|published Friday, April 26, 2013 ||271 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 Tuesday, January 15, 2013 ||2222 Views :: 4 Comments|
For Immediate Release
Jan. 14, 2013
Violation of NRC’s “QualityAssurance” Regulations Necessitate Re-inspection and
Possible Abandonment of Reactor Vessel
--- Exclusive ANA Photos Linked Below- Credit to ANA Must be Given if Used ---
Columbia, SC – The broken railroad car assumed to be carrying the massive AP1000 reactor pressure vessel destined for the construction site at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle in Georgia has been spotted unguarded near the dock in the port of Savannah.
The purpose-built, articulated“Schnabel” rail car, apparently under control of reactor vendor Westinghouse,sits parked outside on a rail line in a port area which is viewable from a public sidewalk. The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) is covered by a large blue tarp and is not directly visible. Beyond an occasional drive-by of vehicles, no security of any kind nor were any repair or inspection activities observed. No cranes capable of lifting the 300-ton vessel were visible.
“Though perhaps too heavy to steal or roll out of the port unnoticed, the reactor vessel and rail car appear highly vulnerable to malicious acts of damage, subtle acts of sabotage and humid,salt air-induced corrosion, “according to Tom Clements of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), who observed the rail car parked in the port on January 13.
|published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 ||2922 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 Friday, October 12, 2012 ||3351 Views :: 10 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.
|published Thursday, October 11, 2012 ||2805 Views :: 1 Comments|
October 11, 2012
Yesterday, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), in conjunction with over 40 other public interest organizations, submitted comments
opposing the MOX plutonium fuel program to the Department of Energy (DOE). The Mixed Oxide Plutonium fuel, or MOX, program would dispose of surplus weapons plutonium by turning it into experimental plutonium fuel (MOX). The groups oppose MOX for both fiscal and technical reasons and instead endorse preparation of a new analysis to review cheaper and safer options to manage plutonium as nuclear waste.
The groups’ comments were submitted as part of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) on plutonium disposition
. The Draft SEIS is required by the National Environmental Policy Act before the MOX program can move ahead. The comments focus on DOE’s poorly formulated plan for testing experimental MOX fuel and for its use in commercial nuclear power reactors. The cost of DOE’s plutonium fuel program, which has been poorly received by utilities, has soared, with about $17.5 billion yet to be spent. This figure is more than three times the cost of disposing of plutonium as nuclear waste.
|published Tuesday, September 04, 2012 ||1919 Views :: 2 Comments|
September 3, 2012
By Tom Crawford
From The Georgia Report
In its latest cost report submitted to state regulators, Georgia Power is dropping a broad hint that cost overruns on the Plant Vogtle nuclear generators currently under construction could amount to as much as $2 billion.
The utility giant also conceded in its latest cost report that the $14.5 billion nuclear project has now fallen seven months behind its original completion schedule, as expert witnesses predicted earlier this year, with further delays possible.
The red flag on potential cost overruns is hidden deep within the cost report that Georgia Power’s attorneys filed Friday afternoon with the Public Service Commission, covering the construction expenditures made from January through June of 2012.
|published Thursday, August 23, 2012 ||3301 Views :: 1 Comments|
For immediate Release: August 23, 2012
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Tom Clements, ANA, Columbia,SC, tel. 803-834-3084
Katherine Fuchs, ANA,Washington, DC, tel. 202-544-0217, ext. 2503
Columbia, SC - A presentation to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on experimental Mixed Oxide plutonium fuel (MOX) made from surplus weapons reveals a major hurdle for the MOX program at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site. On August 8, NRC staff inthe preliminary stages of licensing MOX plutonium fuel was informed by Global Nuclear Fuels (GNF) that MOX intended for use in boiling water reactors (BWRs) would need to undergo extensive testing, delaying full-scale MOX production and use.
|Brown's ferry reactor in AL, where the DOE plans to use MOX|
GNF, which makes BWR fuel at its facility in Wilmington, North Carolina, revealed that its licensing plan involves testing sixteen “lead use assemblies” (LUAs) between 2016 and 2025. MOX made from weapons-grade plutonium has never been tested or used in a BWR and the NRC agreed that such MOX was a “new fuel form” requiring multi-year testing in a reactor. During this test period, no commercial BWR MOX use could take place.
This news comes just as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducts a series of hearings on its MOX plans, which fail to address GNF’s extended testing schedule for the new fuel. At the first hearing on the DOE’s Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS), in Los Alamos, NM Alliance for Nuclear Accountability Director Susan Gordon stated “No MOX plant operational schedule is presented, no plan or schedule for MOX testing in [Tennessee ValleyAuthority] or "generic" reactors is presented and no schedule for full-scale use of MOX is presented. Therefore, no Record of Decision can be issued.”
|published Wednesday, August 22, 2012 ||1568 Views :: 2 Comments|
Aug 22, 2012
By Associated Press
LOS ALAMOS — Anti-nuclear activists are questioning a proposal to ship more plutonium to New Mexico.
Several activists lined up Tuesday evening in Los Alamos for the first in a series of public hearings on how best to dispose of surplus plutonium from the nation’s nuclear weapons program.
One plan being studied by the Department of Energy calls for the shipment of 7 metric tons — or what one activist estimates is enough to power nearly 3,000 warheads — to Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Savannah River site in South Carolina for processing into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.
|published Tuesday, July 31, 2012 ||2499 Views :: 13 Comments|
Federal Register Notice Obtained in Advance, with Meetings Dates in NM, SC, TN, AL
For Immediate release
July 26, 2012
Contact: Tom Clements, tel. 803-834-3084, cell 803-240-7268, email@example.com
Columbia, SC – A key Department of Energy (DOE) environmental document analyzing disposal of 13.1 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium and which is to be formally released on Friday, July 27, is inadequate and must be discarded, according to the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a public interest organization which has been monitoring the program since its inception in the mid-1990s.
“Even though questions about the cost and direction of the program to dispose of plutonium as nuclear fuel are growing, the document breaks no new ground and poses few new options which are badly needed concerning disposal of the nation’s surplus plutonium,” said Tom Clements, Nonproliferation Policy Director for the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA). “Given the significant obstacles that confront this program as now conceived, DOE must begin a full review of plutonium disposition options and develop new approaches not tied to use of costly experimental plutonium fuel.”
|published Saturday, July 28, 2012 ||1273 Views :: 0 Comments|
Jul 28, 2012
By John Fleck
From the Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer
After spending $382 million on a failed 13-year effort to build a plant in South Carolina to dismantle plutonium parts from old nuclear warheads, the federal government is now considering doing the work in an existing building at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
An announcement Friday on the latest effort to dispose of the nation’s surplus plutonium also raises the possibility of sending some leftovers to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. Three public hearings on the proposal are scheduled in New Mexico next month.