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This is a terrible decision, involving dangerous waste transportation issues, environmental and public health hazard all along the route and to Texas residents, and finally a huge threat should contamination from the site reach the Ogallala aquifer which provides drinking water for several states, and runs beneath almost a quarter of the country's agricultural land.
WS Journal l Ana Campoy JANUARY 5, 2011
A Texas commission Tuesday set in motion the importation of low-level radioactive-waste from 36 other states, a move long sought by the nuclear-energy industry and long opposed by environmentalists.
The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, which manages the state's radioactive-waste dump, voted 5-2 to approve rules governing the process for accepting the out-of-state material.
The decision drew a quick response from the plan's opponents, some of whom opposed the idea because the site is near the Ogallala aquifer that provides drinking water to several states.
"We're going to consult with our lawyers and probably sue them," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group. Mr. Smith, who said the commission violated rules in the public-comment process...
Houston, you have a problem. Alpha radiation found in drinking water. In some places, higher than the legal government limit which is high already. Safe dose? There is none.
KHOU.com l Mark Greenblatt / 11 News I-Team Chief Investigative Reporter December 21, 2010
HOUSTON—A draft of a soon-to-be-released federal report shows radiation in Houston’s drinking water is much more widespread than city leaders previously disclosed to the public.
KHOU-TV has learned that the United States Geological Survey, which is a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, met with Houston officials in September to present the preliminary findings of a report they do not plan to publicly release until next month.
Those findings, as summarized in a chart created by the USGS and presented to Houston officials, reveal radiation is present in some amount in nearly every Houston groundwater well the USGS tested this spring. That finding is similar to a recently released chapter of the ongoing USGS study, which was based on 28 tests the USGS performed in 2007 and 2008. The USGS concluded, after examining those older tests, that "radioactivity generally was detectable in the water samples."
The study was carried out by Circle of Blue, a network of journalists and scientists dedicated to water sustainability, and could have implications not just for the relationship between energy demand and water scarcity in the U.S. but elsewhere in the world, as well. "It is not just that energy production could not occur without using vast amounts of water. It's also that it's occurring in the era of climate change, population growth and steadily increasing demand for energy," explained Circle of Blue's Keith Schneider, who presented the findings in Washington Wednesday.
"The result is that the competition for water at every stage of the mining, processing, production, shipping and use of energy is growing more fierce, more complex and much more difficult to resolve," he said. About half the 410 billion gallons of water the U.S. withdraws daily goes to cooling thermoelectric power plants, and most of that to cooling coal-burning plants, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Meanwhile, climate change is leading to decreased snowmelt, rains and freshwater supplies, says Circle of Blue. One of the things missing from the discussion, then, is the recognition that saving energy also saves water.
"We are about to see water wars in the future," said U.S. General Anthony Zinni. "We have seen fuel wars; we're about to see water wars."
It's time to stop thinking about efficiency as being synonymous with giving up something. If we waste things, by definition we no longer have them. Efficiency will allow us to live better lives, longer. How hard is that to understand?
Regulatory Roulette: The NRC's Inconsistent Oversight of Radioactive Releases from Nuclear Power Plants (09/2010)
NRC is Failing to Protect Public by Allowing Nuclear Plants to Leak Radioactive Water with Immunity, Report Finds
Union of Concerned Scientists l September 29, 2010
WASHINGTON (September 29. 2010) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) routinely fails to enforce its regulations prohibiting nuclear power plants from leaking radioactively contaminated water, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists... the NRC ignored more than two dozen contaminated water releases that have occurred since 2006. The agency did not issue any fines or impose any sanctions for these federal safety requirement violations.
David Kraft NEIS / August7, 2009
Nuclear Power won’t work in Global Warming World
An oft-repeated jibe against renewable energy sources like wind and solar power by (usually) smug nuclear power proponents is, “What are you going to do when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow?”
For the ump-teenth time since 1988, our organization has been forced to meet this mindless taunt with the starkly real rejoinder: “And what are YOU going to do when the rivers don’t flow?” For, just like in Illinois in 1988, 2005, and 2006; and throughout Europe several years this century, France -- the much heralded nuclear exemplar – is again facing a river water crisis that is forcing the shutdown of one-third of its entire nuclear power fleet.
Sometimes it is hard to remember as we focus on the things that are important to us, that everything is interconnected. We have seen, in the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a tragedy that affected wildlife, marine life, human life, and water.
Where do the pollutants from the worlds big industries and power plants go? Into the air, into the ground, and eventually, almost inevitably, into water. As it runs out, water is becoming commodified. China has contaminated their water, causing grain shortages. Now, they seek to buy it elsewhere. But, is water something that should be bought and sold? Or, is it a right of every living thing on this planet?