Category Archives: C-10 Blog

Summer Interns rocked it at C-10!

Young people have lots of ways to use their precious time. That’s why it was so gratifying to see two stellar young ladies volunteer their time and talents to assist us with some important projects this summer.

Samantha McCraine is now at the London School of Economics.

Samantha McCraine was busy juggling other internships, waiting tables and preparing for graduate school. Still, she found time to help us freshen up our website and develop new fact sheets. We wish Samantha well at the London School of Economics, where she recently began a 12-month Master of Science program in Environmental Policy and Regulation.

Margot Springer worked closely with our Network Administrator, Mike Mansir.

Margot Springer wowed us with her maturity and level of interest in C-10’s mission as a rising high school freshman. Margot worked with our monitoring network administrator Mike Mansir to develop a new equipment inventory system. She also helped with research and data management. We hope you love Whittier Tech, Margot — don’t be a stranger!

If you know someone looking for some great experience working with a citizen science organization please refer them to our website where they can learn about our internship program.

Chernobyl and the Collapse of the Soviet Union

Newburyport Adult Ed class offers insights and lessons from local expert

The culture of obedience and the lack of the public’s ability to ask questions contributed to the chain of events that triggered the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. This is what Gary Dunbar believes, and it points to the importance of a strong democracy, freedom of speech and the role of citizen groups to engage with — and sometimes question — the government.

Gary Dunbar shares his lessons from Chernobyl and the former Soviet Union.

Dunbar is a West Newbury resident who worked for a decade as a government consultant in and around Russia and the former Soviet republics, most notably with officials trying to manage the after-effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.

“Cultural differences would make it extremely unlikely for something like Chernobyl to happen in the U.S.” said Dunbar, adding that “the macho culture in Ukraine exceeds anything I’ve ever seen; it’s a very different world.”

“What your group (the C-10 Foundation) can do in this culture is vastly important,” Dunbar observed. “You have the ability to take bureaucracy to task, to raise issues and ask questions.The fact that it exists and you’re able to ask questions is an enormously important safeguard that we have in this country.”

Continue reading Chernobyl and the Collapse of the Soviet Union

NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board rules in favor of C-10

Standing granted in case on Seabrook’s concrete

The C-10 Research & Education Foundation has been granted standing following its pro se petition to intervene in a regulatory proceeding regarding the plant’s safety and operating license.

NextEra Energy Seabrook LLC’s pending License Amendment Request is relative to the deteriorating concrete at the plant, which has been operating since 1991. Citing serious safety concerns with the concrete and flaws in the concrete testing and monitoring methodologies, C-10 sought intervenor status in the docket, and requested a public hearing.

Continue reading NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board rules in favor of C-10

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.