— Would You CONSENT to Nuclear Waste? Tell DOE “NO” to Fukushima Freeways — deadline July 31

The DOE proposal is about the “future” of nuclear energy. DOE wants to continue promoting nuclear power plants, continue creating nuclear weapons, continue churning out nuclear waste. Without disposal, there is no future. We can collectively refuse.

Sane people want to  know: how can there be “disposal” for something that lasts millions or billions of years?

From Nuclear Information and Resource Service

July 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

What would it take for you to consent to accept nuclear waste in your region? The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to know.

DOE has held 9 public meetings across the country this year, and is now taking written comments, on the concept of public “consent” to accept high-level radioactive waste.

Send DOE  your comment today: No more nuclear waste – No Fukushima Freeways!

After decades of trying to force-feed the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear dump down the throats of Nevadans and the Western Shoshone Nation, the DOE and nuclear proponents now want to know what it will take to get people to “consent,” or at least appear to consent, to take nuclear waste in their communities.

DOE acknowledges this is also “consent” to future nuclear waste production as part of setting up an “integrated waste management system.” The federal agency says that the future of nuclear energy in this country depends on this.

Tell DOE what you think of nuclear waste by clicking here.

DOE seeks public input on how to be FAIR, WHO to include in the consent process, and what RESOURCES it will take to induce community participation in the nation’s radioactive waste program.

  • DOE wants to identify who adequately represents a community and will consent to take nuclear waste on its behalf.
  • DOE is not defining exactly what or how much nuclear waste we would be “consenting” or not consenting to accept.
  • And DOE is not asking how a community can refuse or express permanent “non-consent,” although you can let them know that if you choose to.

Although they have reports, diagrams of storage containers and systems, ideas and plans for the tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste in this country, they claim to want to negotiate with communities who would “consent” to take it forever or supposedly temporarily.

Tell DOE what you think of nuclear waste by clicking here.

No consideration of the rights or consent of communities along transport routes is being made or requested. Although one of the greatest dangers to the most people, environments and ecosystems is the movement of tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste on roads, rails and waterways, DOE has stated that there is complete federal preemption over transport of nuclear waste, so states and communities along the transport routes would have no voice, no matter how much waste DOE plans to move through them.

DOE is giving no consideration of the rights of future generations who will inevitably be affected.

DOE and the nuclear industry are eager for volunteering or consenting communities to take the waste and for the DOE to take title to it–absolving the industry of responsibility for managing the waste it creates before there is even a proven solution for its long-term management.

Thanks for all you do!

Mary Olson – Southeast Office Director
Diane D’Arrigo – Radioactive Waste Project Director

For More Information

NIRS Info Materials on Fukushima Freeways and Consolidated Storage
Talking Points on Consent-Based Siting from Beyond Nuclear

Click here to read a Federal Register notice that explains more about DOE’s request for public comment on these issues. There is also information on this DOE website.

You can contact Diane D’Arrigo or Mary Olson at NIRS for more information about the other meetings and the issue generally.

Submit a Public Comment! We encourage everyone to submit your own thoughts on these issues to DOE. Comment deadline is July 31, 2016. Please send an email to consentbasedsiting@hq.doe.gov. Please include “Response to IPC” in the subject line.

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web: http://www.nirs.org

GreenWorld: (NIRS’ blog chronicling nuclear issues and the transition to a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system) http://www.safeenergy.org

NIRS on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuclear-Information-and-Resource-Service/26490791479?sk=wall&filter=12

http://www.facebook.com/nonukesnirs

http://www.facebook.com/groups/nukefreeclimatefreemarch/

NIRS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/nirsnet

NIRS on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nirsnet
http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5502/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1369374

— Idaho: Ready to give “consent” to allow more commercial nuclear waste?

From Idaho Statesman

Guest Editorial
by BreBrent Marchbanksnt Marchbanks
July 12, 2016

Longtime Idahoans remember being shocked some 40 years ago when it was revealed the INL was dumping radioactive waste water directly into the volcanic, porous ground above the Snake River Aquifer; the source of our agricultural irrigation and the water supply for thousands.

Many have seen the pictures from the ’70s of trucks dumping blue barrels full of transuranic waste into ditches at the site.

Public outcry stopped those specific practices. But that waste is still there. Radioactive isotopes have leached into the aquifer. Tons and tons of other people’s nuclear waste kept arriving.

In 1995 Gov. Phil Batt worked a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy: In exchange for a limited amount of new military waste shipments (the “nuclear Navy,” Three Mile Island, etc.) the DOE would: 1) Build a permanent site for those (and previous) shipments, and 2) Clean up the mess that was already there.

The agreed-to shipments began to arrive. Neither the permanent storage nor the cleanup has happened.

The military waste shipments that were allowed into Idaho continue to this day; I saw new shipments in rail cars at the Pocatello yard two weeks ago.

Many of us anti-nuclear types, including the Snake River Alliance, opposed the Batt 1995 Agreement at the time, believing it was too weak; it allowed for too much waste and caved in to the Feds.

But, even if too weak, it was at least some kind of a brake on the seemingly endless shipments to our state. Idaho voters approved the Batt Agreement. Even the campaign slogan of the pro-Batt Agreement forces, including INL itself, was ”Keep the Waste Out.”

Now, those same forces want to get rid of the Batt Agreement altogether; not because it’s too weak, but because it’s too strong. It doesn’t allow enough waste in. It commits the feds and our state to clean-up. Apparently, they want more waste, with no permanent repository in sight, and they want it without a commitment for cleanup. They want to throw out the people’s referendum vote. The governor has used state dollars to support this campaign by creating the Leaders In Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission. One of the appointed members is Larry Craig.

The DOE is coming to Boise on Thursday [July 14] for a discussion of whether Idaho is willing to throw out the Batt Agreement. The federal jargon being used is whether Idaho is now willing to become a become a “Consent State;” volunteering to allow tons and tons of new shipments of commercial waste generated by the dying nuclear power plant industry (in our own country and overseas.)

The meeting is being held 5 to 9:30 p.m., at the Boise Centre on the Grove.

The public is invited to listen, ask questions and comment.

Brent Marchbanks is a retired lawyer and longtime Boise resident. He remains active in social issues.

— Nigerians, contact the Navajo Nation about uranium mining safety claims — $$millions spent for cleanup and no end in sight

From Albuquerque Journal

Feds reach settlement with Navajos over uranium mine cleanup

By Susan Montoya Bryan / Associated Press
Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The federal government has reached another settlement with the Navajo Nation that will clear the way for cleanup work to continue at abandoned uranium mines across the largest American Indian reservation in the U.S.

The target includes 46 sites that have been identified as priorities due to radiation levels, their proximity to people and the threat of contamination spreading. Cleanup is supposed to be done at 16 abandoned mines while evaluations are planned for another 30 sites and studies will be done at two more to see if water supplies have been compromised.

The agreement announced by the U.S. Justice Department settles the tribe’s claims over the costs of engineering evaluations and cleanups at the mines.

The federal government has already spent $100 million to address abandoned mines on Navajo lands and a separate settlement reached with DOJ last year was worth more than $13 million. However, estimates for the future costs for cleanup at priority sites stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could not immediately pinpoint the worth of the latest settlement.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden, who is with the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said the latest settlement marks the second phase of ensuring cleanup of mines that pose the most significant public health risks.

“Addressing the legacy of uranium mining on Navajo lands reflects the commitment of the Justice Department and the Obama administration to fairly and honorably resolve the historic grievances of American Indian tribes and build a healthier future for their people,” Cruden said in a statement.

Navajo leaders have been pushing for cleanup for decades, specifically for the removal of contaminated soils and other materials rather than burying and capping the waste on tribal land. Since 2005, they’ve had a ban on uranium mining.

Over four decades, some 4 million tons of uranium ore were extracted from mines on Navajo lands with the federal government being the sole purchaser from the 1940s through the 1960s, when commercial sales began. The mining operations stretched from western New Mexico into Arizona and southern Utah.

Decades of uranium mining have left behind a legacy of contamination that includes one of the nation’s worst disasters involving radioactive waste: a spill in the Church Rock area that sent more than 1,100 tons of mining waste and millions of gallons of toxic water into an arroyo and downstream to the Rio Puerco. The result was a Superfund declaration.

Advocates have called for more studies on the health effects of continued exposure to the contamination resulting from the mining sites, and some have criticized the slow pace of cleanup and the lack of adequate funding for the work that needs to be done.

In a report submitted to New Mexico lawmakers last year, a team of consultants estimated it would take EPA more than a century to fund the removal of contamination at just 21 of the highest priority sites.

In a letter sent last month to President Barack Obama and EPA leadership, Navajo President Russell Begaye said the abandoned uranium mines project continues to struggle with outreach, coordination and trust issues.

EPA officials say in the last decade, the agency has remediated nearly four dozen homes, conducted field studies at all 523 mines on Navajo lands and provided safe drinking water to more than 3,000 families. Stabilization and cleanup work also has been done at nine abandoned mines.

Feds reach settlement with Navajos over uranium mine cleanup

— Reminder: Attend remaining DOE meetings July 14, 21, for “consent-based siting”, parking lot dumps & Mobile Chernobyls — Public comments urgently needed by July 31 deadlines

From Beyond Nuclear

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a few more public meetings scheduled regarding “Consent-Based Siting” of centralized interim storage sites for high-level radioactive waste, and the truck, train, and barge shipments it would take to deliver the irradiated nuclear fuel there:
Boise, Idaho, July 14;
Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 21.

Strong turnouts are needed, both in person and via Webinar. If you live close enough, please consider attending, and taking folks with you; otherwise, spread word to people you know who live nearby, and watch online.

Public comments are urgently needed by DOE’s July 31 deadline.

Beyond Nuclear has prepared “We Do Not Consent!” talking points you can use to prepare your own.

Comments can be submitted by email, mail, fax, or Web form, in addition to orally in person at the public meetings. More

Beyond Nuclear

Cindy at beyondnuclear.org

— Comments on “consent-based siting” to Department of Energy, 4-26-16

From San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

April 26, 2016

In 2016 the Department of Energy (DOE) held eight public meetings around the country on the Department’s consent-based siting initiative for facilities to manage the nation’s nuclear waste. The DOE is planning siting facilities to store, transport, and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

Comments on Consent-Based Siting D.O. E. meeting, Sacramento

April 26, 2016

1. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) does not support or ‘consent’ to the plan of solving the nuclear waste problem with the goal of guaranteeing the FUTURE of nuclear energy in the USA. We do not support the intention of continuing the use of nuclear energy. SLOMFP is concerned that these public meetings are ultimately being conducted to rationalize the continued production of spent fuel through the operation of nuclear reactors, and thereby serve the needs of the nuclear industry, not the needs or the desires of the public.

2. After more than 60 years spent searching for an effective solution to the disposal of radioactive waste, there remains no viable plan. Furthermore, an increasing number of options are available for generating electrical energy using renewable resources that do not create lethal wastes. Thus, as a condition for going forward with a consent-based process for spent fuel disposal, the United States should enter a process for the orderly shutdown of all nuclear reactors. The problem of long-term storage would remain, but at least the quantity of wastes would remain stable.

The term “consent-based siting” is not clearly defined. There are no assurances that such “consent” will be fully informed. In a medical context, informed consent means the patient has been told and shown in writing all of the possible negative outcomes of a treatment as well as the hoped-for positive results The patient can make an objective decision about proceeding or not. SLOMFP sees no indication that the probable negatives of allowing storage of lethal radioactive wastes on a given site will be clearly spelled out BEFORE the community in question can give “consent”. This is essential.

Furthermore, there is no process defined for securing so-called consent. Would consent be determined by a letter from elected local officials? Or would the population affected have an opportunity to vote? If so, what plurality would be required to qualify as “consent”? And who is authorized to speak for future generations?

If legitimate consent is to be obtained for the interim storage of highly irradiated “spent” nuclear fuel in or near a community, each individual in that community must be given adequate, unbiased information about the potential short-term and long-term risks of living in proximity to the site. Then a legal vote must be obtained from the community members. Elected officials do not have the authority to make such an important decision without the fully informed consent of every member of the community. An example of failure to hear those who dissent comes from New Mexico. “We do not consent to the plan to dump dangerous radioactive waste on us,” said Rose Gardner who lives in Eunice, New Mexico, a town of nearly 3000 people that is 40% Hispanic. It lies five miles west of the Waste Control Specialists site proposed for interim storage of nuclear waste. “Andrews County officials say that we want this waste, but no one has ever asked me if I consent. I would definitely say no, and many others here feel the same way. We never got to vote on this issue. The Department of Energy is saying that our community consents to having radioactive waste dumped in our backyard, but this isn’t true. The DOE scheduled eight hearings around the country, but not a single one for New Mexico or Texas, the targeted region. Clearly they don’t want to hear our voices.”

  1. It is also essential that states and communities with responsibility for caring for nuclear waste be given the authority to regulate it to a greater degree of safety than the federal government. And states and communities should have the prerogative of opting out of consent throughout the process, as additional information is developed about the site and the risks of disposal.
  2. We agree with the recommendation of the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future that DOE should be replaced with a new agency to manage high-level radioactive waste. Given the DOE’s dismal record and the public’s lack of trust in its work, replacement of the DOE with a new agency is an essential step.
  3. SLOMFP supports the creation of a permanent geological repository for nuclear waste that is scientifically selected to guarantee that the radioactive materials will be secure from the environment for the length of time they are radioactive. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that time period may extend to 1 million years. See http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/hlwfcst.htm

https://mothersforpeace.org/data/2016/2016-04-26-comments-on-consent-based-siting-to-department-of-energy

US govt won’t compensate Santa Susanna Field Laboratory workers exposed to radiation

Some experts say SSFL was the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history.

April 18,2016

Highlights:

Department of Energy says only Santa Susana workers in Area IV could be exposed to radiation

But former nuclear workers say the system wasn’t so tidy and that they deserve medical compensation

Tales of sodium reactor waste dump, radioactive mist

Continue reading

— Upcoming Dept. of Energy hearings on national nuclear waste dumps will be held in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota

DOE wants to dump their nuclear waste in your state. They are looking for “stakeholders” who will “consent.”

These are the remaining meetings, starting with Tuesday, April 26, in Sacramento, California.

  • Sacramento, California on April 26, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza – Sacramento
  • Denver, Colorado on May 24, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Denver – Stapleton.
  • Boston, Massachusetts on June 2, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Boston.
  • Tempe, AZ n June 23, 2016 at the Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes.
  • Boise, ID on July 14, 2016 at Boise Centre.
  • Minneapolis, MN on July 21, 2016 at the Hilton Minneapolis.

DOE is controlling the commenting, only allowing a 45-minute Q&A following the panel, and a 30 minute public comment period after a break. Even the California Public Utilities Commission allows a longer comment period during its local public hearings for matters of relatively minor import. This is a matter of great public and national importance. DOE plans to break up the audience and spend 1 hour, 45 minutes in small groups. This is a divide and conquer approach, where opposition can be fragmented. Demand that all industry leaders make comments in open meeting, and that all comments and questions from the audience be made in the open meeting to be heard by everyone. No small groups.

The meetings are listed here, together with links to register and to view the meetings online. They are requesting registration, but it is unknown whether this is a requirement.

Please copy and paste these links into your browser rather than going directly from the links.

http://www.energy.gov/ne/consent-based-siting

California April 26 meeting information: http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/04/f30/Pages%20from%20CBS%20Public%20Meeting-Sacramento-%20Updated%20Agenda.pdf — agenda

 
http://www.energy.gov/ne/downloads/meeting-materials-consent-based-siting-public-meeting-sacramento-april-26-2016

MEETING MATERIALS: CONSENT-BASED SITING PUBLIC MEETING IN SACRAMENTO (APRIL 26, 2016)

Meeting Materials: Consent-Based Siting Public Meeting in Sacramento (April 26, 2016)

The Department will host a public meeting on consent-based siting on April 26th in Sacramento at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza. The purpose of the consent-based siting public meeting is to hear from the public and interested stakeholders on what matters to you as the Department of Energy moves forward in developing a consent-based process for siting the facilities needed to manage spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The agenda includes a presentation from the Department of Energy’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, John Kotek. Mr. Kotek will discuss the nuclear energy activities that have brought us to this point, as well as describe the Department’s vision for an integrated waste management system and the need for a consent-based approach to siting. This presentation will be followed by a panel session with several experts providing diverse perspectives on the primary issues that need to be resolved in the design and implementation of a consent-based process. Participants will then have the opportunity to comment or ask questions to the Department and the panelists.

Following this session, there will be facilitated small group discussions on a variety of topics related to consent-based siting and integrated waste management. These small group discussions will provide the opportunity for participants to engage more closely on topics of interest to them. The Department intends for these small group discussions to be frank and open sessions on key topics that will inform the design of a consent-based process. The consent-based process will in turn serve as a framework for working with potential host communities in the future.

The agenda also includes a public comment period and two open houses with poster sessions before and after the formal meeting. The open house sessions provide participants with an opportunity to engage in less formal discussions with the Department and other meeting attendees.

The consent-based siting public meeting will also be webcast. We look forward to your participation!

Federal Register notice:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/23/2015-32346/invitation-for-public-comment-to-inform-the-design-of-a-consent-based-siting-process-for-nuclear