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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

“Nuclear Decommissioning: Paying More for Greater, Uncompensated Risks.”

Flag-USADecommissioning costs: A blind spot in the nuclear power debate In nuclear policy, too little thought is given to the considerable costs of storing radioactive waste on site, Utility Dive  By Christina Simeone | August 30, 2016 With over 10 GW of nuclear capacity at risk for premature retirement – defined as retirement before license expiration – many states are considering subsidy policies to keep these economically struggling reactors operating.

Arguments for subsidies focus on protecting local jobs, keeping low-cost baseload power, maintaining reliability, and preserving the zero-carbon resources needed to address climate change. Opponents argue that out-of-market subsidies distort competitive markets and amount to ratepayer bailouts of uneconomic generation.

Absent from the debate, however, is a focus on what happens to nuclear power plants when they retire and decommission. Specifically, how Americans like you and I will continue to pay more and be subjected to greater risks as nuclear power plants are converted to interim waste storage facilities.

Decommissioning

This is the focus of a new report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, entitled “Nuclear Decommissioning: Paying More for Greater, Uncompensated Risks.”

Let me explain.

When most nuclear power plants were built, the expectation was spent fuel waste would either be reprocessed (for most plants built before 1977) or the government would take custody of the waste for permanent disposal, per the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Licensees that built the reactors were also required to establish financial mechanisms – such as trust funds – to ensure availability of funds to decontaminate equipment and decommission the plant site.

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act established a per-kilowatt-hour fee on nuclear power production that Licensees would pay in exchange for a contractual agreement committing the federal government to take custody of the waste – beginning in 1998 – for permanent geologic disposal. Licensees would recover these fees from electricity ratepayers that enjoyed low cost, baseload nuclear power.

In 1998, the federal government was not prepared to accept the waste. To date, the government has spent more than $7.5 billion to study the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada for geologic disposal, but political opposition from within that state killed the project. There are currently no plans underway to build a geologic disposal repository.

Meanwhile, there are over $34 billion in ratepayer funds sitting in a restricted government account that by law can only be spent on activities related to the geologic disposal site. (The ratepayer fee was suspended in 2014, a few years after the Yucca Mountain project was terminated.)

In the interim, nuclear reactor Licensees have been forced to make significant capital investments to expand their ability to store spent fuel on site at power plants. Licensees sued the federal government for financial damages caused by the government’s failure to accept nuclear waste for disposal, and the Licensees won.

The federal government is therefore using taxpayer money to pay back the Licensee’s costs of interim waste storage. As of 2015, more than $5 billion of taxpayer dollars were paid to reactor Licensees. The total cost of damages is estimated to range from $29 billion to $50 billion if the government begins to accept waste in 10 years. If this date slides, government liabilities increase by $500 million per year.

So today, all 100 operating nuclear power reactors are storing waste on site in wet and/or dry storage. When a full plant retires, the entire site cannot be decommissioned, because a portion of the site must continue to store waste.

With this background in mind, it is important that policymakers consider the following facts when contemplating the fate of struggling nuclear power facilities:

  • Distributed, interim (if not perpetual) storage of spent fuel and high level radioactive waste is less safe and less secure than permanent geologic disposal, according to the IAEA.
  • Costs of interim storage have been and will continue to be paid by taxpayers, and these costs will accumulate indefinitely. Meanwhile, there is no refund provided to the ratepayers who paid to have nuclear waste removed from their neighborhoods and into a permanent geologic disposal facility. Many Americans are paying twice for nuclear waste management.
  • Communities hosting nuclear power facilities – that include ratepayers and taxpayers – are not being compensated for the increased risks of perpetually storing high level radioactive waste. And, when a plant or reactor retires, these communities are also losing the benefits of nuclear power.

An additional concern is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s formula for establishing upfront decontamination costs for reactor specific funds has widely been criticized to understate costs. When a reactor retires prematurely, these funds have less time to appreciate and may require additional financial guarantees from the Licensee. More research is needed to understand the ability of owners of at-risk generation to provide such guarantees, if needed……http://www.utilitydive.com/news/decommissioning-costs-a-blind-spot-in-the-nuclear-power-debate/425415/

August 31, 2016 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Monolithic tomb for San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel

At San Onofre, spent nuclear fuel is getting special tomb Orange County Register, Aug. 28, 2016 ,By TERI SFORZA  “……..Once, San Onofre was a marvel of modern engineering – splitting atoms to create heat, boiling water to spin turbines and creating electricity that fulfilled 18 percent of Southern California’s demand. Now, it’s a demolition project of mind-boggling proportions, overseen by a dozen government agencies.

It’s expected to cost $4.4 billion, take 20 years and leave millions of pounds of spent nuclear fuel on the scenic bluff beside the blue Pacific until 2049 or so, because the federal government has dithered for generations on finding a permanent repository.

In this vacuum, contractors from Holtec International – one of only a handful of companies licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do dry-cask radiation storage in the U.S. – are at work. Construction of the controversial “concrete monolith” to protect San Onofre’s stranded waste has begun, over the protests of critics who decry a “beachfront nuclear waste dump.”

san-onofre-deadf

THE MONOLITH

The reinforced concrete pad that will support the monolith is finished.

Last week, Holtec workers used cranes and trucks to maneuver the first of 75 giant tubes into place atop it. When those tubes are bolted in, concrete will be poured up to their necks, and they’ll be topped off with a 24,000-pound steel-and-concrete lid. Earth will be piled around it so that it looks something like an underground bunker.

Southern California Edison, which operates the plant, would not share the Holtec contract or reveal its price tag, but San Onofre’s owners have recovered more than $300 million from the federal government for its failure to dispose of nuclear waste, which is why dry-cask storage must be built in the first place. San Onofre’s decommissioning plan sets aside $1.27 billion for future spent fuel management.

This is one of the first newly licensed Hi-Storm Umax dry-cask storage systems Holtec is building in the United States. Once it’s complete – expected to be late next year – workers will begin the deliberate and delicate dance of removing all spent fuel from cooling pools beside each reactor.

The iconic twin domes you see from the highway and the beach don’t reveal their enormity. They stand as tall as a 13-story building, and the adjacent pools holding their spent fuel are 25 feet wide, 60 feet long, about 40 to 50 feet deep and hold a half-million gallons of water.

When Southern California Edison begins removing the 2,668 fuel assemblies chilling there, bays to those enormous pools will open. Holtec storage canisters will be lowered in. Underwater, 37 spent fuel assemblies will be loaded into each canister and capped. The canister will be slipped into a “transfer cask,” lifted from the pool and drained.

Then it will be loaded onto a truck, driven a few hundred yards to the Umax and lowered into one of those 75 tubes. The waste-filled canister will remain inside. The transfer cask will be removed. The tube will be capped.

This will be repeated more than 70 times, until all the fuel in the more vulnerable pools is entombed in more stable dry-cask storage. That’s slated to be done by mid-2019.

TECHNOLOGY

The system will become something of a real-time experiment: Edison is partnering with the Electric Power Research Institute to develop inspection techniques to monitor the casks as they age. The casks’ integrity over time, while holding hotter “high burn-up” fuel, is a major concern of critics.

“Burn-up” – i.e., the amount of uranium that undergoes fission – has increased over time, allowing utilities to suck more power out of nuclear fuel before replacing it, federal regulators say. It first came into wide use in America in the latter part of the last century, and how it will behave in short-term storage containers (which, pending changes in U.S. policy on nuclear cleanup, must be used for longer-term storage) remains a topic of debate……..

ry-cask technology is not new, he said. Nuclear power plants in the U.S. have used it since 1986, and an analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute found that it would take at least 80 years before a severe crack could form in a dry storage canister.

The Umax uses the most corrosion-resistant grade of stainless steel; its design exceeds California earthquake requirements, and it protects against hazards such as water, fire or tsunamis.

Critics cast skeptical eyes on those claims.

They don’t disagree that dry storage is safer than the spent fuel pools, but activist Donna Gilmore says officials gloss over the potential for serious cracking – a bigger risk in a moist, salty, oceanfront environment such as San Onofre.

Once a crack starts, it would continue to grow through the wall of the canister, undetected, until it leaked radiation, Gilmore said.

Other countries use thicker-walled casks than those licensed in America, and she believes we should, too.

EYES FORWARD

What everyone wants is to remove the ensconced “stranded waste” from San Onofre as soon as possible, and the only way that can happen is if the federal government takes action.

Palmisano said energy is best expended pushing that forward, not arguing over canisters.

On that front, he is cautiously optimistic.

In January, the U.S. Department of Energy launched a new push to create temporary nuclear waste storage sites in regions eager for the business, currently in West Texas and New Mexico. Several of those could be up and running while the prickly question of coming up with a permanent site is hashed out.

There could be a plan, and a place, for this waste within the next 10 years, Palmisano said – but that would require congressional action, which in turn would likely require much prodding from the public.

“We are frustrated and, frankly, outraged by the federal government’s failure to perform,” he said. “I have fuel I can ship today, and throughout the next 15 years. Give me a ZIP code and I’ll get it there.”…..http://www.ocregister.com/articles/nuclear-727227-fuel-storage.html

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

USA taxpayers up for #billions for WIPP nuclear waste cleanup?

A typo and a bag of kitty litter might cost US taxpayers billions in nuclear waste cleanup, Business Insider, DAVE MOSHER AUG 27, 2016, A typo and a bag of organic kitty litter may end up costing United States taxpayers more than $2 billion in nuclear waste cleanup, according to a new report by Ralph Vartabedian at the Los Angeles Times.

waste drum burst WIPP

Back in February 2014, a drum of nuclear waste burst open inside the cavernous Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), Waste Isolation Pilot Plant WIPPwhich is drilled out of a salt deposit nearly half a mile below the deserts of Carlsbad, New Mexico.

The US Department of Energy (DOE), which funds the company that runs the nuclear waste dump, quickly suspended operations and launched an investigation to figure out the cause.

In their 277-page report, investigators determined the blast vaporized nearly 7.5 lbs of the material inside a single barrel, labelled “Drum 68660.” That material included some radioactive isotopes of americium, plutonium, and uranium — byproducts of Cold War-era nuclear weapons production.

Although no one was inside WIPP when the drum burst, the facility’s air ventilation system spread some of the gases outside, exposing 21 workers to low doses of radiation.

Investigators also discovered the trigger of the “thermal runaway event,” also known as an “explosion”: a dangerous combination of nitric acid and salts, triethanolamine, and“sWheat Scoop” organic kitty litter. (The DOE mentions the brand almost 400 times in its report.)

The cleanup itself will cost hundreds of millions, but that’s not where the mishap’s ledger ends.

The “organic” part of the kitty litter in question is crucial.

That’s because wheat, which makes up the pee-absorbing bulk of organic kitty litter, contains plant cellulose that can burn. Standard kitty litter, meanwhile, is inorganic, since it’s primarily made of clay.

So when drum-packing workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) followed instructions to add an organic variety to soak up radioactive fluids, they were unknowingly packing up what Sarah Zhang at Gizmodo called “the ingredients of a bomb.”………

Whatever the case, WIPP isn’t entombing any nuclear waste while cleanup work continues — which means the US government’s grand scheme to seal it all up has a major wrench in its gears.

The Times reports the facility may need 7 years of additional operation to handle the backup of waste. At $200 million per year, according to the Times’ analysis, that could add up to $1.4 billion in extra costs triggered by the mishap……

In the meantime, the DOE might also have to pay temporary storage and inspection costs for all of the waste that WIPP can’t entomb until the cleanup work is finished. The DOE couldn’t confirm or deny this, nor the cost.

“The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is critical to the Department of Energy’s mission to cleanup nuclear waste generated by atomic energy activities,” a DOE spokesperson told Business Insider in an email. “WIPP is the nation’s only repository for the disposal of nuclear waste known as transuranic (TRU) waste. The Department is committed to the recovery, and resumption of TRU disposal operations at WIPP when it is safe to do so.”…..http://www.businessinsider.com.au/kitty-litter-nuclear-waste-accident-2016-8?r=US&IR=T

August 27, 2016 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The First Nuclear Decommissioning Project in Taiwan

 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8477450529678693123

  1. Mon, Sep 5, 2016
flag-TaiwanTaiwan started with a new government on 20 May, who will be in power in the next 4 to 8 years. (same government can be re-elected once) The new government officially announced Taiwan will become “nuclear home free land”. By law, Taiwan will decommission the first nuclear power plant by 2018. The energy source will be replaced by renewable energy, coal fire power plant and LNG. Taiwan is also facing serious challenge to manage its nuclear waste that has no place to allocate them. Many local protesters refused a dry storage site build near their neighborhood, Taiwan Power Company has awarded the contract to deliver a Decommission Plan for the first nuclear power plant in May last year. UKTI Taipei is planning to bring a nuclear mission to Taiwan in early Nov.

August 26, 2016 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

3.7 million documents now publicly available on Yucca nuclear waste dump plan

paperwork nuclear dumpYucca Mountain Documents Now Publicly Available – In a New Online Library, USA Nuclear Regulatory Commission August 19, 2016 David McIntyre Public Affairs Officer

The NRC is flipping the switch today on its new LSN Library — making nearly 3.7 million documents related to the adjudicatory hearing on the proposed Yucca Mountain repository available to the public…….The library is significant for three reasons. First, it meets federal records requirements. Second, the library again provides public access to the previously-disclosed discovery materials should the Yucca Mountain adjudicatory hearing resume. Third, should the Yucca Mountain hearing not resume, the library will provide an important source of technical information for any future high-level waste repository licensing proceeding. https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2016/08/19/yucca-mountain-documents-now-publicly-available-in-a-new-online-library/

August 24, 2016 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

USA govt censoring severity of WIPP nuclear waste problem, $2 Billion Cleanup

“There is no question the Energy Department has downplayed the significance of the accident,” said Don Hancock, who monitors the dump for the watchdog group Southwest Research and Information Center.

 a federal investigation found more than two dozen safety lapses at the dump.

Nuclear Accident In New Mexico Is Still Being Censored, $2 Billion Cleanup

Nuclear accident in New Mexico ranks among the costliest in U.S. history,  http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-new-mexico-nuclear-dump-20160819-snap-story.html Ralph Vartabedian, 23 Aug 16 When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations.

The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department’s credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste.

But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis. The long-term  cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

The Feb. 14, 2014, accident is also complicating cleanup programs at about a dozen current and former nuclear weapons sites across the U.S. Thousands of tons of radioactive waste that were headed for the dump are backed up in Idaho, Washington, New Mexico and elsewhere, state officials said in interviews.

Washington state officials were recently forced to accept delays in moving the equivalent of 24,000 drums of nuclear waste from Hanford site to the New Mexico dump. The deal has further antagonized the relationship between the state and federal regulators.

“The federal government has an obligation to clean up the nuclear waste at Hanford,” Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. “I will continue to press them to honor their commitments to protect Washingtonians’ public health and our natural resources.”

Other states are no less insistent. The Energy Department has agreed to move the equivalent of nearly 200,000 drums from Idaho National Laboratory by 2018.

“Our expectation is that they will continue to meet the settlement agreement,” said Susan Burke, an oversight coordinator at the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.

The dump, officially known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, was designed to place waste from nuclear weapons production since World War II into ancient salt beds, which engineers say will collapse around the waste and permanently seal it. The equivalent of 277,000 drums of radioactive waste is headed to the dump, according to federal documents.

The dump was dug much like a conventional mine, with vertical shafts and a maze of horizontal drifts. It had operated problem-free for 15 years and was touted by the Energy Department as a major success until the explosion, which involved a drum of of plutonium and americium waste that had been packaged at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The problem was traced to material — actual kitty litter — used to blot up liquids in sealed drums. Lab officials had decided to substitute an organic material for a mineral one. But the new material caused a complex chemical reaction that blew the lid off a drum, sending mounds of white, radioactive foam into the air and contaminating 35% of the underground area.

“There is no question the Energy Department has downplayed the significance of the accident,” said Don Hancock, who monitors the dump for the watchdog group Southwest Research and Information Center.

Though the error at the Los Alamos lab caused the accident, a federal investigation found more than two dozen safety lapses at the dump. The dump’s filtration system was supposed to prevent any radioactive releases, but it malfunctioned.

Twenty-one workers on the surface received low doses of radiation that federal officials said were well within safety limits. No workers were in the mine when the drum blew.

Energy Department officials declined to be interviewed about the incident but agreed to respond to written questions. The dump is operated by Nuclear Waste Partnership, which is led by the Los Angeles-based engineering firm AECOM. The company declined to comment.

Federal officials have set an ambitious goal to reopen the site for at least limited waste processing by the end of this year, but full operations can not resume until a new ventilation system is completed in about 2021.

The direct cost of the cleanup is now $640 million, based on a contract modification made last month with Nuclear Waste Partnership that increased the cost from $1.3 billion to nearly $2 billion. The cost-plus contract leaves open the possibility of even higher costs as repairs continue. And it does not include the complete replacement of the contaminated ventilation system or any future costs of operating the mine longer than originally planned.

An Energy Department spokesperson declined to address the cost issue but acknowledged that the dump would either have to stay open longer or find a way to handle more waste each year to make up for the shutdown. She said the contract modification gave the government the option to cut short the agreement with Nuclear Waste Partnership.

It costs about $200 million a year to operate the dump, so keeping it open an additional seven years could cost $1.4 billion. A top scientific expert on the dump concurred with that assessment.

In addition, the federal government faces expenses — known as “hotel costs” — to temporarily store the waste before it is shipped to New Mexico, said Ellis Eberlein of Washington’s Department of Ecology.

The Hanford site stores the equivalent of 24,000 drums of waste that must be inspected every week. “You have to make sure nothing  leaks,” he said.

The cleanup of the Three Mile Island plant took 12 years and was estimated to cost $1 billion by 1993, or $1.7 billion adjusted for inflation today. The estimate did not include the cost of replacing the power the shut-down plant was no longer generating.

Other radioactive contamination at nuclear weapons sites is costing tens of billions of dollars to clean up, but it is generally the result of deliberate practices such as dumping radioactive waste into the ground.

For now, workers entering contaminated areas must wear protective gear, including respirators, the Energy Department spokesperson said. She noted that the size of the restricted area had been significantly reduced earlier this year.

Hancock suggested that the dump might never resume full operations.

“The facility was never designed to operate in a contaminated state,” he said. “It was supposed to open clean and stay clean, but now it will have to operate dirty. Nobody at the Energy Department wants to consider the potential that it isn’t fixable.”

Giving up on the New Mexico dump would have huge environmental, legal and political ramifications. This year the Energy Department decided to dilute 6 metric tons of surplus plutonium in South Carolina and send it to the dump, potentially setting a precedent for disposing of bomb-grade materials. The U.S. has agreements with Russia on mutual reductions of plutonium.

The decision means operations at the dump must resume, said Edwin Lyman, a physicist and nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“They have no choice,” he said. “No matter what it costs.”

ralph.vartabedian@latimes.com  Twitter: @RVartabedian

August 24, 2016 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Environmental groups in America take legal action against transport of nuclear wastes

radiation-truckFlag-USAGreens Sue to Stop Nuclear Waste Transport http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/08/15/greens-sue-to-stop-legal actionnuclear-waste-transport.htm   By BRITAIN EAKIN WASHINGTON (CN)– The U.S. Energy Department’s unprecedented proposed transfer of “a toxic liquid stew” containing nuclear waste between Canada and the U.S violates federal law, seven environmental groups claim in court.

     The proposed $60 million deal would see more than 6,000 gallons of the liquid waste transported more than 1,100 miles from the Fissile Solutions Storage Tank at Chalk River in Ontario, Canada to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, according to a 47-page lawsuit filed Friday in Washington, D.C., Federal Court.
“The radioactive waste byproducts resulting from processing the HEU targets at Chalk River are acknowledged to be among the most radioactively hazardous materials on Earth,” the complaint states, abbreviating highly enriched uranium. “They would be more easily dispersed into the environment in liquid form than in solid form, in the event of a breach of containment during transport.”
The material in question, highly enriched uranyl nitrate liquid, or HEUNL, comes from Canadian production of medical radioisotopes with highly enriched uranium provided by the Energy Department.
“The targets are irradiated in a nuclear reactor and then dissolved in nitric acid so that certain useful medical isotopes can be chemically extracted from the liquid solution,” the complaint states, which environmental groups say results in a highly radioactive liquid waste that contains dangerous radioactive byproducts of nuclear fission.
According to the complaint, which names the Energy Department as the primary defendant, the transport will take several years and will require 150 separate trips.
   The lawsuit alleges that the Energy Department wrongly designated the liquid waste, which contains dozens of radioactive compounds often present in irradiated nuclear fuel. The liquid also contains small amounts of highly enriched uranium, “which is nuclear weapons usable material,” the environmental groups claim.
“Thus the material to be shipped is functionally equivalent to liquid high-level radioactive waste that results from dissolving spent nuclear fuel in nitric acid for the purpose of reprocessing,” the complaint states.
The conservationists say the liquid waste is similar to that being stored at Washington state’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which has never been transported in liquid form over public roads.
The complaint calls the public and environmental health dangers of the liquid waste “significant and in some cases even legendary.” Some of it could easily enter the food chain and be absorbed into muscle and organ tissues, the groups say.
Additionally, the lawsuit warns that the liquid waste requires careful monitoring and constant mixing to prevent the highly enriched uranium from becoming more concentrated, which in a worst case scenario could rupture the tank and release the material into the environment.
   “The import and transport of highly radioactive liquid waste is being justified under a U.S.-Canada agreement to return highly enriched uranium to the United States. However, shipping of high-level radioactive waste in liquid form over public roads has never occurred in the 75-year history of U.S. nuclear power, research, medical isotope production, and weapons programs,” the complaint states.
The environmental groups argue that other alternatives exist. The liquid waste can be solidified and stored at Chalk River, or it can be converted or “down-blended” so that it contains low-enriched, non-weapons grade uranium, which the Energy Department has said is a viable option, according to the complaint.
The groups that filed the lawsuit – Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Savannah River Site Watch, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Lone Tree Council, Sierra Club and Environmentalists Inc. – are asking the Energy Department to thoroughly analyze down-blending as an option for dealing with the waste.
According to the lawsuit, the agency has not compiled an environmental impact statement on the proposed shipments, which federal law requires it to do.
Instead, the agency published and adopted as policy its own analysis of the risks, which it determined are similar to transporting other nuclear material, the complaint says, thereby circumventing public notification and comment requirements.
“The agency found that there would be no significant environmental impacts from the proposed project and provided no meaningful discussion of the potential risks from accident, terrorism, sabotage and the associated possible breach of the transport container,” the lawsuit states.
The environmental groups seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctions against the transport plan until the Energy Department compiles an environmental impact statement and complies with the National Environment Policy Act, the Atomic Energy Act and the Department of Energy Organization Act.
The Energy Department declined to comment.
Terry J. Lodge, attorney for the environmental groups, did not respond Monday to an emailed request for comment.

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Legal, Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Tawian organising to dump its nuclear wastes on Orchid Island

Oscar-wastesflag-TaiwanTsai to visit Orchid Island to discuss nuclear waste storage, Focus Taiwan, Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is scheduled to visit Taiwan’s offshore Orchid Island on Monday to discuss the issue of nuclear waste storage with the local people, the Presidential Office said Sunday.

The president will meet with a senior member of the indigenous Tao tribe and visit a kindergarten. She will also attend a forum during which she will address such issues as nuclear waste storage and garbage disposal on the island, the office said……..

Before finding a permanent solution for the nuclear waste, Tsai said her government will provide the Tao tribe with appropriate compensation.

Local residents had received over NT$2.1 billion (US$66.9 million) in payments as of the end of May 2016 from state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. and the Atomic Energy Council since a low-level nuclear waste storage facility was built on Orchard Island in 1982.

During her visit Monday, Tsai will again apologize to the indigenous people, sources said…….http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201608140014.aspx

August 14, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan, wastes | Leave a comment

USA needs to face up to the nightmare of high burn-up, and indeed, of all, nuclear wastes

Instead of waiting for problems to arise, the NRC and the Energy Department need to develop a transparent and comprehensive road map identifying the key elements of—and especially the unknowns associated with—interim storage, transportation, repackaging, and final disposal of all nuclear fuel, including the high-burnup variety.
Dr Pangloss
Nuclear power plant? Or storage dump for hot radioactive waste? http://thebulletin.org/nuclear-power-plant-or-storage-dump-hot-radioactive-waste9775

Robert Alvarez  In addition to generating electricity, US nuclear power plants are now major radioactive waste management operations, storing concentrations of radioactivity that dwarf those generated by the country’s nuclear weapons program. Because the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository remains in limbo, and other permanent storage plans are in their infancy, these wastes are likely to remain in interim storage at commercial reactor sites for the indefinite future. This reality raises one issue of particular concern—how to store the high-burnup nuclear fuel used by most US utilities. An Energy Department expert panel has raised questions that suggest neither government regulators nor the utilities operating commercial nuclear power plants understand the potential impact of used high-burnup fuel on storage and transport of used nuclear fuel, and, ultimately, on the cost of nuclear waste management.

Spent nuclear power fuel accumulated over the past 50 years is bound up in more than 241,000 long rectangular assemblies containing tens of millions of fuel rods. The rods, in turn, contain trillions of small, irradiated uranium pellets. After bombardment with neutrons in the reactor core, about 5 to 6 percent of the pellets are converted to amyriad of radioactive elements with half-lives ranging from seconds to millions of years. Standing within a meter of a typical spent nuclear fuel assembly guarantees a lethal radiation dose in minutes.

Heat from the radioactive decay in spent nuclear fuel is also a principal safety concern. Several hours after a full reactor core is offloaded, it can initially give off enough heat from radioactive decay to match the energy capacity of a steel mill furnace. This is hot enough to melt and ignite the fuel’s reactive zirconium cladding and destabilize a geological disposal site it is placed in. By 100 years, decay heat and radioactivity drop substantially but still remain dangerous. For these reasons, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) informed the Congress in 2013 that spent nuclear fuel is “considered one of the most hazardous substances on Earth.”

US commercial nuclear power plants use uranium fuel that has had the percentage of its key fissionable isotope—uranium 235—increased, or enriched, from what is found in most natural uranium ore deposits. In the early decades of commercial operation, the level of enrichment allowed US nuclear power plants to operate for approximately 12 months between refueling. In recent years, however, US utilities have begun using what is called high-burnup fuel. This fuel generally contains a higher percentage of uranium 235, allowing reactor operators to effectively double the amount of time the fuel can be used, reducing the frequency of costly refueling outages. The switch to high-burnup fuel has been a major contributor to higher capacity factors and lower operating costs in the United States over the past couple of decades.

While this high-burnup trend may have improved the economics of nuclear power, the industry and its regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), have taken a questionable leap of faith that could, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, “result in severe economic penalties and in operational limitations to nuclear plant operators.” Evidence is mounting that spent high-burnup fuel poses little-studied challenges to the temporary used-fuel storage plans now in place and to any eventual arrangement for a long-term storage repository.

High burnup significantly boosts the radioactivity in spent fuel and its commensurate decay heat. Of particular concern is the effect of high-burnup fuel on the cladding that contains it in the fuel assemblies used in commercial reactors. Research shows that under high-burnup conditions, that cladding may not be relied upon as the primary barrier to prevent the escape of radioactivity, especially during prolonged storage in the “dry casks” that are the preferred method of temporary storage for spent fuel. Resolution of these problems remains elusive.

For instance, research shows that in regard to high-burnup waste the fuel cladding thickness of used fuel is reduced and a hydrogen-based rust forms on the zirconium metal used for the cladding, and this thinning can cause the cladding to become brittle and fail. In addition, under high-burnup conditions, increased pressure between the uranium fuel pellets in a fuel assembly and the inner wall of the cladding that encloses them causes the cladding to thin and elongate. And the same research has shown that high burnup fuel temperatures make the used fuel more vulnerable to damage from handling and transport; cladding can fail when used fuel assemblies are removed from cooling pools, when they are vacuum dried, and when they are placed in storage canisters.

The NRC and the nuclear industry do not have the necessary information to predict when storage of high-burnup fuel may cause problems. To err on the side of caution, high-burnup fuel might have to be left in cooling pools for 25 years—as opposed to the current three to five years for lower burnup spent fuel— to allow cladding temperatures to drop enough to reduce risks of cladding failure before the fuel is transferred to dry storage. Also, the cooling pools at US commercial reactors are rapidly filling, with more than 70 percent of the nation’s 77,000 metric tons of spent fuel in reactor pools, of which roughly a fourth is high burnup. So far, a small percentage of high-burnup used fuel assemblies are sprinkled amid lower burnup fuel in dry casks at reactor sites. But by 2048—the Energy Department’s date for opening a permanent geologic disposal site—the amount of spent fuel could double, with high burnup waste accounting for as much as 60 percent of the inventory.

What’s next? In 2014, the NRC adopted a “continued storage” rule that recognized the strong likelihood of long-term surface storage of used nuclear fuel—but that rule basically ignored high-burnup spent fuel. Under the rule, the agency currently permits dry storage casks to accommodate a uniform loading of spent fuel below a certain level of use in reactors. The average burnup for the US reactor fleet is measured by the amount of energy produced, expressed in gigawatt days per metric ton of uranium; at present, used fuel assemblies are allowed to go up to 62,000 gigawatt days per metric ton.

Accordingly, a few high burnup assemblies, with higher decay heat, may be mixed with lower burnup assemblies in a storage canister. But there is little guidance on how this can be done without exceeding NRC peak temperature requirements. NRC’s current regulatory guidance concedes that “data is not currently available” supporting the safe transportation of high burn spent nuclear fuel. Owners of the shuttered Maine Yankee and Zion reactors are not taking a chance and have packaged high burnup spent fuel as it were damaged goods, stored in double-shell containers instead of single-shell, to allow for safer transport.

The impacts of decay heat from high-burnup spent fuel on the internal environment of commercial dry casks are virtually impossible to monitor, according to a 2014 NRC-sponsored study, “because of high temperatures, radiation, and accessibility difficulty.” The uncertainties of storing a mix of high- and low-burnup spent fuel in a canister are compounded by the lack of data on the long-term behavior of high-burnup spent fuel. This problem was highlighted by the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, an expert panel that provides scientific oversight for the Energy Department on spent fuel disposal. That panel said there is little to no data to support dry storage and transport for spent fuel with burnups greater than 35 gigawatt days per metric ton of uranium. In a May 2016 letter to the Energy Department, the board raised elemental questions that should have been answered before the NRC and reactor operators took this leap of faith: “What could go wrong? How likely is it? What are the consequences?” The board provided no answers to those questions.

It will take the Energy Department at least a decade to complete a study involving temperature monitoring in a specially designed dry cask containing high burnup fuel. Meanwhile, as high-burnup inventories increase, the higher amounts of radioactivity and decay heat associated with high-burnup fuel assemblies are putting additional stress on cooling pool storage systems.

This is happening at a time when concerns over spent fuel pool storage conditions are increasing. “As nuclear plants age, degradations of spent fuel pools … are occurring at an increasing rate,” a study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded in 2011. “During the last decade, a number of NPPs [nuclear power plants] have experienced water leakage from the SFPs [spent fuel pools] and reactor refueling cavities.” As a result of increasing high burnup loadings, spent nuclear pool storage systems are likely to require upgrading, which will certainly drive up costs at a time when age and deterioration are of growing concern.

These concerns were given greater prominence in May of this year by a National Academy of Sciences panel established by Congress to review the response of the NRC to the Fukushima nuclear accident. In its report, the panel warned the NRC about terrorist attacks for the second time since 2004 and urged the agency to “ensure that power plant operators take prompt and effective measures to reduce the consequences of loss-of-pool-coolant events in spent fuel pools that could result in propagating zirconium cladding fires.” Allison Macfarlane, then chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), noted in April, 2014 that “land interdiction [from a spent nuclear fuel pool fire at the Peach Bottom Reactor in Pennsylvania] is estimated to be 9,400 square miles with a long term displacement of 4,000,000 persons.”

Down the road, it is likely that spent nuclear fuel will have to be repackaged to mitigate decay heat into smaller containers ahead of final disposal. High-burnup fuel will only complicate the process, and increase costs, currently estimated in the tens of billions of dollars. Depending on the geologic medium, a maximum of four assemblies for high burnup, as opposed to the dozens in current storage casks, would be permitted after 100 years of decay; larger packages containing no more than 21 assemblies might have to be disposed if there is forced ventilation for 50 to 250 years—driving up repository costs.

The basic approach undertaken in this country for the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel needs to be fundamentally revamped. Instead of waiting for problems to arise, the NRC and the Energy Department need to develop a transparent and comprehensive road map identifying the key elements of—and especially the unknowns associated with—interim storage, transportation, repackaging, and final disposal of all nuclear fuel, including the high-burnup variety. Otherwise, the United States will remain dependent on leaps of faith in regard to nuclear waste storage—leaps that are setting the stage for large, unfunded radioactive waste “balloon mortgage” payments in the future.

August 13, 2016 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Finland failed to be transparent on nuclear waste burial, unlike Sweden

The foremost reason is that as the project was being discussed with the public, SKB’s research was found to be incomplete and, in certain cases, inaccurate.

When, in 2011, Sweden’s SKB first applied for a license to build the Forsmark repository, the KBS-3 project documentation was published, which made it possible to give the project a review that would be independent from the nuclear industry’s own evaluation.

In February 2016, a special expert group appointed by the government, called the Swedish National Council for Nuclear Waste (Kärnavfallsrådet), published a 167-page report entitled “Nuclear Waste State-of-the-Art Report 2016: Risks, uncertainties and future challenges.” Among other things, it identifies the repository project’s risks and uncertainties having to do with earthquake impacts, with the long-term prospects of financing and monitoring the site’s condition, and with the health effects of low doses of radiation.

Finland has no such expert body. The concept of the repository, under construction in Euroajoki municipality, is criticized by many Finnish scientists, but the government is not taking notice and is likewise ignoring the scientific objections coming from its neighbor Sweden.


wastes-1flag-FinlandWhen haste makes risky waste: Public involvement in radioactive and nuclear waste management in Sweden and Finland
 – How did it happen that in Sweden, the country that developed the technology for deep geological disposal of radioactive waste, construction of a such a repository – a first of its kind in the world – has been suspended for recognized risks and uncertainties, whereas Finland, which has copied the Swedish approach, is moving full speed ahead with building one? Bellona has looked for the answer on a fact-finding visit of the two countries. Bellona  August 9, 2016 by , translated by Maria Kaminskaya 

“……..Out of sight, out of mind?

The deep geological disposal concept was first suggested over 40 years ago to solve the problem of spent nuclear fuel, the nuclear industry’s most dangerous byproduct. To a certain degree, this was a continuation of the “bury and forget about it” principle, applied to the less radioactive and thus less dangerous waste – radioactive waste. But where radioactive waste could be placed in shallow trench-type reservoirs or semi-buried near-surface concrete vaults, for nuclear waste, disposal facilities – repositories or burial sites – were proposed for construction in rock formations at a depth of several hundred meters. To date, no such deep geological repository has been created anywhere in the world. Continue reading

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Finland, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Many decades after closure, UK’s Dounreay Fast Reactor is still dangerously radioactive

Coolant removed from Dounreay Fast Reactor, WNN 05 August 2016 A ten-year process to remove 68 tonnes of highly-radioactive liquid metal coolant from the primary circuit of the UK’s Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) has now been completed, marking a major milestone in its decommissioning.

Dounreay’s experimental fast breeder reactor, housed inside a steel sphere, led British nuclear R&D during the 1950s and 60s. It became the world’s first fast reactor to provide electricity to a national grid in 1962…..Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) announced today that some 68 tonnes of the liquid metal coolant – a blend of sodium and potassium called NaK – have been removed from the primary circuit of the DFR and destroyed over a ten-year period.

Dounreay 1

Most of the NaK had been removed by 2012, since when work has been under way to remove the last of the coolant from the difficult to access pipework and base of the structure…….

DSRL said the destruction of the DFR’s liquid metal coolant has removed “one of the highest hazards remaining in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) estate”.

NDA chief operating officer Pete Lutwyche said, “The difficulty of this task can’t be understated, and I welcome the news that this work is complete. Everyone involved should be proud of their achievement.”

The focus of decommissioning work at the DFR will now be the removal of some 1000 breeder elements that remain in the reactor vessel, DSRL said. This must be completed before cleaning and removal of the reactor and its nine kilometres of cooling pipework. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-Coolant-removed-from-Dounreay-Fast-Reactor-0508164.html

August 12, 2016 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Will USA’s nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Plant really be ready by December?

Don Hancock, a nuclear waste expert with the nonprofit Southwest Research and Information Center, is skeptical officials will make the December 2016 deadline. He thinks it could take several million dollars more and a few more years to fully reopen WIPP.

“DOE was overly optimistic about scheduling and overly optimistic about costs,” Hancock said. “Unfortunately, DOE continues to not learn from its past. This is not unique to WIPP.”

WIPPFeds: Highly likely nuclear dump will open in December http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Fed-says-it-is-80-percent-certain-WIPP-to-open-in-9126263.php August 6, 2016  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says it is 80 percent confident that the federal government’s only underground nuclear waste repository will partly reopen in December.

 That prediction comes after federal officials once promised the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant would be cleaned up and reopened by this March, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://goo.gl/9QvNEq).

The New Mexico plant has been closed since February 2014, when an inappropriately packed container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured and contaminated part of the facility.

The closure derailed cleanup at federal sites around the nation and recovery is costing the Energy Department hundreds of millions of dollars.

A Government Accountability Office audit released this week said the agency knew it had only a 1 percent chance of meeting that March 2016 deadline.

In 2015, the agency admitted it couldn’t safely reopen the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, even for limited operations, until at least December 2016 — and at a higher cost. Now auditors say even the revised cost estimate was flawed. The agency “did not follow all best practices for cost and schedule estimates,” federal auditors found, including having an independent analyst review them.

The report says the Energy Department also admitted in May 2015 that the pressure to meet the March 2016 deadline “contributed to poor safety practices in WIPP recovery efforts.”

The result of missteps in the process of reopening the facility, according to auditors, was a nine-month delay and a price tag $64 million higher than the original cleanup estimate. The Energy Department initially estimated it would cost $242 million to restore WIPP for limited waste disposal and an additional $77 million to $309 million to install a new ventilation system critical to providing clean air to workers.

The delays led to an additional $61.4 million in operating costs at WIPP, and the cost to prepare the facility for limited activity went up another $2 million.

Don Hancock, a nuclear waste expert with the nonprofit Southwest Research and Information Center, is skeptical officials will make the December 2016 deadline. He thinks it could take several million dollars more and a few more years to fully reopen WIPP.

“DOE was overly optimistic about scheduling and overly optimistic about costs,” Hancock said. “Unfortunately, DOE continues to not learn from its past. This is not unique to WIPP.”

August 8, 2016 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

AREVA- not making money from nuclear build, but cleaning up from waste cleanup?

New facility in Moyock makes massive spent nuclear fuel storage casks By Jeff Hampton  The Virginian-Pilot MOYOCK, N.C., 7 Aug 16   Marlin Stoltz put on a hard hat and bright yellow vest before walking out into the four-acre work area of the Moyock Casting Facility, a new operation in the business of spent nuclear fuel storage.

A line of concrete cases, each 21 feet long and weighing 100 tons, rested along a rail spur, ready for shipment. Several men stood atop a steel form where hydraulic power vibrated and settled four truckloads of concrete for the next case. A concrete plant operated less than 100 yards away.

 The property along N.C. 168 near the Chesapeake border is a short trip by rail or truck from the Norfolk ports, where barges haul in cement and rock. A rail line, a concrete plant, a good highway, proximity to the ports and isolation from residential development all make the site nearly perfect for its purposes, Stoltz said.

“This allows us to work very efficiently,” said Stoltz, supervisor of the Moyock Casting Facility and a deputy of the services business line for parent company Areva TN, a division of Areva, Inc, based in Charlotte.

money-in-nuclear--wastes

Areva, Inc. has operations within the entire nuclear cycle, including uranium mining.

The Moyock facility with 25 employees opened in January. It makes concrete modules that encase steel canisters containing spent nuclear fuel. From here, the modules head to nuclear plants elsewhere……

demand for spent fuel storage remains strong, Stoltz said. The Moyock plant means to deliver.

“The back end of the business is growing,” he said. http://pilotonline.com/news/local/new-facility-in-moyock-makes-massive-spent-nuclear-fuel-storage/article_82fb08bd-19f9-5c03-b976-47eeeb130604.html

August 8, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

No German spent nuclear fuel for Savannah – Citizens’ Advisory Board votes

wastes-1Savannah River board votes to officially oppose accepting German spentOscar-wastes
nuclear fuel, Augusta Chronicl
By John Boyette NEW ELLENTON — The Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board is not in favor of accepting spent nuclear fuel from Germany. In two separate votes Tuesday, the group voted down a draft recommendation to accept the spent fuel and endorsed a draft position statement that opposes receiving the spent fuel for treatment and storage in the U.S.

The spent fuel, which comes from two German reactors that have ceased operations, originated in the U.S. It takes the form of about one million graphite spheres that contain uranium and thorium and are currently stored in 455 casks…….

The draft recommendation failed to pass, getting only six votes in favor. Eleven board members voted against, and one abstained.

The position statement, which opposed receiving the spent fuel, was voted on next. It passed 13 to five.

The board also voted in favor of a position statement that opposes the storage of commercial spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste atSRS until 2048 or longer.

Tom Clements, the director of nuclear watchdog group SRS Watch, was pleased with the outcome of the votes.

“I thought it was quite strange that they allowed the two positions that had opposite statements to get this far,” Clements said. “I think they should have resolved this in the committee and presented one unified statement and not two.”

Clements said that a final Environmental Assessment from the Department of Energy is pending on the German spent nuclear fuel issue. He said it was supposed to be released in June but now there is no timetable.

“I personally think part of the reason for that is what’s happening in Germany, both the terrorism issue, and that there may be hesitancy to pay more to Savannah River National Laboratory for a program they don’t think is going to go forward.” fuel http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/2016-07-26/srs-board-votes-officially-oppose-accepting-german-spent-nuclear-fuel 

August 1, 2016 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Germany an example to the world of the massive radioactive waste costs of the nuclear industry

Sticker Shock: The Soaring Costs Of Germany’s Nuclear Shutdown, Yale Environment 360 25 JUL 2016: REPORT  German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2011 decision to rapidly phase out the country’s 17 nuclear power reactors has left the government and utilities with a massive problem: How to clean up and store large amounts of nuclear waste and other radioactive material. by joel stonington 26 july 16  The cavern of the salt mine is 2,159 feet beneath the surface of central Germany. Stepping out of a dust-covered Jeep on an underground road, we enter the grotto and are met by the sound of running water — a steady flow that adds up to 3,302 gallons per day.

wastes-1

“This is the biggest problem,” Ina Stelljes, spokesperson for the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, tells me, gesturing to a massive tank in the middle of the room where water waits to be pumped to the surface.

The leaking water wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for the 125,000 barrels of low- and medium-level nuclear waste stored a few hundred feet below. Most of the material originated from 14 nuclear power plants, and the German government secretly moved it to the mine from 1967 until 1978. For now, the water leaking into the mine is believed to be contained, although it remains unclear if water has seeped into areas with waste and rusted the barrels inside.

The mine — Asse II — has become a touchstone in the debate about nuclear waste in the wake of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2011 decision to end the use of nuclear power following Japan’s Fukushima disaster. The ongoing closures have created a new urgency to clean up these nuclear facilities and, most importantly, to find a way to safely store the additional radioactive waste from newly decommissioned nuclear reactors. Nine of the country’s 17 nuclear power reactors have been shut down and all are expected to be phased out by 2022.

In addition to Asse II, two other major lower-level nuclear waste sites exist in Germany, and a third has been approved. But the costs associated with nuclear waste sites are proving to be more expensive, controversial, and complex than originally expected.

And Germany still hasn’t figured out what to do with the high-level waste — mostly spent fuel rods — that is now in a dozen interim storage areas comprised of specialized warehouses near nuclear power plants. Any future waste repository will have to contain the radiation from spent uranium fuel for up to a million years.

Given the time frames involved, it’s not surprising that no country has built a final repository for high-level waste. In Germany, a government commission on highly radioactive nuclear waste spent the last two years working on a 700-page report, released this month, that was supposed to recommend a location. Instead, the report estimated that Germany’s final storage facility would be ready “in the next century.” Costs are expected to be astronomical.

“Nobody can say how much it will cost to store high-level waste. What we know is that it will be very costly – much higher costs can be expected than [what] the German ministry calculates,” said Claudia Kemfert, head of energy, transportation, and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research. The exact number, she said, “cannot be predicted, since experience shows that costs have always been higher than initially expected. ”

At the Asse II mine, roughly $680 million has been spent in the six years since the cleanup began, and the price tag for operations last year totaled $216 million. A 2015 report by Germany’s Environment Ministry noted, “There are currently no technical plans available for the envisaged waste recovery project which would allow a reliable estimate of the costs.”

No one expects to start moving the barrels at the mine until 2033, and estimates of finishing the process extend to 2065. Total costs for moving the waste to a future storage site will almost certainly be in the billions of dollars, with current estimates of just disposing of the recovered waste at $5.5 billion.

The waste issue is one reason nuclear power has been so controversial in Germany and why there is broad support among the public for phasing it out, with three-quarters of the German population saying they are in favor of Merkel’s decision, according to a survey this year by the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster.

“Nuclear in Germany is not popular,” Kemfert said. “Everybody knows it is dangerous and causes a lot of environmental difficulties. Nuclear has been replaced by renewables – we have no need for nuclear power any more.”…………..

With both nuclear waste storage and decommissioning, governments and power companies around the world have often opted for halfway solutions, storing waste in temporary depots and partially decommissioning plants. Worldwide, 447 operational nuclear reactors exist and an additional 157 are in various stages of decommissioning. Just 17 have been fully decommissioned.

In Europe, a recent report by the European Union Commission estimated that funds set aside for waste storage and decommissioning of nuclear plants in the EU’s 16 nuclear nations have fallen short by $137 billion. Dealing with nuclear waste in the United Kingdom is also a highly charged issue. At one location — a former weapons-manufacturing, fuel-reprocessing, and decommissioning site called Sellafield — the expected cleanup cost increased from $59 billion in 2005 to $155 billion in 2015. ……

despite recently completing a new plant, the United States is also struggling with decommissioning. The cost estimates of shuttering U.S. nuclear plants increased fourfold between 1988 and 2013, according toBloomberg News. Many governments are slowly starting to realize how much those costs have been underestimated.

As Antony Froggatt, a nuclear expert and researcher at Chatham House — a London-based think tank— put it, “The question is, how do you create a fair cost to cover what will happen far into the future?”  http://e360.yale.edu/feature/soaring_cost_german_nuclear_shutdown/3019/

July 28, 2016 Posted by | Germany, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

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