* 2007 *
August 23, 2007: Press release re: defense of NIRS and coalition federal court appeal charging NRC with not enforcing its own earthquake safety regulations at Palisades dry cask storage facilities for high-level radioactive waste on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
August 17, 2007: NIRS and environmental coalition defend their appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia against an NRC motion to dismiss. The coalition alleges that NRC has abdicated its duty to protect the public health and safety by failing to enforce its own earthquake safety regulations at the Palisades nuclear reactor's dry cask storage facility for high-level radioactive waste, located on sand dunes on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
August 2, 2007: NRC motion to dismiss NIRS and coalition lawsuit before D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, alleging Palisades atomic reactor's high-level radioactive waste storage facilities violate NRC's earthquake safety regulations.
July 22, 2007: No Nukes Rally Against Palisades Atomic Reactor!
July 13-15, 2007: NIRS information table at Michigan Peace Fest in Lacota about one of the oldest and most dangerously deteriorated reactors in the country – Palisades nuclear power plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline. See http://www.michiganpeacefest.com/ for more information on the event.
June 28, 2007: Citizen Groups Appeal to
Federal Court against Palisades Nuclear Plant Charge High-Level Radioactive
Waste Storage Violates Safety Regulations. NIRS Press release.
June 27, 2007: NRC staff
partially grant consideration of NIRS 2.206 enforcement petition, calling
on NRC to enforce its own safety regs vis a vis earthquake risks at Palisades
dry cask storage pads.
June 21, 2007: Rep. Upton
Seeks $5 Billion Taxpayer Subsidy for New Nuclear Reactors: Critics Charge
He's Doing Nuclear Power Industry's. NIRS press release.
May 15, 2007: Esquire magazine
reports Palisades nuclear power plant security chief falsified his background,
experience and security credentials.
February 2, 2007: NIRS
response to NRC staff recommendation that our enforcement petition --
to NRC, calling on it to enforce its own earthquake safety regulations
at the Palisades dry cask storage pads -- be rejected.
Feb. 2, 2007: Declaration
by Dr. Ross Landsman, retired NRC dry cask storage inspector, supporting
NIRS contentions about earthquake risks to dry cask storage at Palisades.
January 17, 2007: "Groups See Palisades
Nuclear Reactor License Extension as Risky Rubberstamp,” response
to NRC approval of twenty year license extension at Palisades. NIRS
* 2006 *
July 14, 2006: Updated
backgrounder and list of coalition groups opposing extension of Palisades
July 12, 2006: NIRS and coalition press release opposing Consumers Energy’s announced sale of the Palisades nuclear power plant to Entergy Nuclear on safety and security grounds.
June 22, 2006: Motion by coalition opposed to license extension for consideration of terrorism risk in Palisades proceeding.
June 20, 2006: Safety and Security Concerns about Derailment in Clare County, Michigan of Train Hauling Atomic Waste from Consumers Energy: Inconsistencies Raise Questions about Emergency Preparedness. NIRS press release.
May 19, 2006: Palisades nuke update: comments in on NRC’s draft EIS; South Haven, MI NRC mtg. next Tuesday, May 23; nuke waste alert re: reprocessing and Congressman Ehlers from Grand Rapids!
May 18, 2006: Group comments, submitted by a coalition of organizations including NIRS and numerous grassroots groups in Michigan and other U.S. states and Canadian provinces around the Great Lakes Basin, regarding NRC’s draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Palisades 20 year license extension. This coalition represents well over 200,000 residents of Michigan alone, in opposition to the dangerous extension of operations and waste generation at Palisades from 2011 to 2031.
May 18, 2006: Executive summary of coalition comments to NRC regarding its draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Palisades 20 year license extension.
May 10, 2006: Consumers Energy’s briefing to State of Michigan regulators regarding its intention to sell the Palisades reactor as quickly as possible, revealing important problems afflicting the plant. Also see notes by Kevin Kamps, NIRS nuclear waste specialist, with thoughts/remarks on the briefing.
April 4, 2006: NIRS and coalition "2.206" enforcement petition to NRC Executive Director for Operations, and supporting declaration by retired NRC dry cask storage inspector Dr. Ross Landsman, warning that Palisades' dry cask storage pads violate NRC earthquake safety regulations. With no safe place to store its high-level radioactive wastes, Palisades should be denied a 20 year license extension, and should be forced to shut down.
April 4, 2006: Summary Report on High-Level Atomic Waste Mishap at Palisades Nuclear Reactor Risks Radioactive Inferno with Casualty Potential of Thousands of Deaths Downwind, Based Upon U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Response Documents, prepared by NIRS for release at press conference at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.
March 31, 2006: “Environmental Coalition
Opposing 20 Year License Extension at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant Turns
Up the Heat,” announcing April 4 press conference at Michigan State
Capitol Building in Lansing. Press advisory
March 31, 2006: “Sample Public Comments” to NRC on its draft Environmental Impact Statement for 20 additional years of operations at Palisades. Deadline for public comment to NRC is May 18, 2006. NIRS email action alert.
March 24, 2006: Update and action alert on Palisades, announcing press conference on April 4 in Lansing and NRC draft environmental impact statement public hearings in South Haven, MI on April 5.
March 20, 2006: High-Level Atomic Waste Mishap at Palisades Nuclear Reactor Risks Radioactive Inferno with Casualty Potential of Thousands of Deaths Downwind. NIRS and coalition press release.
Participants in the August 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp hold banners on thebeach at Van Buren State Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline in southwest Michigan. The Palisades containment dome, steam rising from the mechanical draft cooling towers, and Lake Michigan itself are visible in the background. The left-hand banner reads "For our children's future, No more nuclear power." The right-hand banner reads "Nuclear-Free Great Lakes: Sustainable Energy for the New Millenium.
Participants in the August 2000 Action Camp hold a "Nuclear-Free Great Lakes: Sustainable Energy for the New Millenium" banner in Van Buren State Park in southwest Michigan, with Lake Michigan, the Palisades nuclear plant containment dome, and steam rising from the mechanical draft cooling towers visible in the background. In the foreground, along with street theater costumes such as "Seeing Dollars Signs" (an eyeball with a dollar sign, representing the greed of the nuclear industry which throws caution to the wind), white crosses bear the names of communities in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois that could be devastated from a large-scale radiation release from Palisades.
Alice Hirt of Don't Waste Michigan speaks to participants of the August, 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp on the Lake Michigan shoreline at Van Buren State Park in soutwest Michigan. She is flanked by Michael Keegan of the Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes and Kevin Kamps of NIRS. The lake is visible in the background, as is the steam rising from Palisades' mechanical draft cooling towers. In the foreground, white crosses represent communities in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois that coould be devastated -- depending on wind direction and the flow of Lake Michigan -- from a large radioactivity release from Palisades.
Kevin Kamps of NIRS explains to participants of the August 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp that due to its highly embrittled reactor pressure vessel, the emergency core cooling system at Palisades could actually cause a pressurized thermal shock to the metal, causing it to fracture like a hot glass under cold water. A large-scale radiation release would, among many other things, result in the destruction of milk from 879 surrounding dairy herds, according to official State of Michigan radiological emergency plans. Similarly, a severe radiation release from the Cook nuclear power plant just 30 miles south of Palisades would result in the ruin of 431 dairy herds. The hammer, shattered glass vessel, and empty milk jugs on the beach at Van Buren State Park -- immediately adjacent to Palisades on the Lake Michigan shoreline -- symbolize these points. Dozens of white crosses represent the communities in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois that could be wiped out by a major accident or attack at Palisades.
Palisades Nuclear Power Plant (credit: US NRC)
March 20, 2006: NIRS and grassroots coalition letter to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow requesting General Accounting Office (Congress’s investigative arm) investigation into reactor pressure vessel embrittlement and pressurized thermal shock (PTS) at Palisades and reactors across the U.S. Also urges GAO investigate why -- instead of protecting public health and safety and the environment against such risks -- NRC has instead weakened embrittlement/PTS standards, allowing dangerously deteriorated reactors such as Palisades to continue operating.
March 20, 2006: NIRS and grassroots
coalition letter to U.S. Senator Carl Levin requesting General Accounting
Office (Congress’s investigative arm) investigation into reactor
pressure vessel embrittlement and pressurized thermal shock (PTS) at Palisades
and reactors across the U.S. Also urges GAO investigate why -- instead
of protecting public health and safety and the environment against such
risks -- NRC has instead weakened embrittlement/PTS standards, allowing
dangerously deteriorated reactors such as Palisades to continue operating.
March 17, 2006: NIRS and interveners'
appeal to the five member NRC Commission of the Atomic Safety (sic) and
Licensing Board's March 7 ruling against contentions opposing the 20 year
license extension at Palisades.
March 7, 2006: Atomic Safety (sic)
and Licensing Board ruling denying all of NIRS and intervenors' contentions
against the 20 year license extension at Palisades.
* 2005 *
December 17, 2005: NIRS
press advisory, “Community Meeting Opposing the 20 Year License
Extension at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.”
December 17, 2005: Grassroots
meeting in South Haven, Michigan featuring Dave Kraft and Corey Conn of
Nuclear Energy Information Service in Evanston, Illinois speaking about
citizen epidemiology. Palisades Conversion Group, renewable energy
alternatives to nuclear power, and update on campaign against 20 year
license extension at Palisades also discussed.
November 2, 2005: Media Advisory, “Palisades
Nuclear Power Plant 20 Year License Extension on Trial,” featuring
Kevin Kamps from NIRS, Alice Hirt from Don’t Waste Michigan, and
Dr. Gordon Edwards from Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
September 15, 2005: Declaration
(affidavit) of Dr. Ross Landsman, Retired U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Nuclear Safety Engineer and Palisades Dry Cask Storage Inspector, to the
NRC Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board, in support of NIRS contention
against the 20 year license extension which held that Palisades dry cask
storage pads violate NRC earthquake regulations. The Biblical injunction
against “building your house upon the sand” comes to mind
– Both Palisades dry cask storage pads, bearing 22 fully loaded
high-level radioactive waste casks each weighing around 150 tons, are
located on sand dunes which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State
of Michigan Department of Natural Resources have identified as high-risk
erosion zones. The pad built in 1993 is less than 150 yards from the waters
of Lake Michigan!
On September 16, 2005, NIRS and the coalition
opposed to the 20 year license extension at Palisades filed this defense,
to the NRC's Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board, of its contentions
against the re-licensing.
August 30, 2005: NIRS
letter to Michael Tenenbaum, Environmental Coordinator of the Gun Lake
Native American Tribe in Dorr, Michigan, concerning the impacts upon Native
American cultural and spiritual resources located on the power plant site
and along its transmission lines, issues largely being ignored and
neglected by the nuclear utility, NRC, and other responsible state and
federal agencies such as the State of Michigan Historic Preservation Office
and U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Similar letters were sent to the following
additional tribes in Michigan: Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians of Michigan;
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Peshawbestown; Little
River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee; Little Traverse Bay Bands of
Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs; Nottawaseppi Huron Potawatomi in Fulton;
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Dowagiac; and the Saginaw Chippewa
Indian Tribe in Mount Pleasant.
August 29, 2005: Letter
from NIRS to over 50 concerned citizens and NIRS members within 50 miles
of the Palisades nuclear power plant whose official intervention provided
NIRS with legal standing, updating them on recent developments with the
Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board proceeding as well as the NRC
environmental impact statement scoping process.
August 22, 2005: NIRS and Great Lakes grassroots coalition public comments regarding NRC’s Environmental Impact Statement scoping proceeding for the proposed 20 Year extension of the operating license at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. These comments were submitted by the August 22, 2005 deadline because NRC had still not responded to our request for an extension to the public comment period, which we first asked for on July 28th and then again on August 19th.
August 19, 2005: NIRS and grassroots coalition letter requesting the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) postpone its August 22, 2005 deadline for public comments regarding environmental scoping on Palisades’ 20 year extension. Our initial request for a postponement was made at a July 28, 2005 NRC public meeting. No response was ever received from NRC.
August 8, 2005: A growing coalition, including NIRS and two dozen grassroots Great Lakes environmental groups, issues a statement opposing the 20 year license extension at Palisades (coalition list updated Jan. 21, 2006).
On August 8, 2005, NIRS and a coalition of groups and concerned citizens filed these contentions with the NRC's Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board against the 20 year license extension at Palisades nuclear power plant.
August 8, 2005: NIRS and intervenors’ contentions regarding adverse impacts upon Native American rights and values related to 20 year license extension at Palisades.
* 2004 *
December 14, 2004: NRC
document, “Generalization of Plant-Specific Pressurized Thermal
Shock (PTS) Risk Results to Additional Plants,” listing the 30 most
embrittled reactor pressure vessels in the U.S. Palisades is listed in
the top 5 worst embrittled.
February 6, 1997: Letter from Dr. Mary Sinclair, Ph.D., co-chair of Don’t Waste Michigan, to the five U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners, highlighting possible perjury – as well as clearly established incompetence – by NRC staff when it assured a federal judge that dry storage casks could be safely unloaded at Palisades. (2Mb)
February 17, 1994: Letter from Dr. Ross Landsman, NRC Region III dry cask storage inspector, to NRC Chairman Ivan Selin, warning about the risk at Palisades that an earthquake could result in high-level radioactive waste storage casks falling into Lake Michigan or being buried in loose sand. Dr. Landsman writes “Actually, its (sic) the consequences that might occur from an earthquake that I’m concerned about. The casks can either fall into Lake Michigan or be buried in the loose sand because of liquefaction…It is apparent to me that NMSS doesn’t realize the catastrophic consequences of their continued reliance on their current ideology.” Underwater submersion could lead to inadvertent nuclear chain reactions in the fissile materials still present in the wastes; burial under sand could cause the wastes to dangerously overheat.
July 8, 1993: “Pressurized Thermal Shock Potential at Palisades: History of Embrittlement of Reactor Pressure Vessels in Pressurized Water Reactors,” prepared by Michael J. Keegan, Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes, Monroe, Michigan (re-published August 3, 2005)