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.



Manuel Luján Jr., N.M. congressman and secretary of the interior, dies at 90

As reported by a Washingtn Post obiturary:

Mr. Luján remained in the [George H.W. Bush] Cabinet until the end of Bush’s term in January 1993. Five minutes before the Republican president left office, he tried to transfer federally owned desert land in Southern California that he and then-California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) wanted for a nuclear waste dump.

Mr. Luján’s successor, Bruce Babbitt, rescinded the order, and courts determined Mr. Luján acted improperly.

Re: that last line, Babbitt only took that action, after years' worth of anti-nuclear activism forced him to do so. This included an occupation at the Ward Valley, CA site, sacred land to the five Colorado River Indian tribes.


Environmental coalition letters/backgrounders opposed to Yucca dump and Centralized Interim Storage dropped on Capitol Hill

Spearheaded by Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), an environmental coalition letter, signed by Beyond Nuclear and 80 allied organizations, was delivered to every Member of Congress on March 12, 2019 -- one day after the eighth annual commemoration of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Each congressional office (in both the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate) recieved not only the letter, but also a backgrounder on Yucca Mountain, as well as a backgrounder on Centralized Interim Storage.


Beyond Nuclear opposes risks of waste generation, pool storage, Yucca, & CIS, while advocating HOSS at Diablo Canyon

On Feb. 22 & 23, 2019, Beyond Nuclear's radioactive waste watchdog, Kevin Kamps, testified before the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Diablo Canyon Nuclear Decommissioning Engagement Panel (DCNDEP) in San Luis Obispo (SLO), California. The meeting was focused on highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel risks at the twin-reactor atomic power plant on the central CA Pacific coast.

You can view a copy of Kevin's power point presentation, here.

A video recording of Kevin's 30-minute oral presentation accompanying his power point, followed by a Q&A session, is posted on-line, here. A video recording of Kevin's 30-minute oral presentation accompanying his power point, followed by a Q&A session, is posted on-line, here.

(Video recordings of the full Feb. 22 & 23 sessions are posted, here. So too are all previous DCNDEP events.)

Joining Kevin in calling for Diablo Canyon's near-term shutdown, so that no more high-level radioactive waste will be generated, were many members from SLO Mothers for Peace (SLOMPF member Linda Seeley also serves on the DCNDEP).

Diablo Canyon is scheduled to permanently shut down Unit 1 in 2024, and Unit 2 in 2025. An agreement was reached between PG&E, environmental groups -- such as Friends of the Earth, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, and Natural Resources Defense Council -- and unions representing workers at Diablo Canyon, that the atomic reactors will not seek 20-year license extensions. The electricity will be replaced by renewables, such as wind and solar, as well as efficiency.

PG&E recently declared bankruptcy, due to potential damages from the deadly Camp Fire in Paradise, CA, a wildfire it now admits was likely ignited by poorly maintained PG&E transmission lines. The Camp Fire was the deadliest in CA history, with 86 dead.

SLOMPF, and other environmental allies, joined Beyond Nuclear's call for Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS), instead of dense-packed pool storage till 2032, as PG&E proposes, risking catastrophic releases of hazardous ionizing radioactivity from a potential pool fire. Such a catastrophe could be unleashed due to an earthquake -- Diablo Canyon is surrounded by numerous fault lines, in nearby proximity, including two major ones.

Beyond Nuclear, SLOMPF, and environmental allies also oppose the Yucca Mountain permanent dumpsite targeted at Western Shoshone Indian land in Nevada, as well as so-called centralized interim storage facilities (CISFs) targeted at Hispanic communities in New Mexico and Texas, and the high-risk shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel to these proposed dumps.  In fact, SLOMPF has joined an environmental coalition opposing both CISFs. That coalition is represented by Toledo, Ohio-based attorney, Terry Lodge.

SLOMPF hosted Kevin, as well as Dee D’Arrigo from NIRS, at a Jan. 2018 discussion entitled “Transportation of Radioactive Wastes and Consolidated ‘Interim’ Storage.” See the video recording, here. 


Nuclear Free Future - Nuclear Disasters: Weapons, Power & Waste

Alfred C. Meyer of Physicians for Social Responsibility [and his 15-year old, 7-pound Maltese atomic watchdog, Clara] and Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist of Beyond Nuclear, talk with host Margaret Harrington about the need to abolish nuclear weapons. The experts discuss the hazards of nuclear power identifying it as counterproductive to eliminate climate change issues. They also give insight into the compounding problem of radioactive nuclear waste.

Watch the 45 minute 38 second televised interview, here. CHANNEL 17/ TOWN MEETING TV is in Burlington, Vermont. Its "Nuclear Free Future" show is hosted by Margaret Harrington.


Radioactive waste and the partial government shutdown

Logo from 2012 grassroots anti-nuclear summit in Chicago, hosted by NEIS, and co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear and FOEThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) bragged, in its 2013 draft Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS), that safety and security of high-level radioactive waste storage would be guaranteed forevermore, through institutional control lasting indefinitely into the future. But NRC's false confidence was exposed in real time, as public comment meetings on the GEIS, scheduled around the country, had to be postponed, till after a partial shutdown of the federal government (related to congressional Republican attempts to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare) was ended. How does the current, ongoing-with-no-end-in sight, partial federal government shutdown relate to radioactive waste issues? For one thing, Just Moms STL has expressed alarm that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's oversight at the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill in St. Louis, MO has been undercut. And, most cynically, as documented at Beyond Nuclear's Yucca Mountain website section, Yucca dump advocates, like U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (Republican-Illinois) and Fred Upton (Republican-Michigan), have attempted to exploit White House-Congress government funding negotiations as an opportunity to attach $60 million as a rider to restart NRC licensing proceedings for the highly controversial, unsuitable, and environmentally unjust high-level radioactive waste dump targeted at Western Shoshone Indian land in Nevada; meanwhile, President Trump's Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is reportedly scouring the U.S. Department of Energy for unspent funding to use to advance the Yucca dump scheme, a desperate approach of very dubious legality. If anything should be shut down, it is operating atomic reactors, so that they generate no more forever deadly high-level radioactive waste, for which no good, safe, sound solution has yet been found! (For more information on this dilemma, see the Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High summit proceedings, co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear, posted at the Nuclear Energy Information Service website; see the summit logo, above left.)