The GE Stockholders’ Alliance (GESA) believes the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdowns, explosions and continuing dispersal of radioactive waste could have been prevented if design deficiencies of the GE Mark I reactors, recognized in the early 1970s, would have been acted upon, instead of ignored.
A stockholder proposal submitted by the GE Stockholders’ Alliance (GESA) is on the agenda for the General Electric annual meeting, to be held 10 am EDT April 25, 2012 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, in Detroit, MI. The GESA is particularly alarmed that 23 of the same aging GE Mark I reactors are currently operating in the U.S. All but one has received a 20-year license extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The only exception, the Fermi 2 atomic reactor located 35 miles south of Detroit in Frenchtown Township near Monroe, is expected to apply for an extension in 2014. Almost all the Mark Is have also been granted “power uprates,” meaning they are being run harder and hotter than originally designed, despite their age-related degradation.
Also of great concern to the GESA are the irradiated fuel rods that are unsafely stored at each reactor, for an indefinite duration, in an unprotected elevated fuel pool. The pools have been repeatedly re-racked to accommodate far more fuel rods than in the original design. Many U.S. GE BWR Mark I high-level radioactive waste storage pools hold more irradiated nuclear fuel than does the high-risk Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 pool in Japan.
There is now growing opposition to the proposed construction at the Fermi nuclear complex of a newly-designed General Electric-Hitachi so-called Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). The ESBWR design is under consideration for approval by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“The high-level radioactive waste storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 is at precarious risk of failure, which would lead to a fire and catastrophic radioactivity release even worse than what has already occurred, due to the lack of radiological containment over the pool,” said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear. “But the Fermi 2 pool contains far more high-level radioactive waste than Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 put together, and is itself an accident waiting to happen. With the loss of ability to circulate water, the Fermi 2 irradiated nuclear fuel pool could begin to boil off in 4.2 hours.” [Please see www.nrc.gov
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“The potential of a cataclysmic accident at an untested General Electric-Hitachi ESBWR design is always there. The next greatest immediate impacts are costs associated with the loss of opportunity to move toward renewable and energy efficiency,” said Michael Keegan of Don’t Waste Michigan. “With the cost of Fermi 3 now projected at $15 billion, and the potential of skyrocketing cost overruns, we can either go nuclear, or pursue the promise of efficiency and renewables, but we can’t do both,” he added. “To lock the state of Michigan into pursuit of the proposed Fermi 3 is a colossal travesty,” concluded Michael Keegan of Don’t Waste Michigan.
Does GE Pay Enough In Taxes?
DETROIT (Talk Radio 1270) Amid protests claiming General Electric is ducking taxes, Detroit’s Rev. Charles Williams — who organized local protests against GE — and the Wall Street Journal’s Ed Coury broke down the situation on Charlie Langton’s morning show on Talk Radio 1270.
“GE has cut 32 (thousand) jobs since 2004, received $3.2 billion in refunds from the government in 2010, and continues to not have to pay taxes and continues to outsource jobs to outside countries,” Williams said.http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/04/26/does-ge-pay-enough-in-taxes/
It is costing a fortune just to regulate the ESBWR.