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Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’ as stockpile reaches 250,000 tons, Greenpeace warns

Bags of radioactive waste sit outside an incineration facility in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, in July 2016.
Storage of nuclear waste is a ‘global crisis’
Report by Greenpeace says waste storage facilities in seven countries revealed several were near saturation
The partial meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear the hazard of spent fuel pools.
Jan 31, 2019
PARIS – Nuclear waste is piling up around the world even as countries struggle to dispose of spent fuel that will remain highly toxic for many thousands of years, Greenpeace detailed in a report Wednesday.
An analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with nuclear power revealed that several were near saturation, the anti-nuclear nongovernmental organization said.
All these nations also confronted other problems that have yet to be fully contained: fire risk, venting of radioactive gases, environmental contamination, failure of containers, terrorist attacks and escalating costs.
“More than 65 years after the start of the civil use of nuclear power, not a single country can claim that it has the solution to manage the most dangerous radioactive wastes,” Shaun Burnie, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Germany and coordinator of the report, said in a statement.
In particular, storing waste material from nuclear power reactors deep in the ground — the most researched long-term storage technology — “has shown major flaws which exclude it for now as a credible option,” he said.
Currently, there is a global stockpile of around 250,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel distributed across 14 countries.
Most of this fuel remains in so-called cooling pools at reactor sites that lack secondary containment and remain vulnerable to a loss of cooling. Some lack a source of back-up power.
The partial meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear that the high-heat hazard of spent fuel pools is not hypothetical.
The 100-page report, compiled by a panel of experts, dissected shortcomings in the management of voluminous waste in France, which has the second-largest nuclear reactor fleet (58), after the United States (about 100).
“There is no credible solution for long-term safe disposal of nuclear waste in France,” the report said.
French oversight bodies have already raised concerns about capacity of massive cooling pools in Normandy at the La Hague site. In response, energy giant Orana, which manages the site, said in a statement that “there is not risk of saturation of the pools in La Hague until 2030.”
In the United States, billions of dollars and decades of planning have failed to secure a geological disposal site, the report notes.
The Yucca Mountain underground facility — decades in construction — was finally canceled in 2010 by the Obama administration.
Some 70 percent of spent fuel in the United States remains in vulnerable cooling pools, often in densities several times greater than originally intended.
Nuclear waste from uranium mining is also a major environmental concern.
The world’s inventory of uranium mill tailings — sandy waste material that can seep into the local environment — was estimated at more than 2 billion tons as of 2011.
The other countries covered in the report are Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Finland and Britain.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | wastes | | Leave a comment

Germany readying law on nuclear waste storage costs

The German Cabinet plans to approve a draft law on Aug. 3 that will require its utilities to pay billions of euros into a state fund to help cover the cost of nuclear storage, according to an Economy Ministry timetable seen by Reuters on Monday.

A commission recommended in April that Germany’s “big four” power firms — E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall — pay a total €23.3 billion ($26 billion) to remove unwanted long-term liability for the storage of nuclear waste.

The commission asked utilities to transfer provisions set aside for storage sooner than expected, starting with a first instalment totalling €17.2 billion no later than early 2017. The government is widely expected to adopt the commission’s proposals.

The legacy costs stem from Germany’s decision to end nuclear power by 2022 following the start of Japan’s Fukushima disaster five years ago.

The Bundestag lower house of parliament is due to vote on the law in early November and to be debated in the upper house at the end of November, the timetable showed.


May 31, 2016 Posted by | Germany | , | 1 Comment

Low-level nuclear waste to be buried 70 meters underground: NRA

Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority pretends it will exist for 100,000 years!

A portion of low-level nuclear waste generated by nuclear reactors is to be buried at a depth of 70 meters underground until it is nearly no longer radioactive some 100,000 years from now, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said on May 25.

NRA officials announced the strategy as forming the organization’s key policy with respect to its regulatory standards.

The low-level nuclear waste materials to be buried are those with a high degree of contamination, including parts inside the reactor that are located close to the fuel rods.

According to the policy, reactor operators will be expected to oversee the waste for a total of 300 to 400 years after it is buried — at which time they will be expected to conduct regular inspections on potential leaks of radioactive materials into the groundwater.

In order to ensure that human beings do not come anywhere near the radioactive waste materials, the government also plans to implement policies restricting nearby excavations, as well as advising that the nuclear waste not be buried near spots that have the potential for large-scale damage — including volcanoes and active faults — for at least the next 100,000 years.

The NRA will begin soliciting opinions on May 26 for a period of around one month as it aims to formulate concrete regulatory standards in this regard.

May 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan considering building network of tunnels beneath seabed to store thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste


Government agencies are discussing the plan as a ‘long-term solution’ while environmentalists have dismissed it as an expensive ‘pipe dream’.
A team of experts from Japan’s Nuclear Waste Management ­Organisation is examining the possibility of storing thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear waste in tunnels deep beneath the Pacific Ocean.
Japan already has a stockpile of some 40,000 units of vitrified nuclear waste, with each of the stainless steel containers containing around 500kg of radioactive material, with more waste being produced.
Two of Japan’s 55 nuclear reactors resumed operations last year, after their operations were subjected to detailed scrutiny as a result of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant, caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A number of additional reactors have applied to restart operations, while dozens of the older plants will now have to be decommissioned as they have reached the end of their operational lives. Japan has never before decommissioned a reactor and does not have a dedicated storage facility for high-level nuclear waste.
“We are presently looking for a site and one of the options being considered is for tunnels beneath the seabed,” Kenichi Kaku, a spokesman for the agency, told the South China Morning Post.
“We are looking for a long-term solution to the issue that also meets the terms of the law on the storage of high-level waste,” Kaku explained.
A preliminary report suggests that tunnels could be excavated from the land to a distance of several kilometres offshore. The final disposal chamber would need to be in bed rock at a depth of at least 300 metres below the seabed.
The tunnels would need to be within 20km of a port, which would be required to transport vitrified waste over long distances, and the containers would be taken to the sub-seabed storage chamber by remote-controlled vehicle.
As well as being more secure from human interference, storage chambers beneath the seabed are less affected by the movement of groundwater and fluctuation in sea levels.
The experts, appointed to complete a full study by the ministry of industry, will now carry out a study of the technical issues that will need to be overcome. They will start by examining geographical features to identify possible seismic fault zones.
Kaku admitted that one result of the 2011 disaster at Fukushima is that “the Japanese public has lost confidence in science and we need to rebuild our credibility”.
Key considerations will be ensuring security in the transportation phase of highly radioactive waste, he said, while a great deal of work needs to be done to ensure that the storage chamber cannot be breached after the tunnel has been closed off.
“We need to identify active faults and volcanic regions so the waste is not affected in any way and we are looking to the experience of other countries for our plans,” Kaku said.
Environmental organisations have been quick to condemn the plan, however, with Aileen Mioko-Smith, an activist with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan, telling the Post that the proposal is “a pipe dream”.
“They talked about an ‘ice wall’ that was meant to stop ground water at the Fukushima plant becoming contaminated with radiation, but that was a pipe dream,” she said. “This is another one. It may look good on paper but how could it ever be achieved at a reasonable cost?
“And that’s before we even consider the safety of putting high-level nuclear waste beneath the seismically active seabed off Japan. It just doesn’t make sense.”

January 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | | 1 Comment

Two great charts about Nuclear ☢ that everyone should share!

Two great charts about Nuclear ☢ that everyone should study!’s+carbon+footprint.jpg …
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March 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The potential for Stuxnet computer worm to attack nuclear centrifuges

Forensic experts dissecting the worm found that it was calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges “wildly out of control.”… thing is clear: Stuxnet is a worrying escalation in cyber attacks.

A dangerous new level in malware, Pittsburg Post Gazette, TechMan:  2 Dec 10, Malicious software turned a dangerous corner recently with Stuxnet, a computer worm that attacks the control systems for things like nuclear power plants and electrical grids………….. Continue reading

December 2, 2010 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Near German nuclear waste dump – higher cancer rates

Higher rates of cancer found in area near dilapidated nuclear waste dump  Deutsche Welle | 26.11.2010 by Matt Zuvela, Holly Fox The Lower Saxony government has said those living near a dilapidated nuclear waste storage facility have higher rates of cancer. Men have twice the rate of leukemia and women have three times the rate of thyroid cancer. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Germany, health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Human error the biggest danger in nuclear technology

In 2007, six nuclear warheads were transported from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, to Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base – by mistake. It’s a pattern of mistakes where there’s zero room for error.

When We’re Our Own Biggest Nuclear Threat Gizmodo Australia, By Brian Barrett  November 23, 2010 Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | general | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Act of mischief’ irradiated 50 nuclear workers in India

No breakthrough yet in Kaiga radiation case, The Times of India, STANLEY G PINTO, TNN, Nov 25, 2010, MANGALORE: The tritium poisoning episode at Kaiga Generating Station (KGS), which exposed around 50 employees to increased levels of  radiation a year ago, remains shrouded in mystery, with police investigations apparently hitting a roadblock.
Asserting that investigations are still on, police officials admit it’s a difficult case to crack since it was an act of mischief……No breakthrough yet in Kaiga radiation case – The Times of India

November 26, 2010 Posted by | India, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuxnet computer worm still stalling Iran’s uranium enrichment

Iran’s nuclear program reportedly struggling Network News By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, November 22, 2010; Iran’s nuclear program has experienced serious problems, including unexplained fluctuations in the performance of the thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium, leading to a rare but temporary shutdown, international inspectors are expected to reveal Tuesday. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Iran, technology, Uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Britsh nuclear “guinea pigs” soldiers will fight on for justice

Many people, including researchers based in Dundee, believe this has led to deteriorating health among the veterans and Mr Malone said he was used as a “guinea pig” during the testing…..

VIDEO of Christmas Islands nuclear tests The Courier – Veterans undeterred by 1950s nuclear test ruling Veterans undeterred by 1950s nuclear test ruling, The Courier UK,  23 Nov 10, Atomic bomb test veterans from Dundee and Kirkcaldy say they will continue their fight for the truth after top judges dashed their hopes of compensation….. Continue reading

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Safety problems, workers pressured at Knolls nuclear site

WGI managers “created an atmosphere of fear among the work force not to speak up about issues of concern,” according to the DOE report.

Federal probe: Workers felt pressed to ignore safety issues at Knolls nuclear site, Times Union, By BRIAN NEARING , November 23, 2010 NISKAYUNA — A federal investigation into radiation released during demolition of a research building at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory found workers felt pressed by bosses to ignore safety issues and get work done faster. Continue reading

November 24, 2010 Posted by | safety, USA | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian soldiers, Aborigines, civilians exposed to depleted uranium in ’50s nuclear tests

The government is preparing a study of those who may have been affected, including soldiers, and Aboriginal and civilian populations in the area at the time of testing.

Depleted uranium used at Maralinga Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog, 23 Nov 10, Australian Government Confirms Depleted Uranium Used in 1950s The Australian Federal Government announced that it will conduct a health study of Australian volunteers who worked at Maralinga, a British nuclear test site. Continue reading

November 23, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, depleted uranium | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Possibly, a partial solution to unsolved problem of dead nuclear reactors

EnergySolutions cannot dispose of all the waste. Clive is licensed only for the least contaminated material. And the spent nuclear fuel is in the same situation as used reactor fuel all over the country: the Energy Department is under contract to take it, but has no place to dispose of it. Until a permanent repository is built at the proposed Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada or another location, the waste will stay at the Zion site in steel and concrete casks designed to last for decades.

Nuclear Plant Finds Novel Way to Decommission,, By MATTHEW L. WALD: November 22, 2010 ZION, Ill. — Twelve years ago, Commonwealth Edison found itself in a bind. The Zion Station, its twin-unit nuclear reactor here, was no longer profitable. But the company could not afford to tear it down: the cost of dismantling the vast steel and concrete building, with multiple areas of radioactive contamination, would exceed $1 billion, double what it had cost to build the reactors in the 1970s. Nor could Commonwealth Edison walk away from the plant, because of the contamination. Continue reading

November 23, 2010 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive poisoining of Mayak, in rural Russia

Mayak means irradiated milk, and a river 1,000 times as radioactive as normal. Genetic defects in people 25 times and cancer incidence four times the Russian average……..

Dumping nuclear waste on defenceless Russians, |Presenter Sonia Seymour Mikich: “……….The CASTOR protests of Gorleben ( ………german-nuke-waste-transportation) have shown yet again how nuclear waste has entrapped us. There’s no final repository anywhere. There are no disposal suggestions that would be suitable for a million years – that’s how long the fuel rods radiate. Continue reading

November 22, 2010 Posted by | environment, Russia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment