Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Appeals Court Upholds Ruling that Virginia Mines are Liable For Selenium Pollution

Appeals Court Upholds Ruling that Virginia Mines are Liable For Selenium Pollution



The “Keep the Ban” Billboard  on Hwy 29 and Highway Rt. 58  is a bold reminder that the threat of uranium mining, milling and radioactive waste disposal remains a clear and present danger in Southside and across Virginia. 
 It is strategically located near Virginia Uranium Inc.’s Coles Hill deposit.

We need  $3750 to maintain the billboard until G.A. meets in January
  We remain committed to maintaining the billboard as long as necessary and, if funding allows, erecting additional billboards and possibly placing signs at local sports fields.

We need your help in order to maintain the current billboard and possibly contract for additional billboards and signs.

Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.  

Please send your billboard contribution to
P. O. Box 11521,
Danville, VA 24543-1521.  
 PRIDE is a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, which is a 501 (c) (3) organization.  PRIDE is accepting donations for the “KTB” Billboard Campaign.

…No amount is too great or too small

        With appreciation,

        P. O. Box 11521
        Danville, VA 24543-1521

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coal Ash Stories

Groups express concern about coal ash bill
Environmental groups are asking two key North Carolina lawmakers to change legislation they say weakens the state's protections against coal ash pollution.
Friday, July 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM

New coal ash landfill illustrates bigger challenge for NC
A new landfill in Person County is one small step toward solving North Carolina's coal-ash problem. Even environmentalists like it. The question that remains is how long will it take Duke Energy to clean things up, how much will it cost, and...

NC, Va. groups to monitor coal ash in Dan River
Two water protection groups are teaming up to continue monitoring the Dan River for large deposits of coal ash from a massive spill in North Carolina that flowed into Virginia.
Friday, July 18, 2014 at 3:09 AM

EPA: Duke done dredging coal ash from NC river
Duke Energy has completed removal of large pockets of coal ash from the Dan River months after a massive spill at a North Carolina power plant, federal environmental officials said Thursday.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Weak coal ash bill an affront to North Carolinians
The bill has been touted as the first state-level legislation in the country to deal with toxic coal ash. As one state senator rightly noted, it would "set the standard for the rest of the country on coal ash." Yet changes the NC House...
Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Coal ash, fish tales and the legacy we’ll leave in NC
A bill has been introduced in the NC Senate that would leave the fate of coal ash ponds to a commission, appointed by the General Assembly and the governor. Duke Power, DENR, NC politicians shouldn’t pick and choose which of our rivers and...
Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Friday, July 25, 2014 11:56 am

Environmental groups are asking two key North Carolina lawmakers to change legislation they say weakens the state's protections against coal ash pollution.

Environmentalists: Coal ash layers still evident in Dan River

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:01 pm

Government authorities should scrap a recent decision halting Dan River cleanup efforts and make Duke Energy recover more of the coal ash that spilled this winter from its closed power plant near Eden, environmentalists say.
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Health agency says it's OK to use Dan River    

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 6:35 pm

North Carolina's public health agency is recommending lifting a recreational water advisory for a river that was polluted by a massive coal ash spill in February.

Law group says 94 percent of deposit still in river

Monday, July 21, 2014 7:23 pm

An environmental group has criticized Duke Energy following its clean-up of a 2,500-ton coal ash deposit at Schoolfield Dam, saying the company has not accounted for the remainder of its 39,000-ton coal ash spill into the Dan River.
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Va. Tech researchers search for ways to better trace effects spills

Monday, July 21, 2014 7:19 pm

 Virginia Tech researchers hope a $25,000 National Science Foundation grant will help them find better ways to trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills like the one in February that fouled 70 miles of the Dan River from Eden, North Carolina, to Kerr Lake in Virginia.
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Living with coal ash in our river

Sunday, July 20, 2014 7:00 am

This community has been too passive about the Dan River and its gift of a steady, drought-resistant source of clean drinking water. We need to be more vigilant about protecting the Dan River from harm. If we don’t do it, who will?

Officials can’t find any more deposits to remove from the Dan River

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:56 pm

Federal and state authorities reached a milestone recently in calling at least a temporary halt to coal ash removal efforts linked to this winter’s Dan River spill.

EPA says Dan River back to pre-coal ash spill quality

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:22 pm

Water quality in the Dan River has returned to “normal,” according to Myles Bartos of the Environmental Protection Agency.
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Senate nixes House coal ash bill, negotiating next

Monday, July 14, 2014 7:56 pm

Legislation designed to clean up coal ash ponds at Duke Energy power plants in North Carolina is now heading to final negotiations after the Senate rejected the House version of the bill.

Read more here:

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Monday, July 28, 2014

BWX Technologies: does more than work for the Navy!

BWX Technologies



Last updated: October 29, 2013

Lynchburg, Va.

This site handled (or was contaminated by) uranium, according to government records. See below for more details.

Government Assessments

“Babcock and Wilcox Company's Nuclear Facilities Plant in Lynchburg, VA, performed work for a variety of AEC and DOE projects. Babcock and Wilcox Company's Nuclear Facilities Plant in Lynchburg, VA, participated in the AEC's Oxide Pellet Fabrication Program, which was managed by the New York Operations Office.

Records indicate that shipments of enriched uranium were made to and from the Fernald facility during the years 1968-1972.

The company also recovered highly enriched uranium from weapons scrap received from the DOE's Oak Ridge facility between 1985 and 1996.

 In 1997 the Babcock & Wilcox Company facility in Lynchburg, VA became the BWX Technologies facility. From 1998 to 2000, the company fulfilled a contract for the recovery of enriched uranium from scrap materials containing beryllium.

The Lynchburg plant also participated in a DOE-sponsored program called Project Sapphire, under which the plant had responsibility from 1995 to 2001 for downblending enriched uranium obtained from the government of Kazakhstan.”
Radioactive Materials / Other Materials of Interest
  • uranium
FUSRAP* Status: Status unclear
NIOSH* 2011 Evaluation: Potential exists for significant residual radiation (from 1960 to 1967, from 1973 to 1984, and from 2002 to time of study) 
“The documentation available for this evaluation is insufficient to rule out the period between 1960-1967, or the period after 1972. There was no available documentation describing the materials, processes and/or objectives of the enriched uranium shipments between Babcock & Wilcox and NLO (Fernald) during the 1968 through 1972 period.”

“There is no documentation that anything other than routine cleaning was ever performed at this facility, as it appears to have remained and is currently operational. Contamination spread from AWE related activities is currently not distinguishable from non-related contamination.”
The Journal has attempted to locate current owners for each site. Their responses are included when available.Address (may be historical):1570 Mount Athos Road    A Babcock & Wilcox spokesman didn't have any comment
RCRA (3008) Appeal No. 97-5
BWX Technologies, Inc. is charged with violations arising under the Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6901 et seq., and the
Virginia Hazardous Waste Regulations (VHWR), 9 VAC 20-10-10. The alleged violations
relate to the storage of hazardous waste during a three-year period, from November
19, 1980, to September 30, 1983, in a storage unit known as the Cold Pond, which was
formerly part of BWXs nuclear-fuel-component manufacturing facility, located near
Lynchburg, Virginia. BWX did not report the existence of the Cold Pond or otherwise seek
a permit for it at any time. BWX subsequently closed this storage unit, emptying it of its

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Laser enrichment work slows down: Tell NRC: No to license!



Comments:  I hope the whole industry dies, not needed and not needed, no to nukes!

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 4:21 p.m.
Note: This is a corrected version. The original incorrectly described the effect of the suspension on contract workers.
Global Laser Enrichment is slowing its uranium enrichment efforts until market conditions improve.

Global Laser said it will consolidate development activities at GE Hitachi's Castle Hayne headquarters, suspending most contractor-based work on the laser enrichment technology licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in September 2012.

That means the assignments of two dozen contract workers in Castle Hayne will be concluded in coming weeks, spokesman Jon Allen said. About 40 will be dropped when the project facility near Oak Ridge, Tenn., is placed in a safe storage mode.

A brief statement said Global Laser "remains optimistic about the technology and will continue to negotiate with the U.S. Department of Energy on the opportunity in Paducah, Kentucky."

Just before Thanksgiving, the Energy Department said Global Laser Enrichment has been selected to negotiate the purchase of depleted uranium tails stored at Paducah.

Should the talks be successfully completed, Global Laser said at the time, it will seek a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to build a facility to extract natural uranium from the tails.

In January, Global Laser told the NRC the company expected to submit the license application for the Paducah facility by September in hopes of approval by November 2016.

In late May, Silex said the talks have "taken a little longer than we expected."

With weeks to go until its January target, Global Laser says only the talks continue.

The company also has not described the "market conditions" that led to its decision.

AREVA, which has an NRC license to build an enrichment facility in Eagle Rock, Idaho, puts it this way:
Metro desk: 343-2384

Friday, July 25, 2014

Greenpeace "Founder" Patrick Moore Not a Founder at All

Comments:  UraniumFree Virginia , Do you remember at some point VUI and its friends from the Virginia Energy Independence Coalition or whatever its name was, the one funded by AREVA, brought a former Greenpeace "founder" and "activist" who has repented his sin of opposing nuclear power in his youth. Do you remember? Anyway, this guy is fake. We knew it all along but here is more proof

  Greenpeace "Founder" Patrick Moore Not a Founder at All

For more than 20 years now, industry lobbyist Patrick Moore has touted himself a “co-founder” and sometimes even a “founder” of the global environment group Greenpeace.

But a document making the rounds shows that Moore's claim to be a founder or a co-founder of Greenpeace is simply not true.

A letter from 1971 shows Patrick Moore applying to take part in a Greenpeace trip and protest against nuclear testing in the Arctic ocean. A response from one of the actual co-founders of Greenpeace,

Paul Cotes, on Greenpeace letterhead no less, acknowledges receipt of Moore's interest in taking part in Greenpeace activity.

How the heck can someone apply to be part of an organization that is already founded and then claim later to have been a founder?

Here's the letter:

In many ways, Patrick Moore has built his entire reputation off this myth or, at the least, it has served Moore very well as a powerful talking point.

To be a pro-nuclear energy industry spokesperson or someone who claims there is no scientific proof that climate change is caused by human activity is one thing. In fact, there are lots of people who jump on Fox News and say the things Moore says.

But to say such things as a founder of one of the largest, most recognized environment groups in the world is what makes Moore newsworthy. And over the years Moore's story of being a former environmentalist who has seen the error of his ways has gotten him a lot of press.

In fact, Moore even wrote a book a few years back called, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Drop Out.”
Looking at Moore's credentials, I would suggest that if Moore had never claimed the mantle of a founder of Greenpeace, I bet he would not have gotten even an inch of column space, compared to the hundreds of articles and television appearances he has gotten over the years.

Here's a 2004 profile in Wired magazine telling the tale of Patrick Moore's evolution from founder of Greenpeace to a “mouthpiece” for industry.

Case in point, watch this 2012 interview with Canada's right-wing mouthpiece Ezra Levant and you tell me if Moore's story is at all interesting if you take out the now-proven-false claim that Moore was a founder of Greenpeace:

See what I mean? There's just not much of a story.

Without his claim-to-fame, Patrick Moore is nothing but a guy with some opinions, and it blows my mind that he was able to keep up this myth for so long.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards

Comments:  No to uranium mining, fracking, Nuke Plants on all earthquake faults!


New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards                    

This Science Feature can be found at:

National Map
2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map, displaying intensity of potential ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (which is the typical lifetime of a building).

To help make the best decisions to protect communities from earthquakes, new USGS maps display how intense ground shaking could be across the nation.

The USGS recently updated their U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps, which reflect the best and most current understanding of where future earthquakes will occur, how often they will occur, and how hard the ground will likely shake as a result.

42 States at Risk; 16 States at High Risk
 Students Conduct Earthquake Preparedness Drill
Students conduct the “drop, cover, hold on” safety procedure during an earthquake preparedness drill. Photo Credit: Jessica Robertson, USGS

While all states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (the typical lifetime of a building). Scientists also conclude that 16 states have a relatively high likelihood of experiencing damaging ground shaking. These states have historically experienced earthquakes with a magnitude 6 or greater.

The hazard is especially high along the west coast, intermountain west, and in several active regions of the central and eastern U.S., such as near New Madrid, MO, and near Charleston, SC. The 16 states at highest risk are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

While these overarching conclusions of the national-level hazard are similar to those of the previous maps released in 2008, details and estimates differ for many cities and states. Several areas have been identified as being capable of having the potential for larger and more powerful earthquakes than previously thought due to more data and updated earthquake models. The most prominent changes are discussed below.

Informed Decisions Based on the Maps
With an understanding of potential ground shaking levels, various risk analyses can be calculated by considering factors like population levels, building exposure, and building construction practices. This is used for establishing building codes, and in the analysis of seismic risk for key structures. This can also help in determining insurance rates, emergency preparedness plans, and private property decisions such as re-evaluating one’s home and making it more resilient.

These maps are part of USGS contributions to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which is a congressionally-established partnership of four federal agencies with the purpose of reducing risks to life and property in the U.S. that result from earthquakes. The contributing agencies are the USGS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Science Foundation (NSF). As an example of the collaboration, the hazards identified in the USGS maps underlie FEMA-sponsored seismic design provisions that are incorporated into building codes adopted by states and localities. The maps also reflect investments in research by academic and other scientists supported by grants from the USGS and the NSF.

“The standards for seismic safety in building codes are directly based upon USGS assessments of potential ground shaking from earthquakes, and have been for years,” said Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council.
“The committees preparing those standards welcome this updated USGS information as a basis for making decisions and continuing to ensure the most stable and secure construction.”

Key Updates
East Coast
The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments. As one example, scientists learned a lot following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia in 2011. It was among the largest earthquakes to occur along the east coast in the last century, and helped determine that even larger events are possible. Estimates of earthquake hazards near Charleston, SC, have also gone up due to the assessment of earthquakes in the state.

In New York City, the maps indicate a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought (but still a hazard nonetheless). Scientists estimated a lower likelihood for slow shaking from an earthquake near the city. Slow shaking is likely to cause more damage to tall structures in contrast, compared to fast shaking which is more likely to impact shorter structures.

Central U.S.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone has been identified to have a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes and locations than previously identified. This is a result of a range of new research, part of which was recently compiled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

West Coast
In California, earthquake hazard extends over a wider area than previously thought. Most notably, faults were recently discovered, raising earthquake hazard estimates for San Jose, Vallejo and San Diego. On the other hand, new insights on faults and rupture processes reduced earthquake hazard estimates for Irvine, Santa Barbara and Oakland. Hazard increased in some parts of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles region and decreased in other parts. These updates were from the new Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast Model, which incorporates many more potential fault ruptures than did previous assessments.

Recent earthquakes in Alaska, Mexico and New Zealand taught scientists more about complex ruptures and how faults can link together. This insight was applied to California for which approximately 250,000 potential complex ruptures were modeled.

New research on the Cascadia Subduction Zone resulted in increased estimates of earthquake magnitude up to magnitude 9.3. Deep-sea cores were collected that show evidence within the sea-floor sediments of large earthquake-generated mudflows. Earthquake shaking estimates were also increased following abundant data gathered from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Tohoku, Japan in 2011 and the magnitude 8.2 earthquake offshore of Chile in 2014, as those events ruptured along subduction zones similar to the Pacific Northwest zone.
Damage to Washington National Cathedral
Damage to the Washington National Cathedral in DC from the earthquake in Virginia on August 23, 2011. Photo Credit: William Leith, USGS

In Washington, scientists incorporated new knowledge of the Tacoma Fault into the maps and identified changes to the geometry of the Whidbey Island fault in the northern Puget Sound. Earthquake hazard also increased for Las Vegas because of new science. In Utah, scientists dug trenches to study prehistoric earthquakes along the Wasatch Fault. While the overall seismic hazard didn’t change significantly, detailed changes were made to the fault models in this region and robust data were acquired to hone the assessments. This is valuable since approximately 75% of Utah’s population, including the residents of Salt Lake City, lives near this fault.
The magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Wenchuan, China in 2008 provided many new records of shaking that are very similar to anticipated future earthquakes in the western U.S., as the fault structures are similar. Previously, scientists did not have nearly as many shaking records from earthquakes of this size.
Induced Earthquakes … Research Underway
Some states have experienced increased seismicity in the past few years that may be associated with human activities such as the disposal of wastewater in deep wells.
One specific focus for the future is including an additional layer to these earthquake hazard maps to account for recent potentially triggered earthquakes that occur near some wastewater disposal wells. Injection-induced earthquakes are challenging to incorporate into hazard models because they may not behave like natural earthquakes and their rates change based on man-made activities.
You Can’t Plan If …
“USGS earthquake science is vital because you can’t plan for earthquakes if you don’t know what you are planning for,” said Mark Petersen, Chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. “Our nation’s population and exposure to large earthquakes has grown tremendously in recent years. The cost of inaction in planning for future earthquakes and other natural disasters can be very high, as demonstrated by several recent damaging events across the globe. It is important to understand the threat you face from earthquakes at home and the hazards for the places you might visit. The USGS is dedicated to applying the best available science in developing reliable products useful for reducing the earthquake risk across the U.S.”
Start with USGS Science
The USGS is the only federal agency with responsibility for recording and reporting earthquake activity nationwide and providing a seismic hazard assessment. The USGS regularly updates the national seismic hazard models and maps, typically every 6 years, in sync with the building code updates. The 2014 update focuses on the conterminous U.S. Maps are also available for Alaska (last updated in 2007); Hawaii (1998); Puerto Rico (2003); Guam and Marianna Islands (2012); and American Samoa (2012).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nuclear Plant Near Epicenter Shuts Down: North Anna: 2011

Venting Steam!

Nuclear Plant Near Epicenter Shuts Down

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011  |  Updated 5:05 PM EDT

A nuclear power plant located in Louisa County, the epicenter of the earthquake in Virginia, has shut down.

The North Anna Power Station, operated by Dominion Power, has two reactors.  Both reactors tripped automatically at the time of the quake and shut down. 

The plant declared an "unusual event" in the wake of the 5.8 magnitude quake, which is the lowest stage on the plant's emergency scale.

As a result, the plant has been shut down.

The AP reports the plant is being run off of four emergency diesel generators, which are supplying power for critical safety equipment.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Roger Hannah says the agency was not immediately aware of any damage at nuclear power plants in the southeast.

NRC officials are still assessing the situation.

Check back with NBC Washington for more updates as they become available.