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.



One oral comment opportunity (call-in only) left on NRC's nuke waste con game DGEIS, Mon., 12/9; final written submissions due by 12/20

Environmental coalition members from the Crabshell Alliance, Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Campaign, NIRS, PSR, NEIS, and Public Citizen "just say NO!" at the NRC HQ nuke waste con game public comment meeting on 11/14 in Rockville, MD. Photo credit David Martin and Erica Grey.

From 1 to 4 PM Eastern on Monday, Dec. 9th is the last opportunity to submit oral comments to NRC -- via a call-in teleconference -- re: its "Nuclear Waste Confidence" draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement. Here is how to join the call: Prior to the start of the meeting, please dial
and provide the operator with passcode 5132332.

Please continue to submit your public comments to NRC via email, webform, fax, and/or snail mail. You can submit as many public comments as you want, between now and the final public comment deadline (Friday, Dec. 20th).

Sample comments, which you can use to help you write your own, have been provided by Beyond Nuclear, NIRS, NEIS, and many others.

For additional background, including reports back from the public comment meetings across the country, click here.


State of MI legislators speak out against Great Lakes radioactive waste dump in Ontario

As reported by CTV, Michigan State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood and Representative Sarah Roberts spoke out today in Kincardine, Ontario against Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury radioactive wastes along the Lake Huron shore.

Hopgood's resolution against the DGR (for Deep Geologic Repository, or DUD, for Deep Underground Dump) passed the Michigan State Senate unanimously. Roberts has introduced a companion resolution in the MI State House of Representatives.

Hopgood and Roberts testified today before Canada's federal Joint Review Panel hearing concerns about the DUD. The legislators issued a press advisory, as well as an endorsement of a call by 28 U.S. and Canadian environmental groups (including Beyond Nuclear) "Request for Ruling," that the JRP require OPG to come clean on whether or not it intends to double the capacity of the proposed DUD from 200,000 cubic meters of so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste from operations and refurbishment at 20 Ontario reactors, by adding another 200,000 tons of L&ILRWs from decommissioning activities over time.

Sen. Hopgood and Rep. Roberts also submitted written testimony. Attached to Sen. Hopgood's written testimony are statements of opposition to the Great Lakes radioactive waste dump provided by: Michigan United Conservation Clubs (with 42,000 members); Michigan Boating Industries Association (comprised of 300 marine businesses); Michigan Charter Boat Association; Michigan Steelhead & Salmon Fishermen's Association (the largest sport fishing organization in the Great Lakes Basin); Michigan Environmental Council (a coalition of more than 70 organizations); and Michigan Clean Water Action (boasting 200,000 members).


Momentum building of international opposition against OPG DUD

The Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump petition now has nearly 35,000 signatures! If you haven't already signed it yourself, please do. And please continue to circulate it to everyone you know! Beverly Fernandez, spokesperson for Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, gave powerful testimony last Saturday in opposition to the proposal to "bury poison next to the well" of 40 million people, the Great Lakes, drinking water supply for 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American/First Nations.

On September 23rd, Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, also testified against Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposal to bury all of Ontario's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes (L&ILRWs), from 20 atomic reactors across the province, within a half-mile of the Lake Huron shoreline (see image, left).

OPG refers to its proposal as the DGR, for Deep Geologic Repository. But critics use DUD, for Deep Underground Dump, an apt appellation coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada.

Dave, along with Irene Koch of Nuclear Awareness Project, published a map of Nuclear Hotspots on the Great Lakes in 1990. It gave an overview of the vast number of uranium fuel chain activities taking place in the bio-region, including scores of atomic reactors on the shorelines. Anna Tilman of International Institute of Concern for Public Health recently updated the map, to include the proposed DUDs. Both maps helped frame Kevin's testimony to the JRP regarding the DUDs.

Kevin's testimony focused on the woeful inadequacy of OPG's environmental assessment of cumulative impacts, as well as synergistic effects, of radiological and toxic chemical hazards in the Great Lakes bio-region caused by nuclear power facilities, as well as other dirty, dangerous and expensive energy industries, such as fossil fuel burning power plants.

The Canadian federal Joint Review Panel, comprised of a majority of two members from the CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission), and one member from the CEAA (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency), have posted the transcript of Kevin's testimony (beginning at Page 112, or 116 of 350 on the PDF counter). The JRP has also posted the video recording of Kevin's testimony (beginning at time code 2:26, for two hours 26 minutes into the segment). Kevin's Power Point presentation was based on his previously filed written submission.



NRC "Nuke Waste Con Game" draft GEIS published online, public comments to be accepted from Sept. 13 to Nov. 27

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Nuclear Waste Confidence draft GEIS (Generic Environmental Impact Statement) has been published online. Critics dub it a "Nuke Waste Con Game." The draft GEIS is nearly 600 pages long.

Once the draft GEIS has been officially published in the Federal Register next Friday, September 13th, a 75-day clock starts ticking. NRC will only accept public comments on the draft GEIS until November 27th.

Public comments will be accepted by NRC through various means: electronically, via fax or snail mail, or by way of oral testimony presented at a dozen public comment meetings to be held around the country from October 1st to mid-November.

Beyond Nuclear will provide the ways you can submit public comments to NRC beginning on September 13th. We will also provide sample comments, as well as talking points, to help you prepare your own written comments and/or oral testimony for the public meeting nearest you.


NEIS: "SoCal Edison Pulls the Plug on Two Nuke Reactors -- Could Have Serious Implications for Illinois"


For immediate release                                                   Contact:  Dave Kraft,

June 7, 2013                                                                            630-506-2864 cell

SoCal Edison Pulls the Plug on Two Nuke Reactors – Could Have Serious Implications for Illinois

CHICAGO—The old crumbling nukes continue their non-radioactive decay, it seems, as Southern California Edison (SCE) today announced its decision to permanently close the damaged San Onofre twin nuclear reactors (SONGs).

The two reactors had been idled for over a year after serious steam tube generator leaks forced a shutdown of the facility.  SCE had wanted to restart the reactors at 70% power, hoping it could operate while finishing repairs.  The NRC denied approval of this plan.

“It seems to be a clear case of utility "overreach," in the sense that SCE gambled on NRC allowing them to continue flying with cracked wings --  like NRC IS doing at Palisades, in Michigan -- and lost,” says David Kraft, director of the Illinois nuclear watchdog organization Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS). “I guess this problem was just too egregious for even the NRC's usually accommodating tastes.”

Earlier this week two former NRC Commissioners and the former Prime Minister of Japan participated in a press event in San Diego, where they publicly stated what a hazard SONGs (and other reactors) have become.  This certainly didn't help SONGs’ PR case.

This closure could, unfortunately have serious negative consequences for Illinois moving forward.

Congress is currently drafting legislation that could call for the “temporary” warehousing of the high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) in the form of spent reactor fuel from closed reactors like SONGs, Kewaunee (WI), Crystal River (FL) and Zion (IL) – all closed nuclear reactors.

“If Sen. Wyden's Energy Committee drafts their legislation to include language calling for "centralized interim storage" (CIS) facilities being built, the reactors that get closed are the first priority to move waste; and, Illinois is a prime candidate to host such a facility,” Kraft points out. 

A 2012 study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory1 states:

“…the consolidated ISFSI [spent fuel storage] site in Illinois is the single optimized site for an ISFSI solution when only [spent nuclear fuel] at orphaned reactors is considered relative to siting a consolidated ISFSI.”

“The CIS sites would allegedly be "temporary," but we've been covering the HLRW issue for 31 years now.  The Federal Government's notion of ‘temporary’ is laughable. Illinois could become the nation’s de facto permanent HLRW dump for decades,” Kraft says.

NEIS has been trying for weeks to get face to face meetings with Senators Durbin, Kirk and Governor Quinn to discuss this impending catastrophe, but without success. An Illinois CIS facility could get well over 6,200 additional tons of HLRW, above and beyond the 8,600 tons it already stores at Illinois reactors run by Exelon, according to the Oak Ridge report.

“Since 2002 NEIS and hundreds of other environmental and safe energy organizations have suggested a method called “hardened onsite storage” (HOSS) as a means of storing HLRW relatively safely at reactor sites until the federal government constructs a permanent disposal facility.  We have been ignored.  It’s time that Illinois’ politicians start paying attention, before the trucks start rolling in,” Kraft warns.


1 The Oak Ridge NL report, titled "Application of Spatial Data Modeling Systems, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and Transportation Routing Optimization Methods for Evaluating Integrated Deployment of Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installations and Advanced Nuclear Plants" (