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Options for USA nuclear radioactive trash policy

Forging a Path Forward on U.S. Nuclear Waste Management: Options for Policy Makers, Columbia University,  BY MATT BOWEN |JANUARY 28, 2021

“……..A new report, part of wider work on nuclear energy at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, explains how the United States reached its current stalemate over nuclear waste disposal. It then examines productive approaches in other countries and a few domestic ones that could guide U.S. policy makers through options for improving the prospects of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste disposal going forward, including the following:

  • Create a new organization whose sole mission is nuclear waste management (and whose approach is consent-based). Since the 1970s, reports have noted that a single-purpose organization would have a number of advantages over a program residing within Department of Energy, which has multiple missions and competing priorities. Accordingly, Congress could pass legislation to create a separate nuclear waste management organization that has full access to needed funding and employs a consent-based approach to achieve greater support from state and local communities for the siting of facilities.


    • Improve the funding structure of the U.S. nuclear waste program. 
      The program was supposed to be self-financing, with owners of nuclear power plants paying into a Nuclear Waste Fund that would cover the costs of management and disposal. However, due in part to budget laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s, a lack of access to needed funding has arisen. If the first option of creating a new organization is not achievable in the near-term, Congress could at least improve the waste program’s funding structure.

    • Pursue disposal of U.S. defense waste first. There could be greater public acceptance for the disposal of defense-related waste over commercial waste due to the national security missions involved and patriotic sensibilities. Momentum in one area of waste management could lead to the overall program’s advancement, as a successful endeavor for defense waste disposal would inform and encourage commercial waste efforts. Nuclear waste from the defense sector also has some technical characteristics — the inventory being bounded, smaller, cooler, and with less potential for reuse — that may argue for its disposal ahead of power plant spent nuclear fuel.

      • Prepare for a large-scale transportation program. To date, the transportation of nuclear waste has been very safe. However, there are additional steps the federal government could take to prepare for the eventual larger-scale transportation campaign of spent nuclear fuel to either a consolidated interim storage site or a geologic repository. Such options include amending the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to allow states to recover the full costs of planning and operations for transportation across their borders and ensuring an independent regulator has authority over the transportation regime to strengthen public confidence in the program.

      • Update generic regulatory standards for future geologic repositories. There are two sets of U.S. regulatory standards for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste disposal: one for Yucca Mountain and one for all other sites. The Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Department of Energy could resolve inconsistencies between regulations and ensure that new generic regulations for future disposal facilities are flexible enough to cover novel approaches (e.g., deep boreholes).

        • Negotiate an agreement with Nevada on Yucca Mountain. The U.S. government could pursue, concurrent with new siting efforts, negotiating an agreement with Nevada to investigate, for example, the disposal of a more limited waste inventory at Yucca Mountain. Nye County, which is where the site is located, sees a disposal facility there as potentially safe and is interested in the associated economic development. Nevada’s long-standing concerns regarding the project would have to be addressed to gain broader public support within the state.

        Read the full report herehttps://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2021/01/28/nuclear-waste-management-report/

January 29, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Who’s next? Experts worry about East Asia and the Middle East getting nuclear weapons

Who’s next?  Nuclear proliferation is not fast, but it is frightening

Experts worry about East Asia and the Middle East,

In march 1963 President John Kennedy lamented his failure to negotiate a ban on nuclear tests. “Personally,” he warned, “I am haunted by the feeling that by 1970, unless we are successful, there may be ten nuclear powers instead of four—and by 1975, 15 or 20.”

Kennedy was wrong. While many countries explored the idea of nuclear weapons from the 1950s to the 1990s, comparatively few took the next step of actually trying to develop the ability to build them (see chart). Of those few some stopped because the country itself dissolved (Yugoslavia), some because of changes to domestic politics (Brazil), some because of pressure from allies (South Korea) and some through force of arms (Iraq)….. (subscribers only)  https://www.economist.com/briefing/2021/01/30/nuclear-proliferation-is-not-fast-but-it-is-frightening

January 29, 2021 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fukushima businesses battle for survival, as few former residents return

Fukushima businesses struggling to stay afloat despite government help,  Japan Times, 29 Jan 21 Commercial complexes built as part of revitalization projects in areas affected by the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011 are struggling to stay afloat.Faced with difficulties due to swelling costs, business operators often turn to local municipalities for financial aid to help them overcome crises. But the financial struggles will not end soon, given that only a portion of the residents who evacuated from the disaster-stricken areas have returned or are expected to.

Those outlets are now facing a testing moment that will determine whether they can continue with their businesses.

A small village in Fukushima Prefecture located northwest of the power plant, Iitate, which was issued evacuation orders after the nuclear disaster, built the commercial complex Michi no Eki Madeikan for ¥1.4 billion. However, business at the commercial building, which has a convenience store and a vegetable stand, has always been touch and go.

Madei Garden Village Iitate runs the business using a ¥33 million payment from the local government. But even with those funds, the operator saw a deficit of ¥9 million in fiscal 2017 and ¥8 million the following year.

Faced with a severe financial crisis, the company was forced to seek financial aid worth ¥35 million from Iitate in 2018.

After revising its business strategy, the company managed to reduce running costs and decrease the deficit to ¥300,000 in fiscal 2019.

“We are expecting a profit in fiscal 2020. I’ll be dealing with the accumulating debt as a priority,” says Rokutaro Kurihara, the company’s managing director.

Kurihara’s company is among those operating at 12 commercial facilities in 10 towns in areas that used to be designated as no-go zones, including the town of Namie and Tamura city.

Since most of the stores and shops shut down when residents evacuated from the region, local governments have built them for returning residents.

But many of them share the same fate as Kurihara’s……  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/01/29/national/fukushima-business-struggles/

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Italian government lists 61 potential sites for nuclear waste dumping

Italy begins search for national radwaste storage site, WNN, 29 January 2021A list of 67 potential sites for a radioactive waste storage facility has been published by Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin), the Italian state-owned company responsible for dismantling the country’s nuclear power plants. The publication of the list on 5 January, announced in five national newspapers, started a period of public consultation……

The 67 potential sites are located in seven regions: Piedmont, Tuscany, Lazio, Puglia, Basilicata, Sardinia and Sicily.  ……..

The planned surface-level waste store and technology park will be built in an area of about 150 hectares, of which 110 are dedicated to the repository and 40 to the park. The store will have the capacity to hold about 78,000 cubic meters of very low and low-level radioactive waste, as well as about 17,000 cubic meters of intermediate and high-level waste, pending the availability of a deep geological repository suitable for its disposal. ……..

Italy’s radioactive waste is currently stored in about 20 temporary sites, which are not suitable for final disposal. In addition to waste generated through the operation and decommissioning of its fuel cycle facilities and nuclear power plants, it includes radioactive wastes from medical, industrial and research activities………https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Italy-begins-search-for-national-radwaste-storage

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Italy, wastes | Leave a comment

Iran rejects reversing nuclear steps before US lifts sanctions

Iran rejects reversing nuclear steps before US lifts sanctions, Aljazeera, 28 Jan 21, 

Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran could reverse breaches of nuclear deal once US sanctions are removed.

Iran will not accept demands by the United States that it reverses acceleration of its nuclear programme before Washington lifts sanctions, foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

The demand “is not practical and will not happen”, he said at a joint news conference in Istanbul on Friday with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The new administration of US President Joe Biden has said Tehran must resume compliance with curbs on its nuclear activity under the world powers’ 2015 deal before it can rejoin the pact formally known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran breached the terms of the accord in a step-by-step response to the decision by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump to abandon the deal in 2018 and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Earlier this month, Iran resumed enriching uranium to 20 percent at its underground Fordow nuclear plant – a level it achieved before the accord.

However, Iran has said it can quickly reverse those violations if US sanctions are removed…… https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/29/iran-rejects-reversing-nuclear-steps-before-us-lifts-sanctions

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Anxiety in Czech Republic about nuclear supplies from China, or from Russia

BNE Intellinews 28th Jan 2021, The planned tender for the supplier of the new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant will most likely be without a Chinese bidder, the Czech
government and the leaders of the opposition parties agreed on January 27.
According to Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlicek, for all
political parties China is an unimaginable main supplier. “Basically, we
all believe that China is an unimaginable potential supplier to us in the
tender.
At the same time, the political parties are divided in the attitude
of a certain part of politicians who would like to exclude Russia [from a
tender, too], while another part wants to keep it there,” minister said.
Some opposition parties see Russia as a security and geopolitical threat,
said chairman of Mayors and Independents Vit Rakusan. The state has been
also considering financing the construction of a new nuclear power plant in
Dukovany on its own, in case involvement of the state-owned energy company
CEZ would be too expensive.

https://www.intellinews.com/china-to-be-excluded-from-czech-tender-for-new-dukovany-nuclear-unit-201425/

January 29, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

EDF plans 2 new sites for dumping radioactive mud dredged from Hinkley Point

NFLA 27th Jan 2021, The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), the ‘Stop
Hinkley’ campaign and the ‘Geiger Bay’ campaign have been involved in
raising concerns over the dumping of large amounts of dredged materials
from the EDF site at Hinkley Point into sites between the south Wales and
the Somerset coast.
In a surprise move to the groups, EDF, which is
building a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, has announced that the
Portishead marine disposal site LU070 is now a possible dumping ground for
the seabed sediment it is seeking to dredge from Bridgwater Bay in order to
sink cooling water intake and outfall tunnels for the new reactors at
Hinkley Point.
Despite major public opposition in Wales, in 2018 the Welsh
Government permitted EDF to dump large quantities of Hinkley C dredged mud
at the Cardiff Deep Grounds inshore disposal site, only 2 miles off the
Cardiff Bay sea front.
This came after EDF insisted that it was the only
suitable site available in the Bristol Channel. However, EDF has recently
announced its intention to apply to the Marine Management Organisation
(MMO) for a license to dump at Portishead, while also making a further
application to dump at the existing Welsh site. No reason has been given by
EDF for the Portishead proposal.

https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/portishead-dumping-ground-possible-new-destination-edfs-hinkley-point-radioactive-mud/

January 29, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Armenia’s nuclear power station a danger to Azerbaijan and the region

January 29, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Biden to name Obama’s former adviser, Robert Malley, as envoy for Iran

Guardian 29th Jan 2021, The Biden administration is expected name Robert Malley, a former top adviser in the Obama administration, as special envoy for Iran, according
to multiple sources. Malley was a key member of former Barack Obama’s
team that negotiated the nuclear accord with Iran and world powers, an
agreement that Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 in the face of strong
opposition from Washington’s European allies.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/29/iran-deal-architect-robert-malley-biden-appoint

January 29, 2021 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

In Burghfield, homes to built dangerously close to nuclear weapons establishment.

Get Reading 28th Jan 2021, Plans to build thousands of homes in Wokingham borough could still happen
despite the site being ‘dangerously’ close to a nuclear weapons factory.
The scheme to build 15,000 properties in Grazeley was thrown into doubt
after fears over a potential nuclear emergency. But Cllr John Halsall,
leader of Wokingham Borough Council, has confirmed the plans have not been
scrapped and “alternatives are being investigated”. It was thrown into
doubt, after a Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) was extended to
cover most of the site, that is within a couple of miles of nuclear weapons
factory AWE Burghfield.

https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/property/plans-15000-homes-nuclear-emergency-19711309

Reading Chronicle 27th Jan 2021

https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/19042063.15-000-home-grazeley-project-not-dead-yet/

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

End This Endless War…this Endless Militarism — Rise Up Times

“We’re all part of a culture that continues to esteem war, embrace militarism, and devote more than half of federal discretionary spending to wars, weaponry, and the militarization of American culture. “

End This Endless War…this Endless Militarism — Rise Up Times

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear pretend-environmental groups pop up all the time,: here’s another one the ”Good Energy Collective”

 

January 29, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment