Based on the news release, and on what we know of the list of invited witnesses, as of Jun 4, 2019, and noting the witnesses who should be listed, and are not, this hearing seems designed to create NIMBY gridlock, while overlooking critical problems, and needed solutions. There also appears a lack of planning and preparation. Perhaps after this posts, new witnesses will be added. The current witnesses have the knowledge to prove us wrong, and we write this with the hope that they will do so. The most basic point, which probably won’t be addressed, is that Holtec and Areva (now Orano) thin-walled Spent Nuclear Fuel Canisters/Cask Systems are dangerously unfit for purpose. Apart from the disproportionately thin walls of the canisters (1/2 to 5/8th inches thick), they lack proper monitoring systems, and are welded shut, meaning that they cannot be opened without cask destruction.
Mining Awareness 6th June 2019 read more »
Of all the things in the world to worry about, nuclear waste management is not at the top of most people’s lists. We trust (or hope, at least) that expert scientists and policymakers will make good decisions about how to make sure radioactive byproducts stay far, far away from us, by whatever means possible. But, many of those experts say, we’re going to need to figure out a new way to manage our country’s nuclear waste—and soon. To that end, the Department of Energy announced Wednesday that they are reclassifying the definition of “high-level,” or highly radioactive, waste stored in underground tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina, and the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls. The DOE hopes that the redefinition will expedite cleanup of the waste. Currently, the high-level waste stored at these sites is waiting for the government to open a secure waste repository (like Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which has been in limbo for decades). But if some of the less radioactive waste qualifies under the new definition, it might instead be shipped off to other sites, like one in Texas, where it could be mixed with “concrete-like grout.” The cleanup at Hanford has already cost the country billions of dollars and is projected to cost billions more as we continue the search for the waste’s final home. (Adding some urgency to developing a new plan is the risk that containers could leak and contaminate the environment, especially if there’s an earthquake in Washington.)
Slate 7th June 2019 read more »
Southern California’s San Onofre nuclear power plant was permanently closed in 2013, but the site remains home to 3.5 million pounds (1.59 million kilograms) of nuclear waste that has nowhere else to go. Members of a House subcommittee held a hearing Friday not far from the defunct plant to highlight the urgency behind efforts to build a long-term national repository for used radioactive fuel, a proposal that has languished for decades in Washington.
Daily Mail 8th June 2019 read more »