HELMS Proposal

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For New Visitors

Hello! Very glad to see you make it to this page to find out about the HELMS Proposal for storing nuclear waste around the country in a sensible way. First, let's agree on one thing. There is no really great way to deal with this waste. The nuclear industry created it, and they have really no good way to deal with it. With that said, there are some really bad ways to deal with it and some much better ways. We have to balance all the issues and promote a positive plan that will be as prudent as we can be, without relying on some future magic. As I frequently say, the favorite five words of the nuclear industry are "We'll figure it out later." The trouble is that it is later, now 20 years after they were supposed to first take the fuel, and it is sitting all around the country. HELMS is a plan to figure this out now, for the good of future generations, we must have a good plan that won't just start failing in a few decades with no backup plan.

  1. I hope you will take the time to read the HELMS document and the NRC filing (below) so you know what we are asking for.
  2. You might want to watch a tutorial video, I suggest this one from March 22, 2018:
  3. Sign the Public Support Petition: Click Here
  4. Comments to the NRC docket are no longer being accepted. Instead, use the Public Support Petition or for longer comments, send to raylutz@citizensoversight.org
  5. Continue to help by spreading the word! See Helms Campaign for specific instructions.
  6. The NRC process regarding rulemaking petitions is described here: https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/rulemaking/petition-rule.html


  • Hardened - Robust facilities that will resist simple surface attacks.
  • Extended-life - double-wall design of canisters to provide easy detection of cracks using pressure loss detection and sacrificial outer cask to resist corrosion.
  • Local - Move waste from precious water resources but not all the way across the country, to probably a dozen regional consolidated sites.
  • Monitored - Standard 7/24 electronic monitoring of critical parameters: temperature, radiation flux, airflow, etc.
  • Surface - Forget the deep geologic repository for probably the next 200 years so this waste can cool off.

Regarding nuclear waste, we view the likely near-term solution to be storage on or near the surface, in containers that can be easily and passively cooled, and which can be configured for long-term storage of up to 1000 years without any need to move the containers from that location, and which can be protected so as to be immune from terrorist attack.

At this point, we are seeking members of the public, researchers from academia, etc. to step forward to form a team which will determine design goals and accept various design ideas. The overall paradigm of the project in a particular vision of the future will be established on this topic page as it is enhanced. This is an active project which will be enhanced as new facts come to light, new ideas are put forward, and as the team performs its work.

HELMS Document

If the document does not display above, click here

NRC HELMS Petition Filing

If the document does not display above, click here

The Official Filing

  • ADAMS Accession number for the Petition (NRC Rule Changes): ML18022B210; the attachment (HELMS Proposal) ML18022B213
  • Docket Number for the Petition: PRM-72-8
  • Please submit comments of support starting on March 22, 2018, at this page: Click Here SORRY COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED June 5, 2018
  • Tracking page on NRC Website: Click Here
  • And also listed under PRM Dockets for 2018
  • To be published in the Federal Register on March 22; Public comments will be accepted for 75 days.
  • 2018-03-16 Response by NRC

HELMS Community Draft

A community Draft of this proposal has been prepared for review and comment. Please provide comments directly to raylutz@citizensoversight.org
  • This version was distributed to the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP) at the Nov 2, 2017 Meeting.
  • Version 8 of the Community Draft, updated for 11/15 conference call

Press Conference Prior to San Onofre Community Engagement Panel Meeting on Nov 2, 2017

Map of all the spent fuel storage

  • The official map of all the spent fuel storage is at this link: https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1723/ML17233A125.pdf (Updated August 2017)
    • The Colors: Purple means the ISFSI (independent spent fuel storage installation) is not within the isolation area of the plant, or is constructed separately. Some were licensed but have no fuel in them yet. The green ones are right next to a power plant. Interestingly, Diablo Canyon constructed their ISFSI up the hill quite a ways from the plant and pretty far from the water, relatively speaking, so it is purple.

Nuclear Industry has to admit there is a problem

Video(M1848) 2017-10-19 2017-10-19 Dry Cask Risks Not Known When Design Approved by NRC -- Diablo Canyon Ind. Safety Committee -- Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee, Ecological Options Network,


Comments on the NRC Petition and Helms Whitepaper

Name Date Description Link
Philip Couture 2018-06-04   Link
Cord Bauer 2018-06-04   Link
Anonymous 2018-06-04   Link
Kathleen Russell 2018-04-11   Link
Henry Hawthorn 2018-04-11   Link
Thomas Schneider 2018-04-11   Link
Rod Rodarte 2018-04-09   Link
Patricia Hamilton 2018-06-04   Link
Diana Borras 2018-04-11   Link
Donna Shanske 2018-06-04   Link
Anonymous 2018-04-09   Link
Ken Berg 2018-05-10   Link
Anonymous 2018-04-11   Link
Carolyn Jahan 2018-06-04   Link
Ken Berg 2018-05-10   Link
Elizabeth Myers-Chamberlin 2018-05-30   Link
Steve Hops 2018-04-11   Link
James Garb 2018-06-04   Link
Emily Corbett 2018-04-09   Link
Grant Garcia 2018-05-16   Link
Joan Holt 2018-06-04   Link
Steve Schlesinger 2018-04-11   Link
Frank Sloat 2018-06-04   Link
Yvette St. Onge 2018-06-04   Link
Meg Meltz 2018-05-16   Link
Teresa Kempner 2018-06-04   Link
Everett Nunnally 2018-04-11   Link
Janet Azarovitz 2018-06-04   Link
Paul Gardner 2018-05-30   Link

Summary of articles submitted (Add | All):

Number of topics: 29

Discussion List

See ListServe for all email discussion lists and to add more.

Goto Discussion

Sign the Public Support Petition: HelmsPetition

Please sign the HelmsPetition to support the Helms Proposal and to stop the use of thin, single-layer canisters for storing nuclear waste. Have we not learned anything from the Exxon-Valdez disaster?

Project Form edit

Project Name HELMS Proposal
Project Description Proposal realistic plan for safer nuclear waste storage on the surface using extended-life over casks.
Project Founder Ray Lutz
Project Curator Ray Lutz
Project Type Issue Oversight
Project Parents Helms Proposal, Nuclear Waste
Related Keywords Energy Policy, Nuclear Energy, Shutdown Diablo, Shut San Onofre, Stop Nuke Dump
Project Status Hot
Publish Status Published
Thumbnail Link
Forum Link https://www.facebook.com/citizensoversight/videos/1525583517536327/
List Serve Topic
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
03-16-18 Letter to Raymond Lutz, petitioner.pdfpdf 03-16-18 Letter to Raymond Lutz, petitioner.pdf manage 77 K 21 Mar 2018 - 21:59 Raymond Lutz Letter to petitioner regarding HELMS petition filing
03-16-18 PRM  72-8-1.pdfpdf 03-16-18 PRM 72-8-1.pdf manage 426 K 21 Mar 2018 - 21:57 Raymond Lutz Federal Register Text to be published on 3/22/2018
HELLMSS_document_V5.pdfpdf HELLMSS_document_V5.pdf manage 811 K 06 Nov 2017 - 22:57 Raymond Lutz HELLMSS-MELO Community Draft (Nov 2, 2017)
HELMS handout2.pdfpdf HELMS handout2.pdf manage 223 K 22 Mar 2018 - 03:44 Raymond Lutz HELMS handout, best if printed in color
HELMS_document_-_NRC_Petition_Version_v13.pdfpdf HELMS_document_-_NRC_Petition_Version_v13.pdf manage 1 MB 03 Jan 2018 - 01:02 Raymond Lutz HELMS document submitted with NRC 2.802 Petition
HELMS_document_V8.pdfpdf HELMS_document_V8.pdf manage 1 MB 15 Nov 2017 - 20:26 Raymond Lutz Community Draft V8 for 11/15 conference call
HELMS_document_V9.pdfpdf HELMS_document_V9.pdf manage 1 MB 15 Nov 2017 - 22:43 Raymond Lutz Community Draft V9 for 11/15 conference call
HelmsPoster.jpgjpg HelmsPoster.jpg manage 172 K 01 May 2018 - 01:47 Raymond Lutz Helms Poster (low res)
Maine_Yankee_Failed_Canister_Overpack_IMG_0299_rev.jpgjpg Maine_Yankee_Failed_Canister_Overpack_IMG_0299_rev.jpg manage 248 K 08 Nov 2017 - 20:13 Raymond Lutz Additional overpack used to enclose a failed canister (at Maine Yankee)
NRC_HelmsPetition_FINAL.pdfpdf NRC_HelmsPetition_FINAL.pdf manage 165 K 03 Jan 2018 - 01:03 Raymond Lutz NRC 2.802 Petition by Citizens Oversight
Topic revision: r30 - 20 Jun 2020, RaymondLutz
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