Aiken, S.C. – Tons of weapons grade plutonium and other nuclear materials, a target for terrorists, are not being properly protected by the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Department of Energy’s sprawling Savannah River Site, according to security consultants and U.S. counterintelligence officials.
A secret security review underway at DOE and other government agencies after an elderly nun last summer breached a NNSA bomb-grade-uranium facility at the Oak Ridge Tennessee Y12 area reveals “harrowing problems in site management and control at other DOE sites,” said a Homeland Security official who requested anonymity. The official said that the Savannah River Site was of concern because “SRS does not have the staffing or the facilities to protect the huge amounts of plutonium that have been brought to SRS in recent years.” Continue reading The Bomb Plant: America’s Three A.M. Nightmare
NNSA to Resume Plutonium Separation at the Savannah River Site’s H Canyon for MOX Fuel
Aiken, S.C. – Just as the Department of Energy touts the closing and capping of two nuclear waste storage tanks this summer in its brimming H Tank Farm – the result of hundreds of millions of dollars in Recovery Act funds – the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released a statement on July 11, 2012, that proposes to use the crumbling and problem-plagued 430,000-square-foot H Canyon to process tons of weapons grade plutonium, sending additional high level nuclear waste to the H Tank Farm that was supposed to be cleaned up and shuttered. This process will add to the tens of millions of gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste that have made the Savannah River Site, an EPA Superfund site, the most concentrated and dangerous radioactive site in the United States.
NNSA will take some of the tons of weapons grade plutonium stored in the old K Reactor at SRS and, according to SRS spokesman James Giusti, “it will prepare Pu oxide for use in MOX to its requirements.” The DOE is constructing a problem-plagued mixed oxide fuel plant, the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, with the French-government-owned contractor Areva, to turn surplus weapons grade plutonium into a kind of high octane civilian nuclear reactor fuel. The MOX plant is over budget and behind schedule. No major utility has agreed to use MOX fuel rods in their civilian reactors. Continue reading EPA Helpless to Stop Further Pollution at Major Superfund Site
Uncle Sam gets Nothing
The U.S. government controls an enormous amount of land, particularly in the western half of the country. The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages an estimated 700 million acres of public lands, with much of it open for development by oil, gas, mining, and renewable energy development. When these various industries come into conflict, hardrock mining interests – gold, silver, copper, and other minerals » read more
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On DCBureau are a story and timeline about the history of the Clean Water Act and the efforts to undermine it. Together they show an incremental, well-funded, organized campaign to weaken the law. On the 40th Anniversary of the Act, it is important to remember that environmental laws enjoyed bipartisan support for years. Weakening environmental regulations through the Congress and courts will have lasting, irreversible results.
Read in The New York » read more
A new web documentary quotes security experts as saying the Savannah River Site, where massive amounts of weapons-grade plutonium and other dangerous substances are stored, is vulnerable to a terrorist attack that could have dire consequences for the entire southeastern United States. The documentary reveals the Site is guarded by a foreign-owned firm with a checkered security record. The radioactive material is stored in aging buildings. The small private guard force » read more
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