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Centralized Storage

With the scientifically unsound proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump now canceled, the danger of "interim" storage threatens. This means that radioactive waste could be "temporarily" parked in open air lots, vulnerable to accident and attack, while a new repository site is sought.

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Friday
Nov252016

Pilgrim’s Progress: Inside the American Nuclear-Waste Crisis

As reported by Gregg Levine and Caroline Preston in The New Yorker.

The article quotes Beyond Nuclear: One option is consolidated interim storage. Under this plan, the spent fuel would be moved from plants in thirty states to a handful of regional, aboveground storage facilities—what Kevin Kamps, a waste specialist at the watchdog Beyond Nuclear, has called “parking-lot dumps.”

Thursday
Nov172016

Feds sue proposed Vermont Yankee disposal company

As reported by VTDigger.

The U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit to block the merger of Waste Control Specialists, LLC of Andrews County, TX and EnergySolutions of Salt Lake City, UT is certainly relevant to Vermont Yankee decommissioning, as the article reports. WCS is proposed to become a partner in the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, by acquiring ownership and an NRC-approved license transfer from current owner Entergy Nuclear.

But the merger would also impact the entire realm of radioactive waste management and disposal in the U.S. EnergySolutions' dumpsite in Clive, Tooele County, UT is a national dump for Class A radioactive waste -- the lowest category of so-called "low" level radioactive waste.

WCS's dump in Andrews, TX accepts Class A, Class B, and Class C radioactive wastes from any state in the union.

WCS has also applied to become a centralized interim storage site (a de facto permanent parking lot dump) for up to 40,000 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Beyond Nuclear on Radio EcoShock re: Mobile Chernobyls & parking lot dumps

Host Alex Smith of Radio EcoShock interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Specialist, Kevin Kamps, re: the proposal for so-called "centralized interim storage" of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel at Waste Control Specialists, LLC (WCS) in Andrews County, Texas. Listen to the interview from the 32:00 minute to 52:15 minute mark in the recording.

(Please note this correction: The plutonium-contaminated waste barrel burst at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico occurred on Valentine's Day, 2014, not 2012.)

(Smith interviews U.K. professor Kevin Anderson before that, regarding the danger of counting on yet-to-be-developed technologies for reducing global warming gases in the atmosphere, in current plans to avert climate catastrophe. Smith and Anderson compare and contrast the technological hubris of such optimistic assumptions in the climate realm, with that of the nuclear power industry and its unsolved radioactive waste problem.

Then, in the last segment of the program, Smith discusses Robert Mercer, a billionaire climate denier who donated more campaign contributions towards Donald J. Trump's successful bid for the White House than any other single individual.)

Thursday
Nov102016

Radioactive waste: Webinar this evening on HLRW "centralized" interim storage & transport risks

On Thurs., Nov. 10 from 8-9:30 PM Eastern, presenters from Beyond Nuclear, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition, and Nuclear Information and Resource Service, will lead a Webinar focused on the dangers of so-called "centralized interim storage," as well as the risks of shipping irradiated nuclear fuel by road, rail, and waterway. Beyond Nuclear's presentation will be based on its testimony before a U.S. House hearing a year ago. The Webinar is pre-event preparation for a national grassroots strategy summit on high-level radioactive waste, to be held in Chicago, IL on Dec. 2-4. The summit is intended to analyze this week's presidential and congressional election results, to devise strategies and tactics to block de facto permanent parking lot dumps (such as the one targeted at Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in Andrews County, west Texas), as well as to keep the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada dumpsite dead, despite a long-simmering Republican campaign to resurrect it. Both industry-friendly schemes will now intensify on Capitol Hill in January; either one would launch unprecedented numbers of high-risk Mobile Chernobyls through most states (See WCS-bound shipment routes, left; or see larger map, here). Please pre-register for the Webinar to receive instructions on how to view/hear it, and submit your registration form for the Chicago summit ASAP, before all available participant slots are filled!

Wednesday
Oct262016

Despite setbacks, Beyond Nuclear and allies continue to challenge high-level radioactive waste generation, storage, transport, and dumping!

Maps showing the national and state maps for commerical irradiated nuclear fuel railway routes to WCS.Despite setbacks, Beyond Nuclear and our allies are not backing down on high-level radioactive waste.

First, the setbacks. On June 3rd, a three-judge D.C. Ciruit Court of Appeals panel issued an outrageous ruling against us, and our environmental coalition partners, instead backing the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) absurd "Nuclear Waste Confidence" (as in Con Game) policies. Beyond Nuclear responded to the outrageous ruling on June 6th, and the coalition appealed en banc, to the full 13-judge D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, on July 18th.

Incredibly, on August 8th, the full 13-judge D.C. Circuit simply supported the outrageous ruling.

But we've not let these injustices slow down our challenges to high-level radioactive waste risks and illegalities.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26th, Beyond Nuclear and allies (Nuclear Information Resource Service, Public Citizen, and SEED Coalition) sent a letter to NRC, urging it stop reviewing a license application by Waste Control Specialists, LLC (WCS) to construct and operate a de facto permanent parking lot dump for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel in Andrews County, west Texas. (See maps of national and Texas transport routes to WCS; see a larger version here.)This is required, because the application, and its review, are illegal, in several regards.

On Thursday, Oct. 27th, the environmental coalition issued a press release.

Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, was quoted:

“By requiring a permanent deep geological repository to be operating before centralized interim storage could be opened, Congress wanted to prevent the very real danger of a de facto permanent parking lot dump – a nuclear waste storage site that would be designed for the short-term but be there forever," said Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist, Beyond Nuclear. He added: “WCS is a cynical shell game and taxpayers are sure to lose. Congress was right that liability for the costs of storing commercial irradiated nuclear fuel belongs with the generators and should not be shifted onto the backs of the American public.”

On all of these high-level radioactive waste regulatory and legal matters, Beyond Nuclear and its environmental coalition allies are served by legal counsel Diane Curran of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg, LLP of Washington, D.C., as well as Mindy Goldstein of Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.