canister, corrosion, dry cask storage, dry casks, Holtec Dry Casks, Kris Singh, nuclear accident, nuclear energy, nuclear waste, radiation, radiation exposure, Southern California Edison, spent fuel leaks, spent fuel storage
“Southern California Edison’s Community Engagement Panel
14 Oct. 2014, San Juan Capistrano, California”
Kris Singh, Holtec CEO, responds to audience question:
“Well, in my personal belief, it is not practical to repair a canister if it were damaged, if it had a through wall [mumbles], first to prevent it, but in the most unlikely circumstance, if that canister were to develop a leak, let’s be realistic; you have to find it, that crack, where it might be, and then find the means to repair it. You will have, in the face of millions of curies of radioactivity that is coming coming out of the canister; we think it’s not a path forward.”
[A curie is 37 billion becquerels (radioactive emissions-disintegrations per second), so millions of billions of radioactive emissions.]
“However, you can easily isolate that canister in a cask that keeps it cool and basically you have provided a next confinement boundary, you’re not relying on the canister. So that is the practical way to deal with it and that’s the way we advocate for our clients. My personal position is that a canister that develops a microscopic crack and all it takes is a microscopic crack, you’re going to get release. To precisely locate it [mumbles] location where it will occur is in order and then if you try to repair it remotely by welding, of course remotely you can go with the weld but the problem with that is that you create a rough surface which becomes a nucleation site for corrosion down the road. ASME section 3 class one has some very significant requirements for making the repairs of class one structures like the canisters. So, as a pragmatic, technical solution, I don’t advocate repairing the canister.”
[Transcription our own. Singh does not enunciate properly, and is difficult to understand even for those with good ears. “Mumbles” is where he was at his most incomprehensible].
The original video uploaded on 26 Dec. 2014 notes: “Problems with Dr. Singh’s solution for putting cracked canisters inside a [transport] cask.
The current NRC requirements for transport casks require the interior canister to be intact for transport. The NRC requirement provides some level of redundancy in case the outer cask fails. Does this mean this leaking canister can never safely be moved? Who will allow this to be transported through their communities? What is the state of the fuel inside a cracked canister?
What is the seismic rating of a cracked canister – even if it has not yet cracked all the way through? The NRC has no rating, but plans to allow up to a 75% crack. Currently, there is no technology that can inspect for corrosion or cracks. The NRC is giving hte industry 5 years to develop it.
What is the cost for the transport casks that will be needed for storage? Will they be on-site? Where is this addressed? Transport casks are intended to be reusable. How and where will they be stored and secured on site?
how will the leaking canister be handled by the Department of Energy at the receiving end of the trnsport? The DOE currently requires fuel to be retrievable from the canister.
A better solution would be to use casks that are not susceptible to cracks, that can be inspected and repaired and that have early warning monitoring systems that alert us before radiation leaks into the environment. For more information go to SanOnofreSafety.org; Video by Ace Hoffman: http://www.acehoffman.org (Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse of video allowed).
Note that the casks need to be both thicker AND of good quality materials. Singh has no explanation as to how the backfill gas (Helium) will work with a cracked canister inside another. Additionally Kris Singh is continuously asking the US NRC for exemptions which diminish the safety of these casks.