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Purpose Radioactive Wastes Broaden the focus on chemicals to wider issues of energy Introduce the role of the state in making public policy Threads of.

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Presentation on theme: "Purpose Radioactive Wastes Broaden the focus on chemicals to wider issues of energy Introduce the role of the state in making public policy Threads of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Purpose Radioactive Wastes Broaden the focus on chemicals to wider issues of energy Introduce the role of the state in making public policy Threads of public policy

2 Radioactive Wastes spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactorsspent nuclear fuel Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing: U.S. Policy Development – Megatons to MegawattsNuclear Fuel Reprocessing: U.S. Policy DevelopmentMegatons to Megawatts transuranic radioactive waste mainly from manufacture of nuclear weapons Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) EPA Oversight of facilityWaste Isolation Pilot PlantEPA Oversight of facility uranium mill tailings from the mining and milling of uranium oreuranium mill tailings low-level radioactive waste, generally in the form of radioactively contaminated industrial or research waste – mixed wastemixed waste naturally occurring radioactive material Radioactive Protection ProgramsRadioactive Protection Programs (EPA) Radioactive Waste ManagementRadioactive Waste Management (EPA)

3 Contaminated soil and water The United States currently has at least 108 sites designated as areas that are contaminated and unusable Department of EnergyDepartment of Energy has a goal of cleaning all presently contaminated sites successfully by 2025 The task can be difficult and it acknowledges that some will never be completely remediated At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, there were for example at least "167 known contaminant release sites" in the 37,000-acre siteOak Ridge National Laboratory Some of the U.S. sites were smaller in nature, however, and cleanup issues were simpler to address, and the DOE has successfully cleaned up several sites

4 Radiation Sources Smoke detectors Food irradiation Mail irradiation Tobacco smoke

5 Nuclear Industry United States Government Nuclear Data Nuclear Data (Energy Information Administration) Nuclear Energy Institute Nuclear Energy Institute - objective is to ensure the formation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the United States and around the world – membersmembers

6 State Government Legislative Material Executive Material Governor’s Office Executive Agencies Judicial Material Minnesota Legislative Reference Library Minnesota State Law Library House Publications Senate Publications

7 “The 431 nuclear power plants now operating in the world probably will be a historic peak. We still will accumulate nuclear wastes that we have no idea how to handle. It will remind hundreds of future generations of out 50-year burst of irresponsible enthusiasm for this technology” (Donella Meadows, Sustainability Institute, Aug 23, 2000) Highly radioactive wastes have been accumulating at individual power plants ever since they were licensed The federal government has assumed responsibility for developing and maintaining a national repository for these wastes Until a permanent repository is found states and American Indian bands have been asked to create Independent Storage Sites

8 Private Fuels LLC A group of eight electric utility companies that have partnered with the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians to build and operate a safe, clean, temporary facility to store spent nuclear fuel rods from commercial power plants on the Indian Tribe's reservation in Skull Valley, Utah Received a license September 2005 Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management not given approval Utah litigated PFS’s application before the NRC from 1997 through 2006 Utah has appealed NRC licensing decisions to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Utah is prepared to file legal challenges to any BLM or BIA approvals to PFS

9 Advantages of Nuclear Power Clean air benefits Nuclear energy avoided carbon dioxide emissions in Minnesota of 2.99 million metric tons of carbon in 2000, and 70 million metric tons since 1971 During 2000, Minnesota's nuclear power units displaced approximately 70,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 41,000 tons of nitrogen oxide Virtually accident-free

10 August 30, 1954 —President Eisenhower signs the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, the first major amendment of the original Atomic Energy Act, giving the civilian nuclear energy program further access to nuclear technology December 2, 1957 —The first full-scale nuclear power plant at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, goes into service August 26, 1964 —President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Private Ownership of Special Nuclear Materials Act, which allows the nuclear energy industry to own the fuel for its units. After June 30, 1973, private ownership of the uranium fuel is mandatory April 7, 1977 —President Jimmy Carter announces a new policy banning reprocessing of used nuclear fuel October 8, 1981 —President Ronald Reagan's administration lifts the ban on reprocessing used nuclear fuel and announces a policy that anticipates the need for a high-level radioactive waste storage facility Jan. 14, 1994 — the U.S. signs a contract to buy uranium from the Russian Federation that could be blended down into power plant fuel

11 The Nuclear Two-Step in Minnesota (or where have all the Yuccas gone?) In 1994 the Minnesota legislature allowed Northern State Power Company to increase nuclear waste storage at its Prairie Island nuclear station At the time it was thought that the plant could continue operating until 2007 (at which time the federal government would have created a permanent nuclear waste repository and Minnesota would have increased its renewable energy supplies) In 2003 Xcel Energy, the successor to NSP, is seeking to expand its waste storage again to allow continued operations until the federal license expires in 2013 or is extended, until the federal government opens the Yucca Mountain site, or until ….

12 Government Involvement in the Production of Goods and the Provision of Services Public Private 1.Under coercion Regulation Financial Incentive – taxation, loan, infrastructure construction 2. Without any coercion – “free market” - doesn’t exist There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

13 Federal Energy Policy Legal Controls on the Behavior of Entities Involved in Producing, Transporting, Marketing, and Using Energy The threads of public policy The path of control Statutes (Statutory law) Rules (Administrative law) Court Cases (Judicial law) Statutes interpreted by the courts Rules interpreted by the courts Federal government State government

14 The Energy Policy Act of 2005 The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L ) President signs Energy Policy Act 551 pages long!!!! Enacted July 29, 2005 and signed into law August 8, 2005 The Act attempts to combat growing energy problems, provides tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types Wikipedia

15 Energy Flow, 2005


17 Resources US CodeUS Code – where is energy legislation? Code of Federal Regulations Department of Energy Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Federal Energy Regulatory Commission US Nuclear Regulatory Commission EPA Radiation and Radioactivity Xcel Energy Nuclear Management Company Institute for Local Self-Reliance Nuclear PowerNuclear Power (Fresh Energy) Minnesota Statutes Nuclear Power Emergency Public Utilities Commission responsibility Environmental Quality Board Public Utilities CommissionPublic Utilities Commission - rulesrules EQBEQB - rulesrules EQB Energy Facility Docket Prairie Island Nuclear Waste Storage Prairie Island Nuclear Waste Storage (Minnesota Legislative Reference Library)

18 Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 "An Act to provide for the development of repositories for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, to establish a program of research, development, and demonstration regarding the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel...." Public Law , January 7, 1983, 96 Stat. 2201, amended by Public Law , December 22, 1987, and The Energy Policy Act of 1992, Public Law , October 24, Generally classified to 42 U.S.C et seq.

19 Federal legislation mandates a centralized geologic repository The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and its 1987 amendments require the U.S. Department of Energy to locate, build and operate a deep, mined geologic repository for high-level waste locate, build and operate a "monitored retrievable storage" facility develop a transportation system that safely links U.S. nuclear power plants, the interim storage facility, and the permanent repository The Act established the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management within DOE, headed by a presidential appointeeOffice of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management

20 The Nuclear Waste Policy Act provided for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to approve all DOE activities under the act, and license all facilities and transportation containers The Act also provided for the Environmental Protection Agency to set radiation standards for the repository In addition, the Act created the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, comprising 10 members appointed by the president from nominations made by the National Academy of Sciences, to serve as an independent source of expert advice on the technical and scientific aspects of DOE’s waste disposal program

21 To pay for a permanent repository, an interim storage facility, and the transportation of used fuel, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act established the Nuclear Waste Fund The generators’ would bear the costs of permanent disposal Since 1982, electricity consumers have paid into the fund a fee of one-tenth of a cent for every nuclear-generated kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed By the end of the twentieth century, customer commitments plus interest totaled more than $16 billion Utilities have sued the Department of Energy for failing to meet its obligation, as dictated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, to remove waste from individual sites by 1998 In August 2000, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court ruling allowing utility companies to sue DOE to recoup costs associated with storing spent fuelupheld a lower court ruling

22 Originally, DOE selected nine locations in six states that met its criteria for consideration as potential repository sites Following preliminary technical studies and environmental assessments of five sites, DOE chose three in 1986 for intensive study: Yucca Mountain, Nev.; Deaf Smith County, Texas; and Hanford, Wash. After extensive environmental assessments of all three sites, Congress, in its 1987 amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, eliminated two of the three sites from further consideration and designated Yucca Mountain as the site to be studied The Federal government’s total efforts to studying and constructing a depository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

23 In 1987, DOE announced a five-year delay in the opening date for a centralized repository, from 1998 to 2003 In December 1998, in conjunction with the release of the Viability Assessment for Yucca Mountain, DOE announced a detailed schedule intended to result in the opening of a repository in 2010, should the Yucca Mountain site be selected – a selection that was due in 2001 On January 10, 2002, the Secretary of Energy formally notified the Governor of Nevada, as required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, that he intends to recommend the Yucca Mountain site The Secretary concluded that "the Yucca Mountain site is scientifically sound and suitable for development as the nation’s long-tem geological repository for nuclear waste, which will help ensure America’s national security and secure disposal of nuclear waste, provide for a cleaner environment, and support energy security." EPA recently certified the site as safe for 100,000 years!!!!

24 At present, the repository is at lease 12 years behind schedule, no site has been selected for an interim storage facility and the federal government has defaulted on a long-standing obligation to begin moving used fuel for the nation’s nuclear plants by January 1998

25 Yucca Mountain Repository State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects

26 Nuclear Power in Minnesota Nuclear power supplies 26.3 percent of the electricity generated in Minnesota Three reactors are licensed to operate until 2010 and Two are located at Prairie Island, an island in the Mississippi River, which is also occupied by the Mdewakanton Dakota Community There are 872 metric tons of nuclear fuel stored in the state More than three-quarters of Prairie Island is less than 25 feet above the Mississippi River which is 1-3 miles wide and bounded on each side by 360 foot limestone and sandstone bluffs

27 Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant The plant generates about 20 percent of the power used by Xcel It has been operating since 1973 Licensed by the federal government to operate until 2013 and 2014 The plan envisioned using 17 steel casks authorized by the 1994 Legislature to allow its operation through 2007 NSP is attempting to move spent fuel out of Minnesota to keep the plant running at least until its licenses expire The City of Red Wing receives over $12 million in property tax from the plant every year Prairie Island Mdewakanton Sioux NSP has sought to expand storage space for wastes since 1990

28 Minnesota Laws 1994, chapter 641 Authorized NSP to create an Independent Fuel Storage Installation at its Prairie Island nuclear power plant to store spent nuclear fuel in 17 above-ground casks 5 casks immediately 4 more casks if by December 31, 1996, the company has filed a license application with the NRC for a spent nuclear fuel storage facility elsewhere in Goodhue county is continuing to make a good faith effort to implement the site, and has constructed, contracted for construction and operation, or purchased installed capacity of 100 megawatts of wind power in addition to wind power under construction or contract 8 more if the legislature has not revoked the authorization above, or the company has satisfied the wind power and biomass mandate requirements, and the alternative site in Goodhue county is operational or under construction

29 Minnesota Laws 1994, chapter 641 If the alternative site is not under construction or operational or the wind mandates are not satisfied, the legislature may revoke the authorization for the additional eight casks by legislation enacted before June 1, 1999 Required the company create a renewable development account -$500,000 each year for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is located at Prairie Island after January 1, 1999 Required moving waste when a federal repository available The Mdewakanton Dakota were made a third-party beneficiary with standing to enforce any agreements between the state and NSP

30 Minnesota Laws 1994, chapter 641 Wind mandate, to construct and operate, contract to construct and operate, or purchase 225 megawatts of “electric energy installed capacity generated by wind energy conversion systems” (AKA “wind turbines”) by December 31, 1998 to construct and operate, purchase, or contract to purchase an additional 400 megawatts of “electric energy installed capacity generated by wind energy conversion systems” by December 31, 2002 in June 2000 NSP announced RFP for 80 megawatts of wind energy which completed commitment to place 425 megawatts of wind generation resources in service by the end of 2002 (NSP first included wind power in its generation mix in 1986)

31 Minnesota Laws 1994, chapter 641 Biomass mandate, to construct and operate, purchase, or contract to construct and operate 50 megawatts of electric energy installed capacity generated by farm grown closed- loop biomass by December 31, 1998, and an additional 75 megawatts of installed capacity so generated by December 31, 2002

32 In 1997 NSP signed an agreement with Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers to purchase 75-MW of electricity produced from alfalfa In 1998 NSP signed agreements to purchase 25 megawatts of electricity produced from biomass St. Paul Cogeneration, LLC will use tree trimmings, wood chips, and demolition waste wood EPS/Beck Power LLC will build a new generating facility near St. Peter that will to burn hybrid poplars The agreements fulfills the company's obligation to contract for 125 MW of electric generating capacity fueled by biomass energy In the Matter of Northern States Power Company’s Petition for...

33 September 2000 Xcel Energy Inc. fulfilled the 1994 requirement Agreed to purchase 125 megawatts of biomass-generated power from plant using poultry litter poultry litter Minnesota's Biomass Mandate: An Assessment Minnesota's Biomass Mandate: An Assessment (Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 2005)

34 Minnesota Laws 2003, 1st Special Session, chapter 11 Settlement with Mdewakanton Dakota Renewable Development Account Renewable Energy Production Incentives Wind Power mandate Biomass mandate

35 Coal Gasification The 1,000-megawatt Mesabi Energy Project would be the largest power plant of its kindMesabi Energy Project Turns coal into a gas that fires the power plant's boilers Coleman voted for an energy bill that allows oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, if the bill also includes hundreds of millions of dollars for the new Mesabi Energy power plant State lawmakers approved a package giving Mesabi Energy a fast track around some state regulations to construct the plant and power lines A purchase agreement guarantees a buyer for about half the plant's proposed electric output Excelsior Energy debate goes publicExcelsior Energy debate goes public (MPR, August 2006 ) Crunch time for coal-gas plantCrunch time for coal-gas plant (Star Tribune, April )

36 Nuclear Waste Dry Cask StorageNuclear Waste Dry Cask Storage (Minnesota House) Minnesota regulators approve additional storage for nuclear power plant Minnesota regulators approve additional storage for nuclear power plant (MPR) Minnesota EQB Radioactive Waste Program Nuclear Waste Transportation RoutesNuclear Waste Transportation Routes (Nevada) Links to the World - EnergyLinks to the World - Energy (Minnesota Legislative reference Library)

37 On Nov 7, 2006 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it had renewed Xcel’s Monticello nuclear plant’s operating license for an additional 20 years, to 2030 In September, 2006 the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s request for a Certificate of Need to authorize construction and operation of a dry spent fuel storage facility at the Monticello plant The additional storage is needed to accommodate plant operation after 2010 In 2004, Xcel estimated the present-value cost of turning to coal-fed power plants to replace the Monticello reactor would range from about $900 million to more than $3 billion over two decades

38 Big Stone Power Plant HF Minnesota - Biomass fuel stoves sales tax exemption... Minnesota Biomass Center Minnesota Power announces biomass energy initiative

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