Tag Archives: Environmental

Officials from DOE’s Office of Environmental Management Push “Energy Parks” at DOE Sites

EM to Aiken/Augusta Community: You want Spent Fuel Storage & Reprocessing at SRS – Go for it and we’ll help you!

DOE-EM meeting, Augusta, Georgia (near Savannah River Site)

March 18, 2009

From Tom Clements

As you know, Environmental Management has recently been touting “energy parks” as part of its “footprint reduction” efforts in cleaning up DOE sites and has used this to sell the Obama folks on throwing $6 billion in stimulus funds at EM. They have presented this concept in various papers and at individual Site Specific Advisory Board meetings around DOE sites, including with the Savannah River Site SSAB.

(See EM paper: http://www.energyca.org/PDF/FootprintReduction.pdf)

Now, the top folks at EM have gone live with the idea and pushed it strongly at a national meeting of heads of local Site Specific Advisory Boards, which met on March 18 & 19 in Augusta, Georgia (near the Savannah River Site). The idea is that once clean up is done, a work force with active experience in nuclear projects could then be deployed on energy projects.

At the SSAB meeting, both the Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Ines Triay, nominated last week by Obama to the asst. secretary position, and one of her deputy assistant secretaries spoke about the “energy park” concept in glowing and supportive terms. As they tried to explain use of the $6 billion in EM stimulus funds – sounds like “accelerated clean up” déjà vu – they underscored that the money would not only help with clean up, shorten the time line for clean up but then result in using the sites for “energy parks.” (She also said some communities around DOE sites may want to choose “real estate ventures.”)

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NRC Directs Staff to Initiate Rulemaking on Depleted Uranium Disposal

No. 09-052
March 18, 2009
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has directed the agency staff to draft amendments to regulations regarding low-level radioactive waste to accommodate disposal of large amounts of depleted uranium.

In a Staff Requirements Memorandum issued March 18, the Commission accepted the staff’s recommendation that the agency continue to consider depleted uranium as Class A low-level waste, but amend regulations in 10 CFR Part 61 to require a site-specific analysis for the disposal of large quantities of depleted uranium and the technical requirements for such an analysis. The Commission also directed the staff to develop a guidance document for public comment that outlines the parameters and assumptions to be used in conducting the site-specific analyses.

The Commission stressed that the rulemaking was not intended to change the current classification of depleted uranium as Class A waste. “Eventual changes to waste classification designations in the regulations must be analyzed in light of the total amount of depleted uranium being disposed of at any given site,” the Commission said in its memorandum.

The Commission noted, however, that for “significant amounts of depleted uranium, there may be a need to place additional restrictions on the disposal of the depleted uranium at a specific site or deny such disposal based on unique site characteristics.” Those restrictions would be identified through the site-specific analysis, it said.

The Commission also directed the staff to conduct a public workshop with “all potentially affected stakeholders” to discuss issues associated with the disposal of depleted uranium, the potential issues to be considered in rulemaking, and technical parameters of concern in the analysis so that informed decisions can be made in the interim period until the regulatory changes are final.

Depleted uranium is the byproduct, or tails, of the uranium enrichment process, a key point in the production of fuel for nuclear power reactors. The staff proposal (SECY-08-147) fulfilled an earlier Commission directive in the adjudicatory proceeding regarding Louisiana Energy Services’ application for a license to construct and operate a gas centrifuge enrichment plant in New Mexico. That license was granted in June 2006, and the plant is now under construction.
Office of Public Affairs Telephone: 301/415-8200
Washington, D.C. 20555-0001
E-mail: opa@nrc.gov
Site: http://www.nrc.gov

News releases are available through a free listserv subscription at the following Web address: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/listserver.html. The NRC homepage at http://www.nrc.gov also offers a SUBSCRIBE link. E-mail notifications are sent to subscribers when news releases are posted to NRC’s Web site.

For citizens’ comment or information contact:

Marci R. Culley, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Community Psychology
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 5010
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA 30302-5010
(404) 413-6266 (office)
(404) 413-6218 (fax)

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Will Jenkinsville, South Carolina be the Center of the Nuclear Industry’s Revival? | By Michael Berg

In the gymnasium of an elementary school in Blair, South Carolina, staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gathered to listen to public comment on the potential environmental impact of two new nuclear reactors proposed for construction V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in nearby Jenkinsville. “You have insight and knowledge that we don’t,” NRC Project Manager William Burton told the crowd of around 100 people. “We want you to participate in this decision. An educated consumer is our best customer.”

After a short presentation by NRC staff, Jenkinsville Mayor Gregory Ginyard was not impressed. “I live a mile and a half from the plant,” he stated. “I’m the mayor. They want me to represent them. And I don’t know what you want. Where I live we don’t have environmentalists. You guys need to educate us. The people of Jenkinsville, we are on the front lines.”

Ginyard, 52, grew up in Jenkinsville and has lived in this small, predominately African-American town all of his life, half of which he has spent in the shadow of V.C. Summer’s nuclear reactor, which was built in the late 1970s and came on line in 1982. At that time, South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) confiscated 60 acres from his father’s property for the plant, compensating the family $1,000 per an acre. Now as the first mayor of the newly incorporated town of Jenkinsville, he is caught in the middle of a battle between two utility companies and South Carolina’s small but energetic community of anti-nuclear activists, in a battle of national importance. If the plans of the privately operated SCE&G and unregulated state utility Santee-Cooper go forward, V.C. Summer Reactors 2 and 3 will likely be the first new commercial reactors in the United States to begin construction in almost 30 years.

Ginyard is not the only Jenkinsville politician concerned about the proposed expansion. Kamau Marcharia is a community activist on the Fairfield County Council. He is wary about how two new reactors will affect his community. “It’s a ten billion dollar contract,” explains Marcharia. “Out of 10 billion dollars I want to know how many minority contracts they’re going to give. I want to know how people are going to help this community with its infrastructure. Right now we have no health center and no modern fire station. I want to know how they’re going to help us with this. I want to know how they are going to improve the roads when four to six thousand people work here on construction for seven years. I want to know how they are going to make this community safer.”

These are reasonable concerns for this poor, aging community. The town’s average annual household income is only $24,000 and the average resident of Jenkinsville is almost forty years old. The first reactor at V.C. Summer has failed to produce prosperity for the town. “Thirty years ago when the plant came, Jenkinsville was pretty rural and people were pretty much uninformed. It was just like today, but we had more in this community back then. There were three stores and other things that were closed down and boarded up. Jenkinsville is worse off today than when the plant moved in.” Continue reading

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Come speak out about proposed new reactors

Fellow activists:

SCE&G is planing to squander billions of dollars on two new reactors at VC Summer that will take over a decade to build and come on line, do nothing to slow global warming, raise utility rates dramatically, create more toxic radioactive nuclear waste in SC, and do nothing to stimulate the green economy. The NRC is holding public comment meetings next week to hear public concerns around this issue. Please plan to attend one or both of these meetings.


What: NRS scoping meeting for new nuke plants

Times and Locations: Tuesday, January 27, 7 PM. Fairfield Central High School, 838 U.S. Hwy 321 By-pass S. in Winnsboro. Wednesday, January 28, 7 PM. McCrorey-Liston Elementary School, 1978 State Hwy 215 S. in Blair, SC.

There is an open house each evening from 6-7 PM.

For more information call Sierra Club 803-609-6343 or Friends of the Earth 803-834-3084

Susan Corbett jscorbett@mindspring.com

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