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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

Radioactive Waste

No safe, permanent solution has yet been found anywhere in the world - and may never be found - for the nuclear waste problem. In the U.S., the only identified and flawed high-level radioactive waste deep repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been canceled. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an end to the production of nuclear waste and for securing the existing reactor waste in hardened on-site storage.

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Entries by admin (544)

Thursday
Oct112018

Radioactive Waste Is Coming through Your Town -- Unless YOU Help Stop It!

Rail-sized cask shipment of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuelSo says an action alert by Public Citizen.

Please help us generate a large number of quality public comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in opposition to a 40,000 metric ton irradiated nuclear fuel centralized interim storage facility (CISF) proposed by Interim Storage Partners (ISP) at Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in Andrews County, West Texas. NRC's deadline for public comments on environmental scoping is October 19th.

The Public Citizen web form linked above is a quick and easy way to do so, and so is the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) web form, linked here.

Beyond Nuclear has also prepared several sets of longer versions of sample comments, each addressing different aspects of the risks involved with the WCS/ISP CISF, which you can use to help write your own, and has provided instructions on how to do so, all posted here.

To get an idea of the road, rail, and waterway routes that would be used, in most states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts nationwide, see maps and analyses prepared by the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects in the context of Yucca Mountain-bound shipments (the further from the American Southwest the highly radioactive waste originates, the more similar to identical the routes will be, whether bound for Yucca Mtn., NV, or the TX/NM borderlands). Barges on surface waters in many states are also in play, as revealed by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002, with additional potential barge routes revealed by DOE as recently as late 2017. Many, to most, to all of these routes could well be in play, with shipments bound for the WCS/ISP CISF, unless we stop them! WCS even included a map in its license application documents to NRC, showing that most mainline rail in the Lower 48 is also in play. Public Citizen's Texas Office, and SEED Coalition, have also hammered out a best guess map of transport routes to WCS -- forced to do so, because WCS is being so obscure about what the routes actually will be!

Please take action (do one, two, or even all three of the options above -- there is no limit to the number of comments an individual can submit to NRC). And please help spread the word about this important action alert!

To learn more about the WCS/ISP CISF, visit Beyond Nuclear's Centralized Storage and Waste Transportation website sections.

Thursday
Oct042018

Brett Kavanaugh Also Lied About His Rulings on the Environment

As reported by Sharon Lerner at The Intercept.

Kavanaugh also voted against Beyond Nuclear, et al., in New York versus U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) II, on June 3, 2016.

This ruling was in favor of NRC's Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel policy. In short, it grants the nuclear power industry carte blanche to generate high-level radioactive waste, despite the risks. NRC simply found that irradiated nuclear fuel can be stored, and disposed of, safely. The facts majorly beg some questions about that overly optimistic, flippant conclusion.

Kavanaugh, for one, had no questions, and just rubber-stamped the nuclear industry's agenda of continuing to generate irradiated nuclear fuel, ad nauseum.

By way of contrast, President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, in 2013 cast a dissenting opinion in a case re: Yucca Mountain that was sympathetic to the views of Beyond Nuclear et al. (even though we were not a party to the case). Garland -- whose nomination was ruthlessly blocked by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), without so much as a committee hearing, an action without precedent in U.S. history -- held that the resumption of the highly controversial NRC Yucca Mountain licensing proceeding, absent needed funding, was the "doing of a useless act."

Thursday
Aug092018

Tri-City mayors worry about ‘catastrophic’ Hanford tunnel collapse

As reported by the Tri-City Herald.

As the mayors of Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and West Richland urged the State of Washington to approve the U.S. Department of Energy's request to grout the tunnel containing highly radioactively contaminated equipment, in a bid to prevent its potentially "catastrophic" collapse, the state's Department of Ecology pushed back.

“What DOE is asking is to take irreversible action — put grout in that tunnel — before the the public process really has a chance to get off the ground,” said Alex Smith, [the State of Washington's Department of] Ecology’s Nuclear Waste Program manager.

The May 2017 collapse of a sister radioactive waste storage tunnel at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation risked a significant release of radioactivity into the outside environment, to blow downwind. In that emergency situation, DOE simply bulldozed dirt into the gaping maw of the tunnel's collapsed roof, exposed as it was to the open air.

Such ad hoc action could make future retrieval of the radioactive wastes difficult to impossible, as could grouting the second tunnel as DOE and the Tri-City mayors are urging now. This could mean locking the radioactive wastes in place, only to make inevitable their erosion into the environment (soil, groundwater, air) if the tunnels are simply abandoned as is, and as the soil cap and grout fail over long enough periods of time.


Read more here: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanf/article216352450.html#storylink=cpy
Wednesday
Jul252018

Nuclear Hotseat Special: Congress Meets Hard Nuclear Decommissioning Truths

Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps (left), with Ian Zabarte of the Native Community Action Council, at the "Zero Hour" youth climate march on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 21, 2018. Photo by Galen Tromble.

SPECIAL REPORT:
Two Days with Congress: DC Briefing, Education/Lobbying on Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants


This Week’s Featured Interviews:

  • Kevin Kamps is the Nuclear Waste Specialist for Beyond Nuclear, and when it comes to problems with existing radioactive waste and what’s being done – or not done – with it, there’s not much that Kevin doesn’t know.
  • Dave Kraft is Executive Director  of Nuclear Energy Information Service, or NEIS, based in Chicago. Dave gives us a picture of what nuclear reactor shutdown and subsequent decommissioning means through the experience of just one of the communities that once welcomed the nuclear industry as the answer to their economic prayers.
  • Manna Jo Green, executive director of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, has been involved in decades worth of battles regarding New York’s Indian Point nuclear reactors, located only 30 miles as the crow flies from midtown Manhattan. Manna Jo gets into the impact of Indian Point on the ecology of the Hudson River, the ongoing legal battles, and what needs to be done to protect the people of New York from its potential use as a terrorist target.

LINK to Briefing Presser:
Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants:
What Congress, Federal Agencies and Communities Need to Know

Great, clear, concise overview of the issues.  Excellent educational tool to be used by ANY citizens group that lives near a nuclear reactor that is or will be going through decommissioning. 

LINKS to Background Materials and Powerpoint Slides:

www.eesi.org/briefings/view/071618nuclear

www.eesi.org/files/071618_Nuclear_Plant_Decommissioning_Briefing_Packet.zip

  • Complete briefing packet, enrichment materials

VIDEO of the Congressional Briefing Livestream:

 

Many thanks to the organizations active in the coalition that put together this event together: Beyond Nuclear, Clean Water Action New Jersey, Ecological Options Network, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Riverkeeper, Safe Energy Rights Group, Unity for Clean Energy (U4CE), Western Shoshone Nation, and many others.  With thanks for their invaluable support to EEIS – Environmental and Energy Study Institute and media representative Steve Kent.

Monday
Jul162018

Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants: What Congress, Federal Agencies and Communities Need to Know (Congressional Briefing and Lobby Day)

Watch the video recording of the standing room only congressional briefing held in the U.S. Capitol, including Beyond Nuclear's radioactive waste specialist Kevin Kamps, presenting from the 18 minute mark to the 33 minute 30 second mark of the recording.

Kevin's power point presentation, with more detailed follow-on note slides, can be viewed here.

Kevin also speaks a number of times during the question and answer period, which begins at the one hour three minute mark in the video recording. The Q & A period lasts for 30 minutes, till the end of the recording.

Beyond Nuclear board member Bob Musil, executive diretor of the Rachel Carson Council, moderated the panel, and Beyond Nuclear's reactor oversight project director Paul Gunter served on the event planning committee.

The other speakers at the congressional briefing included:

Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies; former Department of Energy Senior Policy        Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment

Mayor Al Hill, of Zion, Illinois, home of the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Power Station

Ian Zabarte, Secretary, Native Community Action Council

Jackson Hinkle, Youth Activist, San Clemente High School

Geoffrey H. Fettus, Senior Attorney for Energy & Transportation, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) has posted a summary of the event at its website, as well as associated materials -- including Beyond Nuclear's "Decommissioning nuclear power stations need an 'autopsy' to verify and validate safety margins projected for operating reactor license extensions," prepared by Paul Gunter.

This briefing was made possible by generous support from the Jack & Belle Alpern Fund, Beyond Nuclear, Ecological Options Network, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Pat Marida, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Riverkeeper, Safe Energy Rights Group, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, and other supporters. Many public interest groups and concerned citizens contributed time and expertise to help organize it.

See the EESI briefing notice for additional information.