RT has interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, about the March 31-April 1 so-called "Nuclear Security Summit" convened by President Obama. Kevin discusses what is not being discussed, for the most part: both global nuclear weapons abolition, and nuclear power security risks. He also discusses the senseless shipment of weapons-usable plutonium from Japan to the U.S. on the high seas, and the unprecedented, highly risky shipment on the highways of liquid high-level radioactive waste (containing weapons-usable highly enriched uranium) from Canada to the U.S.
The transportation of radioactive waste already occurs, but will become frequent on our rails, roads and waterways, should irradiated reactor fuel be moved to interim or permanent dump sites.
DOE undertaking logistical planning for shipment of "stranded" or "orphaned" high-level radioactive waste away from decommissioned nuclear power plants to de facto permanent parking lot dumps
The U.S. Department of Energy is pushing the envelope of its legal authority, and undertaking detailed logistical planning for the shipment of irradiated nuclear fuel from shutdown commercial atomic reactors.
The resultant study is entitled:
"Preliminary Evaluation of Removing Used Nuclear Fuel from Shutdown Sites," Fuel Cycle Research & Development, Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Fuels Storage and Transportation Planning Project, Steven J. Maheras (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), et al., October 1, 2014, FCRD- NFST-2014-000091 Rev. 1, PNNL-22676 Rev. 4.
It is posted online at:
The primary author, Steven J. Maheras, attended the Jan. 20, 2016 DOE "Consent-Based Siting" public meeting in Washington, DC, for opening de facto permanent parking lot dumps, as well as permament burial dumps. [Maheras also attended a meeting of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (on high-burnup fuel, including its transport), held in Knoxville, TN on February 17, 2016, as well as the DOE "Consent-Based Siting" meeting in Chicago on March 27, 2016.]
This report contains significant detail about transport logistics for "stranded" or "orphaned" waste. DOE and the nuclear power industry have used the excuse of "stranded" or "orphaned" irradiated nuclear fuel, at permanently shutdown and even entirely dismantled nuclear power plant sites, as a primary driver for launching Mobile Chernobyls, Floating Fukushimas, and Dirty Bombs on Wheels on the roads, rails, and waterways. The supposed justification for rushing into nonsensical "centralized interim storage" is to free up those decommissioned nuclear power plant sites for "unrestricted re-use." This emphasis on returning the sites to productive use ignores the residual hazardous radioactive contamination still present in soil, groundwater, fauna and flora, even after astronomically expensive decommissioning and "clean up" has been declared complete.
Beyond Nuclear joined with Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and grassroots allies across the country to launch the "Stop Fukushima Freeways!" campaign, to prevent risky shipments of high-level radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada or parking lot dumps (centralized or consolidated interim storage).
The launch included the release of detailed maps, prepared by State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects consultant, Dr. Fred Dilger. The maps show not only the routes that high-level radioactive waste truck and train casks would travel through 46 states and the District of Columbia, but also how many casks would be shipped, and how concentrated the populations are along those routes. A national map, as well as state by state maps (listed in alphabetical order), have been published.
As he did on national tele-briefing a couple weeks ago, that helped launch the campaign, Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, continues to highlight the risks of lesser known barge shipments of high-level radioactive waste on surface waters, and the "Floating Fukushima" risks they represent:
Surface waters documented by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as potential shipping routes for barges of high-level radioactive waste include: Chesapeake Bay; James River of Virginia; Delaware Bay; New Jersey’s Atlantic coast; Hudson River of New York; Long Island Sound; Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and Boston Harbor; Lake Michigan; Mississippi River; Tennessee River; Missouri River; California’s Pacific Coast; and Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
NIRS has posted these barge route maps (see them listed under the date Sept. 28, 2004).
NIRS has posted a "Stop Fukushima Freeways!" campaign page, with links to numerous supporting materials and resources.
The State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects has posted Dr. Dilger's maps and other documents, as well as those of Agency Director Robert Halstead and others, at its nuclear waste transportation website section.
Unprecedented liquid high-level radioactive waste shipments delayed by congressional demand for security assessment
As reported by WKBW/ABC-Buffalo, NY, unprecedented shipments, by truck, of liquid high-level radioactive waste, from Chalk River, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina, U.S.A., could be postponed.
The U.S. Department of Energy wants to import the liquid high-level radioactive wastes, for the revenue it would be paid by Canadian nuclear agencies. DOE also hopes to keep its reprocessing capabilities on life-support at SRS. For these reasons, it has sought radioactive wastes not only from Canada, but also from other countries (such as Germany), to import.
The delay is due to:
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide a complete threat assessment the transportation of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological materials through U.S. land borders and within the United States.
The bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY). Companion legislation is expected to clear the U.S. Senate, and the companion bills to be enacted into law with President Obama's signature.
The article quotes Congressman Higgins:
"Terrorists and militant groups have expressed an interest in using highly dangerous weapons, especially those utilizing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, known as CBRN agents or materials,” said Higgins. “This bill gives federal agencies the information they need to make decisions and develop policies that are informed by the terrorism threat picture.”
Beyond Nuclear to present, please call-in to NIRS-sponsored Oct. 15th "Stop Fukushima Freeways" tele-conference briefing
On Oct. 7th, NIRS announced:
STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS: Keep Nuclear Waste Off Our Roads, Rails, and Urban Centers!
Telebriefing: Thursday, October 15th, 2015, 8 pm Eastern
Join the coordinated campaign media launch
Congress will order the transport of highly radioactive waste through our major cities, communities, farms and forests, and even our waterways, unless we say STOP!
If highly radioactive “spent” nuclear fuel went to a central site, how would it get there? This month our network of activists and allied organizations will show that picture.
Transporting the highly radioactive waste that has piled up at the nation’s nuclear power reactors is a far greater hazard than Congress or the federal government has admitted. These bodies also play down the risk that anything bad will happen. It is only rational to prevent extra and unnecessary shipments.
NIRS will host a telebriefing next Thursday, October 15, 2015, to share more information on transport. Register for this telebriefing by clicking here.
And join the Stop Fukushima Freeways campaign this month by helping NIRS and grassroots groups across the country raise awareness of the issue with a nationally-coordinated release of new maps of the projected routes that this lethal radioactive waste would travel. Many groups acting together as one community on the same day underscores that we are working together to stop bad ideas. NIRS will help you do it, but we ask that each group/activist step up and contact the media in your region in your own name. To join this campaign now, sign up by clicking here.
Congress wants to revive the failed Yucca Mountain repository site, and is also considering creating a new option for the creation of consolidated storage sites that would be identical to the storage already at reactors. We call on you to stand together and reject these bad ideas. We can’t allow any more lost time, money and other resources on the failed Yucca plan, or there will be no resources for a better plan. The first step remains an end to making more of this waste.
Fukushima stands as proof that this same waste can be catastrophic when stationary in pool storage. Dry storage is a step forward in reducing radioactive risks; many environmental and safe energy groups have endorsed the concept of hardened on site dry storage (HOSS).
The risks go way up, however, when these containers containing waste that will give a lethal dose of radiation in seconds if unshielded are put on a truck or a rail car. Learn more—see the links below, and register for NIRS' telebriefing: STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS.
You will receive call-in information after you register. There is also a web-phone option.
STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS NIRS Tele-Briefing Thursday, October 15, 2015, 8 pm (eastern) to 9:30 pm (eastern)
Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director, Nuclear Information & Resource Service (www.nirs.org)
Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watch Dog, Beyond Nuclear (www.beyondnuclear.org)
David Kraft, Executive Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service (www.neis.org)
Judy Treichel, Executive Director, Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force
The telebriefing will be recorded and posted online. If you register, we will send you that link in the days after the event.
Hot Cargo Factsheet
Talking Points on Yucca
Science vs Fiction at Yucca Mountain
Bills in Congress that, if passed, would trigger transport of highly radioactive waste:
HOUSE: H.R.3643 -- Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2015
SENATE: Nuclear Waste Administration Act SB 854
Click here for a webcast of an October 1 hearing in the US House Commerce Committee: Transporting Nuclear Materials: Design, Logistics, and Shipment. Written testimony is posted here.
Thank you for your activism!