Friday, August 17, 2007

SRO Speaks out on Nukes & her Cherokee roots...

John LeKay, publisher of Heyoke Magazine asked Summer Rayne Oakes:

What are your thoughts on alternative energies?

Summer Rayne Oakes: I'm becoming more and more vocal in this area as my work unfolds. I've written letters to my state Senators urging them to stop the $50 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear energy and voiced my concerns on coal. We need individuals, communities and the federal government behind clean renewables. The amount of subsidies and loan guarantees still supporting dirty energy is absolutely mind-boggling!

On the clean energy front, I like to put most of my own energies into positive movements. Over the last few months, I've been working with a number of young leaders on PowerShift 2007, which is the first national youth Climate Summit headed by Energy Action and the Campus Climate Challenge. The organizations have really been the backbone of much of the climate change actions, like Step it Up, Focus the Nation, and the President’s Climate Commitment. I feel invigorated when the youth take the lead in getting their campuses and communities to start taking progressive steps in reducing their carbon footprint.

For the rest of the interview, logon to:

No Coal!! No Nukes!! No Kidding!!

Find Harold One Feather wearing the camo-hat videotaping the SouthEast Convergence for Climate Action demonstration in front of the Bank Of American in Asheville, North Carolina on August 13th. Harold attended the event as a roving reporter for Electrifying Times magazine. Harold is the real life incarnation of the character Harry Redhorse in Henry O'Point's book "From The River's Edge To The World Beyond."

(Video Courtesy

EPRI, DOE, NEI, NRC and The Defense and Commericial Nuclear Industry Keeping Public in Dark?

For those of us who find ourselves living within the shadow of death that is the 50 mile circle around an aging, decaying nuclear reactor here in America, we have sadly come to know what it is like to be kept in the dark. We are asked to accept the risks associated with the NRC rubber stamping of 20 year license renewals without being told just what the real risks are that we will be faced with. Accidents caused from FAC (Flow Accelerated Corrosion), stainless steel fatigue, concrete degradation and weld failures are all serious concerns, with the true risks hidden behind the closed doors of the EPRI documents room.

Security is another issue, with the DBT hidden from public view, and any attempts to get honest answers met with a STONE WALL as Sam Collins and other members of the NRC refuse to answer our questions put forth at public meetings. Why can't we know the truth, be told why it was that the NRC commissioners removed from the weapons lists mortars, shoulder launched grenades and rockets (RPG's), and armor piercing munitions? Is it true that NEI pressured the NRC to remove these weapons because they would render 85 percent of the industry's security infrastructure obsolete?

Now, lets look at public health and safety should a nuclear event or terrorist attack at say, "Indian Point". Obviously, one of the things citizens want to know, want to understand is plume modeling. When we try to discuss this with NRC officials (Richard Barkley) we get vague answers, and promises of more information later...that then never arrives. This area is one of great concern to myself, so I did some research this evening, and in a word we want access to NARAC! Why is this valuable software that would allow local communities and citizens to evaluate their risk being SECRETED AWAY behind the walls of Lawrence Livermore Laboritories by the DOE? Could it be, that the truth of Plumes in the event of a significant nuclear incident see citizens demanding the closure of all NUCLEAR REACTORS? Below is some very SOMBERING information on NURAC, and the DOE's involvement in safeguarding public safety. Get involved, demand that this valuable software tool be made available to citizens in Nuclear Reactor host communities...we have a right to know what risks we are facing.

The NARAC suite of software tools include simple stand-alone, local-scale plume modeling tools for end-user’s computers, and Web- and Internet-based software to access advanced modeling tools and expert analyses from the national center at LLNL. Initial automated, 3-D predictions of plume exposure limits and protective action guidelines for emergency responders and managers are available from the center in 5-10 minutes. These can be followed immediately by quality-assured, refined analyses by 24 x 7 on-duty or on-call NARAC staff. NARAC continues to refine calculations using updated on-scene information, including measurements, until all airborne releases have stopped and the hazardous threats are mapped and impacts assessed

1 Introduction
The dispersion of radiological material in the atmosphere poses potential risks to human health. Releases may occur from accidents involving nuclear power plants, nuclear material processing and transportation, or nuclear weapons. The post-coldwar proliferation of nuclear material has increased the potential for threats from radiological dispersal devices and nuclear weapons. In order to prepare for airborne releases and mitigate the resulting impacts, tools are needed that can accurately and quickly predict the environmental contamination and health effects.

Other Important Directives:

DOE/NRC's One Strike Approach

(1) Single Failure. Safety class SSCs shall be able to accommodate a single failure and still meet their intended safety function, as required, to ensure compliance with the facility acceptance criterion. A "single failure" means an occurrence which results in the loss of capability of the safety class structure, system or component to accomplish its required safety functions. Multiple failures resulting from a single occurrence are considered to be a single failure.
Some Important Manuals can be found here:

Do DOE Nuclear Reactor Sites afford American citizens a higher level of protection than those afforded communities forced to play host to commercial nuclear reactors such as Entergy's failing Indian Point reactors? Read DOE guidelines here:

Where are our protections from the NRC?

Below is and excerpt from DOE's Nuclear Energy Policy, which you can read at:

Reading the excerpt, one has to wonder where our similar EQUAL RIGHTS are when looking at NRC's commercial licensees.


It is the policy of the Department of Energy (DOE) that the general public be protected such that no individual bears significant additional risk to health and safety from the operation of a DOE nuclear facility above the risks to which members of the general population are normally exposed. The purpose of this document is to establish the basic nuclear safety policy from which specific safety rules, orders, standards, and other requirements shall follow.* DOE facilities will be designed, constructed, operated, and decommissioned to assure the protection of the public, workers, and the environment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some General News Items From Green Nuclear Butterfly

Rare Picture of the elusive Australian Outback Twin Ass Monkeys.
Greetings Readers:

Do apologize for the lack of fresh articles lately, but 1) it is summer, and that in and of itself comes with its own set of distractions, and 2) the deadline for filing contentions is fast upon us. Our volunteer staff over at FUSE USA are busy with document research, and crafting our contentions, which will be extensive. FUSE USA is now officially registered as a Not-For-Profit corporation, and will be bringing you more on that development in the very near future (watch for our new blog launch). Between now and October 1st, 2007, a huge amount of GNB's efforts will be dedicated over to document research and crafting petitions, so be patient, as the Blog takes a back seat to our important fight to shutdown the aging Entergy reactors known as Indian Point.

There is a new blog out there that I encourage my readers to stay abreast of it. This Green Blog is published by long time environmental activist titan Harvey Wasserman. Harvey has recently published a book (featured on this blog earlier this summer) called Solartopia...a must read for Green people the world over. Wondering here if Harvey knows what ever happened to Scott Powers who used to be a great journalist for the Columbus Dispatch back in the early 90's.

NRC is trying to RUSH THE PROCESS of relicensing Indian Point. They have scheduled an Environmental Scoping Meeting for September 19th, and the public comments period closes very shortly after the meeting. This meeting, and the public comments received will shape the Supplemental EIS that will be appended to the Generic EIS being used to relicense these aging reactors that are leaking tritium and strontium into the Hudson River.

1. If you live in the area, and are concerned about Indian Point, it is imperiative that you attend the meeting. We will be posting details on this meeting in very early September.

2. Submit written comments to the NRC that express your concerns. Be specific, use real examples. Where possible, grab some cites to back up your contentions and/or worries by using Google. (FAC or Flow Accelerated Corrosion) is one example of a Google search that should bring up some very interesting articles and studies.

We have seen in recent events (Earthquake that struck the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Plant and the collapsing bridge in Minnesota) that the effects of aging, fatigue issues, and seismic activities can and will take their toll on man made infrastructure...factor in the risk of a terrorist attack, and Indian Point needs to be closed down.

Entergy was delivered a STUNNING defeat when their Motion For Summary Judgement attempting to dismiss a well written and defensible contention was denied. Our tip of the hat to the warriors in Vermont trying to close down the Vermont Yankee reactor...their victory ranks right up their with the one out in California at the Diablo Canyon site. Neither Entergy, NEI, EPRI or the NRC is happy about this event. The grassroots anti-nuclear movement is prying the lid off the can of worms, are about to expose the wretched stench that is the License Renewal Process. The NRC has been trying to ram these license renewals through before we got ourselves up and running...problem is, we are now WIDE AWAKE, and the tide is turning.

Bush is going to be traveling to Australia for APEC 2007 to meet with Prime Minister John Howard, with plans for Australia (against the will of the people) to join GNEP, and the push for a Nuclear Renaissance. There are some MAJOR protests being planned for his visit down under. As a show of solidarity with the Anti-Nuclear movement in Australia, world renowned activist Benny Zable and Remy Chevalier, GNB contributor, are planning a direct action in NYC on September 7th to coincide with Bush's visit to Australia. More details on this action as they arrive on our desk. If you would like to be vetted for this event, please write with details about who you are, and what organization(s) you are affiliated with.

Lastly, GNB, Rock The Reactors and FUSE USA have been invited to table during EcoFest Sunday, September 30th at Lincoln Center. We encourage all Green Anti-Nuclear Folk to plan on attending this late September Earth Friendly spectacular in New York City.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Maria Sharapova plans trip back to Chernobyl

Maria Sharapova plans 1st trip back to Chernobyl since family fled
August 13, 2007
CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Maria Sharapova travels the world as the highest-paid female athlete, cocooning in fancy hotels, dining at swanky restaurants and indulging her love of shoes.
Yet there's one place the 20-year-old tennis superstar's journeys have never taken her -- the region devastated 21 years ago by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.
Sharapova's mother, Yelena, was pregnant with her only child when the plant in Ukraine exploded and spewed radioactive clouds over the western Soviet Union and northern Europe.
"A lot of families were moving, but not a lot of them could because they didn't really know where to go," Sharapova told The Associated Press. "My mom's dad happened to be working in Siberia, so that's why we had a sense of direction."
Sharapova's father, Yuri, and her mother fled the city of Gomel in Belarus -- about 80 miles north of Chernobyl -- shortly before she was born in Nyagan, Siberia.
Gomel was one of the areas most affected by radiation. Sharapova said she still has family there, including grandparents.
Sharapova plans to visit Chernobyl as a United Nations goodwill ambassador, perhaps after Wimbledon next July.
"It's in the beginning stages of what exactly I'm going to be doing," she said. "But I want to visit the facilities that they're building right now for the children -- computer labs and hospitals."
Sharapova started hitting tennis balls at age 4. Two years later, she was discovered by Martina Navratilova at a Moscow exhibition. At 9, Sharapova and her father moved to Florida, beginning a two-year separation from her mother because of visa restrictions and limited finances.
She's never forgotten her roots.
In 2004, Sharapova won the season-ending WTA Championships and received a car worth more than $56,000. She donated the money to those affected by the Russian school hostage crisis in Beslan in which 334 people died, more than half of them children.
In February, when Sharapova was appointed an ambassador for the U.N. Development Program, she donated $100,000 to help recovery in the Chernobyl region.
Goodwill ambassadors try to draw attention to the plight of some of the world's poorest spots. Sharapova, who has earned more than $9 million in career prize money, has a two-year contract with the UNDP that pays her a symbolic salary of $1 a year. Goodwill ambassadors pay their own way on trips.
"They wanted me to work with them because they felt like people in those areas didn't really feel like they had a chance to survive," Sharapova said. "They wanted me to help raise the awareness that by building schools, hospitals, cleaning the air that there is pride and a side they can head towards instead of thinking all those negative things."
Her trip to Chernobyl will last just a few days.
"Unfortunately, I have about 28 days a year for the work that I do and for the sponsors, for the photo shoots and the visits," she said. "Time is very, very limited."
Sharapova won her first title of the season a week ago near San Diego. During the tournament, she met with a group of Russian children visiting the United States.
Their trip was sponsored by The Children of Chernobyl, a nonprofit group that brings healthy children from Belarus between ages 8 and 12 to America for a six-to-eight week visit. They are placed with host families and the children receive free medical, dental and eye care treatment.
Upon meeting Sharapova, some of the families asked what advice she could give the children.
"It's tough because most of them don't have any parents, and what's really helped me in my life was having my mom and dad be so supportive and around me," she said.
Despite her Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles and No. 2 world ranking, Sharapova didn't expect the children to know who she was.
"They had all these questions lined up for me. The kids are pretty young and the questions they were asking me were so mature and so beyond their years," she said. "This young kid asked me how I wanted to raise my children. I was like, 'Geez, you're a kid yourself.' It was very strange."'
The children knew only rudimentary English phrases, like 'How are you?,' so they questioned her in Russian and Sharapova responded in her native language.
Hearing the kids squeal about their trip to Sea World brought back memories. As sophisticated as Sharapova comes off in photo spreads and on red carpets, she says she acts like a kid away from the court and cameras.
"I still love things that you don't even need to pay for," she said. "Going to the beach and being around five of your friends and having a good time means so much more than going out and spending hundreds of dollars. It did make me realize that, 'Wow, all these small things are making them happy."'
Sharapova is to begin her U.S. Open title defense Aug. 27. She withdrew from the semifinals of last week's tournament in Carson because of a leg injury. She said she plans to compete for another seven years.
"I have so many other things in my life that I want to try and do," she said, ticking off marriage and children among her goals. "I'd love to open a tennis school for children in my hometown of Sochi."
Sharapova said she recently read a book about Africa, and it, along with her charity work, has helped expand her world of forehands and backhands.
"If you're able to help some people and make them smile and make them realize that life is good," she said, "then that's worth so much more than buying a pair of shoes."
(Thanks to Susan Gordon of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in Seattle for this item)

Monday, August 13, 2007

What EPRI, NEI, NRC and Nuclear Industry Do Not Want Reactor Workers Knowing

Nuclear Industry Workers, Killing Them Softly With Your REMs.
As we watch the nuclear industry rubber stamping license renewal for 104 failing American Nuclear Reactors in the name of a Nuclear Renaissance, we have to wonder where worker protections are at plants like Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point. To push through license renewals for failing reactors, the NRC has allowed EPRI and NEI to rewrite major sections of 10 CFR, the NRC regulations meant to protect human health,safety and the environment. Meanwhile, one simple rule change that would provide nuclear workers with a great deal of protection from cancer causing REM exposures sits on the back burner.

Almost universally, the world has a 2 REM a year exposure rating for people working in nuclear facilities...not so in America, and not even close for many workers at Nuclear Reactor sites. A quick rule change could enact this exposure rating for every NRC licensee...however, the NRC buckled to industry pressure (EPRI and NEI), and is taking no action on changing the rules to lower worker exposure limits until after EPRI (using statistics provided by NEI) conducts a study on the effects of lowering the yearly exposure limits from 3 REM to 2 REM on the industry! Let's save the industry a LOT OF TIME and MONEY by spelling out what such a rule change would do.

1. It would reduce worker radiation exposures by 1/3 from 3 REM to only 2 REM per year.

2. It would propably cost nuclear plant owners like Entergy who reported profits last year of almost half a billion dollars a few million a year in added staff.

3. It would provide union workers more job opportunities, as nuclear plants would have to schedule in more workers to keep individual employee exposures under 2 REM.

So, why not make this simple rule change? Because MANAGEMENT cares more about PROFITS than their workers, especially when those workers are the laborers, the pipe fitters, the welders, nozzle damn insertion-removal workers, radwaste technicians, in-house maintenance, valve and pump vendor short, the blue collar, union workers, the back bone of American Industry.

It is a known fact that Indian Point workers read this blog...go to your management at Indian Point. Ask them if it is true that NRC is/has been considering a REM dose reduction. Ask them about the EPRI study on this topic, ask them why worker personal information was shared with EPRI for this study. Demand they explain to you, the worker being exposed why they as a company, as an industry are not pushing the NRC to make this rule change IMMEDIATELY.

Further, so that the NRC has ACCURATE records on every employee in the nuclear industry, demand that PADS tracking be mandatory for every worker in the industry, including in-house employees. Where is your union demanding this rule change? Where is your union in demanding that the NRC not grant exemptions to this exposure and tracking rule? One would think the Pipe fitters Local would be ALL OVER THIS VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. Grow a backbone, demand that EPRI make public their study entitled:
Evaluation of 2 Rem per Year Occupational Dose Limit:
Potential Impacts on U.S. Nuclear Utilities