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« WCS has requested that NRC restart its licensing proceeding for a CISF in Andrews County, TX | Main | Help stop environmentally unjust highly radioactive waste dump in NM! Continue submitting public comments to NRC! »
Thursday
May312018

Get your community to pass a resolution opposing CISFs, and the Mobile Chernobyls they would launch across the country!

***Good news update! Bernalillo County, New Mexico, home to the state's largest city, Albuquerque, passed a resolution on June 12 opposing Holtec. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote of 4 to 0! As soon as the official text of the resolution is available, we will post a link to it here.***

The groundswell of resistance against Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's proposed centralized interim storage facility (CISF) for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel has included resolutions (sometimes called memorials), passed by elected bodies of local government.

For example, New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque, passed a city council memorial against the Holtec/ELEA CISF on May 21, 2018.

The city of Jal, in NM's southeast corner which is targeted for the Holtec/ELEA CISF, passed a resolution against the scheme on May 29, 2018.

But the first municipality in NM to pass a resolution against the Holtec/ELEA CISF was Lake Arthur, also in the southeastern corner of the state, on September 7, 2017.

Please urge your city council, county commission, and even state legislature to consider passing a resolution or similar measure in opposition to Holtec/ELEA's CISF, and the high-risk, highly radioactive waste trucks, trains, and/or barges it would launch by the many thousands, over the course of decades. You can use the NM resolutions above as models, which your elected officials can use to write their own resolutions.

But you can also use resolutions passed by Texas communities as models for resolutions in your area. These were passed last year, in opposition to another CISF, this one called Waste Control Specialists, LLC in Andrews County, west Texas. Although the licensing proceeding for WCS's CISF was suspended last summer, as Bloomberg Environment has reported, that licensing proceeding could restart in June 2018:

Nuclear services company Orano USA [formerly known as Areva, the U.S. arm of the French government owned nuclear giant] and Waste Control Specialists will ask regulators in June to resume reviewing an application to bring used fuel to a site that already stores low-level waste. The focus is on fuel from shuttered reactors, said Jeff Isakson, CEO of the joint venture Interim Storage Partners.

Thanks to the website No Nuclear Waste Aqui (Aqui means "here" in Spanish) for providing these links to the Texas resolutions:

County Resolutions:

Holtec/ELEA's CISF would involve significantly more highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel than would the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada permanent burial dump, under current law. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as Amended, limits the Yucca dump to a total of 70,000 Metric Tons of highly radioactive waste, only 63,000 MT of which could be commercial irradiated nuclear fuel.

By contrast, the Holtec/ELEA CISF could store as much as 173,600 MT of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, or nearly three times as much as current law would allow at the Yucca dump!

Transport impacts across the country, from the high-risk shipment (by truck, train, and/or barge) of irradiated nuclear fuel, would thus be that much worse in relation to the Holtec/ELEA CISF than they would be for the Yucca, NV dump.

If also constructed and operated, the WCS CISF in w. TX would add up to another 40,000 MT of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel onto the roads, rails, and/or waterways, bound for the TX/NM borderlands. Holtec/ELEA and WCS are only 40 miles away from each other, across the state line!

The State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects has published the following route maps, and shipment numbers, in the context of the 70,000 MT Yucca dump. You'll see that 44 states, many major cities, and 330 of the 435 U.S. congressional districts across the country would be impacted by Yucca-bound shipments:

While NV-bound, and TX/NM borderlands-bound, waste shipments would not follow the exact same routes, the further away from the American Southwest that waste shipments originate, the more similar or even identical would be the initial routing for waste exports -- as from atomic reactors on the East and West Coasts, as well as the Midwest and Southeast. Only as the shipments came closer to their final destination (NV, or TX/NM), would the routes then diverge. So the Yucca-bound route maps above give a good idea, in many parts of the country, as to the routes that NM- or TX-bound waste shipments would also follow.

All that said, that is not even the whole story about transport risks. There is also the potential for very large numbers of high-risk barge shipments on surface waterways -- on the oceans, along seacoasts; on rivers; on the Great Lakes. See these backgrounders. Although these particular barge shipment routes are in the context of the Yucca dump, these very same waterways could and would be used for barge shipments invovled in the NM/TX CISF schemes.

And check out these resolutions, passed decades ago in the fight against the Yucca dump:

Get your local community to pass a resolution opposing nuclear waste shipments through it! - Sample Resolution

Several jurisdictions have passed resolutions or taken other action against dangerous and unnecessary radioactive waste transportation based on the sample below. These include:

(5/28/1996);

  • United Transportation Union (2/25/1999) ;
  • Gary, IN 6/1/1999;

These are posted at this archived NIRS website (see the right hand side margin).

Note that many, but not all, of the listed resolutions above have hot links. So pass your cursor over the name of the municipality, and click through to see the resolution, for many (but not all) of them.

Although dated and in need of updating, as well as "translation" from the Yucca issue to the current CISF issue in TX/NM, they can nonetheless provide more sample language for the composing of resolutions in your community! (We also need resolutions against the Yucca dump and the Mobile Chernobyls it would launch, as pro-Yucca dump advocates strive to resurrect that zombie nuke waste dump!)

As the archived NIRS site reads:

If you know of others which already have taken action, let us know. Join the fun, get your local government to pass a resolution too.

(Just to show how powerful such resolution campaigns can be, check out the work of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump. At last count, STGLND had gathered 230 resolutions, representing 23.4 million people in the Great Lakes region, in opposition to Ontario Power Generation's scheme to bury "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes on the shore of the Great Lakes. This resolutions drive has been an essential part of staving off, thus far, this insane proposal, which would put at risk the drinking water supply for 40 million people in numerous U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations. Learn more about this issue at STGLND's website, as well as at Beyond Nuclear's CANADA website section. We need to build the same momentum against CISFs, by passing resolutions all along the transport routes across the U.S.!)