Message to SAFE from Greenpeace: “We need solutions that are fast and affordable and that rules out new nuclear power.”

This is from Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst since 2001. He starts by commenting on the 2013 movie about “new nuclear power,” Pandora’s Promise:

quotation marks

…I do have this article from FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), which calls the film pure propaganda.

and this from Eco watch:

I also mentioned the articles by Joe Romm, a MIT physicist and climate advocate who has had an ongoing battle with the utter garbage produced by the BreakThrough
Institute & the PP [Pandora’s Promise] crowd. Here are a few of my favorites:

On Pandora’s Promise:

On BTI [Breakthrough Institute] :

And while I respect & supported James Hansen and his whistleblowing on the Bush administration’s climate change denial he doesn’t know nukes!

If we want to abate climate change we need solutions that are fast and affordable, and that rules out new nuclear power.



Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst since 2001

Movie Review by Edwin Lyman of UCS: Put “Pandora’s Promise” Back in the Box

[tomorrow: commentary on “new” nuclear power by Jim Riccio from Greenpeace]

Salem Alliance for the Environment has been getting a lot of questions from people about the safety and cost of new designs for nuclear reactors. We got in touch with Edwin Lyman at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a senior scientist in the UCS Global Security Program. He is an expert on nuclear weapons policy, nuclear materials, and nuclear terrorism. His comment on the 2013 film: “Put ‘Pandora’s Promise’ back in the box!”

“…The film also puts forth the Integral Fast Reactor, a metal-fueled fast breeder reactor, as a visionary nuclear reactor design that could solve all of nuclear power’s problems by being meltdown-proof and consuming its own waste as fuel. However, it glosses over the myriad safety and security problems associated with fast-breeder reactors. The film makes much of an experiment conducted at the EBR-II, a fast reactor prototype that purported to demonstrate the safety of the reactor. However, again engaging in cherry-picking, it did not discuss the fact that the tests only simulated some kinds of accidents, and that such reactors are inherently unstable under other conditions. It also does not bother to explain the very real proliferation concern that led the Clinton administration to terminate development of the reactor: the fact that spent fuel reprocessing, needed for the fast reactor fuel cycle, produces large quantities of nuclear weapon-usable materials in forms that are vulnerable to theft. Contrary to its portrayal in the film, reprocessing increases, rather than decreases, the volume of nuclear waste requiring disposal…”

Read the blog post by Edwin Lyman.


Edwin Lyman of Union of Concerned Scientists

SALEM NEWS: Lawmakers want nuclear plant shuttered

Four state legislators are calling for the shutdown of Seabrook Nuclear
Plant, due to safety risks. Please thank them! Massachusetts State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, Massachusetts State Representative James M. Kelcourse, Massachusetts State Senator Daniel A. Wolf, and Massachusetts State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante.

From Angeljean Chiaramida, Staff Writer (Jun 2, 2016) —

According to the legislators’ letter, there are three reasons why they want NextEra Energy Seabrook shuttered. First is the continuing concrete degradation condition known as alkali-silica reaction, or ASR, that affects the concrete walls at the power plant.

The second reason is the legislators believe that, should there ever be a problem at the power plant, “a timely, safe, and realistic evacuation of the (10-mile) evacuation zone and beyond in the case of a nuclear public safety risk is impossible.” They also believe the evacuation zone should be extended beyond the 10-mile radius.

Their last reason criticizes the NRC specifically.

“Thirdly, the NRC has failed to provide adequate oversight, particularly over the degradation that plagues the Seabrook Station,” they wrote in the letter. “The NRC’s lack of knowledge about the progression of the degradation combined with the non-existent regulatory track record on concrete degradation has already put people of New England at unknown risk.”

Read more.

sen kathleen o'connor ives
Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives

‘New’ nuclear reactors? Same old story

The two main obstacles to new designs for nuclear reactors are still exactly the same: cost and unforeseen technical problems:

The nuclear industry is forever reinventing itself with one brilliant ‘new’ idea after another, Amory Lovins wrote in this classic 2009 essay. But whether it’s touting the wonders of future SMRs, IFRs or LFTRs, the reality never changes: the reactors they are building right now are over time, over budget and beset by serious, entirely unforeseen technical problems.

“But on closer examination, the two kinds most often promoted – Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs) and thorium reactors – reveal no economic, environmental, or security rationale, and the thesis is unsound for any nuclear reactor.”

Read the essay in The Ecologist issue of April 12, 2016.

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