nuclear-news

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

France’s nuclear corporation, EDF, faces the first of many mammoth nuclear plant burials

L’Express 22nd Feb 2019 , Sooner or later, EDF will have to close power plants. Facing  the corporation is a vast building project  with many unknowns. And in the middle flows the Meuse.

Nestled in one of its loops, a few kilometers from the Belgian border, the two cooling towers of the Chooz nuclear power plant spew their plumes of white smoke. On the other side of the river, under the wooded hillside that has taken the colors of autumn, EDF is leading the dismantling of Chooz A.

Shut down since 1991 this reactor, installed in an\ artificial cavern, saw its installations gradually dismantled and
evacuated. Still to settle the fate of the tank. Perched on a metal bridge over a deep pool where she was dipped, a handful of Swedish engineers from the American company Westinghouse remotely maneuver the articulated arms of a robot that cut it. A long work, which must last until 2022. After which, the cave Chooz A will be filled with sand, for eternity.

https://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/actualite-economique/les-travaux-d-hercule-du-demantelement-nucleaire_2040298.html

Advertisements

February 25, 2019 Posted by | decommission reactor, France | Leave a comment

Australia’s Dept of Industry kept terrorist and other dangers secret from communities selected to host nuclear wastes

Risk of terrorism at radioactive waste site kept secret from residents near earmarked sites, Jade Gailberger, Federal Political Reporter, The Advertiser February 24,
The risk of terrorist activity at a radioactive waste site, including the removal of drums for use in a “dirty bomb”, has been kept secret from residents near two sites earmarked for a new national dump.
As the communities of Hawker and Kimba remain divided on the site selection for a new waste site, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws reveal the Defence Department identified a potential risk of terrorist activity at a dump at Woomera.
The revelation has cemented the security concerns of residents, who say they have been ignored by Government officials.

The now closed Koolymilka dump, situated on Defence land at Woomera, was licensed for temporary radioactive waste storage but has not taken new material since 2010.

An emergency response plan for the site, which still houses waste that is anticipated to be transferred to a national facility, details scenarios that may affect it including:

    • TERRORISTS removing drums to make a “dirty bomb”.
    • MISSILE and aircraft strikes, fire, flood or a storm in Woomera that could damage the building and cause contamination if drums ruptured.
    • CIVILIAN protest activity.

Defence has said it has no responsibility to inform the public of the risks because the new waste dump is an Industry Department project.

Kimba farmer Peter Woolford, who is opposed to radioactive waste storage on agricultural land, said security, terrorism and fire concerns at a national site had been raised but “fobbed off” by officials who claimed it “would be safe”.
“The (Industry) Department continually says it is going to be open and transparent but you have to obtain FOI documents to get the full story,” he said. “It’s an issue that the department should be … explaining.”

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said communities had been denied information needed to make an informed decision about a dump in their region.
At a Senate estimates hearing last week, Mr Patrick asked if the Industry Department had briefed the communities about potential terrorism. Industry Minister Matt Canavan said: “I have never been provided with any advice that this is at all a risk … this has never been raised as an issue”.
The Industry Department said the new dump would pose “no security or safety risk to the community” and “significant detail” on safety and security had been made public.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation said 14 of 45 jobs at the new dump would be security.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Utah Senate gives preliminary approval to bill that could usher in millions of tons of depleted uranium

Radioactive waste bill gets preliminary approval in Utah Senate, Deseret News, Amy Joi O’Donoghue@amyjoi16, February 20, 2019 SALT LAKE CITY — EnergySolutions is seeking assurances from Utah lawmakers that if it meets disposal requirements and the approval of regulators, it can bury depleted uranium at its Tooele County facility.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | depleted uranium, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The need to put a stop to plan for plutonium weapon pits at Savannah River Site

No plutonium pit at SRS,   https://www.augustachronicle.com/opinion/20190220/letter-no-plutonium-pit-at-srs By Cassandra Fralix, Lexington, S.C. With the demise of the MOX fuel plant, good riddance, since there wasn’t a buyer for this dangerous material. There is only one option for the more radioactive plutonium waste, and that is long-term storage.

Long-term for Pu-239 is a half-life of 24,100 years. No one can predict what the state of the country will be in five years, much less 24,000, so who will monitor this dangerous material?

The horrible legacy of plutonium waste is one we are living with because of the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Now, we have the Department of Energy’s plan to use Savannah River Site’s plutonium for nuclear weapons purposes. Plutonium, being radioactive and “pyrophoric,” is very difficult to handle, as the workers at SRS can testify to, and Savannah River Site, a Superfund site, continues a never-ending cleanup.

To return Savannah River Site to a weapons manufacturer is a testament to man’s lack of concern for God’s creation – human and environmental. We have seen the warnings from the increase of cancer rates at Rocky Flats, Colo., a plutonium pit producer – available in the Final Summary Report on the Historical Public Exposures Studies on Rocky Flats – to Fukushima, Japan, where the focus now is on the plutonium plant, so much more toxic than that of most other elements used in nuclear processing.

We must put people over profits and stop this maniacal race to our destruction. Say no to plutonium pit production at SRS!

February 23, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scottish Ministers have the power to halt nuclear waste dumping near Aboriginal land in South Australia

Scottish ministers can stop nuclear waste dump, say advisers, The Ferret, 19 Feb 19, Scottish ministers have the power to halt plans to dump nuclear waste on Aboriginal land in Australia which could breach human rights, according to government advisors.

Documents obtained by The Ferret reveal that expert advice sought by ministers stated that the Scottish Government could prevent the export of radioactive waste from the UK under a swap arrangement involving the Dounreay nuclear complex in Caithness.

The revelations have prompted campaigners to call for the Scottish Government to step in and stop the waste dumping, which they see as a potential desecration of sacred Aboriginal lands in south Australia.

The Scottish Government and its regulator, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), have insisted that regulating the waste shipment is not their responsibility – but Sepa’s former chief executive says this is wrong.

Nuclear fuel was sent from an Australian research reactor to Dounreay for reprocessing in the 1990s. The resulting radioactive waste, amounting to 51 cemented drums, was originally due to be returned to Australia for disposal.

But under the terms of a waste substitution deal in 2014, Scottish and UK governments agreed that the drums should stay at Dounreay because of the difficulties of transporting them around the globe……

Peter Roche, an anti-nuclear campaigner and member of Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates, pointed out that environmentalists were opposed to nuclear waste being transported around the world. “It should be stored in above
ground stores on the site where it is produced,” he said. “And should certainly not be sent back to Australia if it is likely to pose a potential risk to the rights of Aboriginal communities near the two proposed storage sites in Australia.” He added: “The Scottish Government should accept that it bears some responsibility for this waste and tell the UK government
to halt the proposed shipment.”  https://theferret.scot/scottish-government-australian-nuclear-waste/

 

February 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Deception and mistrust between Nevada and Department of Energy, over secret plutonium shipment


The Indy Explains: How a secret plutonium shipment exacerbated mistrust between Nevada and Department of Energy, The Nevada Independent By Daniel Rothberg 18 Feb 19,  The secretive Nevada plutonium shipment that has spawned angry rhetoric from Nevada politicians has a history that starts with Russia. In 2000, the United States entered into a pact with Russia to set aside excess weapons-grade plutonium for civilian use in nuclear reactors. Congress then passed a law that it would turn the excess 34 metric tons of plutonium into MOX, or mix-oxide fuel, at a newly built facility in South Carolina.

But that statute came with a firm deadline: If the MOX facility was not operational by 2014, the Department of Energy would be required to move one metric ton of plutonium stored at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site, a nuclear facility built in the 1950s, within two years.

After years of cost overruns and technical challenges, the Trump administration scrapped the facility. Meanwhile, the state of South Carolina obtained a court order in 2017 requiring the Department of Energy enforce the deadline and move the metric ton of plutonium by 2020.

Less than one year later, the agency said it moved a half-ton of that plutonium to the Nevada National Security Site. The action came after months of questioning from state officials, and its furtive nature has spurred a lawsuit, driving a deep chasm between the state and the agency.

Four months after South Carolina obtained the court order, Nevada officials heard that the federal government might be sending some of the plutonium to the state, according to court records. From August to November, state officials began asking questions about the potential shipment. But Nevada officials received few assurances from Department of Energy officials.

Beyond a general ‘expectation’ that any plutonium would be removed by approximately 2026-27, [a November 20] letter did not contain any of the requested assurances,” Pam Robinson, the policy director for then-Gov. Brian Sandoval, wrote in a December affidavit.

What Nevada officials didn’t know: the United States had already moved the plutonium.

Who knew what when

That surprising disclosure came months later — on January 30 — when a general counsel for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) disclosed that the agency had made a half-ton plutonium shipment from South Carolina to the Nevada Test Site prior to November.

Gov. Steve Sisolak responded to the revelation with a heated statement, pledging to continue existing litigation and keep the Department of Energy accountable.I am beyond outraged by this completely unacceptable deception from the U.S. Department of Energy,” he said to the media. “The department led the state of Nevada to believe that they were engaging in good-faith negotiations with us regarding a potential shipment of weapons-grade plutonium, only to reveal that those negotiations were a sham all along.”

Members of the state’s congressional delegation also released fiery responses.

State officials worry that the plutonium shipment to the testing facility, which is about 65 miles outside of Las Vegas and occupies an area the size of Rhode Island, could set a precedent for the federal government to send more nuclear materials to the state.

In court filings, lawyers for Attorney General Aaron Fordalso argued the federal government failed to fully inventory the environmental impacts of the size and type of plutonium being sent to the highly guarded site.

They also view the action as a backdoor move to open Yucca Mountain, the controversial nuclear waste repository that sits in the remote desert about 100 miles outside of Las Vegas.

The NNSA disputes all of these claims. ………

“Plutonium is nasty stuff,” said Allison Macfarlane, a George Washington University science and technology professor who chaired the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2012 to 2014. “But we’ve made so much of it on the weapons side in this country — and the civilian side in other countries — that we really need to manage it very carefully unless we eliminate it.”

With South Carolina’s MOX facility mothballed, the options are more limited…….. https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/indy-explains-how-a-secret-plutonium-shipment-created-mistrust-betw

February 19, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Council in Wales strongly opposes nuclear waste burial proposals

Council leader voices ‘strong opposition’ to nuclear waste burial proposals https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/council-leader-voices-strong-opposition-15847252Meetings are taking place in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste,  Elizabeth BradfieldLocal Democracy Reporter, 18 Feb 19, 

The leader of Neath Port Talbot Council has said the local authority will not engage “at any level” when it comes to an upcoming consultation on possible sites where nuclear waste can be buried.

Meetings are taking place in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste.

The UK Government wants to bury the lethal stockpile that has been accumulating from nuclear power stations over the last 60 years.

People in two areas – Swansea and Llandudno – are to be consulted as part of the hunt for a “willing host community”.

There are also consultations in eight parts of England.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday, February 14, council leader Rob Jones said: “There have been a number of articles in the media this week concerning public meetings to be organised, apparently, by an agency of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to consult on the possibility of sites being identified for the disposal of nuclear waste.

“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that Neath Port Talbot Council will not be engaging in this process at any level.

“The Welsh Government has made it clear that they would only support such a proposal if the community concerned was willing.

“Well, ours is not as far as I’m concerned and that is the end of the matter.

“Moreover, in the unlikely event that a credible proposal emerged in any adjacent area, we would very strongly oppose that as well.”

The waste is currently stored in 20 sites around the country in specially-engineered containers but this is not seen as a long-term solution.

It is expected that the process of selecting an underground site and going through the planning and construction process will take decades with any chosen site first receiving waste in the 2040s.

The government website says that communities willing to take part on the consultation will receive £1m a year initially and up to £2.5m a year if boreholes are drilled.

A website has been set up by the UK Government to inform the public geologicaldisposal.campaign.gov.uk

February 19, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

The global deception that nuclear waste is ‘manageable’ – theme for March 19

We are being fed a pack of lies about the “OK” management of nuclear wastes.  They don’t really know how long the waste canisters will last, or what’s really going on inside them.

Any sensible  person would not have embarked on the nuclear reactor folly, knowing that it would produce radioactive trash toxic virtually for eternity.  That folly began with developing the atomic bomb, then moved mindlessly into commercial nuclear power.

The worthy authorities treat nuclear waste as a religious faith. Heck the USA even passed laws expressing this belief – The Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule

It is absurd for countries to keep on producing this toxic stuff, permanently poisoning the environment, with no way of getting rid of the poison.

Meanwhile, they continue to reassure us with absurdities on the “safety”of this trash, keep bribing communities to host it, keep promoting new geewhiz reactors that claim (falsely) to solve the problem.

This toxic industry, and its diabolical weapons keep going, because they make money for corporations, for investors,  provide jobs, keep political leaders in power.

But is it worth it?

 

 

 

February 16, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, wastes | Leave a comment

The massive costs of USA’s stranded canisters of nuclear wastes

These dumpsters of old nuclear waste are costing taxpayers a fortune https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/31/these-dumpsters-old-nuclear-waste-are-costing-you-billions/lw7aIpcWOhmn3ThjeqEnVP/story.html

They were supposed to be hauled away decades ago. They’re still here.

By Joshua Miller GLOBE STAFF  JANUARY 31, 2019

ROWE — The nuclear plant deep in the woods of this Western Massachusetts town stopped producing power 27 years ago when George H.W. Bush was still president. It was dismantled, piece by piece. Buried piping was excavated. Tainted soil was removed. But nestled amid steep hills and farmhouses set on winding roads, something important was left behind.

Under constant armed guard, 16 canisters of highly radioactive waste are entombed in reinforced concrete behind layers of fencing. These 13-foot-tall cylinders may not be much to look at, but they are among the most expensive dumpsters in the country, monuments to government inaction.

Lawyers for Rowe’s defunct plant and long-dismantled reactors in
Maine and Connecticut are poised to march into a federal courtroom in coming weeks and, for the fourth time in recent years, extract a huge sum of taxpayer money to cover ongoing security and maintenance costs. Taxpayers have already ponied up $500 million as a result of lawsuits filed by the plants’ owners, and they are poised to pay $100 million more this time.

Nationally, the US government’s failure to keep its vow to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level waste is proving staggeringly expensive. So far, the government has paid out more than $7 billion in damages for violating its legal pledge to begin hauling away nuclear waste by 1998.

And costs are expected to soar as more of the nation’s aging reactors close permanently: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, for instance, is slated to go offline by June. Eventually, the remaining staff may have the sole job of safeguarding the radioactive detritus.

By the Department of Energy’s own optimistic estimates, the government will be forced to cough up a whopping $28 billion more in taxpayer funds as a result of litigation in coming years.

Long before the 35-day partial government shutdown crippled Washington, the dug-in debate over where to dump the nation’s civilian nuclear waste set the radioactive standard for government dysfunction. For more than 60 years, government officials have tried to solve the problem, but plan after plan has collapsed amidst nationwide cries of “Not in my backyard!” So far, all officials have to show for the work is an enormous $10 billion-plus hole in Nevada that will probably never be used.

Instead of consolidating waste in one place, it has left material that is toxic for thousands of years at scores of current and former civilian nuclear plants. Neighbors fear the waste will stay permanently, siphoning money from other needs, thwarting redevelopment, and eventually posing a safety risk.

Senator Edward J. Markey, a longtime nuclear skeptic, said lingering nuclear waste tends to focus the attention of nearby cities and towns on a simple question: “When is this problem going to be solved? Or am I going to have a nuclear waste site in my community for the rest of my family’s life?”

The promise of nuclear power burned bright in 1960 when the Yankee Atomic Electric Co. first fired up its reactor in Rowe. But, even then, proponents of the new power source knew they were creating a problem: the super-hot, super-radioactive uranium fuel rods left over from generating power. Most plants dumped them in deep pools of water, but that was only a temporary solution

By the early 1980s, as waste accumulated, Congress made this pledge: The Department of Energy would haul away nuclear plants’ spent fuel and other high-level waste starting by 1998 and the owners would pick up the tab, in part through a fee in customers’ electric bills.

The law was supposed to jump-start a scientific process to choose the best repository for waste. But not-in-my-backyard politics repeatedly got in the way. Who, after all, wants a national nuclear waste dump buried nearby forever?

Congress later zeroed in on a remote desert site called Yucca Mountain in Nevada, about 75 miles from Las Vegas.

But Nevada didn’t want the nation’s spent nuclear fuel either, and the state’s top politician, senator Harry Reid, the majority leader from 2007 to 2015, strongly opposed the plan. After the United States spent more than $10 billion drilling down into and studying the site, the Obama administration effectively killed Yucca around 2010. Congress has not restarted funding for the effort.

Proposals to create a consolidated repository to store the waste for an interim period in New Mexico and West Texas are moving forward. But those, too, face huge hurdles.

Meanwhile, electric ratepayers from New England, home to seven current and former nuclear power plants, have paid what is now an estimated $3 billion with interest into the fund to dispose of nuclear waste.

But the account has not brought its intended benefit.

Even with strong support for a permanent fix from the nuclear power industry, environmentalists, and local officials, Congress has remained deadlocked on a final resting place for spent fuel and other highly radioactive waste.

So nuclear plants continue to keep the waste on hand. And they continue to get reimbursed for payroll, security, supplies, and more, because the courts have found the government is in partial breach of its contract to haul away the waste.

In a twist, the government’s payments can’t come from that nuclear waste fund, a federal court ruled. Instead, it is taken from a separate pool of taxpayer dollars for court judgments and settlements of lawsuits against the government.

The latest suit from Yankee Rowe and the two other fully shuttered New England plants in Wiscasset, Maine, and Haddam, Conn., is set to soon go to trial and cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

And it probably won’t be the last lawsuit. Company officials say each plant spends about $10 million a year safeguarding its waste and maintaining corporate structures solely for that task.

Meanwhile, soon-to-close Pilgrim is getting ready to follow in Yankee Rowe’s footsteps, moving its remaining spent fuel from cooling pools to huge concrete cylinders, known as dry cask storage, by 2022.

So far, across the country, there haven’t been any serious accidents with the casks, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But as the time frame for their use stretches out indefinitely, no one can be sure how long before the waste poses a threat.

The uncertainty also is forcing plant operators to plan for longer-term issues including climate change and rising sea levels. Officials at Pilgrim, which is oceanfront property, said last year that the plant will move its current cylinders to higher ground and place new ones there, too.

The NRC believes the casks should be safe for years to come, licensing their use for up to 40 years at a time.

The agency has ruled that, with proper inspection and maintenance, casks could last more than 100 years before the waste would have to be transferred to a new steel canister and concrete shell.

But Allison M. Macfarlane, a former NRC chairwoman, said there’s no guarantee the infrastructure will be in place to monitor them for safety.

“That assumes our institutions are robust and will last hundreds of years and I think that’s a poor assumption based on no evidence whatsoever,” Macfarlane said in the midst of the partial federal shutdown.

That is why, experts insist, a permanent subterranean repository like the one planned for Yucca Mountain is the only real solution.

“You should really put it underground where the risk is much lower and you don’t have to worry about institutional failures,” said MIT researcher Charles W. Forsberg, a chemical and nuclear engineer.

In the meantime, communities that host closed and closing nuclear plants face yet another cost: prime real estate that’s potentially locked up for generations.

State Senator Viriato M. deMacedo of Plymouth said, “We have a mile of oceanfront property where that plant is. Once it closes, it will never be able to be used as long as those spent fuel rods are there.”

Some still hope that politicians will find a final graveyard for the nuclear waste, and the bucolic valley where Yankee Rowe stood and the beach where Pilgrim stands are redeveloped.

But, after three generations of failed efforts to permanently dispose of the waste, another vision is more likely. Plymouth, where the Pilgrims made the West’s first permanent mark in New England, could be home to its last: 61 gigantic casks of nuclear waste forever overlooking the sea.

 

February 16, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Dangers in Pilgrim nuclear waste shutdown – dry waste casks becoming stranded for decades?

The Future Of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station: Radioactive Waste And Many Questions By Sarah Mizes-Tan WGBH, 

Built in 1972 on the shores of Cape Cod Bay, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has been the subject of controversy and concern for decades. Now it’s scheduled to close in the next few months. This is part three of a three-part series on the plant as it heads towards permanent shutdown in mid-2019. Read parts one andtwo.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is nearly 50 years old. It’s moving toward a permanent shutdown in four months, but there are still concerns about safety. When a nuclear power plant closes, it leaves radioactive waste, and a lot of unanswered questions……..

As the plant ages, nuclear opponents are increasingly worried that an accident similar to the one in this drill could lead to a nuclear meltdown. Harwich resident Diane Turco, a longtime critic of the plant, is concerned that the consequences of a nuclear explosion would have far-reaching effects. She has overlaid an image of the radioactive plume generated after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi plant explosion on a map of New England.

“We superimposed that data over Pilgrim, and you can see where it goes,” she said.

The plume she points to would stretch from Long Island to Maine. And though the plant is closing soon, the risk for a nuclear meltdown still remains, even after it’s stopped generating power. One morning, Turco visited the plant to point out what she’s really worried about: the dry cask storage units, a cluster of concrete cylinders sitting next to the plant.

“We should not be able to be here. If somebody had bad intent, there’s the dry casks right there,” she said.

She’s worried that the casks, which contain radioactive material from the reactor, are too easily accessible and unprotected. An attack on the casks could result in a nuclear explosion.

“You could jump over here and be over there in two minutes,” she said. She pointed out a lack of security surveillance of the road passing by the storage casks.

To add to existing concerns, Entergy is now looking to sell the power plant to Holtec, a company that specializes in nuclear decommissioning — basically, shutting nuclear power plants down. It’s the same company that manufactured the dry cask storage cylinders that Turco pointed out. The company claims that it can decommission Pilgrim Nuclear in less time and for less money than Entergy is able to……https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2019/02/12/the-future-of-pilgrim-nuclear-power-station-radioactive-waste-and-many-questions

February 16, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Legality of Holtec’s Interim Spent Fuel Repository Application Called Into Question

— Gina G. Scala, Sandpaper, Feb 13, 2019, Opponents of an interim spent nuclear fuel repository proposed by Holtec International, the Camden-based company seeking to jump start the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station decommissioning should a license transfer be granted by the feds, say the company is putting the cart before the horse when it comes to seeking approval for the southeast New Mexico site. In fact, Caroline Reiser, a fellow with Emory Law School’s Turner Environment Law Clinic who appeared on behalf of Beyond Nuclear at an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board legal proceeding last month, called the application illegal.

“This adjudicatory body does not have the authority to review a license application that is based on an illegal premise,” she said during the first day of a two-day legal proceeding on the application. “Although Holtec presents it as an alternative, the mere inclusion of the Department of Energy as an option to be responsible for spent nuclear fuel transported to and stored at the proposed facility is illegal.”

Citing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, Reiser said the federal government cannot take title to privately produced spent nuclear fuel until a final repository is operational.

“The law is clear,” she said. “There is no dispute that no final repository is operational, let alone even licensed; thus Holtec’s application is based on an illegal presumption, and application should be dismissed.”

Indeed, the DOE unceremoniously rejected its own plans for a federal repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada almost a decade ago. It was the same site the DOE selected in 2002 as its long-term solution for housing spent nuclear fuel from the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants as well as U.S. Navy reactors.

“The interim repositories are viewed as a storage bridge until a permanent repository is opened,” Neil Sheehan, Nuclear Regulatory Commission public information officer for Region 1, said recently. “At this point, it is not clear when, or if, that will occur.”

He said the federal agency isn’t actively reviewing the Yucca Mountain application because more funding to do so is needed.

“We need to conduct a hearing on the proposal,” Sheehan said.

In the meantime, Reiser said Holtec’s application attempts to skirt the issue of who may legally own nuclear waste it proposes to store.

“The Nuclear Waste Policy Act is Congress’ comprehensive scheme for the interim storage and permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste generated by civilian nuclear power plants,” she said. “It is the result of brilliant and wise balancing on the part of Congress that establishes distinct responsibilities for the federal government and private generators regarding spent fuel with the ultimate goal that nuclear waste will end up underground in a permanent repository.”………..

Holtec and its opponents had until Feb. 11 to provide additional information for consideration. There is no time frame for a decision from the ASBL on the proceedings.

Three administrative judges from the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board presided over the session. The board may hold adjudicative hearings on major licensing actions by the NRC, but is independent of the NRC staff. A board’s rulings may be appealed to the commission, a five-member board that sets NRC policy.

gscala@thesandpaper.net  https://thesandpaper.villagesoup.com/p/legality-of-holtecs-interim-spent-fuel-repository-application-called-into-question/1800897

February 16, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste Handling Bill Under Scrutiny

 https://www.kxnet.com/news/minot-news/nuclear-waste-handling-bill-under-scrutiny/1776201036, By: Jim Olson  Feb 12, 2019   ND – A state Senate committee will continue discussions this week on a bill that spells out North Dakota’s regulation of nuclear waste storage.

February 16, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Mental health issues in Kimba, a small Australian agricultural town, because government plans a nuclear waste dump there

Nuclear waste site selection process triggers mental health concerns, business boycotts and division, FOI documents reveal, ABC North and West By Gary-Jon Lysaght  13 Feb 19, (FOI documents are attached on the original) Freedom of Information (FOI) documents reveal the Federal Government has been aware of potential mental health issues, from as early as 2017, caused by the search for a site to store the nation’s nuclear waste.The Federal Government is currently considering two sites at Kimba and one near Hawker for a facility that would permanently store low-level waste and temporarily store medium-level waste.

Kimba, a small town on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, has been divided on whether to support or oppose the facility. Some residents believe the facility could help bring much-needed business to the rural town, while others suggest it could damage the region’s agricultural reputation.

“Many of the opposed group have raised the issue of mental health in submissions and direct discussions,” the FOI documents, written in 2017, said.

They believe mental health issues are arising in Kimba due to the stress of being in this process.

“These issues have been raised with the Kimba doctor and counsellor.”

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick obtained the Freedom of Information documents and hoped the concerns were a catalyst for change.

“In my view, that creates a very strong obligation for the Government to act,” he said.

“They’ve clearly known about this issue since 2017 and it is now time to ask the minister exactly what he is doing in relation to that.”……. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-13/foi-documents-show-kimba-divided-over-nuclear-waste-site/10807462

February 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, psychology - mental health, social effects, wastes | Leave a comment

UK government’s Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) looking for nuclear waste dump site in regions of England and Wales

Western Telegraph 12th Feb 2019 , RADIOACTIVE waste could one day be stored deep beneath the Pembrokeshire
countryside. Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) – set up by the government
– is on the look-out for a suitable site in which to dispose of radioactive
waste. England and Wales have been divided into sub-regions, three of which
include parts of Pembrokeshire, which could potentially house an
underground geological disposal facility (GDF). St Davids and its
surrounding coastline, up to North Wales, and an area starting at St Brides
Bay and leading south-east to Swansea are among the regions being assessed
for their suitability.
https://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/17427410.pembrokeshire-is-on-the-list-of-potential-nuclear-waste-storage-sites/

February 14, 2019 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Californian company’s plan for deep burial of nuclear wastes , close to the point of production

Compelo 12 th Feb 2019 , California-based Deep Isolation claims to have the answer to the world’s
spent nuclear fuel problem, with more than 30 countries playing host to a
growing stockpile of radioactive waste. Based out of California, the
company has developed technology it claims can solve a problem its CEO
Elizabeth Muller argues is second only to climate change in terms of its
environmental severity. Capitalising on advances in drilling technology,
the solution involves storing the spent nuclear fuel in corrosion-resistant
canisters and placing them in drillholes deep beneath the earth at sites
near where the waste was produced so as to minimise costs.
https://www.compelo.com/energy/news/deep-isolation-spent-nuclear-fuel/

February 14, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment