22 Aug 2014
On 19 Aug 2014, in Cincinnati – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) today awarded a sole-source cooperative agreement to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). The Board’s mission is to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies. Sixteen(16) southern states and two(2) territories comprise the membership of SSEB: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. The authority for the sole-source award to the Southern States Energy Board is provided under Section 16 of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act. The value of the agreement is $10,438,070.00, and has a project period of 5 years.
Under the agreement, the board will convene a committee of appropriate state personnel (one representative from each state) to be known as the Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group. The working group will include representatives from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The group will meet twice each year to discuss transuranic waste transportation issues and activities undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy and other appropriate agencies and organizations. The Southern States Energy Board will provide the working group with the appropriate information to address regional issues relative to transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Group members will work with the Southern States Energy Board to develop their state work plans and budgets for transuranic waste campaigns that traverse the southern region.
DOE media contact: Lynette Chafin 513-246-0461, Lynette.Chafin@emcbc.doe.gov
OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DOE RELEASE AND COMMENT
On 19 Aug 2014, Cincinnati, USA – The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) awarded a sole-source cooperative agreement ($10.49 million grant) to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). The Board’s mission is “to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies” HMM! That sounds so beneficial, but is it? Or is it just another boondoggle for DoE to create credible Board(s) to support their stance regarding the thorny issues of nuclear (transuranic) waste transportation overland, and its final disposal. We believe such is the case.
SSEB MEMBERSHIP will be comprised by 16 southern states and two (2) territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands): Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. DoE’s authority for the grant to the SSEB is provided under Section 16 of the “Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act”. DoE’s grant is $10,438,070 million, and has a project period of 5 years. That works out to about $ 1 million per meeting.
The Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group (TWTWG) shall include one(1) representative from each of the 14 following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, and The Group will meet twice each year to discuss Transuranic (nuclear) waste transportation issues and activities undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy (USA DoE) and other appropriate agencies and organizations. It is clear SSEB will provide TWTWG with the appropriate information to address regional issues relative to transuranic waste shipments to the “Waste Isolation Pilot Plant” (whatever, and wherever that turns out to be ). TWTWG Group members will work jointly with the SSEB to develop their state work plans and budgets for transuranic (nuclear) waste campaigns (overland/overseas shipments?) that traverse the southern region of the USA. We noticed this Group leaves out two (2) states, and two (2) territories of the SSEB membership.
1. Why is this initiative aimed at the southern states and two territories?
2. Don’t northern states have an even greater transuranic waste disposal problem?
3. Why does nuclear shit always flow south?
4. Who will appoint representatives to the SSEB, and the TWTWG?
5. Where will the SSAB, and its little sister TWTWG Boards meet?
6. Who will each board be answerable to?
7. Given that nobody wants such nuclear waste (Not In My Back Yard-NIMBY!); what is the USA national policy regarding “Cooling Ponds” at Nuclear Power Plants (many of which are already filled to the the brim with transnuclear “spent fuel rods”), even though cooling ponds are the worst possible “Transuranic waste repositories”, are highly vulnerable to the vagaries of nature such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, rising sea-levels (witness Fukushima Dai no.1 Mar 2011) and even terrorist activity.
THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INDUSTRY TO PAY THE PIPER, and to take action regarding their transuranic nuclear waste accumulation, before another Fukushima event happens. By the way, already full “spent fuel cooling ponds” are an acute problem in many countries such as the USA, France, and Sweden, both heavily nuclear dependent for a long time, and that have many Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) approaching, or exceeding their planned 40 year lifetime usage, and many already beyond 60 years. Unfortunately many countries have began sweeping transuranic waste under the carpet. However, Let us remember it has a radioactive half-life of about 250,000 years. We shall pass, but it will go on.
We have a strong sense of “we have been here before” (deja-vu). Remember the much touted 2010 BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION ON AMERICA’S NUCLEAR FUTURE mandated by Pres. Obama of former DOE Secretary Dr. Steven Chu?, well, it turned out to be a sham. Dr. Chu promptly divided the committee into two(2) groups answerable ONLY to him. The committee met once to hear Dr. Chu’s instructions; then quietly faded away. It is all games people play when they seek only to deceive. The Blue ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was recorded by this Journal. Oh, it was a best laid of plans, but it was dead on arrival on Dr. Chu’s desk. – Just read on.
Edward Oliver Gonzalez
Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future
U.S. Department of Energy
20 Jan 2010
Advisory Commission Charter
1. Commission’s Official Designation. Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (the Commission).
2. Authority. The Commission is being established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and as directed by the President’s Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy dated January 20, 2010: Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. This charter establishes the Commission under the authority of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).
3. Objectives and Scope of Activities. The Secretary of Energy, acting at the direction of the President, is establishing the Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including all alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense used nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and materials derived from nuclear activities. Specifically, the Commission will provide advice, evaluate alternatives, and make recommendations for a new plan to address these issues, including:
a) Evaluation of existing fuel cycle technologies and R&D programs. Criteria for evaluation should include cost, safety, resource utilization and sustainability, and the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and counter-terrorism goals.
b) Options for safe storage of used nuclear fuel while final disposition pathways are selected and deployed;
c) Options for permanent disposal of used fuel and/or high-level nuclear waste, including deep geological disposal;
d) Options to make legal and commercial arrangements for the management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste in a manner that takes the current and
e) Options for decision-making processes for management and disposal that are flexible, adaptive, and responsive;
f) Options to ensure that decisions on management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste are open and transparent, with broad participation;
g) The possible need for additional legislation or amendments to existing laws, including the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and
h) Any such additional matters as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for consideration.
The Commission will produce a draft report to the Secretary and a final report within the time frames contained in paragraph 4.
4. Description of Duties. The duties of the Commission are solely advisory and are as stated in Paragraph 3 above.
5. Official to Whom the Committee Reports. The Commission reports to the Secretary of Energy.
6. Agency Responsible for Providing the Necessary Support. DoE will be responsible for financial and administrative support. Within DoE, this support will be provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy or other Departmental element as required. The Commission will draw on the expertise of other federal agencies as appropriate
7. Estimated Annual Operating Cost and Staff Years. The estimated annual operating cost of direct support to, including travel of, the Commission and its subcommittees is $5,000,000 and requires approximately 8.0 DoE full-time employees.
8. Designated Federal Officer. A full-time DoE employee, appointed in accordance with agency procedures, will serve as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). The DFO will approve or call all of the Commission and subcommittee meetings, approve all meeting agendas, attend all Commission and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest. Subcommittee directors who are full-time Department of Energy employees, as appointed by the DFO, may serve as DFOs for subcommittee meetings.
9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings. The Commission is expected to meet as frequently as needed and approved by the DFO, but not less than twice a year.
The Commission will hold open meetings unless the Secretary of Energy, or his designee, determines that a meeting or a portion of a meeting may be closed to the public as permitted by law. Interested persons may attend meetings of, and file comments with, the Commission, and, within time constraints and Commission procedures, may appear before the Commission. Members of the Commission serve without compensation. However, each appointed non-Federal member may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses incurred while attending Commission meetings in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations.
10. Duration and Termination. The Commission is subject to biennial review and will terminate 24 months from the date of the Presidential memorandum discussed above, unless, prior to that time, the charter is renewed in accordance with Section 14 of the FACA.
11. Membership and Designation. Commission members shall be experts in their respective fields and appointed as special Government employees based on their knowledge and expertise of the topics expected to be addressed by the Commission, or representatives of entities including, among others, research facilities, academic and policy-centered institutions, industry, labor organizations, environmental organizations, and others, should the Commission’s task require such representation. Members shall be appointed by the Secretary of Energy. The approximate number of Commission members will be 15 persons. The Chair or Co-Chairs shall be appointed by the Secretary of Energy.
a) To facilitate functioning of the Commission, both standing and ad hoc subcommittees may be formed.
b) The objectives of the subcommittees are to undertake fact-finding and analysis on specific issues.
c) The Secretary or his designee, in consultation with the Chair or Co-Chairs, will appoint members of subcommittees. Members from outside the Commission may be appointed to any subcommittee to assure the expertise necessary to conduct subcommittee business.
d) The Secretary or his designee, in consultation with the Chair or co-Chairs will appoint Subcommittees.
e) The DoE Committee Management Officer (CMO) will be notified upon establishment of each subcommittee.
13. Recordkeeping. The records of the Commission and any subcommittee shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 and approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.
14. Filing Date.
Date filed with Congress: _____March 1, 2010__________
Carol A. Matthews
Committee Management Officer
DOE’s BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE BEGINS TO ACT-NOT REALLY
25 Mar 2010.
As a necessary first step, DOE WITHDREW FROM YUCCA MOUNTAIN NUCLEAR REPOSITORY 3 Mar 2010: Department of Energy (DOE)Filed a Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application with the Nuclear Regulatory for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain with prejudice( without legal recourse). Translation – Yucca Mountain is dead.
Last 29 Jan 2009, The U.S. DOE at the direction of President Obama established a Blue Ribbon Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, and to provide recommendations for developing a safe long-term solution to managing the Nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The Commission will hold its first meeting in Washington, D.C. on 25 and 26 Mar 2010, produce an interim report within 18 months, and a final report within 24 months.
BLUE RIBBON NUCLEAR COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP
1. Co-Chair: Lee Hamilton- Represented Indiana’s 9th congressional district from January of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
2. Co-Chair: Brent Scowcroft – Former Lt. General (29 year service); Pres. The Scowcroft Group, Has served as the Natl. Security Advisor Pres. Ford and George H.W. Bush. From 1982-9
3. Mark Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. 4. Vicky Bailey – Former Commissioner Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former PUC Commissioner; Former DOE Asst Secretary for Policy and International Affairs. 5. Albert Carnesale, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor – UCLA. 6. Pete V. Domenici, former U.S. Senator (R-NM) Senior Fellow- Bipartisan Policy Center. 7. Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc. 8. Chuck Hagel, Former U.S. Senator (R-NE). 9. Jonathan Lash – President World Resources Institute. 10. Allison Macfarlane, Assoc. Professor, Environmental Science, George Mason U. 11. Richard A. Meserve, President Carnegie Institution for Science, and former Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 12. Ernie Moniz, Professor of Physics and Cecil & Ida Green Distinguished Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 13. Per Peterson, Professor / Chair, Dept of Nuclear Engineering, UC-Berkeley. 14. John Rowe – Chairman and CEO Exelon Corporation. 15. Phil Sharp- President- Resources for the Future.
This elite panel should look into using THORIUM for Power Generation as part of the solution. In 2008, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act of 2008, which would have mandated the US Department of Energy (DOE) to examine the commercial use of Thorium in US reactors. The bill, however, did not reach a full Senate vote. The Thorium fuel cycle, with its potential for breeding fuel without fast neutron reactors, holds considerable potential long-term benefits, and since it is inherently safer, and 3 to 5 times more abundant as an ore than uranium; it is a potential key factor in sustainable nuclear energy for the world (Please see p.37).
The Blue Ribbon Commission, led by Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft, will provide / make recommendations on issues including alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste; Also to consider U.S. expansion of nuclear energy.
Lee Hamilton said: “This will be a thorough, comprehensive review based on the best available science. I’m looking forward to working with the many distinguished experts on this panel to achieve a consensus on the best path forward.”
Gen Scowcroft said: “The United States responds to climate change and moves forward with A LONG OVERDUE EXPANSION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY(emphasis provided) we also need to work together to find a responsible, long-term strategy to deal with the leftover fuel and nuclear waste… I’m pleased to be part of that effort along with Congressman Hamilton and such an impressive group of scientific and industry experts.” So! It is not just nuclear waste disposal, but also expansion of nuclear energy. Good! Do you suppose they will consider the Reid -Hatch (2008) proposal to mandate use of THORIUM as the “Fuel of the future”. It is not surprising that our heavily lobbied Senate failed to even consider it in 2008; but this is 2010, and many things have changed in Washington.
If properly developed, Thorium 232 technology can solve a lot of the world’s problems: It “eats-up” nuclear waste, it is much more available than uranium, and is potentially safer, does not proliferate uranium production which can be made into nuclear weapons, etc.