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.



Environmental coalition cites lack of Nuclear Waste Confidence, calls for suspension of reactor licensing proceedings

An environmental coalition embroiled in numerous old, degraded reactor license extension -- as well as proposed new reactor construction and operation license -- proceedings has filed its "CONSOLIDATED REPLY TO ANSWERS TO PETITIONS TO SUSPEND FINAL REACTOR LICENSING DECISIONS, MOTIONS TO ADMIT A NEW CONTENTION, AND MOTIONS TO REOPEN THE RECORD" before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The filing is a response to "Answers" filed a week ago by NRC staff and the nuclear utilities, as well as to an amicus curiae filing made by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's lobbying arm in Washington, D.C. The environmental coalition's "Consolidated Reply" was prepared by Diane Curran of the Washington, D.C. law firm Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg, LLP, as well as Mindy Goldstein, Director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.

Terry Lodge, a Toledo-based attorney who represents Beyond Nuclear and other environmental groups in their interventions against the Davis-Besse, OH and Fermi 2, MI license extensions, and the Fermi 3, MI Construction and Operating Licence Application (COLA), filed the "Consolidated Reply" in these proceedings.


States, tribe, groups take NRC Nuke Waste Con Game back to court

Environmental coalition attorney Diane CurranThe States of New York, Vermont, and Connecticut have filed an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Nuclear Waste Confidence (renamed Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel) Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) and Rule. The Office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a press release, as did the Office of Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell.

As reported by Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune, and the Post Bulletin, the Prairie Island Indian Community (PIIC) joined the states' lawsuit. In August, PIIC expressed its disappointment at NRC's decision to ignore the risks of on-site storage of high-level radioactive waste at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power plant, located just 600 yards from the nearest tribal residents on the PIIC reservation, on an island in the Mississippi River prone to flooding.

World Nuclear News, Power Magazine, FierceEnergy, and the Brattleboro Reformer reported on the states' lawsuit.

A coalition of nine environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, followed suit, filing a parallel lawsuit. Diane Curran (photo, above) of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg, LLP, of Washington, DC, and Mindy Goldstein of Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University in Atlanta, serve as legal counsel for the coalition. (NRDC filed a separate, parallel lawsuit.) The Hill reported on the environmental coalition lawsuit, which alleges violations of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as the Atomic Energy Act (AEA).

In June 2012, a three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the states, tribe, and environmental coalition on NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence policy. The court ordered NRC to carry out an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under NEPA. The current round of lawsuits alleges that NRC flouted the court order, given the shallowness, and worse, of the so-called EIS it carried out, which, among other transgresssions, ignored many thousands of public comments, including comprehensive analysis by expert witnesses working on behalf of the environmental coalition.

If the courts rule in favor of the states, tribe, and environmental coalition on the current round of challenges against NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence/Continuted Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel policy, it could result in major delays in proposed new reactor licensing proceedings, as well as degraded old reactor license extension proceedings.

Beyond Nuclear provides organizational standing for the coalition, thanks to: its six-year-old intervention against the proposed new Fermi 3, MI reactor; its nearly four-year-old intervention against the Davis-Besse, OH, license extension; and its recently launched intervention against the Fermi 2, MI license extension. Michael Keegan of Monroe, MI is the Beyond Nuclear member providing our organization standing in these proceedings, due to his residence with 8 miles of Fermi, and within 50 miles of Davis-Besse. Toledo attorney Terry Lodge serves as legal counsel for Beyond Nuclear in all three proceedings.


76 Michigan communities oppose nuclear waste site near Lake Huron


Return of the Yucca dump zombie?!

Political cartoon by Jim Day of the Las Vegas Review Journal (be sure to count the toes!)Despite hoots and hollers from nuclear industry lobbyists and their friends in Congress, the publication of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump  Safety Evaluation Report volume, entitled "Repository Safety After Permanent Closure," does not herald the dump's resurrection. To the contrary, the State of Nevada, its congressional delegation, and their powerful allies in the U.S. Senate -- backed by a thousand or so environmental groups across the country -- remain adamantly, and tirelessly, committed to preventing the still-cancelled, unfunded, scientifically unsuitable dump-site from ever opening. More.


Cook County, Illinois Joins Call to Stop Proposed Nuclear Waste Dump beside the Great Lakes

Official seal of Cook County, IllinoisAs shared by Dave Kraft, Executive Director of Nuclear Energy Infomation Service in Chicago (Cook County), Illinois:

"We share this important good news that the Cook County Board unanimously passed a resolution in support of banning the construction of a low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal facility on the shore of Lake Huron on the Bruce Peninsula in Canada.  Ontario Power Generation of Canada has proposed building such a facility near its Bruce nuclear generating station in Kincardine, Ontario.  The proposal has engendered the opposition of over a hundred municipalities on the Great Lakes, including the City of Toronto, and numerous First Nations tribal governments.  The Cook County Resolution was initiated by Commissioners Joan Patricia Murphy and Peter N. Silvestri; and supported by the entire Cook County Board.  The Resolution applies to any attempt to propose a radioactive waste disposal facility in the Great Lakes Basin, and was greeted enthusiastically by Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump [STGLND], the citizens organization in Canada opposing construction of the Kincardine dump. [See the STGLND press release here.]  Recognizing that placement of a radioactive waste dump on the shores of the drinking water supply for over 40 million people is a bad idea, it can only be a matter of time before public officials acknowledge that 38 nuclear reactors on both sides of the border between the U.S. and Canada creating even more toxic, radioactive and long-lived "high-level" radioactive waste 24/7/365 is not such a good idea, either.  Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the Cook County Board for its courageous position."
As reported by STGLND on its website, Cook County's resolution joins 135 other village, town, city, county, and even state resolutions. Cook County's 5.2 million residents now means that these resolutions represent a total of 16.3 million Great Lakes residents, on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.
In addition, over 70,000 individuals have signed STGLND's petition against the DGR. If you haven't signed yet, please do. And if you have, please spread the word to everyone you know to sign the petition too!