Storage of nuclear waste a 'global crisis': report

Greenpeace says its analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with nuclear power revealed several were near satura
Greenpeace says its analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with nuclear power revealed several were near saturation

Nuclear waste is piling up around the world even as countries struggle to dispose of spent fuel that will remain highly toxic for many thousands of years, Greenpeace detailed in a report Wednesday.

An analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with revealed that several were near saturation, the anti-nuclear NGO said.

All these nations also confronted other problems that have yet to be fully contained: fire risk, venting of radioactive gases, environmental contamination, failure of containers, terrorist attacks and escalating costs.

"More than 65 years after the start of the civil use of nuclear power, not a single country can claim that it has the solution to manage the most dangerous radioactive wastes," Shaun Burnie, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Germany and coordinator of the report said in a statement.

In particular, storing waste material from deep in the ground—the most researched long-term storage technology—"has shown major flaws which exclude it for now as a credible option," he said.

Currently, there is a global stockpile of around 250,000 tonnes of highly radioactive spent fuel distributed across some 14 countries.

Most of this fuel remains in so-called "cooling pools" at reactor sites that lack secondary containment and remain vulnerable to a loss of cooling. Some lack a source of back-up power.

The partial meltdown of Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear that the high-heat hazard of spent fuel pools is not hypothetical.

The 100-page report, compiled by a panel of experts, dissected shortcomings in the management of voluminous waste in France, which has the second largest nuclear reactor fleet (58) after the United States (about 100).

France has the world's second largest nuclear fleet but several oversight bodies have voiced concern over the capacity of massiv
France has the world's second largest nuclear fleet but several oversight bodies have voiced concern over the capacity of massive cooling pools such as this one in Normandy

"There is no credible solution for long-term safe disposal of in France," the report said.

French oversight bodies have already raised concerns about capacity of massive cooling pools in Normandy at the La Hague site.

In response, energy giant Orana, which manages the site, said in a statement that "there is not risk of saturation of the pools in La Hague until 2030."

In the United States, billions of dollars and decades of planning have failed to secure a geological disposal site, the report notes.

The Yucca Mountain underground facility—decades in construction—was finally cancelled in 2010 by the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, some 70 percent of spent fuel in the United States remains in vulnerable cooling pools, often in densities several times the greater than originally intended.

Nuclear waste from is also a major environmental concern.

The world's inventory of —sandy that can seep into the local environment—was estimated at more than two billion tonnes as of 2011.

The other countries covered in the report are Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Finland and Britain.

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© 2019 AFP

Citation: Storage of nuclear waste a 'global crisis': report (2019, January 30) retrieved 20 September 2019 from
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Jan 30, 2019
In particular, storing waste material from nuclear power reactors deep in the ground—the most researched long-term storage technology—"has shown major flaws which exclude it for now as a credible option," he said.

Tell that to the Finns: https://en.wikipe...pository

Deposition of waste begins next year.

Greenpeace is the last party to listen to about nuclear waste disposal, because their anti-nuclear argument leans heavily on the fact that nuclear waste remains an unsolved problem. If something is done to the waste, they lose one leg of the argument - so of course they're going to claim that nothing can be done about it.

Jan 30, 2019
And the beauty of it: no extra cost to the taxpayers. It's all been paid for already.

The estimated cost of this project is about €818 million, which includes construction, encapsulation, and operating costs. The State Nuclear Waste Management Fund has approximately €1.4 billion from charges for generated electricity.

The same scheme was working in the US as well, but the federal government squandered all the money they were supposed to spend on waste disposal, and now the collection is halted until the government starts spending the funds on the intended purpose.

Jan 31, 2019
Just for perspective, that 250,000 tonnes is 250,000,000 kilos of spent fuel. Sounds like a lot but uranium is extremely dense. That waste, all of it, would cover a football field 8 feet deep. Hmmm... suddenly not so much. Pretty manageable really.

It's still extremely toxic and will be for thousands of years...unless you do something sensible like Japan and France do and reprocess it into fuel again, which could be done with 90% or so of the spent fuel. There political reasons and security considerations for not doing it, but it isn't because the technology doesn't exist. It does.

Jan 31, 2019
Guess we better start looking at things like travelling wave reactors to get rid of it. Too bad the nuclear industry was so stupid as to try to hire unqualified workers who caused things like Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island. Actually, I should be fair: it's the accountants who hired the unqualified ones; they were cheaper. And as ye sow so shall ye reap: those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind. So now nobody trusts nuclear plants and there's no way to get rid of this stuff. All because someone wanted another couple cents on the dollar.


Jan 31, 2019
Greenpeace is a faux-green organization in the pocket of vested interests; their actions have only served to favor coal/oil/gas/fracking(backup for intermittent renewables) which air pollution respects no border and kills millions of people every year.

"Greenpeace Rainbow warrior emits up to 33000000 Bq of radioactivity for each tank of fuel it burns. It may be as little as 1000000 Bq, if they buy clean diesel. (The latest Greenpeace ship holds 110,000 litres of diesel. Diesel can have 300 Bq/litre see"

"All Greenpeace ships are diesel-powered ... This kind of hypocrisy should be a civil crime as it brainwashes children and other people who don't stop to think or investigate. Similar to defamation." - Patrick Moore

Jan 31, 2019
Nobody cares what you think of Greenpeace, @WillieWart. How about the nuclear waste? Care to talk about that?

Just askin'.

Jan 31, 2019
Meanwhile, radioactive wastewater from fracking, radioactive ashes from coal, radioactive rare-earth metals, arsenides and other chemical carcinogens present in solar panels and windmills, are dumped directly into the environment.
Nuclear waste from uranium mining is also a major environmental concern.
"Uranium is a by-product from copper, phosphate and rare earth mining." "Copper is a major element for renewable energy"
...solution for long-term safe disposal of nuclear waste...
Bury it in my backyard. It emits less radiation than a bunch of bananas, it's safer than mercury(teratogen) in coal ashes and arsenides and other chemical carcinogens present in solar panels that never lose their toxicity with time.

Jan 31, 2019
How about the wind/solar waste? Arsenides and other chemical carcinogens that never lose their toxicity with time, worse than asbestos, that are being dumped directly into the environment?
"More solar panels mean more waste and there's no easy solution"
"Recycling isn't economically viable right now for solar panels"
"It's time to plan for solar panel recycling in the United States"
"Who Cleans Up When a Wind Farm Retires?"
"Ultra-green Denmark admits it has no idea what to with a worrisome mountain of old and broken wind turbine blades. The composite material can't be recycled."

Jan 31, 2019
"Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology that takes full responsibility for all its waste and fully costs this into the product."
"Nuclear industry has produced 70,000 tons of waste. The coal industry produces that every 30 minutes."
"Big growth in wind energy, but what about the waste? The 16,000 tonnes *per year* are "huge problem," say Germans."

"Nuclear Waste: Ideas vs Reality"
"Used Nuclear Fuel"

"If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?"

Feb 01, 2019
Petty distractions do not work, Willie-kins.

You folk have ruined the earth. And now, he wants us to send him all that intensely-radioactive nuclear waste so he can pollute the area and the water table by burying it in his back yard, which must be in St .Petersburg.

Feb 01, 2019
A Salem Nuke unit was closed today a victim of being too cold to get cooling water. Most folk do not understand how inefficient nuclear power is, which sends four kWh of heat into the environment for every kWh sent on the powerlines.

The wind turbines and PV panels are working well.

Feb 01, 2019
"Hitachi Ends $20 Billion UK Nuclear Plant"
Daniel Shane, CNN Business February 1, 2019

Not good news for the Nukers. Reality has caught up with them at last.

Feb 01, 2019
Not good news for the Nukers. Reality has caught up with them at last
Speaking of waste that needs to be buried deep underground, here is perhaps the most pathetic thing I have ever seen.
-RIP andrea rossi

Feb 01, 2019
Re the article

In Forbes yesterday...

"Deep Isolation is a recent start-up company from Berkeley by Muller and her father, Richard, that seeks to dispose of nuclear waste safely at a much lower cost than existing strategies. The idea of Deep Borehole Disposal for nuclear waste is not new, but Deep Isolation is the first to consider horizontal wells and is the first to actually demonstrate the concept.

"The technology takes advantage of recently developed fracking technologies to place nuclear waste in a series of two-mile-long tunnels, a mile below the Earth's surface, where they'll be surrounded by a very tight rock known as shale. Shale is so tight that it takes fracking technology to get any oil or gas out of it at all."

-and today we have the above anti-nuke screed tailored to discredit it?

Coincidence or more idiot bullshit re george kamburoff?

Feb 01, 2019
And then we see the latest leftist hysteria

"LAS VEGAS – The Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing back on Gov. Steve Sisolak's response to revelations the department shipped weapons-grade plutonium to Nevada last year, claiming state and congressional leaders were aware of the agency's plans.

"A senior DOE official told Fox News he "personally flew out to Nevada in late July and met with (then-Gov. Brian Sandoval's office and the state's Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources) face-to-face to walk them through a number of issues, including this one, in terms of what we were doing relative to plutonium shipments."


Feb 01, 2019
"Sisolak, a Democrat, condemned the revelation of shipments during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, describing the move as "completely unacceptable deception from the U.S. Department of Energy."

-So according to this smelly idiot leftist we ought to be advertising to all terrorists when and where we are going to be transporting fissiles across country.

Its their right to know yes? Citizens should at least know when to keep their pets indoors, no?

Feb 01, 2019
"(DOE) and NNSA negotiated in bad faith, hiding the timing of their shipment and refused to share crucial information with Members of Congress who had the security clearance to know."

-And as we know, congress can be trusted to keep secrets.

Feb 01, 2019
I suggest some of you look into the sorry history of WIPP the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where they were "proving" the safe storage of mostly stuff like contaminated gloves overalls and tools in barrels on the floor, but with high-level nuclear waste in barrels drilled into the walls.

It caught on fire and contaminated part of the area around it. I do not think it is open yet, after several years. I watched the entire series of town halls put on by DOE and WIPP and politicians over many months.

Feb 01, 2019
Guess what happens at the end of a Faustian Bargain, such as nuclear power?

Feb 02, 2019
Not good news for the taxpayers who have subsidized the expensive solar/wind scam believing sunshine&breeze would save us from Climate Change.

Major new study finds, "Despite hundreds of billions spent on wind & solar, emissions in electricity sector grew faster than overall emissions.... [Solar-wind] subsidies accelerated CO2 emissions when comparing the electric power sector to other sectors" - 2019

"Germany provides a cautionary tale for environmental groups... the country's coal consumption has remained nearly unchanged since the turn of the century."
"A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals" - Jan 30, 2019
The #1 source of electricity in Germany during 2018 was coal.

Feb 02, 2019
You dodged my question, Willie.

Feb 04, 2019
Guess what happens at the end of a Faustian Bargain...
Guess what happens at the end of the "Faustian Bargain" between intermittent renewables and gas(fracking) industry: destruction of natural landscapes and wildlife habitats, massacre of millions of birds/bats and other endangered species, expensive electricity bills, hundreds of billions dollars spent for almost nothing in terms of reducing emissions.

Indeed, it's in fact a "Faustian Bargain", sacrificing the Nature and taxpayers' hard-earned money just to please a bunch of psychotics/paranoids/schizophrenics brainwashed by green sociopaths with vested interests.

Feb 04, 2019
You know, if I was a vested interest I'd buy some stock in renewable energy companies. I might have to think about this.

Feb 04, 2019
...if I was a vested interest...
"If you have interests in the coal / natural gas industry then by all accounts promote solar panels / wind turbines."
"In REAL life, 100% renewables = 80% natural gas & 20% renewables. No wonder natural gas is the fastest growing fuel worldwide."
"I believe we would be well advised to admit that if we phase out coal and nuclear energy then we have to be honest and tell people that we'll need more natural gas," - Angela Merkel
"Natural gas-fired generation increased by 166 million kWh during the first 10 months of the year," Rhodium wrote. "That's three times the decline in coal generation and four times the combined growth of wind and solar."
"Natural gas is now getting in the way; US carbon emissions increase by 3.4%" - Jan 2019

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