Leading Pro-Nuclear Senator: “Even if Yucca Mountain were open today, we’d still need a second repository very quickly” — Nuclear waste would fill it up very fast -NYTimes

Published: June 8th, 2012 at 9:25 am ET
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Moving From Square One on Nuclear Waste
New York Times
By MATTHEW L. WALD
June 7, 2012

The idea that the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada is dead has not gone down well in Congress, where some Republicans are trying to allocate new money to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission so it can revive its evaluation of the site’s suitability. But at a Senate subcommittee hearing on Thursday, some supporters of the civilian power industry said it was time to move on.

“Even if Yucca Mountain were open today, we’d still need a second repository very quickly,’’ said Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee and one of the Senate’s foremost backers of nuclear power. “The stuff we have would fill up Yucca Mountain very quickly.’’

Yucca [is] a volcanic structure in the desert about 100 miles from Las Vegas.

[...]

Published: June 8th, 2012 at 9:25 am ET
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25 comments to Leading Pro-Nuclear Senator: “Even if Yucca Mountain were open today, we’d still need a second repository very quickly” — Nuclear waste would fill it up very fast -NYTimes

  • VanneV anne

    Another email scandal rocks Yucca Mountain
    26 April 2005
    “A new series of emails from scientists working on the Yucca Mountain project, reportedly found on a public database of documents, suggest the US Department of Energy (DoE) was aware the volcanic rock at the site could not prevent moisture transport as long as eight years ago….”
    http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2028325


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    • apologies to interject … but for visitors on this thread
      tonight SAT 6/9 10pm is the 'Fukushima special' with Gunderson, Blume, Apsley and Dale, on CoasttoCoastam radio. First national radio discussion I've seen during the 14 months, going to 550 stations nationwide, and there usually is a call-in hour for direct questions to the guests. If you can get your call in, and talk to Arnie or the others, you will have 20-some million mostly Fukushima-unaware listeners who may benefit in various ways from your questions and comments, and the following discussion:

      http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2012/06/09

      thanks for the heads up jump-ball.
      One More Saturday Night All … Cheers to Fuku & everyone
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h-A_3puOCI


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  • VanneV anne

    Lawmakers Investigate Fraud Allegations at Yucca Mountain
    “In one a USGS scientist writes: ‘I don't have a clue when these programs were installed. So I've made up the dates and names. … This is as good as it's going to get. If they need more proof, I will be happy to make up more stuff.’"
    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/3171429/lawmakers-investigate-fraud-allegations-at-yucca-mountain


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  • VanneV anne

    This site has been deleted:

    Problems with the Yucca Mountain Site, vol. 2, no. 1
    http://www.sric.org/voices/2001/v2n1/yuccaproblems.html
    Problems with the Yucca Mountain Site … "Federal policy…has been to assure that "waste management problems shall not be deferred to other generations," …

    This is a quotation from this deleted site:

    Problems with the Yucca Mountain Site
    “There are 33 known geologic faults at or in the near vicinity of the Yucca Mountain site. In the past 20 years, there have been over 600 recorded seismic events of Magnitude 2.5 or greater within 50 miles of the site, the largest of which was a Magnitude 5.6 earthquake in 1992, known as the Little Skull Mountain earthquake. It was centered about 8 miles from the site, causing damage to DOE's Yucca Mountain project office at the Nevada Test Site (NTS).

    “The hydrologic picture at Yucca Mountain is complex and not well understood. The hydrology of Yucca Mountain consists of a thick, dry or unsaturated zone and a saturated zone, i.e., the water table below. The site was initially selected because, in part, the actual repository location would be in the dry, unsaturated zone, well above the water table.


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    • VanneV anne

      [cont.]
      This was thought to be an advantage over other sites as they were all located beneath the water table. [Now] DOE has determined that water moves rapidly through the dry, unsaturated zone by the discovery of an isotope of chlorine [36] at the repository horizon [800 feet below the surface] that is a residue from the above ground weapons testing program carried out in the Pacific Ocean in the 1950s…

      “Because the geologic and hydrologic characteristics of the site are so poor, the DOE performance assessment model includes radionuclide dilution in the groundwater as a means of reducing potential doses to individuals in Amargosa Valley. In other words, DOE is planning to intentionally contaminate an aquifer currently used for human consumption and irrigation in order to try to meet the EPA standard. This same groundwater standard is in effect for the WIPP transuranic waste storage site in New Mexico and is the standard for drinking water throughout the country. Only at Yucca Mountain are the DOE and Congress attempting to circumvent this standard….”
      http://www.sric.org/voices/2001/v2n1/yuccaproblems.html


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      • What-About-The-Kids

        Excellent find, Anne, as usual.

        Just one glimpse into the disfunction, political game-playing and manueverings which some of our gvt officials at our storied agencies and in the hallowed Halls of Congress seem to delight in playing…at the detriment to the rest of us.

        This lying and gamesmanship needs to be called out and those engaged in it, sanctioned, or better yet, fired! Americans can no longer afford to allow ourselves to be fooled by such folks. Our very lives and health of the planet is hanging in the balance, while they want to deny good science and look the other way while the nuclear criminals continue to poison our planet and very DNA, slowly committing mass murder through their unconscionable behavior.

        We deserve better and we should demand so through protests, our votes and refusing to have our tax dollars pay for any new NPPs and demanding our hard-earned money go instead towards insuring new technologies are created to speed up the time table and safety of decomissioning our entire fleet of 104 aging, Death Spewers.

        /rant


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        • What-About-The-Kids

          Make that "dysfunction." My spelled check on my smartphone keyboard seems to be "dysfunctional," "disfunctional" and malfunctioning today. ;-D LOL


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      • What-About-The-Kids

        "by the discovery of an isotope of chlorine [36] at the repository horizon [800 feet below the surface] that is a residue from the above ground weapons testing program carried out in the Pacific Ocean in the 1950s…"

        I would suspect a majority of the presence of chlorine (and who knows what other radioisotopes) would be mostly from the above ground testing they did right there in the Nevada desert, rather than from the tests in the Pacific…(though both are likely factors of its presence.)


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    • Well done anne.

      Great work.


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  • Ana Nabatonsti

    from article-
    "He(Senator Alexander) and others spoke of establishing of “consolidation sites” where wastes could be moved for surface storage. There are 10 sites around the country where reactors formerly operated but were torn down, leaving the waste sitting in concrete and steel casks, experts said."

    Giving the spent fuel to companies like Entergy is not the answer… Entergy is responsible for some , if not all of these 10 basketball court sized spent fuel repositories.

    Pretty scary considering the mess Entergy makes of operating nuke plants.


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  • homeenergyexpert homeenergyexpert

    Having started in Radiation Health Technology, my father working with above ground nuclear bomb detonation's, & my family & I getting Cancers from the fallout of 75-above ground tests, I have a unique perspective on this situation.

    I have been to Bikini Atoll, site of 23-nuclear bomb explosions, where from 1946-1958 they attempted to pollute the world. It is still an island of death, with deadly water, food & animal life.

    If we are lucky enough to dodge the, "Samurai Sword of Death", coming from a now 90% PREDICTED EARTHQUAKE before the end of 2012(*Per Mitsuhei Murata, former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, on 6-6-12, as the Japanese Government's latest revision data), of over R7.0, destroying Fukushima #4 fuel pool with the equivalent of over 5000 Hiroshima Hydrogen Bombs (*Per Professor Hiroaki Koide~Kyoto Univ. Research Reactor Institue)then we definitely need to focus on moving our GE Mark I Reactor Fuel Pools off all the sites & into dry storage. The GE "DEATH DESIGNER" would be shot in China! No one in their right mind would put a giant million gallon gasoline tank on top of an Elementary School would they? Yet our officials were bribed to allow fuel pools of over 5,000 Hiroshima Nuclear Bombs near explosive reactor buildings. FUEL POOLS EXPLODE WHEN THE GENERATORS GO OUT WITHIN A FEW DAYS! THEY EXPLODE~ see FUKU #3 EXPLOSION! I live 100mi from Yucca Mt., move it now in Dry Cask!
    Move them now before a terrorist does with a mortar or rocket…


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  • Ron

    Right, let’s just keep digging big holes and throwing it all in. According to Wired there is currently around 250,000 tons of it in the world. Other places mention up to 300,000 tons. The
    US has 70,000 tons stored all over the country while Yucca Mountain (at a cost of $100 billion no less) has a capacity for 77,000 tons. So setting aside the fact that a lot of smart people, including the head of the NRC Jackzo, think that YM is unsafe to store the stuff in, what do we do, just keep digging big holes all over the place and chucking it in? Call me silly but it just seems idiotic to be creating hundreds of thousands (and potentially millions) of tons of highly radioactive waste, stuff that has to be stored and babysat safely for many many thousands of years, far longer than any human civilization has even existed, for a relative moment’s worth of energy! And just to boil water! Think of all the variables that could happen to it in the meantime. And remember that old adage about the best-laid plans. Earthquakes, volcanism, erosion, corrosion due to water incursion, political upheaval, direct targeting by enemy nukes, people looking to
    dig it up for dirty bombs, accidental discovery, etc. etc.  What about recycling it? Well that comes with it’s own bag of issues.
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-09/20/into-eternity-nuclear-waste-finland
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=rethinking-nuclear-fuel-recycling
    http://www.fpif


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    • Plan Nine

      Let us remain vigilant and not drop our guard to the ever-present danger of UNDERPANTS BOMBS! Thank you for your dedication, Mr. Panetta! See http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-05-07/underwear-bomb-plot/54819030/1


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    • What-About-The-Kids

      I wouldn't call you silly, Ron, just INFORMED, unlike (sadly) most Americans and citizens of the planet. The "silly" ones (more like "insane" ones) are those who signed us up for such insanity without the wherewithal and intellectual ability to project far into the future to understand what the ramifications of such actions would be to our planet and all life as we know it. :-(

      A world in which PR and salemenship trump science, insight and integrity?

      Not on my watch! At least, not any longer, now that we have become fully aware of the egregious shenanigans of a (relatively-speaking) "few" greedy, short-sighted individuals.

      Time to speak up and keep shining the spotlight on such folks, until they are shamed into finally admitting their mistakes and are no longer allowed to hold the reins of such a corrupt power.


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  • Ron

    Up to 300,000 tons of the stuff in the world currently (70,000 of which exists in the US) while Yucca has a limit of 77,000 tons. I wonder where other countries are storing their N waste?


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  • KenR

    Storage is insanity. Nuclear Remediation WORKS. The technology has been proven on Radioactive Cobalt through Plutonium-239. DOE, NRC and all the criminals promoting nuclear keep it suppressed. A demonstration was last done at Rocky Flats Colorado in 1994 and has been ignored since. Nuclear waste can be totally destroyed AT THE POWER PLANT. It does not even have to be moved to special equipment. The machine that does it is the size of a 2 drawer file cabinet, and portable. While Senator Harry Reid is to be credited with stopping Yucca Mtn., he has been informed of this technology but has done nothing to promote it. http://energyblog.commutefaster.com/2011/08/21/plutonium-239-can-be-neutralized/


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  • jump-ball

    OT, but maybe worth listening to tonight SAT 6/9 10pm is the 'Fukushima special' with Gunderson, Blume, Apsley and Dale, on CoasttoCoastam radio. First national radio discussion I've seen during the 14 months, going to 550 stations nationwide, and there usually is a call-in hour for direct questions to the guests. If you can get your call in, and talk to Arnie or the others, you will have 20-some million mostly Fukushima-unaware listeners who may benefit in various ways from the discussion:

    http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2012/06/09


    Report comment