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E-M:/ NukeNotes 4/15/97 - S.104 voted today!

For those who care about The Earth...


Kay Cumbow
15184 Dudley Road
Brown City, MI 48416
Voice: (810) 346-4513 (ONLY after 5pm)
Fax: (810) 346-2345

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 13:02:44 -0700 (PDT)
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From: Michael Mariotte <nirsnet@igc.apc.org>
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Subject: S 104 vote Tuesday AM!
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A very quick final update before the final Senate floor vote on S 104, which
will take place on Tax Day, Tuesday April 15, 1997, in the morning (we don't
know the exact time yet, but probably late morning Eastern time).

Please don't put off your phone calls, e-mails, faxes, telegrams, etc.,  any
longer! It is time!

All Senators need to hear from you. A few key ones: Cleland, GA; Wellstone,
MN; Chafee, RI; Lautenberg & Torricelli, NJ; Durbin, IL; Wyden, OR. But this
is not a full list; if you have a Senator (i.e., if you're not in Washington

Thanks, and we will send a brief update tomorrow following the vote.

Michael Mariotte
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 09:54:06 -0400
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From: Mike Ewall <mxe115@psu.edu>
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Subject: CMEP: S.104 and New Analysis of Costs
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Lisa Marina Brooks <lbrooks@essential.org>


S.104, The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997, is currently being debated
before the full Senate. A vote on final passage is expected late Monday or
early Tuesday (although such expectations are always subject to change in
the Senate). The vote will probably be very close to the key level of 1/3
no votes necessary to sustain the veto promised by the Clinton


The major development during Senate floor action so far has been Sen.
Murkowski's introduction of a substitute bill, a new version of S.104. The
revised version mitigates some of the worst excesses in his previous
legislation without curing its fundamental flaws.

The bill would still:

--Mandate siting of an "interim" storage facility, necessitating the
transport of highly irradiated nuclear fuel through 43 states. This dump
could become the waste's permanent resting place, because it would proceed
even if Yucca Mountain were found to be unsuitable as a repository;

--Block the Environmental Protection Agency's ongoing process of setting
radiation standards for a permanent repository, and prevent the Safe
Drinking Water Act from applying to the repository; and

--override state, local and tribal laws that interfere with the nuclear
waste shipping and dumping program mandated by the bill.

Also, we've done some calculations of the costs of at-reactor dry cask
storage vs. centralized storage a la S.104, and the press release and
summary follow.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   CONTACT:Auke Piersma
Thursday, April 10, 1997                        202-546-4996 x-318

                        Defeat of Nuclear Waste Legislation Urged

        As the Senate prepares to vote on legislation to mandate
construction of a new nuclear waste dump, an analysis by Public Citizen
shows that storing the waste at the reactors that generate it is seven
times cheaper than moving it to a central location in Nevada, as proposed
by Sen. Murkowski's S.104, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997.

        "This misguided legislation's rush to move highly irradiated
nuclear fuel from the reactors that generated it would be more expensive
and more dangerous than keeping the waste on site until its ultimate
disposition is determined," said Auke Piersma, a researcher at Public
Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project who wrote "The Real Costs of
On-Site Storage of Highly Irradiated Nuclear Fuel." "Undue haste and
nuclear waste are a bad combination."

        "In its grab for a government bailout, the atomic lobby has tried
to create a phony crisis," Piersma continued. "The Nuclear Energy
Institute claims the federal government would be liable for the absurd sum
of $56 billion for failing to take the industry's waste by 1998. However,
the total cost of additional storage necessary to keep that waste on site
through 2010 is only $224-$330 million. That compares to a cost of $2.3
billion just through 2002 to open the central waste dump mandated by
S.104, according to the Congressional Budget Office."

        Piersma noted that the costs could vary within those ranges
depending on the type of storage cask used, and added that actual costs
will run even lower than his projections because his methodology errs on
the side of predicting more waste. Increased competition in electricity
markets will almost certainly cause many atomic reactors to close before
their licenses expire, which means they will generate less waste than

        "Sen. Murkowski's bill flies in the face of sound fiscal and
environmental policy," said Bill Magavern, director of Critical Mass. "The
Senate should reject legislation that increases the costs of nuclear waste
storage in response to the bogus claims of nuclear lobbyists." Murkowski's
bill would also transfer liability for radioactive waste from the nuclear
utilities that created it to the U.S. taxpayers. Furthermore, the bill
would send the highly toxic material onto the highways and railroads of 43
states, endangering communities along the routes.

Public Citizen is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest research and
advocacy organization with over 130,000 members nationwide. Critical Mass
is its energy policy group.

"The Real Costs of On-Site Storage of Highly Irradiated Nuclear Fuel" has
projections for storage costs for all operating reactors and can be
obtained from Auke Piersma at 202-546-4996

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Summary of Findings

        The real cost of storing highly irradiated nuclear fuel in dry
casks at reactors is $224 - 330 million through 2010, or $388 - 571
million through 2015, even using methodology likely to overstate costs.

        The nuclear lobby's claim that the federal government could be
liable for $56 billion for failure to accept utility waste by 1998 is
ludicrous, since DOE's inability to take the waste would result in only
$224 - $330 million in increased storage costs to utilities through 2010.

        CBO estimates the centralized interim storage requirements of S.
104 will cost $2.3 billion from 1997 to 2002.  The cost of at-reactor
storage is far lower than the cost of the centralized interim storage
proposed by S. 104.  S. 104 would require DOE, in 5 years, to spend 7
times the maximum amount of money it would cost for 12  years of dry cask
storage at reactors.

        The DOE and this analysis both conclude that only 9 reactors will
run out of pool storage by 2000, and all 9 are planning or have dry cask
storage and will continue to operate.

        This analysis also concludes that by 1998 only 3 reactors will run
out of storage space, and all 3 are planning or have dry cask storage and
will continue to operate.

        DOE's failure to accept this high level nuclear waste by 1998 is
clearly not jeopardizing the continued operation of nuclear reactors.

        Congress should refuse to pass legislation that increases the
costs of nuclear waste storage in response to a phony "crisis."

For more information contact:
Auke Piersma at apiersma@citizen.org or at 202-546-4996.


The Critical Mass Energy Project world wide web site is located at:

The Critical Mass email address is cmep@essential.org


Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 12:58:40 -0700 (PDT)
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From: Michael Mariotte <nirsnet@igc.apc.org>
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Subject: S 104 update#4
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S 104 update#4
April 11, 1997, 3:30 pm


The Senate is adjourned today (Friday). Debate on S 104 will continue on
Monday, April 14. On the morning of April 15 (probably around 10:30 am),
there will be a rapid series of votes on remaining amendments to S 104,
followed by a final vote on the bill itself.

Yesterday, the Senate adopted two amendments to S 104: one eliminates the
Savannah River complex and Barnwell County, SC from being named an "interim"
storage site if Yucca Mountain is found unsuitable; the other eliminates Oak
Ridge, TN, from being named an "interim" site.

Two amendments were defeated. One was by Sen. Bingaman to delete the above
two amendments (as well as the Committee-passed amendment eliminating
Hanford, WA as a potential site. Bingaman felt (as do we) that these were
basically NIMBY amendments, and if the Senate does that, why not just
eliminate every other potential site? The other amendment was by Sen.
Bumpers, and would have expressed the sense of the Senate that the DOE was
not responsible for the delays at Yucca Mt, but instead were hampered by
inadequate funding from Congress, contradictory direction from Congress,
etc. This was to affect the court case of utilities against DOE. Imagine
that, Congress taking responsbility for a change! Of course, the amendment
was defeated by a 3-1 margin....

Four or five amendments are still left to be voted on. We do not know the
details of any of them. Only one, however, is considered critical. This will
be offered by Sen. Bingaman and addresses the issue of where an "interim"
site would be placed if Yucca Mountain is not found suitable for permanent
storage. Under the current bill, if the President determines that Yucca is
not suitable, then he must designate an alternate site within 18 months.
Congress must approve that site within two years of the President's initial
determination (mostly likely leading to an actual six-month deadline for
Congress to approve the alternate site). If that is not accomplished (and
few believe Congress would approve an alternate site so quickly, since the
site selected obviously would fight hard against it), then Yucca would
become the "interim" site anyway, despite having been found unsuitable!

Bingaman's amendment would change that, and would not allow Yucca to become
an "interim" site if it is unsuitable as a permanent site (although we don't
have the exact wording of his amendment). If Congress does not approve his
amendment--and it is very likely not to approve it because the nuclear
industry is dead-set against it--then Bingaman says he will vote against the
bill, and probably would bring several other fence-sitters along. Rejection
of the Bingaman amendment also will make a Clinton veto certain.

Obviously, from our view, even the Bingaman amendment would not make S 104
acceptable. But there is virtually no chance Congress will adopt it anyway.

So, the message to your Senators and your friends remains: Oppose S 104, no
matter how it is amended. It is bad legislation, pure and simple. There is
no need for "interim" storage at this time; we can't afford the cost and we
don't want to experience the waste transportation.

Keep calls, faxes, and e-mails coming in through Tuesday morning!

We will try to send another update on Monday.

Michael Mariotte

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 11:22:40 -0700 (PDT)
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From: Michael Mariotte <nirsnet@igc.apc.org>
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Subject: S104 Update#3
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S 104 Update#3
April 10, 1997, 2pm



Because many Senators want to get home to witness the massive flooding now
underway in the Midwest, the Senate has cancelled Friday's session. There
had been some thought that a vote might occur today, but it now appears
nearly certain that a final vote on S 104 will not occur until Monday or
Tuesday. Thus, there is the entire weekend to organize and get more calls,
e-mails, faxes, telegrams, etc. to your Senators.

Yesterday, Sen. Murkowski (R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Energy
Committee, and chief sponsor of S. 104) introduced a substitute for S. 104.
This is now the bill that will be voted on. The substitute is the result of
discussions with Sen. Bingaman (D-N.M.). The substitute addresses many of
Bingaman's concerns; however, discussions with Bingaman broke down over one
key issue, and Bingaman now says he will vote against S. 104.

The key issue is what happens if Yucca Mt. is found unsuitable for permanent
storage. Under S. 104, the President must designate an alternate site, and
get Congress to approve that site, in a limited time period. If that doesn't
happen, then Yucca Mt. becomes the "interim" site anyway--even though found
unsuitable for permanent storage. This was unacceptable to Bingaman and to
President Clinton.

However, the substitute for S. 104 includes some changes aimed at wavering
Democrats. For example, it changes the 100 millirems/year radiation exposure
standard to a more complicated system recommended (with a strong dissent) by
the National Academy of Sciences, which works out to about 25-30
millirems/year--this is still a 1 in 1,000 lifetime fatal cancer rate, a
rate Congress would never approve for any other pollutant.

Pre-emption language was changed so that only State and local laws are
pre-empted, not other Federal laws. On the other hand, other language in the
bill clearly pre-empts the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act for radiation levels.

The Environmental Impact Statement apparently has been slightly amended to
allow analysis of transportation impacts. However, need for the facility
(both "interim" and permanent); alternatives to the facility (both "interim"
and permanent), etc. are not allowed to be included.

The bottom line is that the amendments are far too little, too late. The
bill remains flawed, and Senators need to know that. Make sure your opinion
is heard! Stop S 104! Stop a Mobile Chernobyl!

Calls are still needed to ALL Senators! A few critical swing votes:
Torricelli & Lautenberg (New Jersey); Landrieu, (Louisiana); Johnson (S.D.);
Chafee (Rhode Island), Cleland (Georgia).

We will update again as events warrant.

Michael Mariotte


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 12:32:38
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Apr 9, 1997 (Reuter) - The statement of the five declared
nuclear weapons states about nuclear disarmament, issued on
Tuesday, was said to be vapor by Australian U.N. ambassador
Richard Butler. It would contain no concrete steps for
reducing the nuclear arsenals.

Apr 9, 1997 (Reuter) - Stansfield Turner, director of the CIA
from 1977 to 1981, said both the U.S. and Russia would have
far more nuclear weapons than they could possibly use in case
of a war. He criticised the Helsinki agreement for not going
far enough.

Apr 10, 1997 (AP) - GPU, operator of the Oyster Creek, U.S.,
nuclear station said the plant would be too costly to continue
operation. It will be either closed or sold. This decision, on
the other hand, would not affect the Three Miles Island plant,
which is also operated by the GPU.

Apr 11, 1997 (UPI) - General Atomic, which had won the bidding
for the building of a 10 MW research reactor at Ongkharak,
Thailand, cannot begin the construction because it lacks a
safety approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The deal
is worth $132 million.

Apr 11, 1997 (Reuter) - The French gouvernment remains opposed
to Alcatel's plans of a merge of Framatome and GEC Alsthom
because it would lose its control over Framatome. Alcatel
holds 44 percent stake in Framatome and 50 percent stake in
GEC Alsthom. "The government is favourable to an eventual
alliance between Framatome and Alcatel Alsthom in its energy
activites, with GEC joining up afterwards," French Industry
Minister Borotra told Le Monde. He said cooperation with
Simens would be continued.

Apr 11, 1997 (Reuter) - The U.S. Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor,
built in 1997, was closed due to cuts in the federal budget.
The reactor has produced 10.7 MW for about one second in 1994,
which is still an international record for nuclear fusion.

Apr 12, 1997 (Reuter) - Japanese state-run Power Reactor and
Nuclear Fuel   Development Corporation (PNC) plans to
privatise operations involving uranium enrichment and
reprocessing, uranium mining, plutonium processing, and the
management of high-level radioactive waste, a leading Japanese
newspaper reported. the move is seen as a reaction to the bad
handling of the accident at the Tokaimura reprocessing plant.

Apr 13, 1997 (Reuter) - As no move towards nuclear disarmament
is in sight, India will continue its indigenius missile
program, Indian Defence Ministry said. India is developing
both intermediate and short range missiles.

Apr 13, 1997 (Reuter) - Five officials of the Japanese PNC,
among them a department chief, were demoted for being involved
in falsifying a report about the accident at the Tokaimura
reprocessing plant.

Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 17:02:52
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Apr 7, 1997 (Reuter) - British Energy, which ownes eight 1996
privatized nuclear power plants, bought 12.5 percent stake in
Humber Power Ltd, which ownes a 1,260 MW gas plant in order to

Apr 7, 1997 (Reuter) - The 113 nations of the Non-Aligned
Movement (NAM) expressed on a meeeting in New Dehli the call
for complete nuclear disarmament and a ban on chemical

Apr 7, 1997 (Reuter) - Framatome is unlikely to merge with GEC
Alsthom under the planned conditions, Framatome said.

Apr 7, 1997 (Reuter) - Analysts said the hindering of the
merge of Framatome with GEC would be due to french
gouvernmental efforts control nuclear industry.

Apr 4, 1997 (UPI) - The U.S. Navy had left radioactive and
toxic waste when it left its Subic Bay Base, Phillipines, five
years ago, an American environmental group says. The U.S. has
assured help in clean-up, the costs of which are estimated to
be about $10 million.

Apr 4, 1997 (UPI) - A group of 54 South Korean gouvernment and
industry officials will go to North Korea on Tuesday to survey
the site for the planned light water reactors.

Apr 4, 1997 (UPI) - NRC official John Zwolinksy said it would
be unlikely that the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant could go
back on-line in time, as the NRC has to complete its
inspections before.

Apr 4, 1997 (Reuter) - The first "subcritical" nuclear test
will be conducted by the U.S. in July, a next one is planned
for fall. An expert said that, as the tests were held
underground, no one could check wether they were really

Apr 6, 1997 (UPI) - The female Isreali agent who helped to
spirit Vanunu ten years ago was traced to Orlando, where she
sells timeshare accomodation, the Sunday Times reports.

Apr 6, 1997 (UPI) - The construction of a 22 MW reactor 70 km
northeast of Cairo, Egypt, began. The $130 million facility
will be build by Argentina.

Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 13:31:47
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Apr 1, 1997 (Reuter) - Nuclear scientists found traces of
uranium in the hold of an airlainer that crashed into the sea
near the island Ustica in 1980. Media speculated that is was
meant to uranium to Lybia.

Apr 1, 1997 (Reuter) - The building of bunkers and secret
subways in order to guarantee the survival of the gouvernment
in case of a nuclear war continues in Russia, the Washington
Post said refering to a CIA report.

Apr 1, 1997 (Reuter) - 13 of 21 plannes B-2 Stealth bombers
arrived at the whiteman Air Force base in Missouri. The
aircraft, worth $2 billion, can carry special bunker-busting
nuclear bombs and 2000 pounds highly accurate conventional

Apr 1, 1997 (Reuter) - U.S. Energy Secretary Federico Pena
said the decision on a temporary storage near Yucca Mountain,
Nevada, would depend on wether the final storage shall be
build there. The Clinton Administration is opposing a
temporary storage until the viability assessment is done in

Apr 2, 1997 (Reuter) - Juge Rosario Priore, investigating the
case of the 1980 air crash near the island Ustica, said the
scientific reports about the case were not complete yet and
definitive conclusions about wether the plane carried uranium
or not could not been made yet.

Apr 2, 1997 (Reuter) - Due to problems with projects and
wiring the planned opening of the Czech nuclear power plant at
Temelin was delayed by another year. It shall now connect to
the grid in late 1999.

Apr 2, 1997 (Reuter) - Bohdan Babiy, head of the Ukrain oil
and gas sector, and Viktor Chebrov, head of the Derzhkomatom
nuclear body were sacked by Ukrain president Kuchma because of

Apr 2, 1997 (UPI) - 25 of 31 operators of Commonwealth
Edison's troubeld Lasalle nuclear power plant who took a test
of their ability to handle problems failed. The test was part
of ComEd's own training-program, which lasted 3 weeks.

Apr 2, 1997 (UPI) - Native americans living around the Hanford
nuclear complex filed in a lawsuit against the U.S.
gouvernment and its partners at the project, claiming they
were used as guinea pigs. They were extraordinay at risk
because of their lifestyle and diet.

Apr 3, 1997 (Reuter) - A Japanese top energy official voiced
concern about growing anti-nuclear protests. A stop of
reprocessing and use of the Fast breeder Technology as well as
the denial to use MOX would lead to raising plutonium
stockpiles in japan, Kazuya Fujime, managing director of the
Institute of Energy Economics (IEE) said.

Apr 3, 1997 (Reuter) - U.S. energy Secretary federico pena
held talks with nuclear industry officials about nuclear
waste, which the gouvernment is required by law to take over
from the utilities and store by 1998. Twenty seven plants are
expected to run out of space at this time. The question of
compensation for the plants if the gouvernment cannot handle
the waste wasn't discussed in detail.

Apr 3, 1997 (PRNewswire) - In coorperation with the Sierra
Club the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
presented a documentary film on the case of Alexandr Nikitin,
who was jailed because he had worked on a report about the
russian Northern Fleet. The film "Secret Ecology: The Story of
Alexander Nikitin" was shown on Thursday in Washington.

Mar 31, 1997 (AP) - A memo of some energy department's nuclear
specialists, written eight month ago, was now made public. It
voices strong opposition against the possible use of the
Hanford Fast Flux reactor for production of trithium, a gas
that is needed to keep nuclear weapons functioning.


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>>>>Don't forget- Backyard Eco Conference '97, Mystic Lake Camp, Clare County.
May 16,17, and 18, 1997<<<<

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