Advisory board opposes SRS as nuclear waste venue

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:05 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 24, 2013 8:31 AM
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Savannah River Site’s Citizens Advisory Board adopted a position paper Tuesday opposing SRS’ future use as a storage site for spent nuclear fuel.

“Future generations of South Carolinians and Georgians will not be well served by having the Savannah River Site become an interim storage site for commercial nuclear waste, and for what will be an undetermined length of time,” the position paper stated.

Its adoption in a 17-6 vote followed debate in recent weeks during which South Carolina’s Sierra Club and other groups lobbied against using the site to store commercial nuclear waste once destined for the defunct Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

“This vote firmly established that the community is on a track to reject any formal proposal to store highly radioactive commercial spent fuel at SRS,” said Tom Clements, the Southeastern Nuclear Campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

Washington’s cancellation of the Yucca Mountain project left the nation without a final resting place for about 75,000 tons of spent fuel that continues to accumulate at the nation’s 104 commercial power reactors.

A federal committee has proposed “consolidated, interim storage” as an alternative, and SRS has been discussed as a possible location.

According to a $200,000 study commissioned by the SRS Community Reuse Organization, the Aiken County site’s nuclear expertise and infrastructure could fulfil the needs of an interim storage program, while bringing jobs and economic benefits to the region.

The advisory board’s position paper, however, stated that there are no data supporting an assumption that a repository superior to Yucca Mountain will ever be identified.

“In addition, the $13 billion … already spent to build the Yucca Mountain facility will be totally lost if a different site is selected,” the group said. “Considering the current national debt and budget deficit, it is unlikely that adequate funding will be available.”

Clements said the advisory board’s position is politically important, in part because a proposed law that would create a federal Nuclear Waste Administration calls for “consent-based siting” in which communities affected by waste storage would have a high level of influence.

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nocnoc 07/23/13 - 04:03 pm
1/2 life vs. Human life

Smart recommendation.

When dealing with some radio isotopes that can have 1/2 half-lives of 10's of 1,000 of years.

The further away from humans area the better.

Consider a few of the 1/2 lifes for common isotopes.

Strontium-90 - 28 years
Caesium-137 - 30 years
Plutonium-239 - 24,000 years
Caesium-135 - 2.3 million years
Iodine-129 - 15.7 million years
Uranium-235 - 703.8 million years.

Obviously many times more than humanity will be around.
But deadly just the same for 5,000 to 10,000+++ years.

Maybe Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada could use it.
Maybe the Nevada desert will not become a inland sea again in the next 10,000+++ years?

SCEagle Eye
SCEagle Eye 07/23/13 - 05:37 pm
way to go CAB!

A big thanks to the SRS CAB for representing the views of the public in SC & GA with this vote to keep spent fuel out of SRS! Let's hope Congress and DOE are listening.

Reindeargirl 07/23/13 - 10:51 pm
Congress doesn't know what its doing and no one trusts them

How dare the Congress write legislation that dumps the nation's inventory of spent fuel somewhere with no exit strategy, no plan to remove it, no plan for a permanent repository and no funding? What community would be stupid enough to take 70,000 ton of the most deadly toxic material in the world with no promise to move it or find a permanent solution? The issue of nuclear waste is turning into another debacle in the history of the nuclear industry, and the DOE has lost all credibility. The U.S. government should never have promised the taxpayers would take ownership of this waste in the first place. Now we are stuck in a situation where no state will want to take this poison, and states will be pitted against each other in a fight to see who will get left with the short straw. Congress continues to cut funding for cleaning up the mess that's already here, and we know the Hanford, Wa. site is getting more attention because their tanks are leaking. . . its a gol darn mess and I for one am glad the CAB had the clarity to say no to any more scams. The Aiken/Augusta area will find other opportunities and businesses to take up the slack as missions wind down at SRS. We cannot live off the government dole forever.

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