Tell the Bush administration to halt its dangerous nuclear energy plan

You will also find these alerts in NRDC'S Earth Action Center, which includes tools for taking action easily online, at //www.nrdc.org/action


Action Alerts

Tell the Bush administration to halt its dangerous nuclear energy plan

Last year the Department of Energy revived two dangerous nuclear energy ideas and repackaged them as the "Global Nuclear Energy Partnership." The project calls for billions of taxpayer dollars to develop facilities and a market (both at home and abroad) for reprocessing nuclear fuel -- a practice that is costly and dangerous, and makes significant quantities of weapons-usable plutonium more accessible, increasing the likelihood that a bomb's worth of nuclear material could be lost, stolen or secretly diverted from peaceful commerce without detection by international inspectors.

The GNEP proposal also would direct billions in spending on the development of plutonium-fueled "fast" reactors, which have proven to be far less reliable and more expensive than conventional light water reactors. The United States, Japan, Europe and Russia spent tens of billions of dollars throughout the 1970s and 80s trying to develop similar reactors, and proved that they are uneconomical, highly unreliable and prone to fires.

The Department of Energy is required to take comments from the public on its GNEP proposal before it can be adopted, and is accepting these comments through June 4th.

== What to do == Send a message, before the June 4th deadline, urging the DOE to halt this unsafe, uneconomical and environmentally unsound plan.

== Additional information == For a quick primer on nuclear power plants, see NRDC's fact sheet (pdf). //www.nrdc.org/nuclear/plants/plants.pdf

For in-depth information about the GNEP plan and the arguments against it, see NRDC's report, "Peddling Plutonium: Nuclear Energy Plan Would Make the World More Dangerous" (pdf). //www.nrdc.org/nuclear/gnep/agnep.pdf

== Contact information == You can send a comment to the DOE directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at //www.nrdconline.org/campaign/nrdcaction_052307/ Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message, and please include your own concerns about nuclear energy.

Timothy A. Frazier, GNEP PEIS Document Manager Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20585-0119 Fax: 866-645-7807 Email: GNEP-PEIS@nuclear.energy.gov

Subject: GNEP PEIS comments

Dear Mr. Frazier,

I strongly object to the development of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. The domestic revival of plutonium reprocessing and the development of plutonium-fueled fast reactors represent the marriage of two failed technologies that have proven to be unsafe, environmentally hazardous and commercial failures.

Reprocessing spent fuel from nuclear reactors to extract plutonium is costly and dangerous, and makes significant quantities of weapons-usable plutonium more accessible, increasing the likelihood that a bomb's worth of nuclear material could be lost, stolen or secretly diverted from peaceful commerce without detection by international inspectors.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States, Europe and Japan spent billions attempting to develop plutonium fast reactor technology that proved uneconomical, unreliable, unsafe and prone to long outages and fires. The decades of development and the exorbitant taxpayer subsidies that would be needed to launch the GNEP program -- tens to hundreds of billions of dollars before even a kilowatt of electricity might be generated decades from now -- would not ensure the immediate future of nuclear power as a competitive technology for countering climate change, but would create additional toxic waste and proliferation hazards. In addition, the extravagant cost of the program would divert money that could be spent on cleaner, faster and less expensive energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technologies.

In its environmental analysis of GNEP, the Department of Energy must fully assess the full range of environmental impacts and risks posed by GNEP, including the proliferation risks posed by development of GNEP facilities in non-weapon states and/or seizure of sensitive nuclear materials, and also must consider all reasonable alternatives to the proposal. I am hopeful that any serious analysis of these matters will cause to you to reconsider this ill-advised program.

The administration's overall vision of a U.S.-led Global Nuclear Energy Partnership is seriously flawed and an irresponsible use of taxpayer money. I urge you to halt work on the GNEP program immediately and to instead focus on developing more ways to use safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound forms of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Sincerely,

[Your name and address]

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