This commentary on recently retired DNREC Secretary David Small appeared on April 6, 2017 in the Delaware State News. Please post your own thoughts on Dave Small, and what should be expected from his successor, Shawn Garvin.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Small’s tenure at DNREC filled with ‘cynical disregard’
The March 26 profile of former DNREC official Dave Small [“From reporter to environmental chief”] presented one side. Small has had an impact on Delaware, as does any DNREC secretary, and it makes sense to try to understand what that has been. I was involved with Small from an environmental advocacy perspective since the early 1990s. Continue reading
Note on pic: The cooling tower in the background belongs to the Hope Creek 1 reactor. This is a “boiling water reactor,” a somewhat different technology than Salem I and 2, in the foreground, which are “pressurized water reactors.”
At the very end of 2016, Green Delaware reported on a major nuclear power industry scandal. See the link for the whole story, but to recap briefly: Areva/Le Creusot Forge, a major supplier of nuclear plant parts–big, vital parts, such as steam generators and reactor vessels–was found to be using defective manufacturing methods and falsifying paperwork. The factory has been closed down by the French Nuclear Safety Authority.
There are only a few places in the world that can forge the huge steel parts several inches thick that contain the nuclear power genie. AREVA/Le Creusot is one of these, and it has had many orders from the US. The essence of the metallurgical problem is that the parts could contain excessive amounts of carbon which could lead to cracking of the steel and let the nuclear genie out of the bottle.
French regulators have taken this seriously and a number of French reactors have been shut down for thorough inspection. Defects have been found. In the US, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the agency that regulates the nuclear industry–and many feel is actually part of the nuclear industry–seems to be taking the problems less seriously. Continue reading
The first 100 days of a new administration are crucial
Confirmation hearings and votes are in progress. Every single one of Trump’s cabinet nominees is bad. Call the offices of Senators Carper and Coons, asking them to do everything possible to oppose Trump’s nominations.
Especially, oppose the nominee for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. Even Sen. Tom Carper, no friend of the environment, has been critical of Pruitt.
Sen. Carper DC office: (202) 224-2441
Carper state director, Lori James: (302) 573-6291
(Sen. Carper has offices in DC, Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown. Consider visiting in person.)
DC office: (202) 224-5042
Coons state director, Jim Paoli: (302) 573-6345
(Sen. Coons has offices in DC, Wilmington, and Dover. Consider visiting in person.)
Today: Inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Surely one of the most disturbing, most shameful, most frightening, events in this country in my lifetime.
We can’t react appropriately without seeking to understand the rood causes of this disaster.
A blogger I respect, Erik Hare, recently wrote “…. As we prepare to inaugurate our nation’s second genuine psychopathic president, Andrew Jackson being the first ….” Many people feel Trump’s behavior is associated with recognized types of mental illness. At the least, he seems narcissistic and lacking in impulse control. Or is it all just a reality show? Continue reading
The Salem I and II reactors on Artificial Island. The shiny cylinders look like spent nuclear fuel (waste) casks.
Areva SA, a French vendor of nuclear power plant equipment–one of the largest and most prominent in the world–has been found to be producing defective items–really major items!– and falsifying quality control paperwork. This means that reactors may be running in dangerously unsafe condition. French regulators appear to be acting, but US regulators are not. Continue reading
Putting Donald Trump in the White House is equivalent to this: Taking the lid off a manhole leading down into Hell, and putting down ladders so swarms of demons can climb out. Trump and his campaign have let loose racism, bigotry, violence, Fascism, unlimited corporate power…. These evils are always present, more or less latent. They are far more than latent now. The whole world seems in for a very rough time. Continue reading