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by Michael Steinberg
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 at 8:17 PM
Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry, in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who're working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our January 2017 report
1. Indian Point nuke plant to shut down.
On January 7 the Wall Street Journal reported that the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York state would be added to the fast growing list of decrepit dangerous reactors that have or will be permanently shut down.
The long troubled plant, owned in more recent years by Entergy of New Orleans, announced that one reactor would shut down in 2020, and another in 2021. A third reactor closed down long ago.
Of the two reactors slated for closure, one started up in 1974 and the other in 1976. US nuclear power reactors were designed to operate for only 20 years.
Both reactors have been running without operating licenses for years, one since 2013 and the other since 2015. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which supposedly regulates US nuke plants to protect the public's health and safety, has allowed Entergy to do this.
This nuke is located on the Hudson River, "24 miles north of New York City, and 35 miles from Manhattan, in close proximity to a reservoir that supplies drinking water to nine million people," the Wall Street Journal reported. There is a history of the plant releasing radioactivity and other toxic materials into the Hudson, and of earthquakes.
Opposition to this nuclear plant has been growing for years with proponents of its closure including Pete Seeger and Robert F. Kennedy. Finally NY Governor Mario Cuomo fell into line.
Other activists have been organizing to stop the expansion of a fracking gas pipeline under the Hudson "1320 feet from the reactors and 400 feet from an elementary school" Eco Watch reported. On December 18, 12 protestors were arrested and jailed, initially with , 000 bail each, for resisting this injustice, according to patch.com.
The deal to shutter yet another nuke plant is similar to that reached last year to close Diablo Canyon, California's last operating nuke. In both cases the utility was given years to pull the plug on its plant, and agreed to replace lost electricity with renewable sources like wind and solar. In the former case LA was put at further risk of a catastrophic event, this time NYC.
Sources: Wall Street Journal,wsj.com; Eco Watch, ecowatch.com; patch.com
2. Areva scandal grows exonentially
In last month's issue of Nuclear Shutdown News, we reported on a nuclear scandal involving a French company, Areva whose possibly defective key parts in French reactors have forced the closure of half that nation's nukes.
Using info obtained from Greenpeace, US No Nukes group Beyond Nuclear charged that such defective parts may be in US nukes as well, specifically 19 reactors at 12 locations.
Greenpeace also alleged there may be a trail of falsified Areva reports stating that the funky parts are all just hunky dory.
Beyond Nuclear filed a legal action calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reveal which nukes may have these defective parts, name them and their locations, and shut them down until it can be proved they are safe.
Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear asserted," "Every one of these potentially defective parts are safety significant and could lead to a meltdown if they fail. Everyone living around these reactors has a right to know that the NRC has chosen to gamble with their lives rather than enforce safety measures that include replacing the defective parts."
According to the Greenpeace report of June 2016, the US nuke plants that have these bum parts in their reactors include:
Prarie Island 1 & 2 in MN; North Anna 1 & 2 and Surry 1 & 2 in VA; Three Mile Island (the one that didn't melt down in 1979 and is still running) in PA; Arkansas One 1 & 2 in AK;Turkey Point and St. Lucie 1 & 2 in FL; Cook 1 & 2 in MI; Salem 1 & 2 in NJ; Callaway in Missouri; Millstone in CT; Crystal River in FL (already shut down but still could have defective parts in it).
Almost all these reactors date back to the 1970s. and their advanced ages make them even more vulnerable to catastrophic mishaps.
The Greenpeace report also listed reactors in other nations that may have such defective parts as: Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Brazil, China, South Korea and South Africa.
On January 10 the Wall Street Journal reported that the European Union had approved France's bid of a .76 billion "capital injection" to mainline Areva's rapidly collapsing fortunes.
How close is the company to fatally overdosing?
Sources: Beyond Nuclear, beyond nuclear.org; Greenpeace, greenpeace.org; Wall Street Journal, wsj.com
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