Nuclear Waste

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Even though it is no longer useful for nuclear power, spent nuclear fuel (SNF) poses a dangerous, long-term health and environmental risk. It will remain dangerous “for time spans seemingly beyond human comprehension.” Nuclear Energy Inst., Inc. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency , 373 F.3d 1251, 1258 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (per curiam). Determining how to dispose of the growing volume of SNF, which may reach 150,000 metric tons by the year 2050, is a serious problem.

Sub-projects

Topic Description Status Parents
Helms Proposal Proposal realistic plan for safer nuclear waste storage on the surface using extended-life over casks. Active Helms Proposal, Nuclear Waste

Background

  • In 2010, the NRC public the "Consideration of Environmental Impacts of Temporary Storage of Spent Fuel After Cessation of Reactor Operation; Waste Confidence Decision Update; Final Rules" -- http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-12-23/html/2010-31624.htm
  • This decision was appealed and they appellants won:
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the NRC had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in issuing its 2010 update to the Waste Confidence Decision and accompanying Temporary Storage Rule.
    • Here is the case: New York v. NRC, 681 F.3d 471 (D.C. Cir. 2012).
    • Of note, they said: "We further hold that the Commission’s evaluation of the risks of spent nuclear fuel is deficient in two ways: First, in concluding that permanent storage will be available “when necessary,” the Commission did not calculate the environmental effects of failing to secure permanent storage—a possibility that cannot be ignored. Second, in determining that spent fuel can safely be stored on site at nuclear plants for sixty years after the expiration of a plant’s license, the Commission failed to properly examine future dangers and key consequences. For these reasons, we grant the petitions for review, vacate the Commission’s orders, and remand for further proceedings."
  • As a result, many additional contentions were submitted on all open proceedings, and the commission lumped all these together and basically put them on hold until they could process the new NEPA Environmental Assessment.
    • This is CLI-12-16 -- http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1222/ML12220A100.pdf
    • Various petitions that were subsequently filed:
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Proposed Fermi 3 Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012)
      • Motion to Reopen the Record for William States Lee III Units 1 and 2, together with Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at William States Lee III Units 1 and 2 (dated July 9, 2012, filed July 10, 2012 (additional declarations filed July 11, 2012);
      • Beyond Nuclear Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Grand Gulf Unit 1 (July 9, 2012);
      • Beyond Nuclear Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Grand Gulf Unit 3 (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012);
      • Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Inc. Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant (dated July 9, 2012, filed July 10, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Seabrook Station, Unit 1 (July 9, 2012);
      • San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Spent Reactor Fuel at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012);
      • NC WARN’s Motion to Reopen the Record and Admit Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Spent Reactor Fuel at Levy Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012);
      • Petition for Intervention to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at STP Units 1 & 2 (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at South Texas Units 3 & 4 (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Bellefonte (July 9, 2012);
      • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Spent Reactor Fuel at Watts Bar Unit 2 (July 9, 2012);
      • Intervenor’s Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Callaway Nuclear Power Plant (July 9, 2012);
      • Motion to Reopen the Record for North Anna Unit 3 , together with Intervenors’ Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at North Anna Unit 3 (dated July 9, 2012, filed July 10, 2012).
      • The Petition was not filed in the Indian Point, Victoria County, or Limerick dockets. We have, however, received new contentions in those ongoing adjudications.
      • Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc.’s Motion for Leave to Add a New Contention Based Upon New Information and Petition to Add New Contention (July 9, 2012);
      • State of New York, Riverkeeper, and Clearwater’s Joint Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning the On-Site Storage of Nuclear Waste at Indian Point, together with State of New York, Riverkeeper, Inc., and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s Joint Contention NYS-39/RK-EC-9/CW-EC-10 Concerning the On-Site Storage of Nuclear Waste at Indian Point (July 8, 2012);
      • Texans for a Sound Energy Policy’s Motion to Reinstate Contentions TSEP-ENV-17 and TSEP-ENV-18, or in the Alternative for Leave to File a New Contention (July 9, 2012, amended July 10, 2012);
      • Joint Motion to Dismiss Texans for a Sound Energy Policy’s Motion to Reinstate Contentions and for Leave to File a New Contention, and to Establish a Schedule for Future Submissions (July 13, 2012);
      • NRDC’s Motion for Leave to File a New Contention Concerning Temporary Storage and Ultimate Disposal of Nuclear Waste at Limerick, together with NRDC’s Waste Confidence Contention (July 9, 2012, errata filed July 9 and 10, 2012).
      • These three cases have been added to the caption of this decision for the purpose of providing guidance on all new contentions that have been filed on this topic. Three licensing boards have issued case management orders relating to the new contentions. See Order (Extending Time to Answer Motion to Admit New Contention) (July 26, 2012) (unpublished) ( Callaway license renewal); Order (Granting Joint Motion to Dismiss and Setting Schedule) (July 24, 2012) (unpublished) ( Victoria County early site permit); Order (Extending Time to Answer Motion to Admit New Contention) (July 17, 2012) (unpublished) ( Bellefonte COL).

Latest News

  • so now the NRC is processing this again, with the new Draft Report to be out in September.

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Project Form edit

Project Name Nuclear Waste
Project Description How to deal with ever-increasing deadly nuclear waste.
Project Founder Ray Lutz
Project Curator Ray Lutz
Project Type Issue Oversight
Project Parents Nuclear Energy
Project Status Active
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Topic revision: r6 - 2016-05-16, UnknownUser
 

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