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E-M:/ Fwd: [Fwd: Mobile Chernobyl victory!]



This is a long message, however, it has a Michigan connection.  Apparently
Senator Levin voted to cut off the filibuster (apparently having something to
do
with the anti-tobacco legislation) which if it had passed would have allowed
the
Mobile Chernobyl bill to move through the senate.  Enjoy!

In a message dated 98-06-03 13:20:36 EDT, bailey@ilsr.org writes:

<< Subj:	 [Fwd: Mobile Chernobyl victory!]
 Date:	98-06-03 13:20:36 EDT
 From:	bailey@ilsr.org (John Bailey)
 Reply-to:	bailey@ilsr.org
 To:	bailey@ilsr.org (John Bailey)
 
 ME3 Netters-
 
 Thought you might like to here some good news today.  Thanks to all of you
who took
 the time to "act" on this issue over the last year.
 
 JB.
 
 Michael Mariotte wrote:
 
 > The following article will appear in the next Nuclear Monitor, but we
 > thought you would like to see it now. Thanks to everyone who helped defeat
 > Mobile Chernobyl, and to the 73 organizations that signed the most recent
 > letter!
 >
 > MOBILE CHERNOBYL BILL STALLS IN SENATE
 >
 > The U.S. Senate June 2 decided not to take up the Mobile Chernobyl bill, in
 > a landmark victory for both the environmental community and anti-tobacco
 > forces. The vote probably means that the bill will not be taken up again
 > this Congress.
 >         The key vote came on a procedural motion by Senate Majority Leader
Trent
 > Lott (R-Miss.) who tried to invoke cloture (cut off a promised filibuster
by
 > Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan) and thus allow the Senate to
 > vote on the bill. A 3/5 majority, or 60 votes, is needed to invoke cloture
 > and the final vote was close: 56-39 in favor of cloture. But it wasn't
 > enough to proceed on the bill.
 >         After the vote, Senate Energy Committee chairman Frank Murkowski
(R-Alaska)
 > reportedly told Sen. Reid that he would not bring up the bill again this
 > Congress. And House Speaker Newt Gingrich released a statement after the
 > vote stating that he does not expect the House to vote again on Mobile
 > Chernobyl this Congress either. Since the previously-passed House and
Senate
 > versions are fairly far apart on the specifics of the legislation, it
 > appears Mobile Chernobyl has failed for the second consecutive Congress.
 >         Rep. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who is running against Reid for the
Senate this
 > year, had the day before said that Gingrich had promised him that the House
 > would not again vote on the bill. Even some bill supporters in the Senate
 > took that to mean that further action on the bill would be hopeless and a
 > waste of time. However, despite being pressed by the media, by various
 > Senators and environmental groups throughout the day on June 2, Gingrich
 > refused to confirm his promise to Ensign until after the Senate vote.
 >         The final vote on cloture was on a near-party line basis. Several
Democrats
 > who previously had voted for the bill, including Sens. Leahy, Harkin,
Wyden,
 > Graham, Cleland, Murray and Kohl, voted against cloture, while two
 > Republicans opposed to the bill itself, Coats and Campbell, voted for
 > cloture. Of Democrats, only Sens. Hollings and Levin voted for cloture.
 > Levin was the last vote and didn't cast his vote until a count was made and
 > it was clear cloture would fail with or without his vote. No Republicans
 > voted against cloture.
 >         One reason for the switch in Democratic votes was that invoking
cloture
 > would have meant that the Senate would have dropped its debate over pending
 > tobacco legislation, and it was by no means clear that it would be easy to
 > bring up that legislation again. The Democratic leadership made a point of
 > telling Democrats that they wanted to debate tobacco, not radioactive
waste,
 > and that a vote for cloture was a vote for the tobacco industry.
 >         However, the vote may also indicate a weakening of support for the
Mobile
 > Chernobyl legislation, which passed the Senate in April 1997 by a 65-34
 > margin. Subsequent events have undercut some of the nuclear industry's key
 > arguments for the bill. For example, on May 8 a federal appeals court
 > rejected claims by the nuclear utilities and numerous state agencies that
 > the Department of Energy must begin moving high-level waste across the
 > country this year or pay enormous damages. Instead, the court said that the
 > contract DOE signed with the utilities in 1982 had adequate terms to cover
 > the delay in shipments, and told the utilities to work out their problems
 > with the agency.
 >         The DOE responded quickly with an offer that would have allowed
utilities
 > to recover some of the interest the government otherwise would earn from
the
 > Nuclear Waste Fund collected by utilities, and put that money toward the
 > costs of on-site storage of high-level waste. The DOE estimated that could
 > be worth from about $11 million to $337 million per utility. But the
 > utilities immediately rejected the offer, making clear that their interest
 > is not in safe or economical storage of the waste, but in moving it off
 > their land, period.
 >         Moreover, the utilities appeared more interested in changing the
House and
 > Senate-passed bills to reduce the money collected under the Nuclear Waste
 > Fund. That move may have backfired with the late April release of a study
 > done for the State of Nevada by three think-tanks, and reviewed by the
 > accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick, which estimates the total cost of the
 > government's high-level nuclear waste program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada is
 > now almost $54 Billion. Since the total amount DOE estimates will be
 > collected by the Nuclear Waste Fund is only some $28 Billion (and that's if
 > every reactor operates its entire licensed lifetime, which no reactor yet
 > has done), there is a foreseeable shortfall of nearly $26 Billion. The
 > nuclear industry would like that shortfall, and more, to be paid by
 > taxpayers. It isn't clear yet what the Congress intends to do about the
problem.
 >         According to the study, the centralized "interim" dumpsite at Yucca
 > Mountain that was the focus of the Mobile Chernobyl legislation would cost
 > $9.2 Billion. Stopping the "interim" program would save that money right
off
 > the bat.
 >         The study identified several uncertainties in its estimates that
could
 > increase the actual costs of the high-level waste program. Among them were
 > new scientific problems with the Yucca Mountain site itself, and possible
 > costs involved with "grassroots activism" against radioactive waste
transport.
 >         The final new factor was the collapse of the German radioactive
waste
 > transport program. In late April, not long after the transport of six waste
 > casks to an "interim" storage facility at Ahaus (see April 1998 Monitor),
it
 > was revealed that similar casks used to bring German waste to the French
 > facility at Le Hague for reprocessing were contaminated, and so were the
 > trains bringing them. Subsequent investigation found contamination levels
 > 3,000 times or more above legal limits, and the French railroad has
refused,
 > at least temporarily, to allow any more waste trains to run in France.
 >         The German government quickly suspended shipments to Le Hague, and
then
 > similar shipments to Sellafield, England. But the Social Democrats, allied
 > with the Greens and Free Democrats, called for a permanent end to all waste
 > shipments, including to the "interim" facilities at Gorleben and Ahaus, and
 > the resignation of the country's environmental minister, Angela Merkel, who
 > has steadfastly backed radioactive waste transport. All German shipments of
 > any kind have now ended, and are unlikely to begin again in the near
future.
 > Moreover, the Social Democrats, who have now adopted a policy of no
 > radioactive waste shipments, are widely expected to win this Fall's
national
 > elections, meaning that the shipments could be ended for years.
 >         At this point, the nuclear industry's failure to achieve its number
one
 > goal of the past four years-passage of the Mobile Chernobyl
 > legislation-appears to be a momentous victory for the environmental
 > movement. However, the industry and its Congressional backers have been
 > persistent, and it is not inconceivable that it could come up again before
 > Congress adjourns in late September. For now, celebrate; we will keep you
 > informed.
 >
 > WHAT YOU CAN DO
 > First, contact the Senators who voted against cloture, and thank them. For
a
 > vote list on the cloture vote, and related background information, check
the
 > Don't Waste America section of NIRS' website at www.nirs.org.
 >         Thank President Clinton too, who has been steadfast in his promise
to veto
 > Mobile Chernobyl legislation.
 > Perhaps now we can begin work on promoting an environmental radioactive
 > waste policy, one that recognizes that Yucca Mountain is unacceptable for
 > long-term waste storage, that centralized "interim" storage is equally
 > unacceptable, that addresses the huge financial shortfall in the Nuclear
 > Waste Fund, and that has as its basis the understanding that the biggest
 > problem is the continued generation of lethal atomic waste.
 
 
 
 --
 John Bailey, Research Associate
 Institute for Local Self-Reliance
 1313 Fifth Street SE
 Minneapolis, MN  55414
 Tel:  612-379-3815
 Fax:  612-379-3920
 
 ILSR's Web Site:  http://www.ilsr.org
 Sustainable MN:   http://www.me3.org
 
 
  >>

-- BEGIN included message

ME3 Netters-

Thought you might like to here some good news today.  Thanks to all of you who
took
the time to "act" on this issue over the last year.

JB.

Michael Mariotte wrote:

> The following article will appear in the next Nuclear Monitor, but we
> thought you would like to see it now. Thanks to everyone who helped defeat
> Mobile Chernobyl, and to the 73 organizations that signed the most recent
> letter!
>
> MOBILE CHERNOBYL BILL STALLS IN SENATE
>
> The U.S. Senate June 2 decided not to take up the Mobile Chernobyl bill, in
> a landmark victory for both the environmental community and anti-tobacco
> forces. The vote probably means that the bill will not be taken up again
> this Congress.
>         The key vote came on a procedural motion by Senate Majority Leader
Trent
> Lott (R-Miss.) who tried to invoke cloture (cut off a promised filibuster by
> Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan) and thus allow the Senate to
> vote on the bill. A 3/5 majority, or 60 votes, is needed to invoke cloture
> and the final vote was close: 56-39 in favor of cloture. But it wasn't
> enough to proceed on the bill.
>         After the vote, Senate Energy Committee chairman Frank Murkowski (R-
Alaska)
> reportedly told Sen. Reid that he would not bring up the bill again this
> Congress. And House Speaker Newt Gingrich released a statement after the
> vote stating that he does not expect the House to vote again on Mobile
> Chernobyl this Congress either. Since the previously-passed House and Senate
> versions are fairly far apart on the specifics of the legislation, it
> appears Mobile Chernobyl has failed for the second consecutive Congress.
>         Rep. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who is running against Reid for the
Senate this
> year, had the day before said that Gingrich had promised him that the House
> would not again vote on the bill. Even some bill supporters in the Senate
> took that to mean that further action on the bill would be hopeless and a
> waste of time. However, despite being pressed by the media, by various
> Senators and environmental groups throughout the day on June 2, Gingrich
> refused to confirm his promise to Ensign until after the Senate vote.
>         The final vote on cloture was on a near-party line basis. Several
Democrats
> who previously had voted for the bill, including Sens. Leahy, Harkin, Wyden,
> Graham, Cleland, Murray and Kohl, voted against cloture, while two
> Republicans opposed to the bill itself, Coats and Campbell, voted for
> cloture. Of Democrats, only Sens. Hollings and Levin voted for cloture.
> Levin was the last vote and didn't cast his vote until a count was made and
> it was clear cloture would fail with or without his vote. No Republicans
> voted against cloture.
>         One reason for the switch in Democratic votes was that invoking
cloture
> would have meant that the Senate would have dropped its debate over pending
> tobacco legislation, and it was by no means clear that it would be easy to
> bring up that legislation again. The Democratic leadership made a point of
> telling Democrats that they wanted to debate tobacco, not radioactive waste,
> and that a vote for cloture was a vote for the tobacco industry.
>         However, the vote may also indicate a weakening of support for the
Mobile
> Chernobyl legislation, which passed the Senate in April 1997 by a 65-34
> margin. Subsequent events have undercut some of the nuclear industry's key
> arguments for the bill. For example, on May 8 a federal appeals court
> rejected claims by the nuclear utilities and numerous state agencies that
> the Department of Energy must begin moving high-level waste across the
> country this year or pay enormous damages. Instead, the court said that the
> contract DOE signed with the utilities in 1982 had adequate terms to cover
> the delay in shipments, and told the utilities to work out their problems
> with the agency.
>         The DOE responded quickly with an offer that would have allowed
utilities
> to recover some of the interest the government otherwise would earn from the
> Nuclear Waste Fund collected by utilities, and put that money toward the
> costs of on-site storage of high-level waste. The DOE estimated that could
> be worth from about $11 million to $337 million per utility. But the
> utilities immediately rejected the offer, making clear that their interest
> is not in safe or economical storage of the waste, but in moving it off
> their land, period.
>         Moreover, the utilities appeared more interested in changing the
House and
> Senate-passed bills to reduce the money collected under the Nuclear Waste
> Fund. That move may have backfired with the late April release of a study
> done for the State of Nevada by three think-tanks, and reviewed by the
> accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick, which estimates the total cost of the
> government's high-level nuclear waste program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada is
> now almost $54 Billion. Since the total amount DOE estimates will be
> collected by the Nuclear Waste Fund is only some $28 Billion (and that's if
> every reactor operates its entire licensed lifetime, which no reactor yet
> has done), there is a foreseeable shortfall of nearly $26 Billion. The
> nuclear industry would like that shortfall, and more, to be paid by
> taxpayers. It isn't clear yet what the Congress intends to do about the
problem.
>         According to the study, the centralized "interim" dumpsite at Yucca
> Mountain that was the focus of the Mobile Chernobyl legislation would cost
> $9.2 Billion. Stopping the "interim" program would save that money right off
> the bat.
>         The study identified several uncertainties in its estimates that
could
> increase the actual costs of the high-level waste program. Among them were
> new scientific problems with the Yucca Mountain site itself, and possible
> costs involved with "grassroots activism" against radioactive waste
transport.
>         The final new factor was the collapse of the German radioactive
waste
> transport program. In late April, not long after the transport of six waste
> casks to an "interim" storage facility at Ahaus (see April 1998 Monitor), it
> was revealed that similar casks used to bring German waste to the French
> facility at Le Hague for reprocessing were contaminated, and so were the
> trains bringing them. Subsequent investigation found contamination levels
> 3,000 times or more above legal limits, and the French railroad has refused,
> at least temporarily, to allow any more waste trains to run in France.
>         The German government quickly suspended shipments to Le Hague, and
then
> similar shipments to Sellafield, England. But the Social Democrats, allied
> with the Greens and Free Democrats, called for a permanent end to all waste
> shipments, including to the "interim" facilities at Gorleben and Ahaus, and
> the resignation of the country's environmental minister, Angela Merkel, who
> has steadfastly backed radioactive waste transport. All German shipments of
> any kind have now ended, and are unlikely to begin again in the near future.
> Moreover, the Social Democrats, who have now adopted a policy of no
> radioactive waste shipments, are widely expected to win this Fall's national
> elections, meaning that the shipments could be ended for years.
>         At this point, the nuclear industry's failure to achieve its number
one
> goal of the past four years-passage of the Mobile Chernobyl
> legislation-appears to be a momentous victory for the environmental
> movement. However, the industry and its Congressional backers have been
> persistent, and it is not inconceivable that it could come up again before
> Congress adjourns in late September. For now, celebrate; we will keep you
> informed.
>
> WHAT YOU CAN DO
> First, contact the Senators who voted against cloture, and thank them. For a
> vote list on the cloture vote, and related background information, check the
> Don't Waste America section of NIRS' website at www.nirs.org.
>         Thank President Clinton too, who has been steadfast in his promise
to veto
> Mobile Chernobyl legislation.
> Perhaps now we can begin work on promoting an environmental radioactive
> waste policy, one that recognizes that Yucca Mountain is unacceptable for
> long-term waste storage, that centralized "interim" storage is equally
> unacceptable, that addresses the huge financial shortfall in the Nuclear
> Waste Fund, and that has as its basis the understanding that the biggest
> problem is the continued generation of lethal atomic waste.



--
John Bailey, Research Associate
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
1313 Fifth Street SE
Minneapolis, MN  55414
Tel:  612-379-3815
Fax:  612-379-3920

ILSR's Web Site:  http://www.ilsr.org
Sustainable MN:   http://www.me3.org


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To: nirsnet@igc.apc.org
From: Michael Mariotte <nirsnet@igc.apc.org>
Subject: Mobile Chernobyl victory!

The following article will appear in the next Nuclear Monitor, but we
thought you would like to see it now. Thanks to everyone who helped defeat
Mobile Chernobyl, and to the 73 organizations that signed the most recent
letter!

MOBILE CHERNOBYL BILL STALLS IN SENATE

The U.S. Senate June 2 decided not to take up the Mobile Chernobyl bill, in
a landmark victory for both the environmental community and anti-tobacco
forces. The vote probably means that the bill will not be taken up again
this Congress.
	The key vote came on a procedural motion by Senate Majority Leader Trent
Lott (R-Miss.) who tried to invoke cloture (cut off a promised filibuster by
Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan) and thus allow the Senate to
vote on the bill. A 3/5 majority, or 60 votes, is needed to invoke cloture
and the final vote was close: 56-39 in favor of cloture. But it wasn't
enough to proceed on the bill.
	After the vote, Senate Energy Committee chairman Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska)
reportedly told Sen. Reid that he would not bring up the bill again this
Congress. And House Speaker Newt Gingrich released a statement after the
vote stating that he does not expect the House to vote again on Mobile
Chernobyl this Congress either. Since the previously-passed House and Senate
versions are fairly far apart on the specifics of the legislation, it
appears Mobile Chernobyl has failed for the second consecutive Congress.
	Rep. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who is running against Reid for the Senate this
year, had the day before said that Gingrich had promised him that the House
would not again vote on the bill. Even some bill supporters in the Senate
took that to mean that further action on the bill would be hopeless and a
waste of time. However, despite being pressed by the media, by various
Senators and environmental groups throughout the day on June 2, Gingrich
refused to confirm his promise to Ensign until after the Senate vote.
	The final vote on cloture was on a near-party line basis. Several Democrats
who previously had voted for the bill, including Sens. Leahy, Harkin, Wyden,
Graham, Cleland, Murray and Kohl, voted against cloture, while two
Republicans opposed to the bill itself, Coats and Campbell, voted for
cloture. Of Democrats, only Sens. Hollings and Levin voted for cloture.
Levin was the last vote and didn't cast his vote until a count was made and
it was clear cloture would fail with or without his vote. No Republicans
voted against cloture.
	One reason for the switch in Democratic votes was that invoking cloture
would have meant that the Senate would have dropped its debate over pending
tobacco legislation, and it was by no means clear that it would be easy to
bring up that legislation again. The Democratic leadership made a point of
telling Democrats that they wanted to debate tobacco, not radioactive waste,
and that a vote for cloture was a vote for the tobacco industry.
	However, the vote may also indicate a weakening of support for the Mobile
Chernobyl legislation, which passed the Senate in April 1997 by a 65-34
margin. Subsequent events have undercut some of the nuclear industry's key
arguments for the bill. For example, on May 8 a federal appeals court
rejected claims by the nuclear utilities and numerous state agencies that
the Department of Energy must begin moving high-level waste across the
country this year or pay enormous damages. Instead, the court said that the
contract DOE signed with the utilities in 1982 had adequate terms to cover
the delay in shipments, and told the utilities to work out their problems
with the agency.
	The DOE responded quickly with an offer that would have allowed utilities
to recover some of the interest the government otherwise would earn from the
Nuclear Waste Fund collected by utilities, and put that money toward the
costs of on-site storage of high-level waste. The DOE estimated that could
be worth from about $11 million to $337 million per utility. But the
utilities immediately rejected the offer, making clear that their interest
is not in safe or economical storage of the waste, but in moving it off
their land, period.
	Moreover, the utilities appeared more interested in changing the House and
Senate-passed bills to reduce the money collected under the Nuclear Waste
Fund. That move may have backfired with the late April release of a study
done for the State of Nevada by three think-tanks, and reviewed by the
accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick, which estimates the total cost of the
government's high-level nuclear waste program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada is
now almost $54 Billion. Since the total amount DOE estimates will be
collected by the Nuclear Waste Fund is only some $28 Billion (and that's if
every reactor operates its entire licensed lifetime, which no reactor yet
has done), there is a foreseeable shortfall of nearly $26 Billion. The
nuclear industry would like that shortfall, and more, to be paid by
taxpayers. It isn't clear yet what the Congress intends to do about the
problem.
	According to the study, the centralized "interim" dumpsite at Yucca
Mountain that was the focus of the Mobile Chernobyl legislation would cost
$9.2 Billion. Stopping the "interim" program would save that money right off
the bat.
	The study identified several uncertainties in its estimates that could
increase the actual costs of the high-level waste program. Among them were
new scientific problems with the Yucca Mountain site itself, and possible
costs involved with "grassroots activism" against radioactive waste transport.
	The final new factor was the collapse of the German radioactive waste
transport program. In late April, not long after the transport of six waste
casks to an "interim" storage facility at Ahaus (see April 1998 Monitor), it
was revealed that similar casks used to bring German waste to the French
facility at Le Hague for reprocessing were contaminated, and so were the
trains bringing them. Subsequent investigation found contamination levels
3,000 times or more above legal limits, and the French railroad has refused,
at least temporarily, to allow any more waste trains to run in France.
	The German government quickly suspended shipments to Le Hague, and then
similar shipments to Sellafield, England. But the Social Democrats, allied
with the Greens and Free Democrats, called for a permanent end to all waste
shipments, including to the "interim" facilities at Gorleben and Ahaus, and
the resignation of the country's environmental minister, Angela Merkel, who
has steadfastly backed radioactive waste transport. All German shipments of
any kind have now ended, and are unlikely to begin again in the near future.
Moreover, the Social Democrats, who have now adopted a policy of no
radioactive waste shipments, are widely expected to win this Fall's national
elections, meaning that the shipments could be ended for years.
	At this point, the nuclear industry's failure to achieve its number one
goal of the past four years-passage of the Mobile Chernobyl
legislation-appears to be a momentous victory for the environmental
movement. However, the industry and its Congressional backers have been
persistent, and it is not inconceivable that it could come up again before
Congress adjourns in late September. For now, celebrate; we will keep you
informed.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
First, contact the Senators who voted against cloture, and thank them. For a
vote list on the cloture vote, and related background information, check the
Don't Waste America section of NIRS' website at www.nirs.org.
	Thank President Clinton too, who has been steadfast in his promise to veto
Mobile Chernobyl legislation. 
Perhaps now we can begin work on promoting an environmental radioactive
waste policy, one that recognizes that Yucca Mountain is unacceptable for
long-term waste storage, that centralized "interim" storage is equally
unacceptable, that addresses the huge financial shortfall in the Nuclear
Waste Fund, and that has as its basis the understanding that the biggest
problem is the continued generation of lethal atomic waste.


-- END included message