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.



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.


US Rep. Kildee warns against Canadian radioactive waste dump on Great Lakes shore in light of WIPP leak

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)As reported on the website of the group Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI, photo left) has issued a press release in light of the radioactivity release from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. Ontario Power Generation's proposed Deep Geologic Repository for burial of so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across the province, within less than a mile of the Lake Huron shore, is modeled closely after WIPP.


United Tribes of Michigan joins resistance to Ontario's proposed radioactive waste dump on Great Lakes shore

As reported at the website of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, in a press release alongside state legislative leaders Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) and Sarah Roberts (R-St. Clair Shores), the United Tribes of Michigan (UTM) has spoken out against Ontario Power Generation's proposed burial site for so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, from 20 reactors across the province, at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, less than a mile from the waters of Lake Huron.


2/28 Webinars featuring Beyond Nuclear: Paul Gunter on NRC's post-Fukushima safety requirements; Kevin Kamps on HOSS

Friday, February 28th @ 12 noon (Eastern)

Keep It Up! Alternatives to Deep Burial of Nuclear Waste

While deep burial of irradiated nuclear fuel has been the nuclear industry's objective since the 1970s, there are other, broadly supported ideas for immediate safety upgrades that have long been ignored. Kevin Kamps from Beyond Nuclear (USA) will discuss Hardened On-Site Storage as an alternative, interim means of increasing security for high level nuclear fuel waste for the near- to mid-term.

Nuclear Waste On-line

February 2014 Webinar Series

Please join us for our February 2014 series of on-line workshops about nuclear waste in Canada. This webinar series is offered free of charge using the on-line meeting service at Visit Northwatch's page at for webinar details, to register, and /or to join the workshops.


NRC's Post-Fukushima Safety Requirements: Current Status, Upcoming Actions, and Implications

With the third anniversary of the Fukushima accidents coming up and still very little meaningful action by NRC, we want to provide everyone with a full update. The anniversary will provide local media opportunities, and we expect plenty of national media attention for grassroots activists to comment on. We will hear from an expert and movement leaders who have been at the forefront watchdogging and pressuring the NRC, the Post-Fukushima Near Term Task Force, and Congress, throughout the process.


David Lochbaum – Union of Concerned Scientists
Paul Gunter – Beyond Nuclear
Tim Judson – NIRS

David, Paul, and Tim will provide an overview of the actions proposed by NRC, what is missing and unaddressed, where they stand on implementation, upcoming opportunities for engagement, and the safety and economic implications for the industry.

Register now!


U.S. Rep. Candice Miller urges Sec. Kerry to activate IJC on Canadian Great Lakes radioactive waste dump

On Feb. 21st, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) wrote U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry, urging he activate the International Joint Commission to review Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across the province at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station. The dump would be less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron.

Michigan is about 50 miles from Bruce, across Lake Huron. Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, and millions of Americans, draw their drinking water from the Great Lakes, downstream from the proposed dump.

On March 19th, the State Dept. wrote Rep. Miller back, saying "The Department will review any possible role for the IJC and determine next steps."

The State Dept. had better "determine next steps" pretty quickly, as the Canadian federal decision making process is drawing to a close, after 13 years of considering the insane proposal!