Two radioactive waste seminars being held Saturday

  • The containment building and the turbine building of the now decommissioned Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vt. recorder file photo

Recorder Staff
Published: 5/3/2017 10:21:40 PM

Presentations on nuclear waste will take place Saturday in Greenfield and Brattleboro, Vt., and feature speakers on federal radioactive waste policy.

The sessions, Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at First Congregational Church on Silver Street and 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro, are sponsored by Citizens Awareness Network, the Safe and Green Campaign and the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance

Speakers will include:

Rose Gardner of the Sierra Club Texas, a resident of a community affected by both a low-level radioactive waste dump and a proposed centralized interim storage site for high-level nuclear waste in West Texas.

Kevin Kamps with Beyond Nuclear, who will address the vulnerabilities of on-site storage of HLNW and Federal policy.

Deb Katz, CAN executive director, who will address the issues of decommissioning and hardened onsite storage at nuclear reactors, and the proposed sale of the Vermont Yankee plant to NorthStar.

Although the nuclear industry and federal government committed to create a solution for high-level nuclear waste disposal, no acceptable solution exists, says Katz.

“They have all of this waste piling up at these (plant) sites, and there’s no solution,” she says.

Despite Waste Control Specialists’ recent suspension of its federal application to build a pilot high-level “interim storage” facility near the existing low-level waste repository for Vermont Yankee’s low-level waste, Katz said the concerns about shipment of high-level waste by rail to consolidated interim storage facilities in the Southwest remain.

Waste Control Specialists had filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build the consolidated interim storage facility last April — months before announcement of NorthStar’s proposed Vermont Yankee purchase — to store 5,000 metric tons uranium for 40 years, until a permanent waste solution is approved by the federal government.

The talks represent an effort by reactor communities to work together with waste communities against initiatives that “target vulnerable communities” and protect communities that are “forced to be guardians of the world’s most toxic and long-lasting waste,” say the program’s organizers.

A condition of the proposed sale to NorthStar calls for all 3,000 highly radioactive fuel rods to be removed from the spent fuel pool and placed in steel and concrete casks, where they would remain until a federal repository is built.


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