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Major Victories In Stopping Nuclear In US


Duke Energy cancelled its two proposed new reactors in Levy County, Florida.

Here is a great write-up in the Tampa Bay Times about the cancellation. And here is another piece from the same paper that should be required reading for any state lawmaker who thinks forcing ratepayers to pay in advance for new reactors is a good idea. You’ll like it–they won’t.

On Tuesday, Electricite de France announced that it is pulling out of the U.S. nuclear market entirely. You might remember that EDF wanted to build new reactors at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland and Nine Mile Point, New York. But NIRS beat them in NRC licensing proceedings, and its subsidiary, UniStar Nuclear, was denied a license on foreign ownership grounds. Here’s an article on that from Bloomberg; note where EDF admits they don’t have the right to operate reactors in the U.S.

Here’s my statement yesterday about all this: “The nuclear renaissance is in shambles. Earlier this week, the world’s largest nuclear company, Electricite De France, announced it is leaving the U.S. nuclear market having failed to build any of the reactors it was planning. Now Duke Energy is giving up on the most expensive nuclear project ever proposed–and the only “greenfields” site in the supposed nuclear revival. The basic truths about nuclear power outweigh the fantasies of nuclear boosters: it remains too dirty, dangerous and expensive to be a viable source of new electricity.”

Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but the Levy County and Calvert Cliffs debacles had one thing in common: these were the two sites where NIRS was an intervenor.

Technically, we prevailed in the Calvert Cliffs license proceeding and didn’t at Levy County, but in the end the result is the same: we won.

Interventions like these cost money, a lot of it. They also take a lot of time that needs to be paid for. And they’re only one part of larger organizing and outreach strategies. It takes all of it–and a lot of support from activists and people from all over the country (and, in these cases, from our co-intervenors at Calvert Cliffs, Public Citizen, Beyond Nuclear and Southern Maryland CARES, and at Levy County, the Ecology Party)–to beat back the nuclear industry.

But, as you can see, these long campaigns can be worth it. I hope you’ll show your support for these efforts (and help refill our depleted coffers) with a tax-deductible contribution here. Or you can send a check to NIRS, 6930 Carroll Avenue, #340, Takoma Park, MD 20912. And thank you to everyone who already has contributed this summer!

Stop A Mobile Chernobyl
The news on the radioactive waste front this week wasn’t quite as good. The Senate Energy Committee held a hearing on its Mobile Chernobyl bill, S. 1240, and, despite good testimony from Dave Lochbaum of Union of Concerned Scientists and Geoff Fettus of Natural Resources Defense Council, the committee is planning to hold a mark-up and vote on the bill when Congress returns in September.

That gives us about six weeks to gather more signatures on our Stop Mobile Chernobyl petition, which we will hand-deliver to Committee members before their vote. We hope you’ll go all out to help obtain as many signatures as possible.

There are several places you can sign the petition and encourage others to sign:

*On NIRS website here.

*On the new CredoAction website here.

*On the website here.

*On paper. Many of you have received blank paper copies of the petition in the mail–and hundreds of you have been sending in completed copies. Thank you! If you’d like a paper copy–or 100–or any number at all, just let us know and we’ll get them to you. You can call us at 301-270-6477 or e-mail to

Pick the method you like best, and please do everything you can to reach out and give everyone possible the opportunity to sign the petition too. If we all join in, we can win this crucial battle too.

You can read the Senate bill, testimony of Lochbaum and Fettus, and get a lot more background information on our Mobile Chernobyl page here.

Foreign Ownership
Speaking of foreign ownership of U.S. reactors (as I was above…), today NIRS submitted lengthy comments to the NRC–supported by 65 other groups–urging the strengthening of the rules implementing the Atomic Energy Act’s ban on foreign ownership, control or domination. The legislative history of the Act shows that Congress intended that no more than about 25% of a reactor can be foreign-owned, but the NRC has moved far away from that over the years. It’s time that the agency do what Congress intended and actively prevent foreign control of U.S. nuclear reactors. Here is a press release about the comments; here are the comments themselves (pdf); and here are comments submitted today by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) (also pdf).

The NRC is planning a webinar on the issue on August 21. Here is the information; contact the NRC if you’d like to speak during this meeting.

Thanks so much for your help and support, and for all that you do.

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