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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

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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Saturday
May272017

Beyond Nuclear presents at Heartwood re: courts deferring to agencies, on unprecedented highly radioactive liquid waste shipments

Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, presented at the 2017 Heartwood "Strong Roots!" forest protection council on Sat., May 27th.

Kevin's talk was entitled "Head-On Collision: Chevron Deference Meets Mobile Chernobyl on Steroids." (See the power point presentation; or the PDF version.) He described the efforts by an environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, to stop unprecedented high-risk, highly radioactive liquid waste truck shipments from Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Terry Lodge of Toledo, Ohio has served as legal council for the coalition since 2013; he was assisted by attorney Diane Curran of Washington, D.C. at oral arguments in Jan. 2017.

However, in Feb., 2017, a federal judge deferred to the U.S. Department of Energy's supposed expertise, greenlighting the truck shipments without an environmental impact statement. The judge cited an obscure, but widely invoked, legal doctrine called "Chevron Deference" (named after a 1984 lawsuit between Chevron and Natural Resources Defense Council) as a key basis for her adverse ruling.

The shipments began in April 2017. Routing is top secret, given the security risks, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But the most direct routes could take the 150 truck shipments, set to continue for four years, near the location of the Heartwood gathering in the mountains of western North Carolina -- as on highways such as I-81 and I-26, as through Asheville. (See map, above left, showing one such potential route; see here for a larger version of this route map). See Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Transportation website section for more information about this particular scheme, as well as similar ones.

Also presenting (see the power point, "Judicial Deference to Federal Agency Actions: In Theory and Practice") during the session was Perrin W. de Jong, an attorney who has faced adverse rulings based on the "Chevron Doctrine" himself, in lawsuits seeking to protect the tranquility of hiking and horseback riding nature trails through forested areas, against the threat of disturbance by gun shooting ranges.

Carol Polsgrove, a free lance journalist who organized the workshop sessions, compiled a bibliography, with links to documents on the subject matter. (See .docx version; see .pdf version.)

Thursday
May252017

US nuclear regulators greatly underestimate potential for nuclear disaster, researchers say

Thursday
Apr272017

Opponents speak out against attempt to revive Yucca dump "mutant zombie"

Be sure to count the toes! This political cartoon, by Jim Day in the Las Vegas Review Journal, marked the 2010 cancellation of the Yucca dump scheme by the Obama administration -- 23 years after the "Screw Nevada" bill. The cartoon harkens back to "The Beast of Yucca Flats," a 1961 B horror flick, and conveys the Yucca dump's "mutant zombie" nature. In response to U.S. House Republican efforts to restart the long-cancelled Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste dump proposal licensing proceeding, resistance has been fierce and broad. The Native Community Action Council held a successful Earth Day event in Las Vegas, in defense of Western Shoshone Indian Nation treaty rights, including opposition to the proposed dump, as well as nuclear weapons testing in Nevada. In addition, the State of Nevada's governor, attorney general, state legislature, and congressional delegation spoke with one voice, on behalf of their constituents, adamantly asserting "we do not consent" to this scientifically unsuitable and environmentally unjust "Screw Nevada 2" scheme. And 80 organizations, including Beyond Nuclear, wrote to all 535 members of congress, urging that the Yucca dump "mutant zombie" (see above left, and count the toes!) remain dead. More

Wednesday
Apr192017

Beyond Nuclear media statement re: WCS, TX request to NRC to suspend licensing for high-level radioactive waste centralized interim storage facility

News from Beyond Nuclear

For Immediate Release, April 19, 2017

Contact: Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Beyond Nuclear, (240) 462-3216; kevin@beyondnuclear.org

Beyond Nuclear Media Statement

re: Waste Control Specialists, LLC (WCS) request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to suspend the licensing proceeding and environmental scoping on its application to open a Centralized Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for highly radioactive commercial irradiated nuclear fuel in Andrews County, Texas

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog, stated:

“This latest radioactive waste Ponzi scheme has collapsed under its own weight. In its request to NRC to suspend the proceedings, WCS acknowledged ‘enormous financial challenges.’ In other words, WCS’s financial assurances for the future, and financial status at present, are little more than a wobbly house of cards, that have now come crashing down.

First and foremost, although the nuclear power industry would never admit it, this is yet another clear sign that there is no good solution for the dilemma of its forever deadly high-level radioactive waste. For this reason alone, the four new reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina should be terminated, and 100 dangerously age-degraded atomic reactors, located in 30 states across the U.S., should be permanently shut down, as soon as possible. Their electricity can be readily replaced with clean, safe, and ever more affordable energy efficiency and renewable sources, such as wind and solar power." More.

Friday
Mar312017

Opponents gird for nuclear waste dump battles in Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas

Political cartoon by Jim Day that appeared in the Las Vegas Review Journal in 2010The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has extended the deadline for public comments on the environmental scoping of Waste Control Specialists' proposed centralized interim storage facility for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel in Andrews County, Texas until April 28th. Please submit comments! You can also make oral comments, on Thurs., April 6 from 7 to 10pm Eastern, during an NRC public comment teleconference/call-in meeting (Bridge Number: (800) 619-9084, Pass Code: 3009542; please register in advance by contacting Ms. Antoinette Walker-Smith at (301) 415-6957, or by email (to <antoinette.walker-smith@nrc.gov>) no later than April 3, 2017.) Please spread the word on these public comment opportunities!

NRC has also just extended the deadline for legal intervention against the WCS de facto permanent high-level radioactive waste parking lot dump, till May 31st; Beyond Nuclear fully intends to intervene, along with a coalition of environmental groups and concerned citizens, not only residing near the dump, but also along transport routes throughout the country.

The Yucca Mountain, Nevada radioactive waste dump zombie is again stirring (see political cartoon, above left; be sure to count the toes!), as: the Trump administration has budgeted $120 million to resurrect its long cancelled licensing proceeding; Energy Secretary Perry made a surprise, secret trip to the site; and congressional Republicans attempt to "Screw Nevada" (the most common name for the 1987 law that singled out Yucca Mountain, despite its already documented scientific unsuitability, and environmental injustice). However, the State of Nevada, its congressional delegation, environmental watchdogs, and the Western Shoshone Indian Nation are girding for battle -- Beyond Nuclear, and a thousand environmental/justice groups nationwide, will stand with them, as we have for three decades. See Nevada's and Beyond Nuclear's websites for more information, and ways to take action.  

(And this late breaking news: Holtec International has just applied to NRC for a Centralized Interim Storage Facility (CISF) construction and operation license in Eddy-Lea County, Southeastern New Mexico -- just like WCS, TX, and only about 50 miles away! Combined with the Louisiana Energy Services/Uranium Enrichment Corporation, immediately adjacent to WCS, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP, for military trans-uranic waste disposal), close to the Holtec/Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance CISF, the nuclear establishment in government and industry is clearly attempting to turn the area into a nuclear sacrifice zone. Our coalition must rise to the challenge of resisting this latest environmental injustice. Stay tuned for updates as they come in, in the weeks and months ahead.)