Archive for June, 2016

Swedish nuclear waste burial plan goes to next step in review (June 2016)

The regulator has now also assessed that SKB has the potential to comply with SSM’s nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements for the final disposal of used fuel in its proposed repository at Forsmark. The SSM has recommended to the Land and Environment Court that the repository system “should be deemed a permissible activity according to the Swedish Environmental Code”.

The SSM said it based its assessment on SKB having sufficiently demonstrated: the rationale behind the choice of Forsmark as the preferred location for the repository; the rationale behind the preferred method for final disposal; and its capability meet radiation safety requirements during the development and operation of the encapsulation and repository facilities.
The Swedish company SKB’s proposal for a deep geological repository for nuclear fuel waste is moving to the next stage in the review process, which began in 2011. In future steps, the SKB will have to demonstrate the repository’s radiological long-term safety.”

The review agency is expected to issue its final opinion 2017. The final decision to authorize the project will be made by the government, which will base its decision on the assessments of both the SSM and the Land and Environment Court. However, before the government makes a final decision, it will consult with the municipalities of Oskarshamn and Östhammars, which have the power to veto the application.

Source: Story published by World Nuclear News
Swedish regulator approves repository application

29 June 2016

The licence application by Sweden’s radioactive waste management company for an integrated system for the final disposal of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste has been endorsed by the country’s Radiation Safety Authority (SSM). A final decision to licence the facilities will be made next year.

Forsmark used fuel repository concept – 460 (SKB)
An artist’s impression of the planned repository concept, with its 66-kilometre network of underground tunnels (Image: SKB)

Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) submitted applications to build the country’s first repository for used nuclear fuel, together with a plant to encapsulate the fuel prior to disposal, to the SSM in March 2011. The integrated facility – the encapsulation plant and the Clab interim storage facility – is referred to in SKB’s application as Clink. SKB has since made both clarifications and additions to the applications. The company has also submitted an application to extend the storage capacity of the Clab facility from the current 8000 tonnes of fuel to 11,000 tonnes.

The applications are being reviewed by the SSM and the Land and Environment Court in Stockholm. The SSM is considering questions of nuclear safety and radiation at the facilities as laid down in the country’s Nuclear Activities Act. The review undertaken by the Land and Environment Court is based on the Environment Code.

In March, the SSM gave a positive assessment of SKB’s application for its planned used nuclear fuel encapsulation plant next to the Clab interim storage facility in Oskarshamn.

The regulator has now also assessed that SKB has the potential to comply with SSM’s nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements for the final disposal of used fuel in its proposed repository at Forsmark. The SSM has recommended to the Land and Environment Court that the repository system “should be deemed a permissible activity according to the Swedish Environmental Code”.

The SSM said it based its assessment on SKB having sufficiently demonstrated: the rationale behind the choice of Forsmark as the preferred location for the repository; the rationale behind the preferred method for final disposal; and its capability meet radiation safety requirements during the development and operation of the encapsulation and repository facilities.

Ansi Gerhardsson, head of radiation safety at SSM, said: “We assess that SKB, at this stage of the authorization process, has adequately demonstrated the repository can be safe over the long term from the perspective of nuclear safety and radiation protection.”

She added, “The Authority carries out a stepwise authorization process, which means that if the Swedish government decides that a licence is to be granted, we will at each stage in the process examine whether SKB’s repository fulfils our safety requirements. For future authorization steps, SKB will need to carry out further development of its safety analysis report to demonstrate the repository’s radiological long-term safety.”

SKB president Christopher Eckerberg said, “SKB’s safety assessment shows that we have the conditions to build a secure repository that meets regulatory requirements for safety after closure. This has also now been confirmed by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.”

“For the next steps in the licensing process, SKB’s research and technology development will continue, partly in cooperation with Finland, where our method has already been approved by the authorities,” he said.

The SSM is scheduled to issue its final opinion on the repository and encapsulation plant in 2017. The final decision to authorize the project will be made by the government, which will base its decision on the assessments of both the SSM and the Land and Environment Court. However, before the government makes a final decision, it will consult with the municipalities of Oskarshamn and Östhammars, which have the power to veto the application.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

As posted 29 June 2016 at http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-Swedish-regulator-approves-repository-application-2906164.html

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Swiss news source clarifies that underground laboratory is in rock formation not under study in Canada (June 2016)

A story posted on the Swiss news site www.swissinfo.ch provides an interesting additional detail to the information regularly provided by the NWMO about the project. The NWMO regularly references the Swiss underground research project and their involvement, and in some instances includes the detail that studies involve Opalinus Clay, but in no instances found in our search of NWMO documents did the NWMO clarify that the laboratory itself is located in a broad band of Opalinus Clay, and not in a rock formation similar to those found at any sites the NWMO is investigating in Canada.

“Nuclear waste is no match for ancient rock”, By Celia Luterbacher, St Ursanne, as posted on Swissinfo.ch

A special type of clay found beneath Swiss soil could solve the dilemma of what to do with the thousands of cubic metres of waste that will remain after Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants shut down.

If you join one of the subterranean tours at the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory in St Ursanne, canton Jura, the first thing you will see as you make the 300-metre descent is a dark tunnel lined with seeping, moist rock.

Go on a bit further, and suddenly the walls of the tunnel become bone dry. This marks the geological transition between limestone and Opalinus Clay – and for the Mont Terri Project (MTP) scientists, it’s as good as striking gold.

Read full story

As posted 27 June 2016 at

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Borehole Backers Abandon Spink County After Local Opposition (June 2016)

Redfield, SD | Organizers of a federal effort to assess whether nuclear waste can be stored deep underground have abandoned Spink County as a potential site because of local resistance.

A spokesman for Battelle, the nonprofit [sic] managing the project, said Tuesday that county commissioners made it clear they were against hosting the experiment before organizers applied to move forward.

Commission Chairman Dave Albrecht says there’s been “overwhelming opposition” to the plan from the beginning.

The U.S. Energy Department project is meant to help determine whether deep rock is suitable for nuclear waste disposal, but it would not involve any actual waste.

Still, organizers faced opposition. Before that, officials in Pierce County, North Dakota, voted to formally oppose allowing the experiment there.

Battelle spokesman T.R. Massey says there are alternative sites, but declined to reveal where.
News General

June 21, 2016, © 2016 Associated Press. As posted at http://www.keloland.com/news/article/news/borehole-backers-abandon-spink-county-after-local-opposition

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NWMO message man MIke Krizanic is leaving the scene

CFNO (Al Cresswell): Longtime Nuclear Waste Management Organization employee Michael Krizanc is calling it a career. The NWMO’s communications director is retiring at month’s end. He’s being replaced by Bradley Hammond. The former Ontario Ministry of Energy staffer says he’s looking forward to the challenge.

BRADLEY HAMMOND (New Communications Director for the NWMO): It’s one of the most fascinating projects out there in Canada right now. It represents some meaningful opportunities for the communities that are involved. And I think the direction of the organization is a positive one, and I’m really thrilled to have the opportunity to get together, and learn from Mike as we’re out on the road, and you know, learn from the communities that we get a chance to interact with and be in. So it’s a pleasure so far.

CFNO: The NWMO is seeking a community in which to house a deep geological repository, one that would house nuclear waste. There are currently nine Canadian communities still in the running, including the towns of Manitouwadge, Hornepayne, and White River.

Source: Station: CFNO FM (Your Hometown Sound) City: Marathon
Program: Regional News DATE: 2016-Jun-17 7:01AM

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Government launches review of environmental and regulatory processes to restore public trust – CNSC gets mention under “scope of review”

Environmental assessment processes as conducted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission are to be included in a review of federal environmental assessment announced today by the Government of Canada.

June 20, 2016, Ottawa – The belief that a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand is central to the health and well-being of Canadians as we work to get resources to market and develop infrastructure projects responsibly in the twenty-first century.

The Government of Canada took a first step to deliver on its commitment to review and restore confidence in Canada’s environmental and regulatory processes in January 2016 with the launch of an interim approach and principles for projects currently undergoing an environmental assessment.

Today, a comprehensive review of environmental and regulatory processes was launched by the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

To ensure an efficient process, the review is being closely coordinated across government departments and will focus on the following components:

· Rebuilding trust in environmental assessment processes;

· Modernizing the National Energy Board; and

· Restoring lost protections and introducing modern safeguards to the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act.

Consultation will be at the core of this review. The Government believes that rebuilding trust begins with a coordinated, open and transparent process based on scientific evidence, working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, and provinces and territories, and taking into account input from a range of stakeholders, including the public, industry, and environmental groups.

Canadians are invited to learn more and share their views at Canada.ca/environmentalreviews.

See this news release in full at . The reference to the CNSC is under “Scope of the Review” in the document at

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Mayors renew push against nuke DGR (June 2016)

Sarnia Observer | Mayors along the Great Lakes Basin renewed their push this week to keep nuclear waste from ending up near their drinking water supply.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, representing about 120 municipalities, passed a resolution Wednesday calling for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to recognize “the value of staying as far away as possible” from the water source for 40 million people.

In February, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna called on OPG to further study its plan for a repository in 450-million-year-old rock near Kincardine.

She tasked OPG with looking at different sites, updating cumulative environmental effects, and updating mitigation commitments.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley wasn’t at the conference in Niagara Falls, New York, but was one of a group of mayors who vetted the resolution – including calls for OPG to respond in a “thorough and comprehensive manner” to McKenna’s request for more information, for national governments in Canada and the United States to evaluate “social acceptability” of any proposed repository for nuclear waste, and for both countries to designate radionuclides (radioactive particles) under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

“It’s our hope that (Canada’s) government will reject (OPG’s proposal) and say it should not be in the Great Lakes Basin,” Bradley said, noting nearly 200 municipalities, First Nations and environmental groups have signed resolutions in opposition.

OPG spokesperson Neal Kelly said the corporation plans to provide the update to McKenna by year’s end.

It’s considering two other sites, in sedimentary rock in central Ontario, and granite rock in central-east Ontario, he said.

“The study is not to seek a new willing host community,” he said. “We still firmly believe that Kincardine is the best site for this DGR (deep geologic repository), but we are looking at two geological regions in the province.”

A joint review panel previously gave the proposal – to bury and seal in the rock irradiated materials like incinerated mops and clothing, and used reactor filters – its stamp of approval.

“We have a responsibility to deal with the waste and not pass it onto future generations,” Kelly said, adding there is scientific support for the proposal as the “safest solution.”

Bradley said approving the project would be politically perilous.

“The groups that I’ve been involved in, all the different organizations that have been against this, it’s massive across the whole Great Lakes region,” he said. “All we’re saying is we understand the need to care of the waste, we just do not believe it should be in the Great Lakes Basin.”

TKula, By Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer,Friday, June 17, 2016 5:29:23 EDT PM, as posted at http://www.theobserver.ca/2016/06/17/mayors-renew-push-against-nuke-dgr

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How much radiation is OK in an emergency? (June 2016)

The New Mexican | New guidelines proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly increase the amount of radiation that people can ingest in the days and years following a radiological accident — levels far higher than existing limits set by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.

Watchdog groups, academics and even some EPA officials worry the change could severely compromise public health.

The agency’s proposal, released in early June and open for public comment until July 25, suggests a two-tiered system to advise the public when water is too dangerous for consumption after a radiological release — an event ranging from an accident at a nuclear power plant, such as the 1979 reactor meltdown at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania, to a roadside spill of Cold War-era transuranic waste from Los Alamos to a deliberate act of terrorism. The agency has capped the proposed limits at 500 millirems per year for people over 15, and no more than 100 millirems for younger children, the elderly, and pregnant or nursing women.

The new emergency guidelines are at least 25 times higher than the current guidelines, which cap public consumption of radiation at 4 millirems per year. Opponents of the proposal say it will allow radiation exposure equivalent to 250 chest X-rays each year without medical need or consent. Others, however, say the limits are conservative and far more restrictive than international standards.

READ FULL STORY

By Rebecca Moss, The New Mexican,Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2016 11:00 pm | Updated: 11:26 pm, Sat Jun 18, 2016, as posted at http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/how-much-radiation-is-ok-in-an-emergency/article_b2eee300-1f19-5374-a83d-5f95c5df1853.html

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