Archive for January, 2018
The Swedish Environmental Court’s NO to the final repository for spent nuclear fuel – a triumph for the en vironmental movement and the science
23 January 2018 | The Swedish Environmental Court says no to the power industry’s Nuclear Waste Company SKB’s license application for a final repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark, Sweden. This is a huge triumph for safety and environment – and for the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG), the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), and critical scientists who have been presenting risks of the malfunction of the selected method. Now it is up to the Swedish government to make the final decision.
– We are relieved and very happy about the Environmental Court’s statement, says Johanna Sandahl, President at the SSNC.
– The fact that the Court rejects the power industry’s Nuclear Waste Company SKB’s applied solution means of course that the problem of how to finally dispose the spent nuclear fuel from the Swedish nuclear power plants remains. Though, this shows the strengths in a functioning environmental proceeding, in which safety issues and good documentation are required.
The statement concerns Sweden’s most important environmental case of all times. The Environmental Court has been taken into consideration viewpoints from all parties of the case, including the scientists who have raised their concerns about disposing the spent nuclear fuel in copper canisters. During the legal proceedings, the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG) and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) have presented the shortcomings of the applied method. For many years, the environmental organisations have been arguing that the Nuclear Waste Company SKB need to listen to critical scientists as well, and investigate alternative disposal methods, especially the possibility to develop a disposal method of very deep boreholes.
– This is a triumph for us. From now on, the work on evaluating safer disposal solutions will continue. The decision that will be made concerns waste that will be hazardous for thousands of years. Several independent researchers have criticized both the applied method and the selected site. There is a solid documentation as base for the Environmental Court’s decision. It is hard to believe the Swedish Government’s conclusions will be any different from that of the Court’s, says Johan Swahn, Director at MKG.
In parallel with the Swedish Environmental Court proceedings, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has been evaluating the application in accordance with the Act on Nuclear Activities. This morning, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority announced their statement to the Swedish Government. They approved the license application based on the assumption that the industry has “potential to achieve” the safety requirements. The Authority decision is based the continual step-by-step assessment in accordance with the Act on Nuclear Activities.
– We expect the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to continue the evaluation on the controversial issue of copper corrosion, in order to make sure the Swedish Government are provided with the best possible documentation when they are making the final decision, says Johanna Sandahl.
MKG and SSNC will continue to follow up the research in this field, as well as the Court’s argumentation and Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s work.
Summary of the Court’s statement, 180123 >> (in Swedish)
Now the Land and Environmental Court has made its opinion to the government regarding the final disposal method of nuclear waste in Forsmark: “There is still uncertainty about the ability of the canister to contain the nuclear waste in the long term.”
Forsmark – On Tuesday, two important opinions came about Swedish Nuclear Fuel Management AB’s application for a license for nuclear waste disposal. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SMM) recommends that the government give permission for a final nuclear fuel spent in Forsmark and an incineration plant in Oskarshamn.
“SSM’s message shows that our final disposal concept, which we researched and developed for almost 40 years, is capable of meeting the very high standards of radiation safety,” commented SKB CEO Eva Halldén after the announcement.
Later on Tuesday , the Land and Environmental Court’s opinion also came to the government, which then made the decisive decision. Judgment of the Court: Additional information about the capsule is necessary in order for the final repository to be allowed.
“The uncertainties are about the extent to which the capsules can be damaged by corrosion and processes that affect the mechanical strength of the capsule. The overall investigation shows that the uncertainty about the capsule’s protective ability is significant and that all uncertainties have not been taken into account in SKB’s safety analysis. current safety analysis reveals that the final repository is safe in the long run, “says the opinion.
The conclusion is that the final repository can be permitted under the Environmental Code only if SKB reports additional documentation that clarifies that the repository is safe even with regard to the capability of the capsule, the court will inform.
Regarding SKB’s application for permission to operate at the existing Clab plant and the planned Clink enclosure in Oskarshamn, the court is of the opinion that operations may be permitted under the Environmental Code.
As posted 23 January 2018 at http://www.norrteljetidning.se/uppsala-lan/osthammar-kommun/slutforvar-i-forsmark-domstolen-kraver-mer-underlag
January 23 – Sweden – Today, the Market and Environmental Court (MMD) submitted its opinion to the government, which will make the decisive decision, concerning the final disposal method with copper capsules. The court is of the opinion that further information is needed on the capsule – in order for the final repository to be fully permitted. There is an imminent uncertainty surrounding the sustainability of the capsules.
Today the message came: The Land and Environmental Court (MMD) estimates that more documentation is needed before they can allow the method in the application for final disposal in copper capsules such as Swedish nuclear fuel management (SKB).
“SKB’s investigation is solid, but there is still uncertainty about the ability of the capsule to contain the nuclear waste in the long run ” , it is possible to read the opinion.
Uncertainty about security
The question that MMD has looked into is whether the method proposed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel Management (SKB) meets the requirements of the Environmental Code and, ultimately, follows the law. The waste should be stored in copper capsules embedded in clay 500 meters down the urber at Forsmark’s nuclear power plant – for many years to come.
The cracking question has been: keeps the capsules?
“The conclusion is that the final repository can be permitted under the Environmental Code only if SKB reports additional documentation that clarifies that the repository is safe even with regard to the capability of the capsule ” , they write further.
Yes to location – but no to method
The right, on the other hand, says yes to the location of any final disposal facilities: in Forsmark and Oskarshamn.
“However, the operation poses a risk of significant damage to the Forsmark-Kallrigafjärden regional interest area, but the Land and Environmental Court believes that the national interest for final disposal should be given priority . Authorization is required for several Natura 2000 areas. If safeguards are taken, permission can be granted for Natura 2000 areas, ” writes the right.
But in the end, the court asks for more information about whether the capsules are actually safe. Hence, they say no to the method.
“Based on the current security analysis , the court can not find that the final repository is safe in the long run, ” they comment.
On Tuesday, however, the regulatory authority gave the Radiation Safety Authority ok to the method – after a five-year review. SSM believes that SKB has succeeded in showing that it is possible to meet all requirements for a radiation-safe final disposal.
The instances have, simply explained the test, the method based on different laws. Today’s opinion of the court’s weight is heavy.
Negotiations took place all autumn in the Land and Environmental Court of the Nacka District Court. The decision of the Environmental Court is one of five that must be passed before all is clear.
The government ultimately has the final word.
As posted 23 January 2018 at https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/uppsala/idag-avgorande-beslut-om-slutforvar-i-forsmark
Today (January 23), the Swedish Land and Environmental Court in Stockholm gave its opinion to the government on whether to allow the final repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark, Sweden. The court said it could not recommend the Government to approve of the application unless the industry can provide additional data proving that the capsules that would contain the spent nuclear fuels would not leak. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, has already given their opinion in which they recommend approval of the application by the nuclear industry association, SKB. The findings today is the result of seven years of investigations. After this the Government will give the final decision on whether to approve the application or not.
– We welcome this decision by the Land and Environmental Court of Sweden today. Its findings underline that problems of nuclear waste with the proposed method are far from being solved, says Rolf Lindahl climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace Sweden
– The decision shows clearly that even after decades of research, safe handling of nuclear spent fuel cannot be guaranteed. As such this decision is a clear signal to our politicians to as quickly as possible phase out dangerous nuclear power and shift towards safe renewable energy.
For more information, contact:
Climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace Sweden
+46 70 397 58 70
Pressmeddelande – 23 januari, 2018As posted at http://www.greenpeace.org/sweden/se/press/pressmeddelanden/Greenpeace-welcomes-court-decision-on-nuclear-waste/
A new recreational project is nearing completion in Walkerton.
The Community Improvement Committee (CIC) has announced that the new pavilion project in downtown Walkerton is partially complete.
The new picnic shelter is located north-west of the Saugeen River off Durham St. It is the only public green space in Walkerton’s downtown, and is jointly funded by the Municipality of Brockton, Spruce the Bruce, the Walkerton Homecoming Committee and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).
The CIC says they hope to also add a public washroom space as well. The jointly funded project will be available for use in the spring
BY RYAN DRURYJANUARY 11, 2018 2:00PM@r_drury08 as posted at http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/2018/01/11/new-pavilion-project-nearing-completion-walkerton/
Councillor On The Fence Over Proposed DGR
Neil Menage having second thoughts over DGR for low & intermediate level nuclear waste.
Saugeen Shores | by John Divinski, Bayshore Broadcasting, January 10, 2018 http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=98761
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is still on record as supporting a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) to store low and intermediate nuclear waste.
The subject came up at Monday’s (JAN 8) Saugeen Shores Committee of the Whole meeting as OPG’s vice-president of Nuclear Waste Management Lise Morton brought council up to date on what the company is doing.
But it was Councillor Neil Menage who threw a curve-ball into the conversation.
Menage, who has supported the DGR in the past, says he’s having second-thoughts about whether or not low and intermediate nuclear waste, needs to be stored in a planned repository at the company’s Western Waste Management Facility near Bruce Power.
He says he’d like to see OPG hold another Open House meeting to explain again why we need to spend over one-billion-dollars to have the low and intermediate waste go underground.
Morton, reacting to Menage, says “It’s important to have a repository for low and intermediate level waste to really protect the environment because these wastes do remain radioactive for many years to come. We maintain the DGR is the right solution for those wastes.”
She says though that they will take under advisement about possibly setting up future Open Houses, to explain the company’s thinking about a DGR.
The repository plans call for the wastes to be buried 680-metres below ground.
OPG continues to wait for approval to move ahead with construction of the DGR and that isn’t expected for at least a year.
A transport carrying drums of uranium concentrate became lodged against a second rig in Montreal River on Highway 17 on Sunday morning.
A northbound flatbed trailer, hauling steel, lost traction on the Montreal River Hill at about 9:50 a.m. A southbound tractor-trailer, carrying uranium concentrate or yellow cake, tried to go around the jack-knifed flatbed, said Ministry of Environment spokesperson Gary Wheeler in an email.
“However the trucks became lodged against each other, causing a small puncture (30 centimetres) to the cargo box of the trailer carrying the uranium concentrate,” Wheeler told The Sault Star.
MOE’s Spills Action Centre was contacted shortly after noon.
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission advised MOE yellow cake is a very low risk material with low radioactivity. The uranium concentrate was headed to Cameco’s uranium refinery in Blind River, approximately 260 kilometres southeast of Montreal River.
Cameco dispatched its hazardous materials team to the site in Rix Township about 100 kilometres south of Wawa. The team found all drums were intact.
“There was no radioactive hazard,” said Wheeler. “The team repaired the trailer.”
MOE staff also went to the scene and confirmed there was no spill of uranium concentrate or fuel due to the collision.
No one was hurt.
Highway 17 was completely closed until about 8:45 p.m.
The collision was weather related, said Const. Levis Brousseau of Ontario Provincial Police.
By Brian Kelly, Sault Star, Monday, January 8, 2018 3:54:31 EST PM, as posted at http://www.saultstar.com/2018/01/08/rig-carrying-uranium-strikes-flatbed-trailer