nuclear waste

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Japan Had a Big Plan. Now It Just Has a Lot of Plutonium

Its plan to recycle and use it has been fraught with problems

(Newser) - Here's a weird consequence of the 2011 Fukushima disaster: Japan has ended up with enough plutonium to make thousands of nuclear bombs, and its stockpile is raising tensions. The backstory begins decades before the quake, reports the New York Times in a look at the situation: As Japan warmed...

Tunnel Collapses at 'Most Toxic Site in America'

No workers injured at sprawling nuclear site

(Newser) - A tunnel collapse was discovered at the Hanford nuclear site Tuesday, months after experts called the Washington state facility "the most toxic place in America" and a "Chernobyl waiting to happen." Some 4,800 workers at the site were told to shelter indoors Tuesday morning after crews...

Under New Mexico Desert, Nuclear Dump Is Back at It

After a 3-year hiatus

(Newser) - Employees at the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository resumed disposal work Wednesday after a nearly three-year hiatus prompted by a radiation release that contaminated a significant portion of the facility, the AP reports. Two pallets of low-level radioactive waste were placed in one of the underground disposal...

Little-Known US Nuclear Site Is 'Chernobyl Waiting to Happen'

Workers at Hanford facility say they're being sickened while the government remains indifferent

(Newser) - An investigative piece by NBC News includes some damning quotes from nuclear experts about the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington state, including "the most toxic place in America" and "an underground Chernobyl waiting to happen." For the story, NBC sat down with 11 current and former workers...

Cleanup Bill at Nuke Waste Dump Could Rival Three Mile Island

Report: Feds ‘downplayed’ damage to New Mexico dump after blast

(Newser) - An explosion at a nuclear waste dump in New Mexico two years ago is now looking like what might be one of the most expensive cleanups in US history, the Los Angeles Times reports. Long-term damage was far greater than federal officials let on after a drum filled with radioactive...

1,380 Feet Below Finland, $4B Tomb Being Built

Finland looks to be the first country to bury its nuclear waste permanently

(Newser) - Finland is preparing to seal 5,500 tons of dangerously radioactive nuclear waste in 26 miles of tunnels for the next 100,000 years. AFP calls it "the world's costliest and longest-lasting burial." Finland generates more than one-third of its electricity through nuclear power, and the radioactive...

World's Nuclear Waste Could Find Home in Australian Outback

Storage in South Australia could bring in $183B

(Newser) - If the world is looking for another dumping ground for its nuclear waste, it may soon find a willing volunteer in South Australia. A report by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission offered tentative findings that storing spent fuel rods—429,900 tons now being temporarily stored in areas around...

Residents Get Antsy as Landfill Fire Burns Near Nuclear Waste

Conflicting reports add to confusion near St. Louis

(Newser) - Dawn Chapman compares an underground fire at a landfill outside St. Louis to a train whose brakes have failed: In order to prevent a disaster, "you either have to stop that train or you have to clear the tracks," she says, per NPR . The reason for her analogy?...

Underground Fire May Be Moving Closer to Nuclear Waste

Officials near St. Louis write emergency plan

(Newser) - Two things you never want to see together: an inextinguishable underground fire and a nuclear waste dump. But they're only 1,200 feet apart in an area north of St. Louis and may be growing closer, the AP reports. The underground fire at Bridgeton Landfill has been burning for...

Radiation Leak Blamed on 'Kitty Litter'

'It was a dumb idea,' scientist says

(Newser) - A scientist who used to work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico, thinks he knows what caused the mysterious radiation leak that has shuttered the plant: kitty litter. Authorities revealed Monday that the evidence indicated that nuclear waste barrels had melted thanks to a chemical reaction...

Possible Home for Nuke Waste: Salt Beds

Officials want to expand New Mexico facility

(Newser) - The Department of Energy already buries some nuclear waste in salt beds, and some officials think the plan should be expanded so more radioactive waste can also be deposited there. At the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in the desert of Carlsbad, New Mexico, the waste is deposited half a mile...

Where's All the Nuclear Waste We Dumped in the Ocean?

Wall Street Journal raises questions decades later

(Newser) - The US dumped vast quantities of nuclear material off its coasts between 1946 and 1970—more than 110,000 containers, says one official count. Today, the whereabouts of many of those 55-gallon drums and other containers is a big question mark, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Many were not...

A New Nuclear Waste Solution: Use It for Fracking?

Team proposes pumping it into, essentially, the center of the Earth

(Newser) - In a story seemingly designed to make a certain kind of environmentalist reach for a drink, researchers this week proposed a new solution for storing nuclear waste: using it as fracking fluid. The idea is that because nuclear waste is heavier than the rock you'd be shooting it into,...

Feds Have Collected Billions for Nonexistent Nuke Project

And that practice must end, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday

(Newser) - Ever since 1983, the Energy Department has been collecting fees paid for by Americans who use nuclear-generated electricity. The tenth-of-a-cent charge per each kilowatt-hour of electricity adds up to about $750 million a year, earmarked to pay for a program disposing of these power plants' nuclear waste. Only, uh, that...

US Court: No Dithering on Nuke Waste Project

Nuclear Regulatory Commission told to decide on Yucca Mountain facility

(Newser) - The plan for a long-delayed nuclear waste dump limped forward today, possibly toward its own demise. A federal appeals court told the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it must decide on whether to approve the facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, Reuters reports. But the Obama administration and Senate Democratic...

6 Nuke Waste Tanks Leaking in Wash. State

Gov. Jay Inslee: 'I am alarmed about this'

(Newser) - Scary news in Washington state: Radioactive waste is leaking from at least six tanks at a nuclear site 185 miles southeast of Seattle, AFP reports. Gov. Jay Inslee met with US Energy Secretary Steven Chu about it in Washington, DC, when the Department of Energy announced the leaks on Friday....

Explosion Rocks Nuclear Waste Site in France

At least one dead, three injured

(Newser) - An explosion hit the Marcoule nuclear plant in southern France today, killing at least one person and injuring three others, the BBC reports. The site handles nuclear waste and recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons into MOX fuel, but does not include any reactors. The explosion occurred near a furnace, but...

Nuclear-Waste Disposal Making Federal Budget Sick

Congress has spent the money set aside on other things

(Newser) - Nuclear-waste disposal isn’t just an environmental issue anymore—it’s a budgetary one. The Wall Street Journal today takes a look at the nation’s dysfunctional non-system for disposing of nuclear waste, and the story ain’t pretty. Nuclear sites are currently holding some 65,000 metric tons of...

Texas to US: Send Us Your Radioactive Waste

Commission OKs site, to be fourth such dump in country

(Newser) - In a move sure to delight the nuclear-energy industry and depress environmentalists, a Texas commission yesterday set the ball rolling on legislation that would make the state the final destination for 36 states' low-level radioactive-waste. The commission voted 5-2 to approve rules that govern the process of accepting such material....

German Nuclear Protests Turn Violent
 Nuclear Protests Turn Violent 

Nuclear Protests Turn Violent

Demonstrators against nuclear power attack police, face water cannon

(Newser) - Protesters railing against the use and storage of nuclear materials in Germany became violent yesterday, lashing out against police with sticks and pepper spray, CNN reports. Police responded with mounted officers and water cannon. Anger was prompted by a train carrying nuclear waste to Germany from France for storage. The...

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