Nuclear Shutdown News – May 2015: Fire at Indian Point Plant in NY – and Is It ‘the End’ for Diablo Canyon?

by on June 5, 2015 · 2 comments

in California, Energy, Environment, Health, History, San Diego

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry. US nuke plants were designed to operate for 40 years … As many of them have approached or surpassed that mark, they have become increasingly unsafe and inefficient, threatening our health and safety. This report points out some of these problems and supports those working for a nuclear free future.

Here’s our May 2015 report:

Indian Point Nuke Plant Fire

A May 8 fire in a transformer at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant caused a fire and explosion, shutting down reactor #3 for 16 days. The Environmental News Service reported on May 9th:

“Witnesses reported a loud blast and smoke at the plant on the east bank of the Hudson River, 35 miles north of New York City.”

Workers subsequently found a leak from the transformer could only be fixed with the reactor shut down.

Westfield Communications in West Fairfield County, NY, reported that the Indian Point reactor 3 restarted on May 26. According to that publication, the transformer “erupted into flames” on May 8, causing

“roughly  300 gallons of transformer fluid to leak into the Hudson River… About one third was collected in a moat system or combusted.”

The transformer was supposed to last 40 years. It was 8 years old when it failed. “

Indian Point nuke plant is currently owned by Entergy Corp of New Orleans, and the State of New York has been trying to permanently shut it down for a number of years.

Nuke Industry Can’t Cover Costs of Shutdowns.

According to a May 4 report by Bloomberg.com “Radioactive Returns”, the US nuclear industry is $4.33 Billion short in covering the rapidly rising cost of shutting down plants. Bloomberg reported that 5 US nuke plants closed in 2013, “the most ever,” and that Exelon, the Chicago based largest owner and operator of US nuclear plants, “may close three more this year.”

And Bloomberg reports, “an additional 20 more reactors may close soon,” according to Judd Gregg, former Republican Senator from New Jersey, now chairman of Nuclear Matters, an organization that promotes nuclear energy.

Bloomberg also quoted a researcher for Calvin Associates, an investment consultant, concerning the $4.3 Billion shortfall.  “I don’t think a lot of utilities know what anyone is going to do if they fall short,” he said.

Among  those already shut down plants is California’s Humboldt Bay, closed by owner, Pacific Gas & Electric since 1976.  Today, PG&E estimates the cost of cleaning up and dismantling this old nuke at $441 Million.

‘The End’ for Diablo Canyon?

PG&E is also the operator of California’s last operating nuclear reactors – -the two at Diablo Canyon on the state’s earthquake-riddled central coast near San Luis Obispo.

On May 21, Damon Maglan of the environmental group Friends of the Earth, reported,

“In a major victory that could mark the beginning of the end of the Diablo Canyon reactors, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ‘ruled that its atomic safety board will decide whether PG&E was allowed to illegally alter the plant’s license to hide the risk from powerful earthquake faults discovered after it was designed and built.'”

A similar decision by the NRC led to the permanent shutdown of San Onofre’s two nuclear reactors in San Diego in 2013.

Sources: Bloomberg.com; friendsoftheearthfoe.org

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

CaptD June 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

The ASLB is the one group within the NRC that “gets it” when it come to reactor safety and things like Fluid Elastic Instability (FEI) which was responsible for them shutting down San Onofre!

Much more here:
San Onofre $5 BILLION Cover-up w/ Mia Severson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mExjeoQAXq8&feature=youtu.be
#NukeFreeCal #SanOnofreGate The new twitter hashtag that will allow you to keep up to date on the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff.

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Dredd June 8, 2015 at 4:04 am

Every month, Occidental and Chevron directly pump 2.63 times more toxic waste water into the San Joaquin Aquifer than oil released into the Gulf during the entire BP spill. The California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) plans to allow them to continue for another 21 months. This lawsuit brought to stop the poisoning of the San Joaquin aquifer and to remediate the damage already done to the farmland of Kern County.”

(California Lawsuit against Gov. Brown and tohers).

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