Kathleen Ferris Nuclear Issues in TN Pt. 2


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Nuclear Issues in Tennessee presentation by Kathleen Ferris of Citizens to ENDIT at KNOW NUKES Y'ALL SUMMIT on June 30, 2012.

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Kathleen Ferris Nuclear Issues in TN Pt. 2

  1. 1. West TN
  2. 2. Shelby County• North Shelby County Landfills has received the most radioactive waste of any landfill in TN, over 17 Million Pounds in 6 years.• The city of Memphis depends upon an underground aquifer for its drinking water.• If the drinking water is contaminated, the health and welfare of 670,000 people will be threatened. Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee.• Memphis lies on a major earthquake fault. Even a minor earthquake might damage those landfills and pollute the water.
  3. 3. Memphis Aquifer
  5. 5. Memphis – President’s Island• President’s Island is home to EnergySolutions and Studsvik radioactive waste processing facilities. Both specialize in large metal components.• Studsvik processed 12,000,000 pounds in the last 5 years.• Much of the “low-level” waste goes into the North and South Shelby County Landfills.
  6. 6. RADIOACTIVE STEAM GENERATORSThe Studsvik facility on President’s Island inMemphis is the only place in the U.S. whereradioactive steam generators from pressurizedwater reactors are taken for processing ordismantling. These units are up to 70 feet tall andweigh as much as 800 tons. These must be takenapart, piece by piece to separate the parts that arehighly radioactive. These contain a significantamount of plutonium and other dangerousradionuclides. Much of the material deemed to be“extremely low level” by Studsvik will end up inthe North or South Shelby landfills.
  7. 7. Into MemphisInside a Steam Generator
  8. 8. Oak Ridge
  9. 9. Other Radioactive Waste Facilities in Tennessee•Studsvik and StudsvikRACE at Erwin andMemphis•Nuclear Fuel Services at Erwin•Philotechnics at Oak Ridge•Bionomics at Oak Ridge•DSSI Permafix at Kingston•EnergySolutions Memphis, Oak Ridge
  10. 10. Processors in TN that Heat Treat Radioactive Waste•EnergySolutions in Oak Ridge- 2 incinerators•DSSI PermaFix in Kingston- radioactive and mixed waste boiler, processes PCBs•Studsvik in Erwin-- pyroprocessing•IMPACT in Oak Ridge – pyroprocessing•Duratek metal melt in Oak Ridge•TOXCO metal melt in Oak Ridge•Aerojet oxidizer in Jonesborough (metallicuranium chips)
  11. 11. Facts about Incineration• Incineration produces toxic and carcinogenic substances such as dioxins, furans, particlate matter, heavy metals such as lead and mercury.• Inhaling radioactive particles is doubly dangerous.• When considering the impact of an incinerator, it is necessary to consider the collective impact of incinerators in the region.• Oak Ridge has 4 incinerators within fairly close proximity. Some process weapons waste.• To our knowledge, NO environmental impact study has been ever been done.
  12. 12. Oak Ridge 37,000 acre federal reservation• home of the Oak Ridge Nat’l Laboratory (ORNL)• of the Y-12 Nat’l Security Complex• of the East TN Technology Park• site where uranium was enriched for the first WWII atomic bombs• since used to enrich uranium, dismantle bombs. etc.• one of the most polluted sites in USA• years ago waste was just buried inditches• DOE trying to clean it up—not easy
  13. 13. DOE is planning to built a superbomb plant at Y-12.“On April 2 [2012], the Defense NuclearFacilities Safety Board released a highlycritical report about the design plans for theUranium Processing Facility planned for theY-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge.The Safety Boards report, coupled withfindings of the General Accounting Office,make a strong case for putting a hold onfunding construction of the UPF.” (Ralph Hutchison)
  14. 14. Estimates of the total cost of theUranium Processing Facility inOak Ridge started at $600million– $1.5 billion back in2005. By last year the totalpricetag was estimated at $7.5billion by the Department ofEnergy and $8 billion by theArmy Corps of Engineers. That’sa 1000% increase!
  15. 15. Erwin
  16. 16. Nuclear Fuel Services In Erwin, Tennessee
  17. 17. NFS enriches uranium tocreate nuclear fuel fornuclear submarines andaircraft carriers. It also isused for U.S. nuclearweapons.
  18. 18. Erwin, TN, home of Areva and NFS
  19. 19. The Nolichucky River
  20. 20. Erwin, TN, is home to both Nuclear Fuel Services and Studsvik.A study released onNov. 11, 2010,shows that NuclearFuel Services inErwin is apparentlydischargingenriched uraniuminto the NolichuckyRiver. Uranium wasfound up to 45miles down river.
  21. 21. Six TVANuclear Reactors in or near Tennessee
  22. 22. Browns Ferry Plant (3 reactors) near Athens, AL
  23. 23. Browns Ferry’s Record Built between 1966 and 1977, TVA’s oldest Same GE design as Fukushima Almost 1 million pop. within 50 mi. radius Only reactor in nation to have NRC RED FLAGinspection rating (worst) Contains 3.1 million lbs. radioactive “spent” fuel in cooling pools Since 1980 BF has reported more than 1700“events” to the NRC, has had repeatedshutdownsLicenses of 3 reactors were renewed in May of2006 to operate until 2033, 2034, and 2036
  24. 24. Tornados April 27, 2011
  25. 25. SequoyahTwo reactorsLocated not far from downtown ChattanoogaBuilt in 1980 & 1981, license renewed to 2041Over 1 million people within 50 mi. radius
  26. 26. Watts BarLocated between Chattanooga and KnoxvilleOne reactor operating, 2nd under construction since2007, supposed to open in 2012, again delayed 2 yrs ormore , $2 BILLION OVER ESTIMATED COST
  27. 27. Bellefonte The ZOMBIE REACTOR Located near Scottsboro, AL Begun In 1974. stopped in 1988, cannibalized for parts by TVA in 2006 & 07.RESURRECTED in 2008 when TVA asked NRC to reinstatedeferred license. Approved by TVA Board forconstruction after Watts Bar 2 begins operating.Estimated cost, $4 to $5 BILLION.
  28. 28. Water consumption by type of electricity generation: This article was corrected on 12 September 2011
  29. 29. TVA has 6 nuclear reactors on the Tennessee River+One more in construction at Watts Bar +One more planned at Bellefonte= 8 reactorsEach reactor uses about 24 million gallons of waterper day.Current water usage = c. 144 million gal/dayProjected water usage = c. 192 million gal./day
  30. 30. A typical nuclear power plant in ayear generates 20 metric tons ofused nuclear fuel. The nuclearindustry generates a total of about2,000 - 2,300 metric tons of usedfuel per year.That accounts only for high levelwaste.
  31. 31. The USA has 104 nuclear reactorschurning out tons of radioactive wasteevery year. Spent fuel rods are stored inpools to cool and are then placed incasks on site. No place for permanentdisposal. “Low-level” waste is sent to TNfor processing and then for burial orincineration. Radioactive metals maysoon be recycled into objects forcommercial use. Cooking pots? Bracesfor kids’ teeth?
  32. 32. There is no such thing as realnuclear clean-up, just an effort to incinerate, to sort, to bury,and to move radioactive waste from one location to another.Some lethal radionuclides will be with the earth for up to a million years.