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.



"Measured Progress on Nuclear Security," or a "World Awash in Nuclear Explosive"?

The Nuclear Genie, as depicted in Walt Disney's 1950s pro-nuclear propaganda book "Our Friend the Atom"The New York Times editorial board has cited "Measured Progress on Nuclear Security," given Japan's pledge to turn over a small fraction of its potentially weapons-usable plutonium and highly enriched uranium to the U.S. for "disposal."

But as the Center for Public Integrity and Truthout have warned in an article by Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith entitled "The World Awash in Nuclear Explosive?", we have a frighteningly long way to go in our attempts to put the nuclear weapons proliferation genie back in the bottle.

Ironically enough, Tom Cochran at NRDC warns that the imminent opening of Japan's Rokkasho commercial irradiated nuclear fuel reprocessing facility could set the stage for catastrophic nuclear weapons proliferation.


JRP announces additional hearings on OPG's DUD

The proposed location of the DUD at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, less than a mile from the Great Lakes shore in Kincardine, OntarioThe three member Canadian federal Joint Review Panel (JRP) overseeing Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) environmental assessment regarding its proposed DGR (Deep Geologic Repository, or, according to critics, DUD -- for Deep Underground Dump) has announced additional hearings to be held at a date still to be announced. The JRP's announcement is below.

If you haven't already, please join over 50,000 others by signing the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump petition, and widely share it with your contacts! Also, please consider urging your town, county, and state to pass resolutions opposing the DUD, as have dozens of municipalities across Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. The Great Lakes are a planetary treasure -- 20% of the world's surface fresh water, drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations -- and must be protected for the future!

JRP announcement, March 26, 2014:

Interested Parties:

The Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel has requested additional information from Ontario Power Generation and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The requests are available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet site at and  

Once the Panel has received adequate responses to its information requests, it plans to schedule additional hearing days. The purpose of the additional hearing days will be to provide the Panel and Interested Parties with the opportunity to address any outstanding questions in relation to the subjects addressed in information requests issued by the Panel since November, 2013. Details related to the focus, procedures, deadlines and scheduling of the additional hearing days will be provided in the near future.

Interested Parties are encouraged to check the public registry for the information requests that have been issued by the Panel to date and the responses that continue to be received.

Also, please be reminded that the Panel continues to apply criteria to all submissions that it receives to decide whether or not it will accept that submission for consideration in the review. The Panel has decided to clarify section 8.11 of the Public Hearing Procedures. At this stage of the process, the applicable criteria are:

Ø  Whether similar submissions have been made by others;

Ø  Whether the submission contains new information that is within the mandate of the Panel and not already on the record; or

Ø  Whether the submission is from a group or individual that has not previously participated in the review.

Joint Review Panel Secretariat

160 Elgin St., 22nd Floor

Ottawa ON K1A 0H3

Tel.: 1‐866‐582‐1884 or 613‐957‐0301



Gundersen: Forever deadly radioactive waste, versus renewables

Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer, Fairewinds Associates, Inc.As Fairewinds Associates, Inc.'s Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen (photo, left), concluded his keynote presentation at the Beyond Nuclear/FOE/NEIS "Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High" conference in Chicago in Dec. 2012:

"What we're seeing is that the cost of solar is plummeting while nuclear is rising," Gundersen said, adding that he often hears the rebuttal that the sun doesn't shine day and night. "But if you believe that man can build a repository to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, surely those same people can find a way to store electricity overnight.", November 16, 2012

Gundersen serves as the expert witness for an environnental coalition (Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club, Ohio Chapter) that has challenged the risky, experimental steam generator replacements at Davis-Besse.

An overlapping coalition (including the Green Party of Ohio) has raised the radioactive waste dilemma and the renewables alternative as major arguments against the 20-year license extension at Davis-Besse.


Opponents to 20 more years at Davis-Besse cite radioactive waste dilemma

Environmental coalition attorney Terry Lodge of ToledoThe environmental coalition opposing the 20-year license extension sought by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore east of Toledo has spoken out at NRC Environmental Impact Statement public comment meetings. The coalition issued a press release, focused on the unsolved dilemma created by Davis-Besse's ongoing generation of forever deadly high-level radioactive waste, as well as the renewables alternative (wind power, solar PV, etc.) to a risky, dubious 20 more years of atomic reactor operations.

The press release quoted Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps: “The worsening cracking of Davis-Besse’s concrete containment, the corrosion of its inner steel containment vessel, the risks of its experimental steam generator replacement, and its recently revealed Shield Building wall gap are clear signs that this atomic reactor is overdue for retirement and decommissioning.”

The coalition includes Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio. Terry Lodge of Toledo serves as the coalition's legal counsel.


Please attend by webcast/phone: NRC Commission Nuke Waste Con Game update, Friday, March 21, 1pm Eastern

Environmental coalition members from the Crabshell Alliance, Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Campaign, NIRS, PSR, NEIS, and Public Citizen "just say NO!" at the NRC HQ nuke waste con game public comment meeting on 11/14 in Rockville, MD. Photo credit David Martin and Erica GreyOn Friday, March 21, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Nuclear Waste Confidence Directorate Staff and invited parties will brief the Commission in a public meeting on the Waste Confidence rulemaking (see the meeting agenda, slides, and backgrounder below).

The Directorate has announced:

"A telephone bridge line has been made available for this Friday’s Commission meeting on Waste Confidence:

Phone Number:  1-888-972-6409

Passcode:  5638944

Alternately, you can view a live Webcast of the meeting here:

We suggest accessing the meeting using either the bridge line OR the Webcast.  If you attempt to watch the Webcast while listening to the bridge line, the Webcast will lag behind the bridge line audio.

There is no need to pre-register to listen in on the bridge line or view the Webcast.  If you have additional questions about the Commission meeting, please contact Rochelle Bavol at (301) 415-1651 or e-mail  If you have questions specific to Waste Confidence, please call Sarah Lopas at (301) 287-0675."

For those in the D.C. area, please consider attending in person. The meeting will be held in the Commissioners’ Conference Room at NRC Headquarters, One White Flint, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. Allow extra time to clear security screening up front.

Presenters will include NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence Directorate Staff; Ronald Johnson, Tribal Council President, Prairie Island Indian Community; John Sipos, Assistant Attorney General, State of New York; Ellen Ginsberg, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, Nuclear Energy Institute; Michael Callahan, Decommissioning Plant Coalition; and Geoffrey Fettus, Senior Project Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council.

Here are important background documents related to this update meeting: 


Slide Show Presentations (links to the webcast archive and transcript will also be available after the meeting at this same link)

Commission Paper (SECY): Waste Confidence—Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Proposed Rule: Public Feedback on Specific Issues (Feb. 28, 2014)

In June 2012, a landmark federal appeals court decision ordered NRC to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement on commercial high-level radioactive waste generation, storage, and disposal. The Prairie Island Tribe and State of New York Attorney General's Office, in alliance with the AGs of Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey played a key role in this New York v. NRC ruling. But so too did an environmental coalition of dozens of groups (including Beyond Nuclear), with legal counsel from NRDC, as well as Diane Curran of Washington, D.C., and the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University.

Last autumn, NRC held about a dozen public comment meetings on the EIS around the country. Many thousands of public comments were submitted, both orally and in writing, by the Dec. 20, 2013 deadline.

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