Mock Nuclear Waste Cask Tour
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 5/26/02 NO Yucca Dump Cask Tour
- No Radioactive Roads and Rails in Oregon !
Stop the Accident before it Happens - The Mock Nuclear Waste Cask will be traveling the roads of Oregon and Washington from May 28 to June 7 on the same routes that nuclear waste on route to Yucca Mountain, Nevada would travel. It is part of a six cask campaign to raise awareness on the upcoming vote in the US Senate for a high level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.
Call, email, fax or write to Oregon's Senators and tell them NO NUCLEAR DUMP AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN! NO RADIOACTIVE ROADS OR RAILS!
WHAT: Citizen Alert's Mock Nuclear Waste Cask is coming to Eugene.
Press Conference - All Press Invited
Middle School Presentation - Jefferson
Public Presentation - Grower's Market
The Mock Nuclear Waste Cask will be traveling the roads of Oregon and Washington from May 28 to June 7 on the same routes that nuclear waste on route to Yucca Mountain, Nevada would travel. It is part of a six cask campaign to raise awareness on the upcoming vote in the US Senate for a high level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.
The Mock Cask is a to scale version (20 feet long and 8 feet in diameter at the ends) of a high level nuclear waste transportation cask used to move highly radioactive waste by truck. Each real cask would hold about 2 metric tons of waste amounting to approximately 850,000 curies of radioactivity (10 year old fuel) and ten times the long-lived radioactivity than released by the Hiroshma bomb. To date the Department of Energy is not able to specify details of the massive radioactive waste transportation scheme that will initiate as a result of a decision to site the dump at Yucca Mountain.
WHERE: Wednesday, 5/29/02
11:15 AM - John Hadder of Citizen Alert will be at Jefferson Middle School (1650 W. 22nd) for a presentation.
12:15 PM - Pete Sorenson and Jefferson Middle Schoolers, will speak at a Press Conference at Jefferson Middle School (1650 W. 22nd).
7:00 PM - John Hadder will speak at a public presentation at Grower's Market, 454 Willamette.
The Mock Cask will be traveling from Reno, Nevada on May 27 to Ashland on the 28, Eugene on the 29, Corvalis on the 30, Salem on the 30, Seattle area over June 1, 2, and 3, back to the Portland/Hood River area on the 4th, 5th, and 6th. It will then travel through Idaho, Utah, and the plains states to meet up with five other similar Mock Casks in St. Louis Missouri on June 12. All six casks will find there way to Washington DC on June 18th prior to a vote in the US Senate on the Yucca Mountain Project.
WHY: The Yucca Mountain Project calls for the movement of 77,000 tons of highly radioactive waste from commercial nuclear power reactors and Dept. of Energy nuclear weapons sites to Yucca Mountain. This will result in thousands of shipments over 24 years through 44 states and within one-half mile of 50 million Americans; 35 times more waste would be shipped annually than has been shipped in the past.
In the face of unresolved technical issues at Yucca Mountain and numerous concerns over the transportation of the waste the Department of Energy has been moving forward. Congress has the opportunity now to oppose the Yucca Mountain Project to allow proper review of the health and security issues surrounding the transportation of the deadly waste.
Senator's Contact Info
Call, email, fax or write to Oregon's Senators and tell them NO NUCLEAR DUMP AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN! NO RADIOACTIVE ROADS OR RAILS! If you get a response be sure to let Oregon PeaceWorks know so that we can lead this campaign as effectively as possible.
We ask that you call most importantly as time is running out before the senate votes and mail does not always get there. The following number has been set up to let you call your senators for free from 9-5 EST.
Senator Gordon Smith Senator Ron Wyden
One World Trade Center 700 NE Multnomah St. Suite 450
121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1250 Portland, OR 97232
Portland, OR 97204 Email: thru his website
Email: email@example.com http://wyden.senate.gov
Phone: (503) 326-3386 Phone: (503) 326-7525
Fax: (503) 326-2900 Fax: (503) 326-7528
U.S. SENATE TO DECIDE FATE OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN
In a few weeks, the Senate will be deciding whether or not to approve Yucca Mountain as a permanent repository for the nation's high-level nuclear waste. Last February, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham recommended and President Bush approved plans to build such a repository in the desert mountain just 90 miles outside of Las Vegas. The project, if approved, would launch an unprecedented nuclear waste transport scheme, bringing more than 50,000 shipments of waste through 44 states and the District of Columbia for as long as 30 years. Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn vetoed the site recommendation, and it is now up to Congress to make the final decision on the fate of Yucca Mountain.
Although the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the nuclear industry tout Yucca Mountain as an ideal place to store 77,000 tons of radioactive waste, hundreds of peace and anti-nuclear groups, including Oregon PeaceWorks and Eugene PeaceWorks, environmental and public health organizations, and Native American nations, and many policymakers have raised numerous doubts about the site's suitability, possible threats to health, safety, and the environment, and the ethics surrounding the site's selection.
Though the House of Representatives recently voted to approve the Yucca Mountain proposal 306-117, four of Oregon's five Representatives rejected the site recommendation, (Representative Greg Walden approved the site) echoing many of the same questions that have been raised.
"Currently there are so many questions surrounding the geology of Yucca Mountain, the adequacy of the containers that will house the nuclear waste, and the methods of transporting this high level nuclear waste to the site, that I could not in good conscience vote for this proposal," said Representative Darlene Hooley.
Oregon's lawmakers also expressed concerns over the fate of the Department of Energy's controversial Hanford site if Yucca Mountain were to be approved.
"The approval of Yucca Mountain will set a dangerous precedent for other potential sites such as Hanford, said Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer. "When Yucca Mountain failed to meet repository guidelines, the Department of Energy rewrote those guidelines to avoid disqualifying the site. I don't want this same low standard to be applied to Hanford or any of the other potential sites."
The more evenly divided Senate will be considering the Yucca Mountain proposal in the next few weeks, and neither Oregon Senator has committed to voting either way. But activists are hoping that Senators Wyden and Smith heed the call of Oregon residents and vote against the proposal.
"Senators Wyden and Smith have already heard from 22 Oregon groups with tens of thousands of members. The message was clear- Oregonians do not want nuclear waste transported through Oregon to Yucca Mountain, "said Michael Carrigan, Oregon PeaceWork's program director. "They will continue to hear from us right up until they vote."
What's Wrong With Yucca?
The Yucca Mountain Project would launch an unprecedented nuclear waste transportation scheme, potentially affecting more than 21% of the residents of Oregon. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that 3,324 truck shipments will travel through Oregon along Interstate 84, or as many as 649 train shipments of this lethal cargo will travel alongside Interstates 84 and 5. This lethal cargo may pass through Eugene, Oakridge, Klamath Falls, Portland, Salem, Hood River, The Dalles, Hermiston, Pendleton, La Grande, and Baker City.
An accident involving just one of these shipments could be catastrophic, potentially requiring several months and millions of dollars to clean up. It is unclear whether Oregon's emergency response and public health infrastructures would have the capacity to respond effectively to such a nuclear disaster.
Currently licensed nuclear waste transportation casks have not been physically tested. Limited physical tests performed in the 1970s on now-obsolete casks have not been repeated. Moreover, performance requirements for nuclear waste casks are outdated, dangerously underestimating the conditions of today's worst-case accident scenario and ignoring vulnerabilities to terrorist attack.
Yucca Mountain's suitability as a storage facility for nuclear waste has been questioned since 1987, when it was singled out as the sole site to be considered for such a facility. Several geographic factors initially made it desirable: its remoteness, arid climate, lack of seismic activity, and geographical barriers. Also, the DOE claims that Yucca Mountain was on government lands.
However, many of those claims have been refuted by the growing number of Yucca opponents. Yucca Mountain sits atop an aquifer that supplies residents of Inyo County, California with drinking water. Yucca is also becoming less and less remote; Las Vegas, just 90 miles away from Yucca Mountain, is home to 478,434 people and is the nation's fastest growing city.
Yucca Mountain's seismicity has also been under attack, as 33 earthquake faults criss-cross the area. Yucca Mountain has been called "Serpent Swimming West" in Shoshone language, because of the seismic activity in the area. Incidentally, the Shoshone Nation, who has resided in the area for thousands of years, also lays claim to Yucca Mountain as tribal lands.
Michael Carrigan Phil Weaver
Oregon PeaceWorks Eugene PeaceWorks
(503) 585-2767 (541) 343-8548
phone: (541) 343-8548
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