Energy Solutions of Oak Ridge, TN, has applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to import up to 1000 tons of radioactive waste from Eckert and Ziegler Nuclitec, a German company that specializes in the collection, processing, and disposal of these materials from hospitals, research, and technical facilities throughout Europe and beyond. Should the application be approved, Energy Solutions plans to incinerate dry material in its Bear Creek incinerator and return the remaining ash to Germany. The materials would be transported over a 5 year period beginning in 2011 by boat to Portsmouth or Norfolk, Virginia and by truck from there to Oak Ridge. The Tennessee Division of Radiological Health has already approved the plan. They believe it is good business for Tennessee.
This is a terrible plan that will benefit only Energy Solutions. When nuclear waste is incinerated, it is not destroyed. Only the bulk is diminished, while the radiation is condensed. And in the process of burning, some of the radiation is vented into the atmosphere, where people unknowingly breathe in radionuclides. These can cause cancer. Also, people are exposed to radiation during the transportation of nuclear waste. These trucks will be traveling across Virginia and Tennessee.
Germany's waste is coming unless the public makes a loud outcry, and it is just the tip of the iceberg. Italy is standing in line to be next, with its 20,000 tons of waste from their nuclear industry. Before we know it, our country's chief industry will be the processing of the world's nuclear waste. Are these the jobs we want for our citizens? Please act. Sign the petition and write and call your public officials.
Written comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can be sent by snail mail. Mail to:
Office of the Secretary
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555
Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications
Also please write President Obama and call your Senators and Representatives in Congress and let them know that you do not want radioactive waste to be IMPORTED into the USA.
As Congressman Bart Gordon has said, "If a country like Germany has the capacity to produce large quantities of nuclear waste, it should also have the capacity to treat it and store it….I am concerned once that waste is imported, nothing but an individual corporation's word prevents it from being shipped to U.S. disposal sites."
We already have too much nuclear waste of our own to dispose of and don't need more, thank you. This is the foot-in-the-door to bringing all the world’s nuclear waste to the United States so that businesses such as Energy Solutions can turn a profit. This practice needlessly exposes our citizens to health risks from radiation during transportation and from radionuclides emitted during incineration. This plan should not be approved WITHOUT PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. Therefore I am asking for public hearings both in the NRC and in the Congress.