Saturday, January 12, 2013

Feds Unveil Plan For New Nuke Repository by 2048

Posted By on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 9:54 AM

While Idahoans—beginning with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter—push back against the possibility of more spent nuclear waste entering the Gem State, federal officials renewed their efforts on Friday to create a new national nuclear waste repository.

"I'm commited as ever to enforcing the terms of our 1995 agreement with the federal government to get all nuclear waste out of Idaho by 2035," said Otter in his Jan. 7 State of the State address.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy revealed on Jan. 11 a new strategy to begin developing a new deep geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste, to be up and running by 2048. The strategy is needed after the Obama Administration shut down work toward making Yucca Mountain, Nev., the nation's repository for used commercial nuclear fuel and high-level waste.

The new report says the nation should have a site picked by 2026, with the repository designed and licensed by 2042, and operational by 2048.

It's estimated that Idaho has approximately 300 tons of spent nuclear fuel. In 1995, Idaho voters backed an Idaho nuclear waste agreement with the Department of Energy, which would stop feds from sending any more commercial nuclear waste to Idaho and to get rid of all waste that's stored in the Gem State by 2035.

"I’ll say this as plainly and as unequivocally as I can: Idaho will NOT be a repository for nuclear waste," wrote Otter in December.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

AP: Texas Company Wants $2 Million Back From AEHI

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:14 AM

A Texas-based financial company, which federal prosecutors allege was part of a get-rich-quick scheme with would-be nuclear developer Alternate Energy Holdings, now wants its money back from the Eagle-based businesses.

In November, Don Gillispie, the embattled CEO of AEHI, resigned as the company's chief for what he called "ongoing health concerns." Gillispie resignation followed the latest round of allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission that Gillispie was sliding money around—as much as $2 million—"concealing the money from shareholders, the public and the (SEC)."

The Associated Press is reporting that Hamilton Guaranty Capital filed documents in U.S. District Court in Boise last week, saying it "fulfilled its obligations" to AEHI and wants its money back. The AP reports that AEHI paid $2 million into a Nevada law firm's escrow account, prior to Hamilton Guaranty arranging a transaction for AEHI. But the $2 million remains tied up in a Nevada state court, where a judge is still mulling who should get the money, according to the AP.

Meanwhile AEHI officials maintain that they're moving forward with their plans to build a nuclear power plant in Payette County by beginning what they call "an extensive environmental study" in preparation of their application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

AEHI CEO Don Gillispie Resigns

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Don Gillispie, the embattled CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, the Eagle-based company that wants Payette County to bask in the glow of a nuclear reactor, resigned today.

Gillispie's resignation, effective immediately, was tied to what Gillispie said were "ongoing health concerns." Gillispie said he would assist the company part-time as a consultant.

The AEHI Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Pete Honeysett, AEHI director of nuclear projects, as interim president.

In the current issue of Boise Weekly, we detail how federal prosecutors are asking a judge to freeze AEHI's assets for the second time in less than two years, alleging that Gillispie's "get rich quick" schemes were continuing.

In December 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Gillispie was "pumping and dumping," manipulating AEHI stock through false statements and allowing key management to sell shares at inflated prices. U.S. Judge Edward Lodge froze the assets but lifted the order in February 2011, warning Gillispie to provide detailed monthly documentation of AEHI expenditures.

But now, SEC investigators allege that Gillispie was sliding money around—as much as $2 million—"concealing the money from shareholders, the public, and the [SEC]."

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Post Register: Fuel From Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Coming to Idaho

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM

USS Enterprise
  • USS Enterprise

The Idaho Falls Post Register reports that spent nuclear fuel from a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will soon be rolling toward Idaho.

The Post Register quotes Tom Dougan of the Naval Propulsion Program, who confirmed that the spent fuel from the U.S.S. Enterprise, which is being decommissioned, will arrive at the Idaho National Lab in 2014. The fuel would come from the ship's eight nuclear reactors.

The Post Register reports that the Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, ended its career Nov. 4.

Dougan said the spent nuclear fuel, once it comes to the INL, will be examined to "help with future reactor design research before being placed in storage."

"[The] fuel is transported via rail in specially designed railcars," said Dougan. "The Navy has been managing spent fuel in Idaho since the late 1950s."

Dougan said reactor disposal takes six to eight years. The remainder of the Enterprise will be scrapped.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Alternate Energy Holdings Pays $450K to Settle One Lawsuit, But More Remain

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 9:21 AM

The cash-strapped controversial wannabe nuclear developer Alternate Energy Holdings has agreed to shell out $450,000 to settle one of two lawsuits against the company.

In December 2010, a class action suit alleged AEHI CEO Don Gillispie was engaging "in a scheme to manipulate and artificially inflate the market prices of Alternate Energy stock by paying stock promoters to create artificial demand in the marketplace." The suit also alleged that Gillispie and his AEHI officers "misrepresented the company's true financial condition."

In January 2011, AEHI was slapped with another lawsuit, but in a settlement finalized on Oct. 31, Gillispie and his company agreed to pay $450,000 but admitted to no wrongdoing in the second suit.

AEHI skated away from similar fraud accusations in a federal courtroom in February 2011.

But AEHI confirmed last week that it was being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, while the Securities and Exchange Commission wants a federal judge to again freeze AEHI's assets, pending further litigation.

The Associated Press reported that AEHI investors recently received questionnaires from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding dealings with AEHI. In particular, prosecutors wanted to know how stockholders had obtained their shares.

AEHI insists that it is still moving forward with its plans to build a nuclear power plant in Payette County.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Alternate Energy Holdings Alleged to Owe $700,000 in Legal Bills

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The Eagle-based Alternate Energy Holdings hasn't paid $700,000 in legal bills, said the law firm representing the company in a case launched by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The news comes after the embattled company entered into a "material definitive agreement" with a group of investors. That option tasks the company and its CEO Don Gillispie with providing complainants with a total of $450,000, or face a $2 million penalty judgment.

The SEC alleged that AEHI misled investors and grossly understated Gillispie's compensation.

However, now K&L Gates attorney Barry Hartman told U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge that AEHI hasn't paid his firm's legal bills since February. Now the firm wants to withdraw from defending the company in the case brought by the SEC.

The company had previously hoped to build a nuclear facility in Payette County. AEHI stock was trading at 0.02 cents today.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Study: Fukushima Radioactivity Recorded in U.S. Bluefin Tuna

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Scientists found traces of radiation in bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California, months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The levels of radioactivity were still well below United States and Japanese safety limits.

According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, small amounts of radioactive cesium isotopes were detected in 15 Pacific bluefin caught near San Diego last summer. The fish showed levels of cesium-137 and cesium-134 that were 10 times higher than in tuna caught previously in the same area.

According to the BBC, the detection gave a "clear indication that it originated from the Fukishima accident, less than five months before the fish were caught. The leak at the nuclear power plant released radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean, which fish can pick up from the water they swim in and the food they eat. In turn, predators that eat contaminated fish accumulated a higher concentration of cesium because of an effect known as biomagnification.

The study's co-author, Nicholas Fisher of Stony Brook University, said the research team expects the radiation to decline gradually. They plan to conduct a follow-up study later this year.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Suit Accuses Payette County of Assisting Alternate Energy Holdings' 'Hair-Brained Schemes'

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 9:03 AM

A new lawsuit against Alternate Energy Holdings - the Eagle-based company that promises to build a nuclear reactor in Payette County - has named Payette County as a co-defendant.

"Payette County's material assistance to AEHI's stock fraud scheme is a violation of Idaho Law and Public Policy," said a statement from a group of property owners who are plaintiffs in the suit. "The decisions made and actions taken by Payette County were the only validation of AEHI, a company with no assets, no customers, no revenues from any viable business, and no record of success on any of its hair-brained schemes."

The suit does not seek any damages but calls for a rescission of all decisions and actions taken by Payette County regarding AEHI, including rezoning and variances. You can read the full complaint here: AEHI_complaint.pdf.

AEHI and its CEO, Don Gillispie, recently settled with a group of its disgruntled shareholders, who had accused the company of misleading investors and grossly understating Gillispie's compensation. Gillispie must make a payment of $450,000 to those complainants by June 30 or face a $2 million federal penalty judgment.

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Fire Sparks Evacuation of Nuclear Lab at INL

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 8:17 AM

A research facility at the Idaho National Laboratory was evacuated Monday when a welder's torch ignited a fire on the roof of the building. INL officials insisted that no radioactive material was involved in the incident and no one was hurt.

Nearly 100 employees were cleared from the building while firefighters worked on the blaze. The complex of buildings where the fire started is part of a sprawling 890-square-mile campus of facilities - some of which house spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste - about 38 miles from the city of Idaho Falls.

Several thousand employees and contractors work at the INL, the U.S. Energy Department's leading facility for nuclear reactor technology.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Feds Investigating Radioactive Particles Near INL Facility

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Federal officials are trying to determine the source of radioactive particles found among construction debris at the Idaho National Laboratory. The particles were discovered last week when a contractor came across traces of cesium and cobalt near INL's advanced test reactor complex.

A U.S. Department of Energy spokesman said the radioactive particles may have come from a past decontamination and/or demolition project.

"We're surveying people as they come in and out of the facility," said the DOE's Brad Bugger. "We're surveying vehicles as they come out of the facility, and we're trying to limit access to that area to make sure that nothing is getting off-site."

Bugger insisted that there was "no concern for people who are off-site," saying there was little health threat "unless you would get it onto your skin."

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