- In the 1950s "Atoms for Peace" promised "electricity too cheap to meter." Here's the reality: Paducah facing nuclear ruin. Ironic.
- Obama EPA Administrator appointee developed "radical" 1000-fold relaxation of radiation protection guidelines that were withheld until after election. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) blew the whistle, however the mainstream media missed the story, with the exception of Forbes.
Many large (and small) environmental groups apparently also missed this major policy change, as evidenced by this letter in support of the approval of Ms. McCarthy as EPA Administrator.
- At the same time that he is tripling the public subsidy for new nuclear reactor construction to $58 billion, politician Obama hands Harry Reid a big re-election boost by permanently removing Yucca Mountain as the nation's HLW repository. So, with existing HLW waste sites already leaking into our land and water there will be more SNF and HLW generated by more reactors while no long-term HLW storage facility will be available to safely store the waste for at least 90 more years, according to NRC whose job it is to reject/accept/modify the DOE motion to withdraw the license application with prejudice. This is not the rational, science-based policy promised by candidate Obama. The nuclear industry, which in the past has successfully sued for DOE's failure to meet the HLW repository deadlines, has been uncharacteristically quiet this time around. Undoubtedly Obama's $58 billion handout of public money at work. Meanwhile, Bush administration promises on 21 yet-to-built reactors add billions of dollars to public liability.DOE's March 3, 2010 notice of the motion to withdraw the Yucca Mountainn HLW repository license application with prejudice
Text of the DOE motion to NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to withdraw the Yucca Mountain HLW repository license application
- Obama forges ahead with "Bomb-plex" plans for uranium enrichment and plutonium pit production
- WCS receives first shipment of Class B and Class C LLRW from Studsvik.
The Studsvik partnership with WCS is likely to expand into other waste streams. See Studvik's radioactive waste processing services, Studsvik to recycle Bruce Power's pressure vessels previously destined for disposal, and Studsvik opens radioactive metals operation in West Cumbria.
- Ongoing regulatory failures continue at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC):
NRC's misclassification of depleted uranium (DU) as Class A low-level waste draws Congressional fire
- Scientific American article discusses unsolved problem of nuclear waste.
South Carolina is advised to reject renewed nuclear industry efforts to subsidize spent fuel reprocessing.
Independent consulting firm advises Vermont to expect high-level wastes to remain onsite indefinitely.
- Green-stickered CWM supporters turn out for Lewiston, NY hazardous waste landfill expansion
- On January 14, 2009 Texas granted an operating license to Waste Control Specialists for a huge Low-Level Radioactive Waste disposal facility after dismissing a request by Sierra Club for a contested hearing to examine several site unsuitablility issues. This 28 million cubic feet LLRW waste disposal site is likely to become the nation's largest "low-level" dump. See Dallas Morning News story, PRN story, and ENS story. On May 9, 2009 Andrews County voters became the owners of the new dump via a $75 million public bond issue.
Green-shirted Waste Control Specialists supporters pack Texas LLRW dump approval meeting
- The Lone Star Sierra Club has sued the State of Texas for a contested hearing to review the state decision to grant a by-product disposal facility license; more information.
Despite opposition from its own scientists,in May 2008 Texas granted Waste Control Specialists (WCS) a disposal license for misclassified high-radium-content African ore residues (K-65 residues and others), and all other 11e.(2) by-product wastes.
- The Barnwell, SC low-level dump is to close on July 1, 2008. NRC issues an advisory to licensees.
- The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation has started a state-level rulemaking for cleanup of nuclear sites, 6 NYCRR Part 384, that corresponds to the NRC's federal license termination rule (LTR), 10CFR20(E). See the DEC announcement and F.A.C.T.S.' Part 384 scoping comments.
This NYS rulemaking should have been completed eight years ago (by 8/20/2000) according to the NRC's Agreement State rules. NYS reportedly gave this rulemaking a low priority, despite its significance to NYS nuclear site cleanups. Only under threat of losing its Agreement State status (and program) is NYS now pursuing the rulemaking; see November 2005 NRC letter and 2006 NRC report.
The State Department of Health, which in 2006 assumed responsibility for industrial radioactive material licensing from the Labor Department, will be conducting its own separate rulemaking. The NYC Health Department completed its corresponding rulemaking in January 2007.
- Ignoring well-reasoned bipartisan criticisms of his proposal, Bush pushes for commercial HLW reprocessing
- Fake firm gets license from NRC sufficient to build a "dirty bomb".
- Near-criticality spill in 2006 at Nuclear Fuel Services of Erwin, TN was covered up under a secrecy agreement between DOE and NRC. Nuclear Fuel Services ran the only private nuclear fuel reprocessing facility that ever operated in this country. Located at West Valley NY, the facility reprocessed spent nuclear fuel from 1966 to 1972. In the course of these operations there were numerous environmental contamination incidents and high worker exposures. NFS subsequently pulled out in 1976 leaving behind a multi-billion dollar cleanup.
- NRC has finalized a change (NUREG 1757, Vol. 1 Rev. 2, page 160) to the License Termination Rule's implementing regulations that removes one of the fundamental principles of radioactive waste management : the longstanding ban on dilution of wastes in order to meet decommissioning standards. This incredibly irresponsible Bush administration move has made the intentional mixing of soil to dilute waste concentrations a legal practice.
This was proposed the wording:
The NRC staff will consider the use of intentional mixing of soil to meet the LTR release criteria (i.e., where the mixed soil will be left on the site) only in cases in which an "overall approach" to site cleanup is proposed that includes soil mixing and ALARA. Proposals to use intentional mixing should be part of an overall plan for decontamination and decommissioning (presented in a DP or LTP) of a licensee’s property in which removal and disposal of contaminated components and equipment, decontamination (and demolition, if appropriate) of buildings, removal and disposal of waste streams remaining onsite from past operations, and excavation and removal of large areas of soil contamination as waste, in a systematic fashion that seeks to achieve unrestricted release of the site and renders doses as low as is reasonably achievable. ... Intentional mixing should not be proposed as a sole remedy, for example, to achieve the LTR release criteria using minimal funds, unless this is the only solution to achieving the license termination dose criteria. [emphasis added]
This is the final wording:
The NRC staff will consider the use of intentional mixing of soil to meet the LTR release criteria (i.e., where the mixed soil will be left on the site) only in cases in which an "overall approach" to site cleanup is proposed that includes soil mixing and ALARA. Proposals to use intentional mixing should be part of an overall plan for decontamination and decommissioning (presented in a DP or LTP) of a licensee’s property in which removal and disposal of contaminated components and equipment, decontamination (and demolition, if appropriate) of buildings, removal and disposal of waste streams remaining onsite from past operations, and excavation and removal of large areas of soil contamination as waste, in a systematic fashion that seeks to achieve unrestricted release of the site and renders doses as low as is reasonably achievable. ... Intentional mixing should not be proposed as a sole means to achieve the license termination dose criteria, unless it is the only practical means to achieve the LTR criteria. [emphasis added]
Note the cosmetic change to the last sentence (emphasis). "Practical" indeed.
- IEER report shows Waste Control Specialists of Andrews TX to be unqualified to manage uranium wastes
- The U.S. drinking water standard for plutonium is 100 times too weak according to a new report by the Institute on Energy and Environmental Research
- The seventh report of the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation panel reiterates the linear, no-threshhold model, reduces DDREF to 1.5. See NIRS press release for details.
- Citing DOE's "cost-benefit" excuse, DOE-sponsored NAS panels issue two reports that say :
- New Mexico uranium enrichment plant proposal glosses over DU hazards/long-term disposal issues
- IUC's Hochstein : rising uranium price makes resumption of domestic mining likely
- EnviroCare sold for undisclosed $$$ to aggressive waste magnate with connections and checkered pastNew boss promises no immediate staff changes, company to be limited liability corporation (LLC)
Deal closes, Creamer withdraws conditional approval, and Utah acts to ban waste Classes B, and C
- University at Buffalo nuclear reactor to start decommissioning process with spent fuel shipment
- Post 9/11 paranoia : Oak Ridge "drill" nearly results in fatalities
More incompetence; ... another layer of privatized security, anyone?
- What the DOE Knows it Doesn't Know about Grout [PDF, 188KB]
Serious Doubts Remain About the Durability of Concrete Proposed to Immobilize High-Level Nuclear Waste in the Tank Farms at the Savannah River Site and other DOE Sites
- IEER's Testimony before the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program, November 11, 2004
- Washington voters approve I-297 barring more waste being brought to Hanford
- UCS report reveals disastrous consequences of terrorist attack on Indian Point nuclear station
- Bush's pro-nuke NRC issues new regulations designed to stifle public comment
- Paltry public turnout at Yucca hearings as DOE grinds aheadFor the latest Yucca Mtn developments see Eureka County page