Australian news, and some related international items

USA’s nuclear waste dilemma

WASTES-1Flag-USANuclear waste, anyone? Feds look to willing states, The Orange County Register, June 22, 2016  By TERI SFORZA / STAFF WRITER Federal officials unleashed bubbles of hope in San Juan Capistrano on Wednesday – we’re developing a plan that can remove deadly nuclear waste from San Onofre earlier than we thought! – while others worked feverishly to pop them.

Speaking to a raucous audience at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, John Kotek, the U.S. Department of Energy’s acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy, detailed the federal government’s new push for temporary nuclear waste storage in regions allegedly eager for the business.

Several such “consent-based” sites – currently envisioned in West Texas and New Mexico – could be up and running while the prickly question of finding a permanent home for the waste is hashed out……..

Some in Texas and New Mexico say they’ll never consent to importing our deadly castoffs, and they’re ready to do battle.

“Please be aware that many people in Texas and New Mexico are solidly opposed to having high-level radioactive waste stored in our region,” said Karen Hadden of the Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition, a Texas-based nonprofit focusing on clean energy and public health, in a letter to San Onofre officials.

The DOE scheduled eight meetings about consent around the country, but none in Texas or New Mexico, the targeted region. … Dumping this dangerous waste on communities that are largely Hispanic and lack the resources to fight back, people who never had a say in the nuclear reactors to begin with or benefited from any electricity from them, would be an extreme example of environmental injustice.”

The Texas Democratic Party has gone on record opposing the import of nuclear waste, conjuring the stalemate at Yucca Mountain. The federal government spent $10 billion to put a permanent repository there, despite the opposition of Nevada residents. That effort is essentially dead……

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane explained the tortured landscape: a Congress that only sees two, four and six years into the future, and is satisfied that the waste is safe where it is today, at 75 different sites across the nation; utilities that want to reduce costs, and thus aren’t eager to make changes; a Department of Energy that doesn’t have the legal authority to solve the problem entirely; and a Department of Justice that is paying billions to utilities from a judgment fund of taxpayer money, because the federal government promised the utilities it would permanently dispose of that waste in exchange for payments, but has failed utterly to do so……

Macfarlane,-AllisonIt’s our ethical responsibility to not stick this problem to future generations, Macfarlane said to applause from the audience.

“I’m not hopeful new physics will be discovered to magic this stuff away. We have to grapple with it. It’s there.”

June 24, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: