NRC’S CON-GAME FOR HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE
GREATER PHILADELPHIA REGION RESIDENTS HAVE A HUGE STAKE IN THIS DANGEROUS GAME BECAUSE LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT STORES MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF NUCLEAR WASTE ON SITE
SPEAK OUT! YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED
DEADLINE DECEMBER 20, 2013
MAJOR ISSUES FOR COMMENT ARE SUMMARIZED
IN THE ATTACHED LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PUBLISHED 10-29-13 & 11-1-13
FOR DETAILS ON LIMERICK NUCLEAR PLANT’S DANGEROUS NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE THREATS:
www.acereport.org Summary #9: High-Level Radioactive Wastes: A Ticking Time Bomb
FOR TALKING POINTS ON NRC’S CON GAME: www.nirs.org
SEND COMMENTS TO NRC:
- E-mail to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov.
If you don’t receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, call 301–415–1677.
- Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301–415–1101
- Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
The Mercury (http://www.pottsmerc.com)
OP-ED: Shedding Light on NRC’s Nuke Waste Con Game
Friday, November 1, 2013
Evan Brandt’s article on Oct. 5, “Gov’t Shutdown May Delay Relicensing of Limerick Nuke Plant”, explained that NRC’s 2012 court-ordered spent fuel study would be delayed by the 2013 government shutdown. Actually, the government shutdown shed light on NRC’s nuke waste con game.
There is NO safe solution for radioactive fuel rods that can remain radioactive for a million years (EPA). They’re among the deadliest materials on earth. Yet, NRC’s “Nuclear Waste Confidence” game makes unsubstantiated claims that high-level radioactive wastes can be stored safely, soundly, and securely, virtually forever. This applies to nuclear plant sites like Limerick and allows them to continue producing and piling up deadly radioactive wastes under the absurd pretense that there is a safe solution.
Unthinkable devastating health and economic consequences threaten our future whether stored in fuel pools, above ground casks, from reprocessing, or from dangerous transport to a central location. NRC’s assumptions are far-fetched and negligent, including that dry cask storage systems, structures, and components can and will be entirely replaced once per century. NRC fails to identify astronomical public costs or where funds would come from for expensive massive replacements forever. NRC irrationally assumes society is willing or able to pay such costs, even if replacement is possible.
It was insanity for NRC to even consider relicensing Limerick Nuclear Plant when there is no safe solution for its deadly radioactive wastes.
Of greatest concern are Limerick’s fuel pools, already packed beyond design capacity, and dangerously vulnerable to meltdowns with potential for unthinkable health and economic devastation. Limerick’s two fuel pools hold more than two and a half times the amount of fuel rod assemblies (6,200) than four fuel pools at Fukushima (2,400) and far more than other older U.S. nuclear plants like TMI and Oyster Creek. NRC can’t or won’t tell ACE why.
With loss of fuel pool cooling water, Limerick’s fuel rods can heat up, self-ignite, and burn in an unstoppable fire. There is no endless source of water, but May 2013, Exelon was permitted to take unlimited amounts of public water from across six counties to deal with such a disaster.
· A 2003 study shows a fire in one spent fuel pool fire could release a radioactive plume that could contaminate eight to 70 times more land than Chernobyl and render about 95,000 square kilometers of land uninhabitable.
· A spent fuel pool disaster could cause fatal radiation-induced cancer in thousands of people as far as 500 miles from Limerick. A 2004 study concluded that 44,000 near-term deaths could occur from acute radiation poisoning. People could die as far as 60 miles downwind (Philadelphia is just 20 miles downwind).
Limerick’s densely packed fuel pools are vulnerable to loss of water and meltdown through aging, accidents, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. There is much cause for concern.
· Limerick’s roof-top fuel pools, located over reactors (like Fukushima’s), are five stories high with no outside containment. Devastating leaks could occur from terrorists’ missiles or air strikes, yet Exelon provides no protection against either.
· Limerick’s fuel pool liners are corroding and thinning at rates up to 10 times faster than anticipated. NRC staff called for immediate recoating, but Exelon was allowed to delay coating for over a decade.
· Cement originally used for Limerick’s fuel pools is substandard (verified by a Limerick quality control inspector), increasing risk for loss of water from an earthquake or terrorist attack.
NRC should close Limerick now to stop producing such deadly radioactive wastes and store it safer on site. For details: www.acereport.org #9 “High-Level Radioactive Wastes: A Ticking Time Bomb.”
What can you do? Written public comments are being accepted by NRC before November 27 on NRC’s absurd Nuclear Waste conclusions. NRC needs to receive large numbers of public comments — by webform, email, snail mail or fax. Sample comments and addresses will be available at www.beyondnuclear.org or from ACE at 610-326-2387.
DR. LEWIS CUTHBERT
The Mercury (http://www.pottsmerc.com)
OP-ED: Spent Fuel Continues to Plague Nation’s Nuclear Power Plants
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Evan Brandt’s story, “Gov’t Shutdown May Delay Relicensing of Limerick Nuke Plant” on Oct. 5 was timely. However, the delay in relicensing has not slowed Limerick operations. Every year that Limerick operates, it creates tons of high-level radioactive wastes, deceptively called “spent fuel.”
There is nothing “spent” about this high-level radioactive waste. It is one of the most deadly materials on earth. “Spent fuel” rods can cause cancer or genetic damage to an unshielded person who stands next to it after only 30 seconds. It can cause a lethal dose of radiation in just three minutes.
Massive amounts of this waste are stored on site at Limerick in fuel pools and above ground casks. On-site storage presents enormous risks to our entire region. Exelon would like to transport Limerick’s radioactive waste off-site to avoid liability, but transport presents astronomical health and financial risks to us and potentially all Pennsylvania residents.
Transportation of “spent fuel” has been dubbed a “mobile Chernobyl.” Even the DOE acknowledges that accidents will happen. It estimates that radiation releases from just one nuclear transport accident could devastate at least 42 square miles for generations.
Even at low speeds on road or rail, there could be truck or train accidents leading to catastrophic radioactive fires.
Transport is especially dangerous here in Pennsylvania where roads and bridges are “crumbling” (Governor Corbett’s description). Transporting nuclear waste on Pennsylvania’s inadequate infrastructure is simply immoral and unethical. The NRC estimated that just one transport accident or terrorist attack involving nuclear waste could cost the public as much as $2 billion.
Victims along the route would lose their homes, property and possessions. Homeowners insurance would not cover a radiation transport accident. In fact, even without an accident, it was reported that property values have already declined in five states along nuclear waste routes.
Local officials should have the right to say no to radioactive waste transport through their communities. Philadelphia, Bucks County and Falls Township officials have already said “no.” But the right of these officials to say no could be taken away by Harrisburg politicians who are being heavily lobbied by the nuclear industry to overrule local officials.
Transporting Limerick’s waste off site would present unacceptable risks to all Pennsylvania residents. Limerick has far more “spent fuel” on-site than Fukushima, even though Limerick has half the reactors. Once the spent fuel goes off-site, Exelon is no longer liable for it. As soon as it’s off-site we, the people, are required to assume liability for any radiation disaster involving transport.
Don’t let Exelon duck its liability for Limerick’s deadly radioactive waste by transporting it off-site.
Call Pennsylvania state senators and representatives. To protect your property values and homes, urge them to uphold the right of local officials to say “no” to the transportation of high-level nuclear waste (“spent fuel”) on Pennsylvania’s crowded and degraded infrastructure.
For more detailed information on high-level radioactive waste transport go to www.acereport.org, and see #9 “High-Level Radioactive Wastes: A Ticking Time Bomb.”
BETTY AND CHARLIE SHANK