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E-M:/ Please write your Mich congressperson to stop MOX shipments



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Enviro-Mich message from Terry Lodge <tjlodge50@yahoo.com>
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     Folks, it appears the Michigan Attorney-General
won't be filing suit on behalf of the public to stop
the shipment(s) of mixed oxide plutonium (MOX) fuel
across the state on behalf of the public. Yet in the
past week, the U.S. Department of Energy has indicated
that it has no intention of participating any further
with Russia in testing of MOX fuel in Canadian nuclear
reactors, beyond the Parallex "experiment." Between
the DOE's new policy statement and the fact that
Russia now will not be shipping its contribution of
MOX to Chalk River, Ontario until April 2000 at the
earliest, it's evident that the rationale to ship MOX
across Michigan has all but evaporated.

   Below is a suggested letter written by Damon Moglen
of Greenpeace. Please consider sending it to your
Congressperson immediately, as the DOE shipment is
likely to be very imminent. Members of the Michigan
delegation are meeting with Secretary of Energy Bill
Richardson Wednesday, November 17. Please help us
keep up the opposition movement against MOX shipment.
 
    Why do I suggest this from Toledo? Because we
all live downwind.

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Dear ____________________,

    I am writing to you regarding the need to take
immediate action to stop the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) from making the dangerous and unnecessary test
shipment of fabricated plutonium mixed-oxide (MOX)
fuel from Los Alamos, New Mexico to Chalk River,
Ontario, Canada.

    As you will know, on November 12, the DOE released
its Surplus Plutonium Disposition Final Environmental
Impact Statement.  In the EIS, which lays out U.S.
plans for the disposition of up to 55 tons of
plutonium "surplus" to U.S. military requirements, the
Agency categorically states that the "DOE is no 
longer actively pursuing..." the use of U.S. MOX in
Canadian reactors as  "...adequate reactor capacity is
available in the United States to disposition that
portion of the U.S. surplus plutonium suitable for MOX
fuel...."   

   This means that the basis for the so-called
"Parallex Project" to send a test shipment of U.S. MOX
to Canada has been removed.  Accordingly, this test
shipment, which has already been widely recognized as
potentially unsafe, insecure and a major target for
those who might wish to seize or disrupt a shipment
containing direct use nuclear weapons material, no 
longer has any justification whatsoever.  

   Furthermore, given that the "Parallex Project" was
based on parallel involvement by both the Russian AND
U.S. in the MOX program in Canada, it is quite clear
that the Russians will not continue with this program
if the U.S. has stated that it will not--experience
indicates that just as the U.S. has suggested that 
it will disposition its plutonium in the U.S., so too
will the Russians.  This is underlined by the fact the
Russians have consistently maintained that their
plutonium is a national resource produced at great
economic and public cost and should be used in Russia.
 

  With no desire on the Russians part to sell their
plutonium and certainly no will on the part of the
international community to pay the phenomenonal sum
required to buy 55 tons of plutonium, it is clear that
Russian MOX use in Canada is only an unrealizable 
dream of the Canadian nuclear industry.

   Given the complete collapse of the Canadian program
and the "Parallex Project" it is clear that there is
no justification for a test shipment across Michigan. 
Public will has made it clear that we do not accept
the risks posed by such a transport and we firmly
reject having such a transport forced down our throats

when there is NO justification.  I believe that in the
course of the public hearings on this issue, the
citizens of Michigan made it clear that they
overwhelmingly oppose these shipments.  We ask that 
you bring this message to the DOE and take every
action to assure that the test shipments are
cancelled.

  We thank you in advance for your consideration and 
attention to this urgent matter.

Sincerely,



=====

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