International media: articles and news stories

This section provides a collection of articles from news media around the world, offering a wider spectrum of opinion, but also showcasing the similarities of the reactions of people in different countries.  Click on the media outlet name to link to the original article.

Currently we only have the ability to source English-language articles. Please feel free to submit additional articles in any language to: editorial@gdfwatch.org.uk

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New IAEA Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Database Facilitates National Data Reporting and Sharing

The IAEA, working with the EU and the OECD/NEA, has launched the Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Information System (SRIS), which will facilitate easier information sharing and simplified national reporting on a single easy-to-use platform.

2 June 2020

Terrawatch: could granite solve the hard problem of nuclear waste storage?

New research enhances confidence that geology provides an effective barrier to protect against disposed high-level radioactive waste.

Italy approves dismantling of Latina plant

Last of Italy’s 4 nuclear plants has been approved for decommissioning. Pending availability of a geological repository, radwaste will be stored on site in interim surface facilities.

Panel Vets U.S. Plutonium Disposal Plan

The US’ plan to dispose of surplus plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is technically viable so long as the Energy Department addresses certain concerns, according to a top-level scientific review by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

1 June 2020

Industry to Explore Decentralized Nuclear Waste Disposal

With Yucca Mountain currently not on the US Government’s agenda, article looks at Deep Isolation’s work to see if it offers an alternative solution.

Necsa proposes reappointing fired former CEO

Unhappy reaction as the embattled Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) is apparently proposing to reappoint its suspended and subsequently fired former CEO Phumzile Tshelane as a consultant.

30 May 2020

Sellafield challenges claim of plutonium in site’s cats

Claims that cats from West Cumbria’s nuclear site given out for adoption were found to have plutonium in their system have been rejected by Sellafield. Radiation Free Lakeland claims samples analysed from two cats contained plutonium and caesium. Sellafield says that before leaving the site each cat was given a health check by an independent veterinary expert and, to provide reassurance, were radiologically monitored.

30 May 2020

Ensuring Safety: Multiple-Barrier System

National Waste Management Organisation provide examples from nature which offer strong evidence of the concept of ‘containment’ in a deep geological repository under similar conditions.

Do Emissions from Nuclear Power Plants Cause Cancer?

Insufficient evidence to be conclusive, but concern is real.

29 May 2020

Nuclear: EDF plans Belleville-sur-Loire to store nuclear waste, resistance is getting organized

The battle to oppose the construction of a centralised facility of interim storage ponds for MOX waste.

Friends of the Earth condemns shameful Radioactive Waste Management Bill, offers positive alternatives

FoE’s submission to the Australian Senate Committee scrutinising the planned low-level radioactibve waste facility.

29 May 2020

Scientists develop sorbent for purifying water from radioactive elements

Russian researchers claim to have developed technology that can purify industrial and drinking water from radioactive waste. Also reported by Laboratory Equipment

29 May 2020

Deep Trouble: Russia Finally Moves To Raise Radioactive Debris From Arctic Waters

Report on Russia’s plans to remove radioactive waste from the bottom of the Arctic Sea.

29 May 2020

No nuclear dump on agricultural land – Canada

Criticism of Canada’s plans to build a deep geological repository.

29 May 2020

Inside the last of Germany’s disappearing nuclear plants

German photographer publishes new collection, The Nuclear Dream, recording Germany’s atomic sector – not only power plants, but also research centres , training facilities and radioactive waste facilities. Also covered in Positively Scottish

Terrorism? Sabotage? Canister failure? Experts explore San Onofre doomsday scenarios

For. the first time ever, local Community Engagement Panel held a [virtual] public meeting to consider a handful of ‘doomsday scenarios’ at the San Onofre site. Evidence of how casks are tested to withstand missile and other attacks did not allay all public concerns. One expert observed that “it’s possible to go too far, creating ‘unhelpful dread and anxiety’ that can lead to bad decision-making.” Also covered by Dana Point Times

Radioactive waste geological disposal is reintroduced in Belgium

Environmentalist argues the only reason for ‘pushing’ geological disposal is to increase social acceptability of nuclear, and to remove the financial uncertainties of nuclear energy. Does not address the environmental consequences of not disposing of the waste.

Opposition gathering to nuclear fuel disposal vault in South Bruce

Report looking at differing opinions in the potential host community in Canada. Also reported by Clinton News Record

28 May 2020

Revealed: Radioactive material leaked from storage drum at Dounreay

An incident which prompted an ONR (Office of Nuclear Regulation) investigation in fact was less serious than initially thought, and was in fact below the threshold required to prompt an independent investigation.

NWMO to begin field studies at Canadian repository site

In an update to local stakeholders, Canada’s National Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) says it will focus its activities on safety and protecting the environment, as it begins field studies later this year at the potential repository site.

27 May 2020

Oyster Creek Generating Station Closure Impact on Barnegat Bay Fish Inconclusive

Not possible after just one year of a three-year study to have definitive answers on the impact on marine life now that the nuclear plant has closed.

Nuvia awarded a place on Higher Activity Waste Framework

The ORCHID consortium of companies, led by Nuvia, has won a four-year contract to deliver engineering design support to Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) in delivery of the UK’s deep geological repository.

Ads for Protect South Bruce – No DGR in Lucknow

Local group places anti-repository advertisement in local newspaper. The quote chosen in the advertisement is used to give a completely opposite meaning to that originally intended by the NWMO.

WIPP Shipments Dwindle in Opening Months of 2020

Covid crisis reduces shipments to WIPP by almost half.

Russia looks to 2030

Russian Federations’ newly-published energy strategy includes pledges to develop innovative technologies for radioactive waste processing and disposal of radioactive waste.

Slovenian decision on second unit by 2027: minister

Slovenian government minister calls for an immediate start on the construction of a storage facility for low and intermediate level radioactive waste and for changes to legislation to speed up infrastructure projects.

Australian nuclear dump decision trashes indigenous peoples’ rights

Despite a High Court ruling, on-going concern that the process and decision to site the planned low-level radioactive waste facility was not ‘legal’.

26 May 2020

‘Survival Beneath Yucca Mountain’: La Jollan Monty Nereim’s new book explores life underground

“Survival Beneath Yucca Mountain” is a science-fiction novel that explores human survival instincts after a cataclysmic event. The author once lived close to the Yucca Mountain repository site, and says “for people that are interested in surviving a great catastrophe, that [Yucca} would be a great place for them to go if it were properly outfitted.”

26 May 2020

New Luxembourg law allows claims over nuclear accidents

Luxembourg passes a new law which allows citizens to seek damages for nuclear power accidents, two weeks after the Luxembourg government launched a campaign against Belgium’s alleged nuclear waste storage plans near the border between the two countries.

Decommissioned nuclear reactor will be heavy load for Nevada roads

Report on the transport of San Onofre’s “slightly” radioactive nuclear reactor vessel from California to its final resting place in Utah. Transport also reported by San Diego Union-Tribune, Bradenton Herald

Decommissioning application submitted for Garoña

Spain hopes to start transfer of spent fuel from ponds to dry interim surface storage in 2022, according to the latest licence application.

Russia’s “Nuclear Titanic” That Cannot Sink Even In The Face of a tsunami sails through the Arctic And Causes Fear

Environmentalists sceptical of Russian claims that their floating nuclear reactor is “unsinkable”, amid concerns that an incident could expose radioactive waste to the environment.

25 May 2020

Teeswater area debating taking on ‘forever’ nuclear waste project

Further report on those who are beginning to oppose the idea of hosting a deep geological repository for higher-level radioactive waste.

24 May 2020

REUTERS’ MUHAMMAD SHTAYYEH PROFILE OMITS UNFLATTERING DETAILS

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s claims that Israel is deliberately spreading Covid-19 in Palestinian territories follows his allegations that Israel was dumping radioactive waste in landfills in Palestinian territory. His views challenged by ‘Committe for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis’ (CAMERA).

Life in front of a nuclear reactor

Elderly woman believes her cancer caused by local nuclear power plant, says we should not plan to dispose of radioactive waste until we have agreed to produce no more, ie shut down all nuclear power plants.

Feedback sought on updated nuclear waste storage plan

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is seeking feedback on its updated five-year strategic plan for the permanent disposal of Canada’s higher-activity radioactive waste. Public can comment until 10 June 2020.

22 May 2020

Russia’s armed aggression destroying ecological balance in Donbas

Ukraine pursuing criminal investigation under international law into damage done by the Russian invasion, which has led to increased environmental and health risks from damaged radioactive and other toxic wastes storage facilities.

Australian Law on radioactive waste to be changed in order to prevent any judicial review!

Campaigners concerned that law will not allow them to challenge the decision-making process on the proposed low-level radwaste facility.

22 May 2020

Taken anti-nuclear waste signs spark concern in South Bruce

Decision to remove “anti-geological repository” signs was not political as originally-feared but because the signs had been placed in breach of Bruce County’s ‘right of way’ – which requires a permit to post signs, for safety reasons signs can’t just be put on the side of roads and highways. All the affected signs have been returned and campaigners have pledged to put them all back up, safely and legally.

Radioactive waste cleanup paying off for giant Idaho aquifer

Scientists say radioactive contamination in a giant aquifer below the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear has decreased or remained constant in recent years. The US Geological Survey attributes the decreases to radioactive decay, changes in waste-disposal methods, cleanup efforts and dilution from water coming into the Lake Erie-sized Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. Also reported by The Spokesman-Review

21 May 2020

Small reactors feasible in Puerto Rico, study concludes

Long-term storage of nuclear waste in Puerto Rico will not be an issue, according to a report recommending the island build nuclear reactors. Like all US nuclear power plants, it is expected that the Puerto Rico nuclear plant’s low-level waste will be shipped to a US licensed low-level waste disposal facility and high-level used fuel safely stored on site and later shipped to a long-term high-level waste storage facility in the US mainland. Also reported by Power Technology

Sellafield develops interactive app to help Cumbria’s response to Covid-19

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s subsidiary Sellafield has worked with Cumbria County Council to develop an interactive app to help support the most vulnerable in the community. Sellafield’s Geospatial and Strategic Spatial Planning Team has used their expertise to develop the app as part of Cumbria County Council’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

NWHU coffers boosted by $50K donation

The Nuclear Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) has donated Can$50,000 to the NorthWestern Health Unit to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. The NWHU says it will use the funds to respond to community needs such as emergency food access and care packages for people in isolation without resources or family support and hand sanitizer and disinfecting supplies for organisations in the area who need it. Also reported by CKDR, Kenora Online

21 May 2020

Ukraine pushes storage facility completion to end-September

Delayed by 6 months because of the national Covid-19 lockdown, Ukraine reveals that the new Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF) at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine is now expected to be completed by the end of September.

21 May 2020

‘No danger to public’ from fire at decommissioned nuclear power plant

A large fire at a decommissioned Dutch nuclear power plant has been brought under control. There is no danger that radioactivity could leak because of the fire, officials said. Also reported by Star Tribune, New York Times, Daily Mail

Double espresso?

Opinion piece that says mistakes and failures of the nuclear sector in previous decades should not deter us from pressing ahead with solving radwaste problem.

20 May 2020

Earth Matters: Indian Point’s Final Days

Continued concern the taxpayer will be left to foot the decommissioning bill, and manage the radioactive waste.

20 May 2020

Energy nominee likely to face questions on Yucca

A US Senate panel overseeing the promotion of an Energy Department official will question Mark Menezes about his statements in February that the administration planned to store nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site, in apparent contradiction of a White House budget proposal.

UPDATE: Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Mark Menezes, clarified his February remarks, saying the Trump administration has no plans to use Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste storage site. Hearing also covered by Aiken Standard, The Hill

20 May 2020

Morals trump money

Reaction of Swiss villagers to hosting radioactive waste used as a litmus test in a wider opinion piece on public attitudes when it comes to critical ‘morals versus money’ issues.

Op-Ed: Setting the record straight about nuclear power

In a pro-nuclear opinion piece, it is claimed that environmentalists and the media overstate and emotionalise the issues around radioactive waste, not based on science but by manipulating peoples fears.

19 May 2020

Quake gives Nev. lawmakers new ammo against Yucca Mountain

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake that rattled Nevada last week has lawmakers and state officials reiterating concerns about the proposed Yucca Mountain radwaste repository. Last week’s earthquake was the third within 150 miles of the Yucca site in the past two years. Critics are concerned that seismicity could threaten not only the site itself, but associated nuclear waste transportation pathways. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has analysed site and says there are not any issues. Also reported by Las Vegas Sun, Carson Now

19 May 2020

IAEA commends French nuclear waste programme

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released the final report from its January 2018 mission to France to review radioactive waste management and decommissioning in the country. The review team said it had been “impressed with the nature and implementation of the French national programme”.

Groups ask Ottawa to press ‘pause’ on nuclear waste disposal

Environmentalists concerned that Canada’s legal and regulatory framework not equipped to make judgements on the safety of radwaste disposal and potential repository sites. Also reported by Manitoulin Expositor, Renfrew Today

19 May 2020

Environmentalists Fault Sending ‘Very Low Level’ Nuclear Waste to Landfills

Although supported by US local government, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s proposed reclassification of radioactive waste is worrying environmentalists. Also covered by The Union Journal

Tiny crystals plug gaps and limit uptake of contaminants in rocks

Research published today by a UK-based team of scientists has shown for the first time that the mobility of potentially harmful contaminants in crystalline rocks over long periods of time may be severely limited due to the presence of tiny crystals, meaning contaminant movement is likely to be focussed to water-bearing fractures only. The research was funded as part of a collaborative programme by RWM.

18 May 2020

IAEA Illuminates Morocco as Model in Nuclear Research Monitoring

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) commends Morocco as a model for monitoring nuclear research reactors, describing the country as an “example to follow”. The TRIGA research reactor contributes to various activities related to research and training in nuclear medicine, industrial applications, and radioactive waste management.

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant worker tests positive for COVID-19, crew quarantined

WIPP worker and their crew quarantined, and will be checked again before being allowed back to work. Operations continue at WIPP.

17 May 2020

The risks of allowing landowners to volunteer their land for nuclear waste disposal

Local activists compare the UK and Australian site selection processes.

Atomic clean-up could cost Norway 20 billion kroner and take 25 years

Decommissioning Norway’s two closed nuclear research reactors will cost around US$1.96 billion, and take 20-25 years, according to a report commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry. The report confirms previous assessments that demolition of facilities and site environmental clean-up will cost around US$750 million, with a further US$1.2bn for long term management of radioactive waste. But report notes notes there is “considerable uncertainty” around these costs. Story also covered by World Nuclear News

15 May 2020

Robot used in Italy’s largest decommissioning project

Story on the retrieval of radioactive waste in preparation for moving to interim surface storage pending final disposal.

15 May 2020

Government, nuclear industry badly in need of a reality check

Opinion that Japanese Government need to address the issue of radioactive waste rather than avoid it.

Local Governments, Labor, Community and Industry Organizations Urge Congress for One-Time Increase in EM Funding to Create Jobs and Infrastructure Projects

Open letter from community representatives to Congress, seeking Covid-19 investment in management & disposal of radioactive waste held at local sites across the country, to create jobs and improve environment.

Germany demolishes nuclear plant towers for a greener tomorrow

Article in support of Germany’s nuclear phase out, says radioactive waste needs disposal, and that “decommissioning a nuclear power plant takes anything between 25 to 100 years. It’s tedious but worth it. Our battle today is not just against a virus, it’s against everything that comes in between us and a safer tomorrow.

Scientists say the final repository of nuclear waste remains uncertain

Ahead of the Swedish Government’s decision on the Environmental Court’s concerns about copper corrosion, and whether to proceed with the planned repository, a revisiting of the concerns expressed by critics.

Nuclear Grand Challenge Engages Student Ideas For Waste Revenue

Report on background to a national competition encouraging ideas which may improve public perceptions of radioactive waste. GDFWatch a competition mentor.

13 top Australian non government organisations say that the Kimba nuclear waste dump plan is illogical

Joint NGO response to Senate Committee’s inquiry into the planned low-level radioactive waste facility, makes 10 recommendations.

Irritated response by Belgian Minister of the Environment

Belgium says no specific location for radioactive waste storage has been identified, and that it cannot understand why Luxembourg has raised the issue publicly without inter-governmental discussions. Belgium stressed that all legislation will be respected. Response also covered by Luxembourg Times, Brussels Times, Delano

12 May 2020

Russian Researchers Discover Way to Transform Radioactive Waste Into Valuable Resource

Claims that scientists have created a commercially viable way means to turn depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) into hydrogen fluoride, a valuable chemical compound used in the production of materials including aluminium, refrigerants and gasoline, among other things.

12 May 2020

Sellafield work must resume despite coronavirus lockdown in case of ‘nuclear incident’, says boss

Chief executive Martin Chown admitted he is faced with a difficult decision, but said it is vital Sellafield restarts some work, because some old facilities may become more hazardous if left to mothball.

12 May 2020

Corrosion interactions between stainless steel and lead vanado-iodoapatite nuclear waste form part I

Research paper on corrosion of stainless steel canisters, to better understand chemical and other processes that may occur over time in a deep geological repository.

Russia plans to raise radioactive wrecks in the Arctic

By 2030, the Russian government will raise seven pieces of radioactive debris – including two nuclear submarines – from the bottom of Arctic oceans, where they were intentionally scuttled during the Soviet era.

WIPP Bypass Road Opens to Traffic

The US$9 million, 3-mile bypass that directs other traffic away from the site opened on Friday 8 May.

12 May 2020

South Bruce divided over nuclear waste

Despite years of public events, some people just waking up to the fact that their community is in final shortlist to host the Canadian deep geological repository.

Nuclear waste: the Grand Duchy deplores Belgium’s “no consultation” plan

Luxembourg government upset by Belgian plans to dispose of radioactive waste close to their shared border. Urges Luxembourg citizens to contribute to a public consultation being run by the Belgian government. Story also covered by RTL, Luxembourg Times

12 May 2020

Cheshire team involved in N-plant decommissioning research

Jacob’s have been awarded a contract by RWM to study the release of radioactivity from irradiated graphite in reactor cores. This research will support RWM in its analysis of graphite behaviour and the options for graphite waste management in the future. Also reported by Power Engineering, Nasdaq, NS Energy Business, Yahoo!, Oxford Mail

12 May 2020

Bismuth trioxide shows promise for nuclear shielding

New material might offer a lighter, cheaper, safer alternative to lead as a barrier to radioactivity. According to researchers, the new polymer could replace traditional radiation shielding materials, like lead, which are often expensive, heavy and toxic to human health and the environment.

NUCLEAR FACILITY REFLECTS WORLDWIDE BEST PRACTICE

Australian government explains global, legal and political issues in the selection of their site for a low-level radioactive waste facility in South Australia.

Canada’s Plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel

National Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) explain how they are working with communities to identify a potential site for a deep geological repository.

Environmental studies, discourse vital to decommissioning

Energy analyst says more thought needs to be given to the decommissioning of South Africa’s nuclear reactors later this decade. Claims that the South African nuclear sector has regularly underestimated the need for public engagement to secure public acceptance. Any solution will “need to be based on ethical considerations. This includes the safety of current and future generations and funding that doesn’t burden future generations.”

7 May 2020

Are Diamonds The Answer To Our Nuclear Waste Problem?

Further news on research in the Uk to convert radioactive waste into ‘diamond batteries’ with almost limitless lifetime of producing energy with no carbon emmissions.

Coronavirus: Construction halted on low-level radioactive waste cleanup project in Port Hope

The Port Hope and the Port Granby projects, a Can$1.3 billion combined federal investment for a multi-year cleanup of low-level radioactive waste in Lake Ontario communities, were set to enter their largest construction phase as the coronavirus pandemic began. But has come to a halt due to worker safety and emergency orders to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Critics alarmed by US nuclear agency’s bid to relax rules on radioactive waste

UK media report that the federal US agency providing oversight of the commercial nuclear sector is attempting to push through a rule change critics say could allow dangerous amounts of radioactive material to be disposed of in places like municipal landfills, with potentially serious consequences to human health and the environment.

As previously and separately reported by GDFWatch, the proposed changes would bring the US more into line with IAEA and EU standards, and are supported by US local governments.

7 May 2020

Croatia and Bosnia at loggerheads over nuclear waste plan

Summary overview of the dispute between the two neighbours over the siting of a planned low-level radioactive waste facility close to their shared border.

WIPP facility near Carlsbad ideal for plutonium disposal, federal regulators say

Last week’s report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), a two-year review of the DOE’s plans to dispose of the US’ plutonium stockpile, said the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) would be best option for permanent disposal of surplus plutonium, but would require an increase of space available at WIPP and an extension to its operating lifetime.

Feds Give Thumbs-Up to West Texas Nuclear Waste Plan

Draft environmental impact assessment allows proposal for a temporary storage facility in West Texas to hold high-level radioactive waste pending final disposal to proceed. Also reported by CBS News7, San Angelo Live, KUT, Midland Reporter-Telegram, HPPR

5 May 2020

Strong support for SKB’s planned final repository in Östhammar municipality

Overwhelming local community support in Sweden for hosting a geological repository, according to latest opinion poll. At 82%, support is at its highest ever level. [link requires Google translate for non-Swedish speakers]

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility – Community Benefit Program applications open

The Australian Government has announced that communities around Kimba and Wallerberdina Station can now each apply for up to $2 million worth of grants under a new Community Benefit Program. Applications are open for the program, which is for communities that were involved in detailed consultation about hosting Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. Also reported by Eyre Peninsula Tribune

4 May 2020

Study reveals single-step strategy for recycling used nuclear fuel

Scientists believe they have found a more simple, efficient way to extract some materials for recycling from radioactive waste that help address issues such as proliferation of weapons-grade materials and other ‘misuses’. Also covered by Futurity, ScienceBlog, Green Car Congress, Science Daily

Feds Renew $14.4M Grant for WIPP-Area Environmental Monitoring by New Mexico State University

Extension of the contract with New Mexico State University to continue independent environmental monitoring near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Also reported by Exchange Monitor, Carlsbad Current-Argus

4 May 2020

We have power

Leaving radioactive waste for future generations is the main reason to oppose new nuclear build according to this Korean activist.

A nuclear waste site where the biggest fear isn’t radiation, but coronavirus

Report on workers concerns about returning to work at the Hanford facility in Washington state.

New environmental bill referred to Parliament

Bahrain introduces new law, with death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone who imports, brings in, buries, dumps, stores or disposes of nuclear waste.

Federal government rejects contentions to nuclear waste site near Carlsbad and Hobbs

Further update on row in New Mexico on whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has complied with federal law over proposed temporary radioactive waste storage facility. Also covered by The Sandpaper

Indian Point communities stake claim to $15M fund as they fight for their future

Impact on the community as nuclear power plant shuts and decommissions.

1 May 2020

Four things you didn’t know about nuclear waste

Simple overview article about radioactive waste. Also reprinted by MenaFN, Environment Journal

1 May 2020

In Bure, justice has flouted the rights of the defense

Final article in an environmentalist newspaper’s investigation into the way in which the police and courts gathered evidence against those arrested for protesting the construction of France’s geological disposal repository. Also covered by AGR Daily News

WIPP expansion needed for proposed disposal of surplus plutonium at nuclear waste repository

Plan to dispose of US plutonium stockpile will put pressure on US’s sole geological repository, according to independent assessment of plan. Also covered by Santa Fe New Mexican, Durango Herald, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicines

After decades, the heart of a nuclear reactor will finally leave San Onofre

A 20-year story of storing and then finally removing a significant item of radioactive waste from a closed nuclear power plant.

WIPP utility shaft project challenged as illegal

The Southwest Research and Information Center alleges New Mexico environmental officials ignored regulations and past practices in giving temporary approval for contractors to begin building a new ventilation shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. They want the New Mexico Court of Appeals to put the brakes on the key construction project at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository. Story also covered by My High Plains, Exchange Monitor

29 April 2020

Are salt deposits a solution for nuclear waste disposal?

American Society of Agronomy article looking at research into how salt acts as a barrier around radioactive waste in a geological repository. Story also covered by TechXplore, Science Daily, Free News, Technology Networks, Lab Manager

28 April 2020

Funding For KDMA To Improve COVID Communication

Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is providing Can$10k to help establish reliable and secure communications between municipalities during the COVID-19 crisis.

28 April 2020

Group Plans To Fight Effort To Build Nuclear Waste Dump In New Mexico

Beyond Nuclear group claim that Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of a draft environmental impact assessment for Holtec’s planned temporary radioactive waste storage facility in New Mexico breaches federal law. Also reported by Albuquerque Journal, Durango Herald, The Journal

27 April 2020

Deep Isolation Awarded Contract with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Deep Isolation have announced their first non-governmental contract, to assess the feasibility of onsite horizontal deep borehole disposal at future nuclear plants. Looking at diverse criteria such as physical site characteristics, disposal operations, safety performance analysis, regulatory & licensing considerations, the project seeks to evaluate the potential application of horizontal deep borehole techniques to the permanent dispose of high-level radioactive waste. Also reported by Exchange Monitor

In response to public requests, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission extends deadline on consultation for Holtec’s planned temporary radwaste facility in New Mexico. KRWG reports move welcomed by local representatives. Also covered by Carlsbad Current-Argus, Chron

27 April 2020

American Nuclear Society Backs NRC Finding on Spent-Fuel Storage Project

The Society formally backs the recent draft environmental impact assessment of Holtec International’s proposed temporary radioactive waste facility in New Mexico.

27 April 2020

Justice massively monitored anti-nuclear activists in Bure

Concerns at the extent of police surveillance of anti-Bure protestors in France.

27 April 2020

“Near-infinite” power: inside the University of Bristol’s ambitious nuclear power plan

Update on story about development of “ever-lasting” battery made from radioactive waste.

Federal agencies want to extend nuclear waste site to 2080

Article sets out local opposition to the licence application for extending WIPP’s operational lifetime.

24 April 2020

Proposed legislative amendments on final responsibility for nuclear waste disposal have been sent to Parliament

Long-agreed amendments to radioactive waste management legislation have been tabled. The local community of Osthammar have long-insisted on the legal clarifications as a critical pre-condition for hosting the planned repository.

23 April 2020

Finding a solution for the legacies of UK nuclear power

Interview with CEO of UK’s radwaste management organisation, Karen Wheeler.

Decommissioning work resumes at Ignalina

After a two-week suspension of work because of the Covid-19 pandemic, decommissioning activity resumes.

22 April 2020

Funding supports community front line work

Magnox and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) will provide £300,000 in funding to help support communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Interim waste storage facility completed at Unterweser

PreussenElektra has completed the construction of a second interim storage facility for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the Unterweser nuclear power plant. The German utility has handed the facility over to Bundes Gesellschaft für Zwischenlagern (BGZ), the government-owned agency responsible for its operation.

22 April 2020

S. Korea to Start Construction of Nuclear Decommissioning Research Centers Next Year

The South Korean government plans to start construction of nuclear decommissioning research centres next year in its bid to exploit the global commercial opportunities of decommissioning, transitioning the skills of the nuclear power generation industry workforce.

22 April 2020

Q&A: Dealing with Britain’s nuclear waste?

Experts discuss geological disposal, with public comments.

New Crowdsourcing Challenge: Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation 2020

IAEA competition for young professionals around the world for new ideas which advance decommissioning or environmental remediation of radioactive sites. The winners will be invited to present their entries at the IAEA General Conference in September. Closing date for competition is 21 May 2020.

Uncertainty for budget and appropriations in FY 2021

US local government says the 2021 budget for environmental clean up of nuclear sites remains uncertain. Congress has not approved the budget, is focused on relief funding, and the Presidential election gets ever nearer. This suggests, as in previous election years, that budget decisions could be be kicked into the new year, for the new Administration to sort. This would likely mean that funding for environmental management would continue at 2020 budget levels.

20 April 2020

Area Communities Receive Money From NWMO

A number of communities are receiving financial aid from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to help them cope with COVID-19.

NRC to hold webinar Tuesday on Indian Point decommissioning

In the Covid world, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) go online to explain the decommissioning process and “how the NRC regulates such activities through on-site inspections and other reviews.” Members of the public will be able to ask questions verbally and in writing.

20 April 2020

“In line with previous drilling results”

Switzerland completes another borehole investigation. Will take further time to analyse results but initial data suggests there are no surprises and the rock would be able to host a repository safely.

Mayor Dale Janway: Support of Carlsbad community appreciated during coronavirus pandemic

WIPP management company, Nuclear Waste Partnership thanked for contributions to local Covid charities.

Britain has 139 tons of plutonium. That’s a real problem.

Analysis of the UK’s management of plutonium. Suggests geological disposal is the best option available.

16 April 2020

Pennsylvania raises alarms on transfer of radioactive Three Mile Island reactor

Citing current financial concerns, as well as the COVID-19 emergency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has asked the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay a decision over a license transfer of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant to EnergySolutions, a company that specialises in decommissioning.

Nuclear watchdog group warns about NC waste storage during crisis

National anti-nuclear watchdog organisation, Beyond Nuclear, raise concerns about the storage and transportation of radioactive waste during the coronavirus pandemic.

16 April 2020

Kimba nuclear waste dump law risks breaching Indigenous human rights, committee finds

A cross-party parliamentary committee has found “significant risk” that local Indigenous groups were not adequately consulted about a proposed nuclear waste facility, meaning that the Government’s decision to press ahead with legislation risked breaching Barngarla rights to culture and self-determination.

15 April 2020

Nuclear waste: the problem that will never, ever go away

Local media review of geological disposal and the story of Yucca Mountain: “Yucca Mountain’s license application is for a term of 10,000 years. It is unclear if that is long enough … for officials to come to a final decision.”

Waste firm with plans for Alice builds giant air dome

Innovative inflatable structure to protect humans and environment at hazardous waste sites, showcased by Australian company. Also covered by Waste Management Review

14 April 2020

New Mexico Receives 10-Year Permit Application for WIPP

The US Energy Department has applied for renewal of the state permit required to operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.

14 April 2020

“Our country will receive waste from foreign nuclear power plants built by Rosatom from time to time”

Interview with leading Russian environmentalist on Russia’s “importation” and management of radioactive waste — many concerns, from transparency to Rosatom’s ability to keep its long term commitments.

12 April 2020

Competition held to examine new markets and uses for nuclear fuel

University student teams competed virtually in a prize competition, titled Reimagining Nuclear Waste, to address the social, political and economic challenges facing the perception of nuclear waste. [Declaration of Interest: GDFWatch’s Roy Payne is a mentor to this project].

11 April 2020

US Nuclear Waste Cleanup Delayed

Further look at the impact of Covid-19 on operations at US radioactive waste facilities.

11 April 2020

Reece Keener: Nevada’s ace in the hole

Elko’s Mayor, Reece Keener, says Covid-19 crisis underlines need for Nevada to diversify its economy, to be less dependent on tourism and Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain and other public projects might offer more stable long-term economic sustainability.

10 April 2020

Russia, China willing to fund nuclear projects as several African countries explore controversial power source

Review of African interest in nuclear power, says that managing radioactive waste is a major hurdle.

10 April 2020

Places around England compete to host underground nuclear waste dump

Overview of the UK’s search for a site for its geological disposal repository.

Environmentalists call for halt to German search for nuclear waste site during coronavirus

Germany’s agency responsible for geological disposal, BGE, is continuing its search for a repository site, as campaigners ask for a delay during Covid crisis. BGE looking at digital and other ways to engage public, saying its’s still too soon to know what impact Covid19 will have on their timetable.

KHNP to support Canadian decommissioning projects

First contract for a Korean company supporting decommissioning in another country.

9 April 2020

Idaho lawmakers urge DOE to package nuclear waste at site

Idaho’s Congressional caucus unanimously ask that spent fuel be prepared ready for transport and final disposal. Also reported by Elko Daily, Idaho News, Lewiston Tribune

Trump administration’s nuclear waste buildup worsens during outbreak

Accused of doing too little to dispose of the nation’s radioactive waste stockpile, now criticised for weakening environmental controls in order to find ‘cheaper’ and ‘quicker’ solutions.

8 April 2020

NRC Extends Comment Period on Very Low-Level Waste Disposal

US’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has acceded to widespread calls for the consultation period to be extended because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

8 April 2020

Research uncovers microbial life in radioactive waste storage sites

New research papers from University of Manchester, working with Sellafield Limited and the National Nuclear Laboratory, show that microbes can thrive in even the most intensively radioactive waste storage sites. The growth of microbial life can cause uncertainty or problems in radioactive waste management. Story also covered by Power Technology, Scientific Computing World

Dodik hopes Croatia will solve Radioactive Waste Disposal Question it in the Spirit of good Neighborly Relations

Bosnian President says one of his priorities is to stop Croatia building a low-level radioactive waste facility near their mutual border. In a similar report, Balkan Insight claims Bosnia will seek international arbitration.

7 April 2020

On-site work on nuclear waste disposal in NW Ontario suspended

NWMO suspends borehole drilling to evaluate potential repository sites during Covid-19 break-out. Story also covered by Dryden Now, CKDR

7 April 2020

The problem of nuclear waste

Podcast with Dr Claire Corkhill, discussing issues related to geological disposal of radioactive waste.

6 April 2020

LLWR makes second donation of personal protective equipment to fight COVID-19

UK’s low-level radioactive waste facility makes hazsuits and other personal protection equipment available to local health workers on the front line of the Covid-19 battle.

Nuclear power generation and waste transfers continue in Germany despite coronavirus crisis

A shipment of radioactive waste bound for Russia will go ahead as planned despite local protests.

5 April 2020

Residents sue State for deaths caused by toxic waste in desert

Allegations that radioactive waste was dumped in Kenya, form part of the first legal challenge in Kenya by a community demanding its constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment.

Nuclear Waste Management Organization to spend millions on community engagement, stakeholders in coming years

Review of NWMO’s triennial report, focusing on how they’re building social acceptance for the contentious project.

3 April 2020

The Nuclear Option

Analysis of the campaign by communities around the closed Indian Point nuclear power plant, who are challenging Entergy’s plan to sell the site, by raising questions about the financial health of Holtec International, the firm that wants to buy it in order to reduce time and cost of decommissioning..

Why should NM store nation’s nuclear waste?

Concern about the risks of transporting radioactive waste by rail from across the country to Holtec’s proposed temporary radioactive waste facility in New Mexico.

3 April 2020

Advocates raise questions about proposal to allow some nuclear waste to be disposed in landfills

As the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ponders extending the consultation period on its proposed reclassification of radioactive wastes, critics say extension insufficient and NRC should drop the idea. Also covered by Public News Service

BiH warns Croatia against storing nuclear waste from Krško at border

Bosnia reacts to Croatian decision to build a low-level radioactive waste facility on their border, saying plan is “unacceptable”.

NM should be scientific leader on nuclear issues

As with Covid-19, public policy should be based on science/facts rather than political whim: an opinion piece that argues New Mexico should base its decision on supporting radioactive waste facilities on science, not bias.

2 April 2020

Spent-fuel transfer moves forward despite coronavirus concerns

Despite concern over the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, Holtec is “forging ahead” with plans to transfer radioactive spent fuel from a large pool above the reactor at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to steel-lined dry casks.

Ignalina announces tender for waste storage

Lithuania has announced a tender to select a contractor for the construction of a storage facility for radioactive waste on the site of the nuclear power plant which ius being decommissioned.

2 April 2020

NRC approves Crystal River licence transfer

In yet another ownership transfer of a shuttered nuclear power plant to a specialist decommissioning company, the licence for Crystal River 3 is being transferred from Duke Energy Florida to Accelerated Decommissioning Partners LLC. Also reported by Tampa Bay Times

Faulty flask issue sparks probe at Hunterston

A probe has been launched between Hunterston and Sellafield nuclear power stations over a faulty fuel flask, and why it was sent.

Doosan’s credit crisis raises new debate over dismantlement of nuclear power plants

Viability called into question of South Korea’s plan to re-skill its nuclear workforce and exploit international decommissioning and radioactive waste management market opportunities.

1 April 2020

Location for Radioactive Waste Management Centre Taken Over by Fund

Croatia confirms location of its low-level radioactive waste facility close to the Bosnian border, that is causing much rancour in relations between the two countries. Also reported by Serbia Energy

Levin raises questions about San Onofre nuclear waste transfers, sewage spill

Local congressman pursues operator over continued transfer of waste during the pandemic, and an alleged spillage of liquid waste last week.

WIPP: COVID-19 outbreak leads to reduction in nuclear waste operations near Carlsbad

Short report on impact of Covid-19 pandemic on operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Also reported by New York Post, Idaho News, PBS Newshour, Dayton 24/7 Now

Opponents of nuke site near Carlsbad call for delay on permitting amid COVID-19 outbreak

Update on calls by opponents of Holtec International’s planned temporary radioactive waste facility for the public consultation to be extended because of the limits placed on public meetings and gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also covered by Santa Fe New Mexican

For articles from earlier in 2020, please click on this link to our 2020 Media Archive.

For articles from 2019, please click on this link to our 2019 Media Archive.

For articles from 2018, please click on this link to our 2018 Media Archive.

For articles from 2017, please click on this link to our 2017 Media Archive.