Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities; mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs; greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex; and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Quote of the Week

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

LANL’s Central Mission: Los Alamos Lab officials have recently claimed that LANL has moved away from primarily nuclear weapons to “national security”, but what truly remains as the Labs central mission? Here’s the answer from one of its own documents:

LANL’s “Central Mission”- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11

LANL FY 2021 Budget Request – VIEW

Sandia FY 2021 Budget Request – VIEW

Pantex Plant FY 2021 Budget Chart – VIEW

KCP FY 2021 Budget Chart – VIEW

Livermore Lab FY 2021 Budget Chart – Courtesy Tri-Valley CAREs – VIEW

_____________________________________________

Click the image to view and download this large printable map of DOE sites, commercial reactors, nuclear waste dumps, nuclear transportation routes, surface waters near sites and transport routes, and underlying aquifers. This map was prepared by Deborah Reade for the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.

Nuclear Watch Interactive Map – U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex

Waste Lands: America’s Forgotten Nuclear Legacy

The Wall St. Journal has compiled a searchable database of contaminated sites across the US. (view)
Related WSJ report: https://www.wsj.com

Recent Posts

DOE Activities Raise Safety Concerns about Plutonium at Three Facilities

“The DOE proposal to dispose of the useless MOX fuel pellets is unprecedented, but has been subjected to only a brief mention in an environmental analysis on pit production. Tom Clements, director of SRS Watch, says, “The analysis conducted on the disposal of the plutonium fuel is totally inadequate and a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be conducted before any repackaging and shipment to WIPP. ”

September 30, 2020 | nuclearactive.org

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), plans are under way to remove unused plutonium fuel from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The uranium-plutonium fuel, containing around 26.4 kilograms (58.2 pounds) of weapon-grade plutonium, is called “mixed-oxide,” or MOX.  In a late-August document, DOE stated that the MOX fuel, produced in France for a program at the Savannah River Site (SRS), would be disposed of as transuranic waste and therefore go to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

At present the MOX fuel, in the form of pellets, is stored at LANL’s PF-4 plutonium facility.  DOE needs to empty PF-4 to have space for its planned annual production of up to eighty plutonium “pits”, or triggers, for nuclear weapons.

Continue reading

Four powerful players want a nuclear waste solution. What’s stopping them?

“The nuclear industry’s position in support of spent fuel legislation is tempered by a combination of reality and priorities. While the industry regularly testifies in favor of finding a long-term solution to the spent fuel problem, the reality is that state legislative prohibitions on the construction of new nuclear reactors are meaningless, given that no new reactors are planned in the foreseeable future. It is uneconomic and/or not politically viable to build a new reactor in the United States—even one of the small modular reactors under development.”

BY: JDAVID KLAUS | thebulletin.org

The 92-page platform adopted at the Democratic National Convention does not include a single sentence on the issue of how to manage the more than 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel sitting at 70 sites in communities across the country. The Republicans adjourned without adopting any new platform for 2020, leaving their 2016 platform in place—but it also did not address the nuclear waste issue.

Ironically, political interest in addressing the spent fuel issue is decreasing at a time when the number of closed nuclear plants in the United States is increasing—and it is common practice to level the plant and leave the spent fuel behind. If the issue had been as significant a political priority today as it was in the past, it would have been included in one or both of the platforms.

In its 2004 and 2008 platforms, the Democratic Party committed to “protect Nevada and its communities from the high-level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, which has not been proven to be safe by sound science.” Republicans,  in their 2012 platform, focused on how “[t]he federal government’s failure to address the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel has left huge bills for States and taxpayers.”

Continue reading

Trump Administration Orders Assessment on Bolstering Nuclear Warheads as Talks With Russia Stall

“U.S. diplomats are trying to play hardball with Russia in negotiations over whether to extend New START.

“It’s very stupid,” added a former GOP arms control official who declined to be identified because he still advises the government. “It makes absolutely no sense to threaten to upload. It becomes a valid leveraging point only if the other side can’t do it. The Russians can do it, too.” ”

BY: DANIEL LIPPMAN, BRYAN BENDERLARA SELIGMAN | politico.com

The Trump administration has asked the military to assess how quickly it could pull nuclear weapons out of storage and load them onto bombers and submarines if an arms control treaty with Russia is allowed to expire in February, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The request to U.S. Strategic Command in Nebraska is part of a strategy to pressure Moscow into renegotiating the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty before the U.S. presidential election, the people said.

In making the request, the Trump administration wants to underscore that it is serious about letting the treaty lapse if Russia fails to meet U.S. demands. The negotiating team is leery that Russia is dragging out the talks in the hope that Joe Biden — who has pledged to extend New START under what Moscow believes will be more favorable terms than what this White House is offering — wins the election.

“It’s a clear signal that the costs for not negotiating before the election are going to go up,” said one of the people, who requested anonymity to relay sensitive discussions. The Trump administration is “trying to create an incentive, and it’s a real incentive, for the Russians to sit down and actually negotiate.”

The request for the assessment came in the last two weeks from a group of officials at the National Security Council and State, Defense and Energy departments that’s supporting Ambassador Marshall Billingslea in negotiations with Moscow to try to replace New START before it runs out in February.
Continue reading

Kaysville Withdraws From Nuclear Power Project

“We just don’t want to take on the risk of being in the project at this point.” – Councilman Andre Lortz

NATHAN BROWNpostregister.com

One more Utah city has withdrawn from a project to build 12 small nuclear reactors west of Idaho Falls.

The Kaysville City Council voted unanimously a week-and-a-half ago to withdraw from the Carbon Free Power Project, although the resolution left the door open for the city to hold a special meeting to rejoin the project if anything changes.

“Kaysville City is still interested in being involved with the UAMPS project,” Mayor Katie Witt said in an email. “However, we did withdraw on Sept. 17 for the time being. We would like to participate if our concerns are mitigated.”

Councilman Andre Lortz said he believes in the project, calling it “an innovative project that’s going to be very important in the future” that could fill gaps wind and solar power can’t.

“We’d love to be in this project,” he said. “We just don’t want to take on the risk of being in the project at this point.”

Lehi and Logan have also withdrawn from the Carbon Free Power Project over the past month-and-a-half, citing potential risks to local taxpayers if costs go up. There are still more than 30 cities and power systems, including Idaho Falls, that are part of it, and the members have until Oct. 31 to recommit to the project’s next phase by approving the new budget. Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems is waiting for the U.S. Department of Energy to give final approval to a promised $1.4 billion to support the project.

Portland-based NuScale Power is designing the small modular reactors, which will produce 720 megawatts and which UAMPS plans to build at the DOE desert site west of Idaho Falls. The plant is expected to be operational in 2029.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

WORLD NUCLEAR INDUSTRY LOSES GROUND TO CHEAP RENEWABLES AS CANADA CONSIDERS SMALL MODULAR REACTORS

“The world nuclear industry “continues to be in stasis,” with power plants shutting down at a faster rate in western Europe and the United States, the number of operating reactor units at a 30-year low, and the few new construction projects running into “catastrophic cost overruns and schedule slippages,” according to the latest edition of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR), released last week.”

theenergymix.com

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission/wikimedia commons

“Some 408 nuclear reactors were in operation in 31 countries as of July 2020, a decline of nine units from mid-2019 and 30 fewer than the 2002 peak of 438,” Reuters writes, citing the report. “The slow pace of new projects coming onstream also increased the overall age of the global fleet to around 31 years.”

“Overall, in terms of the cost of power, new nuclear is clearly losing to wind and photovoltaics,” with the two renewable technologies now receiving about 10 times the investment, write Jungmin Kang, former chair of South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, South Korea, and Princeton University Professor Emeritus Frank von Hippel, in their foreword to the 361-page report. That meant new nuclear projects “were struggling to secure finance amid competition from renewables, with reported investment decisions for the construction of new nuclear plants at around US$31 billion in 2019,” Reuters says.

Continue reading

Biden would push for less US reliance on nukes for defense

“If future budgets reverse the choices we’ve made, and pour additional money into a nuclear buildup, it hearkens back to the Cold War and will do nothing to increase the day-to-day security of the United States or our allies,” Biden said in a Jan. 11, 2017, speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

ROBERT BURNSapnews.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden leaves little doubt that if elected he would try to scale back President Donald Trump’s buildup in nuclear weapons spending. And although the former vice president has not fully detailed his nuclear priorities, he says he would make the U.S. less reliant on the world’s deadliest weapons.

The two candidates’ views on nuclear weapons policy and strategy carry unusual significance in this election because the United States is at a turning point in deciding the future of its weapons arsenal and because of growing debate about the threat posed by Chinese and Russian nuclear advances.

Continue reading

The State of New Mexico Objects to Nuclear Fuel Storage Plan

“New Mexico is strongly objecting to federal nuclear regulators’ preliminary recommendation that a license be granted to build a multibillion-dollar storage facility for spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants around the U.S.”

BY: SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS abqjournal.com

State officials, in a letter submitted Tuesday to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said that the site is geologically unsuitable and that technical analysis has been inadequate. They also say regulators have failed to consider environmental justice concerns and have therefore fallen short of requirements spelled out by federal environmental laws.

The letter also reiterates the state’s concerns that the storage facility would become a permanent dumping ground for the spent fuel, as the federal government has no permanent plan for dealing with the waste that has been piling up at nuclear power plants.

The officials pointed to a legacy of contamination in New Mexico that includes uranium mining and milling and decades of nuclear research and bomb-making at national laboratories, saying minority and low-income populations already have suffered disproportionate health and environmental effects as a result.

Given the concerns, state officials wrote that a draft environmental review of the project “fails to demonstrate that residents of New Mexico, including vulnerable populations, will be adequately protected from exposure to the radioactive and toxic contaminants that could be released to air and water by the proposed action.”

A group of Democratic state lawmakers also raised concerns.

Elected leaders in southeastern New Mexico support the project, saying it would bring jobs and revenue to the region and provide a temporary option for dealing with the spent fuel.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The WNISR2020 Assesses Challenges Nuclear Power is Facing in the Age of COVID‑19

“New renewable resources like wind and solar power increased by 184 gigawatts last year, while nuclear power grew by only 2.4 gigawatts. As a result — for the first time in history — renewable sources (excluding hydropower) generated more power than nuclear plants in 2019.”

“Nuclear energy has become irrelevant in the electricity generating technology market,” said Mycle Schneider, the coordinator of the report. “At the same time, COVID-19 puts additional stress on the sector.”

September 24, 2020 | worldnuclearreport.com

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR2020), released on 24 September 2020, assesses in 361 pages the status and trends of the international nuclear industry and analyzes the additional challenges nuclear power is facing in the age of COVID-19. For the first time we report includes as specific chapter analyzing nuclear programs in the Middle East as the first reactor started up in the Arab world.

Seven interdisciplinary experts from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Lebanon/U.S. and the U.K., from top think tanks like Chatham House in London and prestigious universities like Harvard in Cambridge, Meiji in Tokyo and Technical University in Berlin, have contributed to the report, along with a data engineer, numerous proofreaders and two artistic designers. The foreword was provided by Frank von Hippel, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University, and Jungmin Kang, former head of the safety authority in South Korea.

The number of operating reactors in the world has dropped by nine over the past year to 408 as of mid-2020, that is below the level already reached in 1988, and 30 units below the historic peak of 438 in 2002.

Continue reading

New & Updated

State Public Land Commissioner Speaks Out Against Nuclear Waste Facility

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state Public Lands Commissioner is speaking out against a proposed nuclear waste storage facility in Lea County. In comments submitted to the National Regulatory Commission, Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard says that Holtec International ignored concerns about storing nuclear waste in a highly active oil field.

BY:  | krqe.com

Read Garcia Richard’s full comment and submission to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 

Commissioner Garcia Richard’s released the following statement in a news release Monday regarding the public comment:

I remain vehemently opposed to this proposal for reasons stated since I took office in January 2019. Holtec has misrepresented themselves and this project through every step of the process, including recently raising the intended number of nuclear canisters from 500 to 10,000. They have misrepresented their purported control of the site while also lying about their ability to restrict oil and gas operations in the area.

Holtec has ignored numerous safety concerns regarding the transportation of high-level nuclear waste through New Mexico communities, as well as failing to address questions about storing such waste in the middle of a highly active oil field. As Commissioner of Public Lands, I have a constitutional obligation to protect state trust land for future generations. This project comes with far too much risk and little to no reward.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Activists Push Congress to Revive Probe Into Links Between Nuclear Plants and Cancer

“Nuclear Regulatory Commission killed study in 2015 after spending five years and $1.5 million on the effort”

BY:  | ocregister.com

Scientists and activists were stunned back in 2015 when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission pulled the plug on what was designed to be the best study of cancer near nuclear power plants ever done.

The pilot study’s price tag was $8 million — a pittance in the NRC’s $1 billion budget — and five years of work had already gone into it. But it was killed because officials were convinced it would be too costly and couldn’t link reactors to disease, a Southern California News Group investigation found.

Last week, a petition with some 1,200 signatures demanding that the study resume went to members of Congress representing Southern and Central California.

Continue reading

Texas Governor Urges Trump To Oppose Nuclear Waste Plans

“It’s an unusual thing for environmentalists and oil companies to be on the same page, and we are on this issue,” says an Austin-based environmental advocate.

BY:  | texasstandard.com

Photo courtesy of Waste Control Specialists
A view of an existing site in West Texas where a company wants to store highly radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants, one of two such proposals the Texas governor now says he opposes.

From Courthouse News Service:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has come out against two rival plans to ship highly radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants to sites on the Texas-New Mexico border, saying either plan would be unsafe and would threaten the region’s sprawling Permian Basin oilfield.

“A stable oil and gas industry is essential to the economy, and crucial to the security of our great nation,” Abbott, a Republican, wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday. “Allowing the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste at sites near the largest producing oilfield in the world will compromise the safety of the region.”

The nuclear waste plans have for years drawn the ire of advocacy groups who worry about a range of possible environmental and safety threats, but oil and gas interests have become increasingly involved in the fight as well.

coalition of oil companies and West Texas landowners called Protect the Basin was launched in 2018 to oppose the plans and has more recently stepped up its outreach. One of the coalition members, a ranching and oil company tied to one of the nation’s richest families, has been involved in fighting the issue all the way up to the D.C. Circuit.

Continue reading

Two’s a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don’t mix

“If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.”

BY:  | techxplore.com

That’s the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programs around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions—and in poorer countries nuclear programs actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Continue reading

U.S., Russia Move Toward Outline of Nuclear Deal, Administration Says

“Trump administration official’s comments suggest the two sides might be able to come to terms on broad principles”

BY: MICHAEL R. GORDON | wsj.com

U.S. and Russian negotiators made progress Monday on a new framework accord that would freeze each side’s nuclear arsenal and outline the parameters for a detailed treaty that would be negotiated next year, a senior Trump administration official said.

The accord, if it comes together in the coming month, would give each side something it has sought. President Trump would have a demonstration that his diplomacy toward Moscow has borne fruit, arriving before the November election. Russia would get an extension of the New START…

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The Day Nuclear War Almost Broke Out

“In the nearly sixty years since the Cuban missile crisis, the story of near-catastrophe has only grown more complicated. What lessons can we draw from such a close call?”
“…what almost no one knew until four decades later—was that one of B-59’s torpedoes was carrying what the Soviets called “special ammunition.” The “special” part was a fifteen-kiloton nuclear warhead. Had Savitsky’s orders been carried out, chances are good that the Americans would have responded in kind, and a full-scale nuclear war would have broken out. There should, it seems, be a useful lesson to be learned from that frantic afternoon. But what, in God’s name, is it?”

BY: ELIZABETH KOLBERT | newyorker.com

Photo by Darrell-Ann/ Flickr – Creative Commons

On October 27, 1962, a day that’s been described as the “most dangerous” in human history, a Soviet submarine designated B-59 was churning through the Sargasso Sea when suddenly it was rocked by a series of explosions. “It felt like you were sitting in a metal barrel, which somebody is constantly blasting with a sledgehammer,” Vadim Orlov, a communications specialist on board the sub, later recalled. “The situation was quite unusual, if not to say shocking, for the crew.”

Four weeks earlier, B-59 had been dispatched from the U.S.S.R. with three other so-called F-class subs as part of Operation Anadyr, Nikita Khrushchev’s top-secret effort to install ballistic missiles in Cuba. (The Anadyr is a river that flows into the Bering Sea; the code name was intended to make even soldiers participating in the operation believe they were headed somewhere cold.) Pretty much from the outset of the voyage, things had not gone well.

“For the sailors, this Cuban missile crisis started even before its beginning,” Ryurik Ketov, the captain of another Cuba-bound sub, once observed. The Atlantic that October was turbulent, and the pitching sea made it tough for the boats to maintain their desired speed.

“You have to hold on to something even in your sleep, or else you’ll fall off,” a crew member complained. Communications, too, were difficult. Once past Iceland, the subs had trouble contacting Moscow; for a while, according to Ketov, the only voices audible over the radio “were those of Murmansk fishermen.”

Continue reading

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance: Response to NNSA issuing Amended Record of Decision on EU operations at Y-12 Plant

GOVERNMENT ISSUES RECORD OF DECISION TO CONTINUE NUCLEAR WEAPONS PRODUCTION AT Y-12 COMPLEX IN OAK RIDGE, DOWNPLAYING RISK TO WORKERS AND PUBLIC CITIZENS SAY, “A BEGINNER’S CLASS IN DISSEMBLING”

The National Nuclear Security Administration issued an Amended Record of Decision for the Continued Operation of the Y-12 National Security Complex* on September 30, 2020. NNSA says the new decision updates its October 2019 AROD.

The AROD dismisses risks from earthquakes and declares that NNSA will continue to conduct nuclear weapons manufacturing operations in facilities that do meet environmental and safety codes for at least 20 more years under its Enriched Uranium program. This AROD is the result of a federal court decision in September 2019 in a case brought by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, the Natural Resources Defense Council and four individual plaintiffs. In that decision, Chief Judge Pamela Reeves ruled NNSA had not met the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. Judge Reeves vacated two Supplement Analyses and one previous AROD and ordered NNSA to conduct further analysis on the risks of earthquakes.

“The new Amended Record of Decision is a pretty respectable beginner’s class in dissembling,” said OREPA coordinator Ralph Hutchison. “The first lie is a big one, and easily disproved. NNSA says ‘The court further held that NNSA is not required to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the UPF Project or the Extended Life Program.’ This is simply not true.

“The court explicitly did not make that finding; it would have been inappropriate. What the court did was tell NNSA they didn’t have to prepare a new or Supplemental EIS due to changed circumstances. Instead, they had to prepare a Supplement Analysis—one step earlier in the process—to determine whether or not a new or Supplemental EIS was required. That is the only purpose of an SA, and NNSA knows it. They just tried to spin it. Either that, or they think the court didn’t understand what it was saying.

Continue reading

SC Judge Freezes Federal Funds From $600 Million Plutonium Settlement

“A former Democratic state legislator, Sellers said that from his experience, he knows if the $600 million — or however much money there is — goes into the general fund, the money will not be spent on the counties impacted by the storage of plutonium.

BY: JOHN MONK | thestate.com

The K Area Complex at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina is used to store excess plutonium and other special nuclear materials.
Credit SAVANNAH RIVER SITE / SRS.GOV

BARNWELL, SC – A state circuit judge on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction freezing $600 million in federal funds that came to South Carolina as a result of a political settlement in a long-running dispute over what to do with some 11 tons of deadly plutonium now stored at the Savannah River Site in Barnwell County.

Judge Clifton Newman issued the injunction against State Attorney General Alan Wilson shortly before noon Wednesday in response to a motion by State Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, who represents Barnwell County, Allendale County and five other counties in the area.

Newman’s injunction, issued from the bench in a Barnwell County courtroom, is temporary and within a month he is expected to hold another hearing that will fully air differing sides on what to do with the $600 million.

“All federal funds received by the state must be appropriated by the state in accordance with the federal purpose for which it was intended,” Hutto told the judge. Since the funds in the settlement were given by the federal government as compensation for the plutonium stored in their geographic area, they should generally be spent there in those impacted counties along the state’s southwestern boundary, Hutto argued.

It is essential that the “identity” of the federal funds be preserved before Wilson routes the money into the state’s general fund, where other lawmakers might seek to spend it for purposes outside those South Carolina counties Hutto represents, Hutto told the judge.

Continue reading

Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest

“…the hurdles to building a machine that can create and control a fusion plasma — a roiling ultrahot cloud of atoms that will damage or destroy anything it touches — are enormous.”

BY: HENRY FOUNTAIN | nytimes.com

Scientists developing a compact version of a nuclear fusion reactor have shown in a series of research papers that it should work, renewing hopes that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achieved and eventually contribute to the fight against climate change.

Construction of a reactor, called Sparc, which is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is expected to begin next spring and take three or four years, the researchers and company officials said.

Although many significant challenges remain, the company said construction would be followed by testing and, if successful, building of a power plant that could use fusion energy to generate electricity, beginning in the next decade.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

DOE Activities Raise Safety Concerns about Plutonium at Three Facilities

“The DOE proposal to dispose of the useless MOX fuel pellets is unprecedented, but has been subjected to only a brief mention in an environmental analysis on pit production. Tom Clements, director of SRS Watch, says, “The analysis conducted on the disposal of the plutonium fuel is totally inadequate and a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be conducted before any repackaging and shipment to WIPP. ”

September 30, 2020 | nuclearactive.org

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), plans are under way to remove unused plutonium fuel from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The uranium-plutonium fuel, containing around 26.4 kilograms (58.2 pounds) of weapon-grade plutonium, is called “mixed-oxide,” or MOX.  In a late-August document, DOE stated that the MOX fuel, produced in France for a program at the Savannah River Site (SRS), would be disposed of as transuranic waste and therefore go to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

At present the MOX fuel, in the form of pellets, is stored at LANL’s PF-4 plutonium facility.  DOE needs to empty PF-4 to have space for its planned annual production of up to eighty plutonium “pits”, or triggers, for nuclear weapons.

Continue reading

Four powerful players want a nuclear waste solution. What’s stopping them?

“The nuclear industry’s position in support of spent fuel legislation is tempered by a combination of reality and priorities. While the industry regularly testifies in favor of finding a long-term solution to the spent fuel problem, the reality is that state legislative prohibitions on the construction of new nuclear reactors are meaningless, given that no new reactors are planned in the foreseeable future. It is uneconomic and/or not politically viable to build a new reactor in the United States—even one of the small modular reactors under development.”

BY: JDAVID KLAUS | thebulletin.org

The 92-page platform adopted at the Democratic National Convention does not include a single sentence on the issue of how to manage the more than 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel sitting at 70 sites in communities across the country. The Republicans adjourned without adopting any new platform for 2020, leaving their 2016 platform in place—but it also did not address the nuclear waste issue.

Ironically, political interest in addressing the spent fuel issue is decreasing at a time when the number of closed nuclear plants in the United States is increasing—and it is common practice to level the plant and leave the spent fuel behind. If the issue had been as significant a political priority today as it was in the past, it would have been included in one or both of the platforms.

In its 2004 and 2008 platforms, the Democratic Party committed to “protect Nevada and its communities from the high-level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, which has not been proven to be safe by sound science.” Republicans,  in their 2012 platform, focused on how “[t]he federal government’s failure to address the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel has left huge bills for States and taxpayers.”

Continue reading

Trump Administration Orders Assessment on Bolstering Nuclear Warheads as Talks With Russia Stall

“U.S. diplomats are trying to play hardball with Russia in negotiations over whether to extend New START.

“It’s very stupid,” added a former GOP arms control official who declined to be identified because he still advises the government. “It makes absolutely no sense to threaten to upload. It becomes a valid leveraging point only if the other side can’t do it. The Russians can do it, too.” ”

BY: DANIEL LIPPMAN, BRYAN BENDERLARA SELIGMAN | politico.com

The Trump administration has asked the military to assess how quickly it could pull nuclear weapons out of storage and load them onto bombers and submarines if an arms control treaty with Russia is allowed to expire in February, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The request to U.S. Strategic Command in Nebraska is part of a strategy to pressure Moscow into renegotiating the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty before the U.S. presidential election, the people said.

In making the request, the Trump administration wants to underscore that it is serious about letting the treaty lapse if Russia fails to meet U.S. demands. The negotiating team is leery that Russia is dragging out the talks in the hope that Joe Biden — who has pledged to extend New START under what Moscow believes will be more favorable terms than what this White House is offering — wins the election.

“It’s a clear signal that the costs for not negotiating before the election are going to go up,” said one of the people, who requested anonymity to relay sensitive discussions. The Trump administration is “trying to create an incentive, and it’s a real incentive, for the Russians to sit down and actually negotiate.”

The request for the assessment came in the last two weeks from a group of officials at the National Security Council and State, Defense and Energy departments that’s supporting Ambassador Marshall Billingslea in negotiations with Moscow to try to replace New START before it runs out in February.
Continue reading

The State of New Mexico Objects to Nuclear Fuel Storage Plan

“New Mexico is strongly objecting to federal nuclear regulators’ preliminary recommendation that a license be granted to build a multibillion-dollar storage facility for spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants around the U.S.”

BY: SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS abqjournal.com

State officials, in a letter submitted Tuesday to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said that the site is geologically unsuitable and that technical analysis has been inadequate. They also say regulators have failed to consider environmental justice concerns and have therefore fallen short of requirements spelled out by federal environmental laws.

The letter also reiterates the state’s concerns that the storage facility would become a permanent dumping ground for the spent fuel, as the federal government has no permanent plan for dealing with the waste that has been piling up at nuclear power plants.

The officials pointed to a legacy of contamination in New Mexico that includes uranium mining and milling and decades of nuclear research and bomb-making at national laboratories, saying minority and low-income populations already have suffered disproportionate health and environmental effects as a result.

Given the concerns, state officials wrote that a draft environmental review of the project “fails to demonstrate that residents of New Mexico, including vulnerable populations, will be adequately protected from exposure to the radioactive and toxic contaminants that could be released to air and water by the proposed action.”

A group of Democratic state lawmakers also raised concerns.

Elected leaders in southeastern New Mexico support the project, saying it would bring jobs and revenue to the region and provide a temporary option for dealing with the spent fuel.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The WNISR2020 Assesses Challenges Nuclear Power is Facing in the Age of COVID‑19

“New renewable resources like wind and solar power increased by 184 gigawatts last year, while nuclear power grew by only 2.4 gigawatts. As a result — for the first time in history — renewable sources (excluding hydropower) generated more power than nuclear plants in 2019.”

“Nuclear energy has become irrelevant in the electricity generating technology market,” said Mycle Schneider, the coordinator of the report. “At the same time, COVID-19 puts additional stress on the sector.”

September 24, 2020 | worldnuclearreport.com

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR2020), released on 24 September 2020, assesses in 361 pages the status and trends of the international nuclear industry and analyzes the additional challenges nuclear power is facing in the age of COVID-19. For the first time we report includes as specific chapter analyzing nuclear programs in the Middle East as the first reactor started up in the Arab world.

Seven interdisciplinary experts from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Lebanon/U.S. and the U.K., from top think tanks like Chatham House in London and prestigious universities like Harvard in Cambridge, Meiji in Tokyo and Technical University in Berlin, have contributed to the report, along with a data engineer, numerous proofreaders and two artistic designers. The foreword was provided by Frank von Hippel, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University, and Jungmin Kang, former head of the safety authority in South Korea.

The number of operating reactors in the world has dropped by nine over the past year to 408 as of mid-2020, that is below the level already reached in 1988, and 30 units below the historic peak of 438 in 2002.

Continue reading

Ohio EPA: Plan for A-plant landfill to be issued

Piketon’s Chandler rips Ohio delegation; Pike Commissioner vows legal action

BY: RICK GREENE | southernohiotoday.com

COURTESY OF VILLAGE OF PIKETON
Piketon Councilwoman Jennifer Chandler criticized Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, along with U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, for what she calls a lack of engagement on the controversial issue of an On-Site Waste Disposal Facility at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Piketon. “Now they can have the largest nuclear waste dump east of the Mississippi River,” Chandler said.

In a virtual meeting Tuesday, the Ohio EPA announced it plans to issue the Waste Acceptance Criteria Implementation Plan, which outlines the disposition process for materials allowed to be placed into the controversial On-Site Waste Disposal Facility at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Piketon.

The announcement comes despite calls from officials with the Village of Piketon and the Pike County Board of Commissioners for more engagement from the public on the contaminants that will be permitted inside the radiological landfill.

During the meeting, the Ohio EPA explained the Waste Acceptance Criteria had been established in 2015 during the process that led to the Waste Disposition Record of Decision. Ohio EPA says the Implementation Plan deals primarily with the execution of the disposition of wastes previously determined by the 2015 Waste Acceptance Criteria.

Piketon Councilwoman Jennifer Chandler, a longtime critic of the U.S. Department of Energy and the landfill, asked multiple questions during the virtual forum. Afterwards, she said she remains frustrated by DOE, the Ohio EPA and Ohio’s federal delegation by what she calls a complete disregard for the people of Southern Ohio.

“I’m getting angrier and angrier as Ohio EPA continues to dodge questions and continues to suggest there was public involvement in this process,” Chandler said. “I do appreciate the forum and appreciate it was tough for some (Ohio EPA representatives) to say what they had to say. But it was very clear to all of us who is really in charge of this project, and that’s DOE and it’s going to have its way in Southern Ohio because Ohio EPA can’t do anything about it.”

Continue reading

Critical Events

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Click above for more information on the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Media

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

R.I.P. Jerry Fuentes – A True Los Alamos Legend

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Nuclear News

These Russians aren’t going away

“Labeled “extremists” and “foreign agents”, Fedor Maryasov and Andrey Talevlin put country and courage first.”

beyondnuclearinternational.com

These Russians aren’t going away

The first time Fedor Maryasov realized that something might be very wrong in his community was as a teenager. Growing up in the uranium mining city of Zarafshan, Uzbekistan, young Fedor and his friends would swim in artificial ponds holding discharge water from the uranium mines. They fished there too, but they began to notice the fish were disfigured by genetic abnormalities, displaying red spots and growths. Still, the authorities were saying nothing. And the teenage boys, like most people in Zarafshan, knew little about how radiation affects living organisms.

Continue reading

Biden says US must maintain small force in Middle East, has no plans for major Defense cuts

“The former vice president said the largest readiness issue facing the military is America’s strained relationship with NATO. “They’re worried as hell about our failure to confront Russia diplomatically or other ways, and worried about ‘America First’ meaning ‘America Alone,’” he said.”

stripes.com

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic Party nominee for president, delivers his acceptance speech on August 20.
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he supports drawing down troops in the Middle East but if elected president would keep a small force there to prevent extremists from posing a threat to the United States and its allies.

“These ‘forever wars’ have to end. I support drawing down the troops. But here’s the problem, we still have to worry about terrorism and [the Islamic State],” Biden told Stars and Stripes in a telephone interview.

He also said he does not foresee major reductions in the U.S. defense budget as the military refocuses its attention to potential threats from “near-peer” powers such as China and Russia.

Continue reading

UPDATED: DOE INVOKED TECHNICAL STANDARDS

The following Directive has been added to the DOE Directives Portal:

 The Directives Review Board (DRB) has conducted a review of DOE Orders that invoke Technical Standards. The DRB determined which Technical Standards should be invoked; developed boilerplate language for the invoking of Technical Standards; and updated affected Orders for clarity and consistency.

The following Orders were updated to clarify which Technical Standards are invoked:

  1. DOE O 458.1 Chg 4 (LtdChg), Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment
      1. To establish requirements to protect the public and the environment against undue risk from radiation associated with radiological activities conducted under the control of the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA). Supersedes DOE O 458.1 Chg 3 (AdminChg), dated 1-15-2013.

    Continue reading

Big audience for protest of race training

Petersen says he tried to point out to lab officials the “blatant lies and deep immorality” in the presentations. He says he tried to teach his own classes to counter the training Sandia offered but was denied.

RYAN BOETEL / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER abqjournal.com Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

A series of forums on race offered at Sandia National Laboratories left at least one lab employee miffed enough to send an email blast to the entire staff voicing his displeasure.

And the upset electrical engineer appears to have caught the attention of the White House, which last week in a memo told all federal agencies to stop hosting similar training sessions.

Continue reading

Trump Reportedly Claimed That The US Built a Secret Nuke. Here’s What He’s Probably Talking About

“In all likelihood, Trump is referring to the W76-2; then again, he’s also made outlandish claims regarding U.S. military tech that haven’t stood up under scrutiny, like that the F-35 is totally invisible.”

taskandpurpose.com

Forget the invisible F-35 and the super-duper missile: there’s apparently a brand new weapons system that’s captured the commander-in-chief’s attention — and it’s of the nuclear variety.

According to Rage — a new book published by legendary investigative reporter Bob Woodward on the Trump administration — the president reportedly disclosed the existence of a new nuclear weapons system during a conversation about relations between the United States and North Korea.

“I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before,” Trump reportedly said, according to the Washington Post.

“We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before. There’s nobody — what we have is incredible.”

The disclosure from Trump came in “the midst of reflecting upon how close the United States had come in 2017 to war with North Korea,” according to the Washington Post.

Continue reading

NCI Virtual Briefing on results from the Study to Estimate Radiation Doses and Cancer Risks Resulting from Radioactive Fallout from the Trinity Nuclear Test

UPDATE FROM THE NCI SUMMARY:

“The data suggest that perhaps several hundred cancers, primarily thyroid cancer, have already occurred over the 75 years since the test and a small number are projected to occur in the future that would not have occurred in the absence of radiation exposure from Trinity fallout. Most of the excess cancers are projected to have occurred or will occur among residents living in Guadalupe, Lincoln, San Miguel, Socorro, and Torrance counties in 1945. Significant uncertainty in dose estimation had a substantial impact on the total uncertainty around these estimates. Most cancers that have occurred or will occur among the 1945 residents of New Mexico are likely to be cancers unrelated to exposures from Trinity fallout. Finally, with the data available, it is not possible to definitively identify the specific individuals whose cancers might be due to the radiation exposure.

Continue reading

Energy Dept. Taking Bids for Nationwide Waste Treatment Services

Energy Dept. Taking Bids for Nationwide Waste Treatment Services

The Energy Department on Monday issued its final request for proposals (RFP) for nationwide low-level and mixed low-level waste treatment services. The agency could award more than one basic ordering agreement (BOAs) for the work, according to the document.

exchangemonitor.com

The objectives of the BOAs are to provide Low Level Waste and Mixed Low Level Waste (including reactive metals such as lithium batteries, sodium bearing waste) Treatment services; Bulk Survey for Release Services (BSFR) services in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or Agreement State requirements; Development and assessment of alternative disposition strategies; Low Activity Waste (LAW) services; and Ancillary services that aid in the treatment and processing of waste, such as transportation and packaging from the point of origin to the destination (treatment facility, disposal site, or return to the generator) creating a turnkey service.

LANL Cleanup: What you can do

Please consider attending and giving public comments at local public meetings concerning cleanup at Los Alamos. Public comments do make a difference!

Follow NukeWatch and submit public written comments. We frequently comment on environmental impact statements and provide sample comments. Support Us: https://nukewatch.org/get-involved/donate/

Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities; mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs; greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex; and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Critical Events

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Action Alerts

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

New & Updated

25-Year Study of Nuclear vs Renewables Says One Is Clearly Better at Cutting Emissions

Nuclear power is often promoted as one of the best ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to generate the electricity we need, but new research suggests that going all-in on renewables such as wind and solar might be a better approach to seriously reducing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

BY: DAVID NIELD| sciencealert.com

Based on an analysis of 123 countries over a quarter of a century, the adoption of nuclear power did not achieve the significant reduction in national carbon emissions that renewables did – and in some developing nations, nuclear programmes actually pushed carbon emissions higher.

The study also finds that nuclear power and renewable power don’t mix well when they’re tried together: they tend to crowd each other out, locking in energy infrastructure that’s specific to their mode of power production.

Given nuclear isn’t exactly zero carbon, it risks setting nations on a path of relatively higher emissions than if they went straight to renewables.

Continue reading

Virtual Public Information Session on FTWC venting at Los Alamos National Laboratory – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20

The public information session will be hosted via Webex; people who wish to attend can join by following this link (meeting password GckhzZ5nv33), or call in by phone at 415-527-5035, access code 199 995 9074 if people do not have internet access.

Media Advisory
CONTACT: Peter Hyde, pahyde@lanl.gov

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct. 8, 2020—The National Nuclear Security Administration is hosting a virtual public information session at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, to inform the public about the process of venting Flanged Tritium Waste Containers (FTWCs) that are located at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Flanged Tritium Waste Containers are pressure vessels specifically designed to contain waste metal that has been exposed to tritium. As the tritium ages and separates into helium and hydrogen, those gases can create pressure inside the container. This is expected and accounted for in the design.

To reduce the amount of waste stored on site, Los Alamos National Laboratory will ship the containers off-site to a licensed storage facility. In order to ship the containers, the pressurized gases inside the containers must be vented to meet regulatory requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Continue reading

Citizens’ Hearing Held at New Mexico Capitol about Increased Plutonium Pit Production at LANL

The Department of Energy (DOE) has approved its plans to increase plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) by 50 percent as a way to comply with what is described in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review as a need for “an effective, responsive, and resilient nuclear weapons infrastructure” that can “adapt flexibly to shifting requirements.”

The Pentagon has stated it needs annual production of 80 plutonium pits, the triggers for nuclear weapons.  The DOE has approved its Supplement Analyses for four possible ways to execute this upgrade.
Continue reading

NASA’s clean-up plan for tainted Santa Susana Field Lab near Simi outrages activists

“NASA’s absurd excuse for cleaning up so much less contamination than it promised is that it has discovered there is much more contamination at the site than it had previously realized,” — cleanup activist Dan Hirsch, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap

BY: Mike Harris | Ventura County Star vcstar.com

NASA has decided to clean up contaminated soil at its portion of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site to a less stringent standard than it agreed to in a 2010 legally binding agreement with the state.

The federal agency announced its decision last week, outraging cleanup activists and some local officials.

The activists say NASA’s planned cleanup, outlined in a formal Record of Decision, would leave 84% of its contaminated acres not remediated at the site outside Simi Valley.

That would violate a 2010 legally binding agreement — formally called an Administrative Order on Consent — NASA signed with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to clean up its acres “to background,” the most exacting standard.

Continue reading

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joins opposition to nuclear waste project in New Mexico

“The proposed sites in Texas and New Mexico do not provide the deep geologic isolation required for permanent storage in order to minimize the risks of accidents, terrorism or sabotage which could disrupt the country’s energy supply with catastrophic effects on the American economy,” Abbott wrote to the president.

BY:  | currentargus.com

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the latest public official to oppose a proposed nuclear storage facility to be built near Carlsbad and Hobbs, along with another in West Texas.

ELEA/Holtec storage ground view
Artist Rendering of proposed ELEA/Holtec “storage” plan for commercial reactor spent fuel rods in southeast New Mexico

In a Sept. 30 letter to President Donald Trump, Abbott wrote that he worried locating high-level nuclear waste facilities in the Permian Basin region could put the U.S.’s most active oil and gas field at risk.

Holtec International proposed building a consolidated interims storage facility (CISF) to hold spent nuclear fuel rods temporarily in southeast New Mexico while a permanent repository — as required by federal law — was developed.

Continue reading

Activists Decry Feds’ Plans to Ramp Up Nuclear Work at LANL

The federal government should not turn Los Alamos National Laboratory into a hub for making nuclear bomb cores and instead should spend the money to assist the state with education, health care, poverty and climate change impacts, a group of activists and concerned residents said Wednesday at the state Capitol.

BY:  | santafenewmexican.com

The nonprofit Los Alamos Study Group, which supports nuclear disarmament, set up a sound system outside the deserted Roundhouse so critics could express their ire about plans for LANL to produce 30 warhead triggers a year by 2026 without a sitewide environmental study.

The comments, recorded as if the event were a public hearing, will be sent to New Mexico’s congressional delegates, including Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, who support LANL reviving and expanding plutonium pit production, saying it will boost the regional economy and strengthen national security.

Continue reading

World’s Biggest Wind and Solar Producer Now Worth More than ExxonMobil

“The shift is as significant as the one the world has seen in the auto industry, with electric vehicle maker Tesla overtaking the biggest car companies in the world in the last year, to the point where it is now valued at more than the next five biggest global car makers combined, despite producing just a fraction of the number of cars.”

BY:  | reneweconomy.com

In yet another sign of the pace of the global energy transition – and the massive switch taking place in the investment community – the market value of company that describes itself as the world’s biggest producer of wind and solar power, US utility NextEra, has overtaken that of what used to be the world’s most valuable company, oil major ExxonMobil.

The flip occurred last last week, when NextEra overtook ExxonMobil to become the largest energy company in the US by market value. As Forbes reported, an investment in NextEra a decade ago would have delivered to return of 600 per cent, while an investment in ExxonMobil would have returned minus 25 per cent.

Continue reading

U.N. Nuclear Ban Treaty Likely to Enter Into Force Early Next Year

“The only way to completely eliminate nuclear risk is to completely eliminate nuclear weapons” and that the nuclear ban treaty “remains the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime,” Guterres said at a meeting of the General Assembly on Friday.

japantimes.co

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the world is living “in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe,” fueled by growing distrust and tensions between the nuclear powers.

A U.N.-adopted nuclear ban treaty is likely to enter into force early next year as the number of signatories is anticipated to reach the needed threshold of 50 soon, possibly later this month, a diplomatic source said Friday.

According to the source and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 46 countries and regions have completed ratification procedures.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in 2017, will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries and regions.

At least four additional countries have already notified the United Nations of their intention to ratify the treaty, the source and the nonprofit organization said, without revealing the names of any such signatories.

Continue reading

State Public Land Commissioner Speaks Out Against Nuclear Waste Facility

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state Public Lands Commissioner is speaking out against a proposed nuclear waste storage facility in Lea County. In comments submitted to the National Regulatory Commission, Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard says that Holtec International ignored concerns about storing nuclear waste in a highly active oil field.

BY:  | krqe.com

Read Garcia Richard’s full comment and submission to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 

Commissioner Garcia Richard’s released the following statement in a news release Monday regarding the public comment:

I remain vehemently opposed to this proposal for reasons stated since I took office in January 2019. Holtec has misrepresented themselves and this project through every step of the process, including recently raising the intended number of nuclear canisters from 500 to 10,000. They have misrepresented their purported control of the site while also lying about their ability to restrict oil and gas operations in the area.

Holtec has ignored numerous safety concerns regarding the transportation of high-level nuclear waste through New Mexico communities, as well as failing to address questions about storing such waste in the middle of a highly active oil field. As Commissioner of Public Lands, I have a constitutional obligation to protect state trust land for future generations. This project comes with far too much risk and little to no reward.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Activists Push Congress to Revive Probe Into Links Between Nuclear Plants and Cancer

“Nuclear Regulatory Commission killed study in 2015 after spending five years and $1.5 million on the effort”

BY:  | ocregister.com

Scientists and activists were stunned back in 2015 when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission pulled the plug on what was designed to be the best study of cancer near nuclear power plants ever done.

The pilot study’s price tag was $8 million — a pittance in the NRC’s $1 billion budget — and five years of work had already gone into it. But it was killed because officials were convinced it would be too costly and couldn’t link reactors to disease, a Southern California News Group investigation found.

Last week, a petition with some 1,200 signatures demanding that the study resume went to members of Congress representing Southern and Central California.

Continue reading

Texas Governor Urges Trump To Oppose Nuclear Waste Plans

“It’s an unusual thing for environmentalists and oil companies to be on the same page, and we are on this issue,” says an Austin-based environmental advocate.

BY:  | texasstandard.com

Photo courtesy of Waste Control Specialists
A view of an existing site in West Texas where a company wants to store highly radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants, one of two such proposals the Texas governor now says he opposes.

From Courthouse News Service:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has come out against two rival plans to ship highly radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants to sites on the Texas-New Mexico border, saying either plan would be unsafe and would threaten the region’s sprawling Permian Basin oilfield.

“A stable oil and gas industry is essential to the economy, and crucial to the security of our great nation,” Abbott, a Republican, wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday. “Allowing the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste at sites near the largest producing oilfield in the world will compromise the safety of the region.”

The nuclear waste plans have for years drawn the ire of advocacy groups who worry about a range of possible environmental and safety threats, but oil and gas interests have become increasingly involved in the fight as well.

coalition of oil companies and West Texas landowners called Protect the Basin was launched in 2018 to oppose the plans and has more recently stepped up its outreach. One of the coalition members, a ranching and oil company tied to one of the nation’s richest families, has been involved in fighting the issue all the way up to the D.C. Circuit.

Continue reading

Two’s a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don’t mix

“If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.”

BY:  | techxplore.com

That’s the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programs around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions—and in poorer countries nuclear programs actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Continue reading

U.S., Russia Move Toward Outline of Nuclear Deal, Administration Says

“Trump administration official’s comments suggest the two sides might be able to come to terms on broad principles”

BY: MICHAEL R. GORDON | wsj.com

U.S. and Russian negotiators made progress Monday on a new framework accord that would freeze each side’s nuclear arsenal and outline the parameters for a detailed treaty that would be negotiated next year, a senior Trump administration official said.

The accord, if it comes together in the coming month, would give each side something it has sought. President Trump would have a demonstration that his diplomacy toward Moscow has borne fruit, arriving before the November election. Russia would get an extension of the New START…

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

What If We Have A Nuclear War?

Browse the WatchBlog

Must Reads

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Quotes

“Just as the threat of the new coronavirus must be met by cooperation, common-sense and solidarity among peoples and nations, so must the danger of a nuclear war…
Humankind cannot remain oblivious of this persisting danger to its own survival.
The Novel Coronavirus and Nuclear Weapons

As with viruses, containment of atomic weapons may be good, but eradication is best. —  

“While the 20th century equated national security with bombs, bullets and geography, national security in the 21st century is focused on 1s and 0s — the basis of our digital world — and dollars and cents. Reprioritizing spending away from weapons and towards maintaining U.S. economic, scientific and technological superiority will put us on the path toward economic growth and prosperity.” Coronavirus unmasks America’s real national security vulnerabilities

“Let us not recover from the coronavirus only to find ourselves in an even more dangerous world, one menaced by an uncontrolled arms race and persistent fear of nuclear escalation.” Now Is Not the Time to Start an Arms Race

Pentagon press briefing on the Defense Department’s Covid-19 response. (Lisa Ferdinando / Defense Department)

As the coronavirus spreads, Congress still has to review the Pentagon’s defense budget request.