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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

Radioactive Waste

No safe, permanent solution has yet been found anywhere in the world - and may never be found - for the nuclear waste problem. In the U.S., the only identified and flawed high-level radioactive waste deep repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been canceled. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an end to the production of nuclear waste and for securing the existing reactor waste in hardened on-site storage.

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Thursday
May312018

Help stop environmentally unjust highly radioactive waste dump in NM! Continue submitting public comments to NRC!

Noel Marquez, co-founder of Alliance for Environmental Strategies, at the NRC public comment meeting in Albuquerque, with the tee shirt and banner he designed.Opponents to Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance's proposed centralized interim storage facility (CISF) for 173,600 metric tons of highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel, targeted at southeast New Mexico, have dominated the half-dozen U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) public comment meetings over the past five weeks. (See the photo, left, by Maddy Hayden of the Albuquerque Journal, of Noel Marquez of Artesia, NM, co-founder of the Alliance for Environmental Strategies (AFES), wearing a t-shirt and in front of a banner, both of which he designed, at the May 22nd public meeting in Albuquerque.)

Please continue to submit comments -- by email, and/or snail mail -- and urge others to do so as well (NRC's webform, at www.regulations.gov, has not worked since May 18th, begging the question, if they can't even get this right, how can we trust them to keep highly radioactive waste safe and secure forevermore?!). See how to submit comments and use sample comments, to help you prepare your own, by the current July 30 deadline.

Please also contact both your U.S. Senators, and urge them to block H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, or any other legislation, that would authorize similar CISFs . Please also urge your U.S. Sens., as well as your U.S. Rep., to support requests by a coalition of 52 environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, by themselves contacting NRC and requesting public comment meetings in your state and congressional district. Thus far, not a single public in-person meeting has been held outside of NM, other than one at the NRC HQ in Rockville, MD (which the agency did very little to even notify the public about). This is unacceptable, in that most states would experience very large numbers of road and/or rail shipments of highly radioactive waste, by truck and/or train, if Holtec/ELEA's CISF opens; some states would even experience barge shipments on surface waterways. You can look up your two U.S. Sens.' contact info. here, and your U.S. Rep.'s contact info. here (please also take this opportunity to thank your U.S. Rep. for voting right -- against, a NO vote -- on H.R. 3053, or express your disappointment about them voting wrong -- for the bill, an AYE vote; see how your U.S. Rep. voted, here). Or you can phone your congress members' offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Please spread the word to your networks re: the importance of submitting public comments to NRC opposing this environmental injustice (southeast NM has a large percentage of Hispanic residents; the area is already heavily polluted by fossil fuel and nuclear industries). For more info., see Beyond Nuclear's Centralized Storage website section.
Friday
May182018

U.S. SENATE'S 'BIG FOUR' ON NUCLEAR WASTE PLAN MEETING

As reported by the Politico Morning Energy newsletter:

SENATE'S 'BIG FOUR' ON NUCLEAR WASTE PLAN MEETING: A bipartisan group of four senior senators are planning to get together in hopes of launching a new push on nuclear waste legislation, according to Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander. "Our staffs have been working, but I don't know if a date has been set," Murkowski, chairman of the Energy Committee, told ME. Their Democratic counterparts at the meeting would be Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Maria Cantwell. The planned meeting comes after the House passed its own broad nuclear waste overhaul that would move the Yucca Mountain repository forward.

Friday
May112018

U.S. House votes 340 to 72 to "Screw Nevada," again -- and perhaps New Mexico and Texas, too, while they're at it!

One of the six toes, on one of the feet, of the Yucca Dump Mutant Zombie (see image, left), twitched yesterday. By a lopsided vote of 340 to 72, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of "Screw Nevada 2.0," a reprise of the 1987 "Screw Nevada" bill, that singled out Yucca Mountain for the country's highly radioactive waste dump-site in the first place. This was the biggest vote on nuclear waste in the U.S. House in 16 years, and seeks to overturn the Obama administration's wise 2010 cancellation of the unsuitable Yucca Mountain Project. In addition to approving H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, the House, "in its wisdom" (or lack thereof!), similarly voted down an amendment offered by Dina Titus (Democrat-NV), that would have required consent-based siting for a dump like Yucca, per the 2012 recommendations by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their U.S. Rep. urging opposition to H.R. 3053. Please check this link for more info., including to see how your U.S. Rep. voted on the Titus amendment, and the overall bill. Then please thank or "spank" (express your disappointment to) your U.S. Rep., accordingly, and point out the high-risk "Mobile Chernobyl" impacts of shipping 110,000 metric tons (an increase from the current legal limit of 70,000) of highly radioactive waste, by truck, train, and/or barge, through 44 states, dozens of major cities, and 330 of 435 U.S. congressional districts, if H.R. 3053 becomes law.

In addition to expediting the opening of the Yucca dump, by gutting due process and environmental and safety regulations, H.R. 3053 would authorize centralized interim storage facilities (CISFs, or de facto permanent, surface storage, "parking lot dumps"), as targeted at Holtec/ELEA, NM and WCS, TX. Re: Holtec/ELEA, please continue submitting environmental scoping public comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the July 30th deadline (extended from the original May 29th deadline) -- see how, and for more info., at this link.

And please also contact both your U.S. Senators, urging them to oppose bad, dangerous nuke waste dumps targeted at NM, NV, and/or TX, and the inevitable Mobile Chernobyls they would launch: call your U.S. Senators via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and fill out and submit Food & Water Watch's webform!

To learn more about the Yucca dump scheme, CISF proposals, and nuclear waste transport risks, please see the corresponding Beyond Nuclear website sub-sections.

Tuesday
Apr242018

UN Side Event Webcast April 23: Radioactive Waste and Canada's First Nations

Message from Dr. Gordon Edwards of CCNR (Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility):

The following is a link to the United Nations archived webcast of a special event, “Radioactive Waste and Canada’s First Nations”,  held on April 23, 2018, on the occasion of the 17th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 

Speakers are:

1. Candace Neveau, youth and mother, Bawating Water Protectors, Anishinabek Nation.
2. Grand Chief Joseph Norton, Mohawk Nation of Kahnawà:ke, Iroquois Caucus.
3. Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee, Anishinabek Nation, Union of Ontario Indians.
4. Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
5. Chief April Adams-Phillips, Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, Iroquois Caucus.
6. Dr. Ole Hendrickson, Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area, Ottawa, Ontario.
7. Chief Clinton Phillips, Mohawk Nation of Kahnawà:ke, Iroquoid Caucus.
8. Chief Troy Thompson, Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, Iqoquois Caucus.

Wednesday
Feb142018

President Obama honored Grace Thorpe re: her resistance to nuke waste dumps...and Marjory Stoneman Douglas re: Everglades protection

Grace ThorpeFor Women's History Month in March, 2009, President Barack Obama honored Grace Thorpe (10 December 1921 – 1 April 2008, see photo, left), a Sauk and Fox and Pokagon Potawatomi Indian anti-nuclear activist, for her successful work to protect her own, and other, Native American reservations targeted for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel de facto permanent surface storage parking lot dumps.

Obama's proclamation began:

With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our Nation. Each year during Women's History Month, we remember and celebrate women from all walks of life who have shaped this great Nation. This year, in accordance with the theme "Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet," we pay particular tribute to the efforts of women in preserving and protecting the environment for present and future generations...

It continued:

...Women have also taken the lead throughout our history in preserving our natural environment.

Re: Grace Thorpe, President Obama proclaimed:

Grace Thorpe, another leading environmental advocate, also connected environmental protection with human well-being by emphasizing the vulnerability of certain populations to environmental hazards. In 1992, she launched a successful campaign to organize Native Americans to oppose the storage of nuclear waste on their reservations, which she said contradicted Native American principles of stewardship of the earth. She also proposed that America invest in alternative energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar power, and wind power.

Thorpe served as a board of directors members of NIRS (Nuclear Information and Resource Service). Her primary organizational affiliation was NECONA (National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans).

See Thorpe's Wikipedia entry, to learn more about her most remarkable life. She once told Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, in summer 2002, that her motivation to fight nuclear power and radioactive waste came from her experiences in Nagasaki, Japan in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing there. As the Wiki entry relates, Thorpe won a Bronze Star for her service in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs, pronounced "wax") in World War II.

Re: Marjory Stoneman Douglas, President Obama proclaimed:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas dedicated her life to protecting and restoring the Florida Everglades. Her book, The Everglades: Rivers of Grass, published in 1947, led to the preservation of the Everglades as a National Park. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas's name appears in news headlines today, for the most dark and tragic of reasons: the high school in Parkland, FL where the shooting deaths of 17 students and teachers at the hands of a former classmate took place is named after her.

Here is a link to the full proclamation. Note that it also honors Rachel Carson of Silent Spring fame. Beyond Nuclear board of directors member Bob Musil is executive director of the Rachel Carson Council, and keeps the memory alive that Carson was both anti-nuclear weapons and anti-nuclear power, and was very ahead of the curve in that regard, too!