— Comments on “consent-based siting” to Department of Energy, 4-26-16

From San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

April 26, 2016

In 2016 the Department of Energy (DOE) held eight public meetings around the country on the Department’s consent-based siting initiative for facilities to manage the nation’s nuclear waste. The DOE is planning siting facilities to store, transport, and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

Comments on Consent-Based Siting D.O. E. meeting, Sacramento

April 26, 2016

1. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) does not support or ‘consent’ to the plan of solving the nuclear waste problem with the goal of guaranteeing the FUTURE of nuclear energy in the USA. We do not support the intention of continuing the use of nuclear energy. SLOMFP is concerned that these public meetings are ultimately being conducted to rationalize the continued production of spent fuel through the operation of nuclear reactors, and thereby serve the needs of the nuclear industry, not the needs or the desires of the public.

2. After more than 60 years spent searching for an effective solution to the disposal of radioactive waste, there remains no viable plan. Furthermore, an increasing number of options are available for generating electrical energy using renewable resources that do not create lethal wastes. Thus, as a condition for going forward with a consent-based process for spent fuel disposal, the United States should enter a process for the orderly shutdown of all nuclear reactors. The problem of long-term storage would remain, but at least the quantity of wastes would remain stable.

The term “consent-based siting” is not clearly defined. There are no assurances that such “consent” will be fully informed. In a medical context, informed consent means the patient has been told and shown in writing all of the possible negative outcomes of a treatment as well as the hoped-for positive results The patient can make an objective decision about proceeding or not. SLOMFP sees no indication that the probable negatives of allowing storage of lethal radioactive wastes on a given site will be clearly spelled out BEFORE the community in question can give “consent”. This is essential.

Furthermore, there is no process defined for securing so-called consent. Would consent be determined by a letter from elected local officials? Or would the population affected have an opportunity to vote? If so, what plurality would be required to qualify as “consent”? And who is authorized to speak for future generations?

If legitimate consent is to be obtained for the interim storage of highly irradiated “spent” nuclear fuel in or near a community, each individual in that community must be given adequate, unbiased information about the potential short-term and long-term risks of living in proximity to the site. Then a legal vote must be obtained from the community members. Elected officials do not have the authority to make such an important decision without the fully informed consent of every member of the community. An example of failure to hear those who dissent comes from New Mexico. “We do not consent to the plan to dump dangerous radioactive waste on us,” said Rose Gardner who lives in Eunice, New Mexico, a town of nearly 3000 people that is 40% Hispanic. It lies five miles west of the Waste Control Specialists site proposed for interim storage of nuclear waste. “Andrews County officials say that we want this waste, but no one has ever asked me if I consent. I would definitely say no, and many others here feel the same way. We never got to vote on this issue. The Department of Energy is saying that our community consents to having radioactive waste dumped in our backyard, but this isn’t true. The DOE scheduled eight hearings around the country, but not a single one for New Mexico or Texas, the targeted region. Clearly they don’t want to hear our voices.”

  1. It is also essential that states and communities with responsibility for caring for nuclear waste be given the authority to regulate it to a greater degree of safety than the federal government. And states and communities should have the prerogative of opting out of consent throughout the process, as additional information is developed about the site and the risks of disposal.
  2. We agree with the recommendation of the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future that DOE should be replaced with a new agency to manage high-level radioactive waste. Given the DOE’s dismal record and the public’s lack of trust in its work, replacement of the DOE with a new agency is an essential step.
  3. SLOMFP supports the creation of a permanent geological repository for nuclear waste that is scientifically selected to guarantee that the radioactive materials will be secure from the environment for the length of time they are radioactive. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that time period may extend to 1 million years. See http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/hlwfcst.htm



— US Senate Bill 2795 on deregulation of the nuclear industry – the conflicts of interests of author and sponsors — Senators Inhofe, Booker, Crapo, Whitehouse, Fischer

Sen. James Inhofe, S. 2795: “The existing fleet of nuclear reactors in the United States is operating safely and securely.

From Mining Awareness

April 29, 2016

It is perfectly possible that Inhofe, Booker, Crapo et. al. are simply lazy, stupid and ignorant in pushing a bill (S. 2795) claiming that US nuclear reactors are “operating safely and securely”. Maybe they’ve just observed that the US NRC does exactly what the nuclear industry wants anyway so should indeed have funding cut. It is actually pretty funny that all the workers at US NRC that have sold their soul to the nuclear devil have their jobs on the cutting block anyway. So, the proposal to cut funding to the US NRC is actually pretty funny. Watch and learn before you sell your soul to the devil. However, many NRC workers will just go home to their countries of origin, leaving the children of the American Revolution and others who have no other home stuck with their nuclear crimes. But, why not just totally shut down the US NRC?

The attempt by Inhofe et. al. to stop mandatory hearings for new nuclear reactor types suggests other nefarious motives:https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/us-senate-efforts-to-do-away-with-mandatory-licensing-hearings-for-so-called-advanced-nuclear-reactors-small-modular-reactors/

According to the idiotic statement in the Senator Inhofe sponsored bill S2795, “the existing fleet of nuclear reactors in the United States is operating safely and securely;…” (S.2795 — 114th Congress https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2795/all-actions?resultIndex=3&overview=closed Sponsor: Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK]). Inhofe and his co-sponsors can’t read? The list of safety related problems-“incidents” reported to the US NRC appears endless: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/

http://www.c-span.org/video/?408515-1/hearing-nuclear-energy&start=5937 Why is the entire panel pro-nuclear? Read about them at the bottom of this post. Second from the left is Ashley Finan who works for the so-called “
Clean Air Task Force”, but has promoted the use of nuclear power in the Canadian tar sands industry.

The electrical defects for all but one US nuclear power station are so serious that 7 brave NRC electrical engineers put themselves at risk by demanding something be done immediately. They were ignored. These brave seven were led by an American from India who loves America. And, maybe he’s just smart enough to understand that the world environment is interconnected too.

This claim about the safety and security of US Nuclear Power Stations and push for nuclear deregulation is oddly coming from a Senator (Inhofe) from Oklahoma where there are no operating nuclear power stations, though Oklahoma is the location of the infamous Kerr-McGee site where Karen Silkwood worked.

Does Inhofe’s bill have to do with campaign contributions related to Andarko? https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2012&cid=N00005582 Andarko inherited the Kerr-McGee liability:

Maybe Inhofe’s bill has to do with his funding related to Honeywell International: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/us-nrc-launches-special-inspection-at-honeywell-uranium-hex-facility-in-metropolis-illinois/

And, funding to Inhofe related to Southern Co. with their Vogtle Nuclear Reactors, both old and under construction?https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?type=C&cid=N00005582&newMem=N&cycle=2016 More overt, of course, is Inhofe’s military industrial complex funding.

Continue reading

Update: Upcoming U.S. hearings: what would it take for YOU to CONSENT to Nuclear Waste? DOE wants to “know”

DOE should be met with torches and pitchforks, and run out of town.

UPDATE: DOE is requesting/requiring registration. Each of these meetings can be viewed on the web as they happen.

From the Department of Energy


Our next public meeting will be held in Sacramento, California on April 26th at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza.

The remaining five public meetings will be in:

  • Denver, Colorado on May 24, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Denver – Stapleton.
  • Boston, Massachusetts on June 2, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Boston.
  • Tempe, AZ n June 23, 2016 at the Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes.
  • Boise, ID on July 14, 2016 at Boise Centre.
  • Minneapolis, MN on July 21, 2016 at the Hilton Minneapolis.

We look forward to your participation!

Posted on Beyond Nuclear

March 17, 2016

Our friends and colleagues at NIRS put out the following action alert on March 10, 2016:

The US Dept. of Energy (DOE) is holding 8 Public Meetings and taking written comments on


After decades of trying to force-feed the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear dump down the throats of Nevadans and the Western Shoshone Nation, the DOE and nuclear proponents want to know what it will take to get people to consent or appear to consent to take nuclear waste.

DOE openly acknowledges this is “consent” to future nuclear waste production as part of the “integrated waste management system.” They say that the future of nuclear energy in this country depends on this.

Meetings will be held from noon or 1 PM to ~ 5PM

CHICAGO, IL           March 29, 2016           University of Chicago Conference Center

ATLANTA, GA          April 11, 2016             Georgia Institute of Technology Conference Center

[The following DATES were not included in NIRS’ action alert on March 10th; later that very same day, however, a DOE spokesman at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Regulatory Information Conference, during the “Spent Fuel – Perspectives on Interim Consolidated Storage” workshop session, confirmed the following dates, but still not the exact locations, other than the city and state.]

SACRAMENTO, CA   Late April, 2016           Exact location yet to be announced

DENVER, CO           Late May, 2016           Exact location yet to be announced

BOSTON, MA           Early June, 2016         Exact location yet to be announced

TEMPE, AZ              Late June, 2016          Exact location yet to be announced

BOISE, ID               Mid-July, 2016            Exact location yet to be announced

MINNEAPOLIS, MN       Late July, 2016       Exact location yet to be announced

DOE seeks our input on how to be FAIR, WHO to include, what RESOURCES it will take to induce participation.

They want to identify who adequately represents a community and will “consent” or claim to agree to take nuclear waste.

[Editor: This was done with Native American tribes. The U.S. government would find someone in the tribe willing to do what they wanted, and they would be appointed an “official” representative capable of making decisions for the whole tribe. Then the tribe would be sold out by the decisions made. This would also cause massive discord and enmity within the tribes, pitting member against member. Generally, these arrangements would concern natural resources and land.

Indigenous people typically regard land as held in common; dividing up land and portioning off land to individual families goes against their ways. By offering money to often desperately poor members, the U.S. government, and/or private companies could destroy the unity of the tribe and create so much internal tribal discord that opposition would be greatly diminished, and confiscate land and/or resources.]

They are not defining exactly what or how much nuclear waste we would be “consenting” or not consenting to accept.

They are not asking how a community can refuse or express permanent “non-consent,” although you can let them know that if you choose to.

Although they have reports, diagrams of storage containers and systems, ideas and plans for the tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste in this country, they claim to want to negotiate with communities who would “consent” to take it forever or supposedly temporarily.

NO CONSIDERATION OF THE RIGHTS OR CONSENT OF THOSE ALONG TRANSPORT ROUTES IS BEING MADE OR REQUESTED. Although one of the greatest dangers to the most people, environments and ecosystems is the movement of tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste on roads, rails and waterways, DOE stated at its Washington DC ‘kickoff’ meeting that there is complete federal preemption over transport of nuclear waste so that would not be part of the process.

There is NO Consideration of the rights of future generations who will inevitably be affected.

The nuclear industry is eager for volunteers or consenting communities to take the waste and for the US Department of Energy to take title to it.

Meetings will be in 8 US CITIES from MARCH TO JULY 2016.

Comment deadline is June 15, 2016; email to consentbasedsiting@hq.doe.gov.  Please include “Response to IPC” [which stands for “Invitation for Public Comment”] in the subject line.


Federal Register Notice:


DOE website for more of their information and to REGISTER for MEETINGS: http://www.energy.gov/ne/consent-based-siting

Info coming soon at www.nirs.org at Stop Fukushima Freeways

More info: dianed@nirs.org; after March 21  maryo@nirs.org; For Chicago meeting neis@neis.org

(See Beyond Nuclear’s web post from January 2016, immediately following DOE’s Washington, D.C. “Kick-Off” meeting for its “Consent-Based Siting” public comment proceeding (which, by the way, included NO oral public comment opportunity! Supposedly, future public meetings listed above WILL include an oral public comment opportunity — that is the whole point! But we will see. Another disconnect that still has to be resolved is, public comment meetings are scheduled for AFTER the deadline for public comment — so DOE must extend the public comment deadline until at least all scheduled meetings are finished and done!)