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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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Thursday
Jan262012

BRC report continues shameful history of targeting Native American communities for radioactive waste dumps

Grace Thorpe helped stop dozens of radioactive waste dumps targeted at Native American communities by DOE's Nuclear Waste NegotiatorToday's final report by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC) continued the shameful history of the U.S. nuclear establishment, in both government and industry, of targeting Native American communities for radioactive waste dumps. Beyond Nuclear issued a media statement regarding the BRC report today, and an op-ed several days ago. At the very first public meeting of the BRC nearly two years ago, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps pleaded this environmental injustice be stopped. To the contrary, BRC's final report points to the U.S. Department of Energy's "Nuclear Waste Negotiator" as a model to be followed again now to advance "consolidated interim storage sites" and repositories. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, DOE's Nuclear Waste Negotiator contacted every single federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States, then targeted 60 in particular, focusing in the end on Mescalero Apache, New Mexico. It is a testament to the extraordinary efforts of Native American environmental justice activists like Grace Thorpe that all those proposals were defeated, and the Nuclear Waste Negotiator's program eliminated. The nuclear power  utilities picked up where the Negotiator left off, next targeting Skull Valley Goshutes, Utah -- a struggle that continues. Ironically, President Obama praised Grace Thorpe in his "Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet" Women's History Month Proclamation on March 3, 2009, for launching "a successful campaign to organize Native Americans to oppose the storage of nuclear waste on their reservations" -- only now to have his own DOE's BRC recommend that the Nuclear Waste Negotiator model be revived,  including to re-target Native American communities for radioactive waste dumps.

Friday
Jul012011

Watch out for revived drive for parking lot dumps!

While the court ruling on July 1st against the Yucca dump is a major environmental justice victory for the Western Shoshone Indian Nation, President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission for America's Nuclear Future is advocating "centralized interim storage" for commercial high-level radioactive waste -- de facto permanent parking lot dumps. In 2006, NRC (does it stand for Nuclear Racism Commission?!) approved a license for a parking lot dump for 40,000 metric tons of irradiated nuclear fuel on the tiny Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation in Utah. Expect that fight to heat up big time as the Yucca dump's prospects fade!

Saturday
Jul112009

Nuclear industry won't name nuclear dump sites

Two rural U.S. communities – one in the east and a second in the west – have reportedly been targeted for so-called "interim" nuclear waste dumps but the nuclear industry refuses to identify them. The parking lot dumps would occupy 1,000 acres and house high-level radioactive waste from the country’s nuclear power plants until – and if – the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump opens. In an apparently secret deal, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has led the search for the sites, examining seven and narrowing the choice to two.

“NEI and the two mayors should tell their communities and the neighboring towns they are being targeted for radioactive waste traffic,” said Paul Gunter, director of reactor oversight at Beyond Nuclear. "Absent a demonstrated and approved long-term storage plan for nuclear waste, any new dump is potentially a permanent site," Gunter said.

“This is not a decision that should be made behind closed doors but in the full light of day,” Gunter added. “The residents of these communities, their neighbors downwind and particularly the many more communities along the transportation routes have a right to say whether they want to take the increased health and security risks of trafficking and housing the country’s nuclear detritus, even temporarily.”

The NEI has divulged only that the interested communities already have nuclear installations of some kind and that they are in rural areas.

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