Ozyorsk was and remains a closed town because of its proximity to the Mayak plant,
To consider how insanely radioactive Lake Karachay is, think about this: Chernobyl disaster: 5-12 exabecquerels blown over thousands of square miles Lake Karachay: 4 exabecquerels in this tiny lake, less than a quarter of a mile in diameter. Even approaching the lake will get you a lethal dose within an hour. And they ARE starting to cover it up with concrete and gravel as the water evaporates. As the water recedes, they lay down dirt, gravel and concrete over the area so it can’t fill back in and the sediment doesn’t get disturbed by the wind.
The 10 Worst Civilian Nuclear Accidents in History http://www.neatorama.com/2013/05/21/The-10-Worst-Civilian-Nuclear-Accidents-in-History/ Miss Cellania , May 21, 2013 Quick -how many nuclear accidents can you name? Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima …any more? There have been quite a few nuclear accidents of varying danger that you probably never heard of, including some fatal incidents. For example, in 1957, nuclear waste exploded at a reactor near the Soviet town of Ozyorsk.
One of the storage tanks contained around 70 to 80 tons of radioactive liquid waste, and its cooling mechanism stopped working and wasn’t fixed. The tank’s contents, made up mostly of ammonium nitrate and acetates, began to dry out as the liquid heated up and evaporated. Moreover, the temperature increase caused an explosion whose force was equivalent to 70 to 100 tons of TNT, and this sent huge amounts of radioactivity – roughly 20 MCi (800 PBq) – into the environment. The fallout cloud from the explosion contaminated an area of up to 7,722 square miles (20,000 square kilometers).
Over a period of nearly two years, about 10,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding area. In terms of fatalities, the exact cost of the incident is not known, but immediately around the site of the explosion there were 66 diagnosed cases of chronic radiation syndrome.
it’s time everyone stopped making the stuff
Japanese officials visit Hanford to learn nuclear cleanup strategies KPIU 885 By Anna King, 21 May 13 The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site this week….. Japanese may need to build a facility two to four times larger to handle all their contaminated trees, topsoil and debris…http://www.kplu.org/post/japanese-officials-visit-hanford-learn-nuclear-cleanup-strategies
Klaus-Günter Warnecke, the mayor of Remlingen, has been monitoring progress at the Asse nuclear waste site for nearly 20 years. Recent local media reports say he may have to wait another 20 years before the clearance of the site begins.
Living above Germany’s old nuclear waste, DW, 20 May 13, A German law has recently come into effect ordering the cleanup of 126,000 barrels of radioactive waste at the Asse nuclear dump site. But it seems the process could take a lot longer than locals initially hoped for….. Heike Wiegel is not just a resident here, she’s also a member of the citizen group ‘aufpASSEn’ – meaning ‘watch out’ in German – which helps raise awareness about issues from the Asse nuclear waste site.
There are a number of other anti-Asse groups in the region. Now, with the law ordering the removal of waste from the site, they want to make sure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.
“What happened back then at the Asse site should never have happened,” Wiegel says after a long pause. “That such an old, unstable salt mine would be used for nuclear waste, which, in the end, was just thrown in barrel by barrel.” Read more »
it would make sense to stop making this radioactive trash
Murphy urges bipartisan nuclear waste storage plan http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/politics/murphy-urges-bipartisan-nuclear-waste-storage-plan#.UZvs8qJwpLs, 20 May 2013, HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is asking Senate leaders to solve the longstanding problem of where to dispose of nuclear waste.
Connecticut’s junior senator wrote to Democratic and Republican members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Monday offering his support for legislation that would establish a federal agency and consent-based procedures to manage nuclear waste.
Murphy, a Democrat, said the issue is of immediate importance to Connecticut.
Dominion Resources Inc., the owner of Millstone Power Station, won state permission on May 2 to significantly expand nuclear waste storage capacity over the next 30 years. Millstone and officials of Waterford said that without a federal site, they had no choice.
Congress designated Yucca Mountain in Nevada for a nuclear waste dump. It’s opposed by elected officials, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
it would be wise to stop making the stuff
France Starts Public Debate on Underground Nuclear Waste Site http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-15/france-starts-public-debate-on-underground-nuclear-waste-site.html By Tara Patel - May 15, 2013 France has started a public inquiry into a plan to build a nuclear waste repository to be buried half a kilometer under the northeastern countryside.
A series of public meetings will be held through Oct. 15, according to the inquiry’s website, and the government and regulators will consider the outcome when they decide whether to approve the site.
If approved, the Cigeo project will store highly radioactive waste from Electricite de France SA’s 58 reactors in a site near Bure that straddles the Meuse and Haute-Marne regions. Andra, the waste-management agency spearheading the plan, wants to start construction in 2019 and begin operations in 2025.
The facility will cost 13.5 billion euros ($17.4 billion) to 16.5 billion euros for construction and operation over 100 years, according to Andra’s website.
The inquiry is “a masquerade and pure exercise in public relations,” anti-nuclear group Sortir du Nucleaire said yesterday in a statement. No one can guarantee the safety of the site for such a long period, it said.
EDF now stores waste at reactor sites and at above-ground facilities at La Hague in northern France. Sweden and Finland are also developing deep repositories after the European Union established nuclear waste disposal standards in 2011.
Under French law, nuclear operators including EDF and Areva SA (AREVA) have to build portfolios or amass funds to pay for the decommissioning of reactors and radioactive waste storage.
A parliamentary report published last year concluded operators may not be setting aside enough money. Cost estimates for the Cigeo site vary from 14.4 billion euros to 35 billion euros, that report said.
Hanford Nuclear Cleanup May Be Too Dangerous, Future Of Storage Plant Uncertain http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/hanford-nuclear-cleanup-too-dangerous_n_3246263.html?utm_hp_ref=green | By Valerie Brown 05/09/2013 , Scientific American: (click here for original article)
The most toxic and voluminous nuclear waste in the U.S.—208 million liters —sits in decaying underground tanks at the Hanford Site (a nuclear reservation) in southeastern Washington State. It accumulated there from the middle of World War II, when the Manhattan Project invented the first nuclear weapon, to 1987, when the last reactor shut down. The federal government’s current attempt at a permanent solution for safely storing that waste for centuries—the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant here—has hit a major snag in the form of potential chain reactions, hydrogen explosions and leaks from metal corrosion. And the revelation last February that six more of the storage tanks are currently leaking has further ramped up the pressure for resolution. Read more »
Ocean disposal of radioactive waste http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_disposal_of_radioactive_waste#1946-93 April 2013 (Excellent maps)
From 1946 through 1993, thirteen countries (fourteen, if the USSR and Russia are considered separately) used ocean disposal or ocean dumping as a method to dispose of nuclear/radioactive waste. The waste materials included both liquids and solids housed in various containers, as well as reactor vessels, with and without spent or damaged nuclear fuel. Since 1993, ocean disposal has been banned by international treaties. (London Convention (1972), Basel Convention, MARPOL 73/78)
However, according to the United Nations, some companies have been dumping radioactive waste and other hazardous materials into the coastal waters of Somalia, taking advantage of the fact that the country had no functioning government from the early 1990s onwards. This caused health problems for locals in the coastal region and posed a significant danger to Somalia’s fishing industry and local marine life.
“Ocean floor disposal” (or sub-seabed disposal)—a more deliberate method of delivering radioactive waste to the ocean floor and depositing it into the seabed—was studied by the UK and Sweden, but never implemented.…….
it would be more sensible to just stop making the stuff
Conn. OK’s more waste storage at nuclear plant, Boston Globe ASSOCIATED PRESS MAY 03, 2013 The key problem facing nuclear plant operators, including Millstone in Connecticut, is the inability in Washington to decide what to do with radioactive waste. NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — State officials authorized the Millstone nuclear plant on Thursday to significantly expand nuclear waste storage capacity over the next 30 years.
Without a national site to take spent nuclear fuel, Millstone Power Station’s owner, Dominion Resources Inc., turned to Connecticut for permission to increase storage at the Waterford site. The nine-member council voted unanimously without discussion to allow Millstone to build concrete pads necessary for an expansion of its waste storage. Millstone is seeking to expand storage from 19 cask storage units now to 135 by 2045. However, Millstone’s application does not include a request to install the 135 casks, the Siting Council said.
Melanie Bachman, staff attorney for the council, said Millstone has authorization to install 49 casks and must seek permission for the remaining 86.
The Black Point Beach Club Association, a homeowners group in Niantic across Niantic Bay from Millstone, asked the Siting Council to reject the nuclear plant’s request. State officials are not accounting for possible problems at Millstone if sea level rises as projected because of climate change, the association said. It also urged the state to wait for guidance from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
‘‘All of the association’s members and all residents of Black Point are subject to potential mandatory evacuation orders and martial law and personal harm in the event of a serious accident at Millstone, including the proposed storage facility,’’ the group told the Siting Council.
Dominion is spending $11 million for preparation and other work, Holt said. The plant will move fuel from pools and move them into dry casks, which will be welded shut and moved to a concrete bunker. Fuel will be moved within two years, Holt said. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/05/02/conn-oks-expanded-waste-storage-capacity-millstone-nuclear-plant-conn-approves-new-waste-storage-nuclear-plant/NZRUTzzGMvJ0LxVWhkccYM/story.html
Tokyo’s ability to both enrich uranium and reprocess spent reactor
fuel has allowed it to amass roughly nine tons of weapons-usable
plutonium on its soil. Activating the Rokkasho plant would produce
that much each year, said officials and industry experts.
Japan’s Nuclear Plan Unsettles U.S, WSJ, By JAY SOLOMON and MIHO INADA
2 May 13, TOKYO—Japan is preparing to start up a massive nuclear-fuel
reprocessing plant over the objections of the Obama administration,
which fears the move may stoke a broader race for nuclear technologies
and even weapons in North Asia and the Middle East.
The Rokkasho reprocessing facility, based in Japan’s northern Aomori
prefecture, is capable of producing nine tons of weapons-usable
plutonium annually, said Japanese officials and nuclear-industry
experts, enough to build as many as 2,000 bombs, although Japanese
officials say their program is civilian…… Read more »
Source: ENVIRON International Corporation
Date: September 10, 2010
This material was prepared at the request of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (“the BRC”).
Disposal by shooting the wastes into deep space or the sun
Cost and the risk of an accident during launch has kept space disposal from being taken seriously. With the current cost of putting objects in orbit at around $10,000 per pound, and given that the U.S. inventory of spent fuel and high-level waste is of the order of 100,000 metric tons, not including the heavy shielding that would be required, the costs with present technology would be prohibitive, even if the risks of radioactive wastes crashing back to earth could be managed somehow.
But if one wanted to dispose of only the very long-lived waste, e.g., technetium-99, cesium-135, iodine-129, and the long-lived actinides, then the amounts are much more manageable, of the order of a few million kilograms for all current U.S. wastes. [...]
Congress needs to focus on how nuclear waste is stored now By Dave Lochbaum and Robert Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists - 05/01/13 U.S. nuclear power plants have been generating electricity for more than 50 years, but the nuclear industry and the federal government have yet to figure out what to do with nuclear waste, which remains dangerously radioactive for thousands of years. On April 25, a bipartisan group of senators — Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — released draft legislation addressing this intractable problem. Read more »
U.S. Senators Seek Comments on Plan to Store Nuclear Waste Science, by David Malakoff 25 April 2013, After Yucca. Four U.S. Senators have drafted legislation that would set up a process for disposing of nuclear waste that was once supposed to go to a repository under Yucca Mountain (above) in Nevada.
“Our country can’t wait any longer to find a long-term solution for disposing of nuclear waste,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in a statement. “I’m hopeful the feedback we receive will help us finish the job and allow us to move forward with legislation that puts the U.S. back on the path to safely managing and permanently disposing of the most radioactive wastes.” The other members of the waste quartet are senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who lead the Senate appropriations subpanel that oversees waste issues, and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the senior Republican on the energy committee.
The draft bill includes many of the suggestions made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. It calls for the creation of a new nuclear waste administration, for example, that would coordinate a “consent-based process” for building new nuclear waste storage facilities. (That process is, in part, a response to complaints that Congress placed the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada without the state’s consent.) Two of the senators also offered alternative ideas on several issues……
But Dave Lochbaum, the director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), said in a statement that the draft doesn’t do enough to address the safety of waste already stored at reactors around the nation. “Despite their good intentions, the senators ignored the fact that we have a problem right now with how nuclear plant owners store this highly radioactive waste,” Lochbaum said. “Even under the rosiest scenario, it will take years to site and build an interim storage facility. That means large quantities of nuclear waste will remain at nuclear plants for a long, long time—and three quarters of it is currently crammed in cooling pools rather than stored in dry casks, which are safer.”
The senators say that they released the draft in order to provoke discussion and have asked for comments by 24 May. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/04/us-senators-seek-comments-on-pla.html
Nuclear waste handling is pricey, Times Union, Michael McGlynn, April 18, 2013 “…..Indian Point produces electricity and high-level radioactive wastes. The electricity is consumed by users now. The radioactive wastes require expensive safe handling and storage for several hundreds of years.
The federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 authorizes the Nuclear Waste Fund to receive fees from licensees responsible for reactor materials; however, the fees to provide safe handling and storage of the radioactive wastes is greatly underfunded.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimated in 2000 the cleanup, treatment and disposal of 56 million gallons of radioactive waste leaking from 177 underground tanks at the Hanford waste disposal site would be $4.3 billion. A few years later, in 2006, the same agency revised the cost to $12.3 billion. In 2009, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report indicating the cleanup, treatment and disposal of the small leak will exceed $86 billion.
Mr. Kremer advocates Indian Point to continue producing electricity and radioactive waste. However, he does not encourage nuclear waste producers to increase their payments to the Nuclear Waste Fund for the safe handling and storage of the radioactive material over the forthcoming hundreds of years. Conservatives may consider this attitude as kicking the radioactive can down the road with the financial debt at future generations. http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Letter-Nuclear-waste-handling-is-pricey-4445902.php#ixzz2R2Mujb8J
DOE finalizing plans to dump man-made uranium in Nevada, Fox News, By Barnini Chakraborty April 12, 2013 WASHINGTON – A Department of Energy plan to drag hundreds of canisters of radioactive nuclear material into the Nevada desert for a “shallow land burial” is raising safety concerns as experts worry what could happen if the security of the bomb-making material were compromised. Energy officials told FoxNews.com the department is preparing to ship 403 welded steel containers of a man-made highly radioactive cargo to the Nevada National Security Site, about an hour northwest of Las Vegas. Read more »
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authorities had no knowledge about the nuclear voyage before being asked by BarentsObserver to give a comment. Then, the vessel “Mikhail Dudin” had sailed along Norway’s long coastline for nearly five days and had already delivered its cargo in Murmansk.
“We have no information about any shipment of nuclear waste outside the coast of Norway last week,” NRPA Director Ole Harbitz said. In Murmansk, information about the nuclear waste arrival was first made public by the non-governmental organization Kola Ecological Center. The group is highly concerned about the radiation safety risk such cargo poses to the city’s 300,000 inhabitants. Maybe for good reasons; similar cargo is expected to arrive again. Read more »
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