Tag Archives: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Did a bribe influence Georgia judge's Obama eligibility ruling?

On February 3, 2012, a state administrative law judge Michael Malihi inexplicably ruled in favor of the defendant, Obama, in an unprecedented hearing on a sitting U.S. president’s eligibility to be on Georgia’s 2012 election ballot.
In so doing, Malihi reversed his own prior declaration that he would issue a default ruling in favor of the plaintiffs because neither the defendant nor his attorney (Michael Jablonski) even appeared at the hearing.
In an interview with Rev. James David Manning, private investigator Susan Daniels noted that within a week after the hearing, the state of Georgia received approval for two nuclear-power plants from the Obama administration. What a coincidence!
In other words, the judge and Georgia’s secretary of state Brian Kemp received an offer they couldn’t refuse were bribed.
Now here are more details of the 2 nuke-plants from ExposeObama.com.
H/t beloved Tina.
~Eowyn

Michael Malihi (l); Brian Kemp (r)

Was The Georgia Secretary Of State’s Decision “Greased”?

”That thing was greased,” as they say in Chicago,referring to a political phenomenon known as “being handled before table.”  Well,bloggers are asking,was it?  Word now coming out reveals just two days after Secretary of State Brian Kemp gave Barack Obama the green light to appear on Georgia election ballots, the Department of Energy awarded Kemp’s state an eye popping $8.3 billion loan guarantee  to begin construction on two nuclear plants.  In the face of “a shocking dissent by Nuclear Regulatory Commission CHAIRMAN Director Gregory B. Jazcko,”  four other commissioners approved awarding Southern Energy the first nuclear construction licenses since 1978,just one year before the tragedy of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster put a hold on new U.S. nuclear plant construction.  No new licenses have been approved until this huge Vogtle project got its go ahead to build two new reactors near Augusta.
“Jazcko said that the approved designs did not take the lessons of Fukushima into account. I cannot support issuing this license as if Fukushima never happened,” he told other NRC members before their shocking vote to approve this estimated $14 billion project.  Friends of the Earth’s climate and energy project Director Damon Moglen is vowing to challenge the validity of the newly approved license in court.  “The license may be granted,but these reactors are far from a done deal,” he said.  Applications for 16 other plants looking to build 25 more reactors are on file with the NRC according to CNN Money reporter Steve Hargreaves ,who added,“there are two applications submitted for brand new nuclear plants-one in Levy County,FL,and another outside Gaffney,S.C.”
While other viable nuclear construction projects await approval,the Georgia project got the green light in spite of the NRC director’s vehement objection as well as “12 sizeable construction change order requests (and) long-running site-specific design and fabrication problems (which) have confounded Westinghouse and its lead contractor for more than two years.”
So on February 7,2012,Georgia Secretary of State Kemp stated “after careful consideration of Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi’s initial decision and all record evidence based on the criteria set forth in this process,I find that the Respondent,President Barack Obama,meets the State of Georgia’s eligibility requirements.”   And a scant two days later,Obama’s DOE finds the money to award Kemp’s state a whopping $8.3 billion loan guarantee for a $14 billion nuclear project and license approvals not done in the industry in over 30 years!
One blogger said after the Malihi story,“This crap needs to end–NOW!!!”  Another blogger who tipped me off about the Malihi-Nuclear decision connection mused,“The fix was in long before this challenge was ever submitted.”
Note:The Vogtle nuclear site is located near Waynesboro,GA,according to Wikipedia.

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Berm Collapsed in Nebraska Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

Photo credit: Larry Geiger

A berm is a level space, shelf, or raised barrier separating two areas. Since the Missouri River began flooding, contractors have been busy installing sandbags and earthen berms to protect the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant from flooding.

But KETV7 of Omaha, Nebraska, reports that a temporary berm designed to hold back floods at the nuclear power plant has collapsed. A piece of equipment punctured the aqua dam (or berm) at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Water now surrounds two buildings at the plant, but federal officials and the Omaha Public Power District said there’s no danger although the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been dispatched to inspect the plant.

ABC News reports, June 27, 2011, that the breach of the berm allowed Missouri River flood waters to reach containment buildings and transformers and forcing the shutdown of electrical power. Backup generators are cooling the nuclear material at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station. The plant has not operated since April, and officials say there is no danger to the public. Nevertheless, federal inspectors are on the scene.

Meanwhile, there was no protecting thousands of homes in Minot, N.D., where flooding of the Souris River hit its peak today, flooding more than 4,000 homes.

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

Wikipedia says that “According to officials, the Fort Calhoun plant was built to withstand a 500 year flooding event and though by June 14, 2011, much of the facility was surrounded by the swollen Missouri River, Omaha Public Power District officals were confident that enough redundancies were in place to ensure adequate safety. It was reported on June 17, 2011 that the plant was in “safe cold shutdown” mode and that four weeks worth of additional fuel had been brought in to power backup generators, should they be needed. The Army Corps of Engineers indicated that with average precipitation, the Missouri River would not go above 1,008 feet above sea level and OPPD officials stated that the current flood protection efforts would protect the plant to 1,010–1,012 feet above sea level. Officials indicated the spent fuel pool is at 1,038.5 feet above sea level. The Federal Aviation Administration has declared a “temporary flight restriction,” in a two nautical mile radius, centered on the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility. This restriction went into effect on June 6, 2011, at 4:31 PM, and remains in effect “until further notice.”

The Omaha World-Herald today reports: “Water now surrounds the auxiliary and containment buildings [of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant], which are designed to handle flooding up to 1,014 feet above sea level. The river is at 1,006.3 feet and isn’t forecast to exceed 1,008 feet.

On Sunday the Missouri River was more than 3 feet below the level that would require Nebraska’s other nuclear power plant — Cooper Nuclear Station, near Brownville — to shut down. NPPD thinks it can continue operating the plant through the summer.

According to Wikipedia, in 2010, the population within 10 miles of Fort Calhoun was 20,639; the population within 50 miles was 953,410. The closest major city is Omaha, with a population of 408,958, whose center is 18 miles from the plant.

~Eowyn

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Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant Flooded. Missouri Levees Breached

[Update, June 27, 2011: Berm in Fort Calhoun collapsed.]

The AP reports, June 19, 2011, that several levees in northern Missouri have been breached and are failing to hold back the surge of water being released from upstream dams. Authorities said water — some of it from recent rain — began pouring over levees Saturday night and Sunday morning in Holt and Atchison counties, flooding farmland and numerous homes.

Mark Manchester, deputy director of emergency management for Atchison County said the river level has reached 44.6 feet, the highest on record and about 4 to 5 inches higher than 1993 flooding levels. He said minor flooding starts at 33 feet and major flooding at 43 feet.

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant flooded, June 19, 2011.

Fort Calhoun 3 days ago, June 16, 2011.

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is located on the west bank of the Missouri River, 20 miles north of Omaha, in Nebraska. The power plant is owned and operated by the Omaha Public Power District. It has one Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactor generating 500 megawatts of electricity.

Claims that Nuclear Plant is Safe

As the Missouri River continues to rise, the Nebraska Public Power District issued a flooding alert Sunday for its Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in southeast Nebraska. But the utility’s spokesman Mark Becker said the “notification of unusual event” sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was expected as the river swells above record levels. The declaration is the least serious of four emergency notifications established by the federal commission. The plant was operating Sunday at full capacity, and there was no threat to plant employees or to the public, Becker said.

Rumors

3 days ago, however, it was claimed that the Obama administration has ordered a news blackout over Fort Calhoun.

Alas, that report is the handiwork of the exotically named Sorcha Faal, the nom de plume of David Booth. Often claiming some exclusive anonymous Russian government/military source that cannot be verified and is not reported anywhere else, Faal is a notorious purveyor of faux news. S/he invents them out of whole cloth.

My first encounter with Faal was in autumn of 2009. S/he wrote a story for the strictly online “newspaper” called EU Times. In it, Faal claimed that Obama had recalled our troops from overseas to Washington, DC, in preparation for martial law. We all know that never happened! That is why I take everything Faal writes with a huge grain of salt.

The Omaha Public Power District has a web page debunking rumors. Click here.

Reasons for Concern

Having said that, we still have reasons to be concerned about the situation at Fort Calhoun.

1. The “No Fly” Zone

To begin with, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a “no fly” zone over the Calhoun reactor.

According to Dan Yurman of TheEnergyCollective.com, however, the “no fly” zone is to prevent planes and news helicopters from colliding with power lines or each other. Mike Jones, a spokesman for the plant, said that due to the rising flood waters, a lot of planes and news helicopters are flying over the reactor and some were coming in quite low. This is the reason the FAA issued a Notice to Airmen, banning over-flights of the reactor. The NRC insists the “no fly” directive is not about the potential release of radiation.

2. Vulnerable to Flooding

There is another more credible reason to be concerned about the situation at Fort Calhoun.

In an article for Rense.com, June 15, 2011, Tom Burnett writes:

Calhoun stores its spent fuel in ground-level pools which are underwater anyway – but they are open at the top. When the Missouri river pours in there, it’s going to make Fukushima look like an x-ray. But that’s not all. There are a LOT of nuclear plants on both the Missouri and Mississippi and they can all go to hell fast. […] the fuel is all sitting OUTSIDE the reactor waiting to wash away or explode – which will destroy about 15,000 square miles of what used to be the corn belt.  That’s all being washed away by the flood waters anyway. Calhoun may already be spewing radiation into the flooding Missouri…the public will be the last to be told.  Therefore, everything the river water touches on its way downstream will or could become contaminated. This could be nothing…or, it could wipe out the middle of America.”

Burnett is not being making things up. For in 2003, when the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant had its operating license renewed for an additional 20 years, expiring in 2033, the renewal report had sounded this note of caution:

“During identification and evaluation of flood barriers, unsealed through wall penetrations in the outside wall of the intake, auxiliary and chemistry and radiation protection buildings were identified that are below the licensing basis flood elevation. A summary of the root causes included: a weak procedure revision process; insufficient oversight of work activities associated with external flood matters; ineffective identification, evaluation and resolution of performance deficiencies related to external flooding; and ‘safe as is’ mindsets relative to external flooding events.

In 2010, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted an inspection of Fort Calhoun Station (FCS) and found that the plant did not have adequate procedures to protect the intake structure and auxiliary building against external flooding events. Specifically, contrary to Technical Specification 5.8.1.a, the station failed to maintain procedures for combating a significant flood as recommended by Regulatory Guide 1.33, Appendix A, section 6.w, “Acts of Nature.”

Looking for information on Fort Calhoun, I found this disconcerting piece of news by ketv.com last April 1, 2011:

Fort Calhoun’s nuclear power plant is one of three reactors across the country that federal regulators said they are most concerned about. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said Fort Calhoun’s reactor is operating safely, but it’s still on the shortlist because they want to make sure it’s prepared to handle major emergencies, like flooding. Last year, federal regulators questioned the station’s flood protection protocol. NRC officials said they felt the Omaha Public Power District should do more than sandbagging in the event of major flooding along the Missouri river.”

According to ketv.com, “OPPD officials said they have already made amends and added new flood gates.”

We can only hope that OPPD indeed had addressed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s concerns and did make those “amends” to Fort Calhoun’s flood protection protocol.

H/t beloved fellow Joseph for the Burnett article.

~Eowyn

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