Tag Archives: Savannah River

Radioactive tritium leak at Indian Point nuke stopped, but still in groundwater

Papers forged, fire and oil leak into the Hudson River, fracked methane pipeline planned next door, oh, yet built on a fault line, and people are surprised there’s radioactive tritium leaking from Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear plant? Just like at Plant Farley on the Chattahoochee River, Plant Hatch on the Altamaha River and Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River? How about surprised if there are any nukes that don’t leak tritium?

AP, 6 February 2016, Radioactive Material Found in Groundwater Below Nuke Plant, Continue reading

Re-evaluate Plant Vogtle and move to wind and solar power –Courtney Hanson @ GA PSC 2013-06-18

Re-evaluate Plant Vogtle, especially its water use, and move to efficiency, wind, and solar power instead, said Courtney Hanson of Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (GA WAND) at the Georgia Public Service Commission meeting Tuesday 18 June 2013.

She reminded GA PSC Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 are late and over budget, and then:

I want to add my voice to the chorus of folks here who are concerned about water issues. We know that Vogtle 3 and 4 will require an additional withdrawal of as much as 74 million gallons a day from the Savannah River and most of that water will not be returned. We know that the central Savannah River area where Vogtle is located is already very prone to droughts and the plant has been close to shutting down several times due to drought conditions. Georgia is also already struggling to supply enough water for our homes, businesses, industries, and farms.

In addition, the Savannah River is Continue reading

Birds stop cleanup work at closed Hanford plutonium plant

Birds nested using radioactive mud from WW II-era nuclear bomb production plant, stopping attempts to clean up some of the worst leaking atomic waste, much of which is liquid in leaking tanks near the Columbia River. We have nuclear plants leaking radioactive tritium next to the Chattahoochee and Altamaha Rivers, and radiation is detectible in the Savannah River near Plant Vogtle. How many radioactive solar panels or windmills have you heard of?

Annette Cary wrote for the Tri-City Herald yesterday, Birds at Hanford vit plant spread contaminated waste,

Work stopped Wednesday morning at parts of the Hanford vitrification plant after radioactive contamination was detected under a bird’s nest, according to Bechtel National.

The contamination is suspected of coming from mud used for the nest, which may have belonged to a swallow, said Bechtel spokesman Todd Nelson. Only a small amount of contaminated soil was found, and the contamination was at a low level.

Should workers believe that?

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Fire at Plant Vogtle

Vogtle 1 since 2006 Does a Nuclear Operations Unusual Event (NOUE) give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? When it’s a fire at a nuke on the Savannah River? They didn’t shut Unit 1 down for that, but Unit 2 has been down for almost a month.

NRC Current Event Notification Report for April 4, 2013,


“Vogtle Unit 1 has declared an NOUE based on a fire within the protected area boundary not extinguished within 15 minutes of detection.

“At 0632 [EDT] Unit 1 received a fire alarm in the Unit 1 control building. A systems operator was dispatched to investigate and reported back that a small flame was visible inside 1ND3I1, computer inverter. Fire brigade was dispatched in accordance with fire response procedures. No other systems or parameters affected.

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Vogtle nuclear reactor train wreck

Ever wondered what a nuclear reactor vessel looks like? Here’s one that’s literally a train wreck, on its way to Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River.

Rob Pavey wrote for the Augusta Chronicle 10 January 2013, Vogtle reactor vessel slips between Savannah, Burke County,

A 300-ton reactor vessel bound for Plant Vogtle was stranded briefly in south Georgia this week after a malfunction with the specially designed rail car moving the nuclear component from Savannah to Burke County. Workers examine a rail car that was transporting a 300-ton reactor vessel from the Port of Savannah to the Plant Vogtle nuclear site in Burke County. A misalignment between the cargo platform and the rail car caused the component to be returned to Savannah.

“The platform that contained the RV (reactor vessel) during transport became misaligned with the Schnabel railcar, so the railcar stopped immediately,” said Georgia Power Co. spokesman Mark Williams. “The platform and car were re-aligned the same day and safely returned to the port.”

The Schnabel railcar, which features extra axles that help distribute and support the weight of heavy objects, did not break, he said. Georgia Power would not divulge the location of the incident.

I wonder what the locals think. We’d ask them, if we knew where they were.

Well, that’s the only mishap so far, right?

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Florida Crystal River nuke down $5 billion?

Only 160 miles from here, the Crystal River nuclear reactor continues to run up a bad bill, maybe as much as $5 billion, and even other nuclear operators are reportedly starting to turn against it. Should we wait for the new nukes on the Savannah River to run up a bill that high before we cancel them?

Remember back in May?

Florida is already experiencing a likely future for the new Plant Vogtle nukes in Georgia: completion date pushed back, and customer charges raised.

Yep, that’s the one. And the bill keeps going up, as Ivan Penn wrote for the Tampa Bay Times 30 December 2012, Utilities nationwide could share the financial pain of the idled Crystal River nuclear plant,

The crippled Crystal River nuclear plant is now America’s headache.

The bill to fix it and pay for replacement power may top $5 billion. The problem?

The company that insures all 104 U.S. nuclear power plants has just $3.6 billion on hand to pay for claims.

Broken nuclear plants in California, Texas and Michigan will vie for some of that money. But Crystal River alone represents such a financial threat that the insurance company, Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd., may demand that its member utilities pony up more money.

Is NEIL the guarantor on the bonds for the new nukes at Plant Vogtle? I think Southern Company was smarter (for SO, not for us) and got Congress to guarantee those. If so, Continue reading

Renewables are Winning, Nukes are Dead, and Coal is Crashing

Somebody is willing to read the sunshine writing: Renewables are Winning, Nukes are Dead and Coal is Crashing, as Kathleen Rogers and Danny Kennedy wrote for EcoWatch 14 Dec 2012.

As I wrote back in April when formerly coal-plotting Cobb EMC went solar:

Coal is dead. Nuclear is going down. Solar will eat the lunch of utilities that don’t start generating it.

Can Georgia Power and Southern Company (SO) read that handwriting on the wall? They can’t fight Moore’s Law, which has steadily brought the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy down for thirty years now, and shows no signs of stopping. This is the same Moore’s Law that has put a computer in your pocket more powerful than a computer that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in 1982 and was used by an entire company. Solar PV costs dropped 50% last year. Already all the new U.S. electric capacity installed this September was solar and wind. As this trend continues, solar will become so much more cost-effective than any fossil or nuclear fuel power that nobody will be able to ignore it.

Rogers and Kennedy explained this phenomenon:

The seismic shift in how we all use cell phones and mobile technology to access the internet almost snuck up on the incumbent technologies and the monopolies that made money selling us landline telephones and a crappy service. Now, we’re all using apps on smartphones all of the time. So too, the shift to a scaled, solar-powered future built around the modular technology at the heart of solar power—the photovoltaic solar cell—will come as a surprise to many. We call it the solar ascent, and it is happening every day in a million ways.

Will SO and Georgia Power continue to prop up that 1973 legal wall that inhibits solar financing in Georgia? Companies and even economic development authorities are starting to find ways around it, and of course there’s Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU) trying to wedge into the law as a utility. After Hurricane Sandy, rooftop solar for grid outage independence has suddenly hit the big time (Austin Energy caught onto that back in 2003). The U.S. military got solar and renewable energy back in Afghanistan and are now doing it bigtime everywhere.

SO and Georgia Power can try to ignore Continue reading