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Nuclear Waste In Texas Lights Up The Lone Prairie

8:54 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Glowing in the dark

(Picture courtesy of Curtis Gregory Perry (coincidentally) at flickr.com.)

Today, another nuclear waste facility, in France, is adding to the reminders that there are hazards beyond what we can see in dealing with nuclear energy.   Telling us again that Texas should not be a nuclear waste repository are a growing number of accidents.

Japan saw meltdown of stored waste during its earthquake/tsunami earlier this year.   That should have brought it home to anyone with an ounce of judgment that the last thing you want happening in our world is nuclear storage handled by political party players with no background safety record.

Fukushima did involve three reactors and seven spent fuel pools, containing thousands of highly radioactive rods. Hydrogen explosions rocked the plant in the first week after an earthquake and tsunami crippled the reactors.

In Texas, though, pay to play has brought about just the hazard that is beyond regulatory control.   A big donor to the Goodhaired Governor’s political slush fund has bought himself a permit to dump nuclear waste in the state.  This dump could become one of the largest known, and will accept wastes from other states in addition to those within. Read the rest of this entry →

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play – in the Nuclear Waste

7:55 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Comanche Peak glows,from flickr, Zack Hollandsworth

Sometimes it is a pain being right.

Last week I was expressing a big worry about the fact that the Texas breed of anti-environment regulation was involved in operations of nuclear facilities.   Now I find out that there’s worse than that, we have a growing nuclear dump in the Loan Star State.   It’s run by the usual suspects.

The Texas billionaire and corporate raider (ed: Harold Simmons) is opening a nuclear waste dump in West Texas, despite objections from environmentalists and the state’s own experts. One of the Lone Star State’s largest donors to Republican causes, Simmons expects his that privately-owned site will become the nation’s most sought after radioactive waste repository.

(snip)

Only Vermont had a deal to dispose of its nuclear waste in Texas, so Simmons began lobbying to amend the nearly 20-year-old compact with the Green Mountain State to allow other states to also send their radioactive waste to the WCS site.

The decision to alter the compact rested with the seven members of the obscure Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, six of whom had been appointed by Gov. Perry, one of the largest recipients of Simmons’ campaign cash…. Any state can now petition the commission to have its radioactive waste buried in Texas.

The ground water is often in the form of aquifers here, vast lakes that are located underground.   The ground water mingles in with the runoff, of course, but in applying for permits to load up on nuclear waste, Simmons insisted there was no danger of contamination.   No environmental studies showed that to be so.  The studies cited are geologic and years of oil exploration.   No examples have been provided.

Members of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality resigned rather than issue this permit.

There is no end of justification for depradations that endanger the people of Texas, as long as it results in profit for a small number of ‘entrepreneurs’.   The main chances involved in seeking to make a killing in this state are whether you can get enough monetary impetus behind an influential enough office holder.

Savagely, that ‘making a killing’ here doesn’t necessarily mean a cash bottom line.  The public is just another impediment to the business interests in the state.

As Tom Lehrer told us some decades back;

Oh we will all fry together when we fry.
We’ll be french fried potatoes by and by.
There will be no more misery
When the world is our rotisserie,
Yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

Leaks in Gulf a Reminder of Waste Dumps Still Undecided

8:00 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

In view of the gunk now oozing into the formerly attractive waters in the Gulf of Mexico, it may be time to get serious about the future of nuclear dumps. The most famous site for nuclear waste dissension is Yucca Mountain in Nevada. That site for unsafe wastes has long posed a scary possibility, and permits granted for nuclear dumping there were granted without the recommended procedures.

In 2002, during the worst administration ever, the Secretary of Energy ignored the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in granting permission to dump nuclear wastes at Yucca Mountain.

Don Keskey, who represents the Prairie Island Indian Community where nuclear waste is being stored in Minnesota, said, "If you grant this motion to withdrawal the application, what is left of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act? There’s one thing: the ability to collect (waste disposal) fees and the country is left for wreck with no nuclear waste program."

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