cooling of spent fuel, dangers of nuclear, dry cask storage, dry casks, earthquake hazard, false advertising, Holtec, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear waste, San Onofre, Spent Nuclear Fuel, tsunami
Holtec Dry Casks for Spent Nuclear Fuel (i.e. High Level Nuclear Waste) Diablo Canyon Dec. 2005 or 06; NRC or DOE. These are full of hot and lethally radioactive nuclear waste. They are huge, as can be seen in the picture. The sealed containment is only one half inch thick! The outer shell is vented.
This gives a comparative idea of the levels of deadly radionuclides found in “spent fuel” at closed nuclear power stations, and which are to go in these flimsy canisters. Cesium 137 is but one of them.
San Onofre Cesium 137 vs. Chernobyl by Donna Gilmore SanOnofreSafety
One Curie is 37 Billion Becquerels (37 billion radioactive shots per second).
A lot of important concerns, found in the Federal Register, below, led to the US NRC response: “The comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking…“, which appears automated.
Even so, the NRC let slip some interesting facts which appear to contradict claims by Kris Singh of Holtec. While Singh has publicly proposed a possible 5/8ths inch (0.625”) internal (MPC) canister for San Onofre Spent Nuclear Fuel, the NRC says that they have no knowledge of it, and that the only certified ones are 1/2 inch thick (even though these things are tall and huge): “The nominal MPC thickness for the canisters certified under CoC No. 1040, Amendment No. 1 is 0.5″. The NRC has no knowledge of a Holtec proposal to increase the thickness of an MPC to 0.625″. There is external concrete which is thicker, but it is vented and so the only protection from deadly radionuclides is this 1/2 inch thick canister.
So, does that count as false advertising? [0.5 inch=1.27 cm]
Furthermore, NRC let slip that Holtec spent fuel canisters are only approved for 20 years, even though Holtec apparently claims they are good for much longer. The NRC fails to explain what happens if they don’t get renewal after 20 years. This proposed system is underground. How will they get the casks out if it is not fit for relicensing? How will they make a determination of if they are fit, if they are underground? Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org points out that “The Koeberg plant had a similar container leak with a through wall crack of 0.61″ deep in 17 years. If they use the 0.5″ at San Onofre, our leak could come a few years sooner.”
The NRC states:
“Commenters questioned Holtec’s claims of a design life of 60 years, a service life of 100 years and a licensed life of 40 years. Since no substantiation was provided for these claims, the commenters requested the claims be removed from the FSAR.
This issue is outside of the scope of this rulemaking because the term of a certificate is determined in the original certification, not in amendments to that certification. This rulemaking seeks to add Amendment No. 1 to CoC No. 1040. In this case, the UMAX CoC was approved on March 6, 2015 (80 FR 12073), for an initial 20-year term. This 20-year term will also apply to Amendment No. 1. Use of this system beyond the expiration date of 20 years would require an evaluation of a renewal application for this CoC which would be addressed in a subsequent rulemaking process.”
53692 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 173 / Tuesday, September 8, 2015 / Rules and Regulations
53693 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 173 / Tuesday, September 8, 2015 / Rules and Regulations
53694 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 173 / Tuesday, September 8, 2015 / Rules and Regulations
“NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION, 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC–2015–0067] RIN 3150–AJ58, List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI–STORM UMAX Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1040, Amendment No. 1, AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission., ACTION: Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date., SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is confirming the effective date of September 8, 2015, for the direct final rule that was published in the Federal Register on June 23, 2015
Click to access FR-2015-09-08.pdf
Below is the 5/8 inch (1.5 cm) thin proposal for San Onofre. As seen in the picture at the top, the dry casks are huge, so the thinness is very disproportionate. NRC approved Holtec internal canisters are 1/2 inch, so the thinness is even more disproportionate. This 1/2 inch of metal is the only protection against lethal radionuclides, because the overpack is vented. The diagram below is from a presentation by Kris Singh for a San Onofre Stakeholders meeting in California last October. As we’ve discussed, the “protective” concrete could actually cause additional problems over time. Note that it is corrosion “resistant” and not corrosion proof. Those who’ve gone swimming in water “resistant” watches, know the difference between “resistant” and “proof”.
From: “HI-STORM UMAX: Holtec’s Underground Dry Storage System, State-of-the-Art Solution for the Safety and Security of the People and Environment at SONGS, A Presentation to Community Stakeholders By: Kris Singh, PhD, PE President & CEO, Holtec International October 14, 2014 San Juan Capistrano, California”
For additional information:
The foremost expert on Holtec Dry Casks is Donna Gilmore: http://sanonofresafety.org, Click on Nuclear Waste and Holtec
Some very interesting information-allegations about both Kris Singh and Holtec casks may be found here: http://www.safeandgreencampaign.org/uncategorized/2015/06/ndcap-ceo-of-holtec
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