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.



Vigilance needed to block federal funding for Yucca dump

Yucca Mountain, NevadaCongressional Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Fred Upton from southwestern Michigan, have been trying hard to attach a rider to year-end budget legislation to keep the federal government operational, that would fund Yucca Mountain, Nevada (see photo, left) high-level radioactive waste dump licensing proceedings, to the tune of $60 million. Yucca is Western Shoshone Indian land, so the dump would not only illegally violate the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863, it would also be an environmental injustice. However, the U.S. Senate's Continuing Resolution (CR), passed yesterday, contains no such Yucca dump funding. If the U.S. House passes the Senate's CR, and President Trump signs it into law, then no Yucca dump funding would be added, at this time at least. But that's a big if -- the latest news at press time reports that Trump appears to oppose signing the legislation, and U.S. House right wingers are either AWOL (having lost their re-elections, they just left D.C.), or excoriating Trump for even considering signing it. 
Meanwhile, Trump's Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, appears to be doing some creative accounting, trying to identify unspent funding across the vast Department of Energy, to put towards Yucca dump licensing -- to the tune of $120 million worth. When it comes to radioactive waste transportation, we all live in Nevada. 44 states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts, would be traversed by high-level radioactive waste truck and train shipments (see 2017 entries), as well as surface water barge shipments. Please take action. Contact both your U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Rep., and urge that they block funding for the wasteful and dangerous Yucca dump. You can call their D.C. offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Learn more at our Yucca Mountain website section.

Public has till Jan. 9 to comment on DOE proposal to abandon high-level radioactive wastes in situ

In response to a request by 76 environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted until January 9, 2019 for the public to comment on the agency's proposal to deregulate high-level radioactive wastes, and allow for their abandonment in situ, at such places as Hanford Nuclear (Weapons) Reservation on the Columbia River in Washington State, the West Valley reprocessing facility upstream of the Great Lakes in New York, etc.

For more info., including instructions on how to submit comments, see DOE's Federal Register Notice. Sample comments you can use to prepare your own will be posted here, at the top of Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste website section, ASAP.


Radioactive Waste Is Coming through Your Town -- Unless YOU Help Stop It!

Rail-sized cask shipment of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuelSo says an action alert by Public Citizen.

Please help us generate a large number of quality public comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in opposition to a 40,000 metric ton irradiated nuclear fuel centralized interim storage facility (CISF) proposed by Interim Storage Partners (ISP) at Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in Andrews County, West Texas. NRC's deadline for public comments on environmental scoping has been extended to November 19th.

The Public Citizen web form linked above is a quick and easy way to do so, and so is the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) web form, linked here.

Beyond Nuclear has also prepared several sets of longer versions of sample comments, each addressing different aspects of the risks involved with the WCS/ISP CISF, which you can use to help write your own, and has provided instructions on how to do so, all posted here.

To get an idea of the road, rail, and waterway routes that would be used, in most states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts nationwide, see maps and analyses prepared by the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects in the context of Yucca Mountain-bound shipments (the further from the American Southwest the highly radioactive waste originates, the more similar to identical the routes will be, whether bound for Yucca Mtn., NV, or the TX/NM borderlands). Barges on surface waters in many states are also in play, as revealed by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002, with additional potential barge routes revealed by DOE as recently as late 2017. Many, to most, to all of these routes could well be in play, with shipments bound for the WCS/ISP CISF, unless we stop them! WCS even included a map in its license application documents to NRC, showing that most mainline rail in the Lower 48 is also in play. Public Citizen's Texas Office, and SEED Coalition, have also hammered out a best guess map of transport routes to WCS -- forced to do so, because WCS is being so obscure about what the routes actually will be!

Please take action (do one, two, or even all three of the options above -- there is no limit to the number of comments an individual can submit to NRC). And please help spread the word about this important action alert!

To learn more about the WCS/ISP CISF, visit Beyond Nuclear's Centralized Storage and Waste Transportation website sections.


76 groups request 120-day extension to public comment period on scheme to abandon high-level radioactive wastes in situ

Beyond Nuclear has joined with 75 other environmental groups -- from national to grassroots, representing many states -- to demand 120 more days during which to comment on the U.S. Department of Energy's proposal to linguistically detoxify high-level radioactive waste, into low-level radioactive waste. This would allow DOE to abandon in situ large quantities of forever hazardous high-level radioactive waste, which would then leak out into the broader environment over time, to harm humans and other living things. Under current law, high-level radioactive wastes must be cleaned up, and removed for permanent disposal in a deep geologic repository.

Sites that could be impacted by DOE's dangerous scheme include Hanford, WA and West Valley, NY, as well as others.

See the environmental coalition's letter to DOE, here.


Nuclear Free Future: Vermont Yankee Entergy Sale = Consequences

Watch Beyond Nuclear's radioactive waste watchdog, Kevin Kamps, on Channel 17, TownMeeting Television, cable access is Burlington, VT. He was hosted by Margaret Harrington on her show, "Nuclear Free Future." Watch the 35-minute interview at this link.



Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear talks with host Margaret Harrington about the consequences of the pending Vermont Yankee Entergy Nuclear Power Plant sale to Northstar. The US Regulatory Commission has approved the transfer of the license to the NY company, but the Vermont Public Utility Commission must rule on the sale before the deal can close. A Northstar accelerated decommissioning project could clean up the Vermont site in less than a decade. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog for Beyond Nuclear, takes into account Northstar’s nuclear waste plans involving Waste Control Specialists and the insurance and financing for the job.