For all those who, like us, have wondered if the French gave NRC Commissioner Magwood, as well as the Mississippi governor, some mysterious potion to make them sing and dance a pro-nuclear song and finally concluded that maybe it was absinthe, it must be pointed out that Magwood made his radioactive bed early on with Westinghouse. It probably didn’t take much for the French to temporarily entrance the Mississippi governor, however, pour lui faire tourner la tête.
Albert Maignan’s “Green Muse” (1895): A poet succumbs to the Green Fairy (Absinthe), Musée de Picardie, Amiens
Place Vendôme, Paris, by Dimitri Destugues, CC-By-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia
That is why Elvis’ cousin, Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Presley, had to recently straighten Washington DC out on the real wishes of Mississippi – not to become a radioactive dumping ground, in the run-up to the “Waste Confidence” vote, on August 26th.
NRC Commissioner, the Dishonorable Mr. Magwood, has taken a job déshonorant with the Paris based pro-nuclear lobby The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) whose mission is to “assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, … nuclear energy..” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Energy_Agency (More on Magwood & NEA below)
Revolving Doors-Radioactive Beds
72 Years of Nuclear Waste – higher than the mattresses of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea”
Magwood revolved into government for many years and now he is revolving back out or is he rolling in and out?:
“In politics, the ‘revolving door’ is a movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation. In some cases the roles are performed in sequence but in certain circumstances may be performed at the same time. Political analysts claim that an unhealthy relationship can develop between the private sector and government, based on the granting of reciprocated privileges to the detriment of the nation and can lead to regulatory capture.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolving_door_(politics)
What’s At Stake with (No) Waste Confidence Vote on August 26th?
“Between 1957 and 2013, around 70,000 metric tons (77,000 tons) of forever deadly commercial irradiated nuclear fuel (high-level radioactive waste, HLRW) has accumulated across the U.S., a problem with no solution in sight. Even though HLRW is one of the worst hazards humans have ever created, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was never conducted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to examine the risks. NRC has permitted the unlimited generation of HLRW at atomic reactors by hiding behind a policy labeled the ‘Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision’ for decades. Recently, a coalition of states and environmental groups won a major legal victory, wherein the second highest court in the land ordered NRC to carry out a long overdue EIS…
In 2011, a coalition of state Attorneys General (from CT, NJ, NY, and VT) and environmental groups launched a renewed challenge to NRC’s Nuke Waste Con Game in the federal courts…. In June 2012, they won. The federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the second highest court in the land, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, nullifying NRC’s 28-year old Nuclear Waste Confidence. The three judge panel found that NRC had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Court ordered NRC to carry out a decades overdue EIS.” (Read the entire explanation here: http://www.beyondnuclear.org/storage/kk-links/9%2012%2013%20Nuke%20Waste%20Con%20Game%20White%20Paper.pdf)
Since the Ruling there have been No Licenses for New Reactors and No License Renewals, Pending an Environmental Impact Study Due Autumn 2014. Obviously this was Bad for Magwood’s Nuclear Friends.
“Since the summer of 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been unable to issue licenses for new reactors, nor renewals for existing licenses. A federal court threw out the underpinning of the agency’s radioactive waste policy–its ‘waste confidence’ rule. That rule had stated that the NRC was confident that high-level radioactive waste always would be stored or disposed safely, and thus could continue to be generated.
But the court found that with the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site effectively cancelled and no alternative in place, the NRC could not be ‘confident’ of permanent disposal. Moreover, the court ruled that the NRC had no technical basis for asserting that current on-site storage practices in fuel pools and dry casks would be safe for the indefinite future. This ruling forced the current moratorium on licensing.
The NRC has now prepared a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) as part of the process of replacing its ‘waste confidence’ rule and it hopes to finalize this document and resume licensing during 2014….” Emphasis added, Read more here: http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/wasteconfidence.htm
There are concerns about Magwood voting on the travesty of an EIS document before he flees to be an official pro-nuclear lobbyist
“NRC Commissioner William D. Magwood IV announced today he will step down from his position at the NRC effective at the close of business Aug. 31, 2014. He will assume his new position as the Director-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) on Sept. 1. Magwood was initially sworn in to the Commission on April 1, 2010. His term was to run through June 2015.” (Emphasis added) http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2014/14-042.pdf More on Magwood at the bottom of the page. Magwood’s done nothing but promote the nuclear industry his entire career, whether out of government, in the US DOE, in the US NRC, and again with the NEA. He needs to go to Fukushima and hunt for the corium!
Beware Potential Low Level Waste Dilute and Deceive Scam by the NRC, mid-September
“On May 15, 2014, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a request for public comment on developments concerning the Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) Regulatory Program. These developments over the next several years would affect licensees and States with LLRW disposal sites and actions that the NRC could take to ensure safety, security, and the protection of the environment. The public comment period was originally scheduled to close on July 14, 2014. The NRC has decided to extend the public comment period to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments“.
Comment here until September 15th: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2014-0080-0002 http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NRC-2014-0080
Low Level Waste is being dumped in some public landfills in the US and the UK, under a dilute and deceive scam The problem is hinted at in the draft NRC EIS for Waste. While you are looking at the high level waste they may decide to dump diluted low level (including things like plutonium) in your public landfill. Be vigilant! Check your state and local laws too!
“Cumulative impacts on waste-management resources include the incremental effects from continued storage when added to the aggregate effects of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. The incremental impacts from continued storage on waste-management resources are described in Sections 4.15 and 5.15 and summarized in Table 6-3. In addition, past, present, and reasonably foreseeable Federal and non-Federal activities described in Sections 6.3.1 and 6.3.2, spread across the geographic area of interest (national scale), are SMALL to LARGE for LLW and mixed waste because local, regional, or national waste-management resources might experience minor to destabilizing decreases in their capacity…. A SMALL impact would occur if local, regional, or national waste-management facilities experience no noticeable decreases in their capacity or operating lifespan from continued storage or other Federal or non-Federal activities. A MODERATE impact would occur if local, regional, or national waste-management facilities experience noticeable decreases in their capacity or operating lifespan. A LARGE impact would occur in the unlikely event that available LLW or nonradioactive nonhazardous waste disposal capacity decreases and LLW or nonradioactive nonhazardous waste generation increases as a result of multiple other NRC-regulated or spent fuel-related activities occurring concurrently. The NRC determined that these cumulative impacts (ranging from SMALL to LARGE) could increase as a result of continued storage of spent fuel because the incremental impacts from continued storage would range from minor to noticeable, which could increase a SMALL cumulative impact to a MODERATE cumulative impact or a MODERATE cumulative impact to a LARGE cumulative impact.” http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1418/ML14188B749.pdf “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Manuscript Completed, August 2014”
The US NRC has outdone itself with this Radioactive Farce!
After All Tomorrow is Another Day or Frankly My Dear They Don’t Give a Damn?
Having spent about a week looking through the NRC draft Generic EIS for ISL at the Dewey Burdock mine in South Dakota, which is a mixture of insouciant Scarlett O’Hara, “I’ll think about it tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day“; stating the problems and then ignoring them (e.g. endangered species) i.e. “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn“, and doing the environmental justice component incorrectly, we haven’t looked in detail at this new NRC generic EIS document for waste and simply give you the summary pages which are the most farcical and ludicrous “study” yet seen anywhere. If you have high blood pressure or a weak heart, maybe you had better not look at this, especially if you are in the USA or hold US citizenship. Have a seat; take a deep breath. This is what they vote on for August 26th.
From the NRC’s “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Manuscript Completed: August 2014
Two of the things which this document has in common with the book “Gone with the Wind” (there are more) are the length and the “I’ll think about it tomorrow” philosophy. Nuclear Blown with the Wind? Indeed, nice and easy-going Michael Mariotte of the NIRS has characterized this over 1,000 page document as: “Dismayingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the NRC’s proposal–the one that will be voted on–comes to the same conclusion as its previous rule: when it comes to radioactive waste, don’t worry, be happy. Everything will be just hunky-dory.” http://safeenergy.org/2014/08/22/is-nrc-rushing-critical-vote-for-magwood/#more-7792
More on the Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule
In 2012: “The five Commissioners who direct the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have just ordered NRC Staff to carry out an expedited, two-year long Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process to revise the agency’s Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision (NWCD) and Rule. Critics have charged the NWCD is a confidence game, which for decades has prevented environmental opponents of new reactor construction/operation licenses, as well as old reactor license extensions, from raising high-level radioactive waste generation/storage concerns during NRC licensing proceedings, or even in the federal courts. This EIS process and NWCD revision will thus delay any final NRC approval for new reactor construction/operation licenses, or old reactor license extensions, for at least two years“. Read the rest here: http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2012/9/6/nrcs-nuke-waste-confidence-eis-will-delay-reactor-licenses-f.html
“Historically, Waste Confidence has been the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) generic determination regarding the environmental impacts of storing spent nuclear fuel beyond the licensed life for operation of a nuclear power plant. This generic analysis has been incorporated into the Commission’s NEPA reviews for new reactor licenses, license renewals, and Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) licenses through the Waste Confidence Rule. The Waste Confidence GEIS and rule satisfy the NRC’s obligations under NEPA with respect to post-licensed-life storage of spent nuclear fuel.
On June 8, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit found that some aspects of the 2010 rulemaking did not satisfy the NRC’s NEPA obligations and vacated the rulemaking. [New York v. NRC, 681 F.3d 471 (D.C. Cir. 2012)]. The court indicated that in making either a Finding Of No Significant Impact based on an Environmental Assessment or in an Environmental Impact Statement supporting the rulemaking, the Commission needed to add additional discussions concerning the impacts of failing to secure permanent disposal for spent nuclear fuel, and concerning the impacts of certain aspects of potential spent fuel pool leaks and spent fuel pool fires.
In response to the Court’s decision, the Commission decided to stop all licensing activities that rely on the Waste Confidence rule (see CLI-12-016). The NRC created a Waste Confidence Directorate within the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards to oversee the development of a Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement and revised Rule. The Commission has instructed the Directorate to issue the final Generic Environmental Impact Statement and Rule by no later than fall 2014” http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd.html (Emphasis added).
What is the NEA?
“The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is an intergovernmental agency that is organized under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Originally formed on 1 February 1958 with the name European Nuclear Energy Agency (ENEA); the United States participated as an Associate Member), the name was changed on 20 April 1972 to its current name after Japan became a member.
The mission of the NEA is to ‘assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”
Magwood Bio from the NRC. He made his Nuclear bed early on
The dishonourable “William D. Magwood, IV was sworn in as a Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on April 1, 2010, to an initial term ending on June 30, 2010, and a reappointment term ending June 30, 2015.
Mr. Magwood has a distinguished career in the nuclear field and in public service. He was the longest-serving head of the United States’ civilian nuclear technology program, serving two Presidents and five Secretaries of Energy.
Mr. Magwood served seven years as the Director of Nuclear Energy with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he was the senior nuclear technology official in the United States Government. He oversaw the restoration of the Federal nuclear technology program and led the creation of “Nuclear Power 2010,” “Generation IV,” and other innovative initiatives—including successful efforts that helped reverse the decline in American nuclear technology education. During his tenure at DOE, Mr. Magwood was recognized as a strong advocate of international technology cooperation and served as Chairman of both the Generation IV International Forum and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Steering Committee on Nuclear Energy.
Since joining the NRC, he has continued his advocacy for both U.S. science and technology education and strong international cooperation. He has also sought to assure transparency and improve the agency’s openness to public participation. As an NRC Commissioner, Mr. Magwood has been a strong defender of the NRC’s regulatory independence and adherence to the principle that regulations should be based firmly on scientific and technical facts. From his nomination as a Commissioner, Mr. Magwood has remained committed to his promise to carry out his responsibilities “in a manner that earns the public’s trust, and always doing the right thing even when the right thing isn’t easy.”
Prior to his appointments at DOE, Mr. Magwood managed electric utility research and nuclear policy programs at the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, D.C. Before that, he was a scientist at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Magwood holds a B.S. degree in physics and a B.A. degree in English from Carnegie-Mellon University. He also holds an M.F.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, July 08, 2014” http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/organization/commission/magwood.html