|published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 ||51 Views :: 0 Comments|
By Frank Munger
From the Knoxville News Sentinel
May 21, 2013
|From B&W Y-12: The latest conceptual image of the Uranium Processing Facility released by the National Nuclear Security Administration.|
For the past couple of years, the government has stood behind a cost range of $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion for the Uranium Processing Facility, but that range may not be able to contain the giant project's growing costs as the schedule gets pushed into the future and funding gets stretched out.
Todd Jacobson of Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor this week reported that, based on a Government Accountability Office briefing prepared for congressional committees, the cost of UPF could go beyond the $6.5 billion estimated cap and perhaps go well beyond it.
According to information in the GAO's 27-page briefing package, the "space/fit" problem that forced the UPF team to re-do the building's design to accommodate more equipment is a big part of the cost escalation. The GAO cited NNSA documents that say the space problem will add $540 million to the project's cost, delay the start of construction and delay the start of facility operations by 13 months.
|published Friday, April 26, 2013 ||329 Views :: 0 Comments|
Legislation would establish new agency to find storage for high-level radioactive waste.
|Gregory Bull | Associated Press file photo FILE - This Sept. 13, 2012 file photo shows the San Onofre nuclear power plant along the Pacific Ocean coastline in San Onofre, Calif. Two years after Japan's nuclear crisis, Alison Macfarlane, the top U.S. regulator, says American nuclear power plants are safer than ever, but not trouble-free.|
By Thomas Burr
From the Salt Lake Tribune
April 25, 2013
A bipartisan group of senators wants to form a federal agency responsible for finding homes for the nation’s scattered stockpile of nuclear waste — but only if the eventual storage sites would welcome the radioactive leftovers.
The draft legislation, unveiled Thursday, would implement plans from a blue-ribbon commission that sought to end a stalemate over what to do with tens of thousands of tons of high-level nuclear waste piling up around the nation at nuclear reactors since the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada was shelved.
The proposal would allow for temporary storage until a permanent facility is constructed. There are no plans at present to house either in Utah. A consortium of utilities backing a nuclear storage site on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation has surrendered its license.
|published Monday, April 22, 2013 ||361 Views :: 0 Comments|
Plan to spend $10bn on updating nuclear bombs goes against 2010 pledge not to deploy new weapons, say critics
April 21, 2013
By Julian Borger
From the Guardian (UK)
Nearly 200 B61 gravity bombs would be given new tail fins that would turn them into guided weapons delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers. Photograph: EPA
Barack Obama has been accused of reneging on his disarmament pledges after it emerged the administration was planning to spend billions on upgrading nuclear bombs stored in Europe to make the weapons more reliable and accurate.
Under the plan, nearly 200 B61 gravity bombs stockpiled in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey would be given new tail fins that would turn them into guided weapons that could be delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers.
"This will be a significant upgrade of the US nuclear capability in Europe," said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of Nuclear Scientists. "It flies directly in the face of the pledges Obama made in 2010 that he would not deploy new weapons."
|published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 ||2999 Views :: 0 Comments|
Nov 21, 2012
By Thomas Clements
From the Aiken Leader
Photo by: Tom Clements, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
CEO-designate Bill Johnson address the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) board meeting on November 15. The issue of TVA's testing and use of plutonium fuel (MOX) was notably absent from the board's agenda. Based on cost, technical and public relations problems, Mr. Johnson will have an easy decision before him to terminate TVA's consideration of weapons-grade MOX, a new fuel form never before commercially used. According to the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, the MOX turkey must not be pardoned and Congress must put it on the chopping block.
Columbia, SC – The Tennessee Valley Authority, the main nuclear utility that the Department of Energy is pursuing for use of plutonium fuel (MOX) made from surplus weapons plutonium, continues to stand up to DOE pressure to test and use the experimental MOX fuel.
The TVA board met at the Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville, Alabama on November 15 and the controversial MOX issue was avoided during board deliberations. In attendance was Bill Johnson, the new TVA CEO set to begin in January 2013. Even though DOE is now preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on MOX use, the MOX issue has not yet appeared on the agenda of the TVA board and TVA continues to maintain its stated position against MOX use.
In the public “listening session” at the start of the board meeting, the Alliance of Nuclear Accountability and several other organizations and individuals spoke about the foolishness of MOX testing and use by TVA and urged the agency to withdraw its consideration of MOX. ANA delivered a letter to board members pointing out problems with pursuit of MOX.
|published Monday, November 26, 2012 ||1854 Views :: 0 Comments|
By the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
Nov 25, 2012
It’s past time to take a hard look at what to do with the U.S. agency that manages the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
In a rare bit of bipartisan common sense, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat, and Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring at the end of the year, have introduced an amendment to the pending Defense Authorization Bill seeking to establish an advisory panel to take just such a look at the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Udall wants the panel to come up with ways to reform the NNSA, which is responsible for the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation and naval reactor programs. It oversees the U.S. nuclear laboratories, including Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. Together they employ about 20,000 people here.
The New Mexico labs and other NNSA installations have been plagued with untenable cost overruns, spiraling budgets and bureaucracies mired in red tape.
|published Thursday, November 08, 2012 ||2494 Views :: 0 Comments|
|From left to right: Kathy Crandall-Robinson (Women's Action for New Directions), Jonathan Epstein (Senate Armed Services Committee), and Katherine Fuchs (Alliance for Nuclear Accountability) |
Nov. 8, 2012
Recently, a delegation of Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) staff and members met with Senate Armed Services Committee Majority Council to discuss our opposition to the proposed Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) facility. Our delegation represented 67 organizations opposed to building the new Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Site in Tennessee. These organizations include national groups such as Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women’s Action for New Directions, as well as local groups like the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The 67 organizations all signed onto a letter circulated by ANA requesting that Senator Levin and his colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee not accelerate funding for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project. The UPF exemplifies many of the problems endemic to National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) projects, and has recently received media attention for contractors’ failure to design the building large enough to fit all necessary equipment inside.
|published Tuesday, November 06, 2012 ||1979 Views :: 0 Comments|
Nov 4, 2012
By John Fleck
From the Albuquerque Journal
Pictured is a B61 nuclear bomb. The National Nuclear Security Administration has underestimated by billions more how much it will cost to refurbish the nation’s stockpile of B61s, according to an independent cost assessment. (COURTESY OF wikipedia)
The National Nuclear Security Administration, already under fire for billions of dollars of cost overruns, has underestimated by billions more how much it will cost to refurbish the nation’s stockpile of B61 nuclear bombs, according to an independent cost assessment commissioned by the agency.
Already juggling its budget to cope with existing problems, the agency will likely need to come up with another $1 billion per year for the next few years if the project is to go ahead as currently envisioned, according to a summary of the assessment obtained by the Journal.
|published Friday, October 26, 2012 ||2577 Views :: 0 Comments|
Oct 26, 2012
By John Fleck
From the Albuquerque Journal North
After more than seven years’ work and $213 million, the new security system at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s most important nuclear weapons manufacturing site doesn’t work.
A lab spokesman acknowledged the project suffered from construction problems, and an internal government memo suggests longstanding concerns by the federal government about the way Los Alamos has managed the project.
The project, intended to provide tighter security at the lab’s Technical Area 55, where plutonium research is done and nuclear bomb parts are made, was scheduled to be finished early next year. Instead, it will be delayed indefinitely.
|published Thursday, October 18, 2012 ||2097 Views :: 0 Comments|
October 17, 2012
by Katie Heald
From Groundswell Blog
50 years ago today, the people of the world had no idea that the first steps of the Cuban Missile Crisis had begun, and the planet was about to be the closest that we have ever been to a global nuclear conflict.
For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union were in a standoff over bases the Soviets had built in Cuba for nuclear missiles. For most people in the US, this was the first time they had to face the stark reality of the danger that nuclear weapons posed to the entire planet.
In 2012, the dangerous nature of nuclear weapons is no longer a secret. And though we have made progress in the last 50 years in reducing stockpiles, limiting testing, and halting much of the development of new weapons, there is still much work to be done. There are still over 20,000 nuclear weapons on our planet, and President Obama has an opportunity right now to make changes to US nuclear policy that could make the world a much safer place.
|published Friday, October 12, 2012 ||3432 Views :: 0 Comments|
Oct. 11, 2012
By Rob Pavey
From the Augusta Chronicle
Environmental groups asserted this week that design changes and other factors will add at least $2 billion to the cost of the government’s mixed oxide project at Savannah River Site.
The one-of-a-kind MOX plant, which has been under construction six years, is designed to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium by blending small amounts with uranium to make fuel rods for commercial power reactors – a process that forever renders the plutonium unusable for weapons.
In joint comments responding to a revised supplemental environmental impact statement addressing changes in the MOX program, 40 environmental groups said updated budget figures are needed – both for construction and operating costs.