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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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Sunday
Aug162015

Aug. 16, Rally in Port Huron, MI to stop a nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron shore!

DO sign the petition at, and the spread the word about, http://www.stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.com/August 16th, 1PM at Pinegrove Park in Port Huron, Michigan (1PM - 4PM) to rally to stop a deep underground nuclear dump, proposed for the shores of Lake Huron in Canada.

Here's a Facebook link to the event: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/952971808088757/953145028071435/

Beyond Nuclear will be there, and hope you can too. Please spread the word!

See the flier!

More.

Monday
Aug032015

"Industry push on Yucca Mountain troubles allies"

Photo by Las Vegas Review Journal, of recent congressional visit to Yucca Mountain, NV "Exploratory Studies Facility" tunnel. NEI and certain Members of Congress can't seem to give up on the dead end that is the long proposed, now cancelled, Yucca dump.As reported by Steve Tetrault in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Nuclear Energy Institute's (NEI) renewed push for a high-level radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain, NV has even its congressional supporters "taken aback." U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, respectively, have been pushing centralized interim storage for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, as has U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The three nuclear power industry friendly U.S. Senators recognize the power of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who has devoted his long career in the Senate to blocking the Yucca dump, against all odds. In addition, President Obama quickly moved to defund the Yucca project, and even to withdraw the U.S. Department of Energy's application to build and operate the repository, once he entered the Oval Office.

However, NEI -- Las Vegas-style -- seems to be gambling that once Reid and Obama are gone from the political scene, it'll be able to have its way on Yucca. Reid has announced his retirement, meaning both he and President Obama will leave office at the same time, in January 2017.

Way back in 1987, the nuclear power industry and its friends in government forced the passage of the "Screw Nevada bill," against the will of the State of Nevada and its congressional delegation. However, they never anticipated the resolve of rookie U.S. Senator Harry Reid, a former boxer, to outlast their dastardly plan.

Friday
Jul312015

DTE doesn't oppose holding Fermi 3 Nuclear Waste Confidence matters in abeyance, pending resolution of NY v. NRC II appeal

On July 31st, Detroit Edison filed a response to Beyond Nuclear et al.'s motion to hold the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor proceeding in abeyance. The nuclear utility agreed with Beyond Nuclear that the Nuclear Waste Confidence aspects of the proceeding should be held in abeyance, pending resolution of New York v. NRC II. However, DTE emphasized its desire that the other matters on appeal -- namely, quality assurance (or lack thereof), and transmission corridor "pre-construction" National Environmental Policy Act-compliance (or lack thereof) -- be resolved ASAP.

Detroit Edison proposes building a General Electric-Hitachi ESBWR (so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor") at its Fermi nuclear power plant site in Monroe County, MI, on the Lake Erie shoreline.

Wednesday
Jul222015

"West Lake Landfill may be more contaminated than previously thought, company says"

St. Louis Post-Dispatch graphicAs reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Exelon Nuclear has admitted that Cotter Company documents have revealed that previously undisclosed radioactive waste streams could have been dumped at the West Lake Landfill in metro St. Louis. A Cotter subcontractor, B&K Construction, illegal dumped 8,700 tons of uranium processing wastes from Mallinckrodt Chemical Works at West Lake Landfill in 1973. Exelon's predessor took over Cotter a year later, but Exelon is still liable for the costs of the illegal dumping.

Mallinckrodt had processed uranium for nuclear weapons, including highly concentrated Belgian Congo uranium ore during the earliest days of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, that led to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August 1945.

On July 17th, a bipartisan group of Missouri U.S. Congress Members wrote the U.S. Department of Energy, urging that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers take over West Lake Landfill clean-up as part of its FUSRAP (Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program) jurisdiction.

In March 2015, Beyond Nuclear board member Kay Drey and colleagues in St. Louis published a pamphlet entitled "Remove the radioactive wastes NOW! Protect Metro St. Louis' water and air from West Lake Landfill's radioactive contamination!" It includes a map, showing that the radioactive wastes at West Lake Landfill are upstream of the drinking water intakes for North County and the City of St. Louis, on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The pamphlet urges readers to "Please go to www.moenviron.org to sign a letter asking U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and Congress members William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner to work to transfer responsibility for West Lake’s radioactive wastes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

Friday
Jul172015

Radioactive West Lake Landfill: "The people of St. Louis have had to live with this burden for generations"

This radiation warning sign is posted on the perimeter fence of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo. Photo credit: Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio)As the clock winds down on the 70-year mark, commemorating the infamous atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, the radioactive mess that was made in the U.S. to generate those uranium and plutonium bombs, respectively, has yet to be cleaned up.

As a letter sent by a bipartisan, bicameral group of U.S. Senators and Representatives from Missouri to the U.S. Energy Secretary states, "...the West Lake Landfill site in North St. Louis County...is only one of numerous sites in the St. Louis region that remains impacted by wastes generated by the United States government as part of the early Manhattan Project in the 1940s. The people of St. Louis have had to live with this burden for generations and we believe it is incumbent on the federal government to find a clear path forward for all the sites either through removal of the [radiologically impacted material] or effective containment."

Complicating "effective containment," however, is the fact that the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill site is in the Missouri River floodplain, upstream from major drinking water intakes for the metro St. Louis region.

As Beyond Nuclear board member Kay Drey puts it, St. Louis bears the burden of some of the oldest radioactive wastes of the Atomic Age. St. Louis-based Mallinckrodt Chemical Works processed extraordinarily highly concentrated (65% uranium) Belgian Congo ore for the Manhattan Project, which fed uranium enrichment facilities at Oak Ridge, TN. Some of the enriched uranium then fueled plutonium-production reactors at the Hanford Works in WA, which generated the deadly material that went into the "Trinity" test blast in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, as well as the "Fat Man" bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. Highly enriched uranium that had passed through St. Louis for processing also went into the "Little Boy" bomb that annihilated Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

In 1973, radioactive Manhattan Project wastes were illegally dumped at the West Lake Landfill site, where they remain a risk and hazard to this day.

In their letter, U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), and U.S. Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), urged Energy Secretary Moniz to reconsider the U.S. Department of Energy's previous decision to not include the West Lake Landfill site in its FUSRAP (Formerly Utilized Site Remedial Action Program). A top official at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, were cc'd, in hopes of the federal agencies determining the best possible way to protect St. Louisans from the deadly legacy of the oldest radioactive wastes of the Atomic Age.

In March 2015, Beyond Nuclear board member Kay Drey and colleagues in St. Louis published a pamphlet entitled "Remove the radioactive wastes NOW! Protect Metro St. Louis' water and air from West Lake Landfill's radioactive contamination!" It includes a map, showing that the radioactive wastes at West Lake Landfill are upstream of the drinking water intakes for North County and the City of St. Louis, on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The pamphlet urges readers to "Please go to www.moenviron.org to sign a letter asking U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and Congress members William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner to work to transfer responsibility for West Lake’s radioactive wastes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."