nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

USA government plans radioactive trash trains to… nowhere

any-fool-would-know
 
 
 
the only sane thing is to stop making this poisonous stuff
 
 
 
Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, but Nowhere to Go, abc news,  ATLANTA — Aug 31, 2014,  By RAY HENRY Associated Press The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go.

TRAIN-NUCLEAR

Putting the cart before the horse, the U.S. Department of Energy recently asked companies for ideas on how the government should get the rail cars needed to haul 150-ton casks filled with used, radioactive nuclear fuel.

They won’t be moving anytime soon. The latest government plans call for having an interim test storage site in 2021 and a long-term geologic depository in 2048.

No one knows where those sites will be, Continue reading

September 2, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Final abandonment of Fukushima communities – as governor agrees to nuclear waste storage

wastes-1flag-japanFukushima governor accepts ‘temporary’ radioactive waste storage http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-09-01/fukushima-governor-accepts-temporary-radioactive-waste-storage/1363279  1 September 2014,

The governor of Fukushima has agreed to accept the “temporary” storage of radioactive waste from the 2011 nuclear disaster. Yuhei Sato has been cajoled with the promises of subsidies if he accepts a Japanese government plan to build a depot on land near the battered Fukushima Daiichi plant.

“I have made an agonising decision to accept plans to construct temporary storage facilities in order to achieve recovery in the environment as soon as possible,” Mr Sato told central government ministers in Tokyo. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011 prompted the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant on Japan’s northeast coast.

The resulting plumes of radiation contaminated areas far and wide, rendering a swathe of Fukushima uninhabitable and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.Tokyo’s solution has been to try to scrub the radiation from the affected areas, often by lifting topsoil in the hope that contamination levels will go down. This has left the problem of what to do with all the waste, with no community in Japan prepared to accept its permanent storage.

The government’s answer has been to seek a temporary fix while it works on getting a long-term plan in place.Mr Sato’s acquiescence came after prime minister Shinzo Abe’s government offered subsidies worth more than 300 billion yen ($2.9 billion), including land rent for the facility location.

Under the plan, the government will build storage units on an area of 16 square kilometres near the power plant.

While observers have long said the area around Fukushima is the only viable option, people already displaced have seen it as unacceptable because it would in effect finalise the abandonment of their communities.

September 2, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, wastes | 1 Comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s touching religious faith in future arrival of a solution to wastes of


any-fool-would-know

 

the only sane action is to stop making radioactive trash

waste-parks-site-usaFlag-USANuclear Waste Is Allowed Above Ground Indefinitely NYT, By AUG. 29, 2014 As the country struggles to find a place to bury spent nuclear fuel, theNuclear Regulatory Commission has decided that nuclear waste from power plants can be stored above ground in containers that can be maintained and guarded indefinitely.

The decision, in a unanimous vote of the commission on Tuesday, means that new nuclear plants can be built and old ones can expand their operations despite the lack of a long-term plan for disposing of the waste.

Waste Confidence 1

The chairwoman of the commission, who voted with the majority but dissented on certain aspects, said Friday that the vote risked allowing Congress to ignore the long-term problem.

“If you make the assumption that there will be some kind of institution that will exist, like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that will assure material stays safe for hundreds or thousands of years, there’s not much impetus for Congress to want to deal with this issue,” the chairwoman, Allison M. Macfarlane, said Friday. “Personally, I think that we can’t say with any certainty what the future will look like. We’re pretty damned poor at predicting the future.”………

The commission approved a generic environmental impact statement, under which nuclear activities can continue, but did not address the impact to the environment if the stored nuclear waste were abandoned, which would leave it vulnerable to attack or allow the containers to break down.

Ms. Macfarlane said it was wrong to predict institutional control indefinitely. “Best not to say anything about something so uncertain,” she said, “and just to work with what we can know for sure.”

For decades the commission has allowed nuclear plants to operate under what it called its waste confidence rule, which said that although there was no repository, there would most likely be one by the time it was needed, and in the interim, the storage of the highly radioactive waste in spent fuel pools or in dry casks would suffice. But in June 2012, a court ruled that the commission had not done its homework in studying whether the waste could be stored on an interim basis. As a result, the commission froze much of its licensing activity two years ago.

On Tuesday, however, the commission approved a finding by its staff that waste could be stored — as opposed to disposed of — indefinitely. The vote was 4-0.

Some nuclear opponents say the issue is certain to wind up back in court. At the Natural Resources Defense Council, Geoffrey H. Fettus, the lead lawyer in the original case, said in a statement: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to analyze the long-term environmental consequences of indefinite storage of highly toxic and radioactive nuclear waste; the risks of which are apparent to any observer of history over the past 50 years. The commission failed to follow the express directions of the court.”……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/us/spent-nuclear-fuel-is-allowed-to-be-stored-above-ground.html?_r=0

September 1, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

USA Congressman Dan Kildee fighting proposal for nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron

any-fool-would-know

 

 

they must also stop making this radioactive trash

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee to fight proposed Canadian nuclear waste facility on shores of Lake Huron M Live, By Sam Easter | seaster@mlive.com on August 28, 2014 BAY CITY, MI — Standing at the helm of the tall ship Appledore IV, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said the schooner based in downtown Bay City was the “perfect” place to make a few points about protecting the Great Lakes from nuclear waste.

Kildee spoke during the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 28, addressing plans by Ontario Power Generation to build a storage facility for low- to intermediate-level nuclear waste at a proposed underground facility near Kincardine, Ontario.

“Canada is a friend, but it is a country with vast land mass, and I’m sure that the best place for a nuclear storage facility cannot be less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron,” he said, regardless of whether officials say it’s scientifically sound. A point of contention among Michigan’s state and federal legislators for at least a year, the proposed facililty has also met strong opposition from local governments — officials from Bay County and Essexville both passed resolutions opposing the facility this month.

Kildee on Thursday announced he plant to introduce a Congressional resolution when legislators return from recess on Monday, Sept. 8, that — while lacking regulatory power — would voice the opinion of Congress on the matter. The resolution states that 40 million people in both countries depend on the Great Lakes’ drinking water, and that a nuclear spill “could have lasting and severely adverse environmental, health and economic impacts on the Great Lakes.”

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-O

If adopted, the resolution would discourage the Canadian government from building a nuclear storage site in the Great Lakes Basin and urge both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to work with their Canadian counterparts to find an alternate location……..

Multiple officials were present for Kildee’s announcement, including Laura Ogar, Bay County director of environmental affairs and community development, as well as Terry Miller, chairman of the local environmental group Lone Tree Council.

Shirley Roberts is the executive director of BaySail, which owns and operates the Appledore. She said that the Appledore was an appropriate place for the presentation, and that she support’s Kildee’s fight against the facility.

“I have grave concerns about the concept,” she said. http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2014/08/us_rep_dan_kildee_announces_pl.html

August 29, 2014 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

USA Nuclear permits to resume , as NRC renews its religious faith in a future solution to radioactive trash problem

U.S. to Resume Nuclear Permits, Relicensing on Waste Rule http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-26/u-s-to-resume-nuclear-permits-relicensing-on-waste-rule.html

By Mark Chediak  Aug 26, 2014  he U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will resume issuing licenses for new atomic reactors and allowing existing plants to extend operations after addressing flaws in its waste rules.

The commission approved a final rule addressing the environmental effects of storing spent nuclear fuel at a plant site, satisfying a court order that it needed to consider the possibility a permanent underground waste repository may never be built in the U.S., according to a statement today.

Waste Confidence 1

The Court of Appeals struck down the agency’s “waste confidence” rule in June 2012, saying the regulator also needed to do further studies on spent fuel pool leaks and fires. The agency suspended final licensing decisions on new reactors as well as license renewals for plants and storage facilities while it formulated its response. That suspension will be lifted once the final storage rule becomes effective, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

“The completion of this rulemaking is an important step that will facilitate final decisions on industry licensing actions pending,” Ellen Ginsberg, general counsel for the Washington-based industry group the Nuclear Energy Institute, said in a statement.

There are currently eight applications to build reactors awaiting agency action, according to its website. About 74 percent of the 100 operating U.S. reactors have been relicensed, allowing them to operate 20 years beyond their original 40-year lifespan.

Among the plants awaiting relicensing are Entergy Corp. (ETR)’s Indian Point reactors in New York and PG&E Corp.’s Diablo Canyon units in California.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.netTina Davis, Robin Saponar

August 27, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

South Korea – getting “full up” with nuclear radioactive trash

Oscar-wastes

any-fool-would-know

 

 

they must just stop making this trash!

 

South Korea running out of space for nuclear waste http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-18/south-korea-running-out-of-space-for-nuclear-waste/5679626  South Korea is running out of space to store its spent nuclear fuel, with some of its storage facilities set to reach capacity by 2016, according to an independent body that advises the government on nuclear issues.

A Public Engagement Commission, consisting of nuclear experts, professors, and officials, was set up in October 2013 to take account of public opinion on spent nuclear fuel issues and feed into policy decisions.

Commission chairman Hong Doo-seung says it is urgent to find more storage sites for spent fuel.

“We will have to stop nuclear power generation if we fail to find additional temporary space, Continue reading

August 20, 2014 Posted by | South Korea, wastes | 2 Comments

Mississippi Public Service Commission refusing to take nuclear wastes

Presley to Obama: Mississippi doesn’t want nuclear waste  POLITICAL LEDGER  Geoff Pender, The Clarion-Ledger10 August 19, 2014 Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has forwarded to President Obama resolutions passed by the PSC in opposition to storing nuclear waste in Mississippi.

Last year, federal officials considering alternatives to plans to store the nation’s nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, mentioned Mississippi’s salt domes as a possible option. At the time, the Mississippi Energy Institute issued a report that said creating a nuclear waste center in Mississippi would “serve as a platform for significant opportunities … to develop a massive nuclear energy industry center in the state of Mississippi.”

Presley said that more recently, Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy Peter Lyons was quoted as calling Mississippi one of “the most public of potential hosts to express interest in taking high-level waste.”

Presley, Northern District commissioner with the three-member PSC, this week sent Obama recent unanimously-passed PSC resolutions opposing permanent nuclear waste storage in Mississippi, …….http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2014/08/19/nuclear-waste-presley-psc/14283689/

August 20, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Toxicity of planned wastes raises anxiety about Lake Huron nuclear dump scheme

Lake Huron nuclear dump scheme in trouble Hamilton Spectator by  Thomas Walkom 7 Aug 14, Ontario’s plan to bury nuclear waste beside Lake Huron is running into heavy weather.

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-O

Ontario Power Generation, the Crown corporation behind the proposed dump site for low and intermediate level radioactive waste, has publicly acknowledged that its long-term safety plans are based, in part, on new technologies that have not yet been invented.

As the Star’s John Spears reported this week, that explanation hasn’t endeared itself to the small but politically important aboriginal communities near the proposed Kincardine dump site.

In a brief to the federal review panel that will eventually rule on the plan, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation reminds OPG of its assurance that no nuclear waste dump will be built without aboriginal consent

Will that consent be given? The first nation doesn’t say. But in its brief, it does express profound unease with what it calls OPG’s vague and open-ended scheme.

Plans for this so-called deep geological repository at Kincardine have been in the works since 2005.

Initially, the proposed dump was supposed to house waste such as the rubber gloves used by nuclear workers — items with relatively low levels of radioactivity.

Right now, nuclear waste from Ontario atomic power generating plants is stored on the surface.

But once federal hearings started last fall, OPG changed tack. It announced it wanted to double the size of the underground dump to roughly 400,000 cubic metres in order to accommodate waste that will be produced when the province’s existing nuclear plants are taken apart.

This so-called decommissioning waste, which includes components such as pressure tubes (but not nuclear fuel), will remain highly radioactive for thousands of years.

Critics cried foul. The three-member federal panel hearing the proposal ordered OPG to better explain how it would handle this more difficult waste.

It also told the Crown utility to look into why a similar U.S. nuclear waste facility near Carlsbad New Mexico — cited by dump proponents as a model — suffered two accidents in February……….http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4737032-lake-huron-nuclear-dump-scheme-in-trouble/

August 8, 2014 Posted by | Canada, wastes | 1 Comment

Massive, decaying, dangerous, weapons empire at Oak Ridge

Y-12: Poster child for a dysfunctional nuclear weapons complex Robert Alvarez, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 6 Aug 14 “……The United States halted production of new nuclear weapons in 1989, with the end of the Cold War. But the US nuclear weapons complex—composed of eight key facilities that have an annual budget exceeding $8 billion—has stumbled on, in the form of a massive, decaying empire that in many cases does its work poorly or dangerously, or both. The Y-12 National Security Complex is the poster child for much of what ails the weapons complex. Although Y-12 has not produced weapons for some 25 years, its annual budgets have increased by nearly 50 percent since 1997, to more than $1 billion a year.

Weapons-plant-Oak-Ridge

For decades, the Energy Department—which manages the weapons complex through the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA)—has not been able to reconcile competing objectives at the 811-acre Y-12 site, whether they involve storage areas for HEU and other fissile materials, the restarting of old weapons facilities, environmental cleanup, the building of new weapons facilities, or the downsizing of the site. As a result, costs have significantly increased, and long-standing problems have continued, unresolved, for years that have run into decades. For every dollar spent to maintain and modernize the US nuclear weapons stockpile, nearly three dollars is spent “to provide the underlying infrastructure” for maintenance and modernization at Y-12.

Long-term secrecy and isolation have created a dangerous form of hoarding at Y-12; a panoply of severe hazards continues to build up, constantly awaiting ever more costly mitigation in the future. But the stark reality is that there are no more cans to kick down the road. Y-12 has inexorably caught up with its future. Its environmental and security problems are too threatening to leave unaddressed, and questions about its mission will have to be answered definitively in an age of budgetary austerity and relatively little need for new nuclear weapons…….

During its heyday, Y-12 produced some 1,000 CSAs per year. Now, its annual production capacity has dwindled to less than 100. Though the NNSA declares that Y-12 has multiple missions, including non-proliferation efforts that involve the downblending of HEU and the provision of fuel for the Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines, nearly 99 percent of its budget comes from funds dedicated to maintain the US nuclear weapons stockpile. More than anything, Y-12 serves to stockpile thousands of CSAs from discarded nuclear weapons, as well as depleted uranium, lithium, and other hazardous chemicals……..  the Government Accountability Office finds that “NNSA’s decision to retain many CSAs … poses significant challenges to Y-12’s ability to plan its disassembly workload.” Although exact numbers have been classified since the 1990s, there are likely several thousand excess CSAs, containing hundreds of tons of HEU, awaiting dismantlement at Y-12. ……

Around New Year’s Eve of 1996, a long-awaited vulnerability assessment of HEU storage at Energy Department sites was released. Y-12 had the most significant problems. Even though fires posed the greatest danger of radiation and chemical exposure to workers and the public, buildings, mostly constructed in the 1940’s, had deteriorated and had insufficient or non-existent fire-protection systems, despite the very real possibility of a truly catastrophic fire and resulting release of radiation. It wasn’t until 14 years later that a replacement facility for the aged wooden structure serving as the main HEU storage warehouse was opened; it cost five times the original construction estimate. That facility gained notoriety in August 2012, after nonviolent peace protestors, including an 84-year-old nun, penetrated its security barriers……..

From 1997 to 2006, there were 21 fires and explosions at Y-12 involving electrical equipment, glove boxes, pumps, waste containers, and nuclear and hazardous chemicals. Several resulted in worker injuries and destruction of property.  ………..  In March 2014, a large portion of a concrete ceiling collapsedin a building that was once part of the weapons operation. It was a near miss: Foot-long concrete pieces bounced onto walkways and an area where welders had been working just a day before. …..

In April 2014, the NNSA released a “red team” report, led by the director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, on the troubled UPF. The team’s most significant recommendation was to rethink a basic, “big-box” approach that would create a UPF to serve multiple functions in one structure. Instead, to hold the line at an estimated $6.5 billion for design and construction costs, the team recommended going back to the drawing board to effectively reduce the size and scope of the project. Meanwhile, in recognition of the growing hazards associated with a deteriorating infrastructure for storing “materials at risk,” the team recommended that greater emphasis should be given to safe consolidated storage of materials, deferred maintenance, and safety upgrading……….

Regardless of the wisdom of or need for an asteroid-protection program, the future of Y-12 should be focused on earthly realities: cleaning up the environment, decontamination and decommissioning of facilities, stabilizing nuclear and other hazardous materials, and the dismantlement of a large excess stockpile of weapons components. There is a very real need to replace the collapsing infrastructure at Y-12 with facilities that can accomplish these goals.

Protecting the planet from asteroids is a poor rationale for failing to deal with the environmental, safety, financial, and health challenges the Y-12 site poses to the people who live in the area, and to the country as a whole.  http://thebulletin.org/y-12-poster-child-dysfunctional-nuclear-weapons-complex7361

August 7, 2014 Posted by | Reference, safety, USA, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fire risk at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

exclamation-SmLab Director: Expect radiation spikes coming from US nuclear facility — Gov’t pays for more air monitors to see impact on populated areas — DOE warns of ‘ignitability’ of 368 containers at site; “Significant fire risk” — Top Official: Material at WIPP “just disintegrated… got very hot, very quickly” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/lab-director-radiation-spikes-expected-nuclear-facility-govt-pays-air-monitors-impact-populated-areas-doe-ignitability-368-containers-wipp-underground-significant-fire-risk-top-official-mater

Dept. of Energy – Carlsbad, NM Field Office (pdf), July 30, 2014: The purpose of this letter is to provide you [New Mexico Environmental Dept.] written notice that the Department of Energy [is] provisionally applying EPA Hazardous Waste Number (code) D001** for the characteristic of ignitability to some nitrate salt bearing waste containers that have been disposed at the WIPP facility. […] This affects up to 368 containers […] in the underground WIPP facility […] The Permittees plan to implement the [plan] to expedite closure of Panel 6 and Panel 7, Room 7 so that a potential release […] will not pose a threat to human health or the environment.

** “Significant fire risk due either to their low flash point, ability to self-combust and burn, or are able to combust or support combustion” -EPA hazardous waste specialist Daniel Stoehr

Reuters, July 26, 2014: A team of government investigators has turned its attention to Los Alamos in recent days […] to determine whether additional barrels are affected, said [New Mexico Senator Peter Wirth]. “We’re making progress in determining what happened. Now we are much more focused on the scope,” he said.

Minutes of the New Mexico Legislature (pdf), published June 26, 2014: In further explaining what occurred [at WIPP, NMED Secretary Ryan] Flynn said that the material holding the bags of magnesium oxide together that had been on top of the drums just disintegrated. By all indications, he added, the area got very hot very quickly […]

Carlsbad, NM Town Hall, July 24, 2014:

  • 37:30 in – Question: Is Dr. Hardy saying that radiation from contaminated ventilation system will continue to be released to the environment periodically? Russell Hardy, director of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center: That is Dr. Hardy’s assumption… we will probably see spikes at Station B, as contamination… makes its way out of the repository.
  • 52:30 in – Hardy: We did receive additional funding from DOE to expand our ambient air sampling sites… very soon we will be deploying 3 additional ambient air sampling towers… one will be here in Carlsbad… we think those 3 additions will give us much better coverage in the future with respect to how this release — or the potential for future releases — may impact the area.

Watch the WIPP Town Hall here

August 4, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain’s intractable and expensive problem of accumulating nuclear waste

waste-bunker-Kent-UKflag-UKBritain’s nuclear waste, a problem proving hard to bury, The Conversation, Stuart Haszeldine Professor of Geology at University of  Edinburgh 1 Aug 14 

A proposal for radioactive waste to appear at a burial site nearby, would be likely to fill the great majority of the UK population with thoughts of danger, cancer – and falling house prices. This illustrates the huge problem of public misperception to overcome when disposing of radioactive waste. Britain’s nuclear reactors have generated low-carbon electricity since 1956, in doing so creating around 260,000m3 (about the size of 700 double-decker buses) of intermediate-level wasteand 3,000m3 of highly radioactive high-level waste, as well as spent fuel, plutonium and uranium. The price for decommissioning past and existing nuclear power plant and disposing of that waste is around £70 billion – the single largest item of expenditure for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

What to do with radioactive waste is a problem that has so far proved to be intractable to successive generations of civil servants and ministers. In the mid-1970s, it was decided that deep burial would provide the optimum secure solution.

Here, radioactive waste would be packaged and contained for one million years, sealed by multiple chemical and physical barriers within a repository dug out around 500 metres below ground level. A serious attempt was made to investigate a site in West Cumbria close to Sellafield in the 1990’s, but that foundered on the complexity of the geology and flow of deep groundwater, making it difficult to predict how well sealed the waste would be into the far future……….

Another review and public consultation was undertaken during 2013-14, from which emerged the White Paper “Implementing Geological Disposal” published in July 2014. The results show the government has done some serious listening, and it provides some distinctly new approaches.

First, a new body Radioactive Waste Management Ltd will be created to pursue a disposal site. The company will be wholly owned by the government and could propose more than one facility for different types of waste. This has been tried in the 1980s and 1990s with UK Nirex – a limited company wholly owned by UK government, which spent £400m investigating just one site. Can you spot any difference? So how this operates will be more important than the definition.

Second, the government states it is keen to “listen and respond to views and concerns”. Yet in the future this search will now become defined as a nationally significant infrastructure project, which means that many powers of local people to decide or influence could be restricted or removed. Specifically, the control and influence of local councils has been removed, combined with a statement that no tier of government will have the right to veto a project. So the responsibility of regional council authorities for managing this waste, and the associated road and rail and excavation infrastructure is also removed.

Third, the search for a site will become national, with a two-year period of geological survey and screening to identify suitable regions (not specific sites). Identifying secure regions may become difficult if the extensive fracking of England goes ahead for shale gas and oil, as, any effect on the underlying geology could affect a site’s long term secure storage potential………

Potentially the most significant statement of all comes from the secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Davey, stating that arrangements for waste disposal have to be in place before planning consent will be given for new nuclear power stations. Does this mean that one or more sites need to be specifically identified before construction can start on the new nuclear reactors planned at Hinkley Point and elsewhere? If formal discussions with new volunteers do not even start until 2016, and could conclude as late as 2030 – by which time Hinkley Point C should be generating power – that seems impossible.

Perhaps ministers of the future be satisfied merely to know that the UK “has a plan”? If the past is any guide to the future, relying on such a plan didn’t help to find a nuclear mausoleum in 1978, 1996, or 2012. https://theconversation.com/britains-nuclear-waste-a-problem-proving-hard-to-bury-29917

 

 

August 4, 2014 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

UK White paper – Implementing Geological Disposal

Written statement to Parliament UK

Publication of Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper 2014

 From:
Department of Energy & Climate Change and The Rt Hon Edward Davey MP
Delivered on:
22 July 2014
History:
Published 24 July 2014
Part of:
Managing the use and disposal of radioactive and nuclear substances and wasteEnergyEnvironment and Public waste-bunker-Kent-UKsafety and emergencies
Statement by Edward Davey on the publication of a white paper on geological disposal.

I am today publishing a White Paper on implementing geological disposal of higher activity radioactive waste.The White Paper – Implementing Geological Disposal -follows a public consultation that my department carried out during 2013 on potential amendments to the existing siting process established in 2008 for a geological disposal facility (GDF) and reflects key messages from that consultation, as well as lessons learned during the previous siting process.

The UK Government remains committed to geological disposal as the right policy for the long-term, safe and secure management of higher activity radioactive waste……….

……….With regard to new nuclear power, UK Government policy is that, before development consents for new nuclear power stations are granted, I will need to be satisfied that effective arrangements exist or will exist to manage and dispose of the waste they will produce…….

The White Paper is issued jointly by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. The Welsh Government is currently considering a wider review of its higher activity radioactive waste management policy. The Scottish Government has a separate higher activity radioactive policy.

Today I am also publishing the latest annual report on the geological disposal programme, covering April 2013 to March 2014. This will be laid in the libraries of the House. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/publication-of-implementing-geological-disposal-white-paper-2014

August 4, 2014 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

40 $billion later America’s biggest nuclear waste site still leaking

Hanford-waste-tanksAfter $40 Billion, America’s Biggest Nuclear Dump Is Still Leaking by Charleston Voice  29 July 14, It’s cost $40 billion so far to clean up America’s biggest nuclear waste site—half the size of Rhode Island—and it’s going to take another 40 years and $100 billion to finish the job.
In the meantime, workers from theHanford nuclear site in Washington State are still getting sick from exposure to any one of 1,400 chemicals identified there, while allegations of mismanagement, negligence and secrecy over what may be life-threatening risks persist.

And delays keep piling up even though at least a third of the aging tanks storing 56 million gallons radioactive waste have leaked or are leaking, pouring some of the world’s most dangerous contaminants into the Columbia River.

Yet the treatment plant to create safe storage for all that waste—which will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years—still isn’t built. It should have been finished three years ago. And the Environmental Protection Agency  is skeptical that the plant’s current completion date of 2022 will be met.

Only Another 40 Years to Go The plant is a crucial part of a wider remediation job that’s decades from being done, according to Dennis Faulk, the EPA’s program manager for Hanford

“I think we have another 40 years to go,” Faulk told WhoWhatWhy. “And another $100 billion will be needed over that time.” It costs about $2 billion a year to keep cleaning.

The EPA oversees and enforces the cleanup efforts, which are carried out by the Department of Energy and the contractors it hires. Both Congress and the Department of Energy itself have given those efforts a failing grade.

The Department of Energy’s internal watchdog last year blamed the department and the contractor that’s building the plant, Bechtel National Inc., for the delays. The Department of Energy’s oversight lacked focus and Bechtel implemented scores of design changes without subjecting them to the required nuclear safety review, according to a report from the department’s Inspector General.

Congress’ Government Accountability Office was harsher. It recommended shutting down construction until the design work is completed safely, and said the Department of Energy was prematurely awarding millions in performance incentives to Bechtel.    Meanwhile, Bechtel and another contractor are fighting whistleblower lawsuits from two former employees, and guess who’s paying for their legal fees? The Department of Energy is.

All of those complications are worsened by the fact that the search for waste keeps turning up surprises, like nearly 100 pieces of spent fuel found in Native American burial grounds. So as the Herculean task creeps forward, occasional new contamination findings like that add time to the clock, which means the projected completion dates are really only theoretical.

Hanford wasn’t built with an abundance of forethought. The job of making weapons-grade plutonium came first. Everything else, like planning for the waste and telling people about the release of radioactive materials, came second.
Most critical work on the plant has been shut down………..http://chasvoice.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/after-40-billion-americas-biggest.html

July 30, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan struggles to plan disposal area for nuclear waste dumps

Japan Gives Up Plan to Buy Fukushima Lands for Nuclear Waste Storage Facilities MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – The Japanese Government has given up on a plan to buy contaminated lands near the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in order to build storage facilities for nuclear waste, Japan Today reported Tuesday.

According to online newspaper, local residents did not agree to the initial plan and refused to sell their lands, even though most of them are located within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the Fukushima-1 power plant and are still considered unfit for habitation due to their high levels of radioactive contamination.

The Japanese Environment Ministry decided to lease the land for a 30-year period instead.

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto explained the new proposal in a meeting with Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and the mayors of Okuma and Futaba, whose towns were selected as interim storage facilities……… researchers found radioactive cesium fallout in Fukushima plants and animals. http://en.ria.ru/world/20140729/191432845/Japan-Gives-Up-Plan-to-Buy-Fukushima-Lands-for-Nuclear-Waste.html

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

New Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule (same nonsense under a new name?)

any-fool-would-know

 

 

the only sane thing is to stop making the stuff

Waste Confidence Final Rule Now Before the Commission http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2014/07/24/waste-confidence-final-rule-now-before-the-commission/  July 24, 2014 Andy Imboden Communications Branch Chief Waste Confidence Directorate

 Waste Confidence 1

After thousands of public comments, dozens of meetings and hundreds of written pages, the NRC Commissioners are now deliberating the draft final rule and draft generic environmental impact statement on the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel – what used to be called “waste confidence.”

Under NRC procedures, and in support of our agency’s transparency and openness goals, we are making three documents including the draft final rule and environmental impact statement available – you can find them on the NRC’swaste confidence webpage:

  • A staff paper, SECY-14-0072: Final Rule: Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel;
  • A draft Federal Register notice on the final rule; and
  • A draft NUREG-2157: Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel – Final Report (GEIS).

To be clear, the draft final rule and draft GEIS are not yet final and are not for public comment. NUREG-2157 includes a lengthy Appendix D that summarizes and responds to more than 33,000 written comments we received when the draft GEIS and proposed rule were published for comment last year. They are “draft final” documents because they need Commission approval before they become final agency action. The Commission may approve, modify, or disapprove them.

Some important points to remember: The final Continued Storage rule represents a generic finding on the environmental impacts of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel beyond the licensed operating life of a reactor. It does not license or approve any storage facility or any nuclear power reactors. The facilities are licensed – or licenses are renewed – based on site-specific application reviews.

The rule is to be used as a part of the overall environmental review for new reactor license applications, current reactor renewal applications, and spent fuel storage facility license reviews in these site-specific proceedings. The GEIS serves as the regulatory basis for the rule, and does not replace the staff’s comprehensive environmental review in individual licensing proceedings.

The name change from “waste confidence” to “continued storage” is just one way the new rule differs from previous versions, including the 2010 version that was struck down by the D.C. Circuit U.S. Appeals Court. (That ruling two years ago prompted the current rulemaking effort.) The name change and other changes are in part due to public comment, and are further explained in the staff paper and the Federal Register notice. The latter also includes an extensive question-and-answer section about the staff’s review and conclusions.

July 26, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,095 other followers