Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2014
COLUMBIA, South Carolina — As the Department of Energy (DOE) comes closer to finalizing plans to accept highly radioactive used commercial reactor fuel from Germany at its Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, watchdog groups are becoming increasingly concerned that SRS is quietly becoming the world’s nuclear dumping ground — despite serious safety and contamination concerns.
In addition to the potential transport of German waste to the site, SRS is slated to receive or has already received waste from Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, and perhaps other countries yet to be identified, such as Japan. According to the group SRS Watch, SRS will soon import almost 7,000 gallons of liquid high-level waste from the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada, adding to an already volatile liquid waste tank system onsite. The Ottowa Citizen discovered secret shipments of foreign plutonium to the site in February and March of this year. Japan is planning to transfer highly enriched uranium and plutonium to the US, and with the closure of the WIPP cite in New Mexico and no plans for a high-level waste disposal facility, that waste is likely to be dumped at SRS as well.
SRS is located on an earthquake fault and a large aquifer, with sandy soil and high levels of rain. SRS Watch Director Tom Clements, who claims the waste is a DOE strategy to keep the SRS open, says, “The SRS already has more nuclear waste than it knows how to deal with.”
— Atlanta Progressive News, June 9, 2014