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U.S. storage sites overfilled with spent nuclear fuel
MSNBC ^ | 3/22/11 | JONATHAN FAHEY, RAY HENRY

Posted on 03/22/2011 3:36:06 PM PDT by EBH

71,862 tons, with more created every year, and no permanent disposal solution

The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem for the United States — the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states.

The U.S. has 71,862 tons of the waste, according to state-by-state numbers obtained by The Associated Press. But the nation has no place to permanently store the material, which stays dangerous for tens of thousands of years.

Plans to store nuclear waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain have been abandoned, but even if a facility had been built there, America already has more waste than it could have handled.

Three-quarters of the waste sits in water-filled cooling pools like those at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in Japan, outside the thick concrete-and-steel barriers meant to guard against a radioactive release from a nuclear reactor.

Spent fuel at Dai-ichi overheated, possibly melting fuel-rod casings and spewing radiation into the air, after Japan's tsunami knocked out power to cooling systems at the plant.

The rest of the spent fuel from commercial U.S. reactors has been put into dry cask storage, but regulators only envision those as a solution for about a century and the waste would eventually have to be deposited into a Yucca-like facility.

The U.S. nuclear industry says the waste is being stored safely at power-plant sites, though it has long pushed for a long-term storage facility. Meanwhile, the industry's collective pile of waste is growing by about 2,200 tons a year; experts say some of the pools in the United States contain four times the amount of spent fuel that they were designed to handle.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Unclassified
KEYWORDS:
1977. In an April 7 press statement, President Carter announced, "We will defer indefinitely the commercial reprocessing and recycling of plutonium produced in the U.S. nuclear power programs."9 He went on to say, "The plant at Barnwell, South Carolina, will receive neither federal encouragement nor funding for its completion as a reprocessing facility." (It was actually Carter's veto of S. 1811, the ERDA Authorization Act of 1978, that prevented the legislative authorization necessary for constructing a breeder reactor and a reprocessing facility.)

1992. President G. H. W. Bush disapproved Long Island Power Authority's attempt to enter into a contract with the French firm Cogema to reprocess the slightly irradiated initial core from the decommissioned Shoreham reactor.

1992. President G. H. W. Bush halted weapons reprocessing in a policy statement on nuclear nonproliferation declaring: "I have set forth today a set of principles to guide our nonproliferation efforts in the years ahead and directed a number of steps to supplement our existing efforts. These steps include a decision not to produce plutonium and highly enriched uranium for nuclear explosive purposes...."

1992. Energy Secretary Watkins announced the permanent closure of the Hanford, WA, PUREX reprocessing plant in December.

2001. President Bush's National Energy Policy included the recommendation that "[t]he United States should also consider technologies (in collaboration with international partners with highly developed fuel cycles and a record of close cooperation) to develop reprocessing and fuel treatment technologies that are cleaner, more efficient, less waste intensive, and more proliferation-resistant."

CRS Report for Congess

1 posted on 03/22/2011 3:36:08 PM PDT by EBH
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To: EBH

Reprocessing is the way. Works for the Japanese and the French.


2 posted on 03/22/2011 3:36:58 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: backwoods-engineer

Abdo-lutely! Reprocess now! It is stoopid to not do this.


3 posted on 03/22/2011 3:38:39 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: backwoods-engineer

New Jersey Challenges Rule Allowing 60 Year Storage of Spent Fuel Rods at Power Plants

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2692893/posts

One guess what group stands in the way.

No to Yucca
No to reprocessing
No to continued storage...


4 posted on 03/22/2011 3:39:01 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: backwoods-engineer

Maybe we should eliminate the EPA and build some Coal Power Plants.


5 posted on 03/22/2011 3:39:04 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (34 States)
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To: EBH

There are reactors that will neutralize that spent fuel,But we do not use these reactors as they do not make weapon grade material.


6 posted on 03/22/2011 3:40:31 PM PDT by Cheetahcat ( November 4 2008 ,A date which will live in Infamy.)
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To: Cheetahcat

Yes, but can we build them? And even if we can build them...will we be able to transport the fuel...?


7 posted on 03/22/2011 3:42:59 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

We used to reprocess our nuclear fuel. We had a company called NUMEC in Apollo, PA that did it.

Thank Jimmy Carter for ending that option!!


8 posted on 03/22/2011 3:45:32 PM PDT by catman67
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To: backwoods-engineer

Then why were there over 11,500 spent fuel rods at the Fukushima plant? Is the cost prohibitive?


9 posted on 03/22/2011 3:46:10 PM PDT by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: EBH

“Yes, but can we build them? And even if we can build them...will we be able to transport the fuel...?”

The Chinese are and the same in India,We have to break this half wit, minority driven thinking.


10 posted on 03/22/2011 3:47:06 PM PDT by Cheetahcat ( November 4 2008 ,A date which will live in Infamy.)
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To: EBH

Chris Christie’s Rangers?


11 posted on 03/22/2011 3:47:13 PM PDT by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: worst-case scenario

Japan does have fuel reprocessing; I’m vaguely remembering that the Fukushima plant used mixed oxide fuel; maybe that isn’t what their reprocessing plant is made for? I dunno. I do know that fuel reprocessing reclaims something that was going to be thrown away that still has a great deal of energy in it.


12 posted on 03/22/2011 3:49:59 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: EBH

BLAME Harry Reid democratic senator for spent nuclear rods filling pools at the nuclear plants instead of being stored in Nevada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


13 posted on 03/22/2011 3:51:14 PM PDT by CHICAGOFARMER
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To: EBH

BLAME Harry Reid democratic senator for spent nuclear rods filling pools at the nuclear plants instead of being stored in Nevada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


14 posted on 03/22/2011 3:51:28 PM PDT by CHICAGOFARMER
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To: EBH

BLAME Harry Reid democratic senator for spent nuclear rods filling pools at the nuclear plants instead of being stored in Nevada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


15 posted on 03/22/2011 3:51:28 PM PDT by CHICAGOFARMER
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To: EBH

BLAME Harry Reid democratic senator for spent nuclear rods filling pools at the nuclear plants instead of being stored in Nevada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


16 posted on 03/22/2011 3:51:45 PM PDT by CHICAGOFARMER
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To: EBH

Stack it along the Mexican border. Any problem impeding the human tide of illegal Democrats swarming across will be handled quickly.


17 posted on 03/22/2011 3:51:57 PM PDT by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: worst-case scenario

Japan has recently built a facility to remove the byproducts and reprocess the plutonium and uranium into a substance called MOX for reuse in its reactors.

This was done in part to reduce the amount of spent fuel that is kept onsite at nuclear plants.

Japan’s reprocessing plant, in Rokkasho, a village 300 miles (500 kilometers) north of Fukushima, is only starting up, and hasn’t yet begun full operation.

Japan started to use MOX in some of its reactors to learn how it affects plant operations. In general, MOX fuel runs hotter than uranium oxide while inside the reactor.

The United States does not reprocess fuel and encourages other countries not to do so because of fears that plutonium recovered in the process could be used to make nuclear weapons.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake_plutonium


18 posted on 03/22/2011 3:53:05 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: backwoods-engineer

the plant is still new...

it is not even in full operation yet.


19 posted on 03/22/2011 3:54:28 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: EBH

The boiling water reactors are old... you’re saying their reprocessing plant isn’t up yet? Good to know.


20 posted on 03/22/2011 3:55:58 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: EBH

Yep, MSM will keep rolling out these types of reports til all our nuclear plants are shut down, government better start erecting windmills & FAST!


21 posted on 03/22/2011 3:56:29 PM PDT by blondee123 (Japan in MAJOR CRISIS & ZERO PARTIES ON! IMPEACH HIM!)
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To: worst-case scenario
Then why were there over 11,500 spent fuel rods at the Fukushima plant? Is the cost prohibitive?

Do you have a source for that information? That's allot for even 6 units. And the Japanese do reprocess fuel. The reason unit 4 had so many problems is because it's entire core was off loaded at the time of the accident so much of the fuel stored there was relatively new fuel.

22 posted on 03/22/2011 3:56:53 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: EBH

They have been screwing around with Yucca Mt for decades. Nobody can make a decision. I have encountered this indecision mentality for years with high ranking people, military and civilian alike.


23 posted on 03/22/2011 3:58:59 PM PDT by Roklok
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To: WHBates

he Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4’s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake_plutonium


24 posted on 03/22/2011 4:00:00 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: EBH

Seems to me they are making plenty of room in the middle of Detroit to accommodate a storage facility.


25 posted on 03/22/2011 4:02:42 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: EBH

harry reid’s fault.

LLS


26 posted on 03/22/2011 4:05:02 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!!!)
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To: backwoods-engineer

Almost every county in the country has a statue on the Courthouse lawn. Encapsulate an amount of the ‘’spent’’ fuel in lead, glass and ? then bury it deep beneath these statues never to be disturbed, for that matter you could put it under the Courthouse.


27 posted on 03/22/2011 4:07:44 PM PDT by Waco (From Seward to Sara)
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To: EBH

www.yuccamountainexpose.com

This site covers the watermelon greens who set back Yucca Mountain. The book is being reprinted.


28 posted on 03/22/2011 4:14:25 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (HARRY: Money Mob & Influence (See my Expose on Reid on amazon.com written by me!))
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To: EBH

Encase them in blocks of glass and drop them into the Marianas trench. They will be safe for eons.


29 posted on 03/22/2011 4:49:39 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannolis. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: EBH
Thanks for the link. I was a bit skeptical when they quoted somebody from the Union of Concerned Scientist, They are very anti nuke and often make things up to push their point of view.

In the post that you responded to I was questioning the 11500 fuel bundles (rods) of the original post, and this article talks about 3400 tons and that would be a little over 3400 fuel bundles (rods). Most of these units are pretty old and apparently the Japanese haven't got the fuel reprocessing plant up and running. 3400 + 877 is about 24 to 30 complete fuel loads which sound about right for 6 units when at least 2 of the units are over 30 years old and all but 2 I believe are greater than 22 years old.

30 posted on 03/22/2011 6:06:19 PM PDT by WHBates
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To: WHBates

I was wrong. It’s not 11,500, but 11,195. Here’s the citation:
http://nuclear-news.net/2011/03/19/fukushimas-spent-nuclear-fuel-rods-are-critically-dangerous/


31 posted on 03/22/2011 6:43:07 PM PDT by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: Don Corleone
Encase them in blocks of glass and drop them into the Marianas trench. They will be safe for eons.

One of the best ideas I've heard. However, I also read that the Japanese had trouble trying to use electronic robots and cameras because the radiation and heat destroyed glass and rubber in them. Is there a glass that will safely contain radiation without breaking down?

32 posted on 03/22/2011 7:12:27 PM PDT by roadcat
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