You may have heard propaganda saying something like, “Once mankind cleared out of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, wildlife is thriving in spite of the radiation.” Well, that’s just wrong. Wildlife is not thriving.
What has happened downwind and of Chernobyl and Fukushima could happen downwind of Fermi or more than a hundred other reactors in the US and Canada.
By Keith Gunter
Before Fukushima, before Chernobyl, before Three Mile Island, there is the legendary story of Fermi-1: “We Almost Lost Detroit.” It was the title of the popular nuclear power primer by John Fuller and the classic and famous anti-nuclear anthem by the late Gil-Scott Heron.
On October 5, 1966, the Fermi-1 experimental fast breeder reactor (designed to produce plutonium) suffered a partial meltdown when a piece of zirconium plating became dislodged by the flow of the reactor’s liquid sodium coolant. The melting of the highly-enriched uranium fuel was an extremely precarious situation and it would be nearly nine years before the harrowing story would be made public in Fuller’s account. Continue reading “FERMI-1 AT 50: ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN”
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.
We are all downwind.
Let’s imagine – I know this is far-fetched, but for purposes of discussion, we might try it anyhow – a political atmosphere dominated by fear of terrorists and their bombs. There are shoe bombs, pipe bombs, pressure cooker bombs, fertilizer bombs, tannerite bombs, suicide bomb vests, car bombs, truck bombs, improvised explosive devices, drone bombs, commercial airplanes used as bombs …
Whoa, there’s a lot to be worried about. Fear of terrorists and their bombs can be used to make an argument for lots of countermeasures. Obviously, all airplane travelers need to be searched before they board airplanes. Police need to be able to search anyone’s house when they are chasing a possible terrorist. Suspected terrorists who are caught by the police need to disappear into secret prisons forever … Continue reading “Life-threatening Issues”
NRC’s current regulatory guidance concedes that “data is not currently available” supporting the safe transportation of high burn spent nuclear fuel.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently published a complex article outlining some reasons current plans for storing spent nuclear fuel are flawed and dangerous. We’ve outlined the gist of the argument here, but for more details and references, you’ll need to read the original article. Continue reading “No Confidence in Spent Fuel Storage”
At our board meeting Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Alliance to Halt Fermi 3 voted unanimously to endorse the Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World. The declaration is reproduced in full below:
As citizens of this planet inspired by the Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, conducted in Montreal from August 8 to August 12, 2016, we are collectively calling for a mobilization of civil society around the world to bring about the elimination of all nuclear weapons, to put an end to the continued mass-production of all high-level nuclear wastes by phasing out all nuclear reactors, and to bring to a halt all uranium mining worldwide. Continue reading “Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World”