Waste

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Nuclear insider cites dangers of Vermont Yankee casks

By Kathryn Casa | Vermont Guardian

 

Posted March 24, 2005

 

The casks that Vermont Yankee plans to use to store highly radioactive nuclear waste in Vernon are “time bombs” riddled with material, design and welding flaws, according to a former nuclear industry inspector and auditor of the Holtec cask system.

 

Obama administration about to fill NRC vacancies

 July 24, 2009

Decision will influence future of industry

By PETER BEHR of ClimateWire

The Obama administration is close to a decision on filling two vacancies on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, according to industry and congressional sources. The appointments would come at a pivotal time for the industry's hopes of a revival, as NRC weighs operating license applications for a handful of new reactors and a review of its waste fuel policy.

The administration is believed to have settled on former Energy Department official William Magwood and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor George Apostolakis as the nominees. Both would be welcomed by the industry, officials said.

France has not found permanent underground storage

Many Americans mistakenly believe that France has solved the radioactive waste issue. According to this report, 

that is far from the truth: 

 

Reuters, June 30, 2009

French radioactive waste to double by 2030, High level waste to rise to 5,060 cm 

By Mathilde Cru

PARIS, June 30 (Reuters) - France's highly radioactive waste will more than double by 2030 mainly as spent fuel derived from nuclear reactors mounts up, the French national radioactive waste management agency (Andra) said on Tuesday.

Andra draws up every three years an inventory of sites polluted with radioactivity and details quantities per waste category as well as volume forecasts.

In 2007, high level waste, the most dangerous category, accounted for 95 percent of French waste radioactivity but only 0.2 percent in volume, it said in the inventory report. A complicated scale lists a wide range of different intensities of radioctive waste.

High level waste will rise by 120 percent to 5,060 cubic metres by 2030 out of a total of 2.2 million cubic metres, the Andra report said. The 2.2 million cubic metres itself is twice the 2007 level.

PPL's License Application Challenged

Eric Epstein, Chairman of Three Mile Island Alert, contends PPL's application for a license to construct a nuclear reactor at Bell Bend near Berwick, Pa. leaves at least four serious matters in need of attention. 

Epstein contends that the federally required funds to decommission (close down) a plant are inadequate. 

He also told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that PPL's has no solid plan for how to dispose of low-level radioactive waste. 

Cumulative US Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Inventory

3 states' nuclear petition rejected

December 22, 2009

By Susan Smallheer

STAFF WRITER   Rutland Herald

BRATTLEBORO – The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a petition from three Northeast states that sought to have the issue of the safety of spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants considered in any relicensing review.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York had all petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to change its rules to include their safety concerns about the spent fuel contained in nuclear power plant's reactor buildings in any re-licensing review.

The NRC had rejected the states' petitions, and the matter landed in front of the 2nd Circuit, which is based in New York City.

Report: Spent fuel storage costs may run $225B

 

By BOB AUDETTE  Brattleboro Reformer

BRATTLEBORO -- If no federal repository for spent nuclear fuel is opened in the next 100 years, the nation’s taxpayers could be on the hook to pay for on-site storage, such as the dry casks at Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

That cost could run anywhere between $10 billion and $26 billion.

 

 

NRC CITES WAL-MART FOR VIOLATIONS

Official NRC News Release: 

Oct. 30, 2009

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., with four violations concerning improper disposal and transfer of tritium exit signs at its stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

The violations, issued Oct. 28, concerned the improper transfer or disposal of 2,462 signs from Wal-Mart stores in states under NRC jurisdiction between 2000 and 2008, and the improper transfer of an additional 517 signs between various Wal-Mart facilities. The company also failed to appoint an official responsible for complying with regulatory requirements and failed to report broken or damaged signs as required.

Corporation Promises "Financial Mechanism" to Cover Fund Shortfall

Rutland Herald     Aug. 20, 2009

Entergy: Yankee shortfall less short

By Susan Smallheer STAFF WRITER

 

BRATTLEBORO — Entergy Nuclear has claimed the $87 million gap between what it has saved for the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee and what it needs to do the job has shrunk to $58 million.

In a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the owner of the Vernon reactor said it would provide federal regulators with an unspecified "financial assurance mechanism" later this year to prove it was good for the money.

55-gallon Drum of Radioactive Material Misplaced in Cross-Country Transport Bumble

 August 19, 2009

Changed F.B.I. Agents’ Role Shown When Radioactive Material Went Missing

 

By ERIC SCHMITT

NORWALK, Calif. — The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack. Three hours later, the shipper found the drum — still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area — having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.

For an F.B.I. team here that vets tips and threats about possible terrorist activity, it was yet another false alarm in a job largely defined by hoaxes and bogus leads that must still be run to ground.

“A lot of time we are chasing shadows,” said Lee Ann Bernardino, a 20-year F.B.I. special agent who handled the case, “but it’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by.”

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