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.



DOE has just announced the remaining dates/times/locations for "Consent-Based Siting" public meetings

This following message just in -- sent out by email -- from DOE's "Consent-Based Siting Team" (Beyond Nuclear caveat: "Beware of DOE radioactive snake oil salesmen!"):

The U.S. Department of Energy concluded its first public meeting in Chicago on March 29th to discuss consent-based siting.  We are holding our next meeting in Atlanta on April 11th.  In addition, the remaining six cities are now available for registration.  Please reference the links below and visit our website for more information.

  • Sacramento, California on April 26th at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza. Please register here to attend the Sacramento meeting in person or view the event online. To see a draft agenda, please click here.
  • Denver, Colorado on May 24, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Denver - Stapleton. Please register here to attend the Denver meeting in person or view the event online.
  • Boston, Massachusetts on June 2, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Please register here to attend the Boston meeting in person or view the event online.
  • Tempe, AZ on June 23, 2016 at the Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes. Please register here to attend the Tempe meeting in person or view the event online.
  • Boise, ID on July 14, 2016 at Boise Centre. Please register here to attend the Boise meeting in person or view the event online.
  • Minneapolis, MN on July 21, 2016 at the Hilton Minneapolis. Please register here to attend the Minneapolis meeting in person or view the event online.

We look forward to your participation! 

-The DOE Consent-based Siting Team


News coverage of the DOE's "Consent-Based Siting" public meeting in Chicago

A rusted chain secures a gate to the shuttered Zion Nuclear Power Station along the shore of Lake Michigan March 11, 2009 in Zion, Illinois. About 1,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel is stored on the property due in part to a lack of permanent storage. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)Kari Lydersen of Midwest Energy News reported on the meeting. She quoted Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps:

During the public comment period, Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste watchdog of the anti-nuclear organization Beyond Nuclear, argued that Native American leaders have been offered financial incentives in an effort to coerce them to accept radioactive waste.

“I begged and pleaded with the Blue Ribbon commission, do not target Native American tribes again for these dumps,” said Kamps. “This is an environmental injustice, this is radioactive racism.”

See comprehensive documentation of this targeting of Native Americans for radioactive waste dumps, at:

See particularly the NIRS-Public Citizen white paper on "Radioactive Racism: The History of Targeting Native American Communities with High-Level Atomic Waste Dumps."

Yucca Mountain, Nevada -- long targeted by the nuclear establishment for dumping of the country's high-level radioactive wastes -- is also located on Western Shoshone Indian land. They do not consent. (See NIRS Yucca Mountain website section, as well as Beyond Nuclear's).

The radioactive waste dump targeted at the Great Lakes shore, at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, is also on Saugeen Ojibwe Nation (SON) lands. SON does not consent. (See Beyond Nuclear's Canada website sub-section for updates.)

But such radioactive racism is not limited to high-level radioactive waste dumps. Uranium mining and milling is often targeted at indigenous peoples' lands. So too are other nuclear activities -- such as the operation of two reactors, and storage of high-level radioactive waste, on the land of the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.)

Jeff McMahon also reported on the Chicago meeting at Forbes.

See the photo that was run with the Forbes article, above. Whether due to graffiti, as here, or rust, etc., warning signs that are illegible are an example of "loss of institutional control" over forever deadly high-level radioactive waste (not to mention rusty, flimsy chains on gates!). In this case at Zion, that has happened within years, let alone thousands of millenia (the U.S. EPA, under court order, has acknowledged a million years of hazard related to high-level radioactive waste, as codified in its Yucca Mountain dump regulations; this however fails to account for such radioactive poisons as I-129, which has 157 to 314 million years of hazard). Zion is located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, about 30 miles north of Chicago, near the Wisconsin state line. Lake Michigan, as a headwaters of the Great Lakes, is the drinking water supply for 40 million people downstream, in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. DOE, in its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Yucca dump (Feb. 2002) warned that abandonment of irradiated nuclear fuel at nuclear power plant sites would result in catastrophic releases of hazardous radioactivity into the environment over long enough periods of time, as dry cask storage containers failed for lack of maintenance.

However, this is no reason to rush into Mobile Chernobyl shipments targeted at Native American reservations. Such Floating Fukushimas would travel on the waters of Lake Michigan itself. High-level radioactive waste trucks and trains would travel through the heart of downtown Chicago, within a quarter-mile of the Art Institute. Such risks cannot be rushed into. (See NIRS' "Stop Fukushima Freeways" website sub-section, as well as Beyond Nuclear's Waste Transportation website sub-section, for more information.)

In the interim, hundreds of groups, representing all 50 states, have long called for Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS), to secure and safeguard the wastes where they currently are -- and inevitably will remain for decades to come (DOE has admitted, in its Yucca dump FEIS, that it would take 25 to 50 years simply to move the wastes from reactor sites to a dump-site). HOSS would serve as an interim measure, until safe, secure, and socially acceptable away-from-reactor sites can be identified, transport containers and regulations significantly strengthened (rather than weakened!), etc. But calls for HOSS have fallen on deaf ears, at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DOE, Capitol Hill, White House, Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, etc.

And of course, calls for permanent shutdowns of reactors -- and thus the cessation of waste generation -- are growing louder and louder, not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

For more information about this Chicago meeting, see Beyond Nuclear's announcement, as well as report back from the break out sessions, and notes from the overall event.


Ways to submit comments to DOE re: "Consent-Based Siting" of radioactive waste dumps & Mobile Chernobyls by July 31 deadline

Use Beyond Nuclear's "We do NOT consent!" talking points to prepare your own for submission to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by its July 31, 2016 deadline.

You may submit questions or comments by any of the following methods: 

Attend public meetings and make oral comments during the time provided at the end of the day.

Email: Responses may be provided by email to Please include “Response to IPC” [Invitation for Public Comment] in the subject line.

Mail: Responses may be provided by mail to the following address: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Response to IPC, 1000 Independence Ave SW., Washington, DC 20585.

Fax: Responses may be faxed to 202-586-0544. Please include “Response to IPC” on the fax cover page.

Online: Responses will be accepted online at [DOE has here only provided the general website -- <Consent-Based Siting> must be entered in the search field to get to the precise site; once at the Results screen, see the COMMENT NOW! button in the upper right hand corner of the Results screen, click on it, and fill out the Web Form. Entering the following URL should also take you directly to the Web Form to be filled out:]

We must flood DOE with a large number of public comments between now and the end of the public comment period. DOE has just extended the public comment period to July 31, 2016, due to a recently announced meeting to be held in late July in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Upcoming DOE "Consent-Based Siting" meetings seeking to locate radioactive waste dumps/launch Mobile Chernobyls

Meetings will be held from noon or 1 PM to ~ 5:30 PM local time (with poster sessions for an hour before, and a half hour after)

If you are able to attend in person, please do -- and spread the word to others who are near enough to attend in person.

If you cannot attend in person, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should be sharing information for how to watch the sessions via Webcast (although thus far, in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20 and in Chicago on March 30, those watching via Webcast were not able to speak, nor ask questions, not even online via a chat box, nor even by email.) However, you can submit written comments (by email, online Webform, snail mail, or fax, anytime between now and the deadline, July 31st.)

ATLANTA, GA: 1-6 PM Eastern; Monday, April 11, 2016; Georgia Institute of Technology Hotel and Conference Center; 800 Spring St., NW; Atlanta, GA 30308.

SACRAMENTO, CA: 5-9:30 PM Pacific; Tuesday, April 26, 2016 (Chernobyl+30); Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

DENVER, CO: 5-9:30 PM Mountain; Tuesday, May 24, 2016; Embassy Suites Denver-Stapleton; 4444 N. Havana St.; Denver, CO 80239.

BOSTON, MA: June 2, 2016; Hyatt Regency Boston.

TEMPE, AZ: June 23, 2016; Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes.

BOISE, ID: July 14, 2016; Boise Center.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: July 21, 2016; Hilton Minneapolis.

Re: attending or viewing via Webcast, the upcoming meetings, and for further details on the Boston, Tempe, Boise, and Minneapolis meetings, follow DOE's links here.


CAN TV of Chicago video record of DOE "Consent-Based Siting" public meeting

CAN TV (Chicago Access Network television), a long-time parnter with Nuclear Energy Info. Service, has yet again provided another amazing public service, by videorecording the showdown between nuclear establishment proponents of parking lot dumps and Mobile Chernobyls, and grassroots environmental and social justice activists:

Chicago, already ringed by nuclear power plants, would be hard hit by thousands of Mobile Chernobyls from many states, if parking lot dumps are opened. In fact, Dresden nuclear power plant in Morris, IL, just southwest of Chicago, is a top target being eyed by DOE itself for a parking lot dump.