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

Nuclear tomb: The Runit Dome is chipping and cracking

November 14, 2019 Posted by | environment, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

The push for nuclear power in Africa, but what happens to the wastes?

November 14, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, wastes | Leave a comment

Lawmakers right to hold off on nuclear waste bill

Lawmakers right to hold off on nuclear waste bill,22189, November 7, 2019 , By CJ Baker

Offer people enough money and they’ll put up with quite a bit.

So if the State of Wyoming was offered, say, billions of dollars a year, you might find some folks willing to hold their nose and let the federal government store a bit of nuclear waste in an isolated corner of the state.

But with the feds apparently offering relative peanuts to stash their waste in Wyoming, we’re pleased that state lawmakers are backing off the idea.

On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee decided not to sponsor a bill that would have called on the governor’s office to try negotiating a nuclear waste deal with the feds.

Lawmakers started exploring the idea of temporarily storing spent nuclear fuel rods back in July. Things got off on the wrong foot right away, as the Joint Management Council opted to look into the concept using an unannounced vote held by email; the discussion only became public when WyoFile, a nonprofit news service, learned of and wrote about it.

We wrote in this space back in July that, while the lack of transparency was frustrating, the idea was worth exploring. However, the price has to be right. State Sen. Jim Anderson, a Republican from Casper, told WyoFile in July that Wyoming could receive as much as $1 billion a year for storing the country’s nuclear waste. That could go a long way toward relieving some of Wyoming’s budget woes.

But when the Spent Fuel Rods Subcommittee actually heard testimony on the subject in September, federal officials suggested the state might only receive $10 million a year — and a chunk of that would go to local governments, according to reporting by the Casper Star-Tribune.

Further, it was suggested that Wyoming might have a fight on its hands to even get that funding, possibly needing Congress to pass legislation and potentially facing multiple lawsuits.

On top of that, the idea drew nearly unanimous opposition from dozens of members of the public who weighed in at the meeting and via online comments.

“Keep that crap out of my state,” was one representative remark from a Casper resident.

While we believe that nuclear waste could be safely transported to and stored in Wyoming, it’s almost certain that, regardless of whatever precautions are taken and assurances given, many residents will remain wary and fearful of the idea. That means accepting spent fuel rods at a new facility here would require ramrodding legislation through the Wyoming Legislature and Congress over the top of some staunch opposition.

There’s also little question that the move would create some bad PR for Wyoming —  the “toxic waste dump” jokes basically write themselves — which is a concern for a state that relies on tourism.

All of that is to say that we were a bit dumbfounded to hear that going to all that trouble would net a mere pittance in revenue.

In an interview with the Casper Star-Tribune last month, Sen. Anderson acknowledged the U.S. Department of Energy hasn’t offered enough cash.

“… if they stick to that $10 million figure, we’re not even going to pursue it,” he said.

However, Anderson suggested to the Star-Tribune that the state could negotiate a much better rate that would get closer to the $1 billion mark.

Under the legislation drafted by the Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee, Gov. Mark Gordon would have been called upon to strike a deal with the Department of Energy. But the committee announced Tuesday that they wouldn’t sponsor the bill, the Star-Tribune reported, with Anderson saying that the governor could open negotiations on his own.

However, a spokesman for Gordon told the Star-Tribune that the governor “remains uncertain that this proposal is the best way to generate revenue for the state.” And the governor told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle last week that, while open to hearing more about nuclear waste storage, “I don’t think it’s the best industry for Wyoming.”

We share Gov. Gordon’s uncertainty and don’t see any reason to move forward at this time — particularly because it seems awfully unrealistic to think the Department of Energy will agree to pay 100 times its initial offer. And when it comes to stashing nuclear waste in the ground, we can’t afford to take a pie-in-the-sky approach.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Radioactive waste bags still missing after Typhoon Hagibis

Dozens of bags of radioactive waste still missing in Fukushima three weeks after intense typhoon, HTTPS://WWW.JAPANTIMES.CO.JP/NEWS/2019/11/04/NATIONAL/RADIOACTIVE-WASTE-MISSING-FUKUSHIMA-TYPHOON/#.XCM_5EGZBIU 4 NOV 19  TAMURA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Dozens of bags containing waste polluted with radioactive substances are still missing in Fukushima Prefecture, three weeks after they were swept away from storage areas in floods triggered by Typhoon Hagibis.Of the 90 bags originally lost, 36 remain missing. The Environment Ministry, prefectural officials and others are conducting extensive searches but so far they have not had much luck.

In many municipalities in the prefecture, a lot of radioactive waste, including soil, was generated through decontamination work after the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant. Numerous bags containing the waste are kept outdoors in temporary storage areas around the prefecture.

Heavy rains from the 19th typhoon of the year flooded storage space in many locations, sweeping away 44 bags in Kawauchi, 30 in Tamura, 15 in Nihonmatsu and one in Iitate.

By the end of October, 50 bags had been recovered. The contents had leaked from half of them. “We had far heavier rains than we expected. We did not cover bags of radioactive waste,” said an official of the Tamura Municipal Government.

The ministry and other organizations have mobilized 20 to 30 workers to look for the missing bags, wading into rivers when necessary and using drones to search areas that cannot physically be entered.

An aerial survey was conducted by helicopter on Oct. 23. On Friday, 29 workers searched the Furumichi River and areas along it in Tamura. Four bags were collected, but their contents had been lost.

“There has been no confirmation of any environmental impact due to the loss of the bags,” a ministry official said.

“We’ll continue searching in cooperation with local municipalities.”

November 7, 2019 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan still has land space to store radioactive waste tanks, but tries to justify dumping into ocean

November 7, 2019 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste storage? There’s no real money in it for Wyoming.

Kessler: Nuclear waste storage provides no benefit for Wyoming,, Nov 2, 2019 

There’s no doubt that Wyoming needs to find new revenue sources to fund our schools and state budget, but storing nuclear waste is not the answer. It’s a far-fetched proposal riddled with legal roadblocks. And even if we ignore those roadblocks — along with the many safety and political risks of storing high-level radioactive waste — there’s no real money in it for Wyoming.

For starters, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which regulates the storage of spent fuel rods from commercial nuclear reactors, makes available just $5 million per year to states willing to host a “monitored retrievable storage” facility during the construction phase. Once such a facility starts accepting the waste, that amount increases to just $10 million per year. This is a far cry from the $1 billion per year proponents claim Wyoming would see.

That’s assuming such a facility can even legally be constructed. The act also prohibits building a temporary facility until a permanent disposal repository, such as the one proposed for Yucca Mountain in Nevada, starts construction. But licensing work on Yucca Mountain has stalled; Congress hasn’t authorized any funding for it in recent years.

To build a storage facility in Wyoming, we’d have to get Congress to change the law in our favor and give us 100 times the amount of cash authorized in the act. That’s not likely. In the last three years, more than a dozen bills have been introduced in Congress to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and address this topic. They’ve all failed. Nuclear utilities are likely the biggest opponents: Fees collected for the act’s Nuclear Waste Fund are predominantly meant to fund a permanent disposal solution — not something temporary.

But assume we could actually convince Congress to change the law to allow a monitored retrievable storage site here. Then what? Chances are we’d be stuck with those spent fuel rods for good. That’s because there are no legal, political or financial mechanisms to ensure that, once accepted, high-level radioactive waste would ever be removed. Wyoming would likely become the new Yucca Mountain – not a place to hold nuclear waste temporarily, but a de facto permanent disposal site.

The proposal also ignores serious transportation safety concerns. At no time in our nation’s history would so much high-level radioactive waste be on our roads and rails — and traveling such great distances. So far, the federal government has failed to adopt the enhanced transportation safeguards suggested by the Western Governors’ Association, the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission on American’s Nuclear Future, the National Academy of Sciences and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. There is much work to be done ahead of any attempt to safely ship spent fuel rods across the country. As a recent government report concluded: “The transportation of large amounts of spent fuel to an interim storage or permanent disposal location is inherently complex and the planning and implementation may take decades to accomplish.”

It’s especially curious that our legislators suddenly seem so trusting of the federal government in this matter. Our nation’s nuclear waste policy has a 50-year history of broken promises, missed timelines, shifting policies, unreliable funding, changing scientific criteria and running roughshod over states’ rights. In fact, when Gov. Mike Sullivan vetoed this same proposal in 1992 he wrote:

“Can we trust the federal government or the assurance of negotiation to protect our citizens’ interests? To do so would disregard the geographical voting power in Congress and 100 years of history and experience… Are we willing to ignore the experience history would provide us for the siren song of promised economic benefits and a policy that is clearly a moving target? As Governor, I am not.”

In Wyoming, we need a vision for our future that embraces the assets that truly make us a place where people want to live, move to and do business: our strong public schools, workforce, wildlife, open spaces, livable communities, agricultural legacy and outdoor way of life. This is what makes Wyoming the envy of many other places. Instead of jeopardizing our heritage and tarnishing our state’s image, we need to protect and build upon these assets. Storing nuclear waste invites regulatory, political, safety and economic diversification risks — while providing Wyoming no real benefits. We urge the Legislature to reject spending any more time or resources on such a misguided idea.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Residents of Gillingham UK unaware of proximity of nuclear waste dump

Kent Live 30th Oct 2019, Gillingham Asda shoppers have no idea they’re parked metres away from a  nuclear waste dump. Householders in Gillingham might be surprised to know that they live, work and sleep in the vicinity of vast tonnes of nuclear waste.
Just off Pier Approach Road lies a small, unmarked and fenced-off
wooded area where the Ministry of Defence deposited more than 3,000 cubic
metres of radioactive waste between 1968 and 1986. That’s enough to fill
an Olympic swimming pool. Householders in Gillingham might be surprised to
know that they live, work and sleep in the vicinity of vast tonnes of
nuclear waste. Just off Pier Approach Road lies a small, unmarked and
fenced-off wooded area where the Ministry of Defence deposited more than
3,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste between 1968 and 1986. That’s
enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool. 

November 2, 2019 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

World Nuclear Waste Report (WNWR) to be launched 11th November

October 29, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, wastes | Leave a comment

National nuclear commission strategy for Marshall Islands

Marshalls endorses nuclear commission strategy,    The Marshall Islands government has endorsed the adoption of a national nuclear commission strategy for the next three years.

The strategy honours the legacy of Marshallese nuclear heroes and heroines who fought and continue to demand accountability for their communities.

The strategy was mandated in the Marshall Islands parliament, or Nitijela, as part of the National Nuclear Commission Act of 2017.

It focuses on five broad themes for nuclear justice: compensation, health care, the environment, national capacity, and education and awareness.

From 1946 to 1958, the US used the Marshall Islands to test its nuclear weapons.

The commission also aims to establish an independent panel of scientists and specialists in fields related to radiation exposure, to provide the republic’s citizens access to trusted, independent science.

The commission’s chair, Rhea Moss-Christian, said the NNC strategy was a tool for all Marshallese, whether living in the islands or overseas, to use in their individual and collective efforts to respond to the devastation resulting from the US nuclear weapons testing program in the Marshall Islands.

“It is also a resource for our partners and friends outside the Marshall Islands to understand the nuclear testing impacts that persist today and how they can support the Marshallese people,” Ms Moss-Christian said.

October 28, 2019 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

340,000 to evacuate Fukushima, landslide fears(- and what about the nuclear waste bags?)

Why doesn’t the news media explore the question of what is happening to Fukushima’s bags of radioactive nuclear debris?

October 26, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, wastes | 1 Comment

The failure of nuclear reprocessing and the “Plutonium Economy”

Paul Richards The Plutonium Economy failed.  nuclear fuel cycle watch australia, 25 Oct 19

No one on the planet has been able to run unspent nuclear fuel through twice, and make it economically viable, let alone the countless times needed to make it ecologically viable.

It costs more to run unspent fuel through once more than to

• mine uranium,
• process for shipping
• process into yellowcake
• make into rods
• ship rods onsite to reactors

There is little to NO CHANCE of doing that again, and again.

Business history shows this wasn’t possible when;

• uranium was at its peak in price in 1980

2019, about to enter the third decade of the 21C, where commodities exchanges show nuclear fuel it is;

• LOWEST PRICE than in all of economic history,

and yet it still can’t compete with any other energy sources.

Nuclear apologists are a joke, delusional.

The nuclear sales executives of the nuclear estate have been busy rebranding, white and greenwashing their product is ever since Ronald Reagan announced The Plutonium Economy failed.

In point of fact, carbon fuel, gas spinning a turbine, has been producing cheaper energy fully levelized for three decades than any nuclear reactor.

Large scale

• solar PV and
• on-offshore wind turbines
• reached PARITY with
• carbon fuel NATURAL GAS

late last decade on an LCOE basis.

For this whole decade these;

• renewable systems
• fully lifecycle factored
• are cheaper than even carbon fuels

October 26, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, 2 WORLD, reprocessing | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear wastes can’t stay in above-ground canisters forever

Who will be the ultimate bearer of the nation’s nuclear waste? Mashable
by Mark Kaufman, Editors Nandita Raghuram and Brittany Levine Beckman  Illustrations Vicky Leta, 25 Oct 19,  In Mashable’s series Wasted, we dig into the myriad ways we’re trashing our planet. Because it’s time to sober up.When future tourists journey through a desolate, sun-baked patch of the southeastern New Mexico desert, some 20 miles outside of the 21st-century oil boomtown of Carlsbad, they’ll spot dozens of giant pillars on the flat terrain, somewhat like the great stone heads looming on the treeless hills of Easter Island. If the intrigued desert visitors wander close enough to the 25-foot high granite monuments, erected by the United States Department of Energy, they’ll see inscriptions written in seven different, perhaps archaic, languages.

And if they dare wander past the perimeter of the grandiose columns, the travelers will find an open-air structure made of 15-foot high walls, emblazoned with frightening pictographs and symbols. Taken together, the U.S. agency hopes to convey a clear message to anyone who enters.Keep out. Leave. Don’t dig. Something bad lurks beneath the ground. “This ‘stay out’ sign warns future generations of the danger of intrusion,” the Department of Energy wrote in its blueprint of this imposing message.

In 1990, the agency convened a group of linguists, writers, anthropologists, and an assortment of other scientists to think about how, in centuries or thousands of years (perhaps long after the fall of the U.S. empire), they might discourage people from revealing what lay 2,000 feet below the rocky soil and dashing roadrunners: hundreds of thousands of containers filled with radioactive sludge, soil, mops, brooms, and gloves from the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons program. The sealed casks would be a danger for at least 10 millennia.

Today, the edifices in this corner of southeastern New Mexico are profoundly less romantic than the government’s designs for foreboding temple-like grounds. Here lies the fenced compound of the beige, block buildings of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, where the federal government has trucked in radioactive waste for 20 years and counting, and where the waste will stay, forever.
Of course, most of the radioactive waste in the U.S. today isn’t stored in New Mexico [illustration by Vicky Leta, Mashable). Rather, much of the nuclear rummage is the spent radioactive fuel from power plants  ……..the waste is scattered around the country at the very nuclear power plants where it was used, because the U.S. hasn’t decided on a place to permanently deposit the deadly dross. But the concrete and metal storage casks, often stockpiled directly on the surface in places like the idyllic California coast, age, crack, and decay over time. The waste can’t stay there forever.
Today, nobody knows where America’s commercial nuclear waste will ultimately find its radioactive grave. ……

It’s got to go somewhere,” said Allison Macfarlane, the former chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and professor of science and technology policy at George Washington University.

“The worst option is leaving it above ground indefinitely,” stressed Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist and expert in nuclear weapons policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group…..  there’s no good place to store the forever waste. “There’s no best option. There’s only the least bad option,”………

One day, WIPP might be joined by another nuclear waste site — but this one exposed on New Mexico’s desert surface.

Between the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs, about 70 miles apart, lies 1,000 acres of rough desert scrub. Holtec International, a company that sells sturdy containers for storing nuclear waste, has a scheme for these 1,000 acres that would make them a lot of money. The company wants to transform this forsaken desert into a concrete field holding 10,000 containers of spent fuel from all the nation’s nuclear power plants, collectively called the HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Story Facility. “Interim” is a somewhat deceiving word here. Taxpayers would essentially rent these thick casks until our underperforming Congress finds a truly permanent place to store the spent fuel from nuclear plants. The waste could stay there for 40 years. Or, if the casks are continually restored, much longer……..

For now, Holtec’s waste depository is not close to becoming a reality. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is in the initial stages of “scoping” the project. And even if the agency approved it, Holtec would have to contend with a regulatory fortress vigilantly guarded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the state of New Mexico, and not least the ruthless watch of Hancock, who’s well known in nuclear policy circles. “We’re not going to let [Holtec] happen,” he scoffed. “That’s just absurd.”  ……..
NEVER NEVADA The U.S. has nuked the hell out of Nevada………

The waste must eventually go deep, deep underground, said Lyman, the nuclear expert. The irradiated can can’t be punted down the road all century. Nuclear plants are brimming with this stuff. “The Department of Energy is on the hook to produce some type of a solution as the reactor facilities are filling up,” emphasized Notre Dame’s Burns.

There’s only one way that can happen: not forcing, not dictating, but collaborating with a community, somewhere, to allow a geologic depository, stressed Macfarlane. The site would need to be heavily guarded in perpetuity. “The question is can they be compensated enough and their concerns be mitigated enough that they’re willing to accept it,” said Lyman.

There’s only one way that can happen: not forcing, not dictating, but collaborating with a community, somewhere, to allow a geologic depository, stressed Macfarlane. The site would need to be heavily guarded in perpetuity. “The question is can they be compensated enough and their concerns be mitigated enough that they’re willing to accept it,” said Lyman……..

while the waste can’t just sit exposed on the surface forever, it could be some 50 years before the casks become an imminent threat.

Indeed, nuclear waste is “out of sight out of mind,” noted Lyman. This is in stark contrast to an environmental threat like relentlessly rising global temperatures, wherein the well-predicted consequences of a warmer globe are conspicuously unfolding today: wildfires torching more land, the melting of the great ice sheets, unprecedented deluges, overheated infrastructure, an incessantly warming ocean, and beyond……..

If New Mexico’s nuclear heritage is somehow ever lost, perhaps by the passage of millennia and ravages of time, tall monuments will stand in the windswept desert for thousands of years, hopefully warding off any curious pilgrims, explorers, or future industrialists from the decaying consequences of war, weaponry, and defense. Whatever symbols the Department of Energy ultimately etches into the walls of the roofless, sunlit temple where WIPP once stood, they better be damn scary.

October 26, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

20 sovereign nations in New Mexico and Texas oppose nuclear facility near Carlsbad

Native American Pueblo leaders oppose nuclear facility near Carlsbad, Hobbs,  in Press   by— 360 Feed Wire

Native American Pueblo leaders oppose nuclear facility near Carlsbad, Hobbs

Oct. 24– Oct. 24–A group of Native American leaders opposed a plan to temporarily store nuclear waste at proposed facilities in southeast New Mexico and West Texas before a permanent repository is available.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors, which represents 20 sovereign nations in New Mexico and Texas held a meeting on Thursday where members affirmed their opposition to the projects, read a Monday news release from the group.

Concerns with the transportation of spent nuclear fuel rods drove the group’s opposition to two proposed consolidated interim storage (CIS) sites, one near the border of Eddy and Lea counties in New Mexico and another in Andrews, Texas. Continue reading

October 26, 2019 Posted by | indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Rick Perry, as Energy Secretary, “solved” nuclear waste problem by reclassifying high level waste as low level

October 24, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Highly toxic nuclear waste being imported into Russia, from Germany

October 24, 2019 Posted by | Germany, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment