Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘high level radioactive waste’

Nuclear waste may soon be coming through your city. But you can speak out and say, “No!”

The public has until October 19th to speak out against a plan to dump dangerous radioactive waste in Texas from nuclear reactors around the country.

A High Level Radioactive Waste Dump?

A high-risk, high-level radioactive waste dump has been proposed in West Texas, and people across the state are speaking out against it. And they are not only speaking out against the dump. They are also speaking out against the transportation of high level radioactive waste across the state. Transporting this waste could put people’s lives at risk to leaks, accidents, and other threats.

In Houston, Public Citizen has worked with Coalition of Community Organizations, Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) to bring awareness to the issue of high-level nuclear waste transport in Texas. Together, these organizations kicked off the “Protect Texas from Radioactive Waste” Tour in Houston in late September.

At a community meeting in Fifth Ward on Sept. 24th and a press conference near downtown on Sept. 25th, Karen Hadden shared details on the proposal and its potential impact on communities around the state.

The Plan

What’s the plan? Some 40,000 tons of irradiated fuel rods from nuclear reactors around the country would be brought to Texas and stored at an existing low-level radioactive waste site for 40 years or longer.

What’s at risk? By creating a consolidated interim storage facility, a permanent disposal facility may never be created. Deadly nuclear waste must be isolated from people and the environment for a million years. Exposure to radiation can cause cancer, genetic damage and birth defects, and being close to unshielded waste is lethal.

Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director with Nuclear Information Resource Service, discussed how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held only one meeting in all of Texas on the original application, over a year ago in West Texas. By contrast, the NRC hosted five meetings this year in New Mexico for a similar high-level radioactive waste proposal by Holtec for a site near Carlsbad and two dozen for a proposed Nevada dump. Texan voices are being left out of the process. The NRC needs to let the voices of Texans be heard by holding public meetings across the state: in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso and Midland, where people would be at risk from potential radioactive waste transport accidents.

Kerstin Rudek, from Gorleben Germany, spoke about the high-level radioactive waste storage experiences of her community and warned people to fight.Waste Control Specialists’ re-started license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which has created a brief time for public input. The group shared that public opposition has stopped the siting of radioactive waste dumps in the past, and it can be done here.

A single train car could carry as much plutonium as was dropped on Nagasaki. While not in bomb grade form, radioactive waste could leak and cause catastrophe for communities living its wake. There is no need for deadly waste to come through Houston or any other community in Texas.

Public health and safety, including protection of the millions of people here in Houston, should take precedence over the potential profits of a company that wants to bring deadly nuclear reactor waste to Texas

Rail lines run close to many homes, schools and businesses and insurance policies generally don’t cover radiological impacts. An accident with a radiation leak could cause disaster, impacting our health and costing billions of dollars to remediate. The NRC should protect Texans’ health and safety and deny the license application.

Traveling from Gorlaben, Germany, Kerstin Rudek shared her story:

“Our rural farming community was targeted to take high-level radioactive waste in Gorleben, Germany, and in 2011, we stopped the the nuclear industry from bringing transports to our area with protests on the streets and on the railroads with 50,000 people,” said Kerstin Rudek. “We have serious concerns about risks to our health, our water, and our food. There’s been massive opposition, even from conservative people who never took action before. We don’t want the dangerous waste that is being dumped on us. I am here to share our successes and hope that Texans can prevent being dumped on!”

Texans Have Options

What could we do instead? The least risky approach to dealing with high-level radioactive waste would be to keep it at reactor sites, or nearby, for now and use more robust canisters and casks. There’s no need to move the waste anywhere and no need to centralize the waste, since a permanent repository is not available. Spent nuclear fuel can be kept onsite in dry storage for 60 years after reactors cease operating.

To learn more, go to www.NoNuclearWaste.org.

The public can comment on the license application until Oct. 19th. Comments on WCS/ ISP’s Consolidated Interim Storage Facility should include Docket ID NRC-2016-0231, and be emailed to [email protected]. Comment letters can also be sent from www.NoNuclearWaste.org.

The public can also submit requests for a hearing and petition to intervene in the licensing proceedings until October 29th. Information is available on the August 29, 2018 Federal Register

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/08/29/2018-18758/interim-storage-partners-waste-control-specialists-consolidated-interim-storage-facility

Read Full Post »

Oral Hearing Set for June 23rd-June 24th in Bay City, TX

Citizen opposition to more nuclear reactors in Texas continues. On June 23rd-24th an oral hearing will be held before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on the Citizens’ Petition to Intervene in South Texas Project (STP) Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4.

SEED Coalition, Public Citizen and South Texas Association for Responsible Energy are petitioners seeking to intervene in the proposed expansion of South Texas Project.

“Building two more nuclear reactors at STP is not in the best interest of the local community,” said Susan Dancer, a local wildlife rehabilitator. “Pursuing the most expensive and most water intensive energy source in a time of extraordinary drought and economic recession makes no sense. The local community will get stuck with more radioactive waste and bear heavy infrastructure costs if the proposed reactors get built. The existing reactors have not solved local economic problems.” Dancer chairs the Bay City based organization South Texas Association for Responsible Energy (STARE).

Attorney Robert V. Eye will represent the petitioners before the designated Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel and argue the admissibility of the 28 contentions citizens filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on April 21st. These contentions point out the inadequacies and the incompleteness of South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company’s (STPNOC) combined operating license application (COLA) to construct and operate South Texas Project Units 3 and 4. NRG Energy and San Antonio’s municipal utility CPS Energy are both applicants for the proposed reactors, which fall within STPNOC.

“NRG has failed to comply with new federal regulations regarding aircraft impacts,” stated Mr. Eye. “These new regulations are very specific and require the applicant to plan for catastrophic fires and/or explosions that would cause the loss of major critical functional components in the plant. After 9-11, an aircraft attack on a nuclear power plant is a real and credible threat. Moreover, fire hazards represent about half of the risk of a nuclear reactor meltdown. NRG’s noncompliance with these regulations puts citizens around South Texas Project in a dangerous position, which is completely unacceptable.” (more…)

Read Full Post »