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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

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.

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Thursday
Jan032019

Radioactive waste and the partial government shutdown

Logo from 2012 grassroots anti-nuclear summit in Chicago, hosted by NEIS, and co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear and FOEThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) bragged, in its 2013 draft Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS), that safety and security of high-level radioactive waste storage would be guaranteed forevermore, through institutional control lasting indefinitely into the future. But NRC's false confidence was exposed in real time, as public comment meetings on the GEIS, scheduled around the country, had to be postponed, till after a partial shutdown of the federal government (related to congressional Republican attempts to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare) was ended. How does the current, ongoing-with-no-end-in sight, partial federal government shutdown relate to radioactive waste issues? For one thing, Just Moms STL has expressed alarm that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's oversight at the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill in St. Louis, MO has been undercut. And, most cynically, as documented at Beyond Nuclear's Yucca Mountain website section, Yucca dump advocates, like U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (Republican-Illinois) and Fred Upton (Republican-Michigan), have attempted to exploit White House-Congress government funding negotiations as an opportunity to attach $60 million as a rider to restart NRC licensing proceedings for the highly controversial, unsuitable, and environmentally unjust high-level radioactive waste dump targeted at Western Shoshone Indian land in Nevada; meanwhile, President Trump's Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is reportedly scouring the U.S. Department of Energy for unspent funding to use to advance the Yucca dump scheme, a desperate approach of very dubious legality. If anything should be shut down, it is operating atomic reactors, so that they generate no more forever deadly high-level radioactive waste, for which no good, safe, sound solution has yet been found! (For more information on this dilemma, see the Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High summit proceedings, co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear, posted at the Nuclear Energy Information Service website; see the summit logo, above left.)   

Sunday
Dec302018

Environmental coalition files oppositional responses against ISP/WCS CISF in Texas

Thursday
Dec272018

Beyond Nuclear files Petition for Review and Motion to Hold in Abeyance (re: Holtec/ELEA and ISP/WCS CISFs) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Legal counsel for Beyond Nuclear (Diane Curran, of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg, & Eisenberg, L.L.P. of Washington, D.C.; and Mindy Goldstein and Caroline Reiser of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, GA) have filed a Petition for Review, and Motion to Hold in Abeyance (Beyond Nuclear, Inc., Petitioner, v. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and United States of America, Respondents), regarding the proposed Holtec International/Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, and Interim Storage Partners/Waste Control Specialists irradiated nuclear fuel consolidated interim storage facilities. The filings were submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. See links to the documents, below:

Cover letter for Petition for Review.

Beyond Nuclear Petition for Review, and Exhibits A, B, and C.

Petitioner's Motion to Hold Petition for Review in Abeyance.

Certificate of Service.

Certificate as to Parties, Ruling, and Related Cases.

Petitioner's Rule 26.1 Disclosure.

To learn more about CISFs, visit Beyond Nuclear's Centralized Storage website section.

Thursday
Dec202018

Resistance against high-level radioactive waste CISFs continues

Opposition to consolidated interim storage facilities (CISF) for irradiated nuclear fuel, targeted at the Southwest, persists. On Dec. 17, a coalition of environmental groups defended their legal standing, and dozens of legal and technical contentions, challenging the Interim Storage Partners (ISP) CISF for 40,000 metric tons of highly radioactive waste, targeted at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) national "low-level" radioactive waste dump in Andrews County, West Texas. Meanwhile, the licensing proceeding has moved ahead for the Holtec International/Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, targeting southeastern New Mexico -- just 40 miles from WCS -- with a CISF for another 173,600 MT of irradiated nuclear fuel. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has ordered oral argument pre-hearings in Albuquerque beginning at 9am Mountain Time on Wed., Jan. 23. Beyond Nuclear has legally intervened against both CISFs, after NRC rejected our motions to dismiss both licensing proceedings, for lack of legal jurisdiction or authority to even consider such proposals. What can you do to help stop these CISFs? When it comes to radioactive waste transportation, we all live in TX and NM. Urge your city, county, and/or state to pass resolutions opposing these CISFs, as many other communities have already done! To learn more, see our Centralized Storage and Waste Transportation website sections.

Thursday
Dec202018

Vigilance needed to block federal funding for Yucca dump

Yucca Mountain, NevadaCongressional Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Fred Upton from southwestern Michigan, have been trying hard to attach a rider to year-end budget legislation to keep the federal government operational, that would fund Yucca Mountain, Nevada (see photo, left) high-level radioactive waste dump licensing proceedings, to the tune of $60 million. Yucca is Western Shoshone Indian land, so the dump would not only illegally violate the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863, it would also be an environmental injustice. However, the U.S. Senate's Continuing Resolution (CR), passed yesterday, contains no such Yucca dump funding. If the U.S. House passes the Senate's CR, and President Trump signs it into law, then no Yucca dump funding would be added, at this time at least. But that's a big if -- the latest news at press time reports that Trump appears to oppose signing the legislation, and U.S. House right wingers are either AWOL (having lost their re-elections, they just left D.C.), or excoriating Trump for even considering signing it. 
 
Meanwhile, Trump's Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, appears to be doing some creative accounting, trying to identify unspent funding across the vast Department of Energy, to put towards Yucca dump licensing -- to the tune of $120 million worth. When it comes to radioactive waste transportation, we all live in Nevada. 44 states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts, would be traversed by high-level radioactive waste truck and train shipments (see 2017 entries), as well as surface water barge shipments. Please take action. Contact both your U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Rep., and urge that they block funding for the wasteful and dangerous Yucca dump. You can call their D.C. offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Learn more at our Yucca Mountain website section.