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In the nuclear return to sender game, Germany had better watch its step! It is trying to send almost a ton of its nuclear waste from a failed experimental reactor (which had an accident long ago) to the USA on the grounds that the fuel originated in the USA, but if this is the game being played Germany should get hundreds of thousands of tons in return. [Update: The US is playing a trick on the American people. The US supposedly sent or sold less than one tonne of HEU (highly enriched uranium) to Germany. However, Germany is trying to sent 200 tonnes of associated nuclear waste from failed Pebble Bed nuclear reactors back to the US: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/200-tonnes-of-high-level-nuclear-waste-spent-nuclear-fuel-to-be-dumped-on-america-nuclear-fuel-was-96-german-made-oppose-until-11-march-11-59-pm-us-eastern-time-one-minute-to-midnight/ ]
Obama, who has always been more wildly popular in Germany than he ever was in the US, is willing to take it and dump more nuclear waste on the majority poor people of Savannah River Site in South Carolina (probable kin to his mother, wife, and children). Those affiliated with one contractor at the Savannah River Site, Honeywell, were major campaign donors to Obama. Also, Obama is believed close to Honeywell CEO, David Cote. Another contractor is URS, lead for the consortium running WIPP. Most know how that’s been going:
US WIPP waste facility in New Mexico, May 22 entry, Official DOE photo
It’s not even clear to us what part of this waste supposedly originated in the US. Was it mined there or was it enriched there? All we know is that it was not used there.
Germany has been a major uranium miner and is currently a major player in uranium enrichment. Right now it accounts for over 10 percent of world-wide uranium enrichment activity. The only active uranium enrichment facilities in the US belong to URENCO which is one third owned by German companies, one third by the Dutch government and one third by the UK government. Historically Germany was the largest producer of uranium ore under Soviet Russian control – fourth in the world.
And, so, if Germany intends to walk this road, then in exchange for almost a ton of nuclear waste it should be getting hundreds of thousands of tons back to store in Germany, both from the US and elsewhere – historic waste and current waste. During the Megatons to Megawatts program, the US took 500 metric tonnes of Russian HEU, which is equivalent to about 150,000 tonnes of natural uranium .
This means that up to 65% of the uranium mined in Germany from 1947 to 1990 has found its way to the USA and is dangerously perched, with no place to go, since the US has no high level waste facility, at nuclear facilities all over the USA. Meanwhile, the almost one ton of waste from the German Pebble Reactor is safely stored on site, surrounded by a forest – a site which it has been reportedly already contaminated anyway.
So, if the game is nuclear “return to sender”, with the sender being those who have mined or enriched uranium, then Germany has a lot of waste it needs to receive, as opposed to dumping it on anyone it can get by with dumping on, as it has up to now – dumping German radioactive sludge on the farmlands of Italy, sending nuclear waste to Russian Siberia, and burning its low level radioactive waste in Tennessee, USA.
What happened to German Innovation and Technology?
Germans are said to have state-of-the-art incinerators (not sure if this is currently true, or a historical reference), yet they sent their radioactive waste to Tennessee, USA to be burned (100 tons reportedly burned in January of 2013 ): “Could that be because the German limit on dioxins and furans from incineration is up to 10 times more stringent than the U.S. limit?… The health risks from older incinerators are greater than from new, well-run incinerators. The EnergySolutions incinerators in Oak Ridge are over twenty years old.” http://www.nonukesyall.org/pdfs/INCINERATION%20FACTSHEET.pdf
Is Germany’s only technological innovation to dump on the poor and helpless in South Carolina and elsewhere? There’s nothing innovative in that! Shame on Germany! Shame on Obama! Obama needs to go to the psychiatrist.
If you think that dumping German Nuclear Waste in the USA is wrong, before 21 July 2014, please contact:
Mr. Andrew Grainger
NEPA Compliance Officer
U.S.Department of Energy
P.O. Box B
Aiken, South Carolina 29802
AS REPEAT OFFENDERS For EXPORTING NUCLEAR WASTE ON OTHERS, IT IS TIME TO BOYCOTT GERMANY PRODUCTS, at least the German heavy industrial sector, which benefited from and kept Hitler in power, and appear buddies to the current government :
According to Savannah River Site watch: “…no documents were found indicating that the AVR and THTR reactors were ‘research’ reactors. A research reactor is used for such things as material research, neutron flux research, materials performance and training and such was not the case with those reactors. The draft EA must make the impossible case that they were research reactors.” http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/attachments_to_scoping_comments_on_does_ea_june_24_2014.pdf http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/comments_on_illegal_german_nuke_waste_import_to_srs_june_24_2014.pdf The difference in the reactors being experimental and being for research is apparently the difference between the export being illegal or legal.
“The public scoping period closes on July 21, 2014. DOE will consider all comments received or postmarked by that date. Comments submitted after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.
Please direct written comments on the scope of the German HEU Fuel EA to:
Mr. Andrew Grainger
NEPA Compliance Officer
U.S.Department of Energy
P.O. Box B
Aiken, South Carolina 29802
Comments on the scope of the German HEU Fuel EA may also be submitted by email to email@example.com. DOE will give equal weight to written comments and oral comments received at the public scoping meeting. Requests to be placed on the German HEU Fuel EA mailing list should be directed to Mr. Grainger at the postal or email. http://energy.gov/nepa/ea-1977-acceptance-and-disposition-used-nuclear-fuel-containing-us-origin-highly-enriched “EA-1977: Acceptance and Disposition of Used Nuclear Fuel Containing U.S.-Origin Highly Enriched Uranium from the Federal Republic of Germany”
On the German Government end, contact:
Federal President Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert
Ursula Heinen-Esser and Michael Müller
Also: Peter Altmaier Minister in the Chancellor’s Office, former Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
kommission.endlagerung @ bundestag.de
This may not be the “proper” email address but it seems appropriate. You may also want to contact the German Embassy or consulate. In particular Peter Altmaier had promised not to dump German radioactive waste on other countries!
Very nice and earnest German Environmentalists made German Corporations take back some nuclear waste, which had been exported to Russia. So too, some try to stop export of German nuclear waste to the USA, especially for transport-safety reasons. According to a German Environmental Group, which opposes export to the USA:
“The present intermediate storage of Research Center Juelich (FZJ) lost its permit some months ago, because it was found during recent stress tests to be an unacceptable „safety light“ construction. The intended transport into another intermediate nuclear waste storage (Ahaus/FRG) failed because of public protests in the whole state of Northrhine-Westphalia. It is widely believed that this problematic AVR waste should stay in an improved intermediate storage in Juelich, where the responsibilities and the know how still remain. FZJ however fears a tarnished reputation, if this badly renowned AVR waste stays there in future, and believes that it might become less attractive in the international scientific community, as the chairman of the advisory board outlined. Thus, Juelich does not impel the construction of an improved intermediate storage facility, but tries to export the waste into the US…
Alternatives to an export, which are more environmental friendly Summing up we believe that the most environmental friendly way of handling the huge problem of German pebble bed reactor waste is as follows: Construction of a new safe intermediate waste storage facility for AVR spent fuel waste, for the AVR vessel and from 2036 for the THTR fuel, combined with conditioning and handling facilities for this waste, in Juelich. Because the soil at the AVR site is already contaminated with Strontium, this might be – after the intended partial decontamination – an ideal site for such a waste center.” http://www.westcastor.de/AVR-US.pdf
 On donations by those affiliated with Honeywell: http://influenceexplorer.com/organization/honeywell-international/2d625ce311ff4aa091ae66f440c2a62f http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000334
Role of Honeywell and others at SRS:
“SRNS is responsible for the Site’s nuclear facility operations, with the exception of the liquid waste facilities; SRNL; environment, safety, health and quality assurance; and all administrative functions. The SRNS team includes Fluor Daniel, Northrop Grumman and Honeywell. Savannah River Remediation, LLC, is responsible for liquid waste operations under a contract that is in place for six years beginning July 1, 2009. The SRR team includes URS, Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel and CH2MHill. The rest are SRNS subcontractors, the U.S. Forest Service-Savannah River, and other DOE contractors; the security contractor, WSI-Wackenhut Services Inc.; Shaw AREVA MOX Services; Parsons; and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, operated by the University of Georgia” http://www.srs. gov/general/news/factsheets/srs.pdf
 According to world-nuclear.org’s chart on “World Enrichment capacity“, Germany-Netherlands-UK Urenco: Gronau, Germanu; Almelo, Netherlands; Capenhurst, UK for 2013 is 14,200; USA Urenco, New Mexico 3500, out of a world Total SWU/yr approx of 51,550. Russia has the biggest share of enrichment with Russia Tenex making 26,000 SWU/yr. See: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Conversion-Enrichment-and-Fabrication/Uranium-Enrichment/
Based on this, we calculate that Urenco has a 34% international market share for enrichment. Urenco itself reports a 29% market share. Urenco is equally owned in 3 parts by the UK govt, the government of the Netherlands, and German companies, E.ON and RWE. Russian Tenex, which is 100 percent Rosatom-Russian govt. owned, based on the above information, enriches half of the uranium in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urenco_Group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techsnabexport
 Re Megatons to Megawatts, from “Military Warheads as a source of nuclear fuel“: “Overall the blending down of 500 tonnes of Russian HEU resulted in about 14,446 tonnes of LEU over 20 years. This is equivalent to about 150,000 tonnes of natural U (177,000 t U3O8), about 2.5 times annual world demand.” http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/nuclear-fuel-cycle/uranium-resources/military-warheads-as-a-source-of-nuclear-fuel/
 On February 11-12, 2013, Frank Mungor, of the Knoxville News Sentinel, reported that Energy Solutions said that it had burned 100 tons of Germany’s Radioactive Waste at its Oak Ridge Facility in January of 2013.
 “Bought by BMW? German Chancellor Angela Merkel forced on to defensive over €700,000 donation from carmaker to her Christian Democratic Party“, By TONY PATERSON, BERLIN Wednesday 16 October 2013 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/bought-by-bmw-german-chancellor-angela-merkel-forced-on-to-defensive-over-700000-donation-from-carmaker-to-her-christian-democratic-party-8884777.html
“Berlin and the Commission have been at odds over the German policy under which consumers pay a surcharge to finance renewable energy while heavy industrial users are exempt.” (“UPDATE 1-Merkel to push back against EU if green energy support questioned” Posted:Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:43:26 GMT http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/KChla63lvUY/story01.htm)
Information regarding the Savannah River Site: http://www.srswatch.org
“It is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The management and operating contract is held by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC (SRNS), and the Liquid Waste Operations contract is held by Savannah River Remediation, which is a team of companies led by URS
Corp.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savannah_River_Site https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/u-s-confirms-discussions-with-germany-re-importing-high-level-german-nuclear-waste-to-the-usa/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/germany-to-dump-high-level-radioactive-waste-on-the-poor-african-americans-savannah-river-site-usa/ http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/savannah_river_site_watch_news_german_waste_sr_may_30_2014.pdf
http://nukewatch.org/activemap/NWC-SRS.html Note in particular that “This huge reservation was established by eminent domain in November 1950 and construction was largely completed by 1956.“, meaning that it was not chosen by the people, but imposed.
See also: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/us-states-sue-fine-over-old-nuclear-waste-clean-up-while-us-tries-to-import-nuclear-waste-from-germany-and-make-more/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/germanys-idea-of-technology-innovation-dump-its-nuclear-waste-on-non-germans/
Germany Uranium Mining and Enrichment:
“The search for uranium ore intensified during the cold war, but only in East Germany was an extensive uranium mining industry established. Uranium was mined from 1947 to 1990 from mines in Saxony and Thuringia by the SDAG Wismut. All the uranium mines were closed after the German reunification for economic and environmental reasons. Total production in East Germany was 230,400 t of uranium, making it the third largest producer in history behind the USA and Canada. Minor production still takes place at the Königstein mine southeast of Dresden from cleaning of mine water. This production has been 38 t of uranium in 2007.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining_by_country#Germany
“SAG/SDAG Wismut was a uranium mining company in East Germany during the time of the cold war. It produced a total of 230,400 tonnes of uranium between 1947 and 1990 and made East Germany the fourth largest producer of uranium ore in the world at the time. It was the largest single producer of uranium ore in the entire sphere of control of the USSR. In 1991 after German reunification it was transformed into the Wismut GmbH company, owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, which is now responsible for the restoration and environmental cleanup of the former mining and milling areas. The head office of SDAG Wismut / Wismut GmbH is in Chemnitz-Siegmar.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SDAG_Wismut http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wismut_(mining_company)
“The Urenco Group is a nuclear fuel company operating several uranium enrichment plants in Germany, the Netherlands, United States, and United Kingdom. It supplies nuclear power stations in about 15 countries, and states that it had a 29% share of the global market for enrichment services in 2011.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urenco_Group “As of May 2013 Urenco Group was owned by the British and Dutch governments, with one-third each, and with the German third held jointly by E.On and RWE.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RWE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.ON
“The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has monitored the elimination of more than 475 metric tons (MT) of Russian highly enriched uranium (HEU) under a landmark nuclear nonproliferation program, commonly known as Megatons to Megawatts. With today’s 475 MT HEU milestone, deliveries under the U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement of low enriched uranium (LEU) produced from Russian HEU are 95 percent complete, and HEU roughly equivalent to 19,000 nuclear weapons has been permanently eliminated.” http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/mediaroom/pressreleases/heupurchasagreement061913
“The AVR reactor (German: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Versuchsreaktor) was a prototype pebble bed reactor at Jülich Research Centre in West Germany. Construction began in 1960, first grid connection was in 1967 and operation ceased in 1988./It was 15MWe, 46 MWt, and was used to develop and test a wide variety of fuels and machinery over its lifetime. Its Helium outlet temperature was 950°C, but fuel temperature instabilities occurred during operation with locally far too high temperatures. As a consequence the whole reactor vessel became heavily contaminated by Cs-137 and Sr-90. Concerning beta-contamination AVR is the highest contaminated nuclear installation worldwide as AVR management confirmed 2001. Some contamination was also found in soil/groundwater under the reactor, as the German government confirmed in February, 2010. Thus the reactor vessel was filled in 2008 with light concrete in order to fix the radioactive dust and in 2012 the reactor vessel of 2100 metric tons will be transported about 200 meters by air-cushion sled and seven cranes to an intermediate storage. There exists currently no dismantling method for the AVR vessel, but it is planned to develop some procedure during the next 60 years and to start with vessel dismantling at the end of the century. In the meantime, after transport of the AVR vessel into the intermediate storage, the reactor buildings will be dismantled and soil and groundwater will be decontaminated. Fuel removal out of AVR was difficult and lasted 4 years. During this procedure it became obvious that the AVR bottom reflector was broken; in its crack about 200 fuel pebbles remain captured. AVR dismantling costs will exceed its construction costs by far. AVR was the basis of the technology licensed to China to build HTR-10.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR_reactor
“In April 2014 a report of independent experts on the AVR operation was published. This report lists hidden or downplayed events and accidents, discusses an illegal manipulation of the reactor safety system during an accident and criticizes a far too optimistic interpretation of the AVR operation with respect to potential future pebble bed reactors. As a consequence of the report Juelich Research Center regretted failures and scientific misbehavior with respect to the AVR.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR_reactor
Further details on AVR and this case: http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/comments_on_illegal_german_nuke_waste_import_to_srs_june_24_2014.pdf
“German nuclear waste may be headed to South Carolina site
Posted:Wed, 04 Jun 2014 22:06:38 GMT
CHARLESTON S.C. (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Energy said on Wednesday it will study the environmental risk of importing spent nuclear fuel from Germany that contains highly enriched uranium, a move believed to be the first for the United States.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/9X-m9qAAJgg/story01.htm From the above article: “The Energy Department said it wants to remove 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds) of uranium the United States sold to Germany years ago and render it safe under U.S. nuclear non-proliferation treaties.“