Urge Senate Majority Leader Reid and your own U.S. Senators to block "consolidated interim storage" legislation!
On April 26th, 2012 -- the 26th annual commemoration of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe -- the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that would authorize and fund a "pilot" program for "consolidated interim storage" of high-level radioactive waste at one or more locations in the U.S. The bill had previously passed the U.S. Senate's Appropriations Subcommittee for Energy and Water, chaired by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. The Chernobyl date is most ironic, for this "consolidated interim storage" proposal would launch unprecedented numbers of truck, train, and barge shipments of high-level radioactive waste onto the roads, rails, and waterways through most states -- risks critics have long dubbed "Mobile Chernobyls" due to the potential for accidental disasters (and "dirty bombs on wheels," regarding the potential for intentional terrorist attacks).
The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future made "consolidated interim storage" its highest priority in its final report in January 2012. It did so without even reading the thousands of comments provided by concerned citizens and environmental groups. Those thousands of comments opposed "centralized interim storage" parking lot dumps, as well as the risky radioactive waste shell game on the roads, rails and waterways they would unnecessarily create. For over a decade now, a united environmental movement nationwide has advocated hardened on-site storage instead, for wastes that already exist. For wastes that do not yet exist, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: STOP MAKING IT!
The BRC's prioritization of "consolidated interim storage," and its refusal to recommend against targeting Native American communities for such parking lot dumps, is also most ironic. BRC was created by President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu, to seek a "Plan B" after their wise decision to cancel the scienitifically unsuitable Yucca Mountain national dumpsite. But they appointed 15 pro-nuclear members, which decided to repeat the long tradition of "radioactive racism" -- targeting Native American, as well as other low income communities, for such high-level radioactive waste parking lot dumps. This, despite President Obama himself, in spring 2009, praising Native American environmental justice activist Grace Thorpe (see photo, above left) for blocking such dumpsites targeted at her own Sauk and Fox Reservation in Oklahoma, as well as scores of other reservations across the country.
Please contact the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at 202-224-3542. Urge that Sen. Reid block this dangerous bill from reaching the Senate floor. Remind him and his staff that such large-scale high-level radioactive waste shipments, to such Western targets as the Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation in Utah, or the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, would increase the risks of those wastes eventually being transferred to Yucca Mountain, Nevada -- a dumpsite Sen. Reid has successfully opposed for longer than a quarter century.
Also contact your two U.S. Senators via the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Urge them to block this bill.