San Onofre defective Holtec nuclear waste storage system is a lemon and must be recalled


Holtec UMAX lid with lower inlet air vents and upper (round) outlet air vent.

The Holtec nuclear waste dry storage system (Hi-STORM UMAX) is a lemon and is putting California’s safety, economy and security at great risk. It must be recalled. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Southern California Edison, California Coastal Commission (CCC), and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) must reject this system on both safety and financial grounds.  They cannot make lemonade out of this lemon. 

Congress must stop focusing on where to transport this unsafely stored nuclear waste and mandate the NRC do their job of protecting our safety.  Pending federal legislation  removes current storage and transport nuclear waste safety requirements, encouraging systems like this to be built, such as a similar one proposed by Holtec in New Mexico (pending state approval and removal of state and federal environmental and other rights).


San Onofre (SONGS) has 89 times the Cesium-137 released from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. R. Alvarez

Since Holtec started loading the San Onofre highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel waste into Holtec thin-wall canisters (only 5/8″ thick), there have been numerous Holtec engineering failures that have not and likely cannot be fixed.  Each thin-wall stainless steel canister holds roughly a Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The NRC doesn’t even require pressure monitoring or pressure relief valves in these pressure vessels.

The NRC is investigating numerous Holtec failures at San Onofre, but has yet to issue a final investigation of these engineering failures.  If it wasn’t for whistleblowers, we would not know about any of these serious safety problems that are still unresolved — and likely cannot be solved with this defective Holtec system.

Instead of requiring Holtec take their defective system back, as they likely can do under their limited manufacturing defect warranty, Edison plans to continue loading canisters in order to destroy the spent fuel pools as soon as possible.  The pools cost them millions in overhead costs every year.

Edison also wants to access the over $4 billion in ratepayer Decommission Trust Funds in order to destroy the pools and the rest of the reactor facility (except for the dry storage systems), yet have no other method to replace failing canisters.

10ReasonsToUseThickNuclearWasteStorageCasksDecommission Trust Funds would be better spent replacing the defective thin-wall canister systems with proven thick-wall cask technology used throughout the world. Thick-wall cask systems are 10″ to 19.75″ thick and can be inspected, maintained, repaired and monitored to prevent radioactive leaks and hydrogen gas explosions. They meet Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) December 2017 recommendations to the United States Congress and the Secretary of Energy, regarding Management and Disposal Of US Department Of Energy Spent Nuclear Fuel, Executive Summary, page 7 – 9. They also meet Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 safety requirements.

Instead, Holtec and Edison are advocating for H.R. 3053 (pending in the US Senate) and other bills that would remove critical safety requirements for both storage and transport and remove a number of federal and state rights, including transparency, input and oversight. The House already approved this bill, under the misguided assumption they can trust the NRC to protect our safety. The bill would allow the DOE to take title to the waste at the current San Onofre site, eliminating Edison’s liability and responsibility for this mess they created.  All funding for waste management is currently mandatory.  This unfunded bill makes funding discretionary with Congress.

Edison plans to load a total of 73 Holtec canisters at the beach on Camp Pendleton.  There are 29 Holtec canisters already loaded with nuclear waste that are likely already cracking from the defective loading system. The NRC states once a crack starts in stainless steel it can grow through the wall in 16 years.  In hotter canisters, cracks can grow faster.  The NRC assumption that cracking will not start for at least 30 years ignores these canisters may already be cracked from the Holtec loading system (pit corrosion cracking by mechanical means) and the EPRI evaluation of a two-year old Diablo Canyon canister that showed it had a low enough temperature for corrosive salt to dissolve on the canister, one of the triggers for crack initiation.  The NRC is planning to “investigate” this issue, eventually.

HOLTEC FAILURE #1: Canister #29 almost dropped 18 feet due to a defective loading system design. Edison hid this information from the public. A whistleblower, David Fritch, spoke at an Edison public meeting about this once he saw Edison was hiding this from the public.  Fritch, Edison and the NRC admit this canister could have fallen 18 feet into the hole. The canister was hanging by a 1/4″ on a canister [MPC] Guide ring ledge located about 4 feet down from the top of the hole. This is a bad engineering design that cannot be fixed with training and procedures. The NRC admitted on the November 8, 2018 webinar that Holtec knew about the bad guide ring design, but did not fix this problem before delivering the system to San Onofre.

Edison temporarily stopped loading canisters, but downplayed the risk.  Edison did not shared these facts with the public:

  • If a canister drops more than 11 inches inside a transfer cask, contents must be inspected (ML003711865), page 3-10 Accidental Drop).
  • Each canister is approximately 49- tons, according to the NRC August 24, 2018 San Onofre Inspection Report (ML18200A400). The San Onofre Holtec canister is not in a transfer cask when it’s lowered in the storage hole, so even an over 11 inch canister drop has not been analyzed, as stated by the NRC: “It was estimated that the canister could have experienced an approximately 17-18 foot drop into the storage vault if the canister had slipped off the metal flange [MPC Guide] or if the metal flange failed. This load drop accident is not a condition analyzed in the dry fuel storage system’s Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR).”  NRC Inspection Charter to Evaluate the Near-Miss Load Drop Event at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, August 17, 2018 (ML18229A203)

HOLTEC FAILURE #2: Canister #30 was in the queue for moving to a storage hole, but is now stuck in limbo in a transfer cask in the Unit 3 fuel handling facility. The NRC and Edison refuse to tell us how they are keeping this canister from overheating.  Canisters require either air cooling or water cooling.  Transfer casks are not designed to cool and store these hot canisters that are 200 to 300 degrees Celsius (just under 30kW).  The transfer casks only function is to transfer a canister from the pool to a Holtec storage hole (vault).

There are already 51 aging San Onofre thin-wall canisters previously loaded from another vendor that are up to 15 years old.

Intergrain Stress Corrosion CrackingNone of these or any other welded thin-wall canisters have ever been inspected for cracks, because they cannot be inspected for cracks or repaired once loaded with highly radioactive nuclear waste. The nuclear industry and government have spent millions of dollars and wasted limited resources over the last 27 years to figure this out, yet still no solutions.  It’s a bad design they need to be abandoned before it’s too late.

Even Holtec President, Kris Singh, admits it isn’t practical to repair these canisters, even if you could find the cracks and a way to repair them.   Singh statement transcript.

At the October 11, 2018 NRC Commissioner briefing, an NRC employee admitted to the Commissioners they currently are still trying to figure out how to identify surface defects and how to characterize them in the canisters.  Commissioner David A. Wright asked NRC engineer, Christian Araguas, the status of industry efforts to find a way to repair, mitigate and inspect [the outside] of these canisters. Araguas said ” I think we have confidence in the industry and the direction they’re going to be able to inspect these in the future.”  After over 27 years of trying, it’s unclear why anyone would have confidence in the ability to inspect, let alone repair.  Instead, the NRC approves elimination of pools once all fuel is in dry storage — eliminating the only method to replace cracking canisters.  Instead they should mandate nuclear waste containers that are not vulnerable to these cracking risks and that can be inspected (inside and out), maintained, repaired and monitored to prevent leaks and explosions.

If fresh water enters the canister through cracks, the canister can go critical, per this NRC document ML13032A008. At the November 8, 2018 webinar on these issues, the NRC staff is apparently not aware of this.

shim-designsHOLTEC FAILURE #3: Holtec loaded fuel in four canisters with defective basket shims. Shims are required to prevent criticality, damage and overheating of the fuel assemblies. Edison said they cannot unload the nuclear fuel back into the pool because the fuel is loaded too hot to return to the pool — even though the ability to unload fuel back into the pool is a requirement of Condition 8 of their NRC license. The NRC is ignoring these issues and pretending Edison can return fuel to the pool.


UMAX Holtec Shield Ring in the canister storage hole is part of an “MPC Guide” system designed to guide the nuclear waste canister into the hole. Instead, the Gussets guide the canister on to the lip of the guide ring. That lip should not be there. Works cannot see what they are loading. Also, the sides of the canisters bump and scrape against the sides of the metal guide ring as they are lowered into each hole, resulting in pit corrosion cracking by mechanical means. Once cracks start, they continue to grow through the canister walls.

HOLTEC FAILURE #4: Holtec loading system caused damage in canisters walls — 29 canisters loaded so far.  Holtec and Edison knew each canister loaded was making metal to metal contact with the metal canister guide ring, yet they continued loading.  There is only 1/2″ clearance between the canister and the guide ring. Each canister wobbles as it is loaded into each hole due to the inferior engineering design.

The NRC knows even microscopic scratches on the thin ~2nm (nanometres) layer of chromium oxide film on these stainless steel canisters can start the cracking process. Why would they consider allowing Edison to continue loading and cracking more canisters?  Cracking canisters cannot be safely stored or transported. And the high burnup fuel inside the canisters must be inspected for damage before transporting even short distances.


2013-06-07 Lemon Drawing UTSDiego

The Holtec dry storage system is a lemon and must be recalled.  Edison finally admitted their replacement steam generators were lemons, but waited until after they leaked radiation into Southern California.  They need to declare this Holtec system a lemon before these containers leak and explode in Southern California.

  • The NRC should revoke the license of this and other Holtec nuclear waste storage and transport systems.  Holtec has repeatedly demonstrated they are not a qualified vendor.  More Holtec Nuclear Waste issues here.
  • Edison should stop loading canisters with fuel and return this system to Holtec. They should issue Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that meet NWTRB and NWPA safety requirements for both storage and transport. The RFP should include a system for replacing all existing thin-wall canisters at San Onofre with thick-wall transportable casks.  This must be done before these canisters start leaking and exploding.
  • The Governor should declare a state of emergency. The State of California should revoke San Onofre state permits until this is done. They should create a multi-agency committee to address these issues and facilitate the development of an expedited solution to this critical problem before Holtec and Edison destroy our economy, security, safety and future.
  • The CPUC should stop funding this Holtec lemon and any further activities at San Onofre until this is done.

Congress and the President should mandate the NRC enforce safety standards as outlined above and force the NRC to stop misleading them about the safety of the systems they approve.  Transporting these thin-wall cracking canisters to another location will no more solve our nuclear waste problems than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic would stop it from sinking. 

Donna Gilmore



Posted in Action Alert, California Coastal Commission, CPUC, holtec, NRC, Nuclear Waste, Press Release, Southern California Edison, Whistleblower | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

04/26/2016 Sacramento DOE nuclear waste meeting: DOE ignores cracking risk in storage plan

30 years after Chernobyl, Department of Energy meets in Sacramento to discuss storage of hundreds of U.S. “Chernobyls” in a can


Over 2000 U.S. thin-walled canisters cannot be inspected, repaired, maintained, monitored, and some may already be cracking.

Chart SONGS Chernobyl Other Alvarez Figure 4

Curies of Cesium-137

April 25, 2016 (Sacramento, CA) The Department of Energy’s (DOE) nuclear waste “consent-based siting” Sacramento meeting on Tuesday, April 26th at 5 PM is also the 30-year anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that released 10 tons of highly radioactive materials into the atmosphere that spread around the world. Similar deadly radiation is stored in each U.S. canisters. DOE meeting will also be webcast.


The DOE’s Toxic Waste Agenda for California and the rest of the U.S.

NUHOMS Canister 24 fuel assembly

Thin-wall canister

The DOE plans to discuss criteria for obtaining consent from communities to transport and store hundreds of existing highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel canisters. Each thin-walled (1/2” to 5/8”) canister contains more deadly radioactive Cesium-137 than released from Chernobyl.  What should be addressed first are the current problems with these thin-walled steel canisters. These canisters cannot be inspected, repaired, maintained and are subject to short-term stress corrosion cracking that can result in major radiation releases with no warning prior to the releases.

Manufacturing consent for solutions that don’t exist

The DOE and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have no current solutions to resolve these thin-walled canister issues and there will be no warning before these “Chernobyl” cans leak millions of curies of deadly radiation and potentially explode.  These issues should be resolved before discussing “consent” to a consolidated waste storage facility.

The DOE history of choosing inferior toxic waste storage solutions


Areva thick cask

Other countries use thick-walled metal casks (10” to almost 20” thick) that do not have the thin-wall canister problems, yet the DOE and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are ignoring the thick cask solution.  The NRC and DOE need to raise their minimum requirements for storage of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel waste. The DOE has a history of mismanagement and unresolved leaking of nuclear waste at DOE nuclear waste storage facilities such as Hanford in Washington and the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) in New Mexico. Their trail is full of broken promises to communities.

Over 2000 “Chernobyl” cans

There are over 2000 “Chernobyl” thin canisters stored in the U.S., including 111 in California (5 at Humboldt Bay, 21 at Rancho Seco in Sacramento County, 34 at Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County, and 51 at San Onofre in San Diego County near the Orange county border).

Holtec’s Hellish history of failure

Diablo Collecting Dust SamplesA 2-year old Holtec Diablo Canyon canister has all the conditions for corrosion and cracking from moisture and salts. No one knows if it is cracking, because there is no technology to inspect the surface or depth of cracks in thin welded canisters filled with spent nuclear fuel.

Once a crack starts, it continues to grow through the wall of the canister undetected until it leaks radiation.  An NRC material engineer, Darrell Dunn, reported a Koeberg Nuclear Plant waste water tank leaked in only 17 years. It did not contain spent nuclear fuel. However, the tank had cracks deeper (0.61”) than the thickness (0.50”) of most U.S. canisters. The NRC considers the Koeberg tank comparable to the thin stainless steel thin-walled canisters used in California and most of the rest of the country.  Holtec is one of the manufacturers of these canisters.

More canisters planned near San Onofre State Beach

In spite of all this, the NRC continues to approve use of these canisters when better options are available.  The NRC plans to allow Southern California Edison (SCE) to install about 100 more thin-walled canisters near the San Onofre State Beach.

California Energy Commission ignores canister problems

Donna Gilmore presented the problems with the canisters at the 2015 California Energy Commission Nuclear Workshop.  Robert Weisenmiller, Chairman of California Energy Commission, will be making the opening remarks at the DOE Sacramento meeting.

Coastal Commission issues license to pollute

The California Coastal Commission approved a permit for the San Onofre Holtec UMAX canister system with “special conditions” requiring SCE solve all the problems with the canisters after 20 years, which isn’t even possible. Watch video of NRC Mark Lombard admitting to the Coastal Commission that inspecting canisters “is not a now thing”.

Updated 4/26/2016: Public Utility Commission approves of $4.411 billion as a reasonable decommissioning cost estimate.  Ignores cost impacts of inferior storage canisters.

The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) decided April 21, 2016 the $4.411 billion decommissioning cost estimage is reasonable, and ignores cost impact of procuring the inferior Holtec UMAX canister system. The Commission knows these canisters may fail prematurely based on testimony and filed briefs by Donna Gilmore, yet SCE has allocated no funds to address this.

CPUC Administrative Law Judge Maribeth Bushey in her proposed final decision stated “Donna Gilmore presented testimony and filed briefs on meritorious issues related to nuclear power”, but Bushey claims the issues “were outside the scope of this proceeding” and did not make “a substantial contribution to this decision as required by Pub. Util. Code § 1803.”   However, cost issues are within the jurisdiction of the CPUC. The NRC only has jurisdiction over safety. SCE’s waste management assumptions and contingency plans were proven flawed.

Commissioner Florio stated at a past CPUC public meeting we should not have to buy these canisters more than once.  He now has the evidence from this CPUC decommissioning proceeding to know we will likely need to replace canisters. There are no additional ratepayer decommission trust funds to replace canisters, so will this cost be born by the ratepayers?  The Holtec warranty only covers the first 10 years of use.

Holtec President admits his storage solutions are fatally flawed

Holtec President and CEO Kris Singh stated at an SCE San Onofre Community Engagement Panel meeting that it is not feasible to repair canisters.  He said that even if you could find cracks and in the face of millions of curies of radiation being released from even a microscopic crack, find a way robotically to repair them; this would just introduce another area for corrosion and cracking.

Canister vendors (Holtec and Areva) and SCE (Tom Palmisano) have proposed putting failed canisters into thick casks, but NRC Director Mark Lombard said no casks have been approved for this purpose and no vendor has even discussed submitting an application for this. Right now the only approved method of dealing with a failed canister or failing fuel is to put them back into a spent fuel pool, but the DOE is not including pools in their storage design and the NRC allows decommissioned plants to destroy spent fuel pools once they are empty, even though the spent nuclear fuel might remain at the current sites indefinitely. Rancho Seco and Humboldt Bay no longer have spent fuel pools.  SCE plans to destroy San Onofre pools once empty, even though vulnerable “Chernobyl” canisters will remain at the Southern California beach.

Russian Doll nuclear waste containers are a flawed solution

The feasibility of using the Russian Doll approach of putting one leaking canister into another container does not solve the problem. The ability to load a leaking canister into another container has not been proven feasible or safe. The canister vendors need to prove to the NRC they can safely load leaking canisters into casks in the face of millions of curies of radiation and with thermally hot fuel that normally must have convection cooling in a vented concrete cask.  Also, NRC regulations prevent transport of even partial cracked canisters.

“Chernobyl” cans will likely stay in California indefinitely

“The discussion at DOE “consent-based” meetings should be focused on these canister problems,” says Mary Beth Brangan, Co-Director of EON, the Ecological Options Network.  “Until those issues are resolved,” says Brangan, “no one should or will consent to storing this nuclear waste.”

Unfortunately, California and other states are now being forced to store hundreds of these “Chernobyl” cans indefinitely, with no plans in place to address radiation leaking and potential explosions.

April 26th DOE Consent-Based Siting Sacramento Meeting

5 PM, Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento. Meeting details and DOE contacts at

For more information about these issues contact Donna Gilmore or visit

Print or download Press Release


Posted in Action Alert, California Coastal Commission, California Energy Commission, Chernobyl, CPUC, Diablo Canyon, DOE, Events, NRC, Nuclear Waste, Press Release, Southern California Edison | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

*UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai — Mitsuhei Murata’s speech, March 16, 2015

Japan Safety : Nuclear Energy Updates

The former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata, made the following speech at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai on March 16, 2015.

” Nuclear disaster and global ethics


It goes without saying that genuine denuclearization, both military and civilian, makes the greatest contribution to disaster risk reduction.

The increased menace of nuclear terrorism has awakened the world to the urgent task of abolishing all nuclear reactors in the world. It is no longer an ideal, but an imperative necessity to realize the vision of President Obama for a “World without Nuclear Weapons” just as soon as possible.

Global ethics and human rights

Nowadays the drawbacks of nuclear power are evident, and many even consider this method to generate power a high risk. Nuclear technology was born in a period of paternal civilisation and in the belief, that this technology would solve all problems. Today a maternal…

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Tell Energy Commission: Don’t allow cracking nuclear waste canisters

Tell the California Energy Commission (CEC) to change state policy to require nuclear waste storage containers that won’t crack.

Some of California’s thin steel storage canisters may already be cracking and could have a through-wall crack within 8 years, releasing millions of curies of radiation into the environment. Thick cask technology is available internationally that does not have cracking problems and is designed to be maintained.

Submit comments by May 11, 2015 to CEC Docket 15-IEPR-12.  Please share and encourage others to submit comments. See suggested comments below.


Experimental Holtec HI-STORM UMAX vented underground storage

Southern California Edison plans to spent almost $1.3 billion of limited ratepayer San Onofre decommissioning funds to purchase and manage more of these inferior thin canisters even though they know the problems.

Edison plans to purchase an experimental underground version of this system (Holtec HI-STORM UMAX) that has never been used anywhere in the world. The underground concrete portion of the system cannot easily be inspected and can have corrosion from underground chemicals and moisture.  Your help is needed to stop this purchase.

Suggested comments to CEC Docket 15-IEPR-12:

To: California Energy Commission

Re: Docket 15-IEPR-12 Nuclear Power Plants

California thin spent fuel nuclear waste storage canisters may fail as early as 20 years after first loading.  For San Onofre this would be 8 years from now.  The CEC should include the following state policy recommendations and requirements.  (California Holtec and Areva NUHOMS thin dry storage canisters do not meet these requirements.)

The CEC state nuclear policy should include minimum California dry storage requirements to ensure adequate funding and storage for new 100+ year storage requirements. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has cost jurisdiction, but the CEC can establish state policy on this issue, even though the CPUC may be the one to enforce some of this policy as it relates to cost.

1. Do not allow purchase of dry storage technology for California that does not meet these minimum requirements.

2. Maintainable – We do not want to buy these canisters more than once. Seals are maintainable, cracked canisters are not.

3. Early warning prior to failure and prior to radiation leaks.

4. Inspectable, repairable and not subject to cracking, particularly through-wall cracks.

5. Cost-effective for the expected life of the system and transportable.

6. Ability to reload fuel, if required, without destroying storage container.

7. Do not allow purchase of vendor promises – it’s not state policy to purchase non-existent features (e.g., vaporware). That is what we’re being asked to approve with the San Onofre Holtec contract.

8. Require bids from all leading international vendors to ensure the best storage technology available is evaluated and selected. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) must still license the system, but we should be able to select the one that is the most cost-effective and best suited to our environment.

9. Require replacement of existing thin canisters before the time period in which they may fail.

10. Store in hardened concrete buildings for additional environmental protection, similar to what is done in other countries, such as Germany.

11. Require a fully developed mitigation plan be provided by the utilities now.

12. Do not allow destruction of empty spent fuel pools until nuclear waste is removed from site. No other option is available to replace failed canisters.

13. Install continuous radiation monitors with on-line public access. Allow decommissioning funds to be used for this purpose.

14. Continue emergency planning and required funding until waste is removed from California.

See California’s Nuclear Waste Problems and Solutions, Donna Gilmore, IEPR Nuclear Power Workshop presentation, April 27, 2015

Thank you.

Print and share suggested letter to CEC.


Watch Dr. Singh, manufacturer of the Holtec canisters admit it not feasible to repair these thin steel canisters. He also states even a microscopic crack will release millions of curies of radiation into the environment.


At the Koeberg nuclear plant in South Africa, a similar welded steel component had a through-wall crack in 17 years.  The crack was over 0.60 of an inch (15.5 mm), deeper than the thickness of most of California’s spent fuel canisters. Thin canisters are only 0.5 to 0.625 of an inch thick. Thick casks, used internationally, are up to 20 inches thick.

NRC 08-05-2014 Slide 9 Power Plant with SCC

Southern California Edison quotes a 2014 EPRI report that claims a crack will not occur for over 80 years at San Onofre.  However, the EPRI report excluded the Koeberg plant.  It also excluded environmental conditions that were similar to both Koeberg and San Onofre and other West Coast plants: on-shore winds, crashing surf and frequent fog. These are conditions known to induce chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking.

A Diablo Canyon Holtec two-year old thin canister already has all the conditions for crack initiation. No technology exists to inspect for cracks in canisters filled with spent nuclear fuel, so no one knows if any canisters are cracking. We will only know after they leak radiation into the environment.  It’s up to California to take action on this issue.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to approve these thin canisters, in spite of these unresolved issues.  They approve them for 20 years and ignore any problems that may occur after 20 years, even though they may need to stay at current sites indefinitely.

Would you buy a car that couldn’t be inspected, repaired, maintained and provided no early warning of a pending failure?  That is similar to what Edison wants us to do. They want us to pay for promises of future solutions.  In state government, they call that “vaporware”. State agencies are not allowed to buy “vaporware”. Even the vendor admits it’s not feasible to repair the thin canisters.

The NRC is allowing the thin canister vendors 5 years to develop inspection technology, even though the best way to inspect for cracks cannot be done with canisters filled with spent nuclear fuel.

The NRC does not consider cost. That’s a state issue. So it’s up to California to make this decision. We cannot afford to buy dry storage systems more than once.

Reasons To Buy Thick Casks

Share this handout with your local, state and federal elected officials and othersReasons to buy thick nuclear waste dry storage casks and myths about nuclear waste storage, April 16, 2015

Learn more at

Posted in Action Alert, California Energy Commission, CPUC, Diablo Canyon, Emergency Planning, How to Help, NRC, Nuclear Waste, PG&E, SDG&E, Senator Barbara Boxer, Southern California Edison, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The evidence that radiation from nuclear reactors causes childhood leukemia


Radiation spike caused by refueling at one of Bavaria's Gundremmingen reactors. Radiation spike caused by refueling at one of Bavaria’s Gundremmingen reactors.

Last July, we published a piece on recent groundbreaking work from the U.K.’s Dr. Ian Fairlie and the connection between radiation releases from nuclear reactors and childhood leukemia.

We quoted Dr. Fairlie:

“The core issue is that, world-wide, over 60 epidemiological studies have examined cancer incidences in children near nuclear power plants (NPPs): most (>70%) indicate leukemia increases. I can think of no other area of toxicology (eg asbestos, lead, smoking) with so many studies, and with such clear associations as those between NPPs and child leukemias. Yet many nuclear governments and the nuclear industry refute these findings and continue to resist their implications. It’s similar to the situations with cigarette smoking in the 1960s and with man-made global warming nowadays.”

Today, Ian (full disclosure: an old friend and valued colleague) stopped by NIRS’ office to go over a…

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US NRC: Impact of Environmental Conditions on Nuclear Waste Dry Storage, Comment Deadline May 4, 2015, 11.59 pm ET

Mining Awareness +

[Updated 29 Apr; Intro updated 30 Apr; further update later on 30 Apr or 1 May.]
This NUREG looks like a hoax. It does not live up to its title, nor to its scope. One interesting point made, but not evaluated, is that peak cladding temperature (PCT) increases 14.4F for every 10F ambient temperature. The only thing which the NUREG evaluates is low level wind, and it doesn’t do a proper job of that.
Holtec Dry Casks Grand Gulf Miss
Holtec Dry Casks of spent nuclear fuel sweltering on pavement in the Mississippi sun, on the river, with ultra-high humidity. The US NRC allows Holtec and others to pretend that the temperature is only 100F (38C).

Impact of Variation in Environmental Conditions on the Thermal Performance of Dry Storage Casks”, NUREG, US NRC comment deadline MAY 4th-Nuclear Waste Dry Cask Storage Temperature, etc.!documentDetail;D=NRC-2014-0273-0001 ID: NRC-2014-0273-0001
Holtec casks Diablo Dec. 26 2005 or 2006
Dry Casks at Diablo Canyon in California. NRC visit…

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Judge permits Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon: No Tribal Consult, No Environmental Update; Appeal Expected

The Colorado River is a source of drinking water for Southern Californians.

Mining Awareness +

D_3516 Prehistoric granaries about Nankoweap in Marble Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park. Mark Lellouch, NPS

The nuclear fuel chain destroys the environment and kills from the start, with uranium mining, to the finish, with long-lived, deadly, nuclear waste. Why does the US government refuse to protect America’s National Forests and water supply? Why does it fail to uphold its obligations to the American Indians?Especially at the behest of foreign mining companies? Why must Americans fight foreign companies in court, and even fight Congressmen, to protect the land and water?
Boating down the Colorado River Below Havasu Creek in Grand Canyon National Park, by Mark Lellouch NPS
Boating down the Colorado River Below Havasu Creek in Grand Canyon National Part, by Mark Lellouch, NPS
Grand Canyon NPS
Grand Canyon, National Park Service (NPS)

Press Release from the Center for Biological Diversity:
April 8, 2015

Federal Judge OKs Uranium Mining Next to Grand Canyon National Park

Decision Allows Mining Without Tribal Consultation or Update Decades-old Environmental Review

PHOENIX, Ariz.— U.S. District…

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