Australian news, and some related international items



SA NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION SPEAKERS: DR MARK NUTT Argonne National Laborator WEDNESDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2015 DAY 27 – excerpts from transcript

“……COMMISSIONER: can you tell us where the current US plans are for a high-level waste facility?

DR NUTT: As of right now, I would say they’re a little bit uncertain……So right now it’s really doing groundwork activity, open storage and disposal, to essentially be ready for when a decision is made to proceed with national policy towards disposal and storage. [ed: USA doesn’t know what to do with the wastes]

….DR NUTT: In terms of low-level waste generation it is probably – it is the biggest contributor. We have 100 – roughly 100 operating reactors that – the maintenance of the reactors, the clean up of the cooling systems all generate low-level waste that has to be disposed of. There are smaller contributions 45 from medical, industrial applications of radioactive materials that then become .SA Nuclear 25.11.15 P-1460 Spark and Cannon low-level waste. So by far in terms of volume it’s the nuclear industry that dominates the low-level waste disposal….. [ed: mdical wastes are not the problem, as ANSTO pretends]

…….it’s this inter-generational equity that people of today are gathering the benefits from nuclear electricity or nuclear energy and should deal with the problems of today and not pass the problems down…..[nuclear industry pretend to care about future generations, but no thought of stopping producing radioactive trash]

…there is a general consensus that it’s indeed temporary, that the ultimate 35 solution should be disposition of it in a geologic repository. There may be – there is countries that are considering fuel cycles where you might reprocess and recycle materials back to the reactor but either way you are going to generate high-level waste that would need to be disposed of. [ed: so new reactors that supposedly ‘eat wastes’ still produce wastes]

….We’ve gone towards interim dry storage at the reactor sites because all of the spent fuel pools for the US fleet are essentially full….[ waste pools full BUT THEY STILL KEEP MAKING THE STUFF!]

COMMISSIONER: Can I just pick up on the dry storage Dr Nutt? What sort of studies have been conducted in the US to look at the longevity of these dry storage casks and is there a view about – conservative view about how long they will last? S

R NUTT: I don’t – no one has done a study to put a – what I’ll call a line in the sand for how long they can last. Our regulatory framework allows storage up to 60 years, dry storage. We have studies underway within the Department of Energy’s programme, the Electric Power Research Institute which is our utilities research arm. It’s also investigating various aspects associated with 15 extended storage. The Electric Power Research Institute runs a group called the Extend Storage Collaboration Project which is involved in – a number of countries are involved with it that are dealing with the same issues that we are. So there is a lot of work going on looking at extended storage and what it entails. There has been several gap analyses done to identify what the key 20 issues are and the R&D’s under way to try to resolve those, so that there is confidence in extended storage. (there seems no reason for this confidence: sound like blind faith]

Waste Confidence 1

… When you get in to disposals, where I believe things get a little bit different because you are 20 dealing with long timeframes, you’re dealing with geologic systems, you are a large – sometimes large areas or footprints for the disposal facility and it leads to a little different type of safety case that one needs to consider to help build confidence in the safety of – the long term safety of the facility……[means they’ve got to convince the public somehow?]

DR NUTT: I’ll say it’s not possible to validate the long-term disposal models in the traditional sense. In that you can’t do an experiment and then run the 30 model and validate the experiment for the repository itself. You can do a variety of techniques to again demonstrate your confidence in the models and their ability to reasonably predict or estimate exposures out in the future…[ that doesn’t make ME feel confident] 

November 27, 2015 - Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016

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