The South Texas Nuclear Plant west of Houston was hit by hurricane Harvey. Through the hurricane and subsequent days of heavy rain and flooding the power company has refused to go into a weather related shutdown.  Roads near the plant and nearby cities were rendered off limits due to extreme flooding.  There are also widespread power… Read More


Stop the Nuclear Bailout Rally

Stop the Nuclear Bailout Rally

We know Governor Cuomo’s plan to tax New Yorkers’ utility bills to bail out old, unsafe, unprofitable nuclear plants is a big mistake. If the governor gets his way, he’ll take $7.6 billion from hard working New Yorkers and hand it over to subsidize dangerous, inefficient nuclear plants owned by a wealthy Chicago-based corporation. We can’t let that happen.

Join us at Thursday, October 27th at noon outside Governor Cuomo’s Midtown office at 633 3rd Avenue to send a strong message against the bailout. Together, we can stop the Cuomo Tax, block the nuclear bailout, and start moving to a truly green renewable energy future. But it’s going to take all of us! Join us Thursday October 27th at noon!

Read More


Stop the Cuomo Tax!

New Yorkers know that Governor Cuomo’s plan to bail out old, unprofitable nuclear plants is a big mistake. If the governor gets his way, he’ll take $7.6 billion from hard working New Yorkers and hand it over to a highly profitable Chicago nuclear company. We should be investing in sustainable energy, not handing out giant subsidies for aging, unsafe nuclear plants.

You can help change the governor’s mind with a quick 30-second phone call to let his office know where you stand. It’s simple. Just follow these instructions:

  1. Call 866-772-3843
  2. Tell Governor Cuomo’s office your name and where you live, then say:
    “As a constituent, I oppose the Cuomo tax on New Yorkers’ utility bills and urge Governor Cuomo to stop his proposed $7.6 billion bailout of unprofitable nuclear plants. His mistaken plan would take billions of dollars out of New Yorkers’ pockets to subsidize aging, unsafe, nuclear plants owned by a highly profitable Chicago-based company. Instead, Governor Cuomo should invest in energy efficiency and truly clean renewable alternatives like solar and wind while saving consumers money.”
  3. Click the button below so we can count the number of calls delivered!

 

I MADE THE CALL

 
 … Read More


NYC Actions to Shut Indian Point

PLEASE SIGN THESE PETITIONS NOW AND THEN SHARE THEM WIDELY

NYC actions
Citizens Demand To Close
Indian Point Nuclear Plant
-via Moveon.org

We, residents of the Hudson Valley and the metropolitan New York and New Jersey areas, are demanding that the licensing renewals for the Indian Point nuclear power plant for 2013 and 2015 be denied, and that the plant is closed down as soon as possible. Studies have shown that with upgrades in the New York State power grid, with energy efficiency and conservation measures, and investment in renewable sources, Indian Point’s capacity can be replaced with minimal cost to consumers.

Close the Indian Point
Nuclear Power Plant
-via Credo

To: Members of Congress: Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Eliot Engel, Representative Nita Lowey, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney.

Stop the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from relicensing the Indian Point nuclear reactors 2 and 3.

Read More


Hello all C.A.N.ers! This past week we, as the Coalition Against Nukes, USA, signed onto a powerful letter to the newly elected Canadian premier and his newly appointed environmental minister to say a big NO to the insane idea of burying nuclear waste on the shores of our Great Lake Huron. Please, as this decision looms, make your voices heard by emailing your opposition to the email addresses below. NO NUKES!!!!!

 

Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear DumpRead More


Fukushima radiation plume overlaid on map centered at Indian Point reactors. Can anyone (other than NRC) seriously believe this area can be successfully evacuated in a nuclear accident? From Samuel Lawrence Foundation website.

Fukushima radiation plume overlaid on map centered at Indian Point reactors. Can anyone (other than NRC) seriously believe this area can be successfully evacuated in a nuclear accident? From Samuel Lawrence Foundation website.

Apparently we have a European theme going this week. At least that’s where the major reports and news seem to be coming from…

Today, Nuclear Transparency Watch (NTW), composed of activists and experts from across the continent, released the results of a year-long investigation into the preparedness of European governments and nuclear utilities for a Fukushima-level nuclear accident in the densely-populated region.

What they found, which will be no surprise to us in the U.S. at least, is that Europe is not prepared to effectively cope with such an accident. What the report didn’t get into for the most part is that many European nations have even less-stringent regulations for emergency planning and evacuation than does the U.S., for example, sometimes even smaller evacuation zones than the inadequate 10 mile (18 km) U.S. zones–although some countries do distribute potassium iodide to people inside emergency zones much better than do most, possibly all, U.S. states.

Of course, the ultimate solution to emergency planning issues is not to have them in the first place–by closing all nuclear reactors and storing radioactive waste as safely as possible. Even with perfect preparedness and regulation, the notion of being able to evacuate highly-populated areas like those around Indian Point, Limerick, Diablo Canyon and more, and similarly-sited reactors in Europe, is pure folly. But until we finally win those fights–and we will–the most effective emergency preparedness possible is vital to protect public health and safety.

Below is the executive summary of NTW’s investigation. You can download it, a position paper, and the full 180-page report here.

The Fukushima accident in March 2011 has intensified European concerns about
Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) provisions after nuclear accidents. Although the European Commission and European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) initiated a process of stress tests for all operating nuclear power stations in Europe, this process did not include off-site EP&R. Later attempts by the European Commission to take action on this issue seem to have come to a virtual halt. This is contrary to the IAEA nuclear safety concept of defence in depth. Nuclear Transparency Watch (NTW) has conducted an investigation of off-site EP&R. The findings highlight many deficiencies in EP&R provisions and the need for extensive improvements in this area. These are detailed in the report.

Emergency preparedness and response plans are mostly based on INES 5 nuclear accidents and they generally cannot cope with an INES 7 accident, which is the level of the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. The NTW report gives findings, viewpoints, recommendations and proposals from the members of the NTW EP&R Working Group explaining this lack of preparedness.

Emergency drills – NTW observes that many regional and local authorities are not really prepared for a nuclear accident. Sufficient dedicated staff, accurate evacuation plans and full scope exercises involving the local population are missing. Lessons learned from exercises and drills are not taken into account in new versions of plans, nor are they communicated to the stakeholders. NTW believes that there is a need for developing a legal framework requiring the involvement of civil society organizations at each level of EP&R preparation and for related decisions, in the spirit of the Aarhus Convention and in compliance with its requirements.

Changes updating – NTW identifies poor updating of EP&R plans regarding important recent spatial changes (new residential neighborhoods, shopping malls, medical centers, schools, roads, etc.) and recent changes in technology (internet, mobile phones, new social media, availability of basic radiation measurement equipment among the broader population, etc.). During the Fukushima catastrophe, social media networks played an important role in how citizens gathered on-going information in Japan and beyond. This dynamic is not taken into account in national EP&R plans, nor are EP&R plans adequately addressing cross border issues and the multi-lingual, multi-national and multi-cultural character of contemporary European societies. How will authorities use these communication vehicles to quickly dispatch relevant information to a wide audience? How are they going to tackle contradictory information or rumors?

Communication – NTW notices that even during exercises and drills, the communication and
notification lines for the responsible institutions are not entirely working. The contact data of
involved personnel are sometimes wrong or out-dated. Some concerned administration services do not communicate between themselves, and for others, their communication is inadequate or delayed, or even both. For example, in Germany, the crisis teams of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the federal states Environmental Ministries failed in a communication exercise in September 2014. The outcomes show that more than one million inhabitants would have been affected by radioactive releases before any public warning by the authorities and some regions would have received security instructions (to close the windows, doors, etc.) five hours too late. How are the communication lines supposed to work between two neighboring countries if it is so chaotic already on a national level?

Distribution of iodine tablets – The heterogeneity of measures in different countries
(like the distribution of iodine, evacuation perimeters and zoning) is a crucial transboundary
dimension. This heterogeneity is potentially a source of chaos, loss of credibility and, most important, can lead to failure to protect the population. As an example, in Austria and Luxembourg, iodine tablets can be collected in any pharmacy to be stored at home in the whole territory. In the Czech Republic, iodine tablets are pre- distributed and stored in houses only in an emergency zone up to 13 km around the Temelín NPP and 20 km around the Dukovany NPP. Today, not all parts of the population in the emergency zone have iodine tablets. In Belgium and France, iodine tablet pre-distribution zones are established within 20 km and 10 km around the nuclear power plants respectively. For residents living outside the pre-distribution zone, there are centralized stocks, which need to be distributed after the nuclear accident happens. In Germany, iodine tablets have to be collected by the public itself after the accident. The question is how will the iodine tablets reach the affected population in time? In Japan, stocks existed locally before the Fukushima disaster. But given the fact that the authorities failed to give appropriate instructions to the public, iodine tablets could be distributed only for a very small number of residents in the area surrounding the damaged plant.

Food standards – There is a need for clarification of food standards and their harmonization
especially in the post-accident context. It has been noted that there are several different food
standards imposing radioactivity limits per mass or volume. For example, the FAO and WHO standards state 1000 Bq/kg of food stuff for Cs-137 (Codex Alimentarius), whereas the EU imposes different limits for import of food from different areas affected by a nuclear accident – e.g. 370 Bq/kg for Cs-137 in diary products from the Chernobyl area and 200 Bq/kg for Cs-137 in dairy products from Japan after the Fukushima catastrophe. A repetition of the chaos in food standards after the Fukushima catastrophe has to be prevented at all cost. The confusion caused mistrust of the legal framework and the responsible institutions. The European Commission and other authorities should create a transparent, scientifically sound and publicly accepted set of standards and create harmonization across Europe.

NTW calls for a systematic involvement of citizens and civil society. NTW’s assessment has made it obvious that the usual top-down approach in EP&R, which has been used to date, should be changed and that local populations and interested civil society organisations should be actively
involved and supported in this participation. This would be the best cure against sectoral “silo
thinking” and in particular, against the problem of properly defining the responsibilities of civil
protection authorities on the one hand and the safety and radiation protection authorities on the other. Active citizen engagement would also increase the scope, reduce the use of false or
out-dated assumptions and data, steepen the learning curve necessary after the Fukushima experience and overcome cross-border obstacles. Current limitations, due to a certain “tunnel view” based on a reluctance to include the unexpected, need to be overcome if the complexity of nuclear emergency situations in real world settings is to be addressed.

The European Parliament, the European Commission, national governments, regional bodies and municipalities together with nuclear operators should provide access to relevant
information to interested citizens, citizens’ initiatives and civil society organizations, as well as support their participation in emergency preparedness and response planning. This should happen regardless of a CSO’s position on the commercial use of nuclear power. In order to achieve this, inclusive and participative solution-finding platforms like the French association of local information committees on nuclear power (ANCCLI) and Nuclear Transparency Watch should be established or strengthened to create a level playing field among stakeholders with access to different information, scientific expertise, media and political influence and to ensure a safe and sustainable communication space for actors with different, even opposing, interests.

Michael Mariotte

April 15, 2015

Permalink: http://safeenergy.org/2015/04/15/europe-is-not-prepared/

Your contributions make publication of GreenWorld possible. If you value GreenWorld, please make a tax-deductible donation here and ensure our continued publication. We gratefully appreciate every donation of any size.

Comments are welcome on all GreenWorld posts! Say your piece. Start a discussion. Don’t be shy; this blog is for you.

If you’d like to receive GreenWorld via e-mail, send your name and e-mail address to nirsnet@nirs.org and we’ll send you an invitation. Note that the invitation will come from a GreenWorld@wordpress.com address and not a nirs.org address, so watch for it. Or just put your e-mail address into the box in the right-hand column.

If you like GreenWorld, help us reach more people. Just use the icons below to “like” our posts and to share them on the various social networking sites you use. And if you don’t like GreenWorld, please let us know that too. Send an e-mail with your comments/complaints/compliments to nirsnet@nirs.org. Thank you!

GreenWorld is crossposted on tumblr at https://www.tumblr.com/blog/nirsnet

Filed under: Emergency planning, International Tagged: emergency evacuation, Nuclear Transparency Watch, potassium iodideRead More


Since the incidents at WIPP in February the city of Carlsbad has been holding periodic town hall meetings to update the public on the situation at WIPP. These meetings have been broadcast online and the public has been allowed to ask questions via online submission. That sadly hasn’t obligated DOE or the contractor running WIPP… Read More