Saturday, August 4, 2007

Seth Leitman's (ex-)Conflict of Interest

(March 16, 2010 - Seth, or as he likes to be called now, the Green Living Guy, has since re-joined the rebel forces after he quit working for BGA. He's become editor of the Green Guru Guide series for McGrawHill and working hard with Rock The Reactors to see Indian Point shut down. So please read this below as a slice of ancient history. ~ Remy C.)
This is the story of a man who made a complete about face in his commitment to shut down Indian Point for a few dollars more, so as to cash in on the green consumer craze. Let me explain.

In April of 2006, Seth Leitman joined myself and model Betcee May on the shores of the Hudson river, in a little park directly across Indian Point. Back then, Seth was committed to shut down the old plant. He'd worked for the state of New York selling hybrid and electric cars for a decade. He knows first hand the dangers of nuclear power.
Seth and I shared a dream, to expand his online electric vehicle business Electric Transportation Solutions into a full service green product portal, to bring the green lifestyle to the electric vehicle community. The association promised to be a fruitful one, since I am editor-at-large and webmaster for Electrifying Times, a well established magazine dedicated to electric cars since 1994.

The idea was to blend our two campaigns together, with Betcee May as its star. Betcee and I had discussed this for a long time. Shooting Betcee in front of Indian Point, with a Honda Civic hybrid, would give Betcee instant popularity online as the new green "it" girl of the moment. Which is exactly what happened... the page quickly garnered tens of thousands of hits... Practically overnight, Betcee became the most downloaded pin-up girl in the nuclear industry!

Betcee would shoot for Seth's new online ETS Energy store... we would all share equally in the profits, doing a good thing... rock the green world together, as Betcee coined it. Sadly, and this is where it all started falling apart, Seth went and sold majority share of his company to BGA Engineering, retrenching with his old utility buddies, who had done work for both Indian Point and Millstone in Connecticut, interviewing young nuclear engineers from Cornell University in anticipation of the Nuclear Renaissance.

The merger happened after I introduced Seth to an old friend, Sam Salamay, who unbeknownst to me, worked at BGA. All Sam and I had ever talked about all these years, is solar energy... It never dawned on me Sam was now working for a nuclear industry affiliated firm. It never came up. Sam has always been well aware of my anti-nuclear activism, but it had never been an issue until Seth partnered with his employer, because that made me an active participant in the venture.

Seth selling 50% of his online business to BGA totally changed the dynamics of our marketing strategy. Both Seth and Sam cannot speak out about their anti-nuclear sentiments, it would threaten BGA's contracts, so in essence, their association with me became cumbersome, yet Seth and Sam still wanted to use my creative talent to develop the product selection and marketing campaign for ETS Energy store.

I wasn't aware of the conflict of interest... I was working with friends... I didn't realize what was going on... I was focused on the image of Betcee May as the new face of dozens of green products, creating product placement opportunities for her, for us... we all needed to make a little cash, in tune with our environmental beliefs. I had a vision, and I was sticking to it. Nobody told me I was suddenly working for the nuclear power industry!

Seth isn't that pure... When time came to shoot the new images for the website, which we were going to position in a slew of green blogs and green magazines, who would jump at the opportunity to feature the amazing Betcee May on their pages selling green products, Betcee sensed something wasn't quite right... despite a hefty dollar advance, Betcee opted not to participate in the shoot... said she had a previous booking as an excuse, wouldn't fly out for the day... which is when Summer Rayne Oakes stepped in to take her place, as a favor to us.

BGA spent a considerable amount of money of this shoot. Model/Musician Jon Mack was flown in from California, at great expense... The hiring of top fashion photographer Eric Striffler, travel expenses to his studio in the Hamptons... The dream was to produce extraordinary images both the fashion and green lifestyle media would embrace, which I could easily place, which would promote ETS Energy store, the green careers of each model, the green lifestyle, a win win situation all around.

Problem was, Seth couldn't find it in his heart to explain to BGA where the inspiration for this motley crew was coming from, neither Seth nor Sam introduced me to BGA... they didn't want BGA to know their creative arts director was a rabid anti-nuclear freak! Which is also probably why, they didn't pursue Betcee more aggressively as a feature model, because of her Indian Point shoot, and let's face it, her recent stint posing for adult websites.

So the whole thing fell apart. Seth refused to pay me after the fashion shoot... I suspect Seth gave Summer Rayne Oakes a percentage of ETS (they still refuse to answer the question) which means that now, she's under contract, stipulated in the fine print, she cannot voice anti-nuclear sentiments either. Blames me for the whole mess... but cashed the check none the less.

The little I saw of the pictures that day in the Hamptons turned out fantastic, but I was denied access to the images. They became sole property of Seth Leitman, who never put them to good use. After weeks of shouting and screaming, I got a meager check to shut me up... the dream of taking ETS Energy store to the top, with a beautiful website, beautiful ads, all courtesy of Eric Striffler's wonderful lens, Summer and Jon's persona... down the drain... as the images have languished at the bottom of a computer file... a crying shame.

This is what nuclear power does to people! It sticks a wedge in their professional and personal lives. What started out as a singular vision, Betcee May anti-nuclear activist extraordinaire, the face of green products everywhere... degenerated into an obscure little green product website somewhere on the fringes of cyberspace, all because its owners won't stand up for what's right, shout out "Shut Down Indian Point!"

Relationships, friendships, all flew apart because of this... money, feelings, twisted... because Seth sold out to the Utilities, in the hope of building a green business, tainted at the source, doomed at the roots... I also didn't know until recently that Seth had co-written a report about the Th!nk program for the Idaho National Labs, where the deal between General Motors and the nuclear power industry went down to build new nukes for the hydrogen economy.

There is one way to fix all this... for BGA to bid for Indian Point's decommissioning contract. If BGA does that... Officially states that when IP shut downs (and we will shut it down) they are interested in safely dismantling the plant, restoring the land... miracle happens, but that's up to Seth and Sam... will they put their jobs on the line to request such a statement from their bosses?

We'll see...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Newman's Nuclear Ties

Pictured Left-to-Right: Paul Newman, Don Hoffman (President of Eagle Alliance), and Eddie Wachs. (photographer: Judy Beller)

Newman Wachs Racing

american nuclear society
eagle alliance
excel services
nuclear clear air energy
(pro-nuke smiling soccer mom!)
associated comment:
"With the money needed for one new nuclear power plant one can purchase 15 turnkey high tech and highly automated thinfilm solar module factories with a yearly output of 160 MW per factory from Oerlikon. So, with these 15 Oerlikon solar module factories one can produce solar modules with a total peak power of 36,000 MW in 15 years, which is actually 22.5 times more peak power than what a new french EPR nuclear reactor delivers."
atomic racing
go nuclear
(url not found)
director of marketing
Cea Larkin
(thanks to Denis Beller of Atomic Racing for the links)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Working On Contentions...Need Help Finding Documents

For those who follow this blog, you know that the Green Nuclear Butterfly is planning on filing a Petition to Intervene and Formal Request For Hearing in the Entergy License Renewal Application Process. To be successful, it is imperative to write contentions that will pass the NRC's unfair short, contentions cannot be subjective in nature even if sound, but must be backed up with proof, using either documents to support your contentions, or by employing experts.

The problem...the nuclear industry has buried and hidden many of the very documents we need to support contentions, and the NRC has hidden even more, or made them all but impossible to see. That is where the Green Nuclear Butterfly needs the public's help, where we need Whistle blowers afraid to come forward to help us in helping the community. As Anderson Cooper would say, "This is about keeping them honest."

Indian Point is unsafe, and documents such as the EPRI NSACL (Revision 2) would help us prove it. Safety, security and degradation problems at the plant that have been hidden would help as well, especially if we had detailed information about these hidden issues. However, we understand the environment of fear that has been created at Entergy owned sites, the fear of losing ones job that keeps employees silent.

For this reason, we are asking people to send us their nuclear documents and secrets, either hard copy or on CD ROM anonymously. With UPS, the Postal Service, Fed Ex and other delivery services abounding, it is much easier today to send packages while keeping your own identification private. So, if that secret has been keeping you up at night, if hiding the truth is eating away at your conscious, now is your time to come clean, and help your community. If you have old documents from your time in the industry sitting up in your attic, dig them out and give them to us. Send us your nuke documents, help us prepare our contentions by sending what you have to:

Nuclear Hot Documents
C/O Sherwood Martinelli
351 Dyckman Street
Peekskill, New York 10566

Fortune Needs To Tell Whole Truth...The High Cost of Nuclear

Just read the article from David Whitford, Fortune Editor at Large, on the high cost of going nuclear, and am dismayed. He is either ignorant of all the facts, or perhaps a shill for the nuclear industry and the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute. Even his chosen title for the piece is guilty of misrepresentation through omission. The title should have been, "The High Cost To American Tax Payers In Going Nuclear". Never, in the entire history of the world has there been a larger pork barrel gift to industry than George Bush, NRC and the DOE's attempts to revitalize the nuclear industry in the guise of a supposed Nuclear Renaissance.
With 50/50 cost shares, guarantees that the Federal Government will cover cost over runs, the Senate's wrongful attempts to grant 100 percent loan guarantees, and the horrid mistake of reauthorizing the Price Anderson Act, and it is no wonder utility companies are chomping at the bit, lining up to build new nuclear reactors. They, and those investing in them have no risks, as those risk are being paid for by A) the tax payers, and B) the utility customers. We the American people absorb all the risks, take all the financial risks as tax payers and citizens forced to host these monsters, and the utility companies own the asset, and sell us the electricity.
As for Dale Klein...maybe he and the NRC should spend more time enforcing existing regulations, and holding their licensees accountable, rather than weakening rules, and issuing generic findings that excuse their licensees from the regulations in place to keep us safe. They are shoving 20 year license renewals down the throats of communities that don't want to play host to aging, dangerous reactors for another 20 years, and doing it for only one reason. A DOE report issued back in 1998 flat out stated that the only way to a Nuclear Renaissance was to relicense all currently operating reactors for another 20 years...reason was simple...Wall Street would not back another generation of nuclear reactors unless nuclear could maintain its market share during the change over. So, communities became expendable in the name of saving the industry.
David Whitford barely hides his PRO NUCLEAR agenda in his article when he trots out the fact he spoke with MIT Professor Andy Kadak. Of course, he fails to state that the professor is a nuclear engineer teaching at a college tied to both the DOE and the Nuclear Industry. He fails to point out Andy Kadak's vested interest and bias in favor of the nuclear industry, and the fact he is incestuously involved in development of the Pebble Bed reactor. So of course such an information source is going to sing the praises of nuclear energy, claim that NOW is the time for a new generation of reactors to be built...course, he fails to tell you the real risk communities face when old reactors are granted up rates, fails to mention that lack of knowledge and understanding where containment fatigue is concerned (think collapsed bridge in Minnesota yesterday).
Mr. Whitford did get one fact right...nuclear reactor owning companies are making a lot of money right now. What he fails to do, is explain why that is. The DOE picks up most of the research costs for the nuclear industry. American citizens are forced to pick up the lions share of the security costs for nuclear reactors, as well as maintaining the necessary emergency management teams to deal with a nuclear disaster. Further, it is easy to make money when the Price Anderson Act excuses you from liability should your antiquated and fatigued plant cause a significant nuclear event similar to the one in Chernobyl.

Curious here if Mr. Whitford is aware that the industry claims 80 percent loan guarantees are not adequate, that they must have 100 percent loan guarantees for the nuclear renaissance to move forward. IF nuclear reactors are such a GREAT DEAL for investors, lets have NO LOAN guarantees. The NEI has hired a new group of lobbyist to corrupt Washington Congressman on this very fact, claiming Wall Street will not embrace a nuclear renaissance without these 100 percent loan guarantees.

As for CEO David Crane of NRG Energy's quotes...what risks are the utility companies taking in this Nuclear Renaissance? 100 percent loan guarantees, the Price Anderson Act shielding you from financial liability, 50/50 deals with the DOE for the first 6-8 reactors built, and coverage for build time over runs and costs. The nuclear industry does not deserve this pork, and if they want a Nuclear Renaissance, they should have to do it honesty. No pork barrel politics, and no having the NRC weakening regulations, and granting exceptions from others because the NEI has decided said regulations are not cost beneficial to the reactor owners, public safety be damned.

Environmental Defense Nuclear Power position statement

A few minutes ago, the Environmental Defense Fund emailed GNB a nuclear power position statement, which in essence contradicts stated position of its founder Fred Krupp...

For more information please contact:

Jeffery Greenblatt, Ph.D.
Office of Science and Policy
Environmental Defense
5655 College Ave., Suite 304
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 457-2210
Weighing the option of nuclear power to reduce U.S. global warming pollution
Summary: Serious questions of safety, security, waste and proliferation surround the issue of nuclear power. Until these questions are resolved satisfactorily, Environmental Defense cannot support an expansion of nuclear generating capacity. We need a rigorous federal research program to address these questions, so that our nation will have the information needed to make sound decisions in the future. The problem of global warming is so serious that we must thoroughly consider every low-carbon option for generating power.
Given the seriousness of global warming, some argue that the United States should increase the number of nuclear power plants and are even calling for federal subsidies to do so. It is true that nuclear plants generate electricity with minimal emissions of carbon dioxide or other heat-trapping gases. But nuclear is not the only technology available to slow global warming, and important issues about nuclear power remain unresolved. Increasing the number of plants would only magnify these issues. As the demand for electricity increases, merely to maintain today’s 20% market share of nuclear power would mean operating about 220 major nuclear plants by 2050, double what we have today.
Safety: Compared to fossil fuels, the safety record for nuclear power in the United States has been good. There have been no fatalities from a nuclear accident in more than 30 years of operation, while the air pollution from coal-fired power plants has caused hundreds of thousands of premature deaths. But if we increase the number of nuclear plants, the probability of a serious accident increases. So, before the nation commits to expanding nuclear power, the government must tighten the existing safety guidelines to protect the public and the environment.
Security: The security of nuclear reactors and nuclear waste is less certain. Although the Department of Energy says the current generation of reactors can withstand a terrorist air strike, a recent National Academy of Sciences report concluded that further work is needed to secure the reactors’ cooling pools. A Congressional agency investigation found that several nuclear facilities were unable to locate all of their spent fuel, a problem that was traced to inadequate federal oversight.
Waste: The National Academy of Sciences has endorsed a plan for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in appropriate geologic sites. But Yucca Mountain, the first site designated by the government, will not become operational before 2010. Lingering questions about the site’s suitability suggest that the 2010 target is optimistic, and we cannot be sure that Yucca Mountain will ever become operational. A large expansion in U.S. nuclear generating capacity would increase the amount of waste and render current disposal plans inadequate. It would be foolhardy to build additional nuclear plants before there is a technically sound plan for storage, treatment and disposal of the nuclear waste.
Proliferation: Nuclear power is an international as well as a national issue. The United States can best ensure that nuclear power is deployed safely—and is not used for the production of weapons of mass destruction—by remaining engaged in the international community and leading by example. Just as we exercise restraint in expanding our nuclear generating capacity, we should encourage other nations to act responsibly as well. The United States should not support construction of new nuclear power plants in any country where these issues have not been adequately addressed.
Each of these issues merits a full investigation. The problem of global warming is so serious that every low-carbon option for generating power must be thoroughly considered. We need a rigorous federal research program to address the unresolved questions. Then, and only then, will we know enough to determine whether using nuclear power to reduce global warming pollution is desirable and economically feasible.

Pro-Nuclear Greens to meet at Bryant Park

Photo: Chief ED scientist Dr. Bill Chameides

It has come to the attention of Green Nuclear Butterfly that pro-nuke greens in Manhattan are going to be speaking at Bryant Park.

Word for Word Author Series: Focus on the Environment Wednesday, Aug 8th. 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Bryant Park Reading Room 42nd Street side of the park - under the trees - between the back of the NYPL & 6th Avenue. Look for the burgundy and white umbrellas. Rain Venue: Barnes & Noble Booksellers at 555 Fifth Avenue & 46th Street.

Talking with the director of the event, GNB was told that: "We'd rather that the nuclear issue not be discussed, but that the event is open to the public, anyone can attend to make their feelings known."

The panel will be hosted by Dr. Bill Chameides, Chief Scientist at Environmental Defense, an organization which turned pro-nuke. Its founder Fred Krupp introduced Paul Newman to Entergy which gave the actor a grand tour of Indian Point, in exchange for a glowing review on its security, favoring its relicencing.

After numerous calls to Environmental Defense, inquiring as to a position paper on the nuclear issue, not a single call was returned... in other words, endorsement by omission. (update: a nuclear power position statement was emailed to GNB a few minutes after this post went up... which now sits above. EDF's official position is that it does not support a nuclear relapse unless or until certain preconditions are met by the nuclear industry. It makes no mention of old plant relicensing.)

On the panel will be Lazy Environmentalist Josh Dorfman, born and raised in Weschester county, who has expressed to this writer his support for the relicensing of Indian Point.

Also on the panel will be Ben Jervey, author of the Green Apple Guide, who after numerous attempts to have Rock The Reactors or Green Nuclear Butterfly, or so much as the Indian Point issue mentioned in his newsletter, has refused to bring it up with his readers.

I don't know how the last two panelists, Eugene Linden (The Winds of Change) and Andrew S. Winston (Green to Gold) feel about the nuclear issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if they too, were supporters of IP relicensing.

It saddens me that after so many years in the environmental movement, I would find myself pitted against those who in fact should be allies in this fight... yet these people and organizations, do not even have the courage of their opinion, express their support for the relicensing of Indian Point by their abject silence.

It's cowardly, trying to render the nuclear issue into a non-green issue, a sell-out to the Bush administration. None of their Green works will amount to anything if there's an accident at the plant, let alone the long term health consequences of radioactive isotopes right now leaking into the water table.

The fact that these young greens are too wet behind the ears to understand the immensity of their ommission, ignoring the elephant in the room, destroys me emotionally, I don't know how to deal with such lack of connection to our earth they claim to care so much about. Would it be possible that the only green they see, is the color of money?

For more information on the event, contact the organizers directly:
Bryant Park Corporation
500 Fifth Avenue Suite 1120
New York, NY 10110

Why We at FUSE USA Need Your Help To Stop Indian Point Relicensing

The sixty day clock to submit Petitions To Intervene is running, and the other side is prepared to outgun us. Entergy has 40 people working on their License Renewal Application, not counting attorneys. Further, they have dedicated up to $40 million dollars for this fight. This NRC process is already stacked in favor of their licensees, it is a classic case of David verse Goliath, but like Barry Bonds, Goliath has been on steriods for several years now.
FUSE USA is a small, but driven grassroots group of individual dedicated to the important cause of protectiing human health and the environment. Dedicated to the task of shutting down the aging, degradated Indian Point Reactors. Two of our four board members are licensed attorneys who have dedicated themselves to the organization's primary goal of closing down Entergy's Chernobyl on the Hudson.

We need people to step forward now, and lend a helping hand in the following areas:

1. Money/Donations-before this fight is over, we need to raise $150-$200,000 dollars for this fight. We have retained the services of our first expert witness, and that is a $3,000 a month committment, with the fees scheduled to go up as we move further into the process.

Donation Checks can be made out to, and sent to:

C/O Susan Shapiro Esq.
21 Perlman Drive
Spring Valley, New york 10977

2. We need interns and people willing to help in reading documents, doing various tasks in the office.

3. We need office equipment and supplies...this includes computers, laptops, software, ink cartridges and paper.

4. We need PR help if any public relations firm wants to do some worthwhile Pro Bono work.

5. We need legal assistance...any environmental attorneys out there?

6. We need money to buy advertising...Entergy is planning on a barage of false advertising in and around Indian Point, and down in New York City...we have to be able to counteract their propaganda.

If you are ready, willing and able to get involved in any fashion, please contact us as soon as possible by emailing

Do You Still Trust NRC Inspections?

Indian Point was supposed to inspect the containments and reactors back in 2003...the NRC granted them and other aging, degraded, fatigued nuclear reactors a five year extension in conducting said inspections. Do you still trust the NRC's over 1500 letters of Generic Findings that have weakened reactor Safeguards, excused their licensees from the regulations put into place to keep us safe. After the bridge collapse in Minnesota yesterday, do you still trust these short sighted decisions, are the Congress and Senate still unwilling to embrace John Halls call for an Independent Safety Inspection at Indian Point? Forward this post to your elected officials demanding and ISA at every American Reactor.

Secondly, seeing the devastation in Minnesota, do we still trust the NRC's refusal to include the after effects of a terrorist attack in the relicensing process? Look at the pictures from yesterdays tragedy, then ask yourselves what would happen if terrorists FIRST attacked and took out the Tappanzee Bridge, then waited and hour and attacked the aging, poorly defended Indian Point Nuclear Reactors. Again, contact your members of Congress and the Senate demanding a bill be passed immediately bringing the DBT, Security and non-working evacuation plans back into scope in the nuclear reactor relicensing process.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Minnesota Bridge Collapse Could Have Been Nuclear Reactor

First, our heartfelt concerns and prayers go out to the people of Minneapolis, Minnesota tonight as they deal with this horrible human tragedy. Watching the staggering devastation as it unfolds on CNN, it is a miracle that the loss of human life has not been far greater. The helpfulness of average citizens has been remarkable, and the response of Minneapolis's emergency crews has been sterling. Sadly, it seems the same cannot be said of DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and FEMA, who hours later apparently do not yet have boots on the ground at this devastating tragedy. How hard would it be for DHS, FEMA, the FBI and other agencies of the Federal Government to have boots on the ground, offering help in Minneapolis's hour of need? It is noted here, that the National Guard is on the scene, and they and other local emergency service agencies deserve our debt of gratitude. Pity President Bush has not even bothered to issue a statement at this late hour, but then not surprising.
FOX News did and interview with someone from the MDOT in which he discussed some of the potential causes of this catastrophic collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge near University Avenue. His first assumptions lead one to believe the cause and effect has to do with cracks and fissures, rust and other degradation and aging issues, coupled with poorly executed inspections by government charged with the task of PUBLIC SAFETY. So, a concrete and steel structure taken down in the blink of and eye due to structural aging issues, steel fatigue, and perhaps embrittlement of the concrete. These significant aging issues, coupled with a deplorable inspection and/or enforcement program have left people dead, maimed and injured. Families have been devastated all because the government failed to do its job properly, failed to carry out and/or implement and adequate inspection program.
This early report on possible causes of the bridge collapse are a frightening eye opener for those of us living within a scant few miles of America's 104 aging, embrittled and fatigued nuclear reactors. The NRC in pushing a Nuclear Renaissance agenda have pushed human health and safety to the sidelines, putting corporate profits ahead of adequate inspections, honest and truthful enforcement. This reality, the NRC's rubber stamping of license renewal application of ancient nuclear structures amounts to our Federal Government, DOE, NRC and the NEI playing Russian Roulette with public health and safety, and as this tragedy shows, government ineptness or corruption eventually sees members of the general public paying the ultimate price of their stupidly and greed.
Minnesota's collapsed bridge is not much older than Entergy's failing Indian Point nuclear reactors that sit beside the Hudson River, just a scant 24 miles up river from New York City. The comparisons between the Interstate 35W bridge near University Avenue, and America's aging fleet of nuclear reactors is starling, but the repercussions of a reactor failure would be far more catastrophic than a bridge collapse. Entergy's Indian Point is known to have a rusting steel liner, fissure cracks abundant on the twin domes of these ancient nuclear relics. The patch work quilt of failing weld joints speak to the fatigue of failing steel in both liner and reactor core.
The DOE and NRC reports admit to a lack of knowledge when it comes to aging effects on both the concrete and steel of these reactors as they are bombarded with radioactive particles day and night for over 30 years. Despite this lack of knowledge, the NRC has no problem pushing safety inspections back for periods of five or more years, have no problems granting license renewals without a Independent Safety Assessment of the entire nuclear reactor facility before even considering the granting of a license renewal application.
Many reactors in America, such as Vermont Yankee and Indian Point owned by Entergy are known to have serious structural issues. Indian Point has leaking spent fuel pools which are leaking both strontium 90 and tritium into the Hudson River. Stainless Steel piping buried under ground are known to be leaking radioactive contaminants into our environment. Yet, the NRC is content to turn a blind eye to these very real safety concerns that point to a failing of the structural integrity of these ancient relics.
The month of July should be a wake up call for the nuclear industry, a wake up call to the NRC that their sacrifice of public health and safety cannot continue. Just two weeks ago we had a earthquake shut down the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, which was improperly and illogically built atop a fault line, much like Entergy's Indian Point. Now, we have a bridge in Minnesota that has collapsed, apparently due to either poorly done inspections, or age related degradation issues, or a combination of both. The NRC and NEI's callous disregard of safety issues is begging for a nuclear disaster here in America that will be far worse than tonight's bridge collapse, far worse than even Chernobyl. The time has come for and ISA (Independent Safety Assessment) of every aged, decaying, degraded nuclear reactor in America. There should be a moratorium on all relicensing activities nationwide until these inspections have been completed, and a report has been given to both Congress, and the American people.

IPSEC Wrongfully Applauds Governor Spitzer In Press Release

Opened my mail this morning to find an IPSEC press release in it that is posted below. Problem is, think IPSEC is being more than naive if they fail to see through Governor Spitzer's carefully laid smoke screen aimed at keeping Indian Point open, while giving him political cover with the grassroots community in opposition to said plant. He in his interview with the Journal News once again trotted out the same old platitudes, followed by the big caveat that gets him off the hook.
Indian Point is not safe, Indian Point should be shut down, (pay close attention) but not until we have replacement power for it. Would be interesting to see the Journal News do their job as journalists, and ask the governor the all important follow up question when he trots out that tired old pony, which is, "What additional energy onto the grid, and/or energy conservation do you plan on counting towards that replacement energy you say needs to be there?"

ACE New York whose membership is heavily infested with people associated with the nuclear industry has already stated their 3000 megawatts if energy onto the grid are in addition to, not a replacement for Indian convenient. Suppose if the state mandated everyone was to use energy efficient lighting (including retail stores and malls), that said conservation savings would also not count in Governor Spitzer's mind? It's a classic example of a Three Card Monty scam...where's the energy that counts towards closing Indian Point? It's a classic con of the me, I did everything in my power to close down the trouble plagued Indian Point facility, but it was out of my hands.

Governor Spitzer, the State Attorney General and DEC have all the tools/cards they need to close down Indian Point. Litigation, and a denial of their discharge permit closes the book on this putrid facility. OH! Just one little wrinkle in the ointment...could it be, that the state of New York does not want to go up against Entergy and Indian Point because they OWN the land (and maybe the discharge canal itself)that Indian Point uses to discharge pollutants into our dearly loved Hudson River? For those now scratching their heads, read Entergy's Environmental Report attached to their Application for License Renewal.

So, IPSEC's press release applauding Governor Spitzer is more than premature, it is simply misplaced. It's like applauding Congressmen Maurice Spitzer and John Hall for trotting out their tired legislation calling for and ISA when they know it is not ever going's a smoke and mirrors cover to protect them from their constituents.

IPSEC Applauds Governor Spitzer

The Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition applauds Governor Eliot Spitzer for his clear understanding that "it just doesn't make sense" to have a nuclear power plant at Indian Point in Buchanan, New York. With 8% of the population of this country living within a 50 mile radius of the plant a radiological event at the plant could have consequences that would dwarf those of September 11.

The governor expressed this opinion in a meeting with the editorial board staff of The Journal News and it was reported in that paper last Wednesday. He also stressed the need to have alternative sources of energy in place to replace the power. While this is an important step in planning for closure, the Coalition would like to remind the Governor, and others, that electricity is a commodity that is bought and sold. We live in free market economy that has worked very effectively to create an electricity surplus in New York State.

Right now Indian Point is contributing slightly more than 2,000 MW to that mix. As long as this amount of electricity is being pumped out, there is little room in the market for additional companies to supply more electricity. Once closure is announced it becomes possible for other utilities to make plans to fill the gap and enhance their profits.

That's the way the market works and so there is every reason to expect that businesses will find a way to make a profit once the opportunity presents itself. While we do need to plan ahead, there is no need to count out 2,000MW's.

The chief obstacles to building new power plants are siting and proximity to transmission lines. Most communities do not want a power plant in their backyard and local opposition can still add years of delay to beginning construction. These problems do not exist at Indian Point. The site is already zoned for a power plant and the local community welcomes it, Transmission lines are obviously in place. This makes Indian Point an extremely valuable piece of real estate, no matter how the electricity is generated there.

When other nuclear plants in the U.S. have closed, the electricity has been replaced. A nuclear plant in Fort St. Vrain, Colorado was converted to a gas plant. When the Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant in California was closed by a public vote, "replacement energy" came from an efficiency and renewable power program which achieved a sizable reduction in the need for power.

The undeniable fact is that Indian Point will have to be closed. The question is not if, but when. Most importantly, when the energy market knows that Indian Point will not be re licensed, they will have time to plan intelligently for power options that are safer, cleaner, and far less dangerous from a security standpoint than an aging nuclear plant with a long history of safety and security problems.

When you couple the fact that other means of production can replace Indian Point at the same site, with other elements such as:

the governor's vigorous support for wind energy and other alternatives

a conservation program that has as a goal holding usage flat while continuing economic growth through efficiency

improvements to the grid itself that make it easier to move electricity over longer distances

it becomes apparent that closing an aging nuclear power plant and replacing it with a different kind of electricity generation is a small piece in the much larger puzzle of New York's energy landscape.

Certainly it makes a lot more sense than continuing to operate a facility that poses a risk to so many people and generates highly radioactive waste that must be stored on site.

We can replace the power, we can't replace the people.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TEPCO Must Not Be Allowed Too Delay Scheduled Maintenance

We So mean to get caught making BAD management decisions.
Just in, seems that TEPCO is trying to preserve what is left of it's 2007 profit picture by begging the (METI) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to postpone scheduled maintenance at two of its other reactors...keep in mind, that these inspections and maintenance schedules were created and ordered due to previous WRONG DOING by TEPCO. METI has a choice to make. They can prove themselves honorable and deny the request, choosing to protect human health and the environment of Japan. Or instead, they can bring shame upon themselves and their families by granting TEPCO's request, showing they care more about this vile company's profits than they do about protecting human health. METI needs to teach TEPCO and the nuclear industry a lesson...greed and shoddy management will not be tolerated, that safety must always come before profits.

So I ask Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, "Do you as and organization and as men/women have honor?" Further, if TEPCO has any honor themselves, I would challenge them to invite the board members of FUSE USA, WISE and NIRS to Japan to inspect the site, to review your safety measures, and make suggestions from the perspective of a grassroots environmental group that lives within the shadows of a failing nuclear reactor here in America known as Indian Point, as well as proving you want and open and transparent review process by allowing two nationally recognized Anti-Nuclear groups to have a seat in the process. You and the Japanese government have a chance here to show you have far more integrity than the NRC, far more honor than the NEI, which is morally bankrupt and repugnant in the eyes of many reactor host communities.
So, what is it going to be...will METI side with public safety, or side with TEPCO and their greed?

Tepco requests METI delaying two nuclear maintenance in Jul-Aug

Tokyo (Platts)--24Jul2007
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has requested the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry consider delaying its two scheduled maintenance programs at its Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan after the shutdown of its largest nuclear power plant July 16 following a major earthquake, a company official said Tuesday.

In addition to Tepco's initial request to delay its scheduled extra safety check at the 0.78 GW No. 3 nuclear reactor from the end of July, the largest Japanese utility also asked METI consider delaying its scheduled maintenance of the 1.10 GW No.6 nuclear reactor from early August at the plant, the official said.

Tepco's extra safety check at the No. 3 unit was imposed by the ministry in April following a series of undisclosed problems at various nuclear plants.
The utility was also scheduled to start the maintenance program at the No.6 reactor in early August for two-to-three months, the official said.

While METI has still to agree, Tepco has made clear its preference to start the maintenance programs after September amid its electricity supply concerns after it shut the 8.21 GW Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in northwestern Japan following the major earthquake, the official added.
Click for rest of article.

Wall Street, Beware of The Nuclear Monster

Suppose, this article could have been titled, "Citizens Beware of Nuclear Monster" as well, seeing as the AP announced earlier today that the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) has hired one of Washington's blood sucking lobbyists, Chad Bradley & Associates to do some arm twisting and gift giving in the Congress. Guessing they are wanting to have Congress follow the Senate lead in giving the nuclear industry HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of our tax dollars in 100 PERCENT loan guarantees for any and all nuclear reactors that the nuclear industry wants to build in the name of the Nuclear Renaissance...would be interesting to know how many citizens are willing to pick up the tab for building nuclear plants, while allowing private companies to own them? Seems it would make more sense if said reactors are insured with our tax dollars, and paid for with our utility rates, that it makes more sense to have DOE build them, and us the citizens to own them in the form of cooperatives.

Even with these loan guarantees though, Wall Street, and private investors need to think long and hard after the Almost Chernobyl reactor accident at TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Karima Nuclear Plant. Even before the full investigation is complete, even before the other shoe of broken weld joints and other problems might be announced after the IAEA takes a look, the news is very grim for TEPCO who has announced that their profits for 2007 as a result of what they are calling a minor accident will tumble EIGHTY PERCENT. Original profit forecasts for 2007 were forecasted at 310 Billion Yen, have now dropped to 65 Billion Yen, and am guessing that figure is overly optimistic.

This supposedly minor accident, and the costs that will be associated with it are going to be monumental, and there is a very real chance that studies of the reactors themselves will show them incapable of being SAFELY restarted, without putting the citizens of the area in GRAVE DANGER should another earthquake hit the area, let alone one of similar magnitude to 6.8 on the Richter scale quake that just missed bringing God's vengeance down upon the nation of Japan earlier this month.

More importantly, the quake that has taken seven reactors off line in Japan shows the fool's folly that is the Price Anderson Act. Let's keep in mind that DOE, NRC, NEI and the IAEA have all down played the significance of this nuclear catastrophe. This supposedly minor event is carrying with it a very hefty price tag. Now, lets suppose that a similar quake had hit the poorly run and managed Entergy plant known as Indian Point, which is just 24 miles up the Hudson River from New York. First, because the two reactors are old, brittle and leaking, there is a very real chance they would have broken apart. Ignoring the loss of life, setting aside all the long term cancer deaths from citizens forced to shelter in place, and just focusing in on the financial losses, such and event could TOPPLE the US economy, and crash the Dow Jones as the lost dollars quickly soared into the hundreds of billions of dollars. The Nuclear Industry is quaranteed their lossed in the case of a major nuclear accident are capped at $10 Billion dollars, so who is going to pick up the slack, and the financial burdens? Is it far to risk making 21 million people in the New York City Metro homeless in the name of Entergy profits? Congress needs to rescind Price Anderson while we still have time.

Over night America would be thrown into a Great Depression, far worse than after the stock market crash of 1929. As the repercussions spread around the world, as markets crashed, and stocks became worthless, world wide panic would set in...for instance, what would China's reaction be when A) they realised all the financial notes they hold on American dollars could not be paid, and B) because our economy and way of life had crumbled, it meant American orders for Chinese goods would all but vanish. Would they pick that time to ramp up their massive war machine and declare world domination? How would the American public react to becoming a third world debtor nation? How would we take care of tens of millions of retired Baby Boomers when our government was bankrupt?

Wall Street needs to wake up to the fallacy and problems inherent in the Nuclear Renaissance. You simply cannot build a new generation of nuclear reactors, while counting on and aged and failing generation of antiquated reactors to carry you through to that brighter tomorrow. The odds are greatly increased that America will see at least one, if not more Chernobyl like incidents with the NRC wrongfully licensing these ancient nuclear relics for another 20 years of operation. Most companies that make replacement parts for these reactors are long ago out of business, and the retro fit after market parts available (if you can find them) are of inferior quality, thus lowering the safety margins of each and every reactor now operating in America, and our government knows this.

If Wall Street looks closely at the Exelon's, Entergy's and First Energy's that are on the cutting edge of this so called Nuclear Renaissance, there are some very alarming Enron correlations that can be drawn. One wrong move, one even minor nuclear incident similar to the TEPCO disaster in Japan, and their houses of cards will come falling down around them with investors left holding and empty nuclear bag. Even with parent company's trying to protect themselves by placing each reactor in a Limited Liability Corporation, the nuclear industry is just one major accident away from financial ruination.

NEI is trying to buy Washington, DC, attempting to place the financial burden of the entire nuclear industry onto the backs of the people, but we have the power to stop it. Insiders within the nuclear industry have said the only way the Nuclear Renaissance can move forward in a significant way, the only way dozens of reactors will be built in America is with a government backed 100 percent loan guarantee. In short, they have stated the 80 percent loan guarantee is inadequate to assuage investors worries, stated emphatically that a loan guarantee of only 80 percent will be the death knell of the Nuclear Renaissance. So, our task is, write and fax your Congressman or woman, and demand they strip out loan guarantees for a nuclear build up here in America. Demand that billion dollar subsidies to do the industry's research for them be gutted from the federal budget. We do not need to tolerate the chicanery and trickery that saw the Democratically controlled Senate sneak through a one sentence add on in and unrelated bill that gives the nuclear industry what they want...!)) PERCENT LOAN GUARANTEES for new reactor builds. Lets pull the plug on the nuclear reactor while we still have a chance to.

While TEPCO Tries To Bury Their Reactor Scandal, America Had Its Own Nuclear Disaster Cover Up

The NEI, IAEA, and the nuclear industry have done a great deal of damage control, worked hard to get the TEPCO reactor accident out of the news to save the Nuclear Renaissance. While that was going on, there was another MAJOR nuclear spill right here in America at the Hanford site that required evacuation of employees two miles from the supposed minor spill. Much like TEPCO's refusal to be completely TRUTHFUL, we now have DOE claiming the malfunction of a pump which caused and unknown amount HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE materials to be spread over a large area as presenting no serious risk to health and or the environment...SURE DOE, we always evacuate people two miles away for absolutely NO REASON.
Hours after the cat was out of the bag, long after the wind carried unknown mounts of cancer causing radioactive carcinogens off the site and into peoples homes and lives, DOE took the time to close the barn door after the cows were already gone of spraying a concrete fixative over the top of the spill site. After all, what's a few more DEAD BABIES or BIRTH DEFECTS when we are talking about the Hanford site...they should rename the place the Hanford Death Camp with their horrid history of environmental and worker abuse.

Pump leaks 'hot' water at Hanford

A clogged pump caused an undetermined amount of highly radioactive waste to spill on the ground Thursday night and Friday morning during a transfer operation at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

PATRICK O'NEILL - The Oregonian

A clogged pump caused an undetermined amount of highly radioactive waste to spill on the ground Thursday night and Friday morning during a transfer operation at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Kim Ballinger, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Energy at Hanford, said several workers were involved in the transfer but none was contaminated.

As a precaution, about 50 office workers - most of them between one to two miles from the spill site - were evacuated Friday afternoon. Environmental monitoring found the traces of radioactivity Friday morning, and about 11 a.m. the workers were told to stay inside their buildings. They were moved out of the area about 3:30 p.m.

Ballinger said a team of workers sprayed a cementlike fixative over the 8- to 15-foot-diameter spill area to keep radioactive material from being carried by the wind.

Steve Wiegman, a senior technical adviser with the Department of Energy at Hanford, said no one knows how much of the radioactive liquid spilled because it rapidly sank into the ground.

"The area is very permeable, so there's no pool of liquid," he said.

The liquid was being pumped from an old single-shell storage tank to a newer double-shelled tank as part of a tank farm cleanup by contractor CH2M Hill Hanford Group Inc.

Wiegman said the situation did not meet the criteria for an emergency declaration. But the U.S. Department of Energy, which oversees Hanford, has established an event coordination team and will develop a plan to clean up the spill, he said.

©2007 The Oregonian

Monday, July 30, 2007

Important New Study-Carbon and Nuclear Free By 2050

Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free:
A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy

Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D.

A Joint Project of the
Nuclear Policy Research Institute
and the
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

Press Release Executive Summary [PDF 450kB]

Full study available for download: August 2007

Published as a book by RDR Books: Fall 2007

  • Press release
  • Executive Summary [PDF 450kB]
  • Other IEER Publications

    Also available - at EggheadBooks:
    Insurmountable Risks: The Dangers of Using Nuclear Power to Combat Global Climate Change

    IEER Press and RDR Books, 2006

    Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
    Comments to Outreach Coordinator: ieer at
    Takoma Park, Maryland, USA
  • NRC's Inspector General Trying To Skew Audit?

    Pick one...Mafia Hit man, Secret Service Agent, or Head of NRC's Office of Inspector General? there really a difference in any of the three?
    So, the NRC's Office of Inspector General is coming town...Tarrytown to be more specific, in the name of doing a performance audit. Problem is, they seem bent on doing a skewed, even vulgar and obscene injustice in selecting a group of stakeholders who will be kinder and gentler towards the NRC staff performance than others. One has to be VERY SUSPECT when one of the included parties being interviewed for this audit is the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute).

    Having heard about the meeting(s), the Green Nuclear Butterfly went about trying to get a meeting with the NRC Office of Inspector General Staff to raise our own concerns and complaints about NRC processes, and oversight, or the lack thereof. We were met with NOTHING, and I do mean NOTHING. Calls were not returned, messages left on answering machines callously ignored. Today, after contacting the NRC Chairman's Office, as well as the office of Hubert Bell (could be called the DO NOTHING former Secret Service man collecting a pay check), Green Nuclear Butterfly was A) informed by Richard Barkley that the Office of Inspector General had no intentions of meeting with us for this audit, and B) we received a call from the Chairman's office promising email communication from the Office of The Inspector General outlining their reasons for refusing to meet with far, still no communications from them. Despite our call to Hubert Bell's office, we have had no contact of any merit from the NRC Office of Inspector General, and as an aside, said office so far has also IGNORED some serious allegations we filed with their staff.

    The NRC's Office of Inspector General is meeting with Riverkeeper on the morning of August 8th, and will be meeting with IPSEC in the afternoon...see Mannajo's letter below asking members of IPSEC Steer to send their concerns to her. (Why was this request for concerns not placed on the IPSEC list for all organizations to read and respond too?)

    It's noted here, that reports have been coming in, that Mannajo has been using Clearwater's blocking ability to keep Green Nuclear Butterfly from being a full fledged member of both IPSEC, and of IPSEC STEER, which raises the ugly specter that she could deliberately pick and choose the concerns she wants presented to the NRC. Some would even go so far as to allege, that IPSEC's Petition To Intervene Sub-Committee has faltered as a result of her interference and petty jealousies, though the official word is that the IPSEC Steer Committee simply could not reach consensus at a hastily called meeting a few weeks ago, deciding instead to simply set everything aside until September of this year...just weeks before the filing deadline for Petitions To Intervene, creating the ugly possibility that IPSEC could be left out of the process. The good news, is that the sub committee's work has not been in vain, as FUSE USA has picked up where the sub committee left off, and our work continues on, though no longer under the umbrella of IPSEC.

    The NRC has stated, that as a policy all Stakeholders are too be treated both fairly and equally in the process...sadly, that does not seem to be the case. NRC staff routinely gives certain stakeholders far more involvement in the process, far more access to staff that they give to others. Riverkeeper, and IPSEC if they want one, routinely have private meetings with NRC staff when they come into town. NEI has so much access and involvement in NRC day to day business that ones could call it collusion. One cannot be allowed to use the guise/excuse of limited resources to show prejudice behavior against particular anti-nuclear groups and or individuals. One cannot use the excuse of management preference to show favor towards one grassroots group over another. Yet, that is exactly what the NRC is doing, and in doing so, they are squelching public involvement, and skewing their own audit reports in a fashion that shows the NRC in its best light, rather than lettting facts on the ground see performance chips fall where they may.
    Mannajo's Letter To IPSEC Steer
    Riverkeeper is meeting on the morning of Aug. 8. Michel Lee and I are meeting at 1 p.m.
    Please send me any information, concerns, questions you want us to bring up.
    Many thanks.
    Manna Jo Greene,
    Environmental Director
    Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
    112 Market St.
    Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
    (845) 454-7673 x113 Fax: (845) 454-7953

    Benny Zable Indian Point Overnight Vigil ~ Aug 5th & 6th

    Join us in front of Indian Point
    Buchanan, NY
    August 5th & 6th
    for an overnight vigil!
    In solidarity with his nuclear free campaigners in the USA, Benny Zable Australian peace and environmental performance artist is available for photo opportunities outside the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor during an overnight vigil 5th and 6th August Hiroshima day commemorations.
    Friday the core of the new nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in Australia collapsed.
    US President Bush and Australian Prime Minister Howard are to sign a Global Nuclear Energy Partnership deal during the APEC meeting in Sydney.
    Good time to meet to talk .

    Benny Zable

    You can reach Benny at:
    West Side Cultural

    Alice Slater
    Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
    446 E. 86 St.
    New York, NY 10028
    646-238-9000 (cell)

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    A Good Reason To Boycott Rolls Royce...Their Support of Nuclear War Machine

    Just home from a weekend of camping, was browsing the Internet searching for news stories when I came across a report that the Rolls Royce company is intimately, even incesstually involved in Brittains Nuclear Navy. Seems they just signed a new 10 year, $1 Billion pound contract to continue their involvement in, and contribution to the NUCLEAR WAR MACHINE. Seems like a good reason for the rich and beautiful people of the world to start a boycott. Another example of the closed cycle of warmongering/commercial nuclear power.

    Rolls-Royce to maintain the Navy’s nuclear powered subs’s_nuclear_powered_subs
    Manufacturing News
    , Source :
    Published : 26 Jul 2007 9:46

    Rolls-Royce to maintain the Navy’s nuclear powered subs
    Rolls-Royce has won a new £1 billion contract to provide through-life support for the reactors for the Royal Navy's current fleet of nuclear powered submarines for the next ten years.
    The contract covers the reactors and equipment that translate the massive power of the nuclear fission plant into the high pressure steam that drives the submarine's turbines, providing electrical power to the boat's systems and powering its propulsion system. Not only will Rolls-Royce be working on the 13 Swiftsure, Trafalgar and Vanguard submarine models, but also the new Astute class submarines currently being built by BAE Systems, the first of which was launched in June this year.

    Rolls-Royce has been supplying nuclear steam raising plants to the Royal Navy for almost 50 years from its production site at Raynesway in Derby, and this new contract will help secure the future of staff working in this part of the business.

    Richard Barkley, NRC Trying To Keep Public From Crucial License Renewal Documents

    Last week, before the NRC officially announced its acceptance of the flawed Entergy License Renewal Application for the failing, aged and leaking nuclear reactors known as Indian Point 2 and 3, the Green Nuclear Butterfly made a request for several very important documents. Specifically, Sherwood Martinelli and the GNB requested documents crucial in compiling and defending our contentions, including:

    1. PSAR
    2. FSAR
    3. UFSAR
    4. The Estinghouse Power Uprate PSAR

    To prove that Indian Point is well outside it's DB, and to show it is in, and would during the period of relicense be out of compliance with both Appendix B and R, a full and complete review of these documents is imperiative. Richard Barkley tried to hedge his bets by saying those documents were removed from the ADAMS public document area, and it might take a bit of time to get make arrangements for us to see those documents in question...he was supposed to get back to me the very next day on this issue, and FAILED TOO.

    To cover our teams efforts, we immediately began preparing yet another FOIA, so that we have and extensive record of NRC's foot dragging, and out right refusal to cooperate in document production. Being concerned about the NRC's attempts to hide these documents, which are of the utmost importance to any community wanting to have the scientific and regulatory answers necessary to defend their contentions, I did a bit of snooping.

    Seems that the NRC gave the New York State Attorney's office a copy of one of the documents our organization wants, the FSAR (Final Safety Analysis Report) by accident. I say by accident, because the New York AG's office had not specifically requested it (as we have). Soon afterward, the NRC forbid the AG's office from SHARING THIS DOCUMENT, and is in fact and deed, now making serious efforts to have said document returned to the NRC.

    So, how far is the NEI, NRC, DOE and Entergy willing to go to keep crucial documents out of the hands of the general public...this author will not be surprised if they would be willing to use hit men, or federal government death squads in the name of preserving their dearly beloved Nuclear Renaissance.