The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) wants public input on a “scoping study” intended to justify calling some nuclear waste “very low-level waste” or VLLW. We call it “Very Large Loophole Waste.”
Comments are due by May 15th. Tell the NRC to keep all nuclear waste regulated, and to increase radioactive controls.
Nuclear power reactors generate nuclear waste, and the reactors themselves become nuclear waste.
Radioactive gasses seep into concrete lodging and decay becoming other radioactive elements. Metal parts in the reactor are bombarded with neutrons during nuclear power production process and become activated radioactive metal.
As reactors and other processing factories that are a part of the nuclear fuel chain shut down, the buildings and their parts, the soil, the uniforms employees wore, the tools used to service reactors and other machinery, etc., all have become contaminated with radioactivity, and must be isolated from the environment and the public.
Instead of paying to manage these contaminated items as the nuclear waste they are, the Department of Energy (DOE) and nuclear industry are attempting to reclassify the waste as “Very Low-Level” and allow it to be dumped in landfills and/or incinerators, or recycled with consumer goods.
If the NRC starts classifying radioactive waste as “Very Low-Level”, massive amounts of nuclear power waste would be allowed to go into regular garbage dumps, to industrial or hazardous waste sites, and into recycling facilities that reuse materials to make everyday household and personal-use items.
Huge amounts of dangerous but hard-to-detect nuclear wastes would no longer be regulated as radioactive and would have “alternative methods of disposal,” not at licensed radioactive waste sites.
Send your comments to the NRC by May 15th.
The term “low-level” radioactive waste is already deceptive and can mean very high risk to humans and other life. Help protect us, our communities, and future generations!
Thanks for all you do, Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service, 6930 Carroll Ave, Ste. 340, Takoma Park, MD 20912,(301) 270-6477, www.NIRS.org