Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’ as stockpile reaches 250,000 tons, Greenpeace warns

Bags of radioactive waste sit outside an incineration facility in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, in July 2016.
Storage of nuclear waste is a ‘global crisis’
Report by Greenpeace says waste storage facilities in seven countries revealed several were near saturation
The partial meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear the hazard of spent fuel pools.
Jan 31, 2019
PARIS – Nuclear waste is piling up around the world even as countries struggle to dispose of spent fuel that will remain highly toxic for many thousands of years, Greenpeace detailed in a report Wednesday.
An analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with nuclear power revealed that several were near saturation, the anti-nuclear nongovernmental organization said.
All these nations also confronted other problems that have yet to be fully contained: fire risk, venting of radioactive gases, environmental contamination, failure of containers, terrorist attacks and escalating costs.
“More than 65 years after the start of the civil use of nuclear power, not a single country can claim that it has the solution to manage the most dangerous radioactive wastes,” Shaun Burnie, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Germany and coordinator of the report, said in a statement.
In particular, storing waste material from nuclear power reactors deep in the ground — the most researched long-term storage technology — “has shown major flaws which exclude it for now as a credible option,” he said.
Currently, there is a global stockpile of around 250,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel distributed across 14 countries.
Most of this fuel remains in so-called cooling pools at reactor sites that lack secondary containment and remain vulnerable to a loss of cooling. Some lack a source of back-up power.
The partial meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear that the high-heat hazard of spent fuel pools is not hypothetical.
The 100-page report, compiled by a panel of experts, dissected shortcomings in the management of voluminous waste in France, which has the second-largest nuclear reactor fleet (58), after the United States (about 100).
“There is no credible solution for long-term safe disposal of nuclear waste in France,” the report said.
French oversight bodies have already raised concerns about capacity of massive cooling pools in Normandy at the La Hague site. In response, energy giant Orana, which manages the site, said in a statement that “there is not risk of saturation of the pools in La Hague until 2030.”
In the United States, billions of dollars and decades of planning have failed to secure a geological disposal site, the report notes.
The Yucca Mountain underground facility — decades in construction — was finally canceled in 2010 by the Obama administration.
Some 70 percent of spent fuel in the United States remains in vulnerable cooling pools, often in densities several times greater than originally intended.
Nuclear waste from uranium mining is also a major environmental concern.
The world’s inventory of uranium mill tailings — sandy waste material that can seep into the local environment — was estimated at more than 2 billion tons as of 2011.
The other countries covered in the report are Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Finland and Britain.

One thought on “Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’ as stockpile reaches 250,000 tons, Greenpeace warns

  1. I feel like the charade of democracy is coming to an abrupt, not unexpected closing in Murica. This comes to me, as I watch Nancy Pelosi and the supposed opposition party, give Trump standing ovations, as Trump psychotically belts out his veiled threats at the SOTU.

    Trumps veiled threats of invading Venezeuela and Iran in this time of extreme American insanity.
    The standing ovations lead by Nancy Pelosi and other democrats are exactly the same thing Standing Ovations the democrats given to the other lunatic-maniac George W. Bush, before he went in and killed a half million men, woman, and children in Iraq.

    Bush Cheney, Bolton turned Iraq into a massive Depleted Uranium Hellhole. Think of of the thousands of children born with deformities from that evil.

    Now the stakes are much higher, as the American empire is collapsing.
    The lunatics POMPEO, Bolton , and Trump are crossing the line with Russia and China, at a time when Russia and China are dozens of times stronger than they were, during the illegal Bush invasion of Iraq. An invasion based on lies and false accusations of WMDs.

    Trump has started manufacturing smaller tactical Nuclear Weapons . The MIC is on a 500 billion feeding frenzy of smaller, nuclear weapons, newer nuclear weapons, intermediate missiles to deliver nuclear weapons since the INF is abrogated.
    The ugly alliance of wall street bankers and international bankers, of the war monkeys and nucleoapes, the billionaire oligarchs , the corporations, the corporate duopoly has won! If you could call it that.

    The three headed dragon of our imminent demise has been sanctified in the short term economic profiteering of international and national war pigs, , oil companies and Nucleoapes.

    There isn’t any need for the play acting game of “The Russians stole the elections” anymore because they are not getting rid of the lunatics they are with them!

    The consolidation of corporate power, neoliberal and neoconservative political and military power, military industrial-power seems like a done deal .
    This comes at one of the most dangerous times in world history, when all nationalities should be working towards sustainability and nuclear disarmament!
    Half of america is ruined and impoverished . 80 percent of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck and America has some of the worse health care in the world!
    A bottle of Humolog insulin that cost 65 bucks 8 years ago costs 253 bucks now and diabetics have to have a shot of that insulin every 24 hours to stay alive!

    America will never go back to the good old days. But sustainability is off the table of the nuts that now run Murica with their neoliberal-neoconservative enablers and fellow war mongers, the democrats.
    The empire has turned into a sick joke where the intermediate nuclearforces treaty is abrogated .
    The billiknaires, bankers , the generals, can go into a feeding frenzy of new cold war and, nuclear weapon toys.

    The generals and neoconservatives are getting their wet-dream of tactical nuclear weapons that will surely start world war 3 . No one cares.

    Wall street , the republicans, the duopoly democrats have decided America is not worth saving, The corporate duopoly has absolute power now.
    Trump will stay in power and until 2020 if we last that long.

    The captured old guard democrat sell-outs, will continue to beat the drums about the, bad ol Russians and crazy old Trump, while our military goes ape shit in S America and Syria, leading to possible nuclear confrontation and massive fresh displacements of people as seen in Libya and iraq.

    Our infruscture is in intensive care. The environmental catastrophes are getting worse. I know, I lived through a million houses being destroyed and a nuclear reactor almost going up. Murica has many climate refugees of its own. Look at Puerto Rico, Texas, Carolina.
    Old shitty reactors will start popping off, exploding and melting down fukushima style along their fuel pools catching fire because the rich, insulated and comfortable billionaires and politicians that have houses elsewhere do not care and or are too smug and ignorant to understand that life in many places in the USA will not be worth living when it occurs.
    Places like San onofre with hundreds of tons of poorly contained nuke waste will go up all over the country.

    The government takes peoples taxes and refuses to acknowledge ever-worsening social inequality,
    Crime and incarceration are exploding.

    Political and environmental deterioration and horrendous military scams-fiascos-debacles, that cost trillions, are sucking the health , life, money, and mental wellbeing out of america. I know Europeans like the French and UK feel the same sense of despair from the sociopathic austerity imposed on them by psycho politicians like May, Macron, and Trump and the billionaires , the bankers.

    The media alway lies and pretends that America is still a great superpower . They bombard us. Americans with political gossip and intrgues about The Trumps or the Clintons as news as if to rub our collective noses into their, and our own shit. Meanwhile the same shithead politicians continue with business as usual, like a giant funnel sucking our life force and well being up to the bankers and rich and finding new ways to bring us that much closer to the brink with nuclear madness!

    The main stream media , are controlled by corporations , blabber endlessly about a bright future while the internet is greatly controlled by mass confabulations byi360 and caambrdge anaylica

    The corruption and decay is so far advanced a blind man does and can tell what’s going on , while the brain dead masses eat it up as the ptb insist that the country is in an economic recovery or about to enter recovery repeatedly.

    This corrupt puppet. Governement of america with 3 lunatics at the helm that are controlled by the billionaires, elites, military, and corporations and now condoned by the democratic party elite.
    I understand it all now. Their primary role is to peddle illusions so that a splintered and aerosolized is hypnotized by our computers and smart phone-screens .

    Bullshit propaganda of every concoction , from blatant repeated lies, to twisted conspiracy confabulations that distract from the real conspiracies and dirty deeds, are diverting people from the reality of imminent war, nuclear suicide, climate suicide.

    We are programmed to see problems as personal rather than as group and are doing nothing .
    The bitter irony is this: People are being hornswaggled into being sheep when they are told on their favorite computer sites to “Think more critically and do what my website says!”

    Hate groups and explicit crimes of hate and bigotry have been encouraged to get us to this point.

    The internet subterfuges, are powered by dark money and spooks . They are empowered and enabled by the deep state and Trump, and the corporations in the war against us while they plunder us and declare war in innocent countries sending more refugees to our borders to be locked in massive private prisons and have their children auctioned off the well to do creeps in Murica. We need more walls! Bigger and better! We need more nuclear weapons, while we further contaminate the Crap out of america with nuclear weapons and let our 100 40 and 30 year old nuclear reactors disintegrate into meltdowns, explosions and massive nuclear wats fires!
    The double think is twisted two or three times.

    Mass shootings have become the norm now in Murica so that Murica will be desensitized to new Nukes and new violence, new illegal wars of invasion for oil and empire.

    The economy is a cancer where monopolized property and property values have skyrocketed . Rents are high enough everywhere in America that no one can afford them and make a go of it.

    Young people live intermittently homeless because the do not make enough money to make rent . Most young people in America sure as he’ll, cannot afford college anymore.

    The children, women, the disabled, the sick and the elderly are becoming homeless and more exploited, abandoned-abused.
    Dissent is becoming difficult as critics are censored and attacked as it they are responsible for this decline. America is a scary place now!


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