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Full Cost Accounting

On December 2, 2008, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition and the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes will release a precedent-setting, independent study on the long-term costs and environmental consequences of cleanup options for the West Valley nuclear waste site in Western New York.

View Report – December 2, 2008 Embargo
The Real Costs of Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste: A Full Cost Accounting of Cleanup Options for the West Valley Nuclear Waste

View Appendix A
Erosion & Control of Erosion at the West Valley Site

View Appendix B
Radioactive Exposure from the West Valley Site

View Appendix C
Potential Uncontrolled Release of Radioactive Waste

View National News Advisory

View News Release

View Fact Sheet 1:
Summary of Report Findings

View Fact Sheet 2:
History of West Valley

View Fact Sheet 3:
Severe Erosion Problems at West Valley

View Fact Sheet 4:
Drinking Water Costs and Public Health Impacts

View Fact Sheet 5:
Valuing the Future: The Viability of Institutional Controls Over 1,000 Years

View Fact Sheet 6:
List of Proposed Nuclear Reprocessing Facilities and Nuclear Reactors

This first-ever study is being released on the long-term cleanup costs for the West Valley nuclear waste site, located south of Buffalo, NY. West Valley represents a failed experiment: the country’s only commercial reprocessing facility closed as an economic failure in 1976. This new Full Cost Accounting Study compares the costs of digging up radioactive waste versus leaving buried waste onsite for the first 1,000 years. (The wastes will be dangerously radioactive for tens of thousands of years). Funded by the state of New York, the study was conducted by Synapse Energy Economics, Tufts University, SUNY Fredonia and Radioactive Waste Management Assoc. The study reveals onsite buried waste at the West Valley site is both high risk and expensive. Cleanup costs range from $10 billion to $27 billion or more. This is the first time a full cost accounting approach has been applied to a waste site cleanup project. The federal government and industry are currently considering the construction of similar reprocessing facilities in KY, IL, NM, OH, SC, TN and WA, as well as nuclear reactors in several states. National environmental groups recommend that the expensive cleanup costs at West Valley be factored into these proposals and urge reinvesting energy dollars into green energy that does not create expensive nuclear waste.