The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has “confidence” that the high-level radioactive nuclear waste problem will be solved sometime in the future. So the “regulator” declared that it could continue to give 20-year license extensions to aging, brittle, accident- prone nuclear reactors without an objective, scientific study of safety, storage, and disposal of thousands of tons of radioactive waste.
We don’t agree. Neither did the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., which overturned the NRC waste confidence ruling.
In response, the NRC has written a new Waste Confidence Environmental Impact Statement, restating the same unsupported, unsafe, industry-friendly “confidence” in new packaging.
A large public outcry is needed to prevent the NRC from implementing a new “Waste Confidence” rule. It is critical that you attend the “waste confidence” meeting in San Luis Obispo. Even if you do not wish to speak, your presence tells the NRC that you care. You can also bring signs for outside the meeting room.
Poster images can be found on the home page. http://mothersforpeace.org/posterimagesforOct.7.pdf
Wednesday, November 20
Open house 6-7 pm
Meeting 7-10 pm
Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Calle Joaquin, San Luis Obispo
The NRC requests that if you wish to speak, you register beforehand. Your choices are:
- online at WCRegistration@nrc.gov
- by phone at 310-287-9392
- in person at the meeting
Below are some suggested questions and comments for the meeting.
A. Stop making nuclear wastes.
1. Without a scientifically proven solution for safely disposing of nuclear waste, we must stop making it. Clean, renewable sources of electricity are readily available and affordable, so there is no excuse for continuing to rely on nuclear power.
2. Waste Confidence is a Radioactive Con Game. The purpose of NRC’s Waste Confidence rule is to streamline nuclear plant licensing by ignoring the million-year, multi-billion dollar problem of what to do with radioactive waste. The only problem Waste Confidence solves is how to permit nuclear plants to continue making this waste when there is no solution for it.
3. Obey the Court’s Ban on Licensing Nuclear Reactors. There is no safe storage solution for nuclear waste, and NRC’s new Waste Confidence policy is no more credible than the one the courts threw out. There is no safe dose of radiation, and to pursue licensing on the base of Waste Confidence is illegal and immoral.
B. Accelerate the schedule for transferring spent fuel rods from overcrowded spent fuel pools into dry casks.
1. Diablo Canyon’s spent fuel pools currently hold 5 times the amount of spent fuel for which it was designed. In addition, it is surrounded by 13 earthquake faults, 2 of which are designated as “major” and “active.”
2. The pools are not protected by redundant emergency makeup and cooling systems or housed within robust containment structures having reinforced concrete walls several feet thick.
3. Irradiated fuel casks can withstand environmental disasters that spent fuel pools cannot, as evidenced by the continued function of the dry casks at Fukushima. The casks survived the 9.0 quake and continue to protect the irradiated fuel, even though the tsunami flooded them. These containers have not exploded, are not on fire, are not catastrophically leaking, and do not require ongoing addition of liquid to cool. They are out-performing the pools on the site.
4. Dry casks have the advantage of passive cooling via airflow, making them less vulnerable to natural disaster and sabotage.
5. Spent fuel pools are attractive targets for terrorists.
Many other suggestions for comments, compiled by organizations including Mothers for Peace nationwide are available at http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/wasteconfidence.htm