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Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 19:48:35 PM EDT
"The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, in association with state regional groups that work on high-level radioactive waste policy, will be hosting public meetings to solicit feedback on the draft commission report (pdf alert: http://www.brc.gov/sites/defau... ). The participant host groups include; the Western Governors' Association/Western Interstate Energy Board, the Southern States Energy Board, the Council of State Governments-Midwestern Office, and the Council of State Governments- Eastern Regional Conference.
"The meeting[s] will be held to present the draft Commission report (issued on July 29, 2011) and hear feedback from state, local and tribal perspectives - as well as from interested members of the public. The meeting will begin with a briefing from Commission staff on the draft report, followed by comments from elected and appointed state and regional representatives. The latter portion of the meeting will be devoted to facilitated and interactive breakout sessions open to all who attend and will conclude with a public comment period.
"All public are welcome to attend. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged but not required. Information about registration will be available in the near future. The meetings will not be video webcast. Transcripts of the meetings will be available on the website, along with all written comments anyone chooses to offer. Comments can either be made directly to the website at http://www.brc.gov or by email to: CommissionDFO@nuclear.energy.gov. Comment deadline is October 31, 2011."
September 13, 2011
1420 Stout Street
Preregister at: http://brc-wga.eventbrite.com
October 12, 2011
Harvard Medical School Conference Center
77 Louis Pasteur, Longwood
October 18, 2011
265 Peachtree Center Avenue
October 20, 2011
Hilton Garden Inn, 815 14th Street N.W
Pre-register at http://brc-dc.eventbrite.com
October 28, 2011
Radisson Plaza Hotel, 35 South Seventh Street
Pre-register at http://brc-mn.eventbrite.com
My policy is zero emissions, 100% recycling for all wastes, including low level and high level radioactive waste, and my immediate concerns for "America's Nuclear future" are 1) how quickly we can move commercial spent fuel from wet storage, which requires a constant supply and circulation of cooling water, to dry cask storage which does not; and 2) how many of the 35 US boiling water reactors like Fukushima have spent fuel pools above buildings outside the radiation containment structures and how soon can that be remedied? Neither of these issues are top priorities in the present Blue Ribbon Commission report as they are looking at a different scale and timeframe.
| gmoke :: Public Hearing Schedule for "America's Nuclear Future": Boston, 10/12/11
|Excerpts from the Commission report:
"Wet (pool) storage - Nuclear fuel will remain in a commercial power reactor for about four to six years, after which it can no longer efficiently produce energy and is considered used or spent. The spent fuel that has been removed from a reactor is thermally hot and emits a great deal of radiation; upon removal from the reactor, each spent fuel assembly emits enough to deliver a fatal radiation dose in minutes to someone in the immediate vicinity who is not adequately shielded. To keep the fuel cool and to protect workers from the radiation, the spent fuel is transferred to a deep, water-filled pool where it is placed in a metal rack. Typically, spent fuel is kept in the pool for at least five years, although spent fuel at many U.S. reactor sites has been in pool storage for several decades. Approximately 50,000 metric tons of commercial spent fuel are currently stored in pools in the United States.
"Dry (cask) storage - After the fuel has cooled sufficiently in wet storage, it may be transferred to dry storage. Dry storage systems take many forms but generally consist of a fuel storage grid placed within a steel inner container and a concrete and steel outer container. The amount of commercial spent fuel stored in dry casks in the United States totals about 15,000 metric tons."
"In a 2009 report, the National Commission on Radiation Protection estimated that the average American is exposed to 620 millirem of natural and man-made radiation each year. About half of this exposure comes from natural sources (primarily radon gas, a decay product of U-238), while the other half comes from man-made sources (almost entirely from CT scans and other medical procedures that involve nuclear materials)."
We've doubled radiation exposure through man-made, mostly medical, sources in the post-Hiroshima/Nagasaki nuclear age. We still have stockpiles of nuclear atomic and hydrogen bombs in the possession of at least nine nations, the US and UK admit to using depleted uranium weapons in conflicts around the world, 17 to 20 other countries have depleted uranium in their arsenals, and DU ammunition is manufactured in 18 countries. All wars become nuclear wars. Miles of territory in and around Chelyabinsk and Chernobyl, both in the former USSR, and now Fukushima are contaminated and quarantined. Fukushima is still releasing high level radiation and radioactive materials and we haven't yet agreed on how we will deal with the medical, commercial, industrial, and weapons waste for the next decades, centuries, millennia and more of all its half-lives here in the USA and pretty much around the world.
We need to do a zero emissions thought experiment, for everything. Maybe even as a game.
|More public hearings on "America's Nuclear Future"?
Green Mass Group is an online forum for Green thought and collective action in Massachusetts. It is a community forum for justice, sustainability, democracy and health in the Commonwealth and beyond.
"The time has come for global action to build a new world economic system that is no longer based on the illusion that limitless growth is possible on our precious and finite planet or that endless material gain promotes well-being. Instead, it will be a system that promotes harmony and respect for nature and for each other; that respects our ancient wisdom traditions and protects our most vulnerable people as our own family, and that gives us time to live and enjoy our lives and to appreciate rather than destroy our world. It will be an economic system, in short, that is fully sustainable and that is rooted in true, abiding well-being and happiness."
--Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley of Bhutan, where the government tracks the nation's "Gross National Happiness"