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.



DOE in Boston seeking “consent-based siting” of nuke dumps, roads, rails and waterways: We Do Not Consent!

On June 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) holds an evening live webcast of a public meeting in Boston, MA, the sixth such meeting this year in the United States, to test public sentiment for the “consent-based siting” of deep geological burial of high-level nuclear waste from the nation’s nuclear power stations. More immediately, the federal energy agency is looking for volunteers to be the indefinite and potentially permanent willing host to thousands of radioactive waste casks on fenced parking lots for the questionable future for licensing and building nuclear dumps and designate the hazardous transport routes from nuclear stations by road, rail and barge. DOE's current priority is to open "centralized interim storage" sites by 2021, which would launch Mobile Chernobyls onto the roads, rails, and waterways of most states, including into the Port of Boston itself.

The DOE was last in New England beginning in the Fall of 1985 and by contrast looking for the nuclear industry’s dump site by “eminent domain.”  The granite formations of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire came under the scrutiny of government and industry for the deep geological burial of at least 70,000 metric tons of dangerous irradiated fuel from nuclear generating stations. The DOE had already declared Texas, Nevada and Washington State as the candidate sites for the nation’s first nuclear waste repository. In January 1986, DOE officials announced the government singled out twelve sites for a second waste repository east of the Mississippi River including the crystalline rock bodies under Hillsborough, New Hampshire and several more neighboring Yankee towns for a 20,000 surface acre “national sacrifice area” and two more large granite sites in Maine.  

That earlier DOE plan did not work out by popular demand. By March 1986, there were 130 of New Hampshire’s 224 towns petitioning warrant articles before the state’s centuries old local town hall meeting process to oppose the siting of a nuclear waste dump in the Granite State. Of those towns, 100 towns voted more “to oppose the burial, storage, transportation and production of high-level nuclear waste” in the State of New Hampshire.  The broad majority of an informed, even conservative state citizenry made the ethical connection between not wanting to take and not wanting to make dangerous nuclear waste.

The DOE was similarly met by adamant and popular public opposition throughout New England as well as the rest of a nation that had just witnessed the technological disaster with the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion and soon the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine and across Europe. By December 2007 Congress and the DOE suspended the search for a second repository and singled out Yucca Mountain with the “Screw Nevada Bill.” 

Nearly a decade later, a $9 billion dry hole in a seismically active and defunded Yucca Mt., the DOE and Congress are on the hunt again to do the nuclear industry’s bidding.  Your comments and opposition is needed to make that first and most responsible step in long-term management of nuclear waste---Stop Making It!

You can read our suggested talking points and file your comments to the DOE by July 31, 2016.  We Do Not Consent!


Next DOE "Consent-Based Siting" public meeting: Boston, MA, Thurs., June 2nd

Announcement from DOE:

On Thursday June 2nd, the Department of Energy will host a public meeting in Boston on designing a consent-based process to site facilities needed to manage our nation’s nuclear waste. The Department is seeking diverse viewpoints to strengthen the design of its consent-based siting process. We hope to hear from you on issues such as:

·         fairness

·         models and experience to draw from

·         the roles of communities, states, Tribal Nations, and others in consent-based siting

·         information and resources needed to achieve informed consent

·         other perspectives and values the Department should consider

Ultimately, based on your input, the Department will design a proposed process for developing a site, which will in turn serve as a framework for collaborating with potential host communities in the future.

The public meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Boston from 5:00 PM until 9:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time. Registration is encouraged in order to assist logistics planning. To register, please visit this registration page. Those unable to attend in person can view the meeting online through a live webcast. For more information, please visit our website at

We look forward to your participation and hope to see you soon!


John Kotek

Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy


We do NOT consent: DOE's so-called "Consent-Based Siting" meeting in Denver, May 24th

See the full video recording of the DOE's so-called "Consent-Based Siting" meeting in Denver on May 24th at this link:

See particularly the 1:03:36 mark, where Mervyn Tano of the International Institute of Indigenous Resource Management, based in Denver, CO, expresses a "we do NOT consent" position.


"We do NOT CONSENT!" Sample talking points you can use to prepare your own, to DOE, opposing the Yucca dump, parking lot dumps, and Mobile Chernobyls

Beyond Nuclear has prepared sample talking points, entitled WE DO NOT CONSENT!, that you can use to prepare your own public comments, for submission to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in opposition to high-risk, high-level radioactive waste shipments (by road, rail, and/or waterway) to Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as well as to "centralized interim storage sites" (de facto permanent parking lot dumps).

Full length (13-page) version: Beyond Nuclear's WE DO NOT CONSENT! sample talking points are available in both PDF format, as well as Word format (with live URL links).

Short summary (2-page) version: PDF format, and Word format (with live URL links).

Please feel free to use one or more of the sample talking points (verbatim, or adapted to your own words) to prepare your own public comments, and then submit them to DOE by its July 31, 2016 deadline. Express your strong opposition to the Yucca dump, to parking lot dumps, and to Mobile Chernobyls/Floating Fukushimas/Dirty Bombs on Wheels! And please, spread the word.


Next DOE "Consent-Based Siting" public meeting: Denver, Tuesday, May 24th

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 11/14/13 in Rockville, MD. Photo credit David Martin and Erica Grey. Similar strong turn outs are needed at DOE's upcoming "Consent-Based Siting" meeting, to say "NO!" to Mobile Chernobyl and de facto permanent high-level radioactive waste parking lot dumps!Chip Cameron, a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (ONE, or NE) on its "Consent-Based Siting" of high-level radioactive waste dumps public relations exercise, sent the following email to Colordo nuclear watchdogs on Tuesday, May 17th:

From: "Chip Cameron" <>
Date: May 17, 2016 8:07 AM
Subject: Department of Energy (DOE) public meeting

Good morning--

I wanted to let you know that DOE will be holding a public meeting in Denver on May 24th at the Embassy Suites Denver, from 4:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m..  The meeting is to receive comments and suggestions from the public on the development of a "consent-based siting" process for the storage and disposal of radioactive waste. There will be several short presentations by notable people in the community, as well as by DOE.  A question and comment period will follow.  There will also be facilitated small group table discussions on the issues.  I am one of the facilitators for the small group discussions.  I have attached more information, as well as an agenda. Please contact me if I can provide further information.

Chip Cameron

Cameron attached an agenda. (Note that Don Hancock of Southwest Research Information Center, a long-time Waste Isolation Pilot Project watchdog in New Mexico, will speak on a panel.)
Cameron also provided a link to a DOE ONE website, with links to numerous documents.
(Please note that Chip Cameron has long been employed as a public interface for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), as well. For example, he has long been employed as a facilitator at some of the most highly contentious public meetings across the country -- most recently, for example, during NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence public comment period meetings, as well as at Vermont Yankee decommissioning public meetings. Cameron was long based at NRC's Office of General Counsel, that is, its legal division. However, his public role meant he largely functioned, effectively, as a primary NRC Office of Public Affaris spokesman. Despite retiring from NRC several years ago, Cameron is still often tapped, to play similar or even identical functions and roles, right up to the present day. DOE has now tapped him for its "Consent-Based Siting" scheme.)
It must be pointed out, however, that DOE's "Consent-Based Siting" proceeding is not a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliant proceeding, by design. NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence pubilc comment meetings and public comment period were supposed to have been NEPA-compliant, although they fell far short -- the subject of a lawsuit (NY v. NRC II) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Although many in the public think DOE's "Consent-Based Siting" proceeding is NEPA-compliant, and DOE has done nothing to disabuse that illusion, DOE ONE's official in charge of the proceeding, John Kotek, confirmed under direct questioning by Beyond Nuclear, at the Chicago meeting on March 29th, that this proceeding is not NEPA-compliant; it is more of a PR exercise, in pursuit of the nuclear power industry's agenda, which DOE ONE fully supports.

Denver will be the fifth of nine DOE "Consent-Based Siting" public meetings, extending from January to July. It will be among the very closest, geographically, to the top targets for parking lot dumps, namely, Waste Control Specialists, LLC in Andrews County, west Texas, and Eddy-Lea Counties, in the southeast corner of New Mexico, near the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP). The public comment period (again, non-NEPA compliant) ends July 31st.
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