Tag Archives: private fuel storage

PFS plant is dead – for now

I was glad to read that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not even entertain acknowledgment of the plan by Private Fuel Storage to build a high level nuclear waste plant in Utah

PFS has been trying for years to get the go ahead to build a nuclear waste site in Utah.  Each obstacle, like this one, makes it increasingly difficult for this to happen, much to the advantage of not only Utahns, but people across the country since waste would be transported from various sites.

An activist colleague of mine offers this information:
The tricky part here, that may not have been known Monday, is that there is a provision in the Defense Authorization Act to eliminate the requirement that the Air Force conduct a study to see how storing nuclear waste on the reservation could affect operations at the Utah Test and Training Range.  Sen Hansen had put this in in 1999, and it was cited in the BLM refusal to grant the right-of-way that the study was required and had not been completed.  If the requirement is removed, it removes an impediment to the right-of-way, and PFS’s plan.  No one seems to know who inserted this provision, and Hatch says they are working with the Senate Armed Forces Committee to “rectify the situation.”  I wouldn’t put it past Hatch to have inserted it himself.  Here’s a link to an article on this provision. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_6211056

PFS is still hoping for site in Utah

Private Fuel Storage Chairman John Parkyn is still holding out for an interim nuclear waste storage site in Utah, according to a Deseret News article this morning.

Parkyn will not release any details on his “plans”.

The article also mentions the proposal of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry’s lobbying organization, to offer tens of millions of dollars, increasing as time progresses, to state sthat is approved to host an interim storage site.

The waste needs to stay in the state in which it is generated. The problems inherent with sending nuclear waste to other states are monumental (e.g., accident/exposure risk), not to mention the fact that states such as Utah don’t want the waste.

Latest news on PFS

Today’s News

Summary of the news [Salt Lake Tribune]

  • The U.S. Interior Department denied a lease and a transportation plan that were crucial to proposed nuclear waste storage in Utah’s Skull Valley, about 45 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.
  • Critics pronounced the project dead. But the decision could still be appealed in court.
  • The Skull Valley Goshutes and their commercial partner in the project have yet to say if, or how, they will fight the rulings.
    Continue reading
  • Would this kill the PFS project?

    The Salt Lake Tribune published this article: Panel rejects PFS nuclear storage–
    U.S. Senate: A subcommittee votes to allow facilties only in states with reactors

    A Senate panel dealt a blow to Private Fuel Storage’s plan to build temporary nuclear storage in Utah on Tuesday, voting in favor of short-term storage, but specifically prohibiting storage at the PFS facility.
    The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee included $10 million for the temporary storage facilities, but requires them to be federally run and located in states that have nuclear reactors.
    The spent nuclear fuel would be kept there until a technology can be developed to extract the reusable parts of the fuel and dispose of the rest.

    Since Utah has no reactors, this would significantly impact the PFS storage project on the Goshute reservation.

    Of course, PFS spokespersons are stating that by doing this Congress if just prolonging the storage of waste since, according to PFS, licensing will take 8-10 years for any facility.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out and I’ll be sure to provide any updates here.

    Nuclear Waste plan attracts thousands of comments

    Today’s Deseret News has an article on all the comments that have flooded the BLM’s office regarding the Private Fuel Storage (PFS) plan to store nuclear waste on the Goshute reservation. More than 7,000 comments were received.

    The BLM’s public comment period ended May 8 on two competing proposals to get radioactive fuel from a rail line to the Goshute Indian reservation, where PFS wants to build the storage plant. The proposals are to build a railroad spur or to construct an intermodal facility where huge protective casks would be lifted from train cars and loaded onto trucks for the 26-mile drive to the reservation.

    Go us! Keep up the pressure.

    Transporting Nuke Waste to PFS – How close to routes are we?

    Trucks transporting spent fuel rods to the pending Private Fueld Storage (PFS) Site in Utah would take up 2/3 of the road leading to it, making two-way traffic impossible, according to Utah officials quoted in an article published in today’s Deseret News.

    The Utah Attorney General’s office spokesperson, Denise Chancellor, briefed the Utah Legislature’s Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee on the issue stating that The route, U-196, is in “sad shape.” Varying from 20 to 22 feet across, often without a shoulder, it is a main thoroughfare to Dugway Proving Ground. It is also an escape route that would be used if an accident happened at the Army’s chemical weapons incinerator, located near Stockton, Tooele County.

    The transport trucks would weigh 225 tons and would haul casks of highly radioactive fuel to the PFS site, with much of the weight being the “protective” casing around the rods. The D-News has a diagram and map in today’s article.

    Nuke Waste will also be transported by rail through Salt Lake City en route to Tooele County, according to Chancellor. About 697,000 Utahns live within five miles of the route.

    You can find out how close you and people around the country for that matter live to a proposed rail line for shipping this waste at Citizen Alert, NukeWasteMap, and NukeWaste states.

    In related news, a U.S. House panelOK’d option of private nuclear waste facility.

    I wonder how close the people on that panel live to transportation routes?

    Private Fuel Storage Makes Surprise Request of Congress

    Private Fuel Storage continues to apply pressure and storm forward:

    Using the tactic of promoting money-savings, PFS has asked Congress to provide assistance in its efforts to store nuclear waste in Utah.

    Private Fuel Storage has asked Congress to consider allowing the Energy Department to become one of PFS’s clients and move nuclear waste to Utah, or at least reimburse utilities that choose to use the temporary storage site.

    The Deseret News Article contains statements from these lawmakers:

    The idea surprised Utah’s congressional delegation, which thinks it is a bad idea that most likely won’t go anywhere.

    “On more than one occasion, the administration has stressed that PFS is not part of the nation’s nuclear waste policy,” said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.
    Continue reading

    PFS Determined to Move Forward

    Private Fuel Storage, a consoritum of utility companies who now obtain a license to build a nuclear waste storage facility on the Goshute Reservation in Skull Valley in western Utah, has made it clear thatit will move forward and opponents can’t stop them, and in fact is downplaying any efforts being made by citizens in Utah, including the state of Utah.

    “We will get the fuel to the site because it’s a legal commodity, and we now have a license to receive it,” said Private Fuel Storage’s chairman John Parkyn.


    And get this:

    Parkyn said the Cedar Mountain reserve is not a real wilderness either, arguing that the wilderness is in the mountains and that the delegation just “drew a bubble” around the mountains to block the nuclear waste — an argument he says could matter later down the line.

    Not real wilderness? What does that mean? So now the PFS chair is an expert in wilderness issues?

    The state of Utah this week filed an updated challenge to the PFS proposal in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. It challenges the NRC’s license, issued to PFS last month.

    And Time magazine is reporting that PFS would pay the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians up to $100 million over 40 years for the right to operate its proposed repository on the band’s reservation.

    Jason Groenewold, director of the anti-nuclear group Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, said the $100 million figure is “pennies on the dollar, compared to liabilities the nuclear industry faces for keeping this waste where it’s generated. . . .
    “Given that the liabilities and risks are going to be the highest for those that live in Skull Valley, they got the short end of the stick.”

    (You can view the Time Magazine article at Utah’s Toxic Opportunity: SOME GOSHUTE INDIANS WANT TO CREATE A NUCLEAR-FUEL DUMP ON THEIR LAND. CONTROVERSIAL? OF COURSE)

    The PFS site would be a 40 year project to store up to half the nation’s spent fuel rods from nuclear energy facilities. After 40 years PFS would leave the project and there are no plans to maintain the site after that. Spent fuel/toxic waste takes tens of thousands of years to reach the point being “harmless” to life.

    It will be interesting to see if PFS chairman Parkyn gets his way. There is a lot of resistance to this project in our state and their are people who are willing to put their bodies on the line to do everything they can from preventing this project to move forward – including me.

    Good resources to reasearch and find more info in this issue are:

    HEAL Utah
    Shundahai Network

    (Dee’s ‘Dotes posts on PFS)

    Licensing Private Fuel Storage Moves Forward

    While our legislators are debating over clubs in schools, dictating what is to be taught by public school teachers (e.g., evolution vs. intelligent design), making decisions to build more roads (instead of putting the money towards better mass transportation), creating a tax structure that will benefit only the most wealthy of Utahns, and deciding to permit Envirocare to expand its toxic waste faciltiy to accept yet more toxic waste (against the outcry of citizens), Private Fuel Storage is edging its way closer to being able to open a facility in Utah’s west desert.

    Despite snags in its efforts to have a facility on the Goshute reservation to store spent nuclear fuel rods, Private Fuel Storage (PFS) is moving forward with obtaining its license.

    PFS has obtained a draft license that could become final by the end of this month, according to a Deseret News article today.

    This is going to be huge. The state is against it. The citizens oppose this. Stay tuned for updates on actions by various groups to stop PFS.

    Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area Bill Becomes Law

    Cautious optimism is in order. Bush put his stamp on a defense bill that includes declaring the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area to law. This would likely be a deterrent to nuclear waste being stored by Private Fuel Storage (PFS) on the Goshute Reservation in Tooele County, Utah.
    Continue reading