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Toxic flushing of nuclear poisons into Lake Winnepeg

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Canada, wastes, water | Leave a comment

Holtec’s proposed nuclear storage facility of little benefit to New Mexico

“There is no guarantee that high-level nuclear waste can be safely transported to and through New Mexico.”

“There is no guarantee that this site will truly be ‘interim’ and won’t become the permanent dumping ground for our nation’s nuclear waste.”

“I’ve never understood what the rationale was for transporting this nuclear waste for these many miles all the way down to New Mexico. I don’t have an answer as to why it can’t be stored close to where it was created,”

“We really have to think about our land use, to think about being able to build other kinds of businesses that don’t end up spoiling the land and air,”

November 21, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA, wastes | 1 Comment

Nuclear wastes and other problems – nuclear power not low carbon, not safe

Uncertainties surround spent nuclear fuel disposal   https://www.ft.com/content/496254ae-0a38-11ea-bb52-34c8d9dc6d84   Dr Paul Dorfman, et al
We beg to differ with Jonathan Ford’s view on nuclear waste, that decommissioning and storage should be manageable problems (“Nuclear liabilities need to be put into a clearer perspective”, Inside Business, November 18). As the recent World Nuclear Waste Report 2019, states, no country in the world has a deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel in operation, and there remain significant scientific uncertainties associated with the deep disposal concept. Moreover, with costs of both interim and permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel ramping, no country has either securely estimated costs nor closed the gap between secured funds and cost estimates. The report adds that there is a lack of comprehensive, quantitative and qualitative information on risks associated with nuclear waste, with meta-analyses on the health impacts of nuclear waste notable for their virtual absence.

We also take issue with Mr Ford’s claim that “nuclear power remains one of the few technologies the world has for reliably generating zero-carbon electricity”. The evidence base concludes that, taking account of the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium mining, fuel enrichment, construction of power stations and the waste stream), nuclear has CO2 emissions between 10 and 18 times those of renewables. And, in the light of major accidents, incidents, technical failures and outages, it is difficult to comprehend how the world’s ageing nuclear fleet can conceivably be described as reliable. Dr Paul Dorfman Senior Research Associate, UCL Energy Institute, University College London Prof Andy Blowers Author, ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’ Prof Keith Barnham Emeritus Professor of Physics, Imperial College London Paul Brown Co-Editor, Climate News Network Prof Tom Burke Founder and Chair, E3G Prof Steve Thomas Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy, University of Greenwich Dr David Toke Reader in Energy Policy, University of Aberdeen Prof Andy Stirling Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex Prof Brian Wynne Professor Emeritus of Science Studies, Lancaster University  

November 21, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

World Nuclear Waste Report

The final disposal of high-level radioactive waste presents governments worldwide with major challenges that have not yet been addressed, and entails incalculable technical, logistical, and financial risks. This is the conclusion of the first “World Nuclear Waste Report ‒ Focus Europe” launched in Berlin in November.

The World Nuclear Waste Report (WNWR) is a project by a group of renowned international experts who want to draw more attention to radioactive waste as a significant and growing challenge with no long-term solutions yet available. The project was initiated by Rebecca Harms, and the original outline was produced by Wolfgang Neumann, Mycle Schneider (coordinator of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Reports) and Gordon MacKerron. Numerous experts have contributed to the first edition of the WNWR (including former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Allison Macfarlane).

The WNWR aims to make a substantial contribution to understanding nuclear waste challenges for countries around the world. It does so by describing national and international classification systems, the risks posed by specific radioactive waste forms, generated and estimated future waste quantities, the waste management and disposal strategies of governments and their financing mechanisms.

According to the WNWR, over 60,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel alone are stored in interim storage facilities across Europe (excluding Russia and Slovakia). Spent fuel rods are highly radioactive waste. To date, no country in the world has a repository for high-level waste from nuclear power in operation. Within the EU, France accounts for 25 percent of the current spent nuclear fuel, followed by Germany (15 percent) and the United Kingdom (14 percent).

In addition, more than 2.5 million cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level waste has been generated in Europe (excluding Slovakia and Russia). Over its lifetime, the European nuclear reactor fleet will produce an estimated 6.6 million cubic metres of nuclear waste. Four countries are responsible for most of this waste: France (30 percent), the UK (20 percent), the Ukraine (18 percent) and Germany (8 percent).

According to the WNWR, many governments underestimate the costs of interim and final storage. No country has a consistent financing model to date in places. This poses further financial risk for taxpayers.

Marcos Buser, a Swiss geologist and co-author of the report, said: “Increasing amounts of high level waste have to be interim stored for ever longer periods of time, as no country in the world has yet commissioned a deep geological repository for such waste. The problem is that interim storage facilities have not been designed for such long-term use.”

The Swiss nuclear expert warned that the storage facilities are already reaching the limits of their capacities. For example, storage capacity for spent fuel in Finland has already reached 93 percent saturation. Sweden’s decentralized storage facility CLAB is at 80 percent saturation. “The shutdown and decommissioning of many nuclear power plants will again drastically increase the quantities of nuclear waste,” warns Buser.

In addition to the safety aspects, the report identifies the enormous costs of interim storage and final disposal as another risk. “National governments and operators often significantly underestimate the costs of decommissioning, storage, and disposal of nuclear waste,” said Ben Wealer, co-author of the study and industrial engineer at the Technical University of Berlin.

In many countries there is a large gap between the expected costs and the financial resources earmarked for them. The problem would be exacerbated by the fact that final disposal also involves incalculable risks, which could lead to enormous cost increases, as the German government experiences with the Asse repository illustrate.

Nearly every government claims to apply the polluter-pays-principle, which makes operators liable for the costs of managing, storing, and disposing of nuclear waste. In reality, however, governments fail to apply the polluter-pays-principle consistently. “No country in Europe has taken sufficient precautions to finance the costs of the final disposal of nuclear waste. There is a threat that the real, massive costs will ultimately be borne by the taxpayers,” Wealer warned.

Ellen Ueberschär, President of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, said: “The numerous unsolved problems in dealing with nuclear waste show that nuclear power has no future. At the same time, the report makes clear that phasing out nuclear power is not enough. Insufficient financial provisions for disposing of nuclear waste must not undermine the care and safety of decisions for interim storage and final disposal. The search for a suitable final repository needs greater public attention. The report is intended to facilitate a qualified international debate.”

World Nuclear Waste Report https://worldnuclearwastereport.org/

World Nuclear Waste Report 2019 ‒ Focus Europe: https://worldnuclearwastereport.org/wp-content/themes/wnwr_theme/content/World_Nuclear_Waste_Report_2019_Focus_Europe.pdf

November 17, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, wastes | 1 Comment

Indigenous opposition grows against proposal for grand nuclear waste dump in New Mexico

Some fear the “interim” storage facility could become a de facto permanent storage facility

transport of high-level radioactive waste across the state could also lead to potentially dangerous nuclear releases, leaving impacted communities responsible for emergency responses.

the proposal fits into a wider pattern of negligence and environmental racism on behalf of the federal government towards one of the United States’ poorest majority-minority states. 

November 16, 2019 Posted by | indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | 1 Comment

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 https://www.powelltribune.com/stories/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, https://trib.com/opinion/columns/kessler-nuclear-waste-storage-provides-no-benefit-for-wyoming/article_4267cc9f-a2f8-54e5-a2d6-7ebe2fe9f9eb.html, 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.

https://www.kentlive.news/news/kent-news/gillingham-asda-shoppers-no-idea-3484975 

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,  https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/401921/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