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Principles for Safeguarding Waste at Reactors


Dear Friends,

Please sign your organization to the updated "Principles for Safeguarding Waste at Reactors."

This is an awesome initiative from 2006 signed by 150 groups. It was a long time coming and is a hard-won advocacy position for improving at-reactor radioactive waste storage (WHICH IS VULNERABLE NOW) while we human beings get our act together on nuclear waste repository or WHAT.

It has been updated recently to reflect Obama's assertion that Yucca Mountain is dead.

It is a powerful piece of work and I hope you and your organization will make it a priority to review it and sign it.

Send sign-ons to Morgan Pinnell at Physicians for Social Responsibility ~ mpinnell@psr.org

The next piece of business is to start moving legislation in this direction.

Here is a great explanation of the Principles laid out by Kevin Kamps in an e-mail to the group in August:

Three years ago, 150 safe energy groups across the U.S. signed onto "Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors." The Principles called for safety and security upgrades - "hardened on-site storage," or HOSS -- for irradiated nuclear fuel storage on-site at the reactors that generated the high-level radioactive waste in the first place. Such security upgrades are still currently needed as an urgent matter of national security, and also represent an interim alternative to such risky proposals as the Yucca Mountain, Nevada dumpsite, regional centralized interim storage, and reprocessing. Michele Boyd, now at Physicians for Social Responsibility, unveiled the Principles at a U.S. House of Representatives energy subcommittee hearing in September 2006.

We have now updated the Principles to reflect the Obama administration's clear position that Yucca Mountain, Nevada is no longer an option for radioactive waste disposal. In response to the current push by the nuclear establishment to revive commercial reprocessing in the United States, we have also revised the Principles to emphasize that plutonium extraction from irradiated nuclear fuel would be extremely expensive for taxpayers, highly polluting wherever it is carried out, and a serious nuclear weapons proliferation threat. These revised Principles will serve as a valuable tool to push for needed security upgrades at on-site radioactive waste storage facilities, while pushing back against such dangerous proposals as reprocessing. They will be especially valuable for informing the "radioactive waste blue ribbon commission" being formed by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, with input from Congress.

We invite you to sign this revised version of the Principles. They are attached. Apart from the introductory paragraphs, the Principles remain identical to the 2006 version. To sign on, please email your full contact information (personal name, title, organization name, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address) to Morgan Pinnell at Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her email address is: mpinnell@psr.org .

(If your group already signed the Principles in 2006, thank you. But please do sign again onto this updated and revised version now.)

We look forward to working with you to steer U.S. radioactive waste management policy in safer and wiser directions than reprocessing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Sincerely,

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, kevin@beyondnuclear.org , 240-462-3216

and

Morgan Pinnell, Physicians for Social Responsibility, mpinnell@psr.org , 202-587-5232