Premature Failure of U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Canisters

In a nutshell all we are saying is that this process should be slowed down to ensure the best possible choice of dry cask canisters is made, spend the money wisely “once” to avert another steam generator type disaster and ensure the safety of California’s future. Gene Stone &  Donna Gilmore.

Premature Failure of U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Canisters

The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) should delay funding the new San Onofre dry cask storage system until Southern California Edison provides written substantiation that the major problems identified below are resolved.

San Onofre’s Chief Nuclear Officer, Tom Palmisano, told the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee on August 12th that Edison plans to decide in August or September on a dry cask system vendor. The dry casks systems Edison is considering may fail within 30 years or possibly sooner, based on information provided by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) technical staff. And there is no technology to adequately inspect canisters and no system in place to mitigate a failed canister.

Edison created an artificial date of June 2019 to have all the spent fuel assemblies loaded into canisters. We don’t need to rush into another “steam generator” like boondoggle.  Edison’s Tom Palmisano told the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communication Committee on August 12th that issues regarding high burnup fuel and dry cask storage have been addressed. However, these issues have not been resolved.

Canisters may need to be replaced within 30-42 years or sooner. 

Recent information provided by the NRC technical staff indicates dry storage canisters may need to be replaced within 30-42 years or sooner, due to stress corrosion cracking of the thin (1/2 to 5/8 inch) stainless steel canisters (due to our coastal environment). Similar stainless steel materials at nuclear plants have failed within 16 to 33 years.  The concrete overpacks also have aging issues that are accelerated in coastal environments.                                          sanonofrecaskloadingintostoragebunker

Southern California Edison has budgeted $400 million dollars for the dry storage system. As Commissioner Florio stated after the recent CPUC meeting in Costa Mesa, “We don’t want to have to buy these again.”

No remediation plan to repair or replace failed canisters.

The NRC stated that if one of the canisters becomes defective (e.g. 75% through-wall stress corrosion cracks), there is no way to repair or replace the canister; especially if the spent fuel storage and transfer pools are demolished, as Edison plans to do. And before a canister can be transported (inside a transport cask), the canister must not have cracks.

No technology to adequately inspect canisters for stress corrosion cracking.

The NRC states technology does not exist to adequately inspect steel canisters for stress corrosion cracks or to measure how or when the cracks will go through the wall of the canister. They plan to allow the nuclear industry 5 years to try to develop technology. And then they only plan to require inspection of one canister at each nuclear plant.

No license renewals until aging management issued addressed.

The NRC is in the process of developing an aging management plan due to the new requirement that dry storage systems need to last 100 to 300+ years. They are delaying license renewals until unresolved aging management issues can be addressed. However, they plan to allow the NUHOMS 32PTH2 canister that Edison may procure to be included in an existing license. The NRC is evaluating how long dry storage systems will last. Previously, they only needed to last 20+ years with the assumption there would be a permanent repository.

No canisters approved for high burnup fuel for more than the initial 20 years.

The NRC has not extended licenses past the initial 20 years for storage of high burnup fuel (>45GWd/MTU) due to unknowns about high burnup fuel in storage and transport. This fuel is over twice as radioactive and hotter than lower burnup fuel.  The NRC has allowed nuclear plants to burn fuel longer, without the research to show that it is safe in storage and transport. The protective fuel cladding can become brittle and crack; resulting is higher risk for radiation exposure, if the canisters fail.

NUHOMS dry canister license certification expires in less than nine years.

The NUHOMS DSC-32PTH2 canisters that Edison wants to procure are not yet licensed by the NRC. If approved, the license will expire in less than nine years (February 5, 2023), since Areva-TN decided to avoid a new license certification and include it in their existing license for the DSC-24PT series, which has a different design.

New design of the NUMHOMS DSC-32PTH2 eliminates failed fuel cans.

Unlike the existing 24 fuel assembly canisters, the new 32 fuel assembly canisters have no provision for Failed Fuel Cans. This means damaged fuel assemblies (of which San Onofre has many) cannot be used in the DSC-32PTH2 canisters. The NRC and DOE require fuel assemblies to be retrievable so they can be transferred to other containers. The Failed Fuel Cans met this requirement.


On July 14th, 15th and August 5th the NRC had public meetings to address aging management issues with dry cask storage system. Their goal is to require an aging management plan before relicensing or issuing new licenses, now that the NRC knows on-site or interim dry cask storage will be needed for up to 300 years or more. The NRC stated the earliest date for a permanent repository is 2048 and that is optimistic. They are researching on-site and interim dry cask storage requirements for 40,100, 150 and 300+ years. No NRC canisters are certified for extended storage or for geological repository storage. Canister licenses for the more dangerous and unstable high burnup (>45GWd/MTU) spent fuel have not been renewed for more than the initial 20 year license, even for expired licenses. And the NRC’s Bob Einziger states there are still transportation problems with high burnup fuel. NRC staff plan to have a draft for public comment regarding dry cask storage relicensing by the end of 2014, according to Mark Lombard, Director, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation. However, this will not address our current issues.

Stainless Steel Dry Canister Problems

Darrell Dunn, an NRC materials engineer, stated stainless steel dry storage canisters are vulnerable to failure within about 25 – 42 years. If any of the fuel cladding in the canister fails, there is no protective barrier and we could have a serious radiation release. The NRC said they have no current mitigation plan for that consequence.  They suggested we MIGHT be able to put the fuel back in the spent fuel pool.  However, Edison plans to destroy the spent fuel and transfer pools. And there is no technology to repair the canisters. The NRC said they HOPE there will be a solution for mitigation in the future. Even an NRC May 2nd High Burnup Fuel letter admits there are mitigation problems.

No Inspections of Stainless Steel Canisters

To make matters worse, these stainless steel canisters are not inspected after they are loaded into the unsealed concrete overpacks (Areva NUHOMS) or concrete casks (Holtec and NAC Magnastor).  The NRC proposed having each nuclear plant inspect the outside of only ONE stainless steel canister before they receive a license renewal and then do that once every 5 years.  The industry balked at having to even check one canister at every plant. The problem with the stainless steel canisters is they do not protect against gamma rays; so it’s not a simple task to remove a canister from the concrete overpack/cask to examine the exterior for corrosion or other degradation. And since welded canisters do not have monitoring for helium leaks, we may not have any warning of an impending radiation release.

Concrete Overpack Corrosion Problems

Darrell Dunn discussed serious corrosion problems with the concrete overpacks/casks, especially in coastal environments.

Ductile Cast Iron Casks may be a better solution

Asked if San Onofre would be better off using ductile cast iron casks like the CASTOR, due to our coastal environment, Aladar (Al) Csontos, NRC Branch Chief in the Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation (SFST), said that might be a better option near the ocean. Casks, such as CASTOR, may eventually have aging issues with bolts and seals. The CASTOR has double sealed lids, so even if one fails, we’ll still have a sealed canister. And Edison would be able to easily monitor for cask material degradation with all the casks.

The NRC licensed the CASTOR V/21 ductile cast iron cask years ago and the cask is still in use. In fact, a CASTOR V/21 was used to prove low burnup fuel is safe to store for over 15 years. However, none of the current U.S. cask designs have been tested even though they use a different storage technology.  The U.S. industry chose a different technology (stainless steel/concrete overpack/cask) mainly due to the cost of ductile cast iron at the time and with the assumption that the canisters would only be needed until Yucca Mountain opened. The CASTOR V/21 was considered the “Cadillac” of the industry and the CASTOR line is still very popular in other parts of the world for BOTH storage and transport (including high burnup fuel). The CASTOR canisters have multiple certifications for quality manufacturing, unlike the U.S. stainless steel canisters that are allowed exceptions to ASME and other standards. Material prices for stainless and cast iron have changed, so the price point should be lower.

The CASTOR has pressurized lid monitoring to detect helium leaks and temperature changes. The welded U.S. canisters do not have this capability, but the NRC and Department of Energy (DOE) state this is a high priority issue to resolve.

The inside of the CASTOR cask, including the sealing surface, has a nickel coating for corrosion protection. On the outside, the cask is protected by an epoxy resin coating in the fin area and nickel coating elsewhere.  And unlike the U.S. stainless steel canisters, it does not have stress corrosion cracking issues and does not require a concrete overpack/cask.

The original CASTOR V/21 is almost 15″ thick as opposed to the 1/2″ to 5/8″ stainless steel canisters.  The newer model CASTOR V/19 is almost 20″ thick. There are other ductile cast iron canister brands that are used in other countries. However, the U.S. emphasis on cost rather than longer term safety discourages competition from better quality casks vendors. With new U.S. needs for longer term onsite and interim dry cask storage, this should change.

Forged Steel Casks (AREVA TN Series)

Areva makes thick walled forged steel casks (TN series), which were approved for limited use years ago by the NRC. The TN cask is much thicker than the stainless steel canisters and doesn’t require a cement overpack/cask.  Its specifications are not as robust as the CASTOR, but better than the Areva NUHOMS system that Edison may procure.  Fukushima Daiichi and Germany use some TN casks. Germany mainly uses the CASTOR casks.

Enclose Casks in Buildings

Both Japan and Germany enclose their casks in buildings for protection from the environment and other external forces. This is something Edison should consider.

Action Needed

No dry cask solution is even close to perfect, but we need to buy ourselves as much time as possible. Given the issues with stress corrosion cracking, concrete degradation, lack of monitoring, and lack of external inspection of stainless steel canisters, we can do better. Spent fuel pools are dangerous. However, the spent fuel needs to cool in the pools for a number of years, so we have time to do a better job selecting a dry cask storage system. Edison’s artificial deadline of June 2019 to have all canisters loaded should not be the driving factor for the future of California.

The NRC does not proactively research dry storage system designs. They only respond to vendor requests for licensing. Vendors will only do this if they think they have a customer lined up for their product. California needs to be that customer.

Edison should reopen the bidding to include vendors with other cask technology. Edison’s Community Engagement Panel (CEP) had a presentation from Areva, but from no other dry cask storage vendors. Edison only solicited bids from three canister system manufacturers who all have the problems mentioned in this document. Edison requested the NRC approve the NUHOMS 32PTH2 design – it was not licensed when they decided to use it. That license amendment (Docket No. 72-1029, Certificate of Compliance No. 1029 Amendment No. 3) may be approved in August.  However, the CPUC should not approve funding for this canister system.

Edison has not shared with us the documents they used to solicit bids (Request for Proposal), so we have no idea what the requirements are in that bid package.  That would be useful information and the public should have access to this information.

If you have questions about sources for any information, contact Donna Gilmore. There are also detailed references on the website.  A link to the NRC July and August presentations as well as other documents discussed here are on the following pages.

Donna Gilmore

Gene Stone
Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE)
Member, SONGS Community Engagement Panel


High Burnup Fuel

High Burnup Nuclear Fuel −Pushing the Safety Envelope, M. Resnikoff, D. Gilmore, Jan 2014

Letter from Chairman Macfarlane regarding high burnup fuel, May 2, 2014

Response from Donna Gilmore to NRC regarding May 2, 2014 request for NRC high burnup fuel technical basis, June 25, 2014

NRC Presentations

NRC Meeting to Obtain Stakeholder Input on Potential Changes to Guidance for Renewal of Spent Fuel Dry Cask Storage System Licenses and Certificates of Compliance, July 14th/15th, 2014 (includes slide presentations)

Chloride-Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking Tests and Example Aging Management Program, Darrell S. Dunn, NRC/NMSS/SFST, Public Meeting with NEI on Chloride Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking Regulatory Issue Resolution Protocol, August 5, 2014

CASTOR Dry Casks (Ductile cast iron cask technology)

CASTOR V/21 NRC Certificate of Compliance and Safety Analysis Report, August 17, 1990

CASTOR brochure (includes the CASTOR V/19 and other ductile cast iron casks).

GNS’ [CASTOR] experience in the long-term storage at dry interim storage facilities in Ahaus and Gorleben, IAEA Vienna, May 20, 2014

Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Experience, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (GNS Castor V/21, Transnuclear TN-24P, Westinghouse MC-10, NAC S-100-C), 1987

BAM test results for CASTOR transport containers

Fracture Mechanics Based Design for Radioactive Material Transport Packagings, Historical Review, Sandia SAND98-0764 UC-804, April 1998

GNS CASTOR Presentation, June 09-11, 2010, Varna, Bulgaria (slide 18: CASTOR V/19, V52)

Areva TN Series Casks (forged steel cask technology)

TN-24 NRC Certificate of Compliance and Safety Analysis Report, November 4, 1993

AREVA Innovation in the Design of the Used Fuel Storage System, CRIEPI Tokyo, November 15-17, 2010 (includes information on TN 24 casks)

AREVA Dual Purpose Casks in Operation, AREVA TN Experience, Vienna, May 19-21, 2014

NUHOMS 32PTH2 and San Onofre Decommissioning Plans

NRC Certificate of Compliance for Spent Fuel Storage Casks, COC 1029, Docket 72-1029, Amendment 3, Model No. Standardized Advanced NUHOMS®-24PT1, 24PT4, and 32PTH2,  expires 02/05/2023 (pending NRC approval as of 8/20/2014)

Comments on Direct Rule re List of Approved Storage Casks (79 Fed. Reg. 21,121 (April 15, 2014), Request for Rescission of the Direct Rule, and Request for Publication of a New and Revised Notice of  Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. 13-0271, Diane Curran, on behalf of 20 environmental organizations and individuals.

February 10, 2012 letter from Edison to NRC: Support for NRC Review of Transnuclear Inc. Application for Amendment 3 to the Standardized Advanced NUHOMS® Certificate of Compliance No. 1029, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Units 2 and 3 and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Docket Nos. 50-36, 50-362 and 72041

Update on Decommissioning Plans, Tom Palmisano, Vice President & Chief Nuclear Officer, August 12, 2014 presentation to CA Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, Chairman Alex Padilla

Community Engagement Panel Correspondence

High Burnup Fuel and Dry Cask Storage Issues, July 17, 2014 letter to CEP Chairman David Victor from Donna Gilmore, San Onofre Safety

David Victor testimony to NRC Commissioners, July 15, 2014

Additional references at

Same old story: Summer reactors delayed, overbudget

By Michael Mariotte

The Summer nuclear project, May 2014. Still a long ways--and a lot more rate increases--to go.

The Summer nuclear project, May 2014. Still a long ways–and a lot more rate increases–to go.

A few years ago, back before the nuclear “renaissance” had fizzled down to construction of four southern reactors taking advantage of utility-friendly Public Service Commissions (PSCs) that allow the utilities to treat their customers as private banks, there was a lot of boasting in the industry that this time they knew how to get it right.

The spiraling cost overruns and lengthy schedule delays that were emblematic of reactor construction in the 1970s and 1980s would be a thing of the past, the industry promised. New modular construction techniques and, of course, “lessons learned” would ensure that the renaissance reactors would be built on-time and on-budget.

Yeah, right.

In June, we reported that Georgia’s Vogtle reactors are at least two years behind schedule and that construction delays are adding about $2 million per day to the project’s already overbudget cost.

Yesterday, South Carolina’s SCANA announced at least a year’s delay in the construction of its two Summer reactors near Columbia, SC. When the project was first approved by the PSC in 2009, the first reactor was scheduled to be online by April 1, 2016. Now the date is late 2018/early 2019. And that delay will be accompanied by new–as yet unknown–rising costs. Ratepayers already have suffered through six rate increases for the project and a seventh is pending before the PSC. And that won’t be the end of it.

South Carolina’s Savannah River Site Watch (SRS Watch) has been following the Summer project more closely than anyone–apparently including the investment community–and has repeatedly been more on target with its assessment of the project than anyone, including SCANA itself, the PSC, and everyone involved with the nuclear power industry.

SRS Watch issued a statement on this latest development this morning; we’ve modified it just a little and think it’s well worth reading, not only for its assessment of yesterday’s announcement, but even more so for its thoughts about what lies ahead for South Carolina ratepayers:

Columbia, SC – In a stunning announcement, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) has revealed that the nuclear reactor construction project at the V.C. Summer site has been delayed again, adding an additional year or more to the project, which will result in significant cost increases.

SCE&G officials stated on Monday afternoon, August 11, that the completion of the first new reactor at the V.C. Summer site, unit 2, has been delayed from the current date of late 2017/early 2018 “to late 2018 or the first half of 2019” and that associated cost increases are unknown. The second reactor, unit 3, is now delayed another 12 months.

The news was revealed in a four-minute presentation by Steve Byrne, Chief Operating Officer at SCE&G and Jimmy Addison, Chief Financial Officer at SCANA. The presentation was followed by over 30 minutes of questions by representatives of investing firms.

“We have warned from the start of this risky project that it would face significant delays and cost increases so there is unfortunately no big surprise in SCE&G’s stunning news,” said Tom Clements, director of Savannah River Site Watch (SRS Watch). “SCE&G rate payers, already facing seven rate increases to pay in advance for the nuclear project, will likely take it on the chin due to the cost increases due to the announced delays,” he said.

The SCE&G project involves construction by Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) of two Westinghouse-design AP1000 nuclear reactors, an experimental design that has never been built or operated before. In a parallel project, Southern Company is building two AP1000 reactors at the Vogtle site in Georgia (across the river from the Savannah River Site).

According to Savannah River Site Watch, the cost for the expected delay could be in the range of $500 million or more. It is unclear how much of the additional costs will be passed on to SCE&G customers and how much the company or the construction “consortium” (Westinghouse and Chicago Bridge & Iron) will bear. SRS Watch warns that given the trend for delays since the project began that more such delays can be anticipated as the project continues, adding costs that the company may attempt to pass on to rate payers.

In the February 27, 2009 order by the South Carolina Public Service Commission in which the project was first approved, it is stated “the anticipated commercial service date for Unit 2 is April 1, 2016.” The just-announced delay means that the project is now 2 ½ to 3 years or more behind schedule after 5 years of construction, or about a 6-month delay for every year of construction.

SCE&G officials stated on Monday that they were informed on August 1 of the schedule delays by the construction consortium (Westinghouse and CB&I). SCE&G attributed the delays to problems with securing properly manufactured modules for the nuclear project, especially with key modules manufactured by Chicago Bridge & Iron at its Lake Charles, Louisiana facility. Due to chronic problems at the facility, it has been under close scrutiny by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission but problems persist.

SCE&G and the consortium are now discussing a firmer schedule and who will be responsible for cost overruns. The company expects to come to a conclusion of the negotiations by the end of 2014.

SCE&G officials confirmed that they will have to go to the PSC to ask for approval for the delay as it falls outside of the 18-month delay period allowed by the PSC when it approved the project. Likewise, SCE&G will have to seek approval for cost increases and will attempt to saddle its rate payers with any costs not deemed the responsibility of the consortium. PSC approval for delays and cost overruns is not guaranteed and can face intervention by concerned parties representing aggrieved rate payers.

SCE&G filed in late May for the seventh rate increase for the nuclear project, as allowed by the Baseload Review Act (BLRA). The annual pay-in-advance rate increase, only for financing costs, has not yet been approved but is expected to be near 3%, bringing the total amount for the new nuclear project in the bill to around 13%. That cost is not reflected in the bill as the company is attempting to keep rate payers in the dark about advance charges for the troubled project.

If the first unit comes on line in late 2018, SCE&G customers would have been hit with eleven pay-in-advance rate increases to pay for the financing costs of the nuclear project and will not even be owners of the new reactors in spite of paying for it. When capital costs go into the rate base, more negative impacts to rates will occur but the impact is unknown at this time.

“The law that forces SCE&G customers to pay in advance for the nuclear project is unjust and the announced delays confirm that the anti-consumer law should be repealed,” said Clements.

On Monday, August 11, SCE&G filed its quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which it revealed the delays and stated that “SCE&G anticipates that the revised schedule and the cost estimate at completion will be finalized in the latter half of 2014.” An update on the project is to be filed with the PSC on August 14 and it is anticipated that the language in that filing will be similar to that in the SEC report. It is believed that the reason for the August 11 conference call was due to the SEC filing and what was revealed in it.

In response to a question by an investor, SCE&G stated that it had informed two credit rating agencies on Monday about the delays and that it will take a while before any impact on credit ratings are known.

In 2008, Clements spearheaded an intervention before the South Carolina Public Service Commission against the project and argued that efforts should be first focused on conservation, efficiency and alternatives and not a costly nuclear project. “It is clear that the soundest options for South Carolina energy planning remain conservation, efficiency and sustainable alternatives and not a nuclear project that is proving to be far too risky and costly,” said Clements. “SCE&G’s announcement of schedule delays and unknown cost increases serves as more proof that putting the nuclear horse before the conservation and efficiency cart was the wrong way to go.”

To listen to the archived SCANA call, go to, click on “investor relations,” click on “webcast and presentations,” click on “Discussion of New Nuclear Construction Schedule” and register and choose media by which to listen to archived call. The presentation by SCE&G is about 4 minutes, total call time with Q&A from investors is about 40 minutes.

Tom Clements
Director, Savannah River Site Watch
Columbia, SC

Michael Mariotte

August 12, 2014


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Filed under: Nuclear Economics, nuclear industry Tagged: Savannah River Site Watch, SCANA, SCE&G, Summer reactors, Tom Clements, Vogtle

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Category: Nuclear Economics, nuclear industry, Savannah River Site Watch, SCANA, SCE&G, Summer reactors, Tom Clements, Vogtle

Scrap the Japan-India Nuclear Agreement : an international appeal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi


The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Japan on the 31st of August. On 1 September Mr. Modi and Japanese PM Mr. Shinzo Abe are expected to finalize the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. We, the concerned citizens and civil society groups of Japan, India and the world urge both the Prime Ministers to immediately terminate the negotiations.

This agreement effectively turns back the wheel of reckoning after Fukushima by rehabilitating global nuclear corporates in India which is violently imposing reactor projects on vulnerable people. Also, it sets an unacceptable precedent by legitimizing India`s nuclear weapons, manufactured by using international nuclear technology.

The nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant demonstrated to the world that once a nuclear accident occurs, it affects the society and our life far into the future in unexpected and dangerous ways. In the light of this accident, Japan’s plans to build new nuclear power plants are next to impossible, and even restarting the existing reactors is highly objectionable and untenable.

Given these problems in the domestic realm, Mr. Abe has looked abroad to salvage the declining nuclear industry of Japan. The Abe administration has negotiated nuclear corporation agreements with many countries, and currently possesses huge plans to export nuclear technology. Given the current situation of Japan, where people continue to suffer from the unfolding disaster in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, it is embarrassing that Japan that has experienced the accident and disastrous consequences of this technology is thoughtlessly exporting nuclear technology to other countries.

The Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement has multiple unacceptable implications. India possesses nuclear weapons, and had tested them twice without joining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Conclusion of the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement would be a de-facto legitimization of India’s nuclear arms. Furthermore, Japanese supply of nuclear technology will boost India`s nuclear arsenal as India would use imported reactors and fuel for its civilian reactors and its domestic uranium reserves would be entirely free for weapons production. It implies that by concluding this treaty, Japan would effectively be participating in India’s nuclear weapons program.

If we allow this agreement to be concluded, it would be a sin not only against Hibakushas who survived the a-bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki but would also undermine Japan`s role in the world for global nuclear disarmament.

Prime Minister Abe, you are traveling all over the world as an ambassador of the nuclear industry. Export of nuclear technology is the key for Japan’s economic revival in your worldview. You have the penchant for lecturing to the world about the lessons learned from Fukushima and Japan’s responsibility to provide safe nuclear power plants. However, if there is any lesson to be learned from Fukushima, it is not to continue with the oxymoron of nuclear safety but for detailed and immediate evacuation plans in Japan. We believe that our primary responsibility is to demonstrate that we can create the world without nuclear power, not to act under pressure from pro-nuke countries like U.S. and France. The lucrative nuclear market in India cannot be allowed to undermine these principles.

Prime Minister Modi, the Indian government has announced that the effects of Fukushima nuclear accident are not “really crucial.” Please visit Fukushima while you are in Japan, and see how people are suffering, see for yourself how this ongoing nuclear accident continues to destroy lives. If you can put yourself in the survivors’ shoes, you will give up your plan to promote more nuclear power. Invoking Fukushima is a cruel joke if you cannot stand on the side of the Fukushima survivors

We request both the Prime Ministers to stop any further discussion on the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, and withdraw from the negotiations. In the post-Fukushima world, it would be more prudent to discuss about creating a future without nuclear weapons and nuclear power out of pure human concerns is totally unacceptable.


Cesium found in Japanese steel exported to South Korea

By Lucas W Hixson

South Korean authorities plan to return contaminated steel scrap imported from Japan after detecting Cesium 137 over allowable levels in steel scrap imported from Japan earlier this month.

The scrap metals arrived in Gyeongsang Province on Thursday, but according to authorities there was no way of determining the areas in Japan where the scrap originated from.

South Korean officials will ask the Japanese government to assist and cooperate in sharing information in order to prevent any additional occurrences of radioactive materials being unknowingly transferred between the two countries.

The post Cesium found in Japanese steel exported to South Korea appeared first on Enformable.

Read more here:

Why We’re Marching September 21, 2014

By Michael Mariotte

Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free protestors at the July 29 EPA hearing on its Clean Power Plan in Atlanta.

Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free protestors at the July 29 EPA hearing on its Clean Power Plan in Atlanta.

Here at NIRS we’re already in crazy mode organizing and mobilizing for the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent to the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21, 2014.

This is the largest public event organizing effort we’ve undertaken in quite a long time–and we think it will have a huge payoff by making a large, visible, vibrant public statement that that the climate crisis must be addressed now, that nuclear power is no solution to global warming, that a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future is an absolute necessity for our nation and our planet.

Today we released a statement of the Contingent, titled Why We’re Marching on September 21, 2014. You can read it below, and you can download a pdf copy for printing and distributing in your community here.

At the kickoff People’s Climate March press conference in NYC last week.

We also released a list of the initial, and fast-growing, organizational endorsers of the Contingent. This morning there were 38, at this writing there are 41. Endorsers include NIRS, of course, as well as Physicians for Social Responsibility, Musicians United for Safe Energy, and grassroots groups from around the country (and world). If your organization would like to endorse, send an e-mail with your name, organization name, city, state, and country (if outside the U.S.) to

Here are a few useful websites for the Contingent and March:

*Contingent page on NIRS’ website:

*Contingent hub on the People’s Climate March website:

*Facebook group page for the nuclear-free, carbon-free contingent:

*Contingent page on tumblr:

*To get on an email-list where you can post and will get organizing emails:!forum/nfcf-climate-march

*To join grassroots planning/organizing calls for the Contingent, held every other Tuesday (next one is Tuesday, August 12, 2014) at 8 pm Eastern time, contact




The climate crisis is the defining issue of our time. It poses an existential threat to life on Earth in a manner civilization never before has faced. Immediate action is necessary to slash climate-changing emissions in all sectors of society.

On September 21, 2014, the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent will join the historic People’s Climate March in New York City to demand immediate action from all of the governments of the world.

The solutions to the climate crisis are not difficult to identify. A nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system is a necessity. It is an energy system that relies not on antiquated energy models of the 20th century and their polluting nuclear power and fossil fuel technologies, but on the safe, clean, affordable and sustainable renewable energy, energy efficiency, and modern grid technologies of the 21st century.

Nuclear power in particular cannot solve the climate crisis. Indeed, its continued use exacerbates the problem by preventing the deployment of clean energy systems.

Among a myriad of other problems, nuclear power is:

*Too dangerous: expanded use of nuclear power would inevitably lead to more Fukushimas and Chernobyls. New reactor designs exist only on paper, have their own safety problems, and cannot be brought to the commercial marketplace in time to have a meaningful impact on climate change. The technology and materials needed to generate nuclear energy can be diverted to nuclear weapons programs.
*Too dirty: nuclear reactors and the nuclear fuel chain produce vast amounts of lethal radioactive waste, which grow whenever nuclear power is used. The nuclear fuel chain is responsible for far more carbon emissions than renewable energy generation and improved energy efficiency. All reactors routinely emit toxic radiation–”the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that there is no “safe” level of radiation exposure.
*Too expensive: nuclear power is the costliest means possible of reducing carbon and methane emissions; its use crowds out investment in clean energy sources.
*Too slow: use of nuclear power to reduce fossil fuel emissions would require an unprecedented nuclear construction program, beyond the capability of the world’s manufacturers within an acceptable time frame.

Clean energy, including solar, wind, appropriately-sited geothermal, increased energy efficiency, distributed generation, electricity storage and other advanced technologies can meet the world’s electricity needs without radiation releases, carbon and methane emissions and other pollutants.

All that is lacking is the political will to rapidly deploy these clean technologies. On September 21, we march to break the gridlock and demonstrate to the world that this will exists.

Michael Mariotte

August 4, 2014

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Category: nukes and climate, Nuclear-Free Carbon-Free Contingent, People’s Climate March

Doubts Over Ice Wall To Keep Fukushima Safe From Damaged Nuclear Reactors

By Broc West via The Guardian / July 14, 2014 / In fading light and just a stone’s throw from the most terrifying scenes during Japan’s worst nuclear accident, engineers resumed their race against time to defeat the next big threat: thousands of tonnes of irradiated water. If all goes to plan, by next March Fukushima Daiichi’s four damaged reactors will be surrounded by an underground frozen wall that will be a barrier …

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Category: Featured, News, ice wall, tepco

Nuclear Racism: the war against aboriginal people in Australia

By The nuclear industry has been responsible for some of the crudest racism in Australia’s history. This radioactive racism dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s and it has been evident in more recent debates over nuclear waste.

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Category: Latest, Aboriginal people, Muckaty, Nuclear Racism

Oyster Creek Shut Down

By Leslie


Oyster Creek shuts down to check safety valves

Kirk Moore, @KirkMooreAPP 11:58 a.m. EDT July 8, 2014 Asbury Park Press

LACEY – Operators of the Oyster Creek nuclear reactor shut down the power plant to check and possibly replace five safety valves, plant officials said.

The shutdown was prompted by an inspection of previously removed valves, which showed unexpected wear on two of them and could have caused them to fail, according to plant owner Exelon and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Oyster Creek operators started shutting down the reactor power at about 8 p.m. Monday, and it’s not known how long the plant will remain offline, according to Suzanne D’Ambrosio, a spokeswoman for the plant.

She said the reactor must be shut off for workers to access the five installed electromatic relief valves inside the plant’s drywell, the containment vessel around the nuclear reactor. They are part of the plant’s automatic depressurization system, linked to the emergency core cooling system. In the event of a loss of coolant from a small pipe break — when pressure inside the reactor area remains high — the valves are there to quickly lower the pressure so the emergency system can inject water into the reactor core.

The potential problem began in late June during a maintenance inspection of the valves, NRC officials said. That raised a red flag with nuclear critics, who questioned why a plant shutdown was not required sooner by the NRC.

“The valves are designed so you can do without one, you can possibly do without two,” said Arnie Gundersen, an independent nuclear analyst whose Fairewinds Associates firm often consults for anti-nuclear groups. “That’s the question. When did they know the two valves were inoperable, and when did they decide to shut down?”

The valves are operated by solenoids, powerful electromagnets that slam the valves open when energized. NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said plant workers “found more than expected wear” on valve springs and supporting parts. Gundersen said the valves are routinely tested in place, but also that kind of wearing can come from the machinery vibration that’s part of the environment inside a nuclear plant.

Sheehan said the agency was on top of the situation as it evolved: “Our resident inspectors assigned to Oyster Creek on a full-time basis have been closely following developments involving the evaluation of the valves and the decision to take the reactor offline to address the issue. They will continue to do so until the problem is satisfactorily resolved.”

According to a formal notice posted by the NRC, the problem with the electomatic relief valves was confirmed Monday and “based on this new information, all 5 of the currently installed EMRVs were conservatively declared inoperable.”

In those instances, a shutdown is required, according to the notice.

Gundersen said he wonders why the shutdown did not happen sooner.

“Were they waiting for parts?” he said. Technically, the indications that valves could have a problem should initiate what’s called a “limiting condition of operation” that needs to be resolved soon under NRC rules, Gundersen said.

“That said, the decision to declare it in operable is less defined,” allowing the NRC to cut operators slack, he added.

The valve issue shows why reactors such as Oyster Creek need filtered vents to control discharges during emergencies, said Janet Tauro of the local group Grandmothers, Mothers and More for Energy Safety, which have pushed for the NRC to impose that proposed rule.

But the economics of building improved vents won’t work for the plant in Lacey, Gundersen said: “Oyster Creek will shut down before they would install them.”

Kirk Moore: 609-709-5036;

Follow up story 07.11.14 Latest Shutdown at Oyster Creek Nuclear Reactor Prompts Greater Federal Oversight

The post Oyster Creek Shut Down appeared first on Fairewinds Energy Education.

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Category: FEEC in the News, Oyster Creek

C.A.N. Rallies Anti-Nuclear Groups

PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH • New York City • September 20-21, 2014

Coalition Against Nukes Climate Change Convergence NYC March/Rally Sept 20-21, 2014C.A.N. calls for all environmental, health & safety, labor & civil rights organizations to come clean! and recognize that nuclear power is an integral part of the global climate change crisis: the King C.O.N.G (Coal•Oil•Nuclear•Gas) of climate change disruptors throughout the world!

Today the Coalition Against Nukes joins the effort of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) who will over the next few weeks rally thousands of anti-nuclear activists from around the country to join the PEOPLE’S CLIMATE CHANGE RALLY, in New York City, September 20-21, 2014. The People’s Climate March, supported by, The Sierra Club and sponsored by a coalition of over 325 environmental, labor, and civil rights organizations, will take place in advance of the UN Climate Summit on September 23rd and will call for immediate action on climate, economic and health issues.

C.A.N.’s goal in joining the march is to permanently remove the myths that nuclear energy is in any way “clean, green or sustainable” and to insist that at least one anti-nuclear speaker be scheduled to address this and be included in all future climate change rallies. C.A.N. founder Priscilla Star said, “It is critically necessary for the climate movement to understand that nuclear energy production is neither clean nor green, so we must all be there to spread this awareness. We are supporting the NIRS initiative to network and coordinate a large, vocal anti-nuclear presence at the People’s Climate March in NYC, Sept 20-21, 2014. Please join us!”

According to NIRS President Michael Mariotte, “We have put out the call to all anti-nuclear groups to take part in this historic demonstration. We need to make it clear that nuclear power is not the solution to climate change, that in fact it’s counter-productive. Our future is nuclear-free and carbon-free, and the faster we get there the better for our planet. We want to have the largest, most visible ‘nukes can’t save the climate’ presence at this event possible to get this crucial point across.”

Among the unexamined issues regarding the enormous, hidden carbon footprint created by nuclear power:

• Creation of nuclear fuel requires that uranium be mined, milled, converted to yellowcake, enriched, formed into fuel pellets – all processes which require tremendous amounts of energy as well as carbon-intensive fossil fuels used to transport the radioactive material between facilities.

• Nuclear power plant construction takes years, using steel and concrete – both requiring carbon-intensive production — and fossil fuel-powered heavy construction equipment.

• Radioactive waste from used fuel rods and decommissioned reactors remains deadly for tens of thousands of years, requiring carbon-intensive cooling and safe storage as well as energy resources to monitor the waste virtually into eternity.

For more information download these fact sheets:
Nuclear power can’t stop climate change
Nuclear Power’s Carbon Footprint

Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician and Secretary of Health for the Green Shadow Cabinet said, “It is imperative for the health of our population and the planet that we move rapidly to a carbon-free nuclear-free energy economy. Nuclear power is far from being clean.”

To get involved, ask to join the conversation with C.A.N.’s Facebook Group.