Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba “interim” nuclear waste site – bad news, uncannily like the misguided New Mexico waste plan

KIMBA GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS,  by Peter Remta, 11 July 20   Is not the newspaper article below describing practically the same situation as with the Kimba proposals?

Should not the Australian government learn from this and the other unsatisfactory experiences overseas of which France is a main one despite being used as a successful example by the government for Kimba of community consent.

The author of this article and the former chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the USA (who incidentally has been to Kimba) would both be prepared to give evidence and their opinions to the Senate committee inquiry by video link.

However this article shows the effects of inept and incomplete planning as is the case with Kimba.

New Mexico nuclear facility is bad news, Las Vegas Sun, By Judy Treichel Monday, July 6, 2020, It may seem like good news in Nevada that an effort is underway in New Mexico to build a private storage facility for nuclear waste there.

But don’t be mistaken: This facility wouldn’t be an alternative to the disastrous Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. In fact, its existence depends on Yucca Mountain becoming an operating repository. That’s unacceptable, because the Nevada facility poses far too many risks for our state.

The license application for the New Mexico facility calls for it to operate over 40 years, after which the waste stored in it would go to Yucca Mountain…..  today those Yucca Mountain deliberations are on an indefinite hold.

Now comes the New Mexico license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which in the opinion of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force the commission should not have accepted with the assumption that Yucca Mountain would be an operating repository.

During all of the time that Nevada has been fighting the Yucca Mountain proposal, we were repeatedly assured that we could place our trust in the commission because before any license was granted for construction or operation, a thorough and unbiased process would fully play out. We were told there was no reason for questioning the fairness of the commission’s licensing process…….

Any siting of a facility that creates risk for the community should require informed consent, and the people of New Mexico do not consent.

What we see happening with this so-called interim site is that it does not solve the nuclear waste problem. In fact it increases the risks by putting the waste on the roads and rails, and requiring it to be loaded and unloaded multiple times and transported more than once. Additionally, the only way a site can be considered “interim” is to know that the waste will leave, and the assumption here is that it will leave New Mexico and come to Nevada.

The incentive for the company proposing to build the facility is purely financial — specifically, it’s to gain access to the $42 billion in the federal nuclear waste fund. An interim site does not increase or improve public safety, but rather does just the opposite. It creates one more nuclear waste site and provides more room at reactor sites for more waste. And it moves the waste closer to Nevada.

A national high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is an overwhelmingly unsafe idea. Nevada residents, elected officials and people across the country living near transport routes know it. For 20 years, the Department of Energy studied the site and discovered — or were forced to admit — that there were conditions present that, according to their own guidelines, disqualified the site.

If the licensing process ever restarts, how could we trust the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to fairly judge the science when it has previously assumed a licensed and operating repository at Yucca Mountain? Congress needs to reverse the action it took naming Yucca Mountain as the only site to be considered for a national repository, and take a fresh and fair look at nuclear waste disposal.

Initiatives like the interim storage site in New Mexico are simply misguided and misleading diversions.

Judy Treichel is executive director of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force

July 11, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics

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