ALERT! Yucca Draft EIS hearings!

PRESS RELEASE: NUCLEAR INFORMATION & RESOURCE SERVICE

Date sent: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 11:14:33 -0400 From: Michael Mariotte Send reply to: nirsnet@nirs.org Organization: NIRS To: nirsnet@nirs.org Subject: ALERT! Yucca Draft EIS hearings!

NUCLEAR INFORMATION & RESOURCE SERVICE ACTION ALERT:

YOUR ACTION NEEDED NOW!!!! Nuclear waste traveling on a road or rail near you! to YUCCA MOUNTAIN on Western Shoshone Lands The Department of Energy (DOE) is moving ahead on implementing the proposed--but doomed to fail--nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. The DOE has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and is holding hearings. This would be the largest nuclear waste shipping campaign in history. Tens of thousands of shipments will travel across 43 states, continuously for 30 years or MORE! YUCCA MOUNTAIN IMPACTS ARE NOT ONLY IN NEVADA!

YUCCA MOUNTAIN HEARINGS WILL MOST LIKELY NOT HEAR YOUR VOICE AND THAT OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER AFFECTED COMMUNITIES UNLESS YOU DEMAND A HEARING IN YOUR COMMUNITY!!!! Doesn't it make sense for your community to be informed about this program? It is clearly the largest project DOE has ever launched since the construction of the nuclear weapons production complex, and has the potential for irreversible consequences. No two stretches of highway or rail are the same, and yet, DOE is doing only a "generic" transport analysis.

DOE will hold 11 hearings in Nevada which is good...but the only places hearings will happen outside Nevada are Washington DC; College Park, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; and Salt Lake City, Utah (See complete list of hearings below). If you live in Hartford, Chicago or St Louis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, L.A. or Kansas City -- all huge hubs for nuclear waste shipments, you have a LONG way to travel for a hearing!!! There are hundreds of other communities that will have hundreds to thousands of high-level nuclear waste shipments rolling through them, on highly used roads and rails.

To check out the projected nuclear waste shipping routes in your state, visit the State of Nevada's Nuclear Projects Office and look at the maps. http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/travel.htm You might also visit http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/eis/yucca/index.htm for more background information.

WRITE OR FAX Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (sorry, e-mail is nonexistent terms of making a "presence felt" in Federal Agencies) demanding a Yucca Mt. EIS Hearing in your community.

Bill Richardson, Secretary of Energy
1000 Independence
Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 200585
fax 202-586-4403

Send a copy to Mr. Lake Barrett, Acting Director, DOE Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, same address. You might also call his office to try and start the balls rolling (phone: 202-586-6850).

Be sure to include in the letter (personally written material really is the best) details about the routes in your area -- proximity to schools or hospitals, details of weather or other challenges that make your area unique. Emphasize what a large potential impact this is to your community and the fact that DOE has no credibility when it comes to generic statements.

Please also examine list of hearings below. IT IS VITAL THAT WE HAVE LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE ATTEND THESE HEARINGS. NIRS will help you with materials--fact sheets, our famous "Radioactive Waste Trucks and Trains Headed Your Way" brochure, and contacting people in these areas on our mailing list. Please network and help get the word out.

If you get a hearing in your community we will help you too! Call NIRS 202-328-0002 for more help. Staff are in and out getting ready for ACTION CAMP, but we will get back with you.

BACKGROUND:
Yucca Mountain -- also known as "Serpent Swimming West" by the Western Shoshone People -- is sacred land. The Western Shoshone People have a treaty that the US federal government will not honor. They reject the dumping of the nation's nuclear waste on their land.

The data that DOE has collected about this Mountain show that it is not capable of isolating nuclear waste. The little tube around the fuel rod does more the isolate the tremendous radioactivity of this waste -- more than 95% of the radiation produced by the Nuclear Age -- than Yucca Mountain itself will do. It is clear that once the containers start to leak, radioactivity will reach the ground water in decades or at best a century or two, not the tens of thousands of years that are needed to protect the Earth.

So we are setting out to move this waste through thousands of communities, past the homes of 30 million people, over millions of shipping miles resulting n multiple accidents in 30 years. The original environmental analysis for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain said that the radiological impact from nuclear waste transportation would "not be significant"...only later did a DOE staffer admit that the way that statement was arrived at is that they took the number of people that they project would be injured by a nuclear waste shipping accident --even a pretty bad one -- and average them across the entire US population. It is after all, a national program. Contaminating half of Indianapolis becomes "insignificant" when averaged across the entire nation and over a 30 year period.

This is not acceptable.

Each large rail cask will carry the radiological equivalent of 200 Hiroshima bombs -- when comparing the persistent radioactivity in each. The numbers given on the projected maps on the Nevada website are low. They do not include all the defense waste shipments that would travel from Savannah River Site SC, Los Alamos and Sandia in NM, INEEL in ID and Hanford in WA, as well as the West Valley site in NY. They also assume that rail is used wherever possible, and yet a rail cask hold 5 times more than a truck cask. So, if trucks are used more than the original projection, some numbers of shipments go up bay a factor of 5. The number of shipments total could approach 100,000.

There is no real training program in place to help local emergency responders and planners. This is another reason to demand hearings in your community since most of these professionals are completely unaware of this proposal.

If DOE moves ahead with current plan this program will be privatized and the contractors will have full indemnity. They will not be liable for any problems. We, as taxpayers will pay any settlement we might win in the wake of an accident, or from the loss of property value.

If nuclear waste transport were a matter of party politics Republicans should hate it, since it clearly could not pass the litmus tests established by the 104th Congress -- it is clearly more of a cost then a benefit when it comes to short term storage of nuclear waste, it is an unfunded mandate since the training and emergency response would fall to local communities, it is a "taking" since there would be loss of property value associated with the use of certain routes for this transport. The only way there is agreement with the 104th's principals is term limits. When enough folks wake up to this program, likely they will vote out who ever voted for it...thus creating a nuclear waste term limit!

For more information, visit http://www.nirs.org

Nuclear Information & Resource Service
1424 16th St. NW Suite 404
Washington, DC 20036
202-328-0002
202-462-2183 fax

Mary Olson
maryo@nirs.org