Atlantic Fukushima, Dangers of Spent Fuel, Fukushima, major hazard management, Major Risk Management, NRC, nuclear energy, nuclear guinea pigs, nuclear power, nuclear reactors, nuclear regulatory commission, nuclear risks, Senator Markey, Spent Fuel, US NRC
Possible Atlantic Fukushima in the making. Europeans and eastern Canadians beware! The Atlantic is smaller than the Pacific. Note that this is a US Democratic Party Senator having to fight a supposedly Democratic US Presidential Administration. Senator Markey led hearings on US Nuclear Human Guinea Pigs in the 1980s.
“Markey Blasts NRC Vote on Dangerous Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Lawmaker introduced legislation with Sens. Boxer & Sanders to move spent nuclear fuel into safer dry cask storage
Washington (May 27, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) today published its 4-1 vote against requiring the accelerated transfer of spent nuclear fuel from current pools into safer dry cask storage. As part of its post-Fukushima activities, the NRC studied whether licensees should be required to remove spent nuclear fuel from spent fuel pools more quickly.
“Overcrowded spent nuclear fuel pools are a disaster waiting to happen,” said Senator Markey. “Experts agree an accident at one of these pools could result in damage as bad as that caused by an accident at an operating nuclear reactor. Pilgrim Nuclear Plant’s spent fuel pool contains nearly four times more radioactive waste than it was originally designed to hold. It is time for the NRC to post the ‘Danger’ sign outside the fuel pools and begin to swiftly move spent fuel to safer storage now before a disaster occurs.”
When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the part of the reactor that generates electricity, it continues to produce significant quantities of heat and radiation for years. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, NRC and independent experts have shown that partial draining of the water from a crowded spent fuel pool caused by an accident or terrorist attack could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination. In Massachusetts, the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station was originally licensed to hold about 880 spent fuel assemblies in its spent fuel pool but now holds close to 4,000, making it very vulnerable to this sort of fire.
Earlier this month, Senator Markey, along with Senators Boxer and Sanders, introduced S. 2325, the Dry Cask Storage Act of 2014, which would ensure that every nuclear reactor operator complies with an NRC-approved plan that would require the safe removal of spent nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pools and place that spent fuel into dry cask storage within seven years of the time the plan is submitted to the NRC. The legislation also provides funding to help reactor licensees implement the plans and expands the emergency planning zone for non-compliant reactor operators to 50 miles.
On September 17, 2013, Senator Markey sent a letter to NRC Chairman Macfarlane describing the staff’s recommendation as “biased, inaccurate and at odds with the conclusions of other scientific experts – including those expressed in a peer-reviewed article that was co-authored by you in 2003.” http://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/markey-blasts-nrc-vote-on-dangerous-spent-nuclear-fuel-storage
“Introduced in Senate (05/13/2014)
Dry Cask Storage Act of 2014 – Amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to require each licensee of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to submit a plan for: (1) transfer (including on-going additional transfers) to spent nuclear fuel dry casks of any spent nuclear fuel stored by the licensee for at least seven years in spent nuclear fuel pools, and (2) configuration of the remaining spent nuclear fuel in the pool in a manner that minimizes the chance of a fire if there is a loss of water in the pool.
Requires the NRC to approve or disapprove the plan within 90 days after its submission.
Authorizes the NRC to make a grant to any licensee with an approved plan to assist in the cost of transferring spent nuclear fuel to dry casks under the plan.
Requires the emergency planning zone applicable to each civilian nuclear power reactor to be at least 10 miles in radius until all spent nuclear fuel at the reactor has been transferred to dry casks.
Directs the NRC to expand to 50 miles in radius the emergency planning zone applicable to each reactor not in compliance with an approved plan. Makes the licensee responsible for all coasts associated with expansion.
Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to transfer annually to the NRC, to pay the costs of the grants program, 10% of the interest generated during the preceding fiscal year from investments of the Nuclear Waste Fund“. https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2325
Sen. Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]* 05/13/2014
Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT]* 05/13/2014
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 06/18/2014 https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2325/cosponsors
THOSE WHO ARE WORRIED MAY WANT TO CONTACT THEIR CONGRESSIONAL REPS-THE US CONGRESS TO SUPPORT THE BILL. PREVAILING WINDS-WEATHER FRONTS TEND TO MOVE SUCH THAT CANADA AND EUROPE WOULD BE AT RISK FROM PILGRIM AND SOME OTHER EAST COAST REACTORS. MUCH OF THE US AND CANADA WOULD BE IMPACTED BY ACCIDENTS IN CALIFORNIA, AND OBVIOUSLY BY ACCIDENTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE US. THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL BE SOMEWHAT EFFECTED BY ANY NUCLEAR ACCIDENT ANYWHERE.
Note that the Dry Storage Casks should be of durable quality, HOSS, and properly monitored. For details see: https://www.nirs.org/radwaste/policy/hossprinciples3232010.pdf