For decades now the United States government has been bamboozled by how to handle a very serious responsibility: how to “permanently” dispose of highly radioactive nuclear waste generated by atomic weapons programs as well as spent nuclear fuel from civilian nuclear reactors. You may recall plans to bury it all under Yucca Mountain, Nevada, or entomb it in salt layers 800 feet underneath Carlsbad, New Mexico. The process of siting a permanent repository is as slow as plutonium decay. The United States Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) just put out six overarching recommendations for the Department of Energy’s nuclear waste management program. These are to help in the development of a successful deep geologic repository program. They include: 1) Ensure an Integrated Organizational Approach 2) Anticipate Required Infrastructure and Personnel Needs 3) Expand the Research Paradigm to Embrace Hypothesis Testing; 4) Apply an Iterative, Adaptive Approach in Developing and Managing the Nuclear Waste Management Program 5) Expand Engagement with the International Community to Benefit from Lessons Learned 6) Embrace Openness, Transparency, and Engagement. I don’t want to rain on their parade but we gave the country basically the same recommendations 10 years ago and we were ignored then. I’m sure these will be ignored yet again.
Forbes 10th May 2021 read more »
If a spent fuel storage cask at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey has a serious problem that requires additional containment, the company in charge of managing the waste and decommissioning of the now closed nuclear plant says it has a solution. Holtec claims that if a cask on the nuclear power plant site goes bad, it will bring in its special, larger “transportation cask”, stored at the company’s headquarters in Camden, NJ. The reportedly “massive” emergency cask, made of concrete and steel, would be transported to the Oyster Creek site by barge. But would this work?
Beyond Nuclear 9th May 2021 read more »