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Friday, February 25, 2011

Highway Widening Thru RIchardson Grove Would Facilitate Nuclear Waste Transport!

We don't know who made this video, but think it's great. It seems accurate except for the part that says that old-growth redwoods are set to be cut INSIDE Richardson Grove State Park for the CalTrans 101 road widening project. Our understanding is that ancient trees inside Richardson Grove are not scheduled to be cut, but will have their roots EXCAVATED, CUT, and PAVED OVER. Such damage to the roots is horrendous for the life of the trees. There are some old-growth redwoods on private property adjacent to the Grove that we suspect would be CUT, if CalTrans were to do the road widening. Join us in action to make sure CalTrans can't!
~Richardson Grove Action Now


  1. This is Farmer, not Treader. This video is misleading and discrediting.


    Yucca Mountain. Transporting Nuclear Waste May Put Millions At Risk

    Terrorism Considerations in the Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel & High-Level Radioactive Waste

    None of the spent fuel casks currently in use have been tested full-scale.
    The casks to be used in a repository shipping campaign are currently being designed, and none have yet been built. All of the new designs would hold more fuel assemblies, be less heavily shielded, and pose greater risks in the event of a severe accident that results in a loss of containment.
    The spectacular crash and burn films shown by DOE and the nuclear industry actually depict obsolete casks (withdrawn from service) being tested in the 1970's to validate computer models. Those tests were successful for that purpose, and also provided valuable insights into the importance of cask tie-down systems and other issues. The tests also demonstrated the vulnerability of lead gamma shielding to long duration fires and to multiple impacts. However, the tests were not intended to simulate worst-case accidents or to prove the overall safety of spent fuel shipments. DOE's misuse of these tests films can be fairly labeled as propaganda.

    The casks that might be used in a repository shipping campaign are currently being designed. None have yet been licensed or fabricated. Such casks are very likely to be markedly different from current casks. All of the new designs proposed by DOE would hold more fuel assemblies and be less heavily shielded (due to the age of the fuel to be shipped). How these casks will perform in real world accident situations is uncertain. NRC regulations do not require casks to be physically tested.

    New, larger transportation casks (100-125 tons) being considered for future spent fuel shipments have the potential, if not properly loaded, to allow the fuel assemblies to go critical under certain conditions - i.e., start a nuclear chain reaction that would cause a catastrophic temperature rise in the canister. The imperative for accurate and verified fuel loading calculations increases the potential for human error and thereby increases the risks and uncertainties associated with waste transport.

    The use of such larger shipping containers raises questions about the adequacy of NRC cask licensing regulations and about the appropriateness of these regulations for assuring these new and much larger canisters will be able to withstand real world accident conditions.

    US government settles We Energies lawsuit for $31M:


    Debate on Nuclear Fuel Cask Safety
    Thursday, November 11, 2010, By Nick Welsh
    (more from N Welsh)
    Energy in the form of electricity affects the daily life of nearly every American. The electricity we depend on is produced by many energy sources. The large power plants that supply our energy needs today create wastes as byproducts of using primary and secondary energy sources. These wastes can range from the solid ash produced in coal burning plants to exhaust gases that contribute to air pollution and acid rain. Wastes that result from using radioactive materials are nuclear wastes. The United States Government has programs underway to provide for the same permanent disposal of all types of nuclear waste. Besides choosing and designing a safe permanent disposal site, a safe container, vehicle, and method must be available to transport the waste to the site. American nuclear energy plants use a series of physical barriers to make sure that radioactive material cannot escape from this container. Standards are tested and met for these containers, called spent fuel casks. Finally, states can have the responsibility of determining highway routes for the shipment of any hazardous materials based on the United States Department of Transportation regulations. The DOT encourages the use of the interstate highway system whenever possible, but each state may devise alternate routes.

    Backgrounder on Transportation of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Materials


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