Exposing USA’s fraudulent “Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule”

The only reasonable and logical solution is to stop making more.  But this “Waste Confidence” decision isn’t based on reason or logic.   It’s based on keeping the reactors OPERATING for the next hundred years.

So why are we burdening our future generations with an ever-growing, unsolvable problem?

 The Eternal Problem  – Nuclear Waste Confidence, Counter Punch  by RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN, JANUARY 03, 2013“………The pro-nuker preferred to call it “spent fuel confidence.”  I, on the other hand, didn’t like the word “confidence” since there’s nothing that warrants ANY confidence in this discussion, whatsoever.  ”Waste Failure” would be more appropriate.  Or “Waste Impasse” might be even better.  Or better yet:  ”The Intractable, Unsolvable, Filthy, Disgusting Mess We’ve Made” but I guess that would just be too accurate to a group where a “rapid disassembly” is the term for a core explosion that spews radioactive crud for miles around.

But one way or another, it’s obvious that “Waste Confidence” is a misnomer from start to finish…… …… Nuclear waste storage is a huge unsolved problem in every nuclear country.  Although France, Japan and several other countries reprocess spent fuel, they have had numerous incidents at thier facilities and numerous releases of radiological materials into the environment.  In addition to being dirty, reprocessing is energy-intensive and expensive.   For these and other reasons, such as proliferation issues, we do not reprocess spent fuel in America, and don’t expect to.

Instead, we just hold onto it.  What else can we do?  There’s nowhere to put it because all the options we’ve explored as a country haven’t worked out: Dumping the waste at sea was banned decades ago, rocketing it into outer space is not only prohibitively expensive, but even the most modern rockets have an alarming failure rate — and that is unlikely to improve, not just because the debris field in near earth orbit is getting more and more crowded, but because fraudulent electronics parts have been turning up everywhere — including in military and aerospace applications.

We looked into placing the waste deep in the earth, but the earth is too unpredictable.  Yucca Mountain is often called a political failure, but actually:  There are earthquakes there!  And not to mention water seepage from above, a vast and precious water table underneath, and insect/vermin infestation issues too. And it was on sacred Indian land.  Is there one square foot of land on this earth which is NOT sacred to us all?

We’ve considered “vitrifying” the waste but the main problem there has been cracking of the once-solid vitrified materials, cause by gas molecules created by the decay of the radioactive isotopes….

The only reasonable and logical solution is to stop making more.  But this “Waste Confidence” decision isn’t based on reason or logic.   It’s based on keeping the reactors OPERATING for the next hundred years — some reactors will be nearly 150 years old by then!  But that’s the plan:  The NRC assumes that the storage casks will be properly manufactured and loaded.  The NRC assumes that they will be properly guarded.  The NRC assumes that Homeland Security will prevent all significant acts of terrorism against the facilities, and the security guards at the site with their pea-shooters will prevent the rest.  The NRC assumes that the deadly fuel rods within the casks were not damaged during their 5 years in the reactor, or the 5 to 25 years in the spent fuel pool, or during transfer into the casks.

The NRC further assumes that approximately three “interim storage facilities” will open across the country during the next century to “temporarily” hold the waste until a “permanent geologic repository” is established — something just like Yucca Mountain, but feasible.   The NRC assumes that transporting the fuel to these facilities will always be done safely — well over 100,000 trips will be required around the country just for the existing fuel, with an average trip distance of close to 1000 miles (more if less than three interim facilities are established).  90% of the American population will be within 50 miles of a transportation route — and 50 miles might still be too close, if something goes wrong during the transport of the fuel.

The most insidious evil in this “Waste Confidence” process is that the NRC assumes that what they need to do is create regulations that allow the reactors to continue to operate.  It does not occur to them what is obvious to so many others:  There IS no solution to the waste problem, because ionizing radiation destroys any container you put it in….

So why are we burdening our future generations with an ever-growing, unsolvable problem? http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/03/nuclear-waste-confidence/

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