Monday, March 22, 2010

Bush's Last Minute Nuclear Disaster: Nuclear Reactors

March 24, 2010 News Advisory …

Beyond Nuclear

One Day Before 1st Meeting of Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, Community-Supported “Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors” Also to Be Unveiled.

Eleventh-hour agreements signed “below the radar” with 21 proposed nuclear reactor projects during the final days of the Bush Presidency added to the existing spent fuel problem for which there is currently no solution, putting U.S. taxpayers on the hook for what could be billions of dollars in additional penalties if the federal government fails to take the waste from utilities, according to a warning that will be sounded at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday (March 24, 2010) by leading experts. The new warning is based on data collected through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

With no fanfare and even less public awareness, the U.S. will reach the point this spring at which spent fuel from existing reactors is sufficient to reach the legal limit of the now-cancelled Yucca Mountain repository. President Obama has tasked the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future with making recommendations on a new plan for radioactive waste management. This national phone-based news event (with full Q&A) will take place on the eve of the first meeting of the Commission.

At the same news event, the “Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors” signed by more than 170 national and local organizations from all 50 states, will be unveiled. The Principles call for protecting the public from the immediate threats posed by the currently vulnerable storage of commercial spent fuel.

The experts are holding the news event because of their concerns about: (1) the lack of public and policymaker awareness that the US government has committed to managing the spent fuel from proposed new reactors; (2) the fact that these commitments could add to the already sizable US taxpayer liabilities from the US government’s failure to dispose of the existing inventory of spent fuel; and (3) the ongoing security threat posed by the storage of spent fuel in pools at reactor sites, where they are more densely packed than was envisioned when the storage sites were designed, as well as in vulnerable dry casks.

News event speakers will be:

· Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER);
· Beyond Nuclear Radioactive Waste Specialist Kevin Kamps;
· Citizens Awareness Network Executive Director Deborah Katz; and
· Diane Curran, Esq., partner, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, LLP.

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1:30 p.m. EDT on March 24, 2010 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “nuclear waste contracts and principles" news event.

CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio recording of the news event will be available on the Web as of 6 p.m. EDT on March 24, 2010 at
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, for IEER, (703) 276-3265 or
The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research provides policy-makers, journalists, and the public with understandable and accurate scientific and technical information on energy and environmental issues. IEER’s aim is to bring scientific excellence to public policy issues in order to promote the democratization of science and a safer, healthier environment.

Kevin Kamps

Radioactive Waste Watchdog

Beyond Nuclear

6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400

Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

Office: (301) 270-2209 ext. 1

Cell: (240) 462-3216

Fax: (301) 270-4000

Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.

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