U.S. House approves nuclear waste amendment

The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018 that would protect the Great Lakes from nuclear waste.

The amendment states the governments of the United States and Canada should not allow the permanent or long-term storage of radioactive waste, including spent nuclear fuel, near the Great Lakes. The amendment now moves to the U.S. Senate floor as part of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018 for further consideration.

It was written in response to Ontario Power Generation request for approval to build a deep geologic repository for nuclear waste in Kincardine, Ontario, less than one mile from Lake Huron.

“The Great Lakes are the lifeblood of our great state,” U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) said. “Right now, we have four spent nuclear fuel sites, including two in Southwest Michigan right on the shores of Lake Michigan. Keeping spent fuel there in perpetuity is not an option, especially when a permanent, responsible solution has long been available. This amendment sends a bipartisan message that we will continue working to protect our Great Lakes for future generations.”

The amendment was cosponsored by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI).

More than 35 million people rely on the Great Lakes for jobs or drinking water, and the lakes are 20 percent of the world’s freshwater.

Ten percent of Americans live in the Great Lakes basin.

As posted at https://michiganpeninsulanews.com/news/8477-house-approves-nuclear-waste-amendment/

Published on May 14, 2018 by Melina Druga

House moves to revive the mothballed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain

May 10, 2018 – The U.S. House is moving to approve an election-year bill to revive the mothballed nuclear waste dump at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain despite opposition from home-state lawmakers.

Supporters say a bill slated for a vote Thursday would help solve a nuclear-waste storage problem that has festered for more than three decades. More than 80,000 metric tons of spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants sit idle in 121 communities across 39 states.

The bill would direct the Energy Department to continue a licensing process for Yucca Mountain while also moving forward with a separate plan for a temporary storage site in New Mexico or Texas.

It’s past time for the federal government to “fulfill its obligation and permanently dispose of the spent nuclear fuel sitting in our states, alongside our lakes, rivers and roadways,” said Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., the bill’s sponsor.

“People are ready to do something rather than nothing,” he added, predicting a strong bipartisan vote in favor of the bill.

President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed reviving the long-stalled Yucca project 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas, but the plan faces bipartisan opposition from the state’s governor and congressional delegation.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said the U.S. has a “moral obligation” to find a long-term solution to store spent fuel from its commercial nuclear fleet. Trump’s budget proposes $120 million to revive the Yucca project.

“We can no longer kick the can down the road,” Perry said last year.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican who is locked in a close race for re-election, blasted the upcoming vote as “an exercise in futility.”

Heller vowed that, “Under my watch, I will not let one more hard-earned taxpayer dollar go toward this failed project — just as I have in the past. Yucca Mountain is dead, it is that simple.”

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, Heller’s likely opponent in the general election, has filed an amendment that would delay any licensing activity for Yucca Mountain until the White House Office of Management and Budget conducts a study of the economic effects from alternative uses of the site.

“I’m using every tool at my disposal to put an end to this administration’s reckless plans to turn Nevada into a dumping ground for highly radioactive nuclear waste,” Rosen said in a statement.

She called Yucca a “failed project” and “complete waste of time and taxpayer money.”

Nevada Democrats blame Heller for even allowing the vote, noting that he is a close friend of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who controls the House schedule.

“Sen. Heller tries to brag about standing between Washington and Yucca Mountain, but our weak and ineffective senator couldn’t even dissuade one of his closest friends on Capitol Hill from preparing to ram this bill through the Republican-controlled House,” said Sarah Abel, a spokeswoman for Nevada Democrats.

While the fight over Yucca resumes, lawmakers say they hope to make progress on a plan to temporarily house tons of spent fuel that have been piling up at nuclear reactors around the country. Private companies have proposed state-of-the-art, underground facilities in remote areas of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico to store nuclear waste for up to 40 years.

The nuclear industry has said temporary storage must be addressed since the licensing process for Yucca Mountain would take years under a best-case scenario.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

As posted at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/house-moves-to-revive-the-mothballed-nuclear-waste-dump-at-yucca-mountain/

AECL Public Meeting – May 10 2018

Northwatch has received notice that o

n May 10 2018, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) will hold a public meeting. The forum will provide an opportunity to learn about the company’s governance model – the Government-owned, Contractor-operated model – as well as its plans for the future. According to the notice, Claude Lajeunesse, Chair of the AECL Board of Directors, and Richard Sexton, President and CEO, will present at this meeting and will be available to answer questions from the public.

The meeting will take place in Pinawa, Manitoba on May 10, 2018 from 18:00 – 19:30 central daylight savings time; 19:00 – 20:30 eastern daylight savings time and will be webcasted live on AECL’s website (www.aecl.ca).

Members of the public who will be joining the meeting via webcasting are invited to provide questions in advance of the meeting via email at communications. This mailbox will also be monitored for any questions received during the meeting. Best efforts will be made to answer questions received via email during the meeting within the allocated time; unanswered questions will be addressed in writing directly to requestors.

For more information, please contact: communications


23 February, 2018 21:10

The 2018 “Nuclear Waste Online” webinar series has been launched. The first session will be at noon on February 28th, and will be an update and overview of the nuclear industry’s efforts to find a burial site for all of Canada’s high level nuclear fuel waste. Click on the link for details, including how to register. https://mailchi.mp/740a4a3b4ce8/cfx8ccozgv

NWMO report explains Elliot Lake’s removal from nuclear repository plan

NWMO Presents Mayor Dan Marchisella with a plaque thanking the community for its participation in the selection

Elliot Lake | NWMO’s vice president of Indigenous Relations Bob Watts presented Mayor Dan Marchisella with a plaque thanking the community for its work during the site selection process to find a location for a nuclear waste repository facility.

NWMO’s vice president of Indigenous Relations Bob Watts presented Mayor Dan Marchisella with a plaque thanking the community for its work during the site selection process to find a location for a nuclear waste repository facility.

NWMO’s vice president of Indigenous Relations Bob Watts presented Mayor Dan Marchisella with a plaque thanking the community for its work during the site selection process to find a location for a nuclear waste repository facility.

NWMO’s vice president of Indigenous Relations Bob Watts presented Mayor Dan Marchisella with a plaque thanking the community for its work during the site selection process to find a location for a nuclear waste repository facility.

Elliot Lake council was given the reasons why the community was dropped as part of an extensive search for a potential site for the location of an underground repository for waste generated by Canada’s nuclear plants.

The city was informed in December that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) had dropped the community in its consideration of a possible site, located north of Massey, as a potential location. Three sites were considered and would have required partnerships of several municipalities along the north shore, including Blind River and Serpent River as part of the process of developing a site for underground storage of nuclear waste.

NWMO’s vice president of Indigenous Relations Bob Watts presented council’s committee of the whole with a report on the organization’s findings and conclusions. Councillors Connie Nykyforak and Lou Cyr were absent from Monday evening’s meeting.

The NWMO hosted several public meetings since the site selection process was started in the Elliot Lake area in 2012 and worked closely with a local liaison committee in a bid to find a “suitable site.”

“It‘s been a lot of studies done, a lot of work done,” he said of several studies done, including geological mapping to determine suitability of the rock formations where the underground facility could be located, long-term stability of a potential site, safety, access based on terrain. Repository construction, operation and closure, and partnerships with municipalities within the potential site location.

The report found, “complexities associated with the geology, limited access and rugged terrain,” as some of the factors that led to the organization’s decision to drop the area as a potential site.

As part of its mandate, the organization also looked at partnerships between municipalities, First Nations and Metis communities as part of the development and operation of a nuclear waste facility.

“Social studies and engagement with people in the area identified low potential to develop the breadth of partnerships need to implement the project,” the report stated.

“The decision was taking into account all of these findings both from social and technical studies,” Watts said. “The decision was made to conclude the study.”

Kris Svela for ElliotLakeToday, as posted 5 February 2018, at https://www.elliotlaketoday.com/local-news/nwmo-report-explains-elliot-lakes-removal-from-nuclear-repository-plan-831882

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)

The Environmental Court’s statement to the government, 180123 >>(in Swedish)

As posted 23 J anuary 2017 at http://www.mkg.se/en/the-swedish-environmental-court-s-no-to-the-final-repository-for-spent-nuclear-fuel-a-triumph-for-th