Act Now

For California Residents: Letter to CA Energy Commission

California Energy Commission
Media and Public Communications Office
1516 Ninth Street, MS-29
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

To the Commission:

As a California resident I support the California Energy Commission's (CEC) recommendation to "evaluate the long-term implications associated with the continuing accumulation of spent fuel at California's operating [nuclear power] plants, including a case-by-case evaluation of public safety and ratepayer costs of on-site interim storage of spent fuel versus transporting spent fuel offsite for interim storage."

It is time for California to address how many additional tons of high-level radioactive waste we will be allowed to be stored on our state's earthquake active coastal zones and what legacy this means for our children.

The CEC's Report stated that given, "the high level of uncertainty surrounding the federal waste disposal program, California's utilities will likely be forced to retain spent fuel in storage facilities at currently operating reactor sites for an indefinite period of time." [1] As a resultof the CEC's concerns, I further support an investigation into phasing out the production and limiting the storage of high-level radioactive waste at California's operating nuclear plants by the end of current license terms.

The radioactive waste from the daily operation of Diablo Canyon and San Onofre may place our state at risk for generations, if not forever. These risks are heightened by the recent terrorist attacks in: New York, Madrid, London, Jordan and a possible thwarted attack at a nuclear plant in Sydney, Australia in November 2005.

The CEC and California residents are not alone in concerns regarding the increasing stockpiles of high-level radioactive waste on our nation's coasts and waterways. My support of the CEC recommendation is based on increasing doubts that a permanent disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste at California's operating nuclear plants will ever be available. These doubts have been substaniated by nuclear experts, federal and state oversight agencies and both Republican and Democratic Senators from Nevada and Utah.

· Senator Bennett (R-Utah)declared "I remain committed to fight against any effort to bring spent nuclear fuel to Utah, and firmly believe that this waste should be stored where it currently is until we work out the economics and technology to reprocess it." [2]

· Senator Reid (D-Nevada) said he would no longer stand in the way of Utah lawmakers who are trying to block a nuclear waste complex on the Goshute Indian reservation in their state by having the nearby area designated government-protected wilderness. Reid's announcement came several weeks after Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, pledged in a Senate speech that he was withdrawing his support for the nuclear waste repository the Department of Energy wants to build at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.[3]

· Former NRC Commissioner and Yucca consultant, Victor Gilinsky stated that "Despite enormous expenditure and heavy political backing, the project is in deep trouble. It is caught up in a mess of technical, legal, and managerial problems from which I don't think it is going to extract itself, and as a consequence, I don't think it is ever going to open, not at least if it gets any kind of a fair review. [4]

· Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Nuclear Project, Robert Loux, "I think from our perspective it's safe to say that we believe the Yucca Mountain project is in an advanced state of disintegration, for a whole variety of reasons, and it has a number of obstacles it has to overcome before it can actually go forward, some of which we believe are completely unresolvable for the most part. [5]

Further evidence confirming the public's concern that our state may become one a permanent high-level radioactive waste storage site in perpetuity can be found in the Congressional vote to cut funding for the nation's only proposed permanent site in November 2005. The final figure was also less than the House and the Senate passed during earlier debates. More delays in the oft-delayed project caused lawmakers to curb Yucca Mountain's budget. [6]

The economic risks to California posed by the storage of this highly radioactive fuel should be taken into consideration when performing a cost/benefit study analyzing replacement generation for the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre Nuclear Plants. Reactor communities should be first in line for new clean electric generation facilities, which would provide jobs, taxes, infrastructure and financial benefits that will be lost when this dangerously sited nuclear plant ceases operation.

California's Governor and state legislators should work with the CEC, the CPUC, the CCC, SCE and PG&E to plan for future energy needs and while decreasing our state's risks from a radioactive release due to an act of terrorism, malice or insanity, earthquake or age-related accident.

[1] CEC IEPR September 2005, Nuclear Chapter

[2] http://www.harktheherald.com/modules.php?op=modload&frame=News&file=arti...

[3] http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2005/Nov-09-Wed-2005/news/4219215...

[4] 2005 IEPR pages 173-179

[5] ibid. Pages 63-84

[6] http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/breaking_news/13166660.htm (c) 2005 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

To sign this letter, and/or change your details, please follow this link...
http://a4nr.org/actionLetters/11.17.2005-cecltr/ActionLetter_confirmForm?subid=00159Hskpw

Notice from Defenders of the Black Hills, Rapid City, SD

The South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment will be conducting an Adversarial Hearing in Pierre, SD, on a permit application from Powertech (USA) Inc. to drill 30 uranium exploratory wells in the southern Black Hills. The wells are from 300-800 feet deep. Powertech already has 4,160 uranium exploratory wells in the same area.
Twenty-seven (27) individuals and three organizations sent letters of objection to granting the permit triggering the adversarial hearing. Members of Defenders of the Black Hills are among the objectors, and some of those sending in letters of objection will be in attendance.

The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Nov. 19th, at the Matthew Environmental Education and Training Center, Joe Foss Building, 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD.

For more information about the hearing, contact Roberta Fivecoate, Minerals and Mining Program at (605) 773-4201.

NRC MEETING WITH PUBLIC DEC. 4 ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCOPING FOR LEVY COUNTY NEW REACTOR APPLICATION

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold public meetings Thursday, Dec. 4, in Crystal River, Fla., to discuss the environmental issues the agency should consider in reviewing a Combined License (COL) application for two new reactors proposed for the Levy County site near Crystal River.

The NRC will meet with the public from 1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m. at the Florida National Guard Armory, 8551 W. Venable St. in Crystal River. The application's environmental report is available on the agency's Web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/levy.html. Copies of the report are also available at the Citrus County Coastal Region Library, 8619 W. Crystal St. in Crystal River; the Bronson Public Library at 600 Gilbert St. in Bronson, Fla.; and the Dunnellon Branch Library at 20351 Robinson Rd. in Dunnellon, Fla.

NRC staff will be available for informal discussions with members of the public during "open house" sessions from noon - 1 p.m. and 5 - 6 p.m. No formal comments on the environmental review will be accepted during these open houses.

Progress Energy submitted the application July 30 to build and operate two AP1000 reactors at the Levy County site. The AP1000 is a Westinghouse-designed 1,100 MWe pressurized-water reactor the NRC certified in 2006. Westinghouse submitted an application in May 2007 to amend the certified design. The amendment application (minus proprietary or security-related details) is available on the NRC Web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/design-cert/amended-ap1000.html.

Those wishing to register in advance to present their comments at the meeting should contact Douglas Bruner or Jessie M. Muir by telephone at 800-368-5642, x2730 or x0491 respectively, or via e-mail at Levy.COLEIS@nrc.gov by Nov. 26. Those wishing to speak may also register at each meeting no later than 12:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., respectively. Individual comments may be limited by the time available and the number of people wishing to speak.

NRC staff will also consider written comments on the scoping process. Comments should be submitted no later than Dec. 23, either by mail to the Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mailstop T-6D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, via e- mail at Levy.COLEIS@nrc.gov, or hand-delivered to the NRC at 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md., between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. on Federal workdays.

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News releases are available through a free listserv subscription at the following Web address: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/listserver.html.  The NRC homepage at www.nrc.gov also offers a SUBSCRIBE link. E-mail notifications are sent to subscribers when news releases are posted to NRC's Web site.

Comment on Obama's alternate energy initiatives

We'd like to encourage everyone to watch the 3+ minute video of Obama's address today. Here's what it's about: "The President-elect has directed the Transition's economic team to develop the details of a plan for a two-year, nationwide effort to strengthen our economy. It will center around jobs rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools, and making America a leader in alternative energy."  Here's the link to the speech: http://www.change.gov/page/s/economy

Then use the comment form on that page to stress the point that alternative energy initiatives must not include nuclear!

Sign On to Keep Nuclear Power out of the Kyoto Protocol

Back in 2000, the nuclear power industry tried to obtain credits under the carbon trading schemes set up by the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) provisions.

NIRS and their partners WISE (World Information Service on Energy), working with many environmental groups from across the world, along with a little help from Al Gore, who seemingly had just been elected President of the United States, beat back the industry at the Kyoto Protocol's COP6 meeting in The Hague in November 2000.  Now the nuclear industry is trying again--at the upcoming climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland, the industry is again seeking to become eligible for lucrative carbon trading credits. And again, NIRS, WISE and the world's environmental and clean energy movements are gearing up to stop them.

YOU CAN HELP! The statement at the link below is being distributed to the delegates at the Poznan climate meeting. Please join us and sign your organization on by sending your name, organization, city, state and country if outside the U.S. to nirsnet@nirs.org by noon, Eastern time, on Sunday, December 7, 2008.

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5502/t/2834/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=182

Sign on To Physicians for Social REsponsibility Letter to President-Elect Obama

Dear President-Elect Obama: We are writing to urge you to eliminate both the Department of Energy's (DOE) Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), which has focused on restarting nuclear waste reprocessing in the United States, and the reprocessing research program in the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). Reprocessing would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, undermine U.S. nonproliferation policy, pollute the environment, and threaten public health. Moreover, reprocessing worsens the nuclear waste problem, rather than solves it. Instead, your administration should ensure that spent fuel at commercial reactor sites is better protected to make it less vulnerable to attack...

To view and sign the complete letter, please contact Michele Boyd: mboyd@PSR.org