Standing up to Entergy and the NRC

It’s nice to see Vermont standing up to Entergy, who, soon after Yankee cuts the power, would like to simply walk away from their obligation to provide emergency planning.

Public Service Department Commissioner Chris Recchia  refused to buy into Entergy’s  whopper of an assertion before the U.S. Senate commission on decommissioning that, as of sixteen months after the December shutdown, no further public risk will exist.

We have 3,800 fuels rods in a pool designed for 350. We don’t think that it’s safe to eliminate the emergency protection zones until the fuel is, at the minimum, in dry cask,” Recchia told the committee, which includes Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

The Senator agrees and thinks its about time the NRC yields more power to individual states to negotiate their own terms regarding the decommissioning of nuclear plants that they have hosted.

“Currently a nuclear plant operator could adopt a decommissioning plan that ignores the needs and interests of the public and the state would have no recourse. That is fundamentally unfair and unreasonable,” Sanders said. “This is simply about ensuring that states have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in a decision that has enormous economic, environmental and community impacts.”

And citing another concerning situation of excessive spent fuel backlogs at San Onofre (California), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) challenged NRC representative, Michael Weber about the dangers the stockpile poses to millions of Californians:

“Your own chairman wrote that if there’s an accident (at a spent fuel pool) it could be worse than Chernobyl,” she said.

Senators Sanders and Boxer are co-sponsoring a bill that would not allow the NRC to exempt nuclear plant operators from safety requirements while spent fuel remained on site and unprotected by dry cask storage.

Politically  opposed to regulation of any kind, for any reason, Republicans would like things to remain exactly as they are, with a completely toothless NRC serving the interests of the industry first and local communities a distant second.

Senator Sessions (R), of Alabama, argues that the NRC is doing a fine job; then adds, tellingly, that he thinks closing nuclear plants will “drive up” the cost of energy.

“The NRC has a proven record of success in regulating these matters,” said Sessions, a member of the committee. “We endanger a weak economy by driving up the cost of energy by closing up plants that could be productive for a decade or more.”

Uh, Senator, it is the power companies themselves who are making the economic decision to close nuclear facilities, which are no longer cost-efficient to operate.  They are answering the call of capitalism, at whose altar you are usually only too happy to worship.

Nevermind, Senator Sessions; go back to guarding the morals of Alabama’s poor folks and don’t trouble your snowy brow with economics.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

8 thoughts on “Standing up to Entergy and the NRC

  1. …this wacko clearly has head planted firmly up ass. As Fukushima continues to roil & boil — and it’s all or mostly the fuel pools — with no end in sight,  and as the livlihoods as well as lives are continually destroyed there & nearby prefectures, one must question the sanity of NRC & those who believe this is ok at all. Crimace!

    Would any one of them feel comfortable with fuel pools loaded to the gunnels w/ hot fuel rods in their backyard, capable of Fukushima or Chernobyl-like sized destruction? Highly unlikely. And they dot the landscape of nearly entire nation, meaning there are few areas which would survive the spread in an onslaught of destruction such as this.

    Enriched nuclear materials are hey guess what! Hotter than a two-dollar pistol! And emit radioactivity nearly forever, must be continually monitored, tended & arm-guarded into perpetuity. Government & industry knew this from jumpstreet so they need to fix their own foolishness — we have already subsidized them plus paid for the power produced. However, they have never grown up, still babies, need to be propped up & hand-carried to the gravytrain they all ride upon as they cannot stand up or walk on their own two feet. And we pay for all or most of it continually pouring on the coal to keep it running.

    Those in charge need to stand up, put on their big-boy pants, do the right thing & “we the people” along with our reps, need to demand this. We need senate subcomittee hearings on hat to do, and there it needs to be a national discussion. How about that airspace? Is aircraft allowed to flyover NPP? All pose a targeted threat attack & is in fact the biggest national security threat in the US or anyhere.  

    With headlines such as these:

    Japan investigating whether prefectures have sufficient iodine supplies for residents


    [..]official from Niigata Prefecture admitted to pretending to order 1.3 million iodine tablets

    Ambassador Kennedy tours Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

    Enhanced investigation of crippled containment vessels at Fukushima Daiichi planned

    Japan seeking international assistance with Fukushima Daiichi fuel removal

    Radioactivity found in groundwater well at Fukushima Daiichi

    TEPCO unable to bring contaminated water issues under control at Fukushima Daiichi

    TEPCO finds defect in ALPS water treatment system at Fukushima Daiichi

    TEPCO officials cannot estimate how frequent water will be discharged from Fukushima Daiichi

    FP website link list as of 5/15/14:

    I think Entergy Louisiana & the rest of NPPs better fork over the millions or billions (trillions?) needed to place every assembly when cool enough into drycasks as they are the only things that survived the meltdowns caused by loss of power, not the tsunami. Although it did play a major role, loss of power to cool the pools of assemblies is the risk here. That of all things should also be in statute.

    And all nuclear power plants are leaking (!!!) but this sociopathic club, symptomaticly institutionalized across entire industry, who define things have redifined the meaning of the word “leak”, just as their foolhardy & infamous definition of a “buried” or “undergroiund” pipe nutjobbery.

    NRC is a child of our government & needs to be dismantled entirely with a different focus & rules acting as a true watchdog instead of a lapdog for the nuclear industry.

  2. From link provided in diary:

    In a statement to The Huffington Post, Gillibrand said she was stunned that a colleague would suggest the moral course is to cut food aid at a time when the Congressional Budget Office estimates need will continue to grow through 2014 because of the lingering effects of the recession — especially when the spending also boosts the economy.

    “It is shocking as a mother and a lawmaker when clear facts about the return on investment is ignored, and cutting billions in food assistance for hungry kids is framed as being on the right side of a clear moral issue,” Gillibrand said.

    Also from the link CBO & Moodys rep claim for every dollar which goes into the program, it yields a $1.71 return. He clearly knows this so afaic, is also clearly inhumane.

    And, there is a huge f’king crater in our economy courtesy of the “masters of the universe” (think Lisman) which imho will never be filled. There will always be less unless we are successful in our attempts at such things as our power-grab for Ukraine, which could start another war, could help the economy but not in the long run.

    Or, soveriegnty-diminishing trade transpartnerships, bring manufacturing back which will then hurt other global economies. Or demand large tariffs & taxes paid for the corporations who are living high off the global hog while enjoying the benefits of US citizenship while contributing little or far less to our economy than they should.

  3. still emitting radiation, and with huge areas still uninhabitable as well as a large population of still-sickened ppl, disabled, hospitalized & institutionilized children. Ukraine debacle now affecting the continued remediation.

    And we have another crisis & debacle which seems so surreal, like a comic-book catastrophe filled with villainous characters except that it is very real.  

    Very real possibility exists there are unknown levels of — totality of & the where an unknown, and in differing forms of radioactivity. Emitting vapors, hot particles, contaminated water, the plume of which may have already docked in US waters/shores or will in 2014.  It may be wise to rid ourselves of this scourge upon humanity asap, as personally my firm belief is that against the backdrop of the present state of world affairs & geopolitical threats including the presence of destructive individuals such as the unhinged and terrorists it may be our undoing.

    – added emphasis

    Chernobyl cover likely delayed by up to two years amid ongoing crisis


    In 2010, workers began working on a new containment shield to cover the Number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to prevent further leakage of radioactive materials from the crippled reactor.  The project was estimated to cost €1.5 billion and to be completed by October 2015q.

    [Full Story Here]

    More headlines:

    FP links as of May 15, 2014:

    Exelon worker charged after bringing weapon to nuclear power plantAccording to the Will County Sheriff’s Office, Mark A. Garcia, 32, from Austin Texas, was charged with the unlawful use of a weapon after he showed up for work with a 9-millimeter handgun

    – Japan and France to promote fast breeder reactors

    – TEPCO records profits after dismal losses in previous year

    – Evacuation models show residents near Hamaoka plant may need up to 46 hours to evacuate

    – DOE blames management, safety and oversight for radiation release from WIPP

    – Chernobyl cover likely delayed by up to two years amid ongoing crisis

    – Nuclear Industry and Regulators at odds in Japan

    – Exelon worker charged after bringing weapon to nuclear power plant

    – Fitzpatrick supervisor released after positive drug test

    – Contract supervisor confirms positive on follow-up fitness for duty test

    – Licensed reactor operator violates fitness for duty policy

    – Licensed reactor operator violates Fitness for Duty policy

    – Supervisor at Millstone nuclear power plant violates fitness for duty policy

    – Licensed supervisor at Quad Cities nuclear power plant fails fitness for duty test

    More news from Enformable live feed:


    – No nuclear reactor provided any insurance: India

    – EPA to monitor air quality at WIPP

    – EON Closes Bavarian Nuclear Reactor Seven Months Early

    – “It is truly humbling, as a theoretician, to see how quickly new data can change our understanding of…”

    – NRC Commissioner Magwood planning early exit from agency

    – Republic Service push polling out-state residents on West Lake landfill issue

    – EPA pressured independent review board to not challenge plan

    – British nuclear submarine to be upgraded after test reactor problem

    – Reporter given access to spent fuel removal operations at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4

    – TEPCO released this photo showing debris in the #Fukushima…

     – MSMFitzPatrick nuclear plant put off repairs, now plagued by water leaks – The Post-Standard (blog)

    – Decommissioning Of Zion Nuclear Plant Raises Safety Concerns – – CBS Local

    Hillary Clinton: No Iran nuclear deal better than ‘bad deal’ – Fox News

    – Fire forces evacuation of San Onofre nuclear plant – Los Angeles TimesIran nuclear deal may leave program in place – USA TODAY

    – Why Nuclear Power Will Always Be Scary – Newsweek

    – Ukraine Crisis Stirs Fears of New Nuclear Arms Race -Voice of America

    – Kitty litter switch may have caused leak at New Mexico nuclear waste dump … – Fox News

    – US starts countrywide nuclear drill after similar war games in Russia – RT

    – Nuclear Talks Will Confront Iran’s Future Capability to Enrich Uranium – New York Times

    Links provided are are constantly replenished. And, this is not the only site reporting the stories, although some of this news is an overlap, they are worldwide. However the US news alone is voluminous. As with radiation emissions, unstoppable.  

    Sheer magnitude & numbers of the neverending negative news reports is breathtaking. Forming a continuum, length of which seemingly could stretch to & replenish the rings of Saturn. Perhaps the real master of the universe is trying to tell us something — but the ones who need to hear appear to be deaf, dumb & blind — none too comforting.

  4. … it never was. It needed significant federal support, including the kind of risk coverage that no private insurance company would ever underwrite. If the energy market was truly free, nuclear would never have gotten started.  

  5. WWI and WWII helped the economy ONLY because they resulted in the rapid, government-funded creation of millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs. In addition, after WWII, the GI bill sent millions to college for free, leading to an education and innovation boom.

    Simply having a war drains the economy (witness Iraq I and II, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc.). It’s the massive, direct job and education spending here at home that improves the economy. All the wars that excluded that spending have done nothing but push us toward recession.  

  6. what I had in mind:

    WWI and WWII helped the economy ONLY because they resulted in the rapid, government-funded creation of millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs

    The wars we have had recently are probably responsible for a large portion of our debt. If something started in Ukraine it would likely usher in WWIII.

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