The President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future met in Washington this week to address an old issue: the reprocessing of nuclear reactor waste. It is an idea that many thought was settled in the 1970s. After India extracted plutonium from its civilian reactor fuel and tested a nuclear weapon in 1974, President Gerald Ford paused the program. President Jimmy Carter, who was trained in the nuclear navy, eventually stopped the reprocessing plant just outside the Savannah River Site (SRS) gate in Barnwell, South Carolina. A DCBureau.org camera crew visited the old, abandoned plant last month.
Continue reading Closing the Nuclear Circle or Opening a Cornucopia of Plutonium?
A European anti-nuke protest? If that seems like a blast from the 1980’s happened on Saturday in Germany. Just as the uber secret National Nuclear Security Agency is selling itself in the United States as a font for peaceful nuclear uses of old H-Bombs as mox civilian reactor fuel, the Germans had the biggest protest against nuclear power in decades.
Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/world/europe/19GERMANY.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
Continue reading NYT: Huge Nuclear Protest in Germany
The same week a construction worker was electrocuted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given the green light to the safety of a controversial plant under construction at the Savannah River Site. The the Department of Energy the plant claims will fabricate nuclear fuel from weapons grade plutonium now accumulating at the Savannah River Site.
The $5 billion dollar Mox plant is being built by the French government supported company Areva in partnership with a New Orleans based company Shaw. The construction effort has been marred by serious accidents, charges of racial discrimination and use of sub-standard steel and cement at the facility which is supposed to begin production 2016. But the biggest setback for the would be plant is that it has no utility customers willing to buy its fuel. Duke Power, once a partner in the project, dropped out when a fuel array tested in a company reactor failed. .
Read more at http://www.hss.energy.gov/CSA/Analysis/ll/occur/080910-081310.pdf
Continue reading NRC Says Mox Plant Is Safe Same Day Worker Is Electrocuted
Rob Pavey of the Augusta Chronicle reports that the multi-billion dollar plant to create weapons grade based reactor fuel has run into a major problem – no customers. The DOE’s Savannah River Site already burdened with a nuclear waste legacy is now the gathering place for the return of huge amounts of weapons grade nuclear materials. The very secretive National Nuclear Security Administration has been managing the Mox plant construction project that has been challenged by cost overruns, charges of racial discrimination, fraud and numerous technical problems. Now NNSA has to find customers after a test of Mox fuel failed in a Duke Power reactor. Duke was originally a partner in the Mox plant being built by Shaw Areva for DOE but dropod out when the test mox fuel array did not behave as expected in a reactor test.
Read more here.
Continue reading Closing The Nuclear Circle Hits A Moxblock