Storage for vitrified waste at SRS in South Carolina. Photo: DC Bureau
The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future is leaning toward recommending the establishment of one or more temporary nuclear waste disposal sites to store used reactor fuel. The idea would delay a controversial decision to embrace reprocessing as a means disposal.
Continue reading BRC Backs Away From Reprocessing, Focuses on Temporary Fuel Rod Storage Solutions
47th Munich Security Conference 2011: David Cameron (right), Prime Minister, Great Britain, Dr. Angela Merkel (left). Photo: Sebastian Zwez, Securityconference.de
The European countries have agreed to carry out voluntary “stress tests” on the safety of their 143 nuclear power plants in response to the catastrophe in Japan. But doubts have been raised regarding the independence of these tests.
Barely four days after the March 15 devastating earthquake in Japan and its consequences on the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power site, the European commissioner in charge of energy, Günther Oettinger of Germany, met regulators, nuclear safety experts and nuclear industry leaders. At the end of this crisis meeting, Oettinger announced that there was “general agreement for European stress tests for European nuclear power plants.” He added that the tests would be “voluntary” because it was not possible to make them compulsory under current European Union law.
Continue reading Doubts on the Independence of Nuclear Safety Inspections in Europe: A Continent Divided on Nuclear Energy
Spencer Abraham (left) watches President George Bush shake hands with Gov. Tom Ridge after signing two executive orders. Photo: Eric Draper
The French State-owned company has built close relationships with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) over the years. Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham is the Chairman of the Board of the U.S. branch of AREVA and uses his address book to promote the merits of this State-owned firm.
Spencer Abraham was the head of the Republican Party in Michigan before becoming U.S. Senator for Michigan from 1995 to 2001. When he lost his re-election bid, President George W. Bush named him Energy Secretary. He served from January 2001 to February 2005. One year after he left, Abraham became Chairman of the Board of AREVA Inc. – the U.S. branch of AREVA Group, the French nuclear power giant.
Continue reading AREVA in America: The French Connection
The multi-billion dollar Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) program, under construction at the Savannah River Site, is supposed to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. But this very generous contract in the hands of the French company AREVA remains controversial.
A few years after ratification of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the United States and Russia committed to dispose of 34 metric tons of their surplus weapons plutonium in order to reduce the threat that this material could be stolen or diverted. The countries put in place a U.S.-Russian independent and scientific commission in 1996 to propose concrete options to dispose of the plutonium. Its report published in 1997 contained a two-approach proposal: mixing the plutonium with uranium to get MOX fuel for burning in currently operating civilian nuclear power reactors and/or vitrifying the plutonium in glass logs for burial.
Continue reading Areva supplied MOX fuel to Japanese reactor, also on DOE payroll