Commonsense at the Nuclear Crossroads, an anti-nuclear group located in Asheville, North Carolina, has commissioned a report on plans for transport and reprocessing (falsely advertised as “burning up”) high-level nuclear waste. The report is available for free viewing and/or downloading.
This is a big and dangerous deal. Quoting from the report’s executive summary:
The DOE has proposed purchasing Transport, Aging and Disposal (TAD) canisters to handle this waste and has issued specifications for their manufacture. From the data tables it is calculated that, on average, each TAD canister will contain about one and a half times the fissile uranium in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, plus about ten times the amount of fissile plutonium in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. The number of these canisters needed to move the waste accumulated at each reactor site is calculated. This indicates the number of loads that would be needed.
This photo, from a government website, should give us a sense of the scale involved for just one TAD cannister.
The report ends:
These questions [about safety and whether the nuclear industry should still be making such quantities of dangerous material] are too important to be left to the politicians or the corporations. They vitally affect each of us, as citizens of the United States, whose life and environment are being placed in jeopardy. It is a call for each of us to think and act.
In between is a lot of frightening and even possibly depressing reading. It is astounding, to those of us who are not willing to risk other’s lives or health, just how much corporate executives are willing, if they can make a buck or a few million in the process. It’s also surprising, even if we sort of expect it, just how much our government regulatory agencies are willing to let them risk. It’s heavy reading, but if we don’t know about it, there’s no chance of stopping it. The effort is worthwhile.
Again, the report is available for free at http://nuclearcrossroads.com/PDFs/More%20than%20a%20TAD7%204.pdf. We applaud the Nuclear Crossroads group for putting it together.