Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear waste – Interim storage containers not necessarily safe

Nuclear chain 7 wastesLobbyistsRule, – comment on The Advertiser, 11 July 16 

  The scariest thing about the Royal Commission’s dump proposal is the above ground, decades long “interim” storage. Japan and Germany use expensive solid cast iron containers  (up to 20 inches thick) to hold their waste.  The containers proposed for our dump uses thin pressurised containers that are only 5/8th of an inch (16mm) thick and are not cast but welded – they are like Baked Bean tins compared to the German casks. Sure these thin casks are placed into a thick concrete overjacket, but all that separates the fuel from the atmosphere (via the cooling vent) is just 16mm of welded stainless steel.

The temperatures inside these casks normally sit at 200 to 300 degrees Celcius – but if the vents of the concrete overjacket get blocked the temperature can rise to 500 degrees Celcius.

These casks have only been around for twenty years – they should start popping all over the USA in a decade or two.

All this information is available from the USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission web site for anyone to read.


July 10, 2016 - Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia, wastes

1 Comment »

  1. Most U.S. canisters are thin-walled 1/2″ (12.7 mm) stainless steel (304/304L). They are subject to stress corrosion cracks, but cannot be inspected for cracks or repaired. There is no early warning monitoring system, so you will only know AFTER they leak radiation into the environment. Each canisters contains more Cesium-137 than released from Chernobyl. There are over 2000 thin-walled canisters and more added every year. The Koeberg nuclear plant had a similar container (a tank) that leaked in only 17 years. The cracks were deeper than the thickness of these thin-walled canisters. The U.S. has no plan in place to deal with leaking canisters, only promises of future solutions that have not even been submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for review or approval. Canisters with even partial cracks are not approved for transport. This information is hidden from most people. I only learned this my attending NRC technical meetings where the NRC staff and nuclear industry talk about unresolved problems. Learn more, including government and other sources for this information at

    Comment by Donna Gilmore | July 12, 2016 | Reply

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