Preface. The pandemic is probably going to enable a lot of bad legislation to be snuck in while attention is focused elsewhere. This proposal is for low-level waste in landfills. But the big problem is that nothing at all is being done to reopen Yucca Mountain or build another waste facility elsewhere for high-level waste, leaving toxic nuclear waste that lasts up to a million years for 50,000 future generations of humans to contend with.
Meanwhile, according to Dan Hirsch, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a nuclear industry watchdog non-profit, Allowing very low-level radioactive waste to be disposed by land burial would be the most massive deregulation of radioactive waste in American history. If you dump radioactive waste in places that aren’t designed to deal with it, it comes back to haunt you. It’s in the air you breathe, the food that you eat, the water you drink (Ross 2020).
More nuclear waste posts here.
Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Collapse Chronicles,Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report
Frazin, R. 2020. Advocates raise questions about proposal to allow some nuclear waste to be disposed in landfills. The Hill.
A March 6, 2020 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposal would allow for the disposal of some nuclear waste in municipal landfills, rather than a licensed facility.
“What they’re trying to do is prop up a failing industry so that the cost of decommissioning these [nuclear] reactors is reduced so you don’t have to send it to a place that is expensive because it’s designed to safely handle it,” said Dan Hirsch, the former director of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy.
“I find it just astonishing that they would do that in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” he added. “How the NRC can look themselves in the mirror to propose massive deregulation and do it in the midst of the pandemic, I find it just ethically shocking. If they’re going to consider it at all, it should only be considered once the pandemic is behind us,” he said.
Currently, the nuclear waste in question is typically disposed of at licensed waste disposal facilities, which have adequate training and equipment to protect public health.
The proposal would grant some exceptions to this regulation for waste with a cumulative radiation dose level of up to 25 millirem.
According to the NRC, Americans receive an average radiation dose of about 620 millirem each year. A chest x-ray would give off 10 millirem while a full-body CT scan would give a dose of 1,000 millirem.
In a statement on Thursday, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Pacific Director Jeff Ruch also criticized the proposal. “NRC’s action could transform most municipal dumps into radioactive repositories, with essentially no safeguards for workers, nearby residents, or adjoining water tables,” he said.
Ross, D. 2020. Critics alarmed by US nuclear agency’s bid to relax rules on radioactive waste. Nuclear Regulatory Commission keen to allow material to be disposed of by ‘land burial’ – with potentially damaging effects. The Guardian