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Constellation Says Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant Safe, But Evidence Shows, No It Is Not

Constellation Says Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant Safe, But Evidence Shows…
No It Is Not

In interviews over the past few days, Constellation Energy spokespersons have been working to convince the public that their U.S. nuclear power plants are safe from disaster.  The truth is, while there appears to be no imminent danger, there are far too many factors that can go wrong at any nuclear plant, at any time, that put us all at risk.

In recent years, government officials and nuclear power investors have been contemplating a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland.  Until the disaster in Japan, nuclear energy was being propagandized as a “green” energy alternative and nationally there has been talk of a “Nuclear Renaissance”.  However, not everyone has been saying yes to nuclear expansion.  In addition to environmental groups around the world over, Baltidome has been posting concerns over a Nuclear Renaissance for years (See posts on “Nuclear Energy”).

From previous Baltidome Posts:

(2009) Currently Calvert Cliffs has more than 900 tons of nuclear waste stored at the site with no place to go (In the United States, spent nuclear fuel is not reprocessed as it is in other countries, such as Japan).  [1]

(2009) During security exercises in Spring 2009, “bullets escaped the firing range… striking buildings and a vehicle near the reactors, according to the NRC, Constellation and the sheriff’s office.”  In other words, somebody accidentally shot toward the reactors during an annual security drills. [2]

(2010) On March 12, 2010 an al-Qaida sweep in Yemen resulted in the roundup of 11 individuals.  One of the individuals, was a suspected al-Qaida member whose records show he worked at six U.S. nuclear power plants, including Calvert Cliffs. [3]

While the disaster in Japan is likely to quell the nuclear renaissance here in the US, it is important that we do not have short memories.  If people were not listening to the nuclear naysayers before, perhaps this tragedy will be an eye opener.

What is the worse that could happen from damage to solar panels and wind turbines?

1. –
2. – Washington Post
3. – Huffington Post

Constellation Energy Given OK To Dump Coal Ash In Baltimore City
January 5, 2011, 9:19 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Constellation Energy Given OK To Dump Coal Ash In Baltimore City

From Tim Wheeler at the Baltimore Sun (excerpts) :

After more than a year of deliberation, the Maryland Department of the Environment authorized the disposal of up to 650,000 tons of ash in a specially prepared section of a chemical company landfill at Hawkins Point. Robert M. Summers, the agency’s acting secretary, said in a statement that two-year-old regulations for new ash landfills should prevent any harm to public health or the environment.

The ash landfill, to be operated by Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, is the first new disposal site for power plant waste to be approved in the state since 2007. That’s when officials discovered that some Gambrills residents’ wells had been contaminated with toxic chemicals from ash that Constellation Energy had been dumping in old quarries in the area. The company paid a $1 million fine to the state and reached a $54 million out-of-court settlement with residents.

Constellation Energy plans to dispose of 200,000 tons of ash on the 65-acre Hawkins Point tract from its three Baltimore area coal-burning power plants.

Activists have called on the EPA to declare coal ash a hazardous waste because it can contain toxic metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. The EPA has yet to complete its review, though, and recently announced it would take more time.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.


U.S. Nuclear Renaissance Is On Hold
October 31, 2010, 1:40 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

U.S. Nuclear Renaissance Is On Hold

Critics of a U.S. Nuclear Renaissance can breathe a sigh of relief as plans to build a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland appear to be crumbling.

From the Baltimore Sun (Excerpts):

The latest sign came last week that a revival might still be a long way off. Baltimore’s Constellation Energy Group — once widely viewed as a leader in developing new nuclear plants — abandoned that business and left its French partner to pursue a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs in Southern Maryland.

Just three years ago, the economic pieces needed to revive the U.S. nuclear industry seemed to be moving into place. Fuel prices were skyrocketing along with electricity demand. Congress appeared close to taxing carbon emissions. And new government incentives were expected to reduce the high cost of building reactors.

So far, the federal government has awarded only one loan guarantee, for a Southern Co. nuclear reactor in Burke, Ga. Many industry observers had expected Constellation to be next in line to secure a loan guarantee for a third nuclear unit at Calvert Cliffs.

But Constellation pulled out of negotiations this month with the Department of Energy over the loan guarantee, citing unreasonable and expensive terms that would have added $880 million to the cost of building Calvert Cliffs 3. Constellation, along with the Nuclear Energy Institute, contends that the formula used to calculate what companies must pay for the federal loan guarantee is flawed and needs to be fixed.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

Baltidome does not support the expansion of nuclear energy and a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland.  To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Re: Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, I Hate To Say I Told You So, But…

Re: Calvert Cliffs, I Hate To Say I Told You So, But…

In an August 2009 post, Why Should Baltimore Care About A New Nuclear Reactor At Calvert Cliffs, Baltidome outlined reasons why Baltimorians should get involved with the Nuclear Renaissance debate and a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs.  One point of the post payed particular attention to national security.

The post points out that, although there is no (public) evidence to suggest that Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant is a specific target, recent security exercises gone bad illustrate how poorly equipped the facility may be to handle a security breach.


Fast forward to today where news broke about an al-Qaida sweep in Yemen that resulted in the roundup of 11 individuals; a roundup that included one suspected al-Qaida member whose records show he worked at six U.S. nuclear power plants, including Calvert Cliffs.

So, again the question is raised, should we be supporting a Nuclear Renaissance in the United States?

For a full article about the suspected al-Qaida member, CLICK HERE.

Could Baltimore Become A Solar City?

Could Baltimore Become A Solar City?

There have been some interesting indications this past week suggesting that Baltimore may be on the verge of a solar boom.  For one, Constellation Energy announced that it is interested in supporting solar development and “has committed to expanding solar project development over the next several years…with a focus on projects in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and California where solar incentives and credits make development particularly attractive for customers financially”.

Additionally Meredith Cohn, of the Baltimore Sun, writes on the Bmore Green Blog that “legislators and business people plan to show their support for three solar related bills being considered by the General Assembly”.  Cohn sites International Center for Sustainable Development who “shows the state gets about 196,000 gigawatt-hours of solar energy on a sunny summer day. That’s more than what’s produced at the state’s mostly coal-fired power plants here in a year”.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about tax credits and funding for solar panels in Maryland, CLICK HERE.

Baltimore Based Constellation Energy Plans To Buy Western MD Wind Project
December 1, 2009, 1:28 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , , ,

Constellation Energy Signs Agreement to Acquire Western Maryland Wind Project

Press Release
Source: Constellation Energy
On 10:00 am EST, Monday November 30, 2009

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEGNews) today announced it has signed an agreement with Clipper Windpower, Inc. to acquire the Criterion wind project in Garrett County, Md. The $140 million, 70-megawatt wind energy project would be developed, constructed, owned and operated by Constellation Energy. This new renewable energy resource would provide enough sustainable electricity to meet the annual equivalent usage of an estimated 23,000 households. It is one of several clean energy initiatives Constellation Energy has recently completed or proposed across Maryland.

For more, CLICK HERE.