Strong drumbeat of opposition to Yucca Mountain dump continues  

Ian Zabarte, secretary, NCAC, speaks at a press conference at UNLVAs reported by the Las Vegas Sun, a coalition of Nevadans -- from Western Shoshone Indians, to environmentalists, to local, state, and federal officials -- have come together yet again to express their adamant opposition to the scheme to dump 70,000 metric tons or more of highly radioactive wastes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This continues 32 years of resistance, ever since the 1987 "Screw Nevada" amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 singled out Western Shoshone land as the only site in the country to be further considered for an irradiated nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste permanent geological repository. In that time, more than a thousand environmental, and environmental justice, organizations have fought the dump at every twist and turn (see 750 of them listed here). Native Community Action Council secretary Ian Zabarte has achieved hard won, official intervening party status in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Yucca dump licensing proceeding, in his effort to defend Western Shoshone treaty rights. 
As the Nevada Current reported about the recent forum, calls are growing for Democratic candidates for president to be bold and clear in their opposition to the Yucca dump. Nevada has the first Western presidential campaign caucus, coming just after the earliest contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The Current reports: "At least five current Democratic presidential candidates -- Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and [Kamala] Harris -- have signed on to [U.S.] Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's [Democrat-Nevada] bill to force the federal government to request Nevada's consent before storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Julian Castro, Beto O'Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg have also expressed their opposition to the federal government's proposal, while Andrew Yang has said he supports it." The Trump administration is seeking to restart the Yucca Mountain dump project, which the Obama administration wisely cancelled as "unworkable" in 2010 (not to mention scientifically unsuitable, environmentally unjust, non-consent based, inter-generationally unjust, regionally inequitable, etc.!).

What can you do? Contact your U.S. Representative, and both your U.S. Senators, and urge they co-sponsor Nevada's Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act! You can be patched through to your Members of Congress's D.C. offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Some good news in Congress is that for the first time in many years, neither the U.S. House nor Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bills have any proposed funding for the Yucca dump! (However, they do contain $25 million, or more, for consolidated interim storage -- see CIS entry below.) Learn more about this issue at our Yucca Mountain website section.

Japan's new enviro minister says nuclear must go

Japan's new environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, son of the former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, says Japan should close down its nuclear power plants. At a news conference reported by Reuters, he said: "I would like to study how we scrap them, not how to retain them." This is a surprising position from someone inside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's extremely pro-nuclear government. The elder Koizumi, alongside the prime minister at the time the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began, Naoto Kan, are both outspoken opponents of the continue use of nuclear energy. Abe replaced 19 of his ministers in a cabinet re-shuffle on September 11, including Yoshiaki Harada, the former environment minister, who had made headlines earlier this week by re-iterating Japan's intention to dump radioactively contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear site into the Pacific Oceean (see story below). Read the full article. (Picture by R2d2ki for Wikimedia Commons)


Japan again signals intent to dump radioactive water into the ocean

Japan’s environment minister, Yoshiaki Harada, once again signalled in public remarks that Japan is looking to dump radioactive water currently stored in tanks on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site into the Pacific ocean. At least 1,000 tanks currently sit at Fukushima, site of the triple meltdown nuclear disaster in March 2011 whose repercussions continue today. There is estimated to be more than one million metric tons of water in the tanks. Tepco asserts that it can filter out 62 radioactive isotopes -- all except tritium -- but the system has proven faulty and high amounts of strontium have still been detected in the tank water. The company claims it will run out of space to store more tanks on site, but there is a strong argument to be made that the Abe government simply wants the situation to be "under control" in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo -- a claim he has made publicly. Baseball and softball games will be played there and the Olympic torch relay will begin in Fukushima Prefecture. We were given a brief chance to address the radioactive water issue this week on TRT.


SHOCKING & Wasteful Price of Nuclear Power Revealed! 


Massachusetts pushes for “stay” of handover of Pilgrim’s radioactive corpse 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy and the public interest group Pilgrim Watch are calling for a "stay" of the issuance of a federal license transfer of the Pilgrim nuclear power station in Plymouth, MA from Energy Nuclear to Holtec International and its Canadian business giant partner, SNC Lavalin (SNCL).  In  September 3, 2019 filings to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Healy’s office and Pilgrim Watch charge that the licensing transfer to get control of more than a billion dollars in Pilgrim Decommissioning Trust Fund, fails to meet federal legal standards under both the NRC regulations and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  Despite previous petitions from the AG and Pilgrim Watch seeking a public hearing on the corporate takeover, the NRC approved the sale.  The Attorney General charges that while Holtec and SNCL are “both embroiled in legal controversies about their character, veracity, and judgment” the joint partnership is set to takeover not only the decommissioning trust fund of Pilgrim Station but billions more in the trust funds for five other permanently closed nuclear power stations. This and all of thousands of tons of high-level nuclear waste.