In use at nuclear reactors all over the U.S., high burnup nuclear fuel is hotter, more radioactive and more susceptible to damage than fuel initially used in commercial reactors.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed the nuclear power industry to use higher and higher burnup rates without thinking about long term storage.
HIGH BURNUP FUEL USE IS ACCELERATING IN NEW AND REBUILT OLD NUCLEAR PLANTS
In use at nuclear reactors and stored in spent fuel pools all over the U.S., the use of high burnup (plutonium) fuel is accelerating. High burnup nuclear fuel is hotter, more radioactive and more susceptible to damage than fuel initially used in commercial reactors. Most or all reactors are being switched to use plutonium fuel, with no studies about safety, security, risks, or what happens after fuel is done being used.
WHAT IS HIGH BURNUP FUEL?
Plutonium remaining in the spent fuel is mixed with uranium and highly radioactive fission products and is inaccessible because of this radiation barrier—as well as the size, weight, and high temperature of the spent fuel assemblies in which it is contained. Such residual pluto- nium is also somewhat degraded in quality (i.e., the pro- portion of the fissile isotopes Pu239 and Pu241 to total plutonium, which also includes such non-fissile isotopes as Pu238 and Pu240), making it comparatively unattractive for use in sophisticated weapons
This high burnup fuel is so hot, so toxic, so dangerous, so volatile, there is no approved way to transfer it to dry cask storage, EVER. It takes 15 years to even cool off enough to think about doing anything with it, compared to 5 years for the normal average uranium spent fuel.
SIGN PETITION TO STOP PURCHASE OF INFERIOR CASKS
Via Gene Stone “Please sign the petition “Stop California from wasting $400 million on inferior nuclear waste storage canisters” and wanted to ask if you could add your name, too. The California Public Utilities Commission will make a decision soon regarding funding San Onofre’s dry storage canisters and we need to make sure it’s the right decision. The more support we can get behind stopping the purchase of inferior canisters, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/stop-california-from-wasting-400-million-on-substandard-nuclear-waste-storage-canisters
NRC HAS NOT APPROVED A STORAGE PLAN FOR HIGH BURNUP FUEL, BUT ALLOWS USE OF IT ANYWAY
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has allowed the nuclear power industry to use higher and higher burnup rates without thinking or even approving any long term storage for this type of radioactive fuel.
Dr. Arjun Makhijani is an expert on Hardened On Site Storage of nuclear waste and long-term high-level waste management issues, and President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He discussed high burnup fuel at the October 19, 2013 San Clemente, California community symposium on the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant. via http://www.SanOnofreSafety.org
SPENT FUEL POOLS RUNNING OUT OF ROOM FOR NUCLEAR WASTE AT ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
Wikipedia says: “Spent fuel pools (SFP) are storage pools for spent fuel
from nuclear reactors
. They are typically 40 or more feet (12 m) deep, with the bottom 14 feet (4.3 m) equipped with storage racks designed to hold fuel assemblies removed from the reactor.
A reactor’s pool is specially designed for the reactor in which the fuel was used and situated at the reactor site. In many countries, the fuel assemblies, after being in the reactor for 3 to 6 years, are stored underwater for 10 to 20 years before being sent for reprocessing
or dry cask storage
. The water cools the fuel and provides shielding from radiation
While only about 8 feet (2.4 m) of water is needed to keep radiation levels below acceptable levels, the extra depth provides a safety margin and allows fuel assemblies to be manipulated without special shielding to protect the operators.
SPENT FUEL POOL
About a quarter to a third of the total fuel load of a reactor is removed from the core every 12 to 18 months and replaced with fresh fuel. Spent fuel rods generate intense heat and dangerous radiation that must be contained.
Fuel is moved from the reactor and manipulated in the pool generally by automated handling systems, although some manual systems are still in use. The fuel bundles fresh from the core are normally segregated for several months for initial cooling before being sorted into other parts of the pool to wait for final disposal.
Metal racks keep the fuel in controlled positions for physical protection and for ease of tracking and rearrangement. High-density racks also incorporate boron-10
or other neutron-absorbing material to ensure subcriticality
. Water quality is tightly controlled to prevent the fuel or its cladding from degrading. Current regulations in the United States permit re-arranging of the spent rods so that maximum efficiency of storage can be achieved.
Worker examines a pond for storing spent fuel rods at the Leningrad nuclear power plant in Sosnovy Bor.
ALL SPENT FUEL POOLS NEED CONSTANT COOLING OR THEY MELT DOWN AND CATCH ON FIRE
The maximum temperature of the spent fuel bundles decreases significantly between 2 and 4 years, and less from 4 to 6 years. The fuel pool water is continuously cooled to remove the heat produced by the spent fuel assemblies.
Pumps circulate water from the spent fuel pool to heat exchangers
, then back to the spent fuel pool. The water temperature in normal operating conditions is held below 50°C (120°F)
, the dissociation
by radiation, is of particular concern in wet storage, as water may be split by residual radiation and hydrogen
gas may accumulate increasing the risk of explosions. For this reason the air in the room of the pools, as well as the water, must be continually monitored and treated.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH OPEN TOPPED SPENT FUEL POOLS
If there is a prolonged interruption of cooling due to emergency situations, the water in the spent fuel pools may boil off, possibly resulting in radioactive elements being released into the atmosphere.
In the magnitude 9 earthquake which struck the Fukushima nuclear plants
in March 2011, three of the spent fuel pools were in buildings that lost the roof and were seen to be emitting water vapor. The US NRC wrongly stated that the pool at reactor 4 had boiled dry
— this was denied at the time by the Japanese and found to be incorrect in subsequent inspection and data examination.
(NRC and TEPCO are still lying and covering up the truth; click on links for proof)
AGreenRoad – TEPCO/Fukushima Lies Exposed Around Building #4, SFP, Core. Equipment Pool, Melt Out; via @AGreenRoad
Spent Fuel Pool #4 Allegedly Being ‘Unloaded’ By TEPCO Nov. 2013, The Coverup Continues; via @AGreenRoad
Arnie Gunderson, Fairewinds Associates; Fuel Pool Failures at Fukushima Confirmed; via @AGreenRoad
According to nuclear plant safety specialists, the chances of criticality in a spent fuel pool are very small, usually avoided by the dispersal of the fuel assemblies, inclusion of a neutron absorber in the storage racks and overall by the fact that the spent fuel has a too low enrichment level
to self-sustain a fission reaction. They also state that if the water covering the spent fuel evaporates, there is no element to enable a chain reaction by moderating
TERRORIST ATTACKS ON VULNERABLE SPENT FUELS POOLS COULD BE CATASTROPHIC
According to Dr. Kevin Crowley of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, “successful terrorist attacks on spent fuel pools, though difficult, are possible. If an attack leads to a propagating zirconium cladding fire, it could result in the release of large amounts of radioactive material.”
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
after the September 11, 2001 attacks
required American nuclear plants “to protect with high assurance” against specific threats involving certain numbers and capabilities of assailants. Plants were also required to “enhance the number of security officers” and to improve “access controls to the facilities”.
What we learned after the mega disaster at Fukushima is that spent fuel pools are extremely vulnerable and unprotected in MANY ways.
If a leak were to occur in one of the pools, and the rods were exposed to air, it would take at least 10 hours for the fuel to heat up to 900 degrees Celsius, a temperature at which a fire could occur, the NRC report says.
First, a terrorist plane loaded with explosives or just jet fuel can crash through the roof and explode a spent fuel pool with no problem at all. A tank busting projectile can put a large hole into a wall of a spent fuel pool, causing it to melt down, explode or catch on fire, spreading huge amounts of radioactive plumes downwind.
Second, all spent fuel pools require power to stay intact and not melt down, because they crammed so much fuel into them, that passive cooling is no longer possible. Not only does it take power to cool them, but they also have to add chemicals just to control the heat. As we learned from Fukushima, without power, it only takes a couple days and the pools start burning and melting down, or just 10 hours for them to catch on fire, if water drains out suddenly.
Multiple spent fuel pools and/or equipment pools at Fukushima melted down, caught on fire and melted out at Fukushima (see links above for picture evidence of this) releasing massive quantities of plutonium high into the air.
ALL NUCLEAR PLANTS AND SPENT FUEL POOLS ARE VULNERABLE TO LONG TERM POWER OUTAGE, EMP PULSE
Third, all spent fuel pools are vulnerable to the Carrington Event, as are the nuclear reactors. Without power, all 400+ nuclear reactors and spent fuel pools will melt down, blow up and catch on fire all around the world. Humanity cannot live through that.
Super Solar Storm To Hit Earth – ‘Carrington Effect’; 400 Nuke Plants Will Melt Down/Explode; via @AGreenRoad
Fourth, reactors all across the world are now being filled with MOX plutonium fuel, which is 2 million times more dangerous than uranium. This high burnup fuel also creates more problems in the spent fuel pool. The NRC does not even have any studies around this fuel and what to do with it after it has gone through a reactor, but they are dumping this very hot, highly toxic and dangerous plutonium fuel into already stuffed spent fuel pools, which is a recipe for global disaster.
HIGH BURN UP MOX FUEL IS MUCH MORE VOLATILE AND DANGEROUS THAN URANIUM FUEL
Reactor #3 blew up in large part because of the plutonium fuel inside.
What Really Happened At Fukushima Reactor And Spent Fuel Pool #3? via A Green Road
Fifth, we also have the problem of what do with the spent fuel waste after it is done cooling off in the spent fuel pools. High burn up fuel studies have not been done around dry cask storage. No one even knows if this is possible.
Multiple Fukushima Spent Fuel Pools Burned And Vaporized, Plutonium MOX Fuel Vaporized And Traveled All Around The World On Jet Stream
DRY CASKS ARE NOT THE ANSWER FOR LONG TERM NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE
Dry casks are still just a ‘temporary’ storage solution. There is no longer term answer. Even if the dry casks last for 100 years, they must then be replaced, and who is going to pay for that, every 100 years, for 1 MILLION years?
Dry Cask Long Term High Level Nuclear Waste Storage Problems And Issues; via A Green Road
Sixth, there is no long term storage or disposal solution for nuclear waste that must be guarded for ONE MILLION YEARS Is everyone really willing to pay for 30 years of (high cost) and toxic steam, and then sign up infinite future generations for the mandatory, forced cost of guarding this radioactive garbage that poses severe terrorist risks and global disaster potential, while giving them nothing positive in return? What right do we have to pass on this very disastrous legacy to infinite future generations?
93 Long life Radiation Contaminants, A Problem For Billions Of Years; via A Green Road
Seventh, there are more than 20 faulty, badly engineered nuclear reactors that are the exact copies of the Fukushima reactors in the USA. The odds of a disaster like Fukushima are increasing exponentially in the USA, with every passing year. To find out more, click on the following link…
What Is The Statistical Probability Of A Major Nuclear Accident Like Fukushima In The USA? via @AGreenRoad
Bottom line, nuclear power is toxic, deadly, dangerous, too expensive and is immoral, when it comes to forcing countless future generations to the legacy of radioactive accidents, spills, contaminated food, water, air and the costs of protecting the radioactive garbage. We have no right to do this to future generations, and they would NOT give permission if they were asked. The risks are growing exponentially due to the use of plutonium MOX or high burnup fuel in the next generation of reactors, and/or rebuilt old and worn out one that are not originally designed for this fuel.
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Spent Fuel Pool Risks At Nuclear Power Plants and Dry Cask High Burnup Plutonium Fuel Storage Problems; via @AGreenRoad