Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

USA’s ‘temporary’ nuclear waste storage nightmare

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given its permission to use the thin-wall canisters and to install more than 100 of them near the San Onofre State Beach. They are required to have a 40-year lifespan, which critics say is inadequate given that the spent fuel will remain there “indefinitely.”

the fact remains that the political will to transport such material is always out-of-reach. The radioactive used fuel thus remains on site

Spent Fuel Storage Still A Hot Topic in California’s Coastal Communities, Forbes, Ken Silverstein, 6 Feb 18 Radioactive material from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) will be making a short trek from the now closed units to a spot next to the beach — a move that has outraged community activists, who fear it will remain buried there for decades to come.

The paradox is an obvious one: the spent fuel generated by nuclear energy can only be stored on site where the units are located, which leaves Edison International’s Southern California Edison few options over where on site it can go. Right now the “nuclear waste” is in “wet pools” inside the defunct plants. But the utility is beginning to transport it to dry storage where it will be put in thin canisters and encased in concrete before it is buried. The process could take 20 years. 

The issue now is whether that used fuel should go elsewhere on the plant’s existing campus — further from the beach — or whether every attempt should be made to move it to an interim storage site. That could either be further up the California coastline or even to a different state, like New Mexico — inland and away from seismic activity. ……..
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given its permission to use the thin-wall canisters and to install more than 100 of them near the San Onofre State Beach. They are required to have a 40-year lifespan, which critics say is inadequate given that the spent fuel will remain there “indefinitely.”

Right now, there is 70,000 tons of radioactive nuclear waste that is the byproduct of about 99 nuclear generating facilities around the country. While the interim solution has been to store the used fuel on site, most experts agree that it should all be transported to a safe and central location where it could be permanently placed.

Political Tightrope

Doing so, however, would also be politically touchy. While many in California don’t want the radioactive material stored near their beaches, others don’t want it near their communities either. What now?

In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, David Victor, chairman of the SONGS Engagement Panel explained that there are now 17 reactors in 14 states that are no longer operating. Dominion Energy’s’ Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin closed in 2012 while Entergy Corp.’s Vermont Yankee shut down in 2014. And Exelon’s Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania may close in 2019  while PG&E Corp.’s Diablo Canyon reactor is scheduled to be shut down in 2025. …….

Where to store spent nuclear fuel has always been a divisive issue between nuclear proponents and opponents. While the industry has funded the research into permanent burial locations, the fact remains that the political will to transport such material is always out-of-reach. The radioactive used fuel thus remains on site — precisely the situation for SONGS and its surrounding communities.https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2018/02/06/spent-fuel-storage-still-a-hot-topic-in-californias-coastal-communities/#147e2ed61808

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February 7, 2018 - Posted by | General News

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