On-Site Storage

Currently, all radioactive waste generated by U.S. reactors is stored at the reactor site - either in fuel pools or waste casks. However, the casks are currently security-vulnerable and should be "hardened" while a better solution continues to be sought.



Where Will The Waste From Palisades Nuclear Plant Go?

As reported by WMUK. Beyond Nuclear is quoted:

Without something like Yucca Mountain, Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear worries that these dumps won’t be temporary at all:

“The current top target in the country is Andrews County in Texas which is 40 percent Latin American, a high percentage of low-income residents. So it’s a real environmental justice issue. And it could just get stuck there on the surface and this material can’t stay on the surface forever. If it ever gets out into the environment - and erosion, weatherization would do that over time - then it would be a radiological disaster.”

Moving nuclear waste across the country to these dumps could be risky too - which is why Kamps says he’s not in favor of places like Yucca Mountain either.


Spent Power Reactor Fuel: Pre-Disposal Issues

Robert Alvarez of the Institute for Policy Studies has prepared a power point presentation (click here for .pptx version; click here for .pdf version) re: the many costs, risks, and liabilities of irradiated nuclear fuel "interim storage" -- most to all of which, the public will be burdened with.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acknowledged that highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel remains hazardous for a million years. Thus, it must be kept isolated from the living environment for that entire time period. Otherwise, a catastrophe would unfold. This applies to "interim storage," whether on-site (in pools or dry casks) at the atomic reactors where it was generated in the first place, as well as to away-from-reactor storage, and even permanent disposal, sites.


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

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

The article discusses on-site storage of irradiated nuclear fuel, in indoor "wet" pools and outdoor dry casks, as at Entergy Nuclear's Pilgrim atomic reactor near Boston.

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.”


Beyond Nuclear discusses high-level radioactive waste storage pool risks on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture"

On June 9, 2016, Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture" on RT, interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, regarding a Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) spokesman's admission that the 200 metric tons in each of three melted atomic reactors (for a total of 600 metric tons) is simply still missing, more than five years into the ongoing nuclear catastrophe.

Kevin talks about the risks associated with 22 identically designed General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactors still operating in the U.S., as well as the 8 additional Mark IIs of very similar design.

Kevin also shares the revelation from a recent U.S. National Academies of Sciences report, that a high-level radioactive waste storage pool fire at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 was very narrowly averted in March-April 2011, by sheer luck. A gate between the pool, and the adjacent water-filled reactor cavity, failed for some still unexplained reason. The flood of water prevented the pool from boiling or evaporating dry to the tops of the irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies, which then would have quickly reached ignition temperature, releasing up to ten times the radioactive Cesium-137 that got out during the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

Listen to the full interview, from the 44:30 minute mark to the 49:30 minute mark of the program.


Beyond Nuclear response to U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit panel ruling in NY v. NRC II, the Nuclear Waste Confidence Lawsuit

Media Statement by Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog, in Response to U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Panel Ruling in New York v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission II,

the Nuclear Waste Confidence Lawsuit:

“We are sorely disappointed by Friday’s ruling. The court did not seem to understand the very sound and forceful arguments our coalition of environmental organizations was making.

Our lawyers are reviewing Friday’s decision. We have options for moving ahead, and we expect a recommendation from our lawyers shortly about next steps. 

Suffice it for now to say, we will continue our efforts to demand the government address the very serious environmental risks posed by atomic reactor operation and highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel generation. More.