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Holtec, privately owned and founded by its India born and educated, President and CEO, Krishna P. Singh [1], is one of the big bad “American” nuclear companies, which will probably benefit from the India-America nuclear deal. Singh also serves on the board of the Nuclear Energy Institute. Holtec International is a global nuclear supplier based in New Jersey, USA; designs and makes parts for nuclear reactors; sells equipment to manage spent nuclear fuel; makes dry cask storage containers for spent fuel. It is also apparently trying to foist an underground modular reactor, SMR-160, a 160 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR), upon the world. In July 2014, the State of New Jersey gave it a $260 million tax incentive (tax break) to expand operations at the Port of Camden. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holtec_International An underground nuclear reactor was already tried in Switzerland, melted down and contaminated the cavern and drainage water still has radionuclides.[2]

This is one more piece to this “nuclear deal”, which was apparently brought to America and India by India’s very own. The new US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, was born in Edmonton, Canada of parents from the Punjab area of India. Moreover, he worked as a Steptoe & Johnson lobbyist for the US-India Business Council to push the “U.S. India Civil Nuclear Agreement and ratification of the 123 Agreement in compliance with the Henry Hyde Act,” along with “US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement’s 123 Bilateral Agreement in 2008.” [3] Tejpreet Singh Chopra served as President and CEO of GE India from June 1, 2007, and was on the Board of the US-India Business Council from ca November 2007. A press release from Nov. 25, 2008 announced that the Nuclear Energy Institute was partnering with the US-India Business Council for the “largest trade mission of US commercial nuclear executives ever to visit India“. That just so happens to be the year that Richard Verma was their lobbyist. And, it just so happens that when Verma got appointed Ambassador that this Convention came under discussion again. See more here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/westinghouse-is-japanese-toshiba-not-american-for-16-years/ The CEO and President of GE India, Banmali Agrawala, since April 1, 2013, serves on the US-India Business Council Board.

Oh, my goodness, those terrible big, bad bully Americans who are foisting nuclear on helpless India! Let’s not forget that the construction companies for any nuclear reactors will be largely local. And, Jindal Steel and Arcelor Mittal will probably provide the steel. And, with this deal, the American taxpayer will become partially liable for India’s known to be defective Russian nuclear reactor at Koodankulam. Holtec, which is private, is also the “American” company who got contracts for a spent fuel storage in the Ukraine: http://mfa.gov.ua/en/news-feeds/foreign-offices-news/32398-shhodo-ukladennya-ugodi-mizh-najek-jenergoatom-ta-amerikansykoju-korporacijeju-holtec-international We don’t even know for certain if Singh is an American or India National. Mittal lives in the UK and has kept his India citizenship. Tellingly, wikipedia says that Holtec is “based” in the USA. We don’t know where it is registered. The proposed nuclear insurance pool is paid into after an accident. Will anyone be able to find Holtec to pay into the insurance pool? This sort of thing is why we are certain that the US taxpayer will pay some and perhaps most of the 1/3rd which the US promises to pay India, under this Convention, in the event of an accident. Probably Japan will pay 1/3rd and the remaining 1/3rd will be paid by a combo of India, Argentina, Romania, UAE and Morocco. Fukushima is estimated at $110 billion thus far, even though they aren’t even cleaning it up and are using the homeless.

Oscar Shirani and others expressed concerns about Holtec spent nuclear fuel dry casks, and the NRC. Some of his concerns appear supported by a more recent (2011) NRC Notice of Violations. Holtec’s dry casks are sold around the world, and will be in our midst for some time. They are also used for transportation. With apparently lax railroad track upkeep in the US and UK, the ability of spent fuel transportation canisters to resist impacts is serious.

The late Oscar Shirani wrote a comment to the NRC on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 11:18 AM Subject: “Exelon’s Clinton Early Site permit EIS“. In his comments he noted that “In Dec. 4, 2002, NRC wrote to Shirani: we substantiated that a stop work issued by Exelon’s QA program to GE-NE was lifted based on a vendor’s promises rather than verification that the underlying problems had been corrected…” In the NRC inspection documents, which we have read, we have also noticed this thing repeatedly. They simply say what’s wrong and make the supplier write a letter saying what they will change. These are often serious and even deadly issues and the NRC doesn’t appear to care at all. The NRC attitude to nuclear suppliers appears to be “It’s alright darling baby doll!” In his comment to the NRC he interestingly states that “Dr. Ross Landsman and Oscar Shirani both believe that the Holtec’s Nuclear spent Fuel Dry Cask are nothing except garbage cans with design flaws, welding flaws, and manufacturing flaws and dangerous to public safety in our backyards.
Oscar Shirani comment to the NRC on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 Subject: Exelon's Clinton Early Site permit EIS
Oscar Shirani comment to the NRC on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 Subject: Exelon's Clinton Early Site permit EIS, p. 2
Oscar Shirani comment to the NRC on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 Subject: Exelon's Clinton Early Site permit EIS, p. 3
Oscar Shirani comment to the NRC on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 Subject: Exelon's Clinton Early Site permit EIS, p. 4

Click to access ML063120249.pdf

This is a 2011 Holtec Inspection Report Summary:
This part looks very damning:
The team noted that the 72.48 change: a) introduced a completely new method as the basis for demonstrating the integrity of the fuel rod cladding during a vertical end drop of the HI-STORM 100 while being transported to the ISFSI pad; b) endorsed a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) report (No. UCID-21246) for the axial buckling of fuel rods as the basis for demonstrating the integrity of the fuel rod cladding even though NRC technical staff determined that the LLNL report was inaccurate and therefore unacceptable and that the correct guidance is provided in ISG-12, Revision 1, published in 1999; and c) justified a g-load limit of 45gs for the HI-STORM 100 System based on information provided in NUREG-1864 to predict cladding failure even though the information to support a 45g limit does not exist in the NUREG.” Take another look. They justified based on a regulation, even though the information isn’t in that regulation “JUSTIFIED… BASED ON INFORMATION…DOES NOT EXIST“!
From: “NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 72-1014/10-201 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATIONS Read the entire report here: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0631/ML063120249.pdf
The most damning thing about these Holtec dry casks is that even if they are made perfectly and of the best materials, they are too thin. From what we recall the Areva ones are also too thin. The German Castor are much much thicker, but could be subject to embrittlement since they are [ductile] cast iron. [See update note at blog post bottom]. There needs to be one that is much thicker than Holtec and Areva and thinner than the German Castor, and of a good quality material. Apart from materials, however, CASTOR apparently has removeable lids with monitoring for leaks and pressure changes which is of critical importance, whereas Holtec simply welds them shut. (See SanOnofreSafety .org re CASTOR lids and monitoring.)


There may be more violations to be found online. We found this information randomly while researching for info on Holtec and its owner, Krishna Singh.

University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1972)
University of Pennsylvania M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1969)
B.I.T. Sindri, Ranchi University B.S. In Mechanical Engineering (1967)
1986 – Present President and CEO

Alan Soler is listed in some places as co-founder and is VP of Holtec. A guess is that it is majority owned by Singh, with some ownership by Soler. Lakshmi Mittal, whose Industeel provides steel for nuclear components, has kept his India citizenship, even though he lives in the UK. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi_Mittal For Singh we don’t know. Since Arcelor Mittal owns steel facilities in the US, one guesses that he supplies the steel for Holtec. We found what looks like a shipping record from Industeel Belgium to Holtec in the US. Industeel is a subsidiary of Arcelor Mittal and provides the steel for Areva at Le Creusot, France, which makes components for the US nuclear industry.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucens_reactor http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaktor_Lucens#Untersuchung_des_Unfalles_und_Dekontamination_des_Reaktors

[3] https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientissues_spec.php?id=D000067047&year=2008&spec=ENG https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000067047&year=2008 https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000222&year=2008
(Lobbying Info from Opensecrets.org, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Update note

Environmental Embrittlement of Ductile Iron” by M. Gagné et. al.
Ductility loss in Hydrogen-charged Ductile Cast Iron
Hisao Matsunaga et. al. 13th International Conference on Fracture June 16–21, 2013, Beijing, China http://www.gruppofrattura.it/ocs/index.php/ICF/icf13/paper/viewFile/11182/10561

The below 1998 Sandia National (Nuclear) lab document has been brought up by a Castor fan who says it’s not subject to embrittlement because it is ductile cast iron. However, it does not address radiation damage and is for temporary, short-term, transport. Sure ductile cast iron is good for that. The embrittlement problem occurs over time with exposure to radiation and hydrogen attack leading to microscopic changes which can lead to macroscopic changes. “Sandia National Laboratories report, Fracture Mechanics Based Design for Radioactive Material Transport Packagings Historical Review“, SAND98-0764 UC-804, April 1998 https://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/654001 Holtec specifications, as written, are apparently minimally acceptable brand new. The issue is over time and as subjected to radiation and environmental degradation.

The most important is the constant monitoring, and ability and willingness to replace canisters before failing. And to let innovation into the market place. It appears to be being blocked out.