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.



U.S. House Panel to Discuss Spent Fuel Bills

As reported by the ExchangeMonitor.

See the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee/Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change's post about the June 13th hearing, here. (A Livestream posted at that same link goes live at 10am, Thurs., June 13.)

Witness testimony that has been posted thus far includes that from:

Robert J. Halstead
Executive Director
State of Nevada, Office of the Governor, Agency for Nuclear Projects


Geoffrey H. Fettus
Senior Attorney, Nuclear, Climate, and Clean Energy Program
Natural Resources Defense Council



House panel highlights risks over nuclear-storage stalemate

As reported by AP.

Regarding high-level radioactive waste shipping risks, Don Hancock of Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico is quoted as saying in the article:

Building a long-term storage site would lead to another question: How would the radioactive waste get there from nuclear power plants?

“There is not consensus about health and safety standards, including whether commercial spent fuel is safe where it is,” said Don Hancock of the Southwest Research and Information Center, a nonprofit watchdog group. “If it is safe where it is, why move it? If it’s not safe where it is, how can it be safe to transport through many other communities?”

If opened, the Yucca Mountain permanent repository, on Western Shoshone Indian land in Nevada, would result in more than 12,000 road, rail, and waterway shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste through 44 states, many major cities, and 75% of U.S. congressional districts. 

So-called "consolidated interim" storage sites, as targeted at Hispanic communities of the New Mexico/Texas border area, would result in significantly more shipments than that. 

Yucca's current legal limit is 70,000 metric tons of highly radioactive wastes. But the CISF proposed by Holtec in NM would "store" 173,600 MT; the CISF proposed by Interim Storage Partners at Waste Control Specialists in TX would store an additional 40,000 MT. Both CISFs taken together would represent three times the amount of highly radioactive waste as at Yucca. The number of shipments would thus be three times larger, as well. And that's just to get the waste to TX/NM. If truly "temporary," the waste would have to leave again (no one knows where to), so the already high transport risks of CISFs would then be doubled.


Environmental coalition letter to Congress, opposing Yucca dump and CISFs

Beyond Nuclear joined eight other national groups, and more than 50 state and local grassroots groups, on an environmental coalition letter to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, expressing opposition to the permanent repository (dump-site) for irradiated nuclear fuel, long targeted at Western Shoshone Indian land at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as well as opposition to so-called "consolidated interim" storage facilities (CISFs, more accurately "de facto permanent surface dumps") currently targeted at southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. See the group letter, here.

Specifically, the letter expresses opposition to: H.R. 2699, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act (NWPAA) of 2019; H.R. 2699's U.S. Senate equivalent, also entitled the NWPAA, which is a discussion draft and does not have a bill number yet; S. 1234, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2019; and any appropriations for the Yucca dump and CISFs. 


Updates on Radioactive Leaks and Waste from Beyond Nuclear

Margaret Harrington, host of "Nuclear Free Future," with a Nuclear Disarmanent Day banner, August 6, Hiroshima Atomic Bombing Commemoration DayAs aired on "Nuclear Free Future" with Margaret Harrington (photo, left), on Channel 17, TownMeetig Television, in Burlington, VT (interview recorded on May 30, 2019):


Pilgrim Is Closing. So Then What Happens To The Radioactive Waste?