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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear wastes – a divisive problem for the French, that could mean the end of the industry

“if we manage to stop it, it will mean the end of the industry. Regardless of how you look at it, nuclear power is an industry with no future.”

What to do with nuclear waste? The question dividing France,https://www.equaltimes.org/what-to-do-with-nuclear-waste-the#.Wea2VY-CzGg , 17 Oct 17On 15 August, an anti-nuclear campaigner almost lost his foot during a demonstration in Bure, in the east of France. One month later, on 20 September, police conducted several raids on premises housing activists in the village, including the emblematic “Maison de la résistance”, (House of Resistance), the nerve centre of the fight against the nuclear dump.

The small village of Bure, in the Meuse department, has crystallised the anti-nuclear campaign in France in recent months. In 1998, it was selected as the site for an Industrial Geological Storage Centre (Cigéo), where the plan is to progressively bury 85,000 cubic metres of highly radioactive long-lived waste in a bed of clay, 500 metres below ground, by means of operations expected to last 150 years.

The ANDRA (National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management), which is managing the project, is expected to apply to the IRSN (French Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety) for authorisation to build in 2019. Its application has been deferred on several occasions due to legal and technical setbacks, which could explain the growing hostility towards the anti-Cigéo activists.

In an open letter, the residents of Bure and the surrounding area recently denounced the “systematic strategy of tension and asphyxiation” launched by the state several months ago, a strategy “aimed at wearing us down and isolating us, like hunted beasts”.

The closer the project comes to the completion phase, the stronger the opposition, and the more the noose of repression is tightened around the anti-nuclear campaigners.

A far from satisfactory solution

The 54 nuclear reactors in France, the second largest producer of nuclear energy in the world, behind the United States, produce 12,000 to 15,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste every year. This includes both low level short-lived radioactive waste and much more toxic long-lived waste.

“The uranium industry, presented as a “virtuous cycle” by the nuclear lobby, actually conceals a chain of dirty, polluting and unmanageable fuel, from the mine to the waste disposal phase,” denounces the French anti-nuclear network Sortir du Nucléaire.

Whereas before, France used to dispose of its nuclear waste in repositories in the Atlantic Ocean, underground disposal now seems to be “the only management option”, says Matthieu Denis-Vienot, who is in charge of institutional dialogue at ANDRA, in an interview with Equal Times.

This agency was given the task, in 1979, of answering the insoluble question of how to manage this waste, which can be destroyed by no known chemical or mechanical means, and is extremely toxic.

“We have the technical capacity to store this waste in such a way that it is harmful neither to man nor to the environment, nor the object of malicious acts,” ensures Matthieu Denis-Vienot. “Our priority is therefore focused on confining this waste, because we want to act responsibly and not to leave this burden with future generations.”

This option, although it has been written into French law since 1991 and is in line with the advice of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is far from satisfactory, according to some researchers.

“Whether the waste is thrown into the sea or buried in the ground, the principle behind it is the same: get rid of it, so we can forget about it, because we don’t know what to do with it,” argues Jean-Marie Brom, a physicist and researcher with the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research). “What I can tell you as a scientist, is that burying it is the only solution, but it is far from being a good one.”

At ANDRA, the response to this is: “It’s all well and good to say it’s a heresy, but now that it’s there, what can we do about it?”

And that is the final argument put forward to the anti-Cigéo movement by ANDRA. The waste to be buried in Bure is all that generated by 43 years of nuclear energy production.

For the time being, it is being kept at the storage and reprocessing plant in La Hague, in the Manche department of France, where it is vitrified and placed in containers. It is a valid precaution, given that although this waste only represents four per cent of the total, it accounts for 99 per cent of the radioactivity emitted. Moreover, it is the waste with the longest lifespan. It takes 24,440 years for plutonium, for example, to lose half of its radioactivity.

The other 96 per cent of the waste, which accounts for one per cent of radioactivity, is stored on the surface, in the main, at two other storage centres, a few dozen kilometres from Bure.

Anti-nuclear campaigners are outraged by the situation. “It is far too dangerous. Firstly, it means that for 100 years, two radioactive convoys will cross France every day to come to Bure. And secondly, the safety of the site cannot be guaranteed when such long lifespans are involved. What will happen if, one day, these 200,000 “parcels” resurface, whilst they are still radioactive?” asks Jean-Marc Fleury, president of Eodra, a group of elected officials from the Grand Est region who are opposed to the Cigéo project.

The response from ANDRA is that geologists have conducted research and have established that the clay subsoil in the Meuse department of France is a stable geological formation over time.

The IRSN (French Institute for Radiological Protection and Reactor Safety), in its report from July, pointed to a number of risks, such as fire, and whilst acknowledging that the project had reached “satisfactory technical maturity”, it concluded that ANDRA’s current waste disposal concept “did not provide sufficient safety guarantees”.

The anti-nuclear campaigners highlight the example of the United States’ WIPP facility, in New Mexico, where a fire led to the release of radioactive gas, or that of Asse, in Lower Saxony, Germany, where 126,000 barrels of radioactive waste have to be evacuated from an old salt mine being eroded by seepage.

All these countries, confronted with the same problem, are far from having found long-term solutions, and face the same criticisms from the anti-nuclear movement.

Future of nuclear industry at issue

For those opposed to the Cigéo project, it is an ethical issue. “Since we know that collective memory is relatively short, it is possible that in a thousand years, it might be forgotten that it there is radioactive waste in Bure and people will go through these areas, with all the risks that entails,” explains researcher Jean-Marie Brom. “How can we warn future generations that there is extremely dangerous waste here?”

A whole new dimension is added when taking into account the waste to come from the nine reactors due to be decommissioned. And all the more so given that this number is expected to rise, with the Energy Transition Law, which envisages reducing the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix from 72 to 50 per cent by 2025.

The waste resulting from this decommissioning will have to be stored somewhere.

Beyond the unresolvable waste issue, the fight against the Cigéo project is part of a wider case against the nuclear industry in general. In a context where Germany has announced plans to close all of its nuclear power plants by 2022 and where Italy no longer has nuclear power, France stands out as an exception in the eyes of the activists.

“What is at stake in Bure, is the future of nuclear power,” says Jean-Marc Fleury. “If the Cigéo is not built here, the nuclear industry will come to an end in the next ten years, because a project like this could never be implemented anywhere else, everyone is conscious of that. That’s why we are fighting: if we manage to stop it, it will mean the end of the industry. Regardless of how you look at it, nuclear power is an industry with no future.”

Matthieu Denis-Viennot of ANDRA is not convinced by this line of reasoning. “The Cigéo has to be left out of the debate for or against nuclear power. We may not have chosen to launch the nuclear industry in France, but the fact is that, today, electricity comes mainly from this resource. Given the staggering lifespan of this radioactive waste, we can always question whether such or such a decision is legitimate, but that should not, nevertheless, reinforce indecision.”

So far, Nicolas Hulot, France’s new minister for the ecological transition, has not taken a stand.

The anti-Cigéo groups have, however, repeatedly reminded him of the positions he has taken in the past, including this photo from October 2016 of him posing, and smiling, with a placard against the Cigéo project.

But it seems that the new minister, who has taken off his environmental activist’s hat, has a short memory and is in no hurry to stop the project.

This story has been translated from French.
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October 18, 2017 Posted by | France, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Kansai Electric Power Co. to permanently close 2 nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture

Oi nuclear reactors set to be decommissioned , Japan News , October 17, 2017 Kansai Electric Power Co. intends to decommission the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture when the plant reaches 40 years of service in 2019, it has been learned.

KEPCO made the decision because the distinctive structure of the reactors’ containment vessels would require massive spending to apply safety measures that would meet the new standards set after the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The power company is expected to make an official decision by the end of this year and submit an application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, decisions have been made to decommission six nuclear reactors, not counting those at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The Oi reactors will be the first large-scale reactors, with a maximum output of over 1 million kilowatts, to be decommissioned……..

The deadline for the Nos. 1 and 2 Oi reactors to apply for an operating period extension is approaching in 2018. With work to improve safety likely being a difficult challenge, KEPCO has no prospect of cutting back on the cost, which is expected to be over ¥100 billion. The company therefore gave up on restarting the reactors.

Tens of billions of yen are expected to be spent over 30 years to complete the decommissioning of the reactors, but that is still much cheaper than restarting them. ….. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004008184

October 18, 2017 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) likely to create a new agency, after cancelling Cavendish Fluor Partnership

FT 15th Oct 2017, Decommissioning Britain’s first generation of atomic reactors is likely
to be brought back “in-house” by the UK nuclear clean-up agency after
the collapse of a £6.2bn outsourcing contract that exposed “fundamental
failures” at the organisation.

Ministers have been considering whether
the work, involving 12 Magnox nuclear plants and research sites, should be
offered to another private contractor or run directly by the Nuclear
Decommissioning Authority. A final decision has not yet been made but
industry figures with knowledge of the process said the most likely outcome
was for the NDA to create a new subsidiary to take control of the Magnox
clean-up programme.

Such an outcome would bring an end to an embarrassing
episode in which Greg Clark, business secretary, in March cancelled a deal
with Cavendish Fluor Partnership, a joint venture between UK-based Babcock
International and Fluor of the US, at a cost of £122m to British
taxpayers. https://www.ft.com/content/b83c5ada-b014-11e7-beba-5521c713abf4

October 16, 2017 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley nuclear site radioactive mud to be dumped near Cardiff

Critics say dredging of sediment could increase risks of contamination on Welsh side of Severn estuary, Guardian, Jamie Doward, 15 Oct 17, More than 300,000 tonnes of “radioactive” mud, some of it the toxic byproduct of Britain’s atomic weapons programme, will be dredged to make way for England’s newest nuclear power station and dumped in the Severn estuary just over a mile from Cardiff.

Politicians in Wales have denounced the move, with one accusing the Welsh government of selling out to London and the nuclear lobby. They have called on ministers to commit to further radiological tests before giving consent for the process, which is crucial for the construction of Hinkley Point C across the estuary in Somerset……..
An independent marine pollution researcher, Tim Deere-Jones, who is also a prominent nuclear power critic, has warned that the dumped sediment could re-concentrate into more powerful radioactive material and be washed ashore in storm surges. “We know sediment in mudflats can dry out and blow ashore and that fine sediment with radioactivity attached can transfer to the land in marine aerosols and sea spray,” Deere-Jones said. Studies of north Wales tidal surges, he added, had revealed that the deposited mud and sand were heavily contaminated with radioactivity from Sellafield.

The mud to be dredged contains 50-year-old deposits from Hinkley Point A, where radioactive material for Britain’s atomic weapons was produced. Nuclear historian Dr David Lowry said some of the plutonium produced at the plant was sent to the US in a controversial and confidential exchange. “That deal is coming back to haunt today’s nuclear industry as plans for the third generation of nuclear plants at Hinkley are literally running into the sparkling radioactive mud,” Lowry said………. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/14/hinkley-point-radioactive-mud-dumped-cardiff-severn-estuary

October 16, 2017 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear watchdog slams nuclear cleanup contract that cost public £122m 

Watchdog slams nuclear cleanup contract that cost public £122m https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/11/watchdog-slams-nuclear-cleanup-contract-that-cost-public-122m

Contract to dispose of material from 12 sites went ‘wrong on a fundamental level’ and led to multimillion pound payouts, Guardian, Rajeev Syal, 11 Oct 17, The government agency responsible for mishandling a major nuclear cleanup contract – costing the state more than £122m – has been severely criticised by Whitehall’s spending watchdog.

A National Audit Office inquiry into a bungled £6.2bn contract to dispose of material from 12 different nuclear sites has questioned whether the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is capable of understanding procurement rules.

The head of the NDA has apologised for “past mistakes” after the contract collapsed, leading to multimillion pound payouts to firms cut out of deal.

The NAO report published on Wednesday also criticised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s oversight of the contract.

MP Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee, said: “The NDA was badly mistaken about the work it needed to do on its sites when it let this contract, and has had to cancel it nine years early. It now has to start again from scratch.

“This was one of government’s biggest ever contracts and it has gone wrong on a fundamental level. Its failure raises serious questions about the NDA’s capability.”

Between 2012 and 2014, the NDA ran a competitive procurement exercise for 10 nuclear outlets and two research facilities resulting in the award of a 14-year contract for up to £6.2bn to Cavendish Fluor Partnership.

The deal collapsed after the high court found there was “a significant mismatch between the work specified … and the work that actually needs to be done”.

The NDA was forced to settle claims to the losing bidders in March of this year, when the government launched an inquiry into the contract.

Auditors found that the NDA: breached its obligation under public contracting regulations; settled legal claims with the rival bidders at a cost of £97.3m; and spent £13.8m on legal and external advisers, while in-house staff time cost £10.8m.

Civil servants from the business department and UK Government Investments were aware of the delays but did not raise concerns with ministers until last year, the report said.

Responding to the report, NDA’s chief executive officer David Peattie said: “I would like to apologise for these past mistakes.

“Since taking over earlier this year, I have made a number of improvements to the way the NDA operates to provide greater focus, discipline, standardisation and simplification to our work.”

A department spokesperson said the business secretary, Greg Clark, would scrutinise the auditors’ findings.

“The secretary of state has been clear that the reasons for the failure of the Magnox procurement should be exposed and understood, which is why he commissioned the independent Magnox Inquiry earlier this year,” he said.

“The government will carefully scrutinise the NAO report.”

October 14, 2017 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

The environmental cost of an iPhone

This is a timely and important article. As an antinuclear campaigner, I also must deplore the lack of insight shown by most environmentalists on this issue. We rightly oppose the nuclear industry, with its focus on endless growth in energy use. However, the growth in renewable energy and in modern technology should not mean endless energy use and endless mining of rare earths.
What is needed is DESIGN for recycling. That’s difficult, but not impossible. With technologies designed for easy retrieval of rare earths, and with a transition to recycling, instead of throwaway living, the toxic radioactive problems of wasting rare earths would be avoided. Mining for them would become almost unnecessary.


The environmental cost of an iPhone http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2017/10/the-environmental-cost-of-an-iphone  
Thanks to advances in metallurgy and integrated circuit design, computers are working themselves into every aspect of our lives. From appliances to smart phones, it seems like everything these days has a microprocessor buried somewhere inside it. But remember, all of these pieces come from somewhere, and the metals they’re made from aren’t easy to come by. They are called “precious metals,” after all.

From the earth to your smart fridge, rare earth metal mining consists of three stages: mining, refining and disposal, all of which create waste byproducts. In the case of electronics, a lot of these waste products are r (http://www.electronicstakeback.com/toxics-in-electronics/wheres-the-harm-extraction/)adioactive because rare earth elements are usually mixed in with thorium or iridium, two radioactive substances.

To separate the minerals from their radioactive neighbors, large amounts of sulfates, ammonia and hydrochloric acid are used. With today’s refinement technology, producing one ton of refined rare earth metals produces 2,000 tons of toxic waste. And the waste doesn’t stop after the electronics are produced.

Another large threat to the environment is the disposal of electronics after they’ve completed their life cycle. Throwing a smart phone in the trash leads to a plethora of environmental toxins. From the chemicals in the battery to the plastics in the case, these materials eventually make their way into soil or waterways, damaging these natural resources in the process.

A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that out of the 120 million mobile phones purchased in the U.S. in 2011, only 12 million mobile phones were collected for recycling. That’s 10 percent.

According to the United Nations Environmental Program, 90 percent of electronic waste ends up being illegally dumped. This occurs via a black market for exporting e-waste to countries with more lax environmental regulations. Countries such as Ghana and Vietnam take on the environmental burden of other countries’ e-waste at a monetary and human cost.

Once the waste has been dumped, the metals are extracted to be re-sold and reused. However, this isn’t clean recycling. A simple way to extract metals from electronics is to burn the surrounding plastic, and it shouldn’t come as news to you that burning plastic is bad on many levels, from the air pollution it causes to the respiratory and neurological damage that occurs when humans breathe these fumes.

In the countries where such recycling practices take place, not much is done in the way of worker safety. Studies have found alarming levels of toxic compounds linked to cancer, developmental damage and other health problems present in both these workers and those that live near these plants.

To combat this growing trend, many companies and countries are pushing legislation and practices in order to minimize these impacts.

Apple has made the claim on its website that it wants to move toward using 100 percent recycled parts in the coming years, and the UN is continuing to create policy that will apply harsher punishments to those who illegally dump electronic waste.

In the meantime, the need for the latest gadgets continues to propel this problem forward. One of the biggest surges in electronic waste is around Christmas, when people are getting their newest tech-toys and getting rid of the old ones.

Maybe the next time you want the newest iPhone, take a moment  first to stop and think about what consequences for both people and the planet stem from this decision. While just being conscious of the impact won’t solve the problem, by realizing the weight of this decision, we can maybe slow it down some. What’s your new tech-toy really worth?

October 14, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, RARE EARTHS, thorium, wastes | Leave a comment

Controversial plan to ship nuclear waste down the Hudson River

PLAN TO SHIP NUCLEAR WASTE DOWN HUDSON CAUSES DEBATE, Rockland County  Times,   rctadmin on In recent months, routes to dispose of 76,000 metric tons of used fuel have been discussed in Congress.
In a 2002 report, the Department of Energy laid out a plan to get rid of the nation’s spent nuclear power plants’ waste, which has been piling up for several decades.
The report envisioned shipped the county’s nuclear waste from various locations via barge, rail and truck routes to the Yucca Mountain in the Mojave Desert, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Among the report’s more controversial proposals is a plan to move spent fuel out of Indian Point in Buchanan along with 16 other power plants without direct access to railroad lines, by barge, down the Hudson River.
Over the course of decades 58 shipments of nuclear waste would be loaded on barges at Indian Point for the 42 miles trip down the River, passing under the new Mario Cuomo Bridge and past New York City on the way to the seaport in New Jersey.
At the NJ seaport, cement and steel casks of spent nuclear matter weighing up to 100 tons, would be placed on rail cars for a 2,600-mile trip west to the Yucca Mountains.
The plan has caused much debate among politicians in New York. Former New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli stated the New Jersey ports should not be used “as rest stops for nuclear material.” http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2017/10/12/49179/

October 14, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Muddled maths on the supposed costs of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mt

Uncertain Costs for Renewed Nuclear Waste Push in Nevada, Roll Call ,The controversial Yucca Mountain plan would spur a $260 million spending increase, but the math is muddled Oct 10, 2017 

 Jeremy Dillon, A House bill to restart the process of making Nevada’s Yucca Mountain a permanent repository for nuclear waste would increase spending by $260 million over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday in a report that acknowledges some uncertain numbers.

The CBO’s score could be a hurdle for the Yucca bill by forcing its backers to offset the cost by cutting other federal spending under pay-as-you-go budget mandates. The bill moved out of the Energy and Commerce Committee with surprisingly bipartisan support considering how the issue had divided Capitol Hill while Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada was majority leader. Reid didn’t seek reelection in 2016.

Among its key provisions, the bill would provide incentives in the form of federal dollars for infrastructure improvements to states and communities willing to host the nuclear waste at temporary storage sites and the long-term disposal facility at Yucca Mountain.

According to the CBO, those benefit payments account for the bill’s 10-year, $260-million direct-spending increase. The agency also noted that the 10-year increase would have little effect on the long-term costs of the nation’s existing waste disposal responsibilities under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, which are likely to stretch through much of the 21st century and cost nearly $100 billion…….

DOE estimated in 2016 that its legal liabilities resulting from its failure to move the waste would total $25 billion……

Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat who represents much of Las Vegas, said in a statement Friday that the CBO report “is seriously flawed.”

“It does not take into account the cost of building the Yucca Mountain repository — a figure that’s estimated at more than $95 billion,” Titus said. “It ignores the fact that the Nuclear Waste Fund, which is to pay for the project, will diminish in the coming years as older nuclear power plants shut down. It also projects costs for only 10 years without accounting for the lifetime of the project which is supposedly designed to safely contain nuclear waste for 10,000 years.”

Titus, instead, pitched her own bill, which would advance a nuclear waste disposal site only with the signoff from the state and local government. https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/97434-2

October 14, 2017 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

UK taxpayers forked out £122million for failed nuclear decommissioning deal

Nuclear Authority’s failure to carry out decommissioning deal cost taxpayer £122million
Energy Voice  by Reporter – 12/10/2017 Fundamental failures in awarding a £6.2 billion deal to decommission the UK’s ageing fleet of Magnox nuclear power stations cost the taxpayer £122 million, an official report has found.

The National Audit Office said the saga raised “serious questions” about the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) understanding of procurement regulations.

The NDA ran a competitive procurement exercise for decommissioning services at 12 nuclear sites, resulting in the award of a 14-year contract for up to £6.2 billion, but the High Court found it had wrongly decided the outcome of the process.

The NDA agreed to settle claims in March 2017, the same month as the Government set up an inquiry into the Magnox contract.

Energy Solutions unsuccessfully bid for the contract, and later issued legal claims against the NDA for damages.

The High Court found that, had the NDA applied its evaluation criteria correctly, the winning bidder, Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP), would have been excluded from the competition.

The NDA agreed to settle legal claims with Energy Solutions and its consortium partner at the time of the bid, Bechtel, at a cost of £97.3 million.

It also spent £13.8 million on legal and external advisers, while in-house staff time cost £10.8 million.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “The NDA’s fundamental failures in the Magnox contract procurement raise serious questions about its understanding of procurement regulations; its ability to manage large, complex procurements; and why the errors detected by the High Court judgement were not identified earlier…….https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/nuclear/153035/nuclear-authoritys-failure-carry-decommissioning-deal-cost-taxpayer-122million/

October 14, 2017 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Scotland’s Dounreay nuclear site: health experts to be appointed by the operator


Scottish nuclear site looks to hire ‘health boffins’,
Energy Voice,  by Reporter , 12 Oct 17, A nuclear site criticised over its safety is seeking a team of health boffins – with starting salaries of £46,000 “upwards.”

Dounreay near Thurso in Caithness is being decommissioned at a cost of £2.32bn.

Safety concerns were raised in August about the handling of radioactive waste at the plant. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said safety has “deteriorated” at Dounreay and warned improvements made after a fire in 2014 had not been kept up.

Environmental protection agency Sepa rated the handling of waste last year as ‘at risk’ and called the management of vaults used to store it ‘poor’.

There were three serious incidents at the 60-year-old plant, where decommissioning work has been under way since the 1990s……

The Scottish Government has called for urgent action to address the problems at Dounreay, which were revealed in the NDA’s latest annual report. Gail Ross, SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, has also said she was “seriously concerned” about Dounreay’s safety record.

But now its operators wants to recruit “a number” of senior health physicists…….

The boffins must be an appointed Radiation Protection Adviser, provide radiation protection advice, give advice and support to emergency arrangements at Dounreay and develop and provide specialist radiation protection training as well as contributing to the development of a safety culture……. https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/nuclear/153131/scottish-nuclear-site-looks-hire-health-boffins/ – 

October 14, 2017 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Radioactive waste is to be removed from a contaminated section of Ridgewood

EPA targets radioactive site in Ridgewood, Times Ledger, 13 Oct 17Radioactive waste is to be removed from a contaminated section of Ridgewood which was once the location of a chemical plant that harvested raw materials from sand and dumped the refuse into the sewer.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is backing the $39.9 million effort by the EPA to clean up the site in Ridgewood, which was placed on the National Priorities List in 2013 and is part of the agency’s Superfund program.

The parcel of land — which became contaminated while under use by the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company from 1920 to 1954 — will see all business tenants relocated, buildings demolished, soil removed and sewers replaced, according to the EPA. The three-quarter-acre patch of contaminated land is located at 1125 to 1139 Irving Ave. and 1514 Cooper Ave. It used to be home to Jarabacoa Deli Grocery, as well as office space, residential apartments, several auto repair shops and warehousing space…….https://www.timesledger.com/stories/2017/41/radioactive_2017_10_13_q.html

October 14, 2017 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

South Wales petition calls for reviewing the dumping of radioactive mud off coast of Cardiff

More than 5,500 sign anti-dumping petition, Ian Craig, -South Wales, Argus, 9 Oct 17,   MORE than 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for a stop to plans to dump waste from the nuclear power station off the coast of Cardiff.

The petition was launched after it was revealed EDF Energy had applied to be allowed to dredge 300,000 tonnes of mud from near Hinkley Point in Somerset and dump it off Cardiff Bay.

Although some have claimed the mud could be radioactive, both EDF and the Welsh Government have denied this is the case.

A petition launched by South Wales Central AM Neil McEvoy calling for the plans to be reviewed has been signed by more than 5,500 people, meaning it must be debated in the Assembly.

Mr McEvoy, who was suspended from Plaid Cymru for the second time this year last month and is currently sitting as an Independent AM, said: “This isn’t just about radioactive mud, even though that’s bad enough.

“This is about Wales’ future.

“We’re not here to have the things other people don’t want being dumped on us, whether that’s potentially radioactive mud from a nuclear reactor or mass numbers of prisoners.”

To view the petition visit tinyurl.com/ybqnvaax.

October 11, 2017 Posted by | UK, wastes | 1 Comment

Shining a light on St Louis’ radioactive waste landfill scandal

ST. LOUIS PREPS FOR “CATASTROPHIC” NUCLEAR EVENT  http://armydotmil.com/st-louis-preps-for-catastrophic-nuclear-event/

BY ARMYDOTMIL ON Beneath the surface of a St. Louis-area landfill lurk two things that should never meet: a slow-burning fire and a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste, separated by no more than 1,200 feet.
Manhattan Project Fallout: St. Louis’ Nuclear Legacy Unravels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F268n_LcUH0

RESIDENTS OF ST. LOUIS ARE ONLY BEGINNING TO SEE THE SYMPTOMS OF YEARS SPENT LIVING AMONGST RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL. IT WAS REVEALED THAT NUCLEAR WASTE WAS SECRETLY DUMPED IN THE SUBURBS UNDER A CLOAK OF NATIONAL SECURITY FOLLOWING THE COLD WAR, AND NOW THE EPA IS TRYING TO DOWNPLAY THE POTENTIAL CATASTROPHE THAT SMOLDERS UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE.
EPA Does NOTHING as Nuclear Waste Calamity Inches Closer

BY ARMYDOTMIL ON  TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with Dawn Chapman and Karen Nickel, two St. Louis-area mothers who are fighting to have nuclear waste removed from a site due to its unknown proximity to an underground chemical fire.

To offer your help, email: westllakemoms@gmail.com    http://armydotmil.com/epa-does-nothing-as-nuclear-waste-calamity-inches-closer/

October 9, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Ignoring the danger of ionising radiation: nuclear waste dumping in the sea

The idea that nuclear pollution can be rendered safe by extreme dilution has been proven wrong

radioactive materials bioaccumulate. A worm can contain 2,000 to 3,000 times higher levels than its environment. The worm is then eaten by another marine animal, which gets eating by another, and so on. At each step, the radioactive level rises. Barbey has identified reproductive defects in sea crabs, caused by radioactive contamination, and these genetic defects are passed on to future generations of crabs.

Are we to believe the same is not happening in humans, who are at the top of the food chain?

The fact of the matter is that a certain number of cancer deaths are considered acceptable in order to keep costs for the nuclear waste industry down. The question no one has the answer to is: At what point do the deaths begin to outweigh the cost-savings of the nuclear industry?

As to where such cost-benefit considerations came from in the first place, the filmmakers identify the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)

the nuclear industry is hardly operating for the benefit of the many.

The Rarely Discussed Reality of Radioactive Pollution https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/07/radioactive-pollution-exposure.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20171007Z1_UCM&et_cid=DM16

Story at-a-glance

  • For decades, the common method of nuclear disposal was to dump plutonium-filled steel barrels into the ocean. Today, many if not most of these barrels have corroded and disintegrated, releasing radioactive material into the environment
  • “Versenkt und Vergessen” (Sunk and Forgotten) investigates what happened to the barrels of nuclear waste, and how radioactive material is disposed of today
  • In 1993, nuclear waste dumping into the ocean was banned worldwide, yet the ocean remains a primary dumping ground for radioactive waste
  • Instead of ditching barrels overboard, the nuclear waste industry built pipes along the bottom of the sea, through which the radioactive material is discharged directly into the open sea
  • Cancer deaths are considered acceptable to keep costs for the nuclear waste industry down. According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection, this cost-benefit consideration is part of Epicurus’ utilitarian ethics, which states that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

By Dr. Mercola

A rarely addressed environmental problem is radioactive pollution from nuclear waste disposal. For decades, the common method of nuclear disposal was to simply dump plutonium-filled steel barrels into the ocean. Continue reading

October 9, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Native Americans warn against nuclear waste dumping at Yucca Mountain

Warnings from First Americans: Insidious Changes Are Underway that Will Affect Us All, In These Times, BY STEPHANIE WOODARD , 5 Oct 17, The worst mass shooting in recent years. Escalating threats of nuclear war. Catastrophic hurricanes. Calamities and fear rock the nation these days. Meanwhile, public servants are chartering private jets, and the president’s frenzied tweetstorms create yet more chaos and division. As the tweeter-in-chief seeks sycophantic praise (or anything to divert our attention from Robert Mueller’s accelerating investigation), serious policy changes have been proposed, or are underway, in numerous aspects of American life.

For an update, Rural America In These Times spoke to Native Americans—people whose survival requires being extremely well informed about what all branches of the federal government are up to. From their vantage point as sovereign entities with direct government-to-government relationships with the United States, the tribes have a unique perspective on issues including voting rights, the economy, the extractive industries’ hold over this administration and more.

In each case below, they explain how powerfully and comprehensively this administration’s misguided policies would impinge on each and every one of us. After all, “everything is connected,” as Timbisha Shoshone Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Barbara Durham puts it.

Fire on the mountain

Kim Jong-un can relax! We have already nuked ourselves and are looking into a great way to poison ourselves even more with radioactive waste. In June, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry suggested using the Nevada National Security Site, aka the Nevada Test Site, as an interim waste dump and at the same time reopening licensing procedures for nearby Yucca Mountain. Under Perry’s plan, the mountain, revered as a sacred site by area tribes, would eventually become the permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive material.

The waste would travel via roads and railroads through communities throughout the country as it made its way to Nevada. Once it arrived, its home would be deep inside the earthquake-prone mountain. The DOE’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project admits that Yucca Mountain may be shaken by “ground motion” and that “beyond-the-design” events could collapse the waste facility.

The Timbisha Shoshone government blasted the Perry proposal, citing the groundwater contamination that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said will likely occur, even without earthquakes. …….

The United States faces one more very large barrier at Yucca Mountain, adds Bob. In 1863, Shoshone tribal heads and United States representatives signed the Treaty of Ruby Valley, which declared friendship between the parties and guaranteed the tribes a homeland that encompasses most of Nevada and massive chunks of Idaho, Oregon, California and Utah. The federal government seemed to forget all about the agreement for decades, though of course there were distractions—the Civil War, Lincoln’s assassination, the Sioux defending their homelands and more. After the United States woke up to the gigantic gap in the national map, it tried unsuccessfully for decades to pay off the Shoshone tribes.

“We respect the treaty,” says Bob. “And we don’t want the nuclear waste.”

DOE offers one bright spot in all the controversy: According to the FEIS, Yucca Mountain is “highly unlikely” to erupt as a volcano.

This land is whose land?

The Trump administration is trying to shovel vast and pristine portions of the United States into the maw of the extractive industries, such as mining concerns and fossil-fuel companies…..

Equality redefined

It’s not just Russians anymore. Attacks against voting rights are proliferating beyond Putin’s pals hacking into state election systems or manipulating public opinion via social media. With the Trump administration’s all-out assault on ballot-box access, non-Natives are getting a taste of what Native people have long experienced, according to OJ Semans, the Rosebud Sioux executive director of Four Directions, a nonprofit that advocates for equal rights.

“To put it bluntly,” Semans says, “as the Trump administration chips away at the ability to cast a ballot, you non-Natives are becoming as ‘equal’ as we are.”……..http://inthesetimes.com/rural-america/entry/20583/tribal-sovereignty-economy-environment-voting-rights-extractive-industry

October 9, 2017 Posted by | indigenous issues, USA, wastes | Leave a comment