Safety for Citizens: Why I think about Seabrook Nuclear Plant, and Why You Should Too

By Natalie Hildt Treat, C-10 Executive Director

So, you live near a nuclear power plant. Not something you think about much. It sits there, rising from the Seabrook, New Hampshire marsh; you see it from the beach or your way up Route 1. It makes electricity, it doesn’t belch black smoke – good things.

Maybe you think about it a couple times a year – like when school starts and you are asked to sign the permission slip for your kid to be given potassium iodide (KI) which will help protect their thyroid in the event of an accident at Seabrook Station. Hopefully you held onto that calendar from the state with the quaint antique photos. The one that says to keep in the event of an emergency because there’s evacuation instructions inside. Not a bad idea to review that, and discuss with your family. To learn more and consider your own emergency plan, here’s the link to MEMA‘s website if you live in Massachusetts, or HSEM if you live in New Hampshire.  Continue reading Safety for Citizens: Why I think about Seabrook Nuclear Plant, and Why You Should Too

C-10 testifies before Atomic Safety & Licensing Board on concrete testing at Seabrook Station

By Sarah Doenmez and Natalie Hildt Treat

The term “pro se” is from Latin, meaning “on one’s own behalf.” As in, without lawyers. Members of the C-10 Research & Education Foundation’s board of directors have been toiling without the benefit of legal counsel in a case we feel very passionate about: the failing concrete at Seabrook Station nuclear power plant.

Sarah Doenmez and Pat Skibee look on, while Chris Nord testifies via video conference.

Continue reading C-10 testifies before Atomic Safety & Licensing Board on concrete testing at Seabrook Station

NRC tells public Seabrook is safe, admits concrete a reason for concern

Once a year the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) holds a public meeting for the people who live near nuclear power plants to hear from them that everything is A-Okay. That the plant receives thousands of hours of inspection, and any problems are minor, and the public is safe.

Last week was our turn, as about dozen NRC staffers came to offer their presentation about safety at Seabrook Station. It was not long on details. Of course, the folks from NextEra, Seabrook’s owner, were in the room. But they were quiet. The ones who had a lot to say and tough questions to ask were state legislators from either side of the border, and concerned citizens – several of whom sit on the C-10 Foundation’s board of directors, and who have closely followed developments with Seabrook’s failing concrete.  Continue reading NRC tells public Seabrook is safe, admits concrete a reason for concern

There is no “away” with nuclear waste storage

Visitors from Texas, Michigan and Vermont call on us to work together for safer solutions

Rose Gardner explained how communities in New Mexico and West Texas would be impacted by the transport and storage of High Level Nuclear Waste.

Rose Gardner watches the trucks filled with nuclear waste from around the country roll through her rural community on the Texas-New Mexico border. She’s worried about the plans to create a “high level” nuclear waste (HLNW) facility in her town — so-called interim storage — because there is no permanent U.S. storage solution for the most toxic stuff on earth. Besides that, the communities of Andrews County, Texas and Eunice, New Mexico are already impacted by an array of environmental contaminants.

Rose is a grandmother, owns a flower shop, and is an active member of the local Sierra Club Chapter. She became active in environmentalism when a company called Louisiana Energy Services applied for a license to enrich uranium with gas centrifuges for nuclear fuel rod production five miles from Eunice, raising concerns that the uranium waste could contaminate her water, air and land.  Continue reading There is no “away” with nuclear waste storage

Failing Concrete at Seabrook Station: Top Ten Reasons why C-10 Foundation Asked the NRC for Public Hearing

April 11, 2017  The C-10 Research and Education Foundation, Inc. has formally asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a public hearing in the matter of deteriorating concrete at the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, as well as requesting intervenor status in NRC Docket 50-443. 

Debbie Grinnell, board member and former research director, spoke about concrete problems at our 2017 annual public meeting, while board member Chris Nord listened.

The proceeding relates to the License Amendment Request (LAR) 16-03 NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC (NextEra) submitted in the summer of 2016, seeking to “Revise Current Licensing Basis to Adopt a Methodology for the Analysis of Seismic Category I Structures with Concrete Affected by Alkali-Silica Reaction.”

The C-10 Foundation has long warned of the irreversible concrete degradation known as alkali-silica reaction, or “ASR” that is ongoing at Seabrook Station. C-10 Foundation’s petition lays forth ten contentions that the group asserts merit further investigation and a public hearing by the NRC, including what it sees as insufficient testing of concrete at the Seabrook Station nuclear reactor and lack of transparency as to the test results and the seriousness of degradation.

“We are concerned not only about the public health and safety implications of allowing the current operating license to stand given what we know about the plant’s concrete, but also about the precedent it would set for the entire U.S. nuclear industry,” said Natalie Hildt Treat, Executive Director of the C-10 Foundation. For details on the ten related contentions C-10 sites as grounds for a hearing, read the petition here.

C-10 Submits Comments on NextEra License Amendment Request

March 9, 2017 – Members of the C-10 Foundation board of directors submitted comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission relative to NextEra Energy Seabrook LLC’s License Amendment Request (LAR) 16-30. In the LAR, NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC  seeks to “Revise Current Licensing Basis to Adopt a Methodology for the Analysis of Seismic Category I Structures with Concrete Affected by Alkali-Silica Reaction.”

Photo from sgh.com

 

This docket pertains to the calculations of the concrete’s ability to bear load and withstand a seismic event such as an earthquake.  But in C-10’s view, this LAR is a paper solution. The thousands of tiny cracks and larger ones in the power plant’s concrete dome and retaining walls remain, and the concrete continues to degrade. As noted in our comments, experts have studied this issue, and there is no known solution or remedy. More information on the proceeding is here.  Read our comments.