Ahaus, dangers of nuclear, environment, German nuclear waste to America, Germany, Import of German Nuclear waste to US, Juelich, NRC, nuclear, nuclear accident, nuclear energy, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear reactors, nuclear safety, nuclear waste, Nuclear Waste transport, radioactive waste, South Carolina, UK, US DOE, USA
While German activists protest the possible transport of German nuclear waste across Germany and to America for processing and probable burial, what are most Americans doing?
Wake up America! Wake up!
Last Saturday, some Germans protested the potential movement of nuclear waste from Juelich to Ahaus and possibly on to America. However, the larger amount of German nuclear waste, which may get sent to America, is already at Ahaus.
It’s truly absurd that most Americans are depending on Germans to protect America from German nuclear waste. As Bernie Sanders’ clear lack of qualms about sending Vermont radioactive waste to be buried in Texas shows, most people are happy to get shot of the waste from their area. And, don’t care what happens to it afterwards. Even Bernie is too foolish to see that waste buried out west may land on top of Vermont, after it blows up. Willingness to shut down nuclear reactors is insufficient. The existing nuclear waste must be properly disposed, which means constantly monitored in a secure, enclosed space for perpetuity.
Savannah River Site Watch reports German protests against what Germans call nuclear waste tourism: “May 21, 2016 in Germany: Demonstrations against moving high-level nuclear waste (in CASTOR casks) from the Juelich research site to either Ahaus or to the United States (Savannah River Site), via the port of Nordenham.
SRS Watch supports this action by our German colleagues against dumping high-level spent fuel at SRS. We call on DOE to halt the unjustified waste-import proposal.” http://www.srswatch.org
On May 23rd, German activists reported a successful rally in Jülich on 21 May 2016. They made a symbolic inspection of the Castor spent nuclear fuel cask transport route and announced further resistance. They protested across NRW against threats of nuclear waste transports from Jülich to Ahaus. They point to state government inaction in dealing with the 152 Castor casks at Jülich. And, that after so many decades people don’t know what to do with the nuclear waste and moving it from point A to B doesn’t change that fact. They want the problem addressed in free public debate. They also point out that unnecessary nuclear transports represent a further threat to the population in the densely populated Rhine-Westphalia. See article (in German) and pictures here: http://westcastor.blogsport.de
According to Savannah River Site Watch: “At SRS the graphite spent fuel balls from the long-closed AVR and THTR gas-cooled reactors will only add to the SRS waste burden and there is no long-term disposal plan for the waste. The scheme is only being pursued because some at SRS are chasing the money that some in Germany would pay to process and dump the waste here and keep the aging H-Canyon reprocessing plant operating.” http://www.srswatch.org A former worker at the THTR pebble bed reactor just recently claimed that they took advantage of the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster to dislodge stuck broken pebble nuclear fuel, venting radiation to the environment, since filters would take weeks to arrive.
West Texas: One of the proposed final destinations for German Nuclear waste from both Juelich AND Ahaus:
SRS is actually wrong about “no long-term disposal plan for the waste” if it goes to America. The proposed plans include probable dilution of the 200 metric tonnes of high level German nuclear waste and its burial in either west Texas or Utah.
Here the DOE Draft EA makes clear that WCS of Texas and the EnergySolutions Clive dump in Utah are likely targets:
How many tonnes will it be once diluted? As these radioactive waste dump burial ground fill up it may end up anywhere. US states are fighting between themselves, and sueing the Federal government (i.e. the taxpayer), because no one wants the US commercial nuclear waste; nor the US government nuclear waste. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has been allocating almost $2 billion of taxpayer money per year to import foreign nuclear waste, while pretending it’s about non-proliferation. Germany is not alone in targetting America as its nuclear dumping ground. Dilution will mean much more than 200 tonnes. Buried nuclear waste will come back up sooner or later, probably explosively, due to corrosion, and concrete liners will crack and it will leak into groundwater. It will carry people and animals to the grave before their time.
German environmentalists appear to systematically oppose the transport of nuclear waste. Furthermore, they appear to be the only protection that America has against dumping of German nuclear waste in America, as the American people appear sleeping. Nonetheless, it would be remiss not to note that if Germany considers itself one country, then there needs to be a serious evaluation of whether the nuclear waste can be safely secured at Juelich given earthquake and possibly even volcanic risk over time vs. the risk of transport across Germany to Ahaus. Presumably this falls under the idea of public debate. Furthermore, the larger amount of German nuclear waste to be possibly exported to the USA is actually from Ahaus. Ahaus has a nice looking facility and Juelich appears to have one as well and could construct a better one if that is truly safer than transporting it to Ahaus. The Juelich reactor, or part of it, is apparently being stored onsite.
The last time we checked, neither South Carolina, nor west Texas, nor Utah are part of Germany, though they have had German immigrants. Furthermore, the waste will be left outside under tarp in hot and humid South Carolina for an extended period of time, only to be eventually buried in somewhere USA. Even the recently proposed high level nuclear waste interim storage facility in west Texas will be totally uncovered and exposed to the elements.
A probable final destination of German nuclear waste, according to the US DOE, is WCS in West Texas. While it is concrete lined, the concrete will crack due to wet-dry expansion and contraction of clay. The concrete isn’t even very thick though it has a thick synthetic liner. And, the buried waste barrels will corrode, and leach and probably explode. It’s not a question of if, only when.
Waste at America’s most sophisticated nuclear waste dump – WIPP; Some German waste may go there; Foreign plutonium is supposed to be sent there, along with US plutonium, according to US government documents published in August and December of 2015
Best choice from the Draft Environmental Assessment:
“2.2 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE: Under the No Action Alternative, the spent nuclear fuel containing U.S.-origin uranium from the AVR and THTR would not be transported to the United States for management and disposition. The spent nuclear fuel would remain in storage in Germany and the impacts described in Chapter 4 of this Draft EA would not occur.” http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/01/f28/Draft%20DOE%20EA%201977_FOR%20PUBLIC.pdf
Oliver Krischer, (Green Party) Member of the German Bundestag (parliament) starts off his letter opposing the export of German nuclear waste to America, as follows: “I am deeply concerned about the US/German plans to reprocess and store about 200,000 kg of commercial German pebble fuel elements from the nuclear power plants AVR Juelich (15 MWel) and THTR-300 (300 MWel) at SRS.” Thus, he clues everyone in on the fact that it is not one metric tonne, but rather 200 metric tonnes. [The reason everyone’s supposed to love metric is these easy conversions – 1,000 kg is 1 metric tonne, etc.]
While they will be stored for around 10 years, probably under cloth tents, at SRS (Savannah River Nuclear Site), the Draft “Environmental Assessment” makes clear that most likely most, or all, will be eventually diluted and buried in Utah, West Texas, or where-ever else they decide to bury it. The radioactive waste will, of course, come back up in the form of leaks and probably explosions. The Beatty explosion and the Missouri fire and leak are America’s constant future with the burial of radioactive waste.
The US DOE “Draft Environmental Assessment” states on the first page summary “This spent fuel is in the form of small graphite (carbon) spheres, referred to as “pebbles.” There are approximately one million pebbles currently in storage in 455 CASTOR casks. The pebbles contain varying quantities of uranium and thorium, with uranium enrichments up to 81 percent. Prior to irradiation, the fuel contained approximately 900 kilograms (1,980 pounds) of HEU” On summary page 2 they do state “As a result of irradiation and decay, the spent nuclear fuel also contains actinides, fission products, and other radioactive isotopes.” DOE/EA-1977, In short, it is being returned with really nasty, lethal, man-made radioactive materials. However, this statement about the 900 kg appears designed to confuse and deceive. And, yet, the truth lurks in the document – more or less – if one knows what to look for.
On p. 2-3 they tell us that “The spent nuclear fuel DOE is considering for acceptance and disposition consists of approximately 1 million graphite spheres or pebbles currently in storage in CASTOR casks at two locations in Germany. The number of pebbles in a cask varies, but on average there are about 2,200 pebbles per cask. As depicted in Figure 2-2, each pebble is approximately 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) in diameter and is composed of approximately 200 grams of graphite surrounding the fuel kernels; each sphere contains from 10,000 to 35,000 fuel kernels with varying quantities of uranium and thorium with uranium enrichments up to 81 percent. The fuel contained approximately 900 kilograms (1,980 pounds) of HEU prior to irradiation (Schütte 2012).” DOE/EA-1977 http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/01/f28/Draft%20DOE%20EA%201977_FOR%20PUBLIC.pdf
While the DOE’s Draft EA hints that the pebbles weigh around 200 grams, they don’t really tell us. They state that the graphite is this weight, and seem to imply that the HEU was huge. However, an old EC document explains: “The fuel element (Fig. 1.1) is composed of a 50 mm-diameter core of graphite and coated particles containing a uranium thorium mixture. The core is surrounded by a 5 mm thick layer of reactor grade graphite.” They state that the Mass is 200 grams. Furthermore, “Each element contains approximately 1 g of highly enriched uranium as fissile element and 5 g of thorium (AVR pebble) or 10 g (THTR fuel) as fertile element.” (p. 1) See also page 7 for more clarity. Commission of the European Communities, “SIGMA-R: AN IMPROVED VERSION OF THE DELAYED NEUTRON COUNTING DEVICE FOR “THTR” FUEL ELEMENT VERIFICATION” by P. AGOSTINI, et. al. 
So, if you multiply the 1 million in the US DOE Draft EA x 200 grams then you get 200,000,000 grams, 200,000 kg and 200 metric tonnes. This is exactly the amount given by the German parliamentarian, Oliver Krischer. You can, of course, multiply the 2,200 nuclear waste “pebbles” per cask x 200 g and then multiply it by the 455 spent fuel casks and arrive at almost exactly the same figures. So, was the amount to be dumped on America hidden in the DOE Draft EA document, prepared for public comment? The answer is clearly Jein, yes and no: the amount to be shipped was, and wasn’t, hidden in plain sight.
While Oliver Krischer says that the fuel balls were 96% German made, it appears clear that 99.5% was probably NOT American made, since only 1 gram out of 200 grams was HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium), according to the EC document. The 3.5% difference may be import-processing of thorium from someplace else.
Logic suggests that actually none of the HEU, or almost none, was US origin. Why? Because Nukem, starting in 1971, was one of the initial owners of URENCO which enriches uranium! Furthermore, around this time period, URENCO was accused of giving centrifuge enrichment technology to Pakistan. It is possible that the HEU for the first few years came from the US for the AVR, only. One can estimate that 77 kg might be of US origin material. However, since Rio Tinto was still a partner in Nukem in this earlier period, it may have come from the UK. Furthermore, this enrichment technology was known in Europe in the 1960s. Most likely all of the original HEU was German, or possibly Dutch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zippe-type_centrifuge Most likely not one iota of this 200 tonnes ever had anything to do with America.
If the US supplied HEU to the AVR Pebble Bed prior to 1971, and the AVR reached criticality in 1966 and was opened until 1988 and there are 155 casks of AVR spent fuel (the rest is THTR spent fuel), then there are only around 35 casks, which might have US origin HEU. With 2,200 pebbles per cask this would be 2,200 x 200 g, which is 440,000 g, which is 440 kg of spent fuel x 35, which is 15400 kg (15.4 tonnes). However, the former HEU would be 1 gram only out of the 200 gram (half a percent), so would be 77 kg of possible US origin HEU material, not 900 kg as the US DOE claims.
An official Nukem (DE-Germany) history mentions them getting LEU (low enriched uranium) from the USA in the early 1970s. And, an enrichment contract for nuclear fuel with Russian Tenex, in this period. German-Dutch-British URENCO still enriches uranium – about 1/3 of the uranium in the world, and all of the uranium enrichment in the US – at least for commercial purposes. They appear to have been ramping down their Dutch site, and in its stead, be ramping up ops in America. Nukem was recently purchased by Cameco and Urenco is currently owned by the UK and Dutch governments, along with German utilities RWE and E.On.
The whole US “non-proliferation” hoax is also a scam because Juelich Research Center, maker of the AVR waste balls, and now tied in with overall German waste disposal, via JEN-EWN, actually works with URENCO and AREVA via ETC on enrichment facility design and services/gas-centrifuge technology! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urenco_Group The Djinn is out of the bottle with the recent creation, last September, of JEN. The German waste innovation “technology” is really a plot to make America Germany’s nuclear waste dump. Even German journalists have noted the Nazi roots of the German Nuclear Industrial Complex. Surely bilingual Nazis have stayed up long nights coming up with innovative German words which have ominous double entendres in English like NUKEM, and letting the Djinn (Jen) or Ginnie out of the bottle. There is Uranit (wit?) too.
So, in other words, the US may take old nuclear waste from an entity which is very capable of making new highly enriched uranium (HEU). And, German-Dutch-UK Urenco currently has the only commercial enrichment facility in the US. Oak Ridge may still be able to do some uranium enrichment for non-commercial purposes. Nukem has long been “one of the world’s largest intermediaries in the international nuclear fuel market.” It was recently (2012) sold to Canadian Cameco. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nukem_Energy The history at the link is misleading. According to the official Nukem history, Nukem was German with a minority state by Rio Tinto (18%) starting in 1965: German (Nazi) Degussa (45.0%), German RWE (25.0%), UK Rio Tinto (18.0%), German Metallgesellschaft (12.0%). (The official site doesn’t inform us that Degussa was a notorious Nazi company, but it was.) Germany was also a major, historic, uranium mining country. So, will Germany take all of its waste back – return to sender? Turn around is fair play! Germany had better really be looking for a huge storage site if they are going to play this return to sender game.
Tom D’Agostino (pictured below) who agreed to accept this nuclear waste on the US end, now works for Fluor. Fluor and large Obama donor Exelon were initially involved with URENCO, when it first tried to set up a US enrichment facility, in Louisiana. Louisiana (and Tennessee) chased them away and URENCO ended up in New Mexico. Besides ties to URENCO, Fluor operates the Savannah River Site. So, there is a double tie to Fluor.
Thus, the US DOE appears clearly to be trying to mislead people about the amount and origin of the spent nuclear fuel. According to German parliamentarian Oliver Krishner, “The fuel elements were mainly (96 %) fabricated in Germany at Nukem, US origin is only the HEU content (830 kg).” This 830 kg is significantly under the 900 kg given by the US DOE. Krishner informs us that because of severe nuclear accidents this spent nuclear fuel is probably “in very bad shape“, which means that they will probably produce “huge amounts of secondary waste“: “As an independent official experts group outlined 2014, there were several severe accidents in AVR reactor (which were hushed up for decades). The fuel elements are thus in a very bad shape. Their reprocessing will probably produce huge amounts of secondary waste, which will hinder the intended cleaning of the SRS site. About 4 % of the THTR fuel elements are broken with probably similar consequences.” His letter and link to original found here: 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/
HOBEG fuel fabrication facility, which apparently made the Pebble Bed nuclear fuel balls, was owned by Nukem. However, NUKEM, or its subsidiaries, apparently made nuclear fuel prior to this time. In 1971 NUKEM was one of the founders of Urenco via Uranit GmbH.
The German and Dutch Nuclear Industrial Complex has played a major role in nuclear proliferation, which is mostly over-looked. The German Juelich Research Center, home of the AVR Pebble Bed and its nasty radioactive waste, is right there in the middle: “In the 1970s, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan who worked for a subcontractor of URENCO in Almelo, brought the drawings of the centrifuges operated by Urenco to Pakistan by notifying the URENCO administration and the Dutch government. Those blueprints were taken from URENCO administration and they knew about this fact. In the early 1974, Dr. Khan joined the uranium enrichment programme, launched by Munir Ahmad Khan under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Prime minister that time. Later, he took over the project, and established a facility that produces the HEU based. Within a short span of time established a highly advanced uranium enrichment facility near Islamabad.
“Urenco also owns a 50% interest in Enrichment Technology Company (nl) (ETC), a company jointly owned with Areva. ETC provides enrichment-plant design services and gas-centrifuge technology for enrichment plants through its subsidiaries in the UK (Capenhurst), Germany (Gronau and Jülich), the Netherlands (Almelo), France (Tricastin) and the U.S. (Eunice, New Mexico)” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urenco_Group
About the owner of the Ahaus waste facility, which would be 93% emptied out if sent to America, thus making room for nuclear waste from the owner-utilities: “The shareholders of the Gesellschaft für Nuklear Service are E.ON (48%), RWE (28%), EnBW (18.5%) and Vattenfall (5.5%). The company is for 75% owner of the Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe (DBE). The company manufactures two dry cask storage systems, CASTOR and CONSTOR.”
Note  The EC document link: http://bookshop.europa.eu/es/sigma-r-an-improved-version-of-the-delayed-neutron-counting-device-for-thtr-fuel-element-verification-pbCDNA12059/downloads/CD-NA-12059-EN-C/CDNA12059ENC_001.pdf;pgid=y8dIS7GUWMdSR0EAlMEUUsWb0000LHkzPjtz;sid=cMKXNd_kKaWXJYxgFm4Jkr3BPaGJR30nDJI=?FileName=CDNA12059ENC_001.pdf&SKU=CDNA12059ENC_PDF&CatalogueNumber=CD-NA-12059-EN-C
Corruption involving (German) Nukem, and Juelich :
JPRS-TND-88-005 14 March 1988 http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA345472