Archive for the ‘NRC’ Category

Senate committee postpones Zinke, Perry votes


The Hill

Perry & Zinke cabinet nominees
Photo by © Greg Nash

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has postponed a hearing to vote on two of President Drumpf’s Cabinet nominees.

The committee announced Monday afternoon that members would meet on Tuesday morning to consider Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to be Interior secretary and Rick Perry’s nomination to lead the Department of Energy.

But on Monday night, the committee said the hearing would be postponed "until further notice."
Committee officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the reason for the change.

Zinke and Perry have not been considered especially controversial nominees. Even though Democrats peppered them with questions about climate change and other issues during confirmation hearings last week, the nominations haven’t garnered the same outspoken opposition as other Cabinet picks, such as Environmental Protection Agency nominee Scott Pruitt.

Even so, the postponement comes at a tense point in Senate deliberations on Drumpf’s nominees. The Senate confirmed only two Drumpf picks on Friday, the day he was sworn in, a slate of confirmations so scant it left Republicans fuming.

The Senate approved Drumpf’s CIA director nominee, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), on Monday night, but only after a protracted fight over surveillance delayed the nomination. Only 15 Democrats votes to confirm Pompeo.

Drumpf’s secretary of State pick, Rex Tillerson, cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday on a party line vote.

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Statements on Radioactive Waste risks and NRC docketing the WCS application

January 26, 2017

The NRC announced today that they’ve docketed the application from Waste Control Specialists for a consolidated radioactive waste storage in Andrews, TX. The NRC will accept public comments on the scope of its Environmental Impact Statement for the application through March 13th.

SEED Coalition and Public Citizen will hold organizing meetings to help citizens prepare for the upcoming Feb. 13th and Feb. 15th NRC hearings to be held in Hobbs, New Mexico and Andrews, TX. Details are being finalized. An additional NRC hearing will be held the following week in Rockville, MD.

Karen Hadden, Director, Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition 512-797-8481,

"WCS" plan to import the most dangerous of all radioactive waste and dump it on poor communities on the Texas/New Mexico border represents environmental injustice and poses risks of accidents and terrorism and potential contamination along the transport routes throughout the country. The WCS location is close to the Ogallala Aquifer, the nation’s largest aquifer, that lies beneath eight states. A single train car load with dry casks of radioactive waste would contain as much plutonium as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The waste should remain secured in place until a scientfically viable isolation system for permanent disposal can be designed and built.

The Department of Energy (DOE) failed to come to Texas in 2016, but held nine meetings elsewhere around the country but failed to come to Texas or New Mexico – ground zero of where they want to dump high-level radioactive waste. Hundreds of people would likely turn out to oppose this dangerous plan if hearings were held in a major Texas city, but now NRC plans to only host meetings in small communities that stand to benefit economically, as well as have huge health and safety risks. The two agencies are trying to manufacture consent, but we do not consent to being dumped on."

Tom "Smitty" Smith, Public Citizen, 512-797-8468,

"This plan is all risk, not only for the states of Texas and New Mexico, but for the whole country and it should be halted immediately," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas Office. "Why is our region being targeted to become the nation’s dumping ground for high-risk high-level radioactive waste? Putting this waste on our highways and railways invites disaster. Radioactive waste moving through highly populated cities across the country could be targeted for sabotage by terrorists." A state report, the Assessment of Texas’ High-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Options, says that "spent nuclear fuel is more vulnerable to sabotage or accidents during transport than in storage because there are fewer security guards and engineered barriers, and that the consequences could be higher since the waste could travel through large cities."

NRC to Review WCS Application, Announces Hearing Opportunity And Meetings on Scope of Environmental Review?

Nuclear Regulatory Commission – Press Release
No: 17-004 January 26, 2017
Contact: Maureen Conley, 301-415-8200

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has docketed and accepted for formal review an application from Waste Control Specialists to build and operate a spent nuclear fuel consolidated interim storage facility in Andrews, Texas. The NRC’s decision follows an acceptance review to determine whether the application contains sufficient information for the agency to begin its formal review.

WCS is seeking to store 5,000 metric tons uranium of spent fuel received from commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States.

The agency’s review will proceed on two parallel tracks – one on safety issues, the other on environmental issues. Both the safety and environmental reviews must be completed before the NRC makes a final licensing decision on the application.

The NRC’s Jan. 26 letter to WCS sets a schedule for its safety and environmental reviews, with a target of making a licensing decision by the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, assuming WCS provides high-quality responses, on schedule, to any NRC requests for additional information. The public will have 60 days from publication of a notice of docketing in the Federal Register, which will appear shortly, to submit requests for a hearing and petition to intervene in the licensing proceeding for the proposed facility. Details on how to submit those requests and petitions will be in the Federal Register notice.

The NRC will accept public comments on the scope of its Environmental Impact Statement through March 13. Details on how to submit those comments will be published shortly in the Federal Register and can be found below.

The NRC will hold two public meetings near the site of the proposed facility to take public comments on the scope of the environmental review. The meetings will be held

  • 7-10 p.m. Mountain Time, Feb. 13, at the Lea County Event Center, 5101 N. Lovington Highway, in Hobbs, N.M.
  • 7-10 p.m. Central Time, Feb. 15, at the James Roberts Center, 855 TX-176, in Andrews, Texas.

Anyone interested in attending or speaking is encouraged to pre-register by calling 301-415-6957 no later than three days prior to the meeting. The public may also register in person at each meeting. The time allowed for each speaker may be limited, depending on the number of registered speakers.

The NRC is also planning to hold additional scoping meetings at agency headquarters in Rockville, Md., during the week following the local meetings. Details are being finalized. Anyone interested in attending should check the NRC public meeting schedule for the dates and times.

Written comments on the EIS scope should refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0231. Comments will be made publicly available and should not include identifying or personal information you do not wish to be disclosed. Comments can be filed via the federal rulemaking website; or by mail to Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12 H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.