The Belgian Government this week received two recommendations: that geological disposal was the best way to dispose of the country’s most radioactive waste, and that the best way to determine where the waste was geologically disposed would be through a collective national discussion and decision. The recommendations come from ONDRAF, Belgium’s nuclear waste management organisation, as they published their latest updated estimates of the costs of dismantling Belgium’s nuclear facilities and safely disposing of the different types of radioactive waste.

GDF Watch 16th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 March 2018


LEADER of the Australian Conservatives party Cori Bernardi is pushing for a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, which he says will transform the state into the economic “Saudi Arabia of the south”. Speaking at the party’s election launch in South Australia on Sunday, founder and federal Senator Cory Bernardi said he wanted to reopen the debate on an outback nuclear dump. He called for changes to the law to allow for “all forms of energy production”, including nuclear power, urging authorities to “complete a full rigorous analysis” of the idea.

News.com.au 26th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 14 March 2018


The UK has long grappled with what to do with its nuclear waste. Now, the authorities are mulling an underground storage site and are offering cash incentives to persuade locals to accept the radioactive refuse. But environmental groups insist nuclear power must be phased out. A Cumbrian resident reviews the community reaction during the last site search process, and Prof Neill Hyatt explains the science behind geological disposal

Deutsche Welle 8th March 2018 read more »

Events in America over the past couple of weeks reveal some stark differences but also many similarities between the US and the UK that can help inform this country’s current debate on sorting out our nuclear waste. Reading British newspapers you wouldn’t know there was a debate, or that two important public consultations are currently taking place on how we permanently dispose of our nuclear waste. Reading American papers you couldn’t miss the bipartisan fervour behind the proposed solution. Across the US political spectrum, from The Heritage Foundation on the right, to progressives on the left like satirist John Oliver, there is common agreement that entombing the waste deep underground is the safest option. Called ‘geological disposal’, this is also the international community’s, and UK’s, preferred option. But in Britain the issue is unknown to the majority and opposed by a vocal minority.

GDF Watch 11th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 12 March 2018


The NDA group has supported over 1,700 apprenticeships and currently has over 600 apprentices in employment. Between now and 2021, the NDA aims to increase apprenticeships in the nuclear sector from 2,000 to 4,000. It will also focus on projects between civil and defence nuclear sectors. Apprenticeships at supply chain firms will also be increased by 20 per cent, particularly at smaller companies. Jacq Longrigg, head of skills at the NDA, said: “Apprenticeships are absolutely vital for us when it comes to making sure that we have the right skills in place to be able to complete the challenge of decommissioning our nuclear facilities. “Apprenticeships play a key role in bridging our nation’s skills gap and play a part in our commitment to the government’s Industrial Strategy, proposed Nuclear Sector Deal and the work of the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group.”

Carlisle News & Star 9th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 10 March 2018


A leading independent nuclear expert has called for increased monitoring of a Caithness beach after an “alarming” radioactive fragment was found. Dr John Large, who oversaw the salvage of Russian nuclear sub Kursk in 2000 and advises governments around the world, said the situation was “serious” and could threaten local communities. The tiny particle of reprocessed fuel from Dounreay was discovered to contain radioactive americium. Dr Large said the first recorded presence of the so-called “daughter of plutonium” in nuclear waste washed up on Sandside beach, near Reay, was probably discharged into the sea decades ago. He added: “The trouble is that 20 or 30 or so years later it has turned up on a beach. If it reaches the surface – which is quite possible given natural disturbance by the tide etc – and gets dried out it can become airborne, thus threatening local communities. It is alarming. “Of course it is serious. There’s not a lot you can do either – because finding these particles is a random process, you cannot predict where they are. “Monitoring needs to be stepped up because there is a real risk these particles could end up in areas of population.” A spokeswoman for Dounreay said: ”Addressing the legacy of radioactive particles in the marine environment around Dounreay is an important part of the site’s decommissioning programme. The particle monitoring regime for external beaches has been carried out for many years and is reported on our website.” The particle was the 275th to be unearthed on the beach since the discovery of the first in 1984. Found 18 centimetres under the surface during a routine sweep on January 11, it has a caesium 137 count of 110,000 bequerels of radioactivity. If ingested, americium-241 can work its way into the bones, liver and, in males, the testicles, and remain in the body for some time. Sand-sized fragments of irradiated nuclear fuel were flushed into the sea from Dounreay in the 1960s and 1970s. Particles of irradiated nuclear fuel were first detected on the Dounreay site coastal strip in 1983 and on the beach at Sandside in 1984. Work to recover particles from the seabed was done between the 1990s and 2012.

Energy Voice 8th March 2018 read more »

Press & Journal 8th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 8 March 2018

France – radwaste

Linda Pentz-Gunter: On February 22, the French government mounted a military-style assault on a small community of anti-nuclear activists who had been watchdogging, and living on, a site for the country’s proposed high-level radioactive waste dump in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France near the village of Bure. As many as 500 armed gendarmes in riot gear moved in at dawn, with bulldozers, trucks, helicopters, drones and chainsaws to confront about 15 occupiers, self-described “owls.” They had been living in tree houses and lookout towers for the past 18 months, keeping watch over a forest designated to be torn down for the country’s first high-level radioactive waste repository.

Counter Punch 27th Feb 2018 read more »

Posted: 7 March 2018

US – radwaste

Will We Actually Get A Place To Store Our Nuclear Waste? It certainly looks like it. At the end of February, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted Holtec International’s license application for its proposed consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, called HI-STORE CIS. To be located in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, the facility would store spent nuclear fuel, which is better referred to as slightly used nuclear fuel, until a final disposal facility is built or until we build our new fast reactors that will burn it, or we recycle it into new fuel.

Forbes 6th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 7 March 2018


Communities and Radioactive Waste: a social science perspective. Few people have spent more time examining and thinking about the issues related to geological disposal of radioactive waste than Professor Andy Blowers OBE.

GDF watch (accessed) 5th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 6 March 2018


Wood is leading research to make nuclear decommissioning safer, faster and more cost-effective by innovatively applying new technologies developed in space exploration, car production and medicine. Leading one of five projects selected from a shortlist of 15, the company has secured approximately £1.5 million funding from the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Innovate UK after winning a prestigious competition to find the best new ideas. Wood and its supply chain will combine new data and control systems with state-of-the-art robotics to design a demonstrator system for cleaning and dismantling highly radioactive rooms or ‘cells’ at Sellafield in Cumbria, UK, one of Europe’s most complex nuclear sites.

BINDT 5th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 6 March 2018


The “highest single remaining hazard” at a Scottish nuclear site is being removed. Work has begun on dealing with a highly radioactive liquid that has been stored in tanks at the Dounreay nuclear site, near Thurso, for about 20 years. The raffinate was produced as a by-product from the operation of the site’s Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR). The work that has started involves turning the liquid into a solid by mixing it with materials including cement, ash and lime. Before solidifying, the waste will be poured into drums.

Energy Voice 5th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 5 March 2018