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Centralized Storage

With the scientifically unsound proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump now canceled, the danger of "interim" storage threatens. This means that radioactive waste could be "temporarily" parked in open air lots, vulnerable to accident and attack, while a new repository site is sought.

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Sunday
Mar122017

Sample "spank you" letter of concern to U.S. Senator(s) who voted in favor of Rick Perry's confirmation as Energy Secretary

March ______, 2017

Dear Senator _________________________,

I am writing to express my deep concerns regarding your vote, on March 2nd, in favor of the confirmation of former Texas governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary. Perry has a blatant conflict of interest regarding the Waste Control Specialists, LLC (WCS) radioactive waste dump in West Texas. WCS’s owner, Harold Simmons, infamously nicknamed the “King of Superfund Sites,” was a major Perry campaign contributor, to the tune of $1.25 million. (Although Simmons died in late 2013, his family still owns WCS.) Perry and his appointees, in return, provided WCS every expansion permit it requested. Perry even travelled to West Texas, promoting WCS’s biggest expansion yet – to become a centralized interim storage site for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel.

Perry did all this, despite very serious environmental justice concerns at the WCS site. The surrounding communities in West Texas, and immediately adjacent Southeast New Mexico, include a large percentage of Latin American residents, and a significant proportion of low-income residents. These communities are already heavily burdened with pollution from fossil fuel (oil extraction and fracked natural gas), nuclear (uranium enrichment), and other hazardous industries.

WCS also puts at risk the Ogallala Aquifer. Stretching from Texas to South Dakota, it is North America’s largest, providing vital drinking and irrigation water to millions, across eight states on the High Plains.

Now, as Energy Secretary, Perry would sign the contract obligating federal taxpayers to pay WCS billions of dollars to construct and operate a de facto permanent parking lot dump for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel and highly radioactive waste.

The WCS “centralized interim storage facility” would also immediately transfer unlimited liability for the wastes, from the companies that generated it (and hugely profited thereby), onto the backs of federal taxpayers, without any linkage to an operating permanent geologic repository. This linkage has been a wise requirement under federal law (the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as Amended) for decades. The linkage has been a safeguard against a supposedly temporary storage site being abandoned in place, as de facto permanent disposal, albeit one most dangerously located at the surface, at a site never determined to be suitable for such a high-risk gamble.

The WCS scheme would also inevitably launch high-risk “Mobile Chernobyl” truck and/or train shipments through most states nationwide, and could even launch “Floating Fukushima” barge shipments on surface waters (lakes, rivers, and seacoasts).

For these reasons, I re-emphasize my deep concern with your vote to confirm Perry as Energy Secretary. I urge you to seek ways to address now-Energy Secretary Perry’s blatant conflict of interest re: WCS, and the risks it creates for taxpayer pocketbooks, as well as the health, safety, and environment of millions of Americans.

Sincerely,

Your name

Your address

Your street

Your city, state     Your zip code

Your phone #

Monday
Mar062017

Spent Power Reactor Fuel: Pre-Disposal Issues

Robert Alvarez of the Institute for Policy Studies has prepared a power point presentation (click here for .pptx version; click here for .pdf version) re: the many costs, risks, and liabilities of irradiated nuclear fuel "interim storage" -- most to all of which, the public will be burdened with.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acknowledged that highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel remains hazardous for a million years. Thus, it must be kept isolated from the living environment for that entire time period. Otherwise, a catastrophe would unfold. This applies to "interim storage," whether on-site (in pools or dry casks) at the atomic reactors where it was generated in the first place, as well as to away-from-reactor storage, and even permanent disposal, sites.

Such costs, risks, and liabilities are very relevant to proposed centralized interim storage facilities, such as the one targeted at WCS, TX.

Tuesday
Feb282017

Take Action Against WCS De Facto Permanent Parking Lot Dump in West Texas!

See the Public Citizen web form action alert;

See the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) web form action alert;

See Beyond Nuclear's (and SEED Coalition of TX's) action alert (sample comments you can use to write your own).

Comments had been due by March 13th, but the deadline has now been extended to April 28th. However, please comment ASAP, and more than once, if you have time, on multiple of the many facets of this issue!

Thursday
Feb232017

Nuclear waste in Trump's hands?

Action alert from Allison Fisher, Public Citizen:

A private, for-profit company with ties to the Trump administration is trying to take over our nation’s stockpile of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

Tell government officials: Do NOT hand over responsibility for storing nuclear waste to a private, for-profit company.

Take action now.

Let’s play connect-the-dots:

  • A private, for-profit company called Waste Control Specialists wants to be entrusted with storing our country’s extremely hazardous nuclear waste.
  • The company can’t launch this potentially disastrous privatization scheme without approval from the U.S. Department of Energy and Congress.
  • Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of Energy is former Texas governor and repeat Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.
  • Perry — infamously — advocated eliminating the Department of Energy altogether (once he remembered its name) during a presidential debate.
  • When he was governor, Perry signed legislation for a similar scheme with Waste Control Specialists in Texas.
  • The owner of Waste Control Specialists at the time was one of Perry's biggest funders, with more than $1.3 million in campaign contributions.

Do you trust a private, for-profit company to never cut corners while handling highly radioactive nuclear waste for decades to come?

Join Public Citizen in urging the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reject this unbelievably dangerous proposal.

Thanks for taking a stand against the Trump Regime.

Onward,

Allison Fisher
Public Citizen’s Climate and Energy Program

Thursday
Feb232017

NIRS: Tell the NRC: NO Deadly Nuclear Waste Transport Across the US!!!

The text of the NIRS action alert:

Dear Friend,

Thousands of shipments of deadly, cancer-causing, high-level radioactive waste could be transported on trains, trucks, and barges through major cities in your state, and across the country, if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses an uneccessary nuclear waste dump in West Texas. 

The clock is ticking for public input!

Waste Control Specialists (WCS), in Andrews County, Texas, is seeking to expand its existing hazardous waste site to include high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants across the country. If approved, 40,000 tons of irradiated fuel rods from nuclear reactors around the country could be transported through major cities and farmlands to be stored for 40 years or longer on a concrete pad, creating a de facto permanent disposal facility at a site that has not been designed or evaluated for permanent isolation. 

We need your comments in opposition to the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) Consolidated "Interim" Storage waste dump site in West Texas now!

Tell the NRC we don't want WCS's high-level radioactive waste transport!

Do It Now!

The communities near WCS are largely Latino and lack the resources to fight off a national radioactive waste dump. WCS's unprecedented, illegal high-level radioactive Consolidated "Interim" Storage dump would be near the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides vital drinking and irrigation water to much of the Central United States. 

The NRC must conduct safety and environmental reviews before it decides whether to approve the dump application. Hundreds of Texas and New Mexico residents turned out last week to tell the NRC they don’t want a radioactive dump and nuclear waste shipments in their communities—now we all need to make our voices heard.

Public comments wll be accepted through March 13th [the deadline has now been extended to April 28th] . Now is the time to make our voices heard loud and clear: No Consolidated "Interim" Storage Waste Dumps!

After decades of trying to force-feed the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear dump down the throats of Nevadans and the Western Shoshone Nation, nuclear proponents now want to endanger us all by transporting high-level waste across our country to targeted communities in West Texas.

The NRC has given no consideration to the rights of future generations who will inevitably be affected, and the communities today who will be affected most!

The NRC and the nuclear industry are eager to volunteer communities to take the waste absolving the industry of responsibility for managing the waste it creates before there is a proven solution for its long-term isolation. However, those who live near the site do not consent! 

Submit your comments now!

And thanks for all you do!


Tim Judson
Executive Director