Monday, December 16, 2013

Your Chance to Officially Let the NRC and the Courts Know How You Feel About Spent Fuel in Your Backyard

See below from the NRC blog website.

 In the link immediately below, is the NRC page you can paste in a comment on Continued Storage of Spent Fuel. 
It's easy.   You have to leave your name, that shouldn't be a big deal to you.    At the bottom of this post, I will addend my comment to them.
The public comment period on the Waste Confidence proposed rule and generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) ends December 20. During the 98-day public comment period (the end date was extended due to the government shutdown), the NRC staff conducted 13 meetings around the country to receive your feedback.
wcd_banner_smallWe’d like to thank the more than 1,400 people who attended these meetings, either in person or by teleconference. We have posted transcripts of the public meetings on the Public Involvement section of our Waste Confidence webpage. We appreciate all of you who spoke at the meetings providing your thoughtful comments. The safe storage of spent nuclear fuel and the impact on the environment are critical issues in the country’s nuclear policy. We here at the NRC are committed to ensuring that spent fuel remains safely stored until a repository can be built for permanent disposal.
So what’s next? The staff of the Waste Confidence Directorate is busy cataloguing the tens of thousands of public comments we have received so far. You can read the comments we’ve processed already using ADAMS and for Docket ID NRC-2012-0246). We are continuing to post comments, and of course we expect to receive additional comments up to the December 20 deadline. Instructions on how to submit comments are on the Public Involvement section of our Waste Confidence webpage.
Once the comments are fully catalogued, the staff will consider them and prepare responses to be included in the final GEIS and rule. These final versions will of course include any changes from the drafts stemming from the comments. We are working to issue the final rule and environmental study later in 2014.

Testimony to NRC 

When nuclear power plants were first built, the spent fuel pool was designed as a very temporary storage site.   The pools were never intended for long term storage.    I have studied the situation to a large degree, and I feel qualified to speak on these matters with several thousand hours of training in nuclear processes and radiation physics.   

I have a BSME from Northwestern University, and MSME from University of Michigan, and have worked as a Safety and Security officer on important Government projects, as well as being a Mechanical and Electrical Construction Estimating specialist. 
Because no Government knows how to handle the spent fuel “hot potato” in the long term, the problem has not even begun to be addressed.     There is no good long term solution, but we do have a good short term solution, and it immediately creates good productive jobs while making the spent fuel a whole lot safer than it is sitting in fuel pools near reactors. 
Dry Cask everything that can be Dry Casked now.    Typically spent fuels that have been cooling for 5 years can be Dry Casked. 
Until the fuels are put into Dry Cask, there is a risk of a regional economy killing event due to power loss/natural diasaster, or terrorist action.    There have been far too many close calls in the last few years, in the USA.    We are flirting with disaster.  Our good judgment in risk control has been decimated by lack of good choices and the hope of a Yucca mountain, always right around the corner. 
There is a GREAT interim solution, which creates good jobs in America, and we need that badly, and solves much of the problem, immediately increasing our safety and reducing our risk of terrorist attack. 
The numbers are simple, a dry cask can handle about 10 tons of material, and costs between $1M to $2M.

There is roughly 60,000 tons of spent fuel in the USA that is not already Casked.    USA generates around 2000 tons a year, and it takes 5 years to cool enough to be Casked, therefore 5 * 2000 = 10,000 tons have to wait to be Dry Casked, leaving 50,000 tons that could be and SHOULD BE Casked now.    
At 10 tons per Cask, that is 5000 Casks

Material cost of $1.5M each, that is $7.5 B in Cask material cost.   

Let’s allow 50% of the material cost as a labor cost related to making the slabs the Casks will sit on, and moving the fuel, documentation and testing, or $3.75B.    The security cost of monitoring and protecting the Dry Cask will be far less than securing the much more dangerous spent fuel pools, so there will out years savings on that cost item.

So the total cost with labor and materials will be around $11.25B to dry cask everything that can be Dry Casked now.    This is about $225,000 per ton.     Let’s say the process takes 7 years, an additional 14,000 tons will be created, that’s another $3.125B needed.   Or a total of $14.375B to dry cask ALL of the spent fuel in the USA up to 2020.    But keep in mind $4.8B of that will be going into the hands of US trade workers, who will immediately put that income back into the economy, and create a further economic boost when we need it the most.

In 2013 President Obama commissioned a study on the costs of “doing nothing” and found that Utilities have already sued the US Gov with 80 victories to recover their storage costs because USA did not come through with a Yucca mountain or similar.     Direct payouts around $2B, and further they estimated that as more plants age and close that the USA taxpayers could be on the hook for $20B in judgments by the year 2020.   And up to an additional 20% could be legal and consultants fees, bringing the tab to $24B

How much more simple can this be?     $14.375B to “pretty darn well” fix to the problem for 50 years and reduce our risk of disaster or terrorist attack, create good jobs, or squander $24B in judgment fees and lawyer costs and NO PROGRESS?

Although no viable long term solutions are currently available, we insist on the immediate transfer of spent fuel rods which have sufficiently cooled for 5 years in the vulnerable pools into more secure, hardened on site, dry cask storage.

Making matters far worse, years ago the NRC quietly approved burning the fuel in the reactors longer, resulting in "high burnup" waste, which turns out may not actually be safe for storage or transport. High burnup fuel, and it's excessive thermal and radioactive heat accelerating the degradation of dry cask storage containers, has not been adequately addressed in the GEIS.

While the NRC has licensed the storage of "normal" radioactive fuel for up to 50 years, they can't endorse the storage of high burnup fuel for even 20 years.   STOP high burn up fuel now.
MOX reprocessing IS NOT an answer.  MOX reprocessing is attempting to “burn up” the fuel by removing the plutonium from the spent fuel and concentrating it in new fuel rods to be burned in a nuclear plant.  There are 2 problems with this. 
 1) It is much more expensive to process and create the MOX fuel than it is to simply cask it.    A study by Princeton presented April 4, 2008 to Congress estimated that processing MOX including the costs of the MOX facility and decommissioning the MOX facility is about 10 times more expensive than simply Dry Casking.

2) The MOX fuel is far more likely to blow up in a modified nuclear explosion called a Moderated Prompt Criticality.    Even in the 1940’s it was theorized that a nuclear explosion could happen in a nuclear reactor, and in the 1950’s Argonne National Laboratory did a series of experiments that were filmed and proved that even with normal nuclear fuel rods, under the right conditions, and uncontrolled criticality could blow up the reactor.     With MOX, enriched with bomb making plutonium, this type of nuclear explosion is much more likely, as Japan found out in their Reactor 3 at Fukushima, which was running MOX.   The amount of Uranium detected by the EPA in Saipan, Guam, Honolulu, and California could only be caused by one thing….and explosion from within the reactor vessel, that launched the inventory into the air.    MOX is too dangerous, MOX can turn a 80 foot tall reactor with 6” steel walls into a “Canon” which can launch the entire inventory.   
The Dry Cask is proven technology, we can produce them in the USA, we can create jobs in the USA, and we can increase safety, all at an acceptable cost.    Most or all of the cost should be borne by the existing utilities, since they had the obligation to decommission their plants.    But I also propose that the US Government, using taxpayer dollars, assist the utilities, as it is in our common interest to Dry Cask as soon as possible, by providing 50% of the cost of the cask itself.   


  1. Waste Confidence??? How about another name like Waste-Terror, Waste unsolvable-problem, Waste radiated-forever, billion-year half-life waste not confident ....

    1. I know, I am amazed that they picked that name. Kind of like the "patriot" act

  2. The government reprocesses fuel all the time. Ever heard of a nuclear sub or aircraft carrier? The reprocessing technology is decades old. The reason we have spent fuel pools filled with spent fuel today is because Jimmy Carter outlawed civilian reprocessing. So let's ask democrats now how they pan to solve the problem that they created.

    1. Ah yes, deflect the situation into a political one. Sure that will "work"

  3. I think that, if it hould be a solution to this.... we all would know it.... especialy the governments and atomic enterprises/schools related businesses.
    I feel that ge, mitsubishi, etc, etc, etc..... have made it .
    They and their shills,...... hace already killed all of es.

    1. It aint over yet, but my calculation show that if we have 2 or 3 more Fukushima's, then it really is ALL OVER.

  4. More... not 2 not 3. One mln Chernobyl in the Fukushima. You must understand it. And you know it because it is BLACKOUT i Everything about Fukushima. AND I-131 TELL ME THAT IT WAS MORE BOOM THEN 1,2,3. IT WAS 4-5 DEC 2013, ISN´T IT?

  5. what are our chances with all the radiation in the environment.?

    1. Fukushima is not a kill shot. But it is a body blow. Its a wake up call, wake up, red pill time. Take action, did you provide testimony to the NRC?

  6. No more nuclear power plants! How stupid must we be to use fuel that can kill us for thousands of years after it is depleted? No more. Stop the craziness - profits earned aren't worth jeopardizing our future. Dry casking spent fuel is the best solution we have, but even with that the dangers are staggering. Who can imagine some won't crack open over the centuries to come?

    1. Right, but at least we can kick the can 50 to 100 years down the road. Compared to where we are at now....that is a "win"

  7. You know, you must understand it! You can not do it. In the USSR we had not USSR no, because we had Chernobyl. Chernobyl is minus 20 years for your Life if you live in the Russia and Ukraina and Belarus . Chernobyl is more bebis not with Life when they born. You can see a dog with many foots, seven kanske more? In museum. And bebies when they born they have not organ in those body an head and they dead. And... you can not understund it but Fukushima is one million of Chernobyl.
    How? You tell me . If you take your tests befo Chernobyl, and when Chernobyl did it and... and now. Had you 1000 CPM in the USA when Chernobyl did BOOM? NO! You had not it. I know it and... you can not understand it. I was a student in the USSR in the fysik. I understand when nuke tell not to people. I understand when you not tell about new Fukushima BOOM. You know about it. Only Cs-137 must grow now! But, if you had many BOOMs from Fukushima you can see logarifmic grafics as now. I-131 tell me that it was BOOM. Why? Pu-240 tell me "Way" . And Tritium tell me how much you can see that it was many tritium when USSR and USA had many bombs tested. And it was maximum med tritium, not Chernobyl . I know, I know. If president of USA tell me it is OK with radiations and corium and it is ok. Can USAs President live of Tokio next year with his family and swimming on the those beach? I know when one korrespondent did it in Fukushima he dead by cancer (leukemi). One million Chernobyls is one Fukushima, because you had not tritium as now. It is lg grafiks tell me. Your corium BOOM more är 3 reaktors and I-131 tell everybody about it. You hade not 4 mln bk/kg on the road 400 km from Chernobyl, but you have it in the Fukushima. And Pu-240 much more in the reaktor an in the bomb. Militar do not like Pu-240 in the bomb because it can do BOOM. Test watter in the every oceanen x m3 in this plase and you know how much Chernobyl in the Fukushima. It is easy.

  8. Versailles Palace was built with no toilet. All that opulence, and nobody had a plan how and where one can relieve of themselves, and waste would just pile up in the gardens and the whole place stunk. Nuclear power plants remind me of the Versailles. But at least human waste is/was organic. Nuclear waste is not. In the future human waste will also no longer be organic if we continue the nuclear path.

  9. The first step to solving the problem of nuclear waste is to stop creating it. If we subsidized solar as much as we have nuclear, we'd have enough clean energy to get by. Then cleanup amounts to isolating radioactive elements, glassifying them, and placing them in monitored, retrievable storage in geologically stable rocks.

  10. not worth the danger to life.concentrate on alternative safe energy

    1. Agreed, just set up my new PV system yesterday

  11. Cross-Post, from Sparky @Enenews:
    Hey Stock, my NRC "Waste Confidence" comment tracking number is 1jx-89es-c4ou. Thanks for the "push". Your encouragement here on Enenews and petition on NukePro was especially helpful. FYI, all comments can be viewed at:!docketBrowser;rpp=25;po=0;dct=PS;D=NRC-2012-0246;refD=NRC-2012-0246-0456