The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reporting that an “alert” has been declared at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Ocean County, New Jersey. An alert is the second level on the four-point scale, a step above an “unusual event.”
|By: Gregg Levine Monday October 29, 2012 10:30 am|
The Calvert Cliffs nuclear reactor is again in the line of fire, as are numerous other plants. Hurricane Sandy will likely bring high winds, heavy rain and the threat of flooding to nuclear facilities in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
|By: Gregg Levine Sunday October 21, 2012 5:00 pm|
George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who ran for president in 1972 as a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and a strong advocate of economic equality, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls. He was 90.
In the fall of 1972, I was only 10, but even as a 5th-grader, I was moved by McGovern’s anti-war, pro-social-justice message. I had a “Come Home America” pin that I would wear everyday to school, and after school, I would go to the local campaign office to stuff envelopes and lick stamps.
At the crack of dawn on Election Day, I went with my father to hand out flyers to arriving workers at Litton Industries. I remember the flyers explained that you were aloud time off at the beginning or end of work to vote, and then, inside made the pitch to working Americans with the headline “How in the Hell Can You Vote for Nixon?”
|By: Gregg Levine Saturday October 13, 2012 1:59 pm|
In Mad Science: The Nuclear Power Experiment, Joseph Mangano returns to that time, and then methodically pulls back the curtain on the real history of nuclear folly and failure, and the energy source that continues to masquerade as clean, safe, and “too cheap to meter.”
|By: Gregg Levine Friday October 12, 2012 2:59 pm|
Dr. Barry Commoner, scientist, activist, educator and one of the founders of the modern environmental movement, died on September 30 at his home in Brooklyn. He was 95.
I met Dr. Commoner in 1980, when he brought his third-party campaign for US president to my university. Running as the candidate of the Citizens Party, which he helped found, Commoner didn’t command an auditorium. Instead, Commoner sat in what I remember as a smallish classroom, discussing the state of the world with an egalitarian equanimity. He knew he wasn’t going to win the election, but he had things he wanted to explain, and a level of participation he wanted to motivate.
|By: Gregg Levine Friday October 5, 2012 2:45 pm|
Southern California Edison, the operator of the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), has proposed to restart one of the facility’s two damaged reactors without repairing or replacing the parts at the root of January’s shutdown. The Thursday announcement came over eight months after a ruptured heat transfer tube leaked radioactive steam, scramming Unit 3 and taking the entire plant offline. But perhaps more tellingly, Edison’s plan–which must be reviewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission–was issued just weeks before the mandated start of hearings on rate cuts.
|By: Gregg Levine Monday September 17, 2012 1:45 pm|
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the twin-reactor power plant that spread its isotopic glow across coastal communities from Los Angeles to San Diego, was declared dead last week. SONGS, as it was affectionately known, was 44, though many of its parts are considerably younger.
|By: Gregg Levine Friday September 7, 2012 4:00 pm|
Obama, a consummate politician, made the decision that for his second shot at casting for the future, nuclear power is political deadweight.
|By: Gregg Levine Sunday September 2, 2012 11:50 am|
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission cannot issue a license for the construction and operation of a new nuclear reactor in Maryland–that is the ruling of the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) handed down Thursday.
Michael Mariotte, Executive director of NIRS, called Thursday’s decision “a blow to the so-called ‘nuclear renaissance,’” noting that back in 2007, when permit requests were submitted for Calvert Cliffs 3, the project was considered the “flagship” of a coming fleet of new reactors. “Now,” said Mariotte, “it is a symbol or the deservedly failed revival of nuclear power in the US.”
A symbol, yes, but far from the only symbol.
|By: Gregg Levine Friday August 17, 2012 3:00 pm|
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission hit Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) with a violation for what it called a lapse in plant security, the agency announced late Thursday.
The NRC noted the violation during a four-day inspection in May. SONGS has been completely offline since January, when a radioactive leak led to the discovery of severely degraded heat exchanger tubes in both of the plant’s (nominally) operating reactors. (In July, the NRC released its report on the tube failures, saying that although plant operators had made major design changes that affected the stability of the tubes, they had not violated any laws.)
Regulators said Edison “failed to develop procedures to monitor electronic devices related to security,” but the NRC has withheld most of the details of the violation.