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 When you turn to Fairewinds for news, you expect accurate and undistorted analysis of nuclear energy issues and risks. That kind of analysis is hard work for the Fairewinds crew. Every video, podcast, newsletter and presentation we do takes research and planning. The enthusiasm and creativity of Fairewinds’ crew enables us to bring you the most accurate information possible in a timely manner.

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Arnie Gundersen's Northwestern University Speech
"Building New Nukes Would Make Global Warming Worse":
Arnie Gundersen at Norwich

Watch and listen to Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen deliver his speech presented at Northwestern University where he was the first to announce Tesla's innovative Powerwall battery and debunk the nuclear industry's claim of being the perfect stop-gap between fossil fuels and renewable as nothing short of a marketing ploy.

Join the thousands of readers who enjoyed journalist Jeff McMahon's article for Forbes Magazine that captures the excitement and buzz surrounding Tesla's big announcement and Arnie's auspicious speech.

Jeff Macmahon

Book of the Month:


Close Your Eyes and Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

Fairewinds Acknowledgement:

I want to begin by thanking … people whose work is dramatically more important than anything I do…. There is the leadership team at Fairewinds energy education, Arnie and Maggie Gundersen. Arnie was an atomic energy commission fellow and a licensed reactor operator who, as a senior vice president, managed or coordinated projects at 70 nuclear power plants across America. Maggie worked in public information and executive recruitment in the nuclear power industry. Today, through Fairewinds, they strive to educate the public and legislative tors about the realities of nuclear power and the issues with aging plants around the world. They volunteered enormous amounts of their time to teach me about the dangers of nuclear power, how plant works, and what Emily’s father’s life might have been like. I am encourage you to visit the Fairewinds website, where you can learn more about nuclear power and finding extensive bibliography.

Brief Summary:

Washington PostSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Book of the Year 
Emily Shepard is on the run; the nuclear plant where her father worked has suffered a cataclysmic meltdown, and all fingers point to him. Now, orphaned, homeless, and certain that she's a pariah, Emily's taken to hiding out on the frigid streets of Burlington, Vermont, creating a new identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. 
Then she meets Cameron. Nine years old and with a string of foster families behind him, he sparks something in Emily, and she protects him with a fierceness she did not know she possessed. But when an emergency threatens the fledgling home she's created, Emily realizes that she can't hide forever.


Fairewinds in the News: 

 WCAX TV captured Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen’s presentation on decommissioning following the US premiere of the French film, Decommissioning our Nuclear Power Stations: Mission Impossible?. Arnie made a public presentation on Wednesday, June 3 in Montpelier, VT outlining the report that Fairewinds submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in March 2015 during the NRC’s open comment period for decommissioning Vermont Yankee. The report, which points out the flaws in the NRC endorsed SAFSTOR, can be found on the Fairewinds’ website.  WCAX reporter Alex Apple calls“ a federal loophole that allows energy companies to wait 60 years before dismantling a mothballed plant [creating] both money and safety problems.”

Vermont’s State Nuclear Engineer, Anthony Leshinskie, who was also in attendance and commented during the Q&A portion of the meeting about the controversial decommissioning fund, said that Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has been dipping into the fund before decommissioning of the site has even begun. Leshinskie noted “the state cannot audit what the money that's withdrawn from the fund is used for. The state is standing up and saying, 'Hey look guys, we have a say in this,'" he said. 

In his article Is Elon Musk’s Tesla Energy just what Africa’s energy grid needs?, South African reporter Jacques Coetzee discusses the implications of Tesla’s new solar battery for the continent of Africa. Coetzee pays tribute to Fairewinds Energy Education in his acknowledgment of Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen’s “neatly put” quote:  “Producing our way out of the problem with renewables is half the solution. Conserving our way out is the other half.”

 Tesla’s Powerwall battery is that other half of the equation that would impact Africa, according to Coetzee.  Pointing out that Africa is often criticized for its underdeveloped infrastructure, Coetzee notes that the Tesla Powerwall has the ability to help Africa skip traditional steps in development and leapfrog ahead to use advancements  in solar and renewable energies. 

PV Magazine cites Arnie Gundersen’s prediction that solar+storage will approach price parity with traditional nuclear power as solar firms worldwide partner up with Tesla’s Powerwall battery storage system to provide power from smart decentralized power plants and storage systems. German energy and IT company LichtBlick CEO and founder Heiko von Tschischwitz states, "The new Tesla Powerwall represents a milestone, since powerful, affordable batteries are a key technology in the distributed energy revolution." PV Magazine attributes Fairewinds to the prognosis that the excitement and success of Tesla’s latest innovation proves that “nuclear’s claim to be the perfect stop-gap between fossil fuels and renewable is nothing short of a marketing ploy.”

Global Research recently published Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen’s Op-Ed detailing the faulty design of the proposed construction of three AP1000 nuclear reactors in Cumbria, England, following Gundersen’s presentation to the House of Commons in March. Global Research acknowledges Gundersen as one of the only sources to report on the nuclear risks of these reactors. For more on Gundersen’s visit to the United Kingdom, look here.

Nuclear News:

Craig Morris, lead author of German Energy Transition easily refutes false pro-nuclear statements made by United States Senator Lamar Alexander against Germany’s plans for a low-carbon future without nuclear known as Energiewende.

Using charts and data from the German Ministry of Economics, Morris powerfully rebuts each of Sen. Alexander’s cherry-picked comments that we have listed below:

1.“The cost of attempting to replace nuclear power with wind, solar, and accompanying infrastructure is estimated by the German government at 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars”

2. “… the subsidies for wind and solar are very high…”

3.“Germany does not produce enough reliable, base-load energy for an important manufacturing economy.”

4.“So, while closing its own nuclear reactors, Germany is buying nuclear power from France, buying natural gas from a very unreliable partner, Russia, and – in a remarkable turn of events – Germany started building coal plants.”

5.“Prices are now more than double those in the U.S., and Germany has among the highest household electricity prices in the European Union.”

Morris provides point by point proof that Germany is in the process of demonstrating not only that a highly industrialized country does not need nuclear power but also that baseload nuclear is incompatible with a power supply largely based on wind and solar and that a renewable supply is the better option.

The European nuclear industry is in an accelerating decline according to the Climate News Network. The French government’s premier nuclear companies Areva and Électricité de France (EDF) are in such economic distress they are being forced to lump together under the EDF title due to the continued controversy over the Areva designed and manufactured European Pressurized Reactor (EPR). Originally advertised as the most powerful nuclear reactor in the world, Areva built two prototypes, one in Finland and one in France. These EPRs have proved to be a giant failure with major time delays, billions of euros over budget, and no hint of a completion date.  Finland has backed out of an original plan to build a second EPR, and the French EPR may never be finished due to excessive carbon found in the steel in the pressure vessel. China is slated to build two EPRs like the French model, but they are also experiencing severe delays due to the excessive carbon in the steel issue. The United Kingdom had plans to build four EPRs, but cancellation of that Conservative government proposed plan seems imminent.

Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) or what are more commonly known as “drones” have proven to be a safety threat to the nuclear industry, according to the article “UAS and Nuclear Power Plant Security” featured in Lexology. Last fall, 13 of France’s 19 nuclear power sites experienced unidentified sUAS coordinated flyovers. In April, a sUAS was found on the roof of Japan Prime Minister Abe’s office in Tokyo carrying traces of radioactive substances from the Fukushima prefecture that suffered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor site in 2011. Two weeks ago, Fairewinds caught the Nuclear Regulatory Commission cover-up of an event report citing a mysterious sUAS flying over the waste abandonment site, Maine Yankee. The threats to a nuclear site associated with a sUAS include unlawful monitoring of a facility’s security activities, diverting security forces’ attention from a second threat to physical security, or carrying and releasing destructive conventional, chemical, biological, or radiological payloads. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission identified the risk of these nuclear site flyovers, but has failed to develop either regulations or guidance related to physical protection against these very serious security breaches. 

The first of its kind, a United Nations conference titled the International Conference on Computer Security in a Nuclear World, is being held this week at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna to address the now daily threat of cybercrime and cyberterrorism. The agency’s director, General Yukiya Amano, has warned that international measures must be taken in safeguarding nuclear facilities from cyber threats. “Reports of actual or attempted cyber-attacks are now virtually a daily occurrence,” he said in a statement. “The nuclear industry has not been immune. Last year alone, there were cases of random malware-based attacks at nuclear power plants, and of such facilities being specifically targeted.”


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