Archive for May, 2014

CNSC Open House in Hornepayne on June 10th

On June 10, 2014, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will hold two open-house events in Hornepayne, Ontario.

Date: June 10, 2014
Afternoon open house: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Evening open house: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Royal Canadian Legion, 48 Sixth, Hornepayne, ON P0M 1Z0

According to the CNSC notice:

  • CNSC will explain their regulatory role and their early involvement in a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel.
  • CNSC staff will provide information about the CNSC’s regulatory considerations, including our licensing process, Aboriginal consultation, transportation of nuclear substances, and opportunities for the public to participate in the public hearing process.
  • CNSC staff will also answer questions about the federal regulator’s early role in conducting pre-project design reviews of geologic repository concepts. The CNSC has not yet received a licence application for this repository.

For more information from the CNSC about this event, visit http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/waste/high-level-waste/community-meetings-with-the-CNSC/open-house-hornepayne.cfm

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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WIPP may close permanently (May 2014)

Experts: Govt may never stabilize hundreds of explosive drums of radioactive waste stored at WIPP ­ Nuclear dump now at risk of closing permanently ­ Ruined for good by kitty litter? (AUDIO)

Published: May 23rd, 2014 at 8:27 pm, By ENENews
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The Verge, May 23, 2014: Radioactive kitty litter may have ruined our best hope to store nuclear waste; Billions invested in an underground New Mexico repository could be wasted […] The most dangerous nuclear waste in the US is currently scattered between 77 locations all over the country, awaiting permanent storage. Until February, many experts suggested that the best place to put it was [WIPP…] two emergencies brought that suggestion and WIPPs future into question. […] The damage and the resulting radiation leak could close the facility, experts say. […] the real lesson here may lie in the fragility of even the best nuclear storage facility. Corrective action at WIPP could be a massive undertaking. How many other barrels contain the dangerous organic cat litter? Are all of those barrels underground at WIPP? […] if the DOE decides stabilizing or repackaging the material is unjustified, that would close WIPP for good.

Per Peterson, UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering: Expert assessment will be needed [to] determine whether the safety benefits of stabilizing or repackaging the material in these drums are justified by the risk to personnel who would attempt to do this work.

Norbert T. Rempe, PhD, former WIPP principal engineer for decades: If [WIPP permanently closed], it would be a shame and a disaster […] we have no idea how long this will take until WIPP is back to normal operations, or what the new normal operations will be […] No one knows right now. And it could be a long time before anyone knows.

Jim Conca, writer at Forbes, geologist who worked for years at WIPP: It could shut down the most successful nuclear repository in history.

NPR, May 23, 2014: Organic litter is […] is full of chemical compounds that can react with the nuclear waste. They actually are just fuel, and so theyre the wrong thing to add, [Conca] says.

Ryan Flynn, New Mexicos secretary of the environment: It is clear that the wrong material went into some of the drums. […] Ultimately [the waste is] the responsibility of the Department of Energy. Its also now their responsibility to clean it up and fix it.

Carlsbad Current Argus, May 23, 2014: More than 350 barrels of waste containing the suspect chemical mixture are currently stored at WIPP

NPR broadcast on the WIPP nuclear accident here

As posted at http://enenews.com/experts-wipp-nuclear-dump-could-be-closed-permanently-facility-ruined-for-good-by-kitty-litter-govt-may-never-stabilize-hundreds-of-nuclear-waste-drums-at-site-that-risk-exploding-audio

Related Posts

  1. Officials now admit over 500 barrels of nuclear waste at risk of bursting open ­ AP: 368 already at WIPP dump ­ New Mexico sees imminent danger ­ State orders WIPP to prevent health or environmental threat; Must permanently seal underground storage areas May 21, 2014
  2. Kitty litter blamed for explosive nuclear leak at WIPP ­ Incredibly important to act quickly ­ All these drums are at risk, including at other sites ­ Must be gathered right away before they also burst ­ Summer heat will increase instability ­ Storage rooms must be sealed off to contain future events May 10, 2014
  3. Expert: Cracked nuclear container blew top off at WIPP ­ Hundreds more drums at dump risk energetic reaction and radiation release ­ Insider: Get forklift and remove them before another accident ­ Official: No imminent public threat at this time (VIDEO) May 19, 2014
  4. TV: US Senators want federal agents near WIPP to check if safe; A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse ­ Public skeptical whole truth about environmental risks shared ­ Report: It will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good (VIDEO) March 27, 2014
  5. Expert: No one in world has ever dealt with something like WIPP disaster ­ Continuous release of radioactive material 24/7 to environment ­ Nobody knows when leaking will end ­ Its a major failure for so many people to be exposed ­ Govt yet to say if dump will open again (AUDIO) April 6, 2014

May 23rd, 2014 | Category: Audio/Video Clips, US, WIPP

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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What should be done with nuclear waste?

By Jim Bloch, The Voice, Serving northern Macomb & St. Clair counties ­ Friday, May 23, 2014

Ontario Power Generation proposes to collect low and intermediate nuclear wastes from the provinces 20 nuclear power plants for the next 30 years and store it in a layer of limestone 2,230 feet below ground, less than three-quarters of a mile from Lake Huron. After three decades or so, OPG would close off the shafts to its so-called Deep Geologic Repository, abandoning the waste.

Some of the radioactive waste will remain toxic for more than 100,000 years. Plutonium 239, which affects the lungs, bones and ovaries of humans, will remain radioactive for 240,000 years. Thats longer than Homo sapiens have been on earth….

The word repository is particularly offensive to me, said Edwards. A repository, like the U.S. Congresss Book Repository in Washington, D.C., is immaculate and well looked after and someone is there all the time. The books are not abandoned. Theyre there to be retrieved and used. This is not a repository. This is a dump. They have no intention of retrieving this stuff. The language itself is very misleading.

Edwards and other critics want to see nuclear waste stored above ground in hardened onsite silos.

In my opinion, their main motivation for putting it underground is to make it easier for them to abandon it, Edwards said. If its above ground and safely packaged, they cant just move away without taking it with them.

No civilian body in North America has given its stamp of approval to the abandonment of nuclear waste, said Edwards. Thats a key OPG goal in the approval process.

How should the wastes be stored?

Keep them in hardened above-ground storage facilities on the sites of reactors for an extended period, like a couple hundred years, said Brennain Lloyd, of Northwatch, who spoke at SC4 in the fall of 2012.

In the wake of 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, a variant of the concept was recommended by Gordon Thompson of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Cambridge, Mass. Thompson pushed for robust security for nuclear waste, that is, storage in structures strong enough to withstand attack from a terrorist or other malicious opponent.

Spent fuel should be secured in three ways, Thompson said. First, it should be kept passively safe. The waste should remain safe without relying on electricity, cooling water or a human crew, any of which may be knocked out, as happened at Fukushima in Japan in the wake of the tsunami in 2011.

Second, the facility where the waste is stored should be hardened to resist an attack by anti-tank missiles and crashed commercial jets. At ground level, this would mean layers of concrete, steel, gravel and other substances around and above the spent fuel.

Third, the waste should be decentralized, that is, stored on the sites of nuclear plants, not at a centralized facility, which would be vulnerable to a single attack and dispersed around each reactor site if possible

Read more at

http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2014/05/22/news/doc537e2fe04d621191619458.txt

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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Michigan lawmakers ask Canada to scrap plans for nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron (May 2014)

Michigan lawmakers ask Canada to scrap plans for nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014
By Jim Bloch, Voice Reporter

[]

At a May 19 press conference, State Rep. Paul Muxlow, State Sens. Mike Green and Phil Pavlov, and Rep. Dan Lauwers call for a halt to the proposed nuclear waste dump on the shores of Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario. Photo by JIM BLOCH

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Calling a nuclear waste dump proposed for Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from Lake Huron, not safe and not acceptable, a contingent of state legislators asked last week for President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, the U.S. Congress and other parties to intervene and stop the so-called Deep Geologic Repository.

With the Blue Water Bridge and the St. Clair River as a backdrop, State Sen. Phil Pavlov, who represents St. Clair and Lapeer counties, State Rep. Dan Lauwers, of Brockway Township, State Sen. Mike Green, of Mayville, and State Rep. Paul Muxlow, of Brown City, held a press conference on May 19 to demand that the proposed dump be scrapped. All the men are Republicans.

Lake Huron is the centerpiece of our lifestyle and economy, said Pavlov.

The senator said he was shocked to learn of the Canadian governments effort to bury nuclear waste so close to our world class water resource.

Pavlov urged residents to visit ProtectLakeHuron.com and sign a petition opposing the dump.

With your help, well put a stop to Canadas dangerous plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron, Pavlov said.

The lawmakers said they would introduce concurrent senate and house resolutions calling on President Obama and Congress to work through the International Joint Commission to stop the dump.

The IJC was set up under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty to resolve issues between Canada and the U.S. related to the Great Lakes. According to the IJCs website, its two main functions are regulating shared water uses and investigating transboundary issues and recommending solutions.

The legislators said a second concurrent resolution would ask the Great Lakes Commission to study the nuclear dump and take a stand on it.

Read more at http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2014/05/22/news/doc537e1f40e370f008737408.txt

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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NWMO shows off how used fuel may be transported (May 2014)

By Patrick Bales, Owen Sound Sun Times, Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WALKERTON – New information about Canadas plan to deal with its nuclear waste is being presented to the public at every open house organized by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).

The NWMO was in Mildmay and Walkerton last week to show off the latest information on the deep geological repository (DGR), specifically dealing with transportation issues.

Sixty to 80 people visited the open house in South Bruce.

Transporting the nuclear waste from the various sites around the country, not just from Tivertons Bruce Power, is serious business, and an issue many opponents of building the DGR in their respective communities point to while making their arguments.

Visitors to the open houses had a chance to look at the container that has been licensed in Canada to house used nuclear fuel and store it as it is transported from where it is used to where it will be eventually stored.

Mike Krizanc, communications manager for the NWMO, was one of the many staff on site last week whose job was to help reassure the residents of municipalities, such as South Bruce and Brockton, that the potential for nuclear waste travelling through their communities was nothing to worry about.

Its a very, very robust container. Its designed in such a manner that even if there was a conventional accident on the road, there would be no release of radiation from the material that is carried within the container, Krizanc explained last Thursday afternoon in Walkerton.

Such is the type of assurance that many who are fearful of the transport of nuclear are seeking. However, Krizanc is the first to admit accidents happen. Still, he is convinced of the safety of the container and its ability to contain all of the radiation in case of emergency.

Read more at http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2014/05/21/nwmo-shows-off-how-used-fuel-may-be-transported

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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WIPP could be closed for 3 years (May 2014)

By Susan Montoya Bryan / The Associated Press
PUBLISHED: Friday, May 9, 2014 at 12:05 am

The head of the recovery effort at the federal governments nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico said Thursday it could be up to three years before full operations resume at the underground facility.

Recovery manager Jim Blankenhorn made the announcement when answering questions from the public during a weekly meeting in Carlsbad. He said the timeline continues to be a moving target, but full operations are expected to resume no earlier than 18 months from now.

Crews continue investigating the cause of a radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad that exposed some workers and halted operations in February.

Specially trained workers have been making trips into the repository in an effort to pinpoint the source of the release. Based on those trips, the focus has turned to a set of waste drums that came from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Officials at the meeting reiterated the possibility that there may have been a chemical reaction inside the drums. They were then questioned about what would happen to that waste if its deemed unsafe to store.

If we find a problem with this waste stream, its a chemistry problem, Blankenhorn said. The Los Alamos lab has some of the best scientists in the world. It would be up to them to develop a path forward to give us treated, safe waste.

New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said the theory of a chemical reaction is based on limited knowledge, and he urged officials during the meeting not to withhold any information. Flynn said hes concerned the public will lose faith if federal officials change their story every couple of weeks about what might have happened.

We need to know what happened. We absolutely need to know, he said. But we need to make decisions based on facts.

WIPP and Department of Energy officials vowed to continue to update the public on the recovery process and to keep the safety of their workers and public in the forefront.

Officials have pointed to safety as the reason they decided earlier this month to halt shipments from Los Alamos to a temporary storage facility in West Texas. The shipments had been going on for about a month due to the closure of the plant.

Los Alamos is under a tight deadline to get the plutonium-contaminated waste off its northern New Mexico campus before wildfire season peaks. The state of New Mexico pressured the lab to hasten the cleanup after a massive wildfire in 2011 lapped at the edges of lab property.

Lab Director Charlie McMillan said Thursday during a news conference in Albuquerque that the recent developments are very much a cause for concern. But he said it was too soon to tell if they will have any effect on the labs ability to meet the states deadline.

Read more at http://www.abqjournal.com/397095/news/wipp-could-be-closed-3-years.html

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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Officials: Train in crash hauled container designed for nuclear waste

INDIANAPOLIS – The head of the National Transportation Safety Board said this week that the nation’s railroad could pose a catastrophic threat to the U.S. population.

A train carrying crude oil that explodes or derails poses a threat to the health and safety of people, property and the environment, NTSB officials said.

It was a point underscored in Indianapolis on Tuesday, when a train crashed into a truck loaded with pineapple on the city’s east side.

The collision occurred when a truck hauling nearly 43,000 pounds of pineapples hung up on the CSX track at the intersection of Rural and Massachusetts Streets. Seconds later, a special Department of Defense train carrying a half-a-million-pound container designed to haul spent nuclear waste ripped the truck in two.

Read more at http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/officials-train-in-crash-hauled-nuclear-waste

Northwatch | Box 282 . North Bay . P1B 8H2 | Tel 705 497 0373 | www.northwatch.org

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