Nuclear waste ‘could be stored in Sydney’, Senate told

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The Federal Government’s nuclear agency has admitted there is no scientific reason why Australia’s radioactive waste could not continue to be stored in Sydney.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has told the Senate’s environment committee that the only reasons a remote site for a national radioactive waste dump is being sought in the Northern Territory are political.

The committee is reviewing Commonwealth legislation which overrides the Northern Territory’s power to stop a dump being built in the Territory.


Nuclear waste piles up in state

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The Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport could run out of space for its low-level radioactive waste in two to five years.

A local university and hospital have changed their practices so they don’t have to keep radioactive isotopes on their campusesThe problem is that Pennsylvania, like 35 other states, no longer has a place to get rid of its low-level radioactive waste. That means anyone generating the material has to store it, at least temporarily, until a permanent site becomes available.

Protests against the transport of nuclear waste

French and Deutschland protest against the transport of nuclear waste in Deutschland


Dealing With Nuclear Waste

Dealing With Nuclear Waste

New PPI Report: America Must Emulate France’s Model of Reprocessing Waste into Usable Energy
WASHINGTON — While development of clean alternative fuels like solar and wind power should be a priority in any energy policy, none will support U.S. energy demands overnight. Currently, the U.S. depends on nuclear energy for 20 percent of its electrical power. That means that nuclear energy will have to continue to be a part of the U.S. landscape, and so will nuclear waste. The next president will have to develop a plan to deal with future waste and the over 60,000 tons of nuclear waste that already exists in America.
The latest in the Progressive Policy Institute’s (PPI) Memos to the Next President series, “America’s Nuclear Waste and What to Do with It,” calls on the next president to begin investing in options that can reduce and recycle nuclear waste, noting that benefits of nuclear energy are often outweighed by concerns over the waste produced. Authors Mark Ribbing and Bill Magwood point to France’s model of “reprocessing” that turns nuclear waste into reusable energy. You can read the whole Memo at
“America’s Nuclear Waste and What to Do with It” is the ninth in PPI’s ongoing Memos to the Next President series, a collection of policy prescriptions written directly to the next occupant of the White House so that he can hit the ground running on the problems facing Americans today. In this series, PPI experts propose solutions on issues ranging from economic growth to national security, which President-Elect Obama will confront as soon as he takes office.
In their Memo, Ribbing and Magwood lay out reasons to invest in nuclear waste recycling and research other options for nuclear waste:
*The U.S. must research reprocessing techniques which would reuse nuclear fuel and produce a waste that is significantly less hazardous in order to deal with the 60,000 tons of existing nuclear waste in America and the 2,000 additional tons that the U.S. produces each year.
*One important step is to take a closer look at methods of reprocessing nuclear by-products to decrease waste and use our nuclear fuel more efficiently. Currently, the U.S. uses a “once-through fuel cycle,” a method of processing which leaves as much as 96-97% reusable uranium or plutonium. Other nations are already using technology that can “reprocess” that same fuel cell after a three-year cooling-down period and turn remaining fuel into power. This process is not perfect and must be developed further by American scientists, but it could make nuclear power a viable clean-energy option.
*Uranium and plutonium leftover after “reprocessing” can undergo a process called vitrification, which compacts the waste into a stable glass log. While stable, these logs can not be stored permanently, and more research is needed to turn this by-product into a long-term solution.
In addition to research on “reprocessing,” the U.S. must continue research on new processes that are proliferation-resistant as well as environmentally friendly. Researchers are currently exploring promising ways to break down waste into stable non-radioactive materials, using “fast reactors” that would be capable of using up more of the reactive nuclear material that other reactors can’t process. This would reduce waste and minimize the long-term hazards of nuclear power.
You can read the full text of “America’s Nuclear Waste and What To Do With It,” along with the entire Memos to the Next President series, at
For questions on “America’s Nuclear Waste and What To Do With It,” or for comment from the authors, contact Alice McKeon at (202) 608-1232 or
The Progressive Policy Institute’s mission is to define and promote a new progressive politics for America in the 21st century. Through its research, policies, and commentary, the Institute is fashioning a new governing philosophy and an agenda for public innovation geared to the Information Age. For additional information, web users may access the Progressive Policy Institute at, or contact PPI’s press office at (202) 547-0001.


Nuclear Waste Solution

Read this as part of a longer bog.
“The problem, of course, is nuclear waste. Something must be done (and Yucca Mountain is not enough). BUT. I have a solution. Whaddaya think about flying the stuff into the sun? Totally possible, less expensive in the long run than storage, and… I haven’t heard anyone out there suggest anything better. Any reason this can’t work? Scientists? Anyone?

But, aside from waste, there’s no reason nuclear power can’t be a serious contender for our energy future. I know there are a lot of hurdles, safety and etc, to be jumped over, but as our options dwindle… it would be better to prepare something ahead of time instead of flailing towards it in desperation, wouldn’t it? (RE-POSTED AS PART OF A LONGER POST AT

Well. my friend, you seem to forget the three word problem: “THE CHALLENGER ACCIDENT”.  This tragic accident watched by millions on their TVs or rebroadcasts, would have if it had been carrying Nuclear Waste, contaminated the entire globe. The space flight industry, while over 40 years old is still in it’s infancy, as far as that goes. Accidents are an everyday fact, granted they have been reduced. But an exploded launch, the space port irradiated  and closed for at least ~250,000 years. By the time it was safe to use, it would be slightly (LOL) outdated. This is not the only accident in space fight has had the Challenger, upon re-entry spread debris  across at lot of the US. Yes, the accident rate is too high to make it a possible solution to getting rid of Nuclear waste (IMHO) and backed by many scientists. To be a considerate solution, the Nuclear waste must be able to be retrieved, because one day we MAY find an actually solution to this problem.

The current solution is to stop producing nuclear waste. If the entire US was to provide their home and buildings with proper conservation measure, such as good installation, it would eliminate our present dependency on Nuclear Power. The latest figures ( I don’t have the references to cite) put our dependence on Nuclear Power at 15%, conservation measures would drop our entire bill (budget) by 15%.

The use of alternative energy, must be given priority in the NOW, not the near future. We only have X  amount of oil left and it took 40,00,000 years to produce that amount which we now had/have. Alternative is what we need to convert to now,

gregor, blog editor

The Problem of Nuclear Waste

I have followed the debate on storage of high level nuclear waste for some time. The discussions have been interminable — worse that the recently concluded US presidential campaign. The questions of safety for unimaginable terms were fascinating — especially how one would guarantee the isolation of the chosen site for many thousands of years. I think there are a number of problems with both the approach and indeed the whole concept:

1. The thesis that nuclear waste is a problem — the discarded components of nuclear fission will be releasing energy for a very long time. Somehow it seems that there is an opportunity here more than a problem. But it remains for some bright engineer to realize that this stuff could be a sustained power source and develop the technology to safely utilize it. I would not be the least surprised to find that in the future (probably long after I am with my ancestors) that our waste piles are being mined for resources.

2. That it is sensible to try and design structures that would outlast the entire history of human civilization. No civilization so far has lasted more than a few centuries before being replaced with a different way to organize society. Even China and Egypt changed over time. Nice idea but hugely expensive and no real way to prove one way or another — but I am sure that it was a nice cash stream for engineers and lawyers.

And of course, while the search for the ultimate answer was going on, the waste was simply accumulated at the generating nuclear plants — so there is a huge backlog to deal with.


My simple suggestion would be for folks to look at this stuff as an opportunity to be used rather than just a problem — it may free creative minds to a better solution. And to stop wasting money on predicting the future so far out that mankind may no longer exist.

Are there other options for storing nuclear waste?

With the economy in crisis and the Nevada budget in the red, there is renewed interest in the potential profits from the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump under construction near Las Vegas.

While the majority of Nevadans have rejected the proposal, some are wondering whether a deal with the government could ensure we don’t get “stuck with the dirty end of the stick.”

Frank Baglin, Professor of Chemistry with the University of Nevada, Reno, says Nevadans should make a deal with the government to build a reprocessing plant before nuclear waste is stored in their state.

“Reprocessing is cheaper than digging uranium out of the yard,” says Baglin, responding to comments made in Monday night’s Dunbar Report.

During the program, Dr. Ty Cobb, former Special Assistant for National Security in the Reagan administration, advocated that the state should drop its no compromise opposition and explore two alternatives: compensation from the federal government and a federal commitment to reprocess the waste that would eliminate 95 percent of the material.

“Cobb has a point,” Baglin said. “Other countries don’t have the same problems we have because they haven’t been dragging their feet.”

The non-profit group Public Citizen disagrees.

“Reprocessing does not get rid of all the waste and it is not economically sound,” says Director of the Energy Program at Citizen, Tyson Slocum.  “Tax payers would pay for it and it requires massive subsidy.  Reprocessing is messy with the risk of proliferation too high.”

A new president, Congress and a new head of Nevada’s anti-Yucca Mountain efforts could lead to more changes for the project.  Gov. Jim Gibbons has yet to replace Bob Loux, the former Executive Director of the Nevada Nuclear Projects Agency, who recently resigned from his position.