Category Archives: Nuclear waste

BOMB PLANT NEWS | DOE Inspector General Issues Report Focuses on Questionable SRS Contractor Hiring Practices at (Mixed Oxide) MOX plant

Bomb Plant NewsViolating Contractors not Named, Penalties not Levied

{Note – Report makes weak suggestions for corrective action but I’m betting the focus is on poor Latino construction workers, which is a shame.

In its rush to build the costly SRS MOX plant, the unnamed MOX Contactor (Shaw Areva MOX Services) was found to be in violation of employment law and told by NNSA in a letter:  “The letter also notified the contractor that some of the subcontractors working on the Site were not complying with statutory requirements to verify that employees are U.S. citizens or are otherwise legally entitled to employment in the United States.”  (in Overview, page 2)} Tom Clements

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Text of e-mailed message from IG’s office:

Inspection of Employment Verification at Savannah River Site
INS-0-10-01

November 10, 2009

Our inspection found that not all Site subcontractors verified employment eligibility in accordance with Federal requirements. This condition allowed the possibility that individuals who are not eligible to work in the United States (U.S.) could be employed by Department subcontractors and potentially access the Site. We did not identify any weakness regarding unauthorized employees having access to the Site.

We specifically found that four subcontractors contacted during our inspection failed to utilize the I-9 Form to determine worker eligibility. Subsequent to our review, two of the four subcontractors stated that, as a result of our review, they have started using the I-9 Form. We also found that twenty-two percent (136) of the 600 I-9 Forms obtained from our sample of 21 Site subcontractors were missing key elements, including the subcontractor’s affirmation that the identity documentation was reviewed and appeared authentic; and, the employee’s signature to affirm that the employment information was correct; and, 16 subcontractor employees from a judgmental sample had social security numbers that may have been used by other individuals in the general population. We referred this matter to the Social Security Administration for further review.

In June 2008, an amendment to Executive Order 12989 required Federal contractors verify employee’s eligibility with an electronic employment verification system (E-Verify). E-Verify would provide immediate feedback to the employer concerning the eligibility status of the new hire including the validity of identification documents. We noted during our review that three subcontractors utilize the E-verify system to validate the authenticity of the employee’s information. One subcontractor indicated that if a discrepancy is noted by E-Verify, the employee is allowed three business days to address the discrepancy. In addition, we determined that a number of subcontractors accessed other internet-based databases which identify discrepancies regarding a social security number, date of birth, current address, and passports. We asked subcontractor officials who did not utilize the E-Verify or similar systems what indicators they used to determine if the documentation provided by an employee was authentic. In most cases, these officials told us that they conducted a visual inspection of the documentation for authentication. These officials also informed us that if an employee were to provide a fake social security card, the subcontractor officials would not be able to confirm its authenticity. We noted that the E-Verify system would identify a concern with the documentation. The increased use of E-Verify by the Site subcontractors will help to ensure that the identity documentation for employment belongs to the individual presenting them.

We recommend that the Manager, Savannah River Operations Office: Ensure contractors establish a method to notify existing and future subcontractors to comply with federal requirements related to employment verification; and, develop a process to notify contractors of the E-Verify system.

To view the full report, click on the following link:
http://www.ig.energy.gov/documents/INS-O-10-01.pdf

For more information, contact Felicia Jones –  felicia.jones@hq.doe.gov

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The French Connection: plutonium problems in France linked to Duke’s Catawba reactor & the Savannah River Site MOX plant

Hello Savannah River Site watchers –   

SRSOctober 16, 2009 –

 
You may have seen some news about a serious problem at a plutonium facility in Cadarche, France, which is under the control of the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA, French Atomic Energy Commission).  This facility, the Atelier de Technologie du Plutonium (ATPu), produced plutonium fuel (MOX) and is being cleaned out and decommissioned.  Due to poor accounting methods of the plutonium in the facility, it was discovered that the build-up of plutonium had reached amounts of concern for a nuclear criticality incident, which has been big news in France.  

Without going into more details, I wanted to remind you that the ATPu facility manufactured US test MOX fuel pellets which were inserted into “lead test assemblies” (LTAs) from US weapons-grade plutonium from Los Alamos which had been shipped by sea via the Charleston(SC) Nuclear Weapons Station.  The French-made MOX LTAs were shipped back via Charleston in 2005 and tested in Duke Energy’s Catawba Unit 1 reactor near Rock Hill, SC.  That test failed when the LTAs performed poorly and were withdrawn after two 18-month fueling cycle instead of the three 18-month cycles which were needed.  

The ATPu facility could well have a bit of US plutonium involved in the current incident, but it more importantly reveals just how easy it is to “lose” a serious amount of plutonium in a MOX facility, enough to cause a dreaded unplanned nuclear reaction.  (Are you paying attention, SRS MOX plant backers?)  

Now, with an outage of the Catawba Unit 1 reactor set to start around November 20, has the US plutonium cabal modified the French-manufactured MOX LTAs for reinsertion for that third cycle they missed?  Or, is Duke over with dealing with the shite MOX and now DOE has to continue to scramble to sucker other utilities, like TVA, into using MOX?

Have a plutonium-free day! Tom  Clement,  SRS -Action

News release on the Pu problem from the L’Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN)  – Nuclear Safety Authority:

http://www.asn.fr/incident-nuclear-facility-dealing-plutonium-technology-cea-cadarache-plant

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Alliance for Nuclear Accountability | Temporary Full-Time Job in WDC

DC Days Coordinator

Join a national grassroots network working to change environmental and national security policy on nuclear weapons and waste issues. The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) seeks a coordinator for our national DC Days, in our Washington, DC office. DC Days, which will be held from February 28 through March 3, will feature four days of training, education, and political advocacy that bring activists from around the country to Washington. The DC Days Coordinator will work to coordinate logistics of this event and recruit participants locally and nationally. The Coordinator will also attend meetings and hearings, assist in tracking legislation, and report to ANA members.Skills needed: excellent communications skills including verbal, written and computer; strong organizational skills; and commitment to grassroots organizing.  Knowledge of Congress and nuclear weapons and waste issues a plus.
 
Salary: $1600 per month salary for six months. No benefits are provided for this position.
To apply: Send a letter of interest, resume, three references, and a short (2-4 pages) recent writing sample by email to: nroth@ananuclear.org
 
Deadline 9/15/09                        
 
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Complete job description can be found at www.ananuclear.org

Susan Gordon – Alliance for Nuclear Accountability 903 W Alameda Street, #505 Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-473-1670 sgordon@ananuclear.org www.ananuclear.org

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Bomb Plant News | SRS Clean Up – Not Build Up : Speak out with us TOMORROW in N. Augusta!

Tuesday, August 18th  

The bombLocation: North Augusta, SC, at the N. Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave.

We want clean up –not build up!
 
“Nuclear weapons are inherently destructive of the environment in their possession, manufacture and use. Global and national security lie in U.S. leadership that works towards disarmament, environmental restoration and nuclear waste management.”  Georgia WAND

Now is the time! Your voice is needed!
 
You can and should let DOE know how you feel – So hop on the bus with Georgia WAND as we meet up in N. Augusta with Friends of the Earth and other groups to hold a press conference and then we will attend and speak out at the DOE meeting on the future mission of Savannah River Site, a US nuclear weapons production facility on the Georgia/South Carolina border.
 
12:30PM   Press Conference in N. Augusta, Georgia WAND, Friends of the Earth, etc other groups will be gathering. (Please bring brown bag lunch to eat prior to mtg as time allows) Signs welcome!!

1:00Pm – 5:00PM  Dept of Energy (DOE) meeting on the future missions of SRS >> Public testimony accepted. We hope everyone will speak out and get their voice heard.

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BOMB PLANT NEWS | SRS Urgent: Aug. 18 meeting on SRS “energy park” – pls attend!!

A-bombFrom Tom Clements:

Your presence will be needed for an August 18 meeting on the future uses of land at the Savannah River Site!

The meeting on an SRS “energy park” will be held on Tuesday, August 18, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the N. Augusta, SC municipal building.  This is when future uses of the site will be discussed, including for reprocessing, spent fuel storage, nuclear reactors and other dirty missions, as well as for other clean options.

At the August 18 meeting will be Mark Gilbertson, from Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters.  He is the one who in March urged contractors to pursue spent fuel storage and reprocessing for an SRS “energy park.”  Many have written letters to Energy Secretary Steven Chu about what he [Gilbertson] said and in his response he totally distanced himself from what he had said (and I heard). On August 18, we need to keep up the pressure of him and other contractors who have been trying to make decisions on an “energy park” in secret and without public input.

August 18 will be the public’s chance to have input into the “energy park” concept.  Community environmentalists are seeking to have as many members of the public in attendance as possible as the booster groups (SRS Community Reuse Organization, Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness) will likely be there in force.

We really need to get the public to this meeting so PLEASE mark your calendars.  The time is tentative but more info will follow when it’s finalized.

Stay tuned but please plan on attending on August 18. 

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SRS Education

From Bob Alvarez:

Here’s are a couple maps I put together a few years back that shows: (1) that SRS is near the epicenter of one of the most destructive earthquakes in U.S. history — not a good place to store the world’s largest inventory of mercury, much less the nation’s single largest concentration of high-level radioactive wastes; and (2) SRS sits atop the primary drinking water aquifer of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. (see below)
Damage Intensity MapHigh-level radio active waste

 

For more information contact Tom Clements:tomclements329@cs.com

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