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.



Urge President Obama to oppose burial of TransCanada's radioactive wastes on Great Lakes shore!

Successul resistance to TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline must now shift to fend off the dumping of TransCanada's radioactive wastes on the Great Lakes shore!

As reported by the Associated Press, on Feb. 24th, President Obama vetoed Senate Bill 1, which would have rushed the immediate construction of TransCanada Pipelines' Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline. Our friends and colleagues at called for a rapid response action at the White House, at 5pm, just hours after the veto. As we have many times in the past -- on tar sands, fracking, and other environmental issues -- Beyond Nuclear answered the call, and stood in solidarity with our allies. We have also joined a unity statement with a large number of other groups, calling on President Obama to reject TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline once and for all.

Take action against another of TransCanada's dirty, dangerous and expensive scheme: the plan to bury radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shoreline! Urge President Obama to block this insane proposal!


Take action on radioactive waste! Contact President Obama, your Members of Congress, and state/county/local officials!

What can you do about the radioactive waste risks facing our continent, and your locality? Contact your elected officials!

The White House

Please contact President Obama. Thank him for canceling the risky and astronomically expensive Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) dump proposal: he has zeroed out funding for the project since 2009, and even ordered his Department of Energy (DOE) to withdraw the construction and operating license application submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Also urge President Obama to take action against Canada's proposed Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump, as a growing number of resolutions across the Great Lakes region call for.

Finally, urge him to put a halt to the DOE proposal to ship liquid HLRW, by truck, from Chalk River nuclear lab, Ontario, Canada, to Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Liquid HLRW has never been shipped in North American history, and is unacceptably risky. The shipments are also unnecessary to begin with, and are proposed for no good reason whatsoever. The main driving force is SRS's hope to make $60 million on the project, as well as to keep its dirty, dangerous, and expensive reprocessing capabilities on life support -- facilities that should have been retired long ago.


Please contact your two U.S. Senators, as well as your U.S. Representative, regarding the issues listed above. Your three Members of Congress can be reached, by phone, via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121.

Urge them to block congressional Republican efforts (as by Rep. Upton (R-MI) and Shimkus (R-IL), attempting to revive the canceled Yucca Mountain dump project.

Also urge them to join congressional resolutions, in the Senate and House, opposing the Canadian Great Lakes shore radioactive waste dump. The Great Lakes represent nearly 90% of the surface fresh water in North America, providing drinking water to 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. If this proposed Canadian Great Lakes shore radioactive waste dump is allowed to happen, it sets a very dangerous precedent continent-wide for burying radioactive waste immediately next to major surface waters and drinking water supplies.

Lastly, urge them to oppose risky and unnecessary shipping of liquid HLRW from Ontario to South Carolina. If these dangerous shipments are allowed to roll, they will also set a dangerous precedent for future radioactive waste shipments continent-wide, throwing even basic common sense caution to the wind.

Your State, County, and Local Government

Contact Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, for more detailed information on how these various radioactive waste risks affect your locality. You can reach Kevin by phone at (301) 270-2209 ext. 1, or email at

Yucca Mountain-bound trucks, trains, and barges would carry high-level radioactive waste and irradiated nuclear fuel on roads, rails, and waterways in most states (43 of the lower 48). Centralized interim storage facilities (parking lot dumps), as at Waste Control Specialists in Andrews County, Texas, would launch such Mobile Chernobyls, floating Fukushimas, and radiological dirty bombs on wheels, as well.

It is high time to educate state, county, and local officials about these risks, and work to prevent them.

Your state, county, and locality could also pass a resolution opposing such risks as the Canadian Great Lakes shore radioactive waste dump proposal.


Rep. Shimkus (R-IL) to visit $11 billion hole in the ground in desert, again

Members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Economy are accompanied by their staff as the take a tour of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 (File, JESSICA EBELHAR/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL)No, it's not a headline in the satirical Onion newspaper, but it could be. As reported by Steve Tetreault in the Las Vegas Review Journal, U.S. Representative John Shimkus (Republican-Illinois), chairman of the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, plans to visit the shutdown, boarded up, fenced off Yucca Mountain Project site for the second time in four years.

His last visit in April 2011, on the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe's 25th annual commemoration, cost U.S. taxpayers $15,000. But that's nothing compared to the $8 billion of ratepayer money, and $3 billion of taxpayer money, wasted at Yucca since the early 1980s.

Yucca dump advocates, like Shimkus, often adjust for inflation, and round up, to say $15 billion has been wasted at Yucca. But when they say "wasted," they mean because the project has been canceled. They would like to see another $100 billion or so spent there, to license, construct, open, and operate the dump.

As reported by the article: "“If Mr. Shimkus wants to come spend money in Nevada, then by all means,” Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said. “But what he will find at Yucca Mountain is a boarded-up, closed facility. Yucca Mountain is dead and no amount of visits by Mr. Shimkus and the pro-Yucca fanatics will change that.”

Shimkus's support for one of nuclear lobbyists' top legislative priorities should come as no surprise, however. He is from the most nuclear powered state in the Union (see NEIS's "Nuclear Illinois" map). His district includes the Honeywell uranium conversion plant in Metropolis -- an essential step in the uranium fuel chain, and the only such facility in the U.S.


Illinois speaks out against Canadian Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump proposal

OPG's proposed so-called Deep Geologic Repository for radioactive waste burial would be located less than a mile from the Great Lakes shoreline.Today, DuPage County, the second most populous in Illinois, announced the passage of a resolution in opposition to the proposal by nuclear utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury radioactive wastes from 20 atomic reactors across the province at its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, on the Lake Huron shore in Kincardine, ON (see photo, left). Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump shared the good news in a press release, with the DuPage Co. resolution attached.

On Feb. 6th, the City of Chicago also passed a similar resolution. As reported in the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump's press release, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, said: “The Great Lakes hold 84 percent of North America’s fresh water and Chicago’s position as the paramount Great Lakes city makes OPG’s proposed nuclear waste repository a threat to both public health and our environment. As shown by our City Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution opposing the repository, as well as the many voices throughout the United States and Canada, passionate support to protect our Great Lakes spans across North America and cannot be ignored.”

As tallied at the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump website, the 142 resolutions, and counting, passed to date by tribes, states, counties, cities, towns, and villages across the Great Lakes Basin, represent a combined population of 17.9 million residents. Altogether, the Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

What's especially significant about DuPage County's and Chicago's resolutions, is the fact that these are themselves "nuclear municipalities." DuPage County hosts the national HQ of Exelon in Warrenville, the biggest nuclear utility in the country, with 23 atomic reactors in its fleet. And Chicago, encircled by Exelon reactors (including identical twin designs to Fukushima Daiichi), gets around 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. Yet, these municipalities have spoken out against the insane proposal to bury radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore.

As Dave Kraft, director of Nuclear Energy Information Service of Illinois, has pointed out, if burying radioactive waste on the Great Lakes shore is a bad idea, it's also a bad idea to be generating and storing it there in the first place.


Environmental coalition speaks out against unprecedented, risky, liquid high-level radioactive waste shipments!

Peace Bridge between Fort Niagara, ON and Buffalo, NY is one of numerous border crossings where unprecedented liquid HLRW shipments could travel.A coalition of environmental groups has submitted comments to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regarding proposed truck shipments of liquid high-level radioactive waste, to travel from Chalk River, Ontario to Savannah River Site, South Carolina.

The comments were filed regarding CNSC's Technical Assessment Report: “NAC-LWT Package Design for Transport of Highly Enriched Uranyl Nitrate Liquid.”

NAC-LWT is short for Nuclear Assurance Corporation-Legal Weight Truck.

Comments were submitted by Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsiblity; Beyond Nuclear; Northwatch; and many others.

The shipment of liquid high-level radioactive waste is unprecedented, extremely risky, and unnecessary.