[ RadSafe ] More Inaction on High Level Waste Disposal

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Aug 29 11:21:26 CDT 2011

Almost every aspect of the Heritage Foundation's assessment of the
radioactive waste problem is flawed, which is to be expected as they are
a political organization, and view it as a political issue, and are
limited by their world view to solutions that "Free Market" and
"Government (especially federal) IS the problem".  The author of this
piece, Jack Spencer, is "The Heritage Foundation's research fellow in
nuclear energy policy."  His degrees are in politics, and most of his
experience is in journalism and politics.  While his bio says he worked
for Babcock & Wilcox for several years, I think it is safe to assume it
wasn't in any technical capacity.  

The HLW situation is thoroughly hosed, mostly because it never was
treated as an engineering problem, but has from the beginning been a
political problem, with the assumptions set by people whose agenda
didn't always include solving the problem.  I think the problem is now
so messed up that it should be examined starting from first principles.
After a set of solutions (because there are multiple ways of dealing
with the multiple types of waste) have been devised, they can be set out
for review, with the restriction that the reviews MUST be technically
sound.  None of this, "civilization collapses the weekend after the
waste site is complete" or "the plume of contamination moves 100 miles
up gradient through the ground water" nonsense.  All states are required
to either accept the criteria, or raise valid objections that can be
supported.  If they are indeed valid, the criteria can be changed.
After buy-in has been achieved, THEN sites are evaluated, not looking
for "perfect", or even "the very best", but "good enough".  

Of course, as this is an approach the minimizes the importance of the
politically oriented, and does not support any ideology, it will never

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Joel C.
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 5:50 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] More Inaction on High Level Waste Disposal

Just what we need, another decade of kicking the can of HLW down the


Joel I. Cehn, CHP
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