|published Thursday, June 06, 2013 ||219 Views :: 0 Comments|
June 1, 2013
From the Associated Press
RICHLAND, Wash. — A stainless steel tank the size of a basketball court lies buried in the sandy soil of southeastern Washington state, an aging remnant of U.S. efforts to win World War II. The tank holds enough radioactive waste to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. And it is leaking.
For 42 years, tank AY-102 has stored some of the deadliest material at one of the most environmentally contaminated places in the country: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. This complex along the Columbia River holds a storied place in American history. It was here that workers produced the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 — effectively ending the second world war.
Today Hanford’s legacy is less about what was made here than the environmental mess left behind — and the federal government’s inability, for nearly a quarter-century now, to rid Hanford once and for all of its worst hazard: 56 million gallons of toxic waste cached in aging underground tanks.
|published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 ||288 Views :: 1 Comments|
May 25, 2013
While the House of Representatives is still looking to the stalled Yucca Mountain project to solve the nation's Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) problem, the Senate is moving ahead in a different direction. On April 25th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee released a "discussion draft" of a bill to begin a pilot "consolidated interim storage" program.
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) does not support consolidated storage of SNF, as it does not solve the problem of SNF and would actually spreads the problem to new areas. Consolidated storage will expose communities across the country to increased radiation as nuclear waste rolls down highways and train tracks. Instead of consolidated storage, ANA supports the Nuclear Regulatory Commission mandating a system of Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS).
HOSS would keep SNF as close as safely possible to its site of generation, thereby exposing fewer people to radiation. A HOSS program utilizing passively cooled dry casks would be a solution to over-crowded spent fuel pools at reactors and provide increased protection from human or natural disasters, like terrorist attacks and earthquakes.
Read the full Senate Energy and Natural Resources "discussion draft" nuclear waste bill here
Read ANA's response to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee here
|published Friday, April 26, 2013 ||538 Views :: 1 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 Thursday, October 11, 2012 ||2959 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, August 28, 2012 ||3394 Views :: 4 Comments|
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2012
Memo Urges DOE to Remove Bechtel as the Design Authority, Warning Bechtel “is not competent to complete their role”
Seattle, WA: Hanford Challenge today released a high-ranking Director’s memorandum that urges termination of the key duties of government contractor, Bechtel National, Inc. (“Bechtel”; “BNI”). A litany of charges question whether Bechtel should continue its role at the Hanford nuclear site, including a long history of incompetence, misleading the government, overcharging, and unsafe designs.
The memo states, “[t]he number and significance of these issues indicate that Bechtel National Inc. is not competent to complete their role as the Design Authority for the WTP [Waste Treatment Plant], and it is questionable that BNI can provide a contract-compliant design as Design Agent.”
The memo continues, noting that “[t]he behavior and performance of Bechtel Engineering places unnecessarily high risk that the WTP design will not be effectively completed...”
|published Wednesday, August 22, 2012 ||1639 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 Wednesday, August 15, 2012 ||1541 Views :: 0 Comments|
August, 15, 2012
In conjunction with the New Mexico Community Involvement Fund and the Social and Environmental Research Institute, we are excited to announce the completion of our Community Guide to Improving the Links Between Future Land-Use and Clean-Up Decisions.
The purpose of this Community Guide is to give residents living near DOE facilities a deeper understanding of how clean-up decisions and future use planning become interconnected and indeed entangled when pressures for site reuse and restricted clean-ups bring to the planning process a diverse set of interests.
|published Tuesday, August 07, 2012 ||2663 Views :: 0 Comments|
By T.S. Last
From the Albuquerque Journal
LOS ALAMOS — Six people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the entrance to Los Alamos National Laboratory on Monday — the 67th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
They were charged with three misdemeanor offenses of criminal trespass, obstructing a right of way and disobeying an officer.
“We weren’t resisting arrest,” emphasized Cathie Sullivan of Santa Fe, one of the people arrested. “This was entirely nonviolent and peaceful. That’s what this is all about.”
Los Alamos Police Department Capt. Randy Foster said about 35 protesters blocked the road at the intersection of Diamond Drive and West Jemez Road shortly before 8 a.m., backing up traffic and delaying entry into the lab for about an hour.
|published Monday, August 06, 2012 ||2438 Views :: 0 Comments|
Aug 5, 2012
By T.S. Last
From the Journal North
“I’m doing it because I’m not a corporation, I don’t have the funds,” he said. “This is the only way I know of.
“And it’s not just me,” he added. “There are 30 other people doing it around the country, and now even one in Europe. It’s growing into an international stage.”
About half the other strikers are from the Santa Fe area, and many are fasting only for a few days. A handful, including Balibrera, started their strike on July 16, the 67th anniversary of the first atomic bomb test at Trinity Site in Socorro County. They don’t plan to eat again until Aug. 6, the anniversary of the device’s first use in warfare – the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.
|published Tuesday, July 31, 2012 ||767 Views :: 0 Comments|
July 26, 2012
By Staci Matlock
From the Santa Fe New Mexican
Tougher drinking water standards, especially for radioactive contaminants, are needed to protect fetuses and infants, according to a nuclear fusion expert speaking by Skype to a packed audience Thursday at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.
An estimated 100 people listened to experts and clean-water advocates discuss the latest efforts in preventing natural and man-made radioactive waste and other contaminants from reaching drinking water supplies.
The conference hosted by a coalition of groups called Communities for Clean Water, continues today at Northern New Mexico College in Española. The conference was specifically to address concerns raised about the impact of waste on water following last year’s Las Conchas fire that burned thousands of acres around Los Alamos and Santa Clara Pueblo.