Upcoming Events about Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Waste
CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 1/3/14 through 1/10/14
(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:
- Upcoming Events about Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Waste
The coming weeks bring discussions and decisions about nuclear weapons and nuclear waste. We look forward with hope and trepidation. Citizen involvement, as always, will be very significant to the results. Congress will pass a $1 trillion spending bill; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be in New Mexico regarding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP); and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) will hold its semi-annual public meeting for the individual storm water permit.
Although a place and time has not been determined for the public meeting about the individual storm water permit, the LANL meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 22nd. Meeting topics may include a review of the data from last summer’s storms; an update about permit compliance; and an overview of upcoming public participation opportunities, including the annual report submitted to the EPA. LANL has a dedicated website for the storm water permit where you can sign up to receive meeting information. http://www.lanl.gov/community-environment/environmental-stewardship/protection/compliance/individual-permit-stormwater/index.php]
The EPA will be hold an informal public meeting about the proposed rule for the redesign of the WIPP panel closures in Albuquerque, likely on Wednesday, January 22nd. Instead of installing a concrete monolith and mortared explosion walls, the Department of Energy (DOE), owner of WIPP, has proposed to install a Run-of-Mine Salt Panel Closure System. The proposed design will use the mined salt and steel bulkheads to seal the filled waste panels. DOE claims that the new Panel Closure System will cost less and will reduce the impacts on waste emplacement, even though it is a much less robust barrier to prevent releases from closed panels. A 60-day public comment period closes on February 3, 2014. For more information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/radiation/news/wipp-news.html
Congress is working on a $1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill, the result of the budget agreement by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan. Both houses of Congress must pass the omnibus bill by January 16th in order to avoid another government shutdown.
Nuclear weapons programs may be subject to additional cuts or increased funding. Two major funding issues for LANL and Sandia are the DOE plans to spend more than $10 billion on 400 B-61 nuclear bombs and possible funding for a new design of the proposed Nuclear Facility for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project at LANL. In the new Defense Authorization bill, Congress allowed a “modular building strategy as an alternative to the [CMRR] replacement project,” that would be operational by 2027, and would meet the “requirements for maintaining the nuclear weapons stockpile over a 30-year period.”
CCNS will keep you posted about these and other nuclear weapons and waste issues.
This has been the CCNS News Update. To learn more, please visit our website at nuclearactive.org and like us on Facebook.