Say NO to German nuclear waste at Savannah River Site!
SRS could become the dumping ground for about 1 million baseball sized graphite spheres containing nuclear spent fuel from German reactors. The Department of Energy is currently assessing whether to receive the waste at SRS and if so, what the disposition path will be.
Georgia WAND strongly advocates the Department of Energy choose the ‘no action alternative’, leaving the waste safely in Germany and offering technical assistance for storage and remediation to the Germans if need be.
Important Points to Consider
The receipt of this fuel is unprecedented. SRS has received research reactor fuel, but never commercial nuclear fuel, which is what we’re dealing with. In addition, SRS has not demonstrated it has the capability or capacity to handle large amounts of graphite waste. What it does have is an already large stockpile of nuclear materials that need to be remediated before considering new missions or importing new waste.
Communities surrounding SRS do not consent to the site receiving new waste or becoming a de-facto nuclear waste dump. This is demonstrated by the residents from both Georgia and South Carolina who have taken the time to show up at hearings and speak out, and by the unprecedented amount of public participation on the issue of waste import this year at the Savannah River Site Citizen’s Advisory Board.
Adding more nuclear waste at SRS has the potential to impact the local environment and therefore public heath, a burden too big to bear for Georgia communities living near the site. There is currently no robust environmental radiation monitoring program in Georgia despite a history of radioactive contaminants being found in drinking water, fish and garden vegetables. Cancer rates in the area are above the national average.
The ‘no action’ alternative of leaving the spent fuel in Germany is the best option for both environmental and community health. If Germany does need help – DOE can and should offer expertise and technology without importing the problem onto US soil. That would be a solution that IS precedented as we saw scientists from SRS travel to Japan to help with cleanup efforts after the Fukushima disaster.
Tell the DOE to take ‘no action’ on this issue!
Submit comments by July 21 to Andrew Grainger at email@example.com
For more information, email Courtney@georgiawand.org