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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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Wednesday
Dec022009

Long-awaited GAO report documents costs of high-level radioactive waste management alternative

A Government Accountability Office report, "NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT: Key Attributes, Challenges, and Costs of the Yucca Mountain Repository and Two Potential Alternatives," has just been released. Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps served as consultants on the report, which was a year and a half in the making. The report details the monetary costs, and technical challenges, of managing irradiated nuclear fuel for decades and even centuries to come. Requested by Nevada Senators Harry Reid (the Senate Majority Leader and long-time Yucca dump foe) and John Ensign, as well as Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbarba Boxer of California, this report confirms what radioactive waste watchdogs have long warned -- that the price tag for ratepayers and taxpayers will rise into the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars over time. The report compares the costs and challenges of radioactive waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, versus long-term on-site storage at nuclear power plants, as well as "centralized interim storage" at two regional sites in the U.S. The report does not compare and contrast the "safety, health, and environmental risks" associated with each of the proposed alternatives, however.

Monday
Nov162009

New Senate bill would advance radioactive waste reprocessing

A bill proposed by U.S. Senators Jim Webb (Democrat from Virginia) and Lamar Alexander (Republican from Tennessee) seeks to double nuclear power in the U.S. over the next 20 years, and relapse further into radioactive waste reprocessing, at taxpayer expense to the tune of $100 billion, not to mention radiological risk. But Environment America expressed immediate opposition, urging resources be directed to cleaner, safer, and cheaper energy efficiency and renewable sources of electricity.

Tuesday
Sep222009

Swedish town to get radioactive waste repository

The Swedish town of Osthammar will house the country's first high-level radioactive waste repository. But, as Sam King writes in the Financial Times, "nuclear waste is short on what most people consider winning qualities."  His article describes in clear, lay terms, the deadly dangers of long-lived radioactive waste and the strange journey taken by two Swedish towns vying to host it.

Thursday
Sep102009

Sign your group onto revised "Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors"!

In response to the nuclear power establishment's current push to revive commercial high-level radioactive waste reprocessing in the U.S. for the first time in 37 years, Beyond Nuclear and Physicians for Social Responsibility have revised and updated the 2006 "Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors." Beyond Nuclear and PSR recently invited organizations to sign the revised Principles. Please sign your group onto these revised Principles as soon as possible by emailing Morgan Pinnell at PSR, mpinnell@psr.org. Individuals can help by sharing this alert with groups they are associated with, as well as contacting their own U.S. Senators and Representative, to urge "hardened on-site storage" as an interim alternative to such high-risk proposals as commercial reprocessing. For more background on the "Principles", see here. (Image from Dr. Gordon Thompson's 2003 report, "Robust Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel: A Neglected Issue of Homeland Security," commissioned by Citizens Awareness Network)

 

Thursday
Sep102009

Beyond Nuclear applauds Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Zone Committee for its work against high-level radioactive waste shipments through Metro D.C. suburbs

In the Sept. issue of the "Takoma Voice" newspaper, Kevin Kamps praised the City of Takoma Park, Maryland for seeking efficiency and renewable alternatives to nuclear electricity. He also thanked its Nuclear-Free Zone Committee for its years of watchdogging efforts against high-level radioactive waste trains from Calvert Cliffs, MD and North Anna, VA being run through the Takoma Metro Station on the CSX railway.