USA’s “Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule” – what a mess!

Public comments needed against NRC’s Nuclear Waste Confidence Game , Beyond Nuclear 25 Feb 12The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has requested public comments on its latest revision to its “Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision.” Please email your comments before March 19th to in order to head off this latest round of a very dangerous “game being played” by NRC, which is doing the bidding of the nuclear power industry…..

 The NRC’s “confidence” that on-site storage for 120 years (60 during reactors operations, 60 after reactor shutdown) is safe and secure would be laughable, if it weren’t so seriously wrong. 120 years is half as long as the United States has been an independent country (1776 to 2012, 236 years). A lot can go wrong in 120 years. NRC’s consideration of 200 to 300 years of on-site storage is even more preposterous. This is not “interim” or “temporary” on-site storage. This is de facto permanent on-site storage, in any common understanding of the term…..


First promulgated in 1984, NRC’s “Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision” claimed that by 2007, the U.S. would open one or more repositories for the permanent disposal of irradiated nuclear fuel. In the meantime, NRC expressed its “confidence” that irradiated fuel stored in pools or dry casks on-site would be done so safely and securely. This served as legal cover, carte blanche, for nuclear utilities to generate an unlimited amount of high-level radioactive waste, while blocking concerned citizens and environmental groups intervening in NRC proceedings from challenging new reactor license applications or old reactor license extensions on such grounds as the fact that there is no safe solution to the problem of radioactive waste management.

By 1990, NRC already had to “postpone” its “confidence.” It revised its “Confidence Decision” to now say that by 2025, at least one repository would be opened.

In December 2010, NRC revised its “Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision” yet again, to reflect the reality of the Obama administration’s wise decision to cancel the Yucca Mountain dump. NRC now declared no date certain for the opening of the first repository, but rather stated that on-site storage in pools and/or dry casks was safe for 120 years — 60 years during reactor operations, and 60 years after reactor shutdown. In addition, the five NRC Commissioners ordered their staff to study the potential for on-site storage lasting 200 to 300 years into the future. That explains NRC current request for public comments….

Please submit comments to  You may also send comments through the U.S mail to:   Christine Pineda, Project Manager; Mailstop EBB-2B2; Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Washington, DC 20555-0001

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