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Submission + - "Indian Point' — Documentary On Problem-Plagued Nuclear Plants Is Out (huffingtonpost.com)

mdsolar writes: "Indian Point” is a film about the long problem-plagued Indian Point nuclear power plants that are “so, so risky — so close to New York City,” notes its director and producer Ivy Meeropol. “Times Square is 35 miles away.”

The plants constitute a disaster waiting to happen, threatening especially the lives of the 22 million people who live within 50 miles from them. “There is no way to evacuate—what I’ve learned about an evacuation plan is that there is none,” says Meeropol. The plants are “on two earthquake fault lines,” she notes. “And there is a natural gas pipeline right there that an earthquake could rupture.”

Meanwhile, both plants, located in Buchanan, New York along the Hudson River, are now essentially running without licenses. The federal government’s 40-year operating license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 and Indian Point 3’s license expired last year. Their owner, Entergy, is seeking to have them run for another 20 years—although nuclear plants were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. (Indian Point 1 was opened in 1962 and closed in 1974, its emergency core cooling system deemed impossible to fix.)

Comment Price-Anderson (Score 1) 140

The US stands in line for the next catastrophe. Owing to the government's liability for loss of property and life through the Price-Anderson Act, during times of recession, the government could become insolvent should the accident occur in high property value areas. The very badly run Indian Point plant is an example.

Submission + - World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 Released (ladailypost.com)

mdsolar writes: The year 2016, marking the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe and the 5th year since the Fukushima disaster started unfolding, strangely might go down in history as the period when the notion of risk of nuclear power plants turned into the perception of nuclear power plants at risk. Indeed, an increasing number of reactors is threatened by premature closure due to the unfavorable economic environment. Increasing operating and backfitting costs of aging power plants, decreasing bulk market prices and aggressive competitors.
The development started out in the U.S., when in May 2013 Kewaunee was shut down although its operator, Dominion, had upgraded the plant and in February 2011 had obtained an operating license renewal valid until 2033. Two reactors at San Onofre followed, when replacement steam generators turned out faulty. Then Vermont Yankee shut down at the end of 2014. Early shutdown decisions have also hit Pilgrim and Fitzpatrick, likely to close before the end of 2017 and 2019. Utility Exelon, largest nuclear operator in the U.S., has announced June 2, 2016 that it was retiring its Clinton (1065 MW) and Quad Cities (2 x 940 MW) nuclear facilities in 2017 as they have been losing money for several years.
Only days later, PG&E in California announced that they would close the two Diablo Canyon units by 2025, replacing the capacity by energy efficiency and renewables, making the sixth largest economy in the world (having overtaken France in 2016) nuclear-free. Still in the same month of June 2016, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board voted unanimously to shut down the Fort Calhoun reactor by the end of the year—in the words on one board member, “simply an economic decision”. Nuclear Energy Institute President Marv Fertel stated in May 2016 that “if things don’t change, we have somewhere between 10 and 20 plants at risk”.

Submission + - Entergy security workers placed on leave at nuclear plant (wwmt.com)

mdsolar writes: After receiving a tip from an employee at the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, the I-Team is now confirming several security officers at the plant have been placed on paid administrative leave.

The employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells Newschannel 3's I-Team there's some concern about security at the plant with the absence of the guards.

A spokesperson for Entergy, the parent company of Palisades, acknowledged an ongoing investigation into the matter resulting in the guards being placed on paid leave, but denied any change of security levels in or around the plant.

"An investigation identified anomalies within the site's fire tour records," said Val Gent, senior communications specialist. "We have implemented strong interim actions to make sure we have appropriate staffing levels and that fire tours are conducted properly."

When asked about the specifics regarding the fire tour anomalies, Gent declined to elaborate, saying that the matter was still under investigation.

At 45 years old, Palisades is one of the oldest nuclear reactors in the country, and no stranger to controversy.

Nuclear energy critic Kevin Kamps, says the lack of specifics from Entergy are worrisome.

"Did security guards make their rounds and not really do it [fire inspections]?" asks Kamps, who is a radioactive waste watchdog for Beyond Nuclear, a group pushing to phase out nuclear energy.

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