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Volunteer Towns Sought For Nuclear Waste 279

Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Wingfield writes in Bloomberg that the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future has sent a draft report to Energy Secretary Steven Chu recommending that US communities should be encouraged to vie for becoming a federal nuclear-waste site as a way to end a decades-long dilemma over disposing of spent radioactive fuel and says this 'consent-based' approach will help cut costs and end delays caused when the federal government picks a site over the objections of local residents, 'This means encouraging communities to volunteer (PDF) to be considered to host a new nuclear-waste management facility,' says the commission. Chu named the panelists after Obama canceled plans to build a permanent repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain after the Yucca site was opposed by politicians from the state. 'The United States has traveled nearly 25 years down the current path only to come to a point where continuing to rely on the same approach seems destined to bring further controversy, litigation, and protracted delay,' says the report. The Blue Ribbon Commission cited as a 'success' the US Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, which has accepted and disposed of some defense-related nuclear waste for more than a decade demonstrating that that 'nuclear wastes can be transported safely over long distances and placed securely in a deep, mined repository.' With the right incentives, 'there will be a great deal of support' for a waste site near the New Mexico facility, says former Senator Pete Domenici."
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Volunteer Towns Sought For Nuclear Waste

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  • How About D.C.? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @06:30PM (#36941794)
    There's been quite a toxic environment in Washington D.C. for the last several Presidencies. So why not store this nasty stuff in D.C.?
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lifyre ( 960576 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @06:36PM (#36941826)

    Why not do the smart thing and REUSE all of that "waste"? It's actually decent fuel and if you reuse it it becomes significantly less hazardous...

  • Re:Ridiculous idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @06:51PM (#36941932)

    The problem is that nobody in their right mind would agree to this as the Federal Government is already being sued for failure to clean currently used sites. They're way behind schedule on work at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and I have no particular faith that this would change in the future.

    OTOH if we can get a site in a red state perhaps we can at least get some social justice out of this.

  • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @07:07PM (#36942026) Journal

    if there is one thing deep mines do, it is flood. where does all the water go? oh, "somewhere else"? Great, now its laced with plutonium, one of the most toxic substances known to mankind.

    im sure that nuclear waste can be stored safely, somewhere, some how. but the current nuclear industry is so obsessed with lying, disinformation, and corruption, that i wouldn't trust it to clean the dishes at a restaurant let alone run something like the Fukushima plant.

    (which, of course, we were told was 100% safe and not a shitty old design like Chernobyl, and that thered never be another meltdown).

    these folks do not seem to understand the basic difference between right and wrong. if you want people to support you, stop lying to them. this plan seems to be exactly the opposite: a PR stunt to make people accept something they dont want to accept.

    i.e. instead of reorganizing the entire industry to be based on honesty, and education, and transparency, they are instead reorganizing a gigantic PR campaign to make their opponents 'shut the fuck up', some kind of bizarre Rahm Emanuel strategy.

    when the next US disaster happens, it will cause yet another backlash, and we will be back where we were after three mile island. the problem is not about 'nuclear power', it is about incompetent managers and politicians who cannot seem to grasp the concept that they exist to serve the people and to do it honestly, responsibly, and transparently.

  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xenkar ( 580240 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @07:07PM (#36942034)
    Honestly as time goes on my patience for other humans gets thinner.
    We're not allowed to make safer, more efficient reactors.
    We're not allowed to recycling spent fuel rods.
    We're not allowed to build a secure site to house the waste material.

    My fellow humans don't realize that with their unreasonableness, spent fuel rods are being kept in over sized swimming pools on site.

    Now you might be wondering what the problem is with this set up. Well our outdated nuclear power plants are conveniently right next to rivers that some people get drinking water from.

    I'm not saying something will go wrong, all I'm saying is that if something does go wrong it'll be a lot worse than it would be if we just recycled the fuel rods or had them at a secure holding facility.

    This is the major reason why Japan was such a disaster. Outdated reactor design and spent fuel rods kept on site. It could have all been avoided if we just had the guts to decapitate the BANANA's heads and place them on pikes as a warning to potential BANANAs.

    But let's say we decommission all of our nuclear power plants tomorrow. The rods need to be kept somewhere. The irradiated reactor housing needs to be put in storage. We can't magically make them disappear.

    I know they want us all to go back to living in mud huts but damn it I want electricity in my mud hut [].

  • Re:Uh... The Sun (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cratermoon ( 765155 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @07:22PM (#36942154) Homepage
    Check the cost of safely putting a kilogram of payload into a sun-diving trajectory. Check the density of uranium and plutonium, and the total volume of waste just sitting there waiting to be dealt with, forgetting for the time being the stuff that's still to come. Get back to to us with your findings and comparison with the cost of other radioactive waste disposal methods. Show your work.
  • by Lije Baley ( 88936 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @07:49PM (#36942290)

    If a consensus of scientists is good enough to declare AGW to be a problem, then why can't a consensus of geologists declare that a mine won't leak?

    BTW: It should have been obvious from that start that Yucca Mountain was Too Close to California to succeed.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @07:54PM (#36942328)

    Holy fuck no. I mean, I realize you Americans are scared of shit of plutonium thanks to your rabid environmentalists, and carter. But hey, if you want to cut your nuclear fuel supplies in half. Please keep sending your waste to Canada, S.Korea and Japan so we can have cheap, inexpensive fuel. I mean we all really like it.

    Or you can grow a fucking pair and jump all over the environmentalists and nimby's for being fucking idiots.

    The purpose of the environmentalism is to enforce a kind of soft tyranny. Cheap, abundant, easily accessible energy means fewer people crying out for government to do something about energy, something that everyone uses and everyone needs. The general concept is that government is never going to voluntarily endorse and encourage something that gives people one less thing to worry about. They enjoy appearing to do so because that appeals to the masses, but they do not wish to actually do it. The larger and less local the government, the more true this is. Thus, the local and state governments are not nearly so bad as the federal government with respect to this tendency.

    This is from Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince":

    Therefore a wise prince will seek means by which his subjects will always and in every possible condition of things have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him.

    Unlike 1984, The Prince actually was intended to be something like a manual.

  • Re:Ridiculous idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashqwerty ( 1099091 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @07:59PM (#36942352)

    They've apparently been lead to believe that NIMBY means "Nuclear In My Backyard Yes" instead of "Not In My Back Yard"

    NIMBY shouldn't even be an issue at Yucca Mountain. It is located on one of the biggest military sites in the nation, right next to the place we tested some 900 nuclear weapons. It is as far from anyone's back yard as can be and right next to a radioactive wasteland.

  • Re:Why? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 31, 2011 @08:14PM (#36942412)

    I tried reading and understanding what you wrote but it was so convoluted it made no sense. I think you are the idiot.

  • Re:Encourage me... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Freddybear ( 1805256 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @08:46PM (#36942622)

    Let's face it, nobody wants the stuff near them. That's what NIMBY means.
    Nevadans don't trust the government? Welcome to the club.
    Find another site? Why? The BANANAS will act all butt-hurt no matter where. Let's face it, even if Yucca Mountain isn't the perfect site, it's still a hell of a lot safer than leaving all that crap in pools at reactor sites.

  • by Fordiman ( 689627 ) <fordiman&gmail,com> on Sunday July 31, 2011 @08:50PM (#36942654) Homepage Journal
    No, see, chemical issue are /actual/ problems. You know, like coal ash, and carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, nuclear waste, while mildly radioactive, is an easily contained solid, and is produced in tiny quantities when compared to fossil fuel ash. Someone who actually gives a shit about the environment would do their research on nuclear power (and not from Greenpeace's website), learn what the /real/ safety concerns are, and push for solutions to those concerns. They would not, mind, push to eliminate the smallest mining/waste footprint per joule, lowest fatality count per joule, lowest land-use per watt technology we have, renewables included.

    Anti-nuclear environmentalists always worry me: how is it you can be concerned about all the right things and still get such a wrong answer?
  • Re:How About D.C.? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:52PM (#36943532)

    It would be great if the spent fuel that's piled up could be sent somewhere and used.

    It can be. We could send it to France, where they happily reprocess nuclear waste and use it as fuel. But we won't do that, because "terrorists might get it".

    We really have no business with nuclear power in this country. We're too stupid. We should instead hire the French to run our nuclear power industry, because we're just too stupid and paranoid to do it ourselves.

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