From the Mojave desert of the American Southwest, to the shoreline of the Great Lakes in Canada, resistance to risky radioactive waste burial schemes is intensifying in the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, grassroots resistance must rise against the latest incarnation of the Mobile Chernobyl bill, and in support of wiser legislation to safeguard and secure irradiated nuclear fuel on-site at reactors.
Yucca Mountain, Nevada
If you're U.S. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) -- apparently, the Congressman from Exelon Nuclear and the rest of the nuclear power industry -- you see U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid from Nevada's announced retirement as a reason to waste tens of thousands of federal taxpayer dollars by touring the dead U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project site in hopes of resurrecting it. (But then again, Shimkus undertook exactly the same PR stunt, shamelessly in the immediate aftermath of the beginning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe.)
But if you're U.S. Senator Harry Reid, you redouble your decades-long efforts, with your last two years left in the U.S. Senate, to protect your constituents against the nuclear power industry's endlessly risky schemes. Reid just joined with his Republican colleague, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, to introduce a bill that would give Nevada an absolute veto of any radioactive waste dump targeted at it by other states.
In fact, Nevada's bipartisan, vast majority opposition to the Yucca dump remains as strong as ever, as personified by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval and former Democratic Governor and U.S. Senator Richard Bryan.
Urge your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to oppose the Yucca Mountain dump (you can phone your Congress Members' office via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121), and thank President Obama for his continuing commitment to cancel the Yucca Mountain Project.
Canada's Great Lakes shoreline radioactive waste dump
Bipartisan resolutions in the U.S. House and Senate have been reintroduced, in opposition to Ontario Power Generation's proposal to bury all of the so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across the province less than a mile from the waters of Lake Huron. As reported by the Detroit News, the U.S. House resolution is co-sponsored by 11 Democrats (Duckworth and Schakowsky of Illinois; Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Lawrence, and Levin of Michigan; Higgins and Slaughter of New York; and Fudge and Kaptur of Ohio) and 4 Republicans (Dold of Illinois; Miller of Michigan; Joyce of Ohio; and Duffy of Wisconsin). The resolution has been designated H. Res. 194. The Detroit Free Press also covered this story.
The U.S. Senate resolution is co-sponsored by Michigan Democrats Stabenow and Peters. An identical resolution last session was co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Baldwin (D-WI), Durbin (D-IL), and Kirk (R-IL), so hopefully they will support this session's too.
If your U.S. Rep. or U.S. Senator(s) have already co-sponsored this resolution, please contact them and thank them (see links above). If your U.S. Rep. or U.S. Senator(s) have not yet co-sponsored this resolution, please urge them to do so. Even if you are not in the Great Lakes Basin, this natural resource (20% of the world's surface fresh water, 86% of North America's surface fresh water, and drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations) is deserving of national protection!
The Canadian federal Joint Review Panel (JRP, comprised of two Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and one Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panelists) is set to approve the Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) targeted at Kincardine, Ontario as early as May 6th. But opponents have vowed to fight on, even if the JRP grants its approval.
Nearly 150 Native American First Nations, states, counties, cities, towns, and villages -- including Michigan, Chicago, Toledo, and Toronto -- have passed resolutions opposing the DGR. These municipalities represent a population of nearly 20 million Great Lakes Basin residents!
Fukushima Freeways and Parking Lot Dumps
Energy Secretary Moniz, speaking at the pro-nuclear, so-called Bipartisan Policy Committee industry lobbyist front group, has called for passage of Senate Bill 854, the latest incarnation of the Mobile Chernobyl bill. The legislation would rush high-level radioactive waste shipments onto the roads, rails, and waterways, bound for "consolidated interim storage sites" -- more truthfully, de facto permanent parking lot dumps. Please urge your U.S. Senators to oppose S.B. 854.
Safeguarding and Securing High-Level Radioactive Wastes Here and Now
Rather than rushing high-level radioactive waste truck, train, and barge shipments through most states, for no good reason, U.S. Sens. Boxer (D-CA), Markey (D-MA), and Sanders (D-VT) have instead proposed legislation to safeguard and secure irradiated nuclear fuel storage where it currently is -- on-site at reactors. Please urge your U.S. Senators to support the Boxer-Markey-Sanders trio of bills: the "Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2015," the "Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2015," and the "Dry Cask Storage Act of 2015."