Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Challenge to USA’s Waste Confidence Rule – the idea that nuclear waste solution will be found later

The amount of spent fuel in storage might reach 150,000 metric tons by the year 2050, the appeals court noted in its ruling.

The court case challenged a “Waste Confidence Decision” — essentially the NRC’s estimate of how well issues of spent fuel will be handled in the future. 

The environmental groups are concerned because political and environmental concerns have prevented a solution to the issue of how to deal with spent fuel. “The continual, ‘We don’t know what we are going to do with it, but we know it will be all right’ is not sufficient,” said Ed Smith, safe energy director for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment…..

Group petitions for nuclear licensing halt, Columbia Daily Tribune By RUDI KELLER, June 19, 2012  A national coalition of environmental groups is asking that all nuclear licensing — including the Ameren Missouri request to extend the Callaway Nuclear Plant’s life for 20 years — be put on hold until a solution is found for storing nuclear waste.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League, joined by 22 other petitioners including
the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, asked the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission yesterday for the moratorium on new licensing
actions. In the petition, the environmental groups said a recent court
of appeals ruling mandates the action.

The issue is long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. Nuclear power
plants currently store their spent fuel rods on-site, generally by
placing the rods in a pool of water to cool them and block the release
of radioactivity. The amount of spent fuel in storage might reach 150,000 metric tons by the year 2050, the appeals court noted in its ruling.

The court case challenged a “Waste Confidence Decision” — essentially the NRC’s estimate of how well issues of spent fuel will be handled in the future. The court ruled against the NRC on whether it should do a full environmental assessment of the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. The court ruled that it must do that assessment.
“We recognize that the Commission is in a difficult position given the
political problems concerning the storage of spent nuclear fuel,” the
court ruled. “Overall, we cannot defer to the Commission’s conclusions
regarding temporary storage because the Commission did not conduct a
sufficient analysis of the environmental risks.”

Ameren late last year applied for a license extending the life of the
Callaway Nuclear Plant to 2044. It began operating in 1984 with a
license that was good until 2024. Ameren also is seeking to build a
second nuclear power station at Callaway but is several years away
from applying for a construction license.

According to the timeline on the NRC website, no final decision is
expected on the Ameren application until after 2013, but no specific
date is given.

The environmental groups are concerned because political and environmental concerns have prevented a solution to the issue of how to deal with spent fuel. “The continual, ‘We don’t know what we are going to do with it, but we know it will be all right’ is not sufficient,” said Ed Smith, safe energy director for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment…..

June 20, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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