December 3, 2009

Dear Friends,

The Copenhagen climate negotiations begin next week, and the world's attention will be focused on the climate crisis.

Whether or not anything substantive comes out of Copenhagen, we who believe in a clean, safe, sustainable and affordable energy future have our work cut out for us.

Too many governments support their nuclear industries and seek to reverse our victory at COP 6 in 2000: they want to declare nuclear power as an acceptable means of addressing climate change.

In the U.S. too many in the administration (we're looking especially at you, Steven Chu!) the media, and in Congress--even some who should know better--are also supporting the nuclear industry.

We need to raise our voices louder than ever now. Take the first step and send a letter to your Senators and President Obama here.

And read on for more actions you can take, and more news from Washington.

It's as if there has been an ongoing collective case of amnesia. Some Senators in particular seem to have forgotten nuclear power's inherent dangers from accidents and everyday "routine" radiation releases, forgotten that there is no solution to the radioactive waste problem, forgotten that uranium mining devastates the environment and surrounding communities. They seem to forget, on a daily basis, the spiraling cost estimates for new reactor construction. How else can one explain recent media estimates of $4,000/kw for a new reactor when utilities' own cost estimates run as high as $9,000/kw?

They seem to suffer not only from amnesia, but wear blinders as well--not even noticing the cover story in the November 2009 Scientific American that lays out a concrete plan for the U.S. to be 100% renewable-powered by 2030!

The good news, however, is that Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman appear to be making little progress in selling the notion of adding billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts for the nuclear industry to the Senate climate bill. As we predicted, those Senators who most want to divert taxpayer money to nuclear power are the least likely to support any real climate bill. And those who most want a climate bill recognize that nuclear power is not a genuine climate solution.

That gives us all more time to raise our voices and more reason to keep up the pressure.

1. Send a letter to your Senators and President Obama now, here. This letter will remind them of the inherent dangers and problems of nuclear power and explain that a climate bill that includes nuclear power (and coal, and offshore oil!) is not a climate bill at all--it's a bailout for the energy lobby. We need a new vision for the future, and there is still time to achieve that!

2. Support anti-nuclear campaigners in Copenhagen. If you haven't done so yet, sign the Don't Nuke the Climate petition here. We're closing in on 50,000 signers, let's get there this week! Organizations: endorse the Don't Nuke the Climate campaign here.

3. Support Don't Nuke the Climate Action Days on December 11 and 12. Organize actions outside your Senators' district offices, at Federal Buildings, on campus, wherever is appropriate for you. List your action on the International Action Page here. Let us know about your action (, and we'll alert people in your region.

Here in D.C., we'll be gathering outside the Department of Energy headquarters for street theater at 11 am on Friday Dec. 11. Join us if you're in the area!

4. Tie in your action with the National Don't Nuke the Climate Call-in Day December 11 or just call your Senators (202-224-3121) on Friday, Dec. 11. Ask your friends and colleagues, congregations and college roommates, everyone you know, to call on Dec. 11 too. Keep the Senate phones busy all day long! Bring cellphones to your action and ask everyone passing by to call their Senators. Bring cellphones to a coffeeshop, bar, food co-op, shopping mall, wherever you go: ask everyone to call....Even if there is no action in your region, call!

We don't have the money to compete with the nuclear industry (which may be the real source of all that amnesia....); so we need to compete with numbers--that means all of us and more. Post this on Facebook, myspace, etc. Tweet it. Send to your lists and your friends. Spread the word....

And if you can help us with financial support this Holiday season to continue building this campaign, we'll be eternally grateful. You can do so here. If you can't, we know how it is, but don't forget to call your Senators December 11: 202-224-3121.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service