Sierra Club Home Page   Environmental Update   My Backyard

Search
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet  
Group Home
Hikes and Outings
Calendar
Newsletter
Resources
Join or Give
Chapter Home
Contact Us
sierraclub.org
(photo)
 
 
 

Sierra Club Radio
Listen Online
Listen Online or Locally on WCRS at 102.1 or 98.3 FM Every Thursday at 6:30 pm

Central Ohio Group Issues

This article was submitted for the March / April 2007  issue of the newsletter.

Exposed: Plan to Make Ohio the Nation’s Nuclear Dump

By

On Jan. 9, 2007, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) in Washington, DC, sent a letter signed by 106 national and grassroots organizations to US congressional leaders expressing opposition to any “temporary” centralization of spent nuclear fuel, particularly focusing concern on Ohio’s Piketon nuclear site. The letter noted that under the Bush Administrations Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), preparations for storage of high-level nuclear waste at Piketon are running ahead of the official timeline.

A whistleblower has told NIRS that preparations already are underway for an interim nuclear dump at Piketon, when the government timeline requires studying several sites before choosing one.

The NIRS letter also stated the signers opposition to the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership in entirety–a program that would attempt to revive the failed technology of reprocessing.

NIRS says that many organizations signing the letter have been active in opposing centralized interim storage of commercial high-level waste in both Nevada and Utah. A key issue is the potential impact of the transportation of the waste. Irradiated fuel is not secure today at the reactor sites, but it is more secure there than it will ever be on a truck or a train.

Becoming the nations high-level nuclear waste dump will create only a handful of jobs. The US Department of Interior stated that a similar facilitythe Private Fuel Storage initiative—was not appropriate economic development for the small Skull Valley Goshute reservation in Utah, and denied a lease to that plan.

On Jan. 31, over 3 weeks after the date of the NIRS letter, the US Department of Energy awarded more than $10 million to 11 sites selected to conduct detailed siting studies for integrated used fuel recycling facilities. Piketon (surprise!) was one of these “winners”.  Piketon Initiative for Nuclear Independence, a hastily-put-together consortium that applied for the Piketon site study grant, has until May 30 to submit its report.

With the Democrats in control of Congress, the White House will have a more difficult time selling the nuclear waste recycling and fuel reprocessing program, for which it sought $250 million in fiscal 2007. The GNEP may not get funded for 2007. There is, however, a possibility that money from renewable energy research and development or conservation programs could be put it into the GNEP.

 

A whistleblower has told NIRS that preparations already are underway for an “interim” nuclear dump at Piketon, when the government timeline requires studying several sites before choosing one.
Becoming the nation’s high-level nuclear waste dump will create only a handful of jobs.

Up to Top