AREVA in America: The French Connection

Spencer Abraham (left) watches President George Bush shake hands with Gov. Tom Ridge after signing two executive orders. Photo: Eric Draper
Spencer Abraham (left) watches President George Bush shake hands with Gov. Tom Ridge after signing two executive orders. Photo: Eric Draper

The French State-owned company has built close relationships with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) over the years. Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham is the Chairman of the Board of the U.S. branch of AREVA and uses his address book to promote the merits of this State-owned firm.

Spencer Abraham was the head of the Republican Party in Michigan before becoming U.S. Senator for Michigan from 1995 to 2001. When he lost his re-election bid, President George W. Bush named him Energy Secretary. He served from January 2001 to February 2005. One year after he left, Abraham became Chairman of the Board of AREVA Inc. – the U.S. branch of AREVA Group, the French nuclear power giant.

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South Carolina: It’s Own Yucca Mountain?

While the chair of the S.C. Sierra Club, Susan Corbett, testified to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future on November 16 against reprocessing and against the creation of more waste, a proposal to ship spent nuclear fuel from out-of-state reactors to South Carolina for recycling has been emerging.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the private company that operates the Savannah River Site under contract with the Department of Energy, has proposed to create four experimental nuclear power plants capable of burning radioactive waste for fuel. The company estimates that it could be potential alternatives to the Yucca Mountain repository which has been closed this year by President Barack Obama because it had reached its legal capacity. The supporters of the project also insist on the fact that it would generate 25, 000 high-paying jobs and electricity without contributing to global-warming.

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Veteran Hanford Engineer Says DOE’s Multi-Billion Dollar Hanford Nuclear Waste Processing Plant Might Not Work Properly and Has Serious Potential Safety Problems

Photo: DOE
Photo: DOE
A lead engineer at the $12.3 billion Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation says the Department of Energy – along with lead contractor Bechtel National, Inc. – cannot assure the public that the plant will work properly and safely when it is completed about a decade from now despite public statements to the contrary and $5 billion spent so far.

At risk are the Columbia River, as well as the health and safety of people in southeast Washington State.

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New Details On Plutonium Exposure Incident at Savannah River Site

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board released more details about a glovebox puncture wound that a contract employee received working on transuranic waste in the huge and decaying F Canyon building at the Savannah River Site. Once used to separate plutonium, the canyon, according to DOE’s website, was deactivated August 2006. On June 14, 2010, a worker received a dose of radiation and the Department of Energy released little information about the incident. Now, several months later, new details are posted on the Defense Facilities Board website. If what happened last June sounds dangerous, it was. DOE has denied DCBureau’s request to interview the injured worker.

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