Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
Renewable "Community Power" is Gaining Ground to Real Energy Independence
Background: A recent Washington Post news article reports that renewable energy development is transforming electricity manufacturing into a reliable, locally-owned and locally-generated, clean energy industry. The story highlights that an investment in renewable solar and wind power, is an investment in "community power" and energy independence. Towns like Rock Port, Missouri are producing 100% of their electricity through wind turbines, while other communities are emphasizing more compact and less obtrusive solar power like California's "Million Solar Roofs."
Our view: Our move beyond dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear and fossil fuel use is long overdue. Opportunities abound for communities, towns, cities, states and countries to gain energy independence by harvesting from the sun and the wind.
What you can do: We cannot over-emphasize the importance of contacting your House and Senate members at this critical time to demand legislation that prioritizes energy independence through renewable energy, efficiency and conservation. We must throw off the yoke of dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear and fossil fuel expansion. Contact Congress now (202) 224-3121 and share the Washington Post article.
Faustian Fission in U.S. Senate as False Climate Solution
Background: U.S. Senators John Kerry (Democrat-Massachusetts) and Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) have penned an op-ed in theNew York Times urging that "Nuclear power needs to be a core component of electricity generation if we are to meet our emission reduction targets." They call for streamlining of reactor licensing, as well as research and development on high-level radioactive waste reprocessing.
Our View: Kerry is the lead co-sponsor of Sen. Barbara Boxer's (chair, Environment and Public Works Committee) climate change bill, S. 1733. This "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act," is self-described as "a bill to create clean energy jobs, promote energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy." But Senate Democratic leadership is dangling taxpayer subsidies and other support for nuclear power as "bait" to coax Republicans into support for a climate bill. The Democrats are seeking 60 votes to overcome an expected Republican filibuster even though the Democratic caucus already has 60 votes and doesn't need to pander to Republicans with nuclear power largess. Nuclear power is too expensive and slow to solve the climate crisis. It has failed to solve its "insurmountable risks" for over 50 years. These risks include nuclear weapons proliferation, accidents or attacks releasing deadly amounts of radioactivity, the unsolved problem of radioactive waste, and "routine releases" of radiation and toxic chemicals at every step of the uranium fuel chain.
What You Can Do: For every Senator "hooked" by the atomic "bait," we must make sure that another Senator will then oppose the climate bill due to these outrageous short cuts on safety for, and giveaways to the nuclear power industry. Contact both your U.S. Senators via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (or "Find Your Senators" to write, email, or fax them), and urge them to oppose any climate bill or amendments that would risk taxpayer money on nuclear loan guarantees or other financial support. Further urge that they oppose any provisions which would risk safety, security and health by further "streamlining" (gutting) reactor licensing or relapsing into high-level radioactive waste reprocessing.
The French Nuclear Medusa
French Waste Stored Outdoors in Siberia
French radioactive wastes that are too contaminated to reprocess are shipped to Siberia – 13% of the total French irradiated reactor fuel inventory according to a new investigative documentary that aired on French television this week. Now the French ecology minister is ordering an investigation into whether these assertions – made in the film "Wastes – the Nuclear Nightmare" – are true. The inquiry will establish whether EDF, the world's biggest nuclear reactor operator, which was recently granted a partnership with Constellation Energy to build reactors in the U.S., knowingly shipped hundreds of tons of contaminated depleted uranium to be stored in metal containers at open-air sites in Siberia.