleading for new nuclear waste generators, DOE's acting director for the Office of Civilian Waste Management Paul Golan, testified before the House Approps energy subcommittee that industry's grab for the Yucca Mt. ring won't come around for at least another decade, if ever.

While Yucca Mountain was originally scheduled to open in 1998, "Its obvious the 2012 date is now out the window," said Rep. David Hobson.
Paul Gunter said…
There is also the news of the Illinois Office of the Attorney General along with Will County State's Attorney filed a seven count indictment against EXELON and COMMONWEALTH EDISON this afternoon for tritium spills from the Braidwood nuclear power station that go back to at least 1996 and were not disclosed by the nuclear company.
Paul Primavera said…
Paul Gunter,

Here we go again.

(1) First of all, the State of Illinois along with Will County see these tritium spills as a means of feeding on the golden teat of nuclear success. By raking in revenues from fines, perhaps they will be able to line their own pockets (and maybe even get some 'donated' to NIRS / WISE in the same way NECNP received ETR money after a 'decision' by the VT PSB). It's all about the money $$$$$$$$.

(2) Secondly, why does the radioactivity continuously discharged by coal-fired power plants go virtually ignored even when it is many magnitudes of order greater than anything Braidwood, Byron or Dresden discharged to the environment?

I would normally find this amusing, but such lawsuits only serve to stunt the growth of new nuclear while rewarding the politicians and anti-nuclear groups who monetarily benefit from the burning of fossil fuel. If coal and nuclear were held to the same standard, then even with the tritium links, nuclear is still better and safer than coal-fired power plants which kill more than 30,000 people per year from lung disease in the US alone. In contrast, the tritium links at Braidwood, Dresden and Byron have neither killed nor injured anyone.

BTW, I got the figure of 30,000 deaths from coal plant pollution from here:

Though the figures vary from 17,000 to 38,000 per year depending on the web site source and year of data publication, corroboration is found here:

and here

and here

and here

and here

There's lots more, but I'll stop for now. The point is: coal kills tens of thousands per year and Western commercial reactors kill NO ONE (even with their tritium leaks). Which is safer? It is obvious, and equally obvious which anti-nuclearism ends up supporting through its anti-nuclear activities.

(3) Third, NIRS / WISE opposes geologic repository of spent nuclear fuel ANYWHERE and equally opposes spent fuel reprocessing which can significantly reduce the amount of spent fuel that has to eventually go to a repository. Yet at the same time coal and natural gas burning power plants are allowed with impunity to discharge literally millions of tons of green house gases and particulates into the atmosphere with NO sequestering. Why is there a difference between the two? Why should fossil plants be able to use the atmosphere as their sewer, but Yucca Mountain (in an area where we once testing nuclear weapons) is off-limits in spite of all the safety studies demonstrating that sequestering can be acheived with no adverse public health effect? We have a solution for spent fuel: repository till reprocessing is economically competitive. We have NO solution for the millions of tons of toxins fossil fuel plants dump to the environment. This makes one think that apparently certain anti-nuclear activists feel that death by air pollution is preferrable to a prosperous life with nuclear-supplied electricity.

(4) If anyone really wants the facts about the tritium releases from Exelon plants, then please go here:

Groundwater Contamination (Tritium) at Nuclear Plants

and here:

The Braidwood Tritium Project Home Page
Gunter said…
Mr. Primavera,

Funny,you should bring up money---that's exactly what the Will County State's Attorney charges.

"Exelon Corp. and its subsidiaries 'clearly placed their profit margin first with a callous disregard for the health, safety and welfare of the local residents,' Will County State's Atty. James Glasgow said in a prepared statement.

"'Exelon was well aware that tritium increases the risk of cancer, miscarriages and birth defects, and yet they made a conscious decision not to notify the public of the risk of exposure,' Glasgow said. He appeared this morning at a news conference in downtown Chicago with Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan."
(Today's Chicago Tribune/Online)

And there is more to follow... stay tuned...

BTW, let's not forget that it is in fact many of the same corporations operating nuclear units that also operate coal burners... and lobby to prevent more effective scrubbers from being installed on those units...

The most lasting impressions on whether we will expand our nation's nuclear power policy come not from paper designs and more promises of "too-cheap-to-meter" but from the current circumstances and examples that the current fleet exhibit. No waste disposal plan and disregard for local clean environment concerns are just some of your biggest impediments to more nukes.

Paul, NIRS

Jim Hopf said…
It's bad enough that the regulations allow coal plants (and other industries in general) to emit pollutants that consitute thousands of times the health risk than those allowed by nuclear regulations. On top of this, apparently, keeping all public exposures well within regulations is not enough for the nuclear industry, whereas other industries need not ever fear being sued, or paying compensation, as long as they stay just within (or perhaps even above) their much looser regulations. For nuclear, apparently, this is not a solid or adequate defense.

Even though the potential exposures were orders of magnitude below (already ridiculously low) allowables, the company bent over backwards to accommodate the potentially affected population; offering to test and clean up any affected wells, buy them bottled water in the interim, and compensate them for lost property value, despite the fact that the loss has no rational basis.

One final point I'd like to add is that I can't help but link this to the story about how Exelon succeeded in getting a free power market/auction in the region, which would allow them to get a higher (market) power price, thus increasing their profits from their existing nukes. The Illinois Democratic political establishment was very upset over these "excessive" nuclear plant profits.

Next thing I know, I hear about this hyped-up issue, and this state lawsuit, for perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars. Am I the only one who sees that this might simply be a backdoor way for the state to get its hands on all those "windfall" profits that they failed to stopusing legitimate channels?
Paul Primavera said…

You asked, "Am I the only one who sees that this might simply be a backdoor way for the state to get its hands on all those "windfall" profits that they failed to stopusing legitimate channels?"

The answer is no. A very brief scan of the internet for information on the budget deficit for the State of Illinois reveals the financial incompetence of its politicians. The tritium leak from Braidwood, Byron and Dresden are of no safety significance, but of great public relations and monetary value to politicians looking for re-election in 2006 and ways to take the public eye off their financial mis-management.

Paul Gunter,

The real scammers in this whole sad affair, those who really care not one wit for public health and safety, are the Illinois politicians whose favor you seek. Perhaps as NECNP got $50K from fines levied against Entergy by the VT PSB, so also does NIRS / WISE hope for a similar windfall (but several orders of magnitude greater) from Exelon fines levied by the Illinois Attorney General.
Gunter said…
Well, my closing remark on this blog segment given all the news growing around Palo Verde (today's story of how the State of Arizona's DEQ is absolutely incredulous with Palo Verde's explanation of its tritium leaks), along with the Illinois, New Jersey and New York leakers I think that GNEP has come to more appropriately stand for the "global nuclear emissions problem." Whose next?

Do a google on "tritium" and see how many hits you get and continue to take in the days to come. NEI'd do better to start figuring out how to stop the leaks inside of backend PR damage control.

There in is another economic rub...

There is this emerging no small matter of a problem of how this "harmless" tritium, as a low energy emitter has been breaking down the protective oxide layers on a host of systems, structures, and components inducing and accelerating corrosion.

Better get that task force going, fellas.

And you all thought stress corrosion cracking and embrittlement of materials were problematic?

You might just be reading about it here, first.

What's the next surprise revelation on nuclear power? Stay tuned.

Paul, NIRS

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