nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Danger of rising sea levels to nuclear waste canisters at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

Special vehicles are required to move the casks, as are specially built roads that can handle the immense weight.

“We don’t know if this highly dangerous material will be there for another 100 years or a thousand years.

if the casks are not moved in the coming decades, or even centuries, they worry about who would ultimately be responsible for protecting the nuclear waste. It’s unlikely, for example, that Entergy will still own the property, they say.

Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground more https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/04/20/seas-rise-pilgrim-mulls-moving-its-nuclear-waste-higher-ground/rcrkilSqo4cGpfledFyrJJ/story.html? 

The problem is where to store the nuclear waste — especially since its current location won’t stay 25 feet above Plymouth Bay for long.

As sea levels rise at an accelerating rate, increasing the threat that an extreme storm surge could flood the coastal facility, Pilgrim officials are considering whether to move the spent fuel to higher ground.

Plant officials and federal regulators maintain that the current location is safe, at least for the foreseeable future, noting that the containers are designed to withstand flooding. But local activists are urging Pilgrim to take action, worried that the daunting political obstacles to moving the casks to a federal repository could force them to remain in Plymouth permanently.

“Not moving them would be irresponsible,” said Pine duBois, executive director of the Jones River Watershed Association in Kingston, which is about 8 miles from Pilgrim. “We don’t know if this highly dangerous material will be there for another 100 years or a thousand years. It has to be moved.”

Environmental advocates are calling on the state to require Entergy Corp., the Louisiana-based conglomerate that owns Pilgrim, to move the casks to its helipad or parking lot, which are three times higher than the existing storage site and set further back from the water.

Plant officials and federal regulators maintain that the current location is safe, at least for the foreseeable future, noting that the containers are designed to withstand flooding. But local activists are urging Pilgrim to take action, worried that the daunting political obstacles to moving the casks to a federal repository could force them to remain in Plymouth permanently.

“Not moving them would be irresponsible,” said Pine duBois, executive director of the Jones River Watershed Association in Kingston, which is about 8 miles from Pilgrim. “We don’t know if this highly dangerous material will be there for another 100 years or a thousand years. It has to be moved.”

Environmental advocates are calling on the state to require Entergy Corp., the Louisiana-based conglomerate that owns Pilgrim, to move the casks to its helipad or parking lot, which are three times higher than the existing storage site and set further back from the water.

Despite the concerns, plant officials say the casks are secure……….

Under recent worst-case projections, tides could rise as much as 10 feet by the end of the century and as much as 37 feet by 2200. That’s not accounting for storm surges, such as the 15-foot high tides that battered the Massachusetts coast during two nor’easters this winter, causing widespread flooding. …….

Under recent worst-case projections, tides could rise as much as 10 feet by the end of the century and as much as 37 feet by 2200. That’s not accounting for storm surges, such as the 15-foot high tides that battered the Massachusetts coast during two nor’easters this winter, causing  widespread flooding………

The decision about where to store the casks comes as the 46-year-old plant faces a host of maintenance challenges. Entergy announced three years ago that it would close Pilgrim in June 2019, after a litany of economic woes and safety issues. In 2015, the NRC designated Pilgrim as one of the nation’s three least-safe reactors.

Those problems have persisted. Until Thursday, the plant had been offline for 43 days — one of its longest unplanned outages — after crews discovered a significant issue with a transformer that provides power for Pilgrim to operate. It was the second unplanned shutdown this year.

Plant officials must also weigh a range of other issues in deciding whether to move the waste, including security, radiation, and the impact on decommissioning the plant.

Cost is another factor.

Special vehicles are required to move the casks, as are specially built roads that can handle the immense weight. For example, at Vermont Yankee, which began the decommissioning process several years ago, it cost $143 million to fill and move their remaining casks to a new storage site.

Moving the casks uphill would add to the expense, and plant officials have not ruled out building a new storage pad adjacent to the existing one, which is only about 100 feet from the reactor building.

Storing nuclear waste has long been a thorny political issue, one that has become increasingly urgent as more aging plants are shuttered………

For local activists who have long raised concerns about the dangers of nuclear power, the assurances of Pilgrim and the NRC provide little comfort.

While the casks may not leak from being submerged for a brief period, they could be subject to corrosion from exposure to saltwater, which could create cracks and eventually lead to leaks, they said.

And if the casks are not moved in the coming decades, or even centuries, they worry about who would ultimately be responsible for protecting the nuclear waste. It’s unlikely, for example, that Entergy will still own the property, they say.

“We need a plan for the next 100 to 300 years,” said Mary Lampert, director of Pilgrim Watch, a civic watchdog group. “I don’t see that happening.”

Advertisements

April 22, 2018 - Posted by | climate change, safety, USA, wastes

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: