U.S. Energy Secretary suggests “U.S. nuclear waste backlog could be eased by private disposal”

The United States could alleviate growing stockpiles of nuclear waste at U.S. power plants by allowing private companies to dispose of it and foster support for new nuclear projects, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

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Ernest Moniz

“We would like to have the authority for publicly owned and operated (storage) facilities. We are also very much interested in the possibility of pursuing private storage […]”

Read the full article by (Timothy Gardner (Reuters)

However, putting nuclear waste in the hands of the private sector is probably not the brightest of ideas. Does satisfying the shareholder sit comfortably alongside the imperative issue of “safety above all else”? It is also fairly obvious that where there are big bucks to be made in the disposal of waste by the private sector, organised criminal activity will not be far away and along with other seriously toxic substances, nuclear waste will almost certainly fall into the wrong hands. An example of this is in southern Italy, where according to a report in The Telegraph earlier this year, the Mafia is responsible for an environmental disaster for the people of Campania.

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A rubbish dump in a rural area outside Naples where the Mafia dumped toxic (including nuclear) waste. Photo courtesy of Eyevine

The problem goes back to a devastating Italian earthquake that left almost 3,000 people dead and 280,000 homeless in November 1980.

Billions of pounds in aid poured in, although most ended up in the wrong pockets. Rebuilding the ruined roads and buildings boosted Mafia profits, since they dominated construction in the region – a handy way to launder profits from drugs and prostitution.

As cash flowed in, the clans expanded interests into areas such as quarrying, which provided raw materials for their work.

Then an enterprising businessman with gangland links who owned several waste dumps realised big money could be made hiding industrial waste amid domestic detritus.

One Mafia kingpin even claimed trucks drove from Germany carrying nuclear waste to dumps in Campania.”

The story of this illegal waste disposal stains Italy. It reveals the dark side of capitalism, with allegations of state complicity, cover-ups by police, politicians and prosecutors.

Read the full article in the The Telegraph the Mafia is disposing of toxic waste.

 

 

 

 

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