Environmental Issues: Nuclear Energy, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament

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All Documents in Nuclear Energy, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament

Preventing Hydrogen Explosions In Severe Nuclear Accidents
Unresolved Safety Issues Involving Hydrogen Generation And Mitigation

Report
After Fukushima Daiichi's three devastating hydrogen explosions, the NRC decided to relegate investigating severe accident hydrogen safety issues to the lowest-priority and least proactive stage of its post-Fukushima Daiichi accident response.
Testimony of Geoffrey H. Fettus for Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on S. 1240, Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013
Testimony
Written Testimony of Geoffrey H. Fettus, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, for Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on S. 1240, Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 Get document in pdf.
From Mutual Assured Destruction to Mutual Assured Stability
Exploring a New Comprehensive Framework for U.S. and Russian Nuclear Arms Reductions

Report
NRDC conducted two workshops, in Washington, D.C. in 2011 and in Moscow in 2012, with members of The Institute for USA and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, to examine questions surrounding the future of U.S.-Russian arms control. Our goals were to describe a set of further arms control options and to facilitate a greater understanding of Russia's perspectives on its national security and how nuclear weapons fit into Russian security planning.
Preventing Hydrogen Explosions at Indian Point Nuclear Plant
Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Continue to Make Inaccurate and Misleading Statements Regarding the Indian Point Energy Center

Issue Brief
The two pressurized water reactors at Entergy's Indian Point Energy Center remain poorly equipped to minimize the risks of explosive hydrogen that would be produced in a severe nuclear accident involving one or both of these units. In light of this nuclear safety deficiency, NRDC opposes continued operation of the reactors beyond their current license terms.
The Big Moat: How NRC Rules Suppress Meaningful Public Participation in NRC Regulatory Decision-making
Testimony
On January 31, 2013, Chris Paine, the Nuclear Program Director at Natural Resources Defense Council, presented a statement to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on their role in reducing meaningful public participation in the commission’s efforts to ensure nuclear safety. Get document in pdf.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Halts Nuclear Reactor Licensing Decisions in Response to NRDC Lawsuit
Analysis
On June 8, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals decided in favor of NRDC and other petitioners who challenged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) over their "Waste Confidence Decision" and Temporary Storage Rule. The Court ruled that the NRC violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to address the impacts of the reality that the United States does not have a permanent storage facility for toxic radioactive nuclear waste.
Nuclear Fuel's Dirty Beginnings
Environmental Damage and Public Health Risks from Uranium Mining in the American West

Overview
Uranium mining anywhere poses significant environmental, economic, and social risks. In the high plains, Rocky Mountains, and intermountain West, however, where water resources are already scarce, it is inevitable that water-intensive uranium extraction poses significant risks to the region's environmental and public health.
NRDC's Response to Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Lessons of the disaster can be used to strengthen the regulation of nuclear power generation in the U.S. and worldwide

Overview
While the long-term and full extent of the damage from the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains unknown, it is already clear that clinging to the status quo offers inadequate insurance against the occurrence of such a catastrophic nuclear event in the U.S.
What if the Fukushima nuclear fallout crisis had happened here?
Overview
There are 104 nuclear reactors in the United States. If one of them lost both primary and backup power for even a matter of hours, it could lead to a meltdown and an airborne radioactive plume. See what could have happened if a reactor in your area had a severe nuclear accident on March 11, 2011.
Indian Point Nuclear Plant Study
Nuclear Plant Not Needed to Keep New York State Powered

Overview

NRDC and the environmental group Riverkeeper commissioned a report from Synapse Energy Economics on energy alternatives to the Indian Point Energy Center, a 2,000 megawatt nuclear power plant in Westchester County, New York. Our analysis shows that a wide range of options are available to make the transition to a safe, sustainable energy future for New York without Indian Point.

The Fukushima Nuclear Accident and Its Implications for Nuclear Power in the U.S. and Globally
Overview
This memorandum from Christopher Paine, Nuclear Program Director at NRDC briefly summarizes: the course of the Fukushima accident and subsequent releases of radiation; key questions for Japan posed by the accident; the U.S. response to date; the implications of the accident for a fresh safety assessment US reactors; and NRDC’s general approach to nuclear power generation. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Thomas B. Cochran, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, Nuclear Program, on the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and Implications for U.S. Nuclear Power Reactors, April 11, 2011
Testimony
Tom Cochran testifies on the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and its Implications for U.S. Nuclear Power Reactors at the Joint Hearings of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and the Committee on Environment and Public Works on April 12, 2011 Get document in pdf.
Nuclear Islands: International Leasing of Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Cycle Sites
Report
This journal article and slide presentation from NRDC's Nuclear Program describes the establishment of a new freestanding voluntary "International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Association" (INFCA) alongside the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remedy known gaps in the prevailing nonproliferation regime.
Testimony on Nuclear Energy Developments
Testimony
Statement of Thomas B. Cochran, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, and Christopher E. Paine, Director of NRDC's nuclear program, on Nuclear Energy Developments before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, March 18, 2009. Get document in pdf.
Bibliography of Works by Thomas B. Cochran
Index
Dr. Thomas B. Cochran is a senior scientist in the nuclear program and holds the Wade Greene Chair for Nuclear Policy at NRDC. His publications, presentations and testimony are collected here.
Bibliography of Works by Robert S. Norris
Index
Dr. Robert S. Norris is senior research associate with NRDC in Washington, DC. His principal areas of expertise include all aspects of the nuclear weapons programs of the United States, Soviet Union/Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. His publications, presentations and testimony are collected here.
Estimates of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, 2007 and 2012
Overview
This fact sheet, which challenges the U.S. government’s secrecy over the size of its nuclear weapons stockpile and the number of dismantled nuclear weapons, estimates that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile currently includes approximately 9,930 nuclear warheads, and that the stockpile will decline to about 5,040 by the end of 2012.
New Nuclear Power Plants Are Not a Solution for America’s Energy Needs
Index
New nuclear power plants are unlikely to provide a significant fraction of future U.S. needs for low-carbon energy. NRDC favors more practical, economical and environmentally sustainable approaches to reducing both U.S. and global carbon emissions, focusing on the widest possible implementation of end-use energy-efficiency improvements, and on policies to accelerate commercialization of clean, flexible, renewable energy technologies.
Peddling Plutonium
An Analysis of the President’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

Analysis
This March 2006 analysis from NRDC's nuclear program finds the Bush administration’s "vision" of a taxpayer-funded global enterprise to extract and recycle plutonium to be unaffordable, uneconomic, unrealistic, unreliable and unsafe.

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