[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Radiation studies to be expanded around Indian Point

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Sat Mar 3 10:43:42 CST 2007


Radiation studies to be expanded around Indian Point
Coal-fired and nuclear power necessary, says Energy Ministry 
EDF's nuclear internationalization plans likely to succeed
What if Every Nuclear Power Plant in the U.S. was Shut Down 
McCain tells Utahns he backs nuclear storage
Nevada panel warned about effort to license nuclear dump
Exelon, taxing bodies spar over valuation of Clinton Power Station  

Radiation studies to be expanded around Indian Point

PLEASANTVILLE (THE JOURNAL NEWS) Mar 3  - State environmental 
regulators plan to broaden their scientific studies of fish and other 
wildlife in the vicinity of Indian Point, to better determine how 
radiation leaks at the Buchanan nuclear plants are affecting the 
Hudson River's ecosystem.

A group of state health and environment officials announced the 
expanded studies yesterday, while participating in a Pace University 
roundtable discussion of tritium and strontium 90 leaks at Indian 
Point. The first leak was discovered in August 2005, and Indian Point 
engineers are still trying to determine the source and extent of 
radiated water that is seeping into the ground at the site.

"We're going to sample more locations and more fish species, and 
we're going to analyze the flesh and the bone of the fish," said 
Barbara Youngberg, director of state's Department of Environmental 
Radiation Bureau. "We're probably going to start taking those in the 
spring and summer."

Youngberg spoke, along with state health and environmental 
conservation officials, as part of a program sponsored by the Hudson 
River Sloop Clearwater, Pace's Academy for the Environment and the 
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition.

In mid-January, the owner of the nuclear plants, Entergy Nuclear 
Northeast, found traces of strontium 90 in four of 12 fish sampled as 
part of the company's required fish testing.

The fish were caught during the summer of 2006 in two areas of the 
Hudson River, around the plant itself and near the Newburgh-Beacon 
Bridge. At the time, federal regulators said no other radioactive 
isotopes were found in the fish.

Within days, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials 
said the amounts of the radioactive isotopes were "background levels" 
that could be found in fish in any part of the river.

Yesterday's four-hour seminar covered the leaks from a variety of 
angles, including how water moves underground and which state and 
federal agencies should have jurisdiction over the pollution.

Federal, state and county elected officials participated, and 
representatives of local municipalities were in the audience.

Representatives of Indian Point, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were invited to attend, 
but did not participate.

The federal agencies sent observers, but Entergy, which owns the two 
working nuclear reactors, declined, saying the nongovernment 
participants were avowed opponents of the plant and the nuclear 

Based on the applause for various statements made, it appeared that 
most of the 100-plus people in the audience of the Willcox Gymnasium 
were opponents as well.

Ward Stone, a wildlife pathologist for the state Department of 
Environmental Conservation, said he would expand the examination of 
wildlife in the area to include snapping turtles, frogs and deer, as 
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Greenburgh, requested during his 

"The turtles and frogs stay around," Stone said during a break. He 
added that one test he was interested in doing was to cage and 
monitor fish in certain areas of the river, to "see what they pick 

Youngberg said the radiation levels that have been found in the 
Hudson River by the state so far are a tiny fraction of what is 

"It is in concentrations of less than 1 percent of the limit that we 
would apply for any facility discharging strontium 90 or tritium," 
she said. "There are no significant impacts offsite whatsoever."

She said her agency will continue to monitor the leaks' impact on the 

The NRC, the state Department of Health and Entergy have all agreed 
to participate in the additional sampling.

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, who has called for closing 
Indian Point, said the extra studies were needed.

Tim Rice, a DEC researcher who has been working on the Indian Point 
leaks almost since they were discovered, said the agency will 
continue to use the Newburgh-Beacon area as a control site, but will 
expand the specimen collection as far north as Catskill, N.Y., a 
distance of about 90 miles.

Rice said taking fish from so far away should help determine if fish 
and blue crabs that will be tested are absorbing radiation from the 
atmosphere or from the reactors.

He estimated that some results of the sampling should be available by 
the fall.

Coal-fired and nuclear power necessary, says Energy Ministry  

BANGKOK, March 3 (TNA)  - It will be difficult for Thailand to avoid 
counting on coal-fired and nuclear power plants in the future since 
natural gas is rarely found and in limited supply, according to the 
kingdom's Ministry of Energy. 

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Energy Nokun Sitthiphong said the 
ministry had recently organised a forum where around 80 academics and 
representatives of non-governmental organisations participated to 
discuss and exchange views on consumption of alternative energy such 
as natural gas, coal, and nuclear in the future, and a power 
development plan proposed by NGOs.

The meeting found Thailand might experience a power shortage if it 
adhered to the power development plan (PDP). 

Under the plan prepared by NGOs last year, the country's power demand 
per month is expected to peak at 18,000 megawatts. But according to 
reliable information from other sources, the actual maximum demand 
considerably higher at 21,064 megawatts. 

Even in February, which is Thailand's 'winter' period (meaning that 
there is less demand for air-conditioning than in hotter months), the 
demand increased to 20,592 megawatts and is expected to peak at 
22,567 megawatts. 

Because of this, it is difficult for Thailand to avoid relying on 
coal and nuclear energy for power generation because it is too risky 
to count solely on natural gas.

According to data provided by Thailand's oil and gas conglomerate PTT 
Plc, natural gas supplies from the Gulf of Thailand and joint 
petroleum development areas with neighbouring countries could be 
supplied at 4 billion cubic feet per day while consumption is 2.1 
billion. At the same time, the country purchases 1 billion cubic feet 
of natural gas from Myanmar.

So, should Thailand need to consume more natural gas, it must import 
liquefied natural gas (LPG). 
However, since imports are probably limited to 10 million tonnees per 
year, it is worrying that the supply would not be enough for a new 
power plant.

"Natural gas is very unlikely to be sufficient for a new power plant. 
So, nuclear power is one of the alternative choices. Equally 
important, consumption of nuclear power can help relieve the problem 
of a warmer global climate," he said. (TNA)-E005

EDF's nuclear internationalization plans likely to succeed

EDF's plans to invest and partner in new build nuclear capacity 
projects around the world are a judicious move given its status as 
one of the world's leading nuclear power players. However, the 
attractions and prospects in its four target markets vary 
'Content EDF has stated its intention to become a world leader in the 
development of nuclear power projects. The plans, which emerged at 
the company's recent annual financial briefing, involve focusing on 
project developments in four key markets. The exact form the 
development of these plans will take is yet to be defined, but the 
company has stated that it is likely to be based on both construction 
and operation partnerships, as well as direct investment.

Aside from a desire to harness its expertise in nuclear power to 
create further revenue streams, the decision to seek a greater role 
in plant development is likely to be part of EDF's response to the 
impact of the Power Directive. While EDF has done well in holding 
onto the bulk of its market share in the wake of the first phase of 
market opening arising from the Electricity Directive, it is certain 
to be seeking ways to mitigate the revenue loss resulting from new 
entrants to the French market. This is becoming increasingly 
important given that full market opening will take place in July 

The four markets EDF is targeting - China, South Africa, the UK and 
the US - each have their own specific attractions to EDF, although 
present differing challenges.

Development of nuclear capacity in China is a particularly sound 
strategy given the rapid and continued demand growth for energy in 
the country. Over the past five years, primary energy demand in China 
has grown at an annualized rate of around 10%, far ahead of the 
global average of 2.6%. Within this context, electricity demand has 
shown similarly rapid expansion. With strong economic growth set to 
continue, the rapid growth in power demand seen in recent years is 
unlikely to diminish. 

The attractions of China for EDF also lie in the fact that nuclear 
capacity makes up a very small proportion of the generation mix. 
Fossil fuels, particularly coal, make up the vast majority of 
currently installed capacity with hydro also playing a key role. The 
combination of rapid demand growth, growing environmental-related 
disincentives to burn coal and a resultant need for new capacity mean 
that new build nuclear capacity in China has significant potential to 
be highly lucrative for EDF.

In the US, nuclear capacity is already well established and accounts 
for around 21% of installed capacity. Given that the US accounts for 
around 22% of all the energy used in the world, yet just 4.6% of the 
world's population, the potential market size is significant. 
However, despite this, developing nuclear projects in the US is 
unlikely to be as easy as some of EDF's other target markets. New 
build nuclear capacity has undergone something of a hiatus in recent 
years, with fossil fuels higher up the political agenda.

Meanwhile, with just one installed nuclear facility, the 1,800MW 
Koeberg plant, nuclear power is very much on the fringes in South 
Africa. Instead, the country's vast coal reserves dominate the 
generation mix. However, the prospects for new build capacity remain 
significant given the demand growth, albeit steady rather than 
dramatic growth, and the need to diversify the generation mix away 
from coal.

Finally, with a well established place for nuclear technology in the 
energy mix, a pressing need to construct new capacity and a recent 
statement by British Energy that it is seeking partners for new build 
capacity, the UK would appear to be a key target for EDF's nuclear 
plans. However, the situation is clouded by the considerable 
uncertainty that exists with regard to UK nuclear policy. 
Decommissioning issues and the guarantees investors are keen to see 
from the government remain opaque, meaning that EDF, or indeed other 
investors, are unlikely to be willing to make large-scale investments 
until these issues are clarified.

EDF's expertise and experience in nuclear capacity derive from its 
long history as a nuclear power producer in its home market and the 
highly established nature of nuclear technology in France. As such, 
it is particularly well placed to exploit the commercial 
opportunities in nuclear technology not only in the four markets it 
has expressed an interest in, but also further afield.

Stunning New Novel Explores What Would Happen if Every Nuclear Power 
Plant in the U.S. was Shut Down 
A zealot creates an energy crisis that puts the country in turmoil in 
Peter A. Thonet's timely thriller, Magnum Opus. 

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 3, 2007 -- Magnum Opus, Peter A. 
Thonet's thrilling new novel, tackles a terrifying scenario: all 
nuclear power plants in the America have stopped working, the 
military is at a loss to help, and even the president must yield to a 
new kind of unimaginable terror. 

Magnum Opus, a provocative and relevant novel by Peter A. Thonet, 
imagines the next terrifying step in the energy crisis currently 
plaguing the United States. Disgusted with the ease in which 
politicians ignore the future of energy, Thonet's protagonist is 
determined to set things right. But he doesn't expect a formidable 
new adversary: a young San Franciscan sugar cane heir, who fights him 
at every turn.

Written with probing intelligence in clear, lucid prose, Magnum Opus 
is a fictional story grounded in truth. Thrillingly told, the book 
offers not just a terrific page-turning read, but a warning: unless 
the energy question is addressed, and soon, the United States will 
walk headfirst into unavoidable disaster.

McCain tells Utahns he backs nuclear storage

(Deseret Morning News) - Arizona Sen. John McCain said Friday he 
supports high-level nuclear waste storage in Nevada - even though 
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. praised McCain as the only GOP presidential 
candidate who understands Western issues. Laura Seitz, Deseret 
Morning NewsArizona Sen. John McCain speaks to the media in Salt Lake 
City on Friday. "I believe we can transport waste safely," he said.   
   Huntsman, along with most elected officials and voters in the 
West, opposes the proposed Yucca Mountain facility, citing concerns 
about radioactive waste being transported through Utah and other 
states on its way to the site. But McCain mocked a question about the 
dangers of transporting nuclear waste while speaking with Utah 
reporters. "Oh, you have to travel through states ... I am for Yucca 
Mountain. I'm for storage facilities. It's a lot better than sitting 
outside power plants all over America," he said, then added, "I don't 
mean to be sarcastic. I apologize. But I believe we can transport 
waste safely." McCain said other countries including France have 
shown nuclear power can be generated "safely, economically and their 
greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced. I worry a lot more 
about climate change than I do about transporting nuclear waste." 
Huntsman introduced McCain at the mid-morning press conference held 
at the Grand America Hotel as the "quintessentially Western candidate 
... he understands our issues and our values and that's very, very 
important." Afterward, Huntsman acknowledged he disagrees with McCain 
on transporting nuclear waste. "When it goes through your back yard I 
would probably reflect the concern that a lot of people have," the 
governor said. Huntsman is supporting McCain's presidential bid 
despite the popularity in Utah of another GOP candidate, former 
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who headed the successful 2002 Winter 
Olympics and is a Mormon like the majority of the state's residents. 
Utah's governor said McCain "has an unparalleled world view ... he 
understands how to put the pieces back together again." Still, 
Huntsman said, within the next year, "we're all going to get around 
whoever the Republican nominee is." McCain's overnight visit came 
just over a week after Romney raised more than $1 million in Salt 
Lake City and St. George. The current frontrunner for the Republican 
nomination, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is expected in 
the state soon. Huntsman said the visits are a result of Utah's 
participation in the Western-states primary set for Feb. 5, 2008. 
Utah is participating at a cost of some $3.5 million, in the hopes of 
attracting campaign spending and candidate attention. McCain called 
Utah "a battleground state among Republicans" but said he didn't like 
so many early primaries. Spacing out the contests gives the public 
more time to consider the candidates, he said, adding that now, "it's 
pretty much over by the beginning of February." Huntsman was 
scheduled to appear with McCain Friday evening at a major fund-raiser 
in the Phoenix Convention Center that costs as much as $2,300 a 
person to attend. McCain arrived in Utah Thursday morning and spent 
time with Huntsman before attending a fund-raiser at a private 
Federal Heights home where he raised more than $150,000. Thursday 
evening, McCain headed to Deer Valley to address a group of 
executives from JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services firm. 
McCain held private meetings with a number of local supporters, 
reportedly collecting additional contributions. The senator responded 
to recent reports that some of his supporters have made anonymous, 
critical comments about Romney's membership in The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints, calling such actions "despicable." 
McCain said if that was indeed happening, he wanted to know who was 
responsible. "I would immediately condemn them. I would immediately 
make sure they had nothing to do with my campaign. It's disgraceful 
and dishonorable," he said. Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning NewsGov. Jon 
Huntsman and Sen. John McCain prepare for the press on Friday. 
Huntsman said McCain "has an unparalleled world view."      Asked if 
he were trying to appeal to Mormon voters, McCain said he was trying 
to appeal to everybody "but not on the basis of religion, but on the 
basis of how I can best give them and their children a better 

Nevada panel warned about effort to license nuclear dump 
CARSON CITY, Nev.(AP) Feb 28 - A Nevada panel fighting a proposed 
Yucca Mountain dump for nuclear waste was told Wednesday that project 
backers face big obstacles but are still seeking approval of the dump 
and of rail shipping routes - including one through downtown Reno and 

The warning to the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects prompted its 
chairman, Richard Bryan, a former state governor and U.S. senator, to 
say, ``This is no time to sit back and assume everything will unfold 
... in our favor.''

Bob Halstead, a transportation adviser to the commission, said rail 
shipments through the Reno-Sparks area would have a huge impact on 
commercial and residential properties near the route - possibly 
lowering their combined value by well over $1 billion.

Asked after the commission meeting why Nevada must press its fight 
against the dump, Halstead said, ``We've driven a stake through this 
vampire's heart three or four times - and each time he stands up and 
says, 'Yucca Mountain.'''
Halstead added that while U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-
Nev., has promised to block the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain 
project, which already has cost at least $9 billion, Nevada remains 
the No. 1 target because no other states want to take high-level 
radioactive waste.

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Feb. 5 that the DOE will prepare 
an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license for 
the dump, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, by June 2008.

President Bush has asked Congress for nearly $500 million to allow 
completion of the application.

Originally scheduled to open in 1998, the dump has been set back 
repeatedly by lawsuits, money shortfalls and scientific 
controversies. The DOE's current best-case opening date for the dump, 
which would hold 77,000 tons of waste, is 2017.

In his remarks to the commission, Halstead said some trains from 
waste-producing power plants would run on tracks parallel to 
Interstate 80 in northern Nevada, coming from the east and the west.

Trains from the west would run through downtown Reno and Sparks.

The trains would then run south to Yucca Mountain along a route near 
U.S. 95, which goes through several rural towns including Schurz, 
Hawthorne, Mina, Tonopah and Goldfield. Halstead said the DOE's 
estimated cost of upgrading rail routes and laying new track is $1.6 
billion - but he termed that ``a made-up number.''

Also speaking at the commission meeting was Sparks City Manager Shaun 
Carey, who said the DOE rejected a request for a hearing on the rail 
route. He said the route is of particular concern for his city, since 
it's home to a major rail operations yard.

Bob Loux, head of the state's Agency for Nuclear Projects, said it 
looks like the DOE wants to ``deliberately keep people in northern 
Nevada out of the process.''

DOE spokesman Allen Benson said a preliminary hearing on rail routes 
was held at the University of Nevada, Reno in late November, adding, 
``I don't know much closer we could get to Sparks City Hall.'' He 
said additional hearings will be held in northern Nevada in the 

``We're years away from routes,'' he added. ``We haven't settled on 
any routes. Our focus is on completing and submitting the licensing 

Benson also said the federal government has been hauling nuclear 
waste by truck for half a century with no problems.

Exelon, taxing bodies spar over valuation of Clinton Power Station   

CLINTON - The taxable value of the Clinton Power Station should not 
include its future potential to produce power, representatives of 
Exelon Energy Co. told a DeWitt County tax review board Thursday.

Attorneys for the utility differed with a lawyer for seven taxing 
bodies in the county on how the nuclear plant should be assessed.

At stake is millions of dollars in tax money for local schools and 
other government bodies.

The DeWitt County Board of Review met to hear opinions from Exelon 
and the taxing bodies on the most recent assessment of the plant.

DeWitt County Supervisor of Assessments Sandy Moody recently placed a 
taxable value of $200 million on the plant. Exelon's estimates place 
the equalized assessed value at $168 million, but the taxing bodies 
estimate the value at about $202 million.

The taxable value of the plant now is $100 million.

Exelon's attorney, Terry Moritz, objected to the county's inclusion 
of a permit for a possible second reactor unit as part of the plant's 
value. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made no decision 
on the permit, which would allow the plant to add a power-generating 
unit in the future.

"The Early Site Permit has no meaningful value to this facility," 
said Moritz.

The potential for a second unit makes the plant more valuable to 
buyers, if Exelon decides to sell in the future, according to Moody.

Fred Lane, attorney for the taxing bodies, told the three-member 
review panel that his appraiser used "the real-life approach" in 
arriving at the plant's taxable value. The income produced by the 
plant was a factor in assessing the plant's value, said Lane.

He said calculations did not take into consideration the $4 billion 
it cost to build the Clinton plant.

Exelon said Wednesday that the company has no objections to paying 
its fair share of property taxes in DeWitt County.

Exelon's appraisal would result in a tax bill of $7.7 million, and 
the county's estimates would mean a tax bill of $8.5 million, 
according to Exelon data.

Exelon spokesman Bruce Paulsen said the company is interested in a 
new, multiyear agreement with taxing districts. A five-year agreement 
expired last year, and the plant's equalized assessed value decreased 
to $100 million.

Clinton school Superintendent Jeff Holmes attended the review 
hearing. The district has planned its budget around the $200 million 
figure. The difference between the two sides would cost the school 
district about $400,000, according to district estimates.

The taxing board will issue its ruling on the Exelon appeal within 
seven days. 

Sandy Perle 
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations 
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc. 
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714 Extension 2306 
Fax:(949) 296-1144

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

More information about the RadSafe mailing list