U.S. May Import German Atomic Waste, Citing Nonproliferation Goals

Global Security Newswire Staff
June 6, 2014, 9:58 a.m.

The United States is con­sid­er­ing ac­cept­ing a quant­ity of Ger­man nuc­le­ar waste for con­ver­sion in­to a pro­lif­er­a­tion-res­ist­ant form.

The U.S. En­ergy De­part­ment on Wed­nes­day said it would weigh the en­vir­on­ment­al im­plic­a­tions of ac­cept­ing Ger­man spent atom­ic fuel con­tain­ing highly en­riched urani­um — something the United States is thought to have nev­er done be­fore, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Un­der the pro­posed plan, a ship­ment of nearly 2,000 pounds of U.S.-ori­gin urani­um would be re­pat­ri­ated from Ger­many to the Sa­van­nah River Site in South Car­o­lina. The de­part­ment said it is in­ter­ested in con­vert­ing the spent fuel in­to a form that would be more dif­fi­cult to use in a nuc­le­ar weapon.

The Sa­van­nah River Site is de­vel­op­ing a pro­cess for re­mov­ing the urani­um in spent nuc­le­ar fuel.

Some op­pon­ents of the po­ten­tial waste trans­fer ar­gue that En­ergy has not put forth a de­tailed plan for how it will dis­pose of the ma­ter­i­al. “They’re pro­pos­ing to ex­tract the urani­um and re­use it as fuel by a pro­cess that has nev­er been done be­fore,” said Tom Cle­m­ents, who heads an anti-nuc­le­ar group that mon­it­ors the Sa­van­nah River Site.

“There’s no place to take high-level waste in the U.S.,” Cle­m­ents said. “Urani­um that is turned in­to com­mer­cial fuel is not con­tained in­side nuc­le­ar waste. It’s pure ma­ter­i­al.”

The Sa­van­nah River Site presently houses mil­lions of gal­lons of ra­dio­act­ive nuc­le­ar-arms waste held in con­tain­ers, which state of­fi­cials say are in danger of leak­ing in­to the nearby ground­wa­ter.

What We're Following See More »
Clinton Rips Into Trump
9 hours ago

Just a day after Donald Trump called her a bigot, Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing speech tying Trump to the KKK and so-called “alt-right.” This new frontier of debate between the two candidates has emerged at a time when Trump has been seeking to appeal to minority voters, among whom he has struggled to garner support. Calling him “profoundly dangerous,” Clinton didn’t hold back on her criticisms of Trump. “He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” Clinton said.

Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
14 hours ago
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
17 hours ago

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
2 days ago

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Trump Cancels Rallies
2 days ago

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.