With the U.S. still trying to figure out what to do with our own nuclear waste, why would the Department of Energy be looking at a proposal to import foreign waste?

As I told you on Monday, the Department of Energy is considering a proposal to allow the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to accept, process and dispose of spent nuclear fuel from Germany. The fuel contains 900 kilograms of Highly Enriched Uranium, or HEU. Today, the Aiken Standard reported on the public hearing on the proposal:

Georgia Sierra Club member Sam Booher asked the crowd at the North Augusta Community Center a simple question: Does opening the door for Germany mean the Savannah River Site is opening the door for other countries’ nuclear material?

Booher was one of several on Tuesday who stated his position on SRS potentially accepting highly-enriched uranium, or HEU, from Germany during a public comment meeting.

Booher was one of several on Tuesday who stated his position on SRS potentially accepting highly-enriched uranium, or HEU, from Germany during a public comment meeting.

“This is the only place in the United States for this type of storage, so is everything going to be coming here?” he asked.

Savannah River may soon not be the only place in the country were the waste can go. Waste Control Specialists is attempting to get the license for its Andrews County dump site amended to let them take depleted uranium.

There is a small technicality which might gum up the works for the proposal: Under U.S. law, the spent fuel cannot be imported into the country unless it had been used in research reactors, rather than commercial reactors. Germany plans to get around this requirement by legally defining all its nukes as research reactors:

According to (Savannah River Site Watch Director Tom) Clements, Germany is currently trying to rename the reactors that process the spent fuel as research reactors instead of commercial reactors, which would make it legal to ship the HEU.

“There’s a big difference between the reactors, and the German law is clear. Evidently, the German government is conducting an assessment to rename them, but they’re meeting friction from activists in Germany,” Clements said.

Here’s a link: http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20140625/AIK0101/140629655/1007/AIK0101/residents-show-mixed-feelings-on-german-fuel-at-srs

 

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About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
This entry was posted in Department of Energy, Depleted uranium, Radioactive waste, Savannah River Site and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to With the U.S. still trying to figure out what to do with our own nuclear waste, why would the Department of Energy be looking at a proposal to import foreign waste?

  1. Pingback: With the U.S. still trying to figure out what to do with our own nuclear waste, why would the Department of Energy be looking at a proposal to import foreign waste? — WordPress.com | Pressing Refresh

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