[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ MOX Plutonium Opponents Go Back to Kalamazoo Federal Court

Enviro-Mich message from Terry Lodge <tjlodge50@yahoo.com>

"Plutonium Opponents Claim Disarmament Treaty
as First Nations & Canadian Environmentalists Join MOX

KALAMAZOO, MI. (Tuesday)  Opponents of  the recent
clandestine shipment of nuclear weapons plutonium
across the Great Lakes Basin have reactivated their
federal court lawsuit through a formal request to
Judge Richard Enslen.  Plaintiffs seek to halt the
planned shipment of  mixed oxide fuel (MOX) from
Russia to Chalk River Ontario, Canada.  This MOX fuel
was derived from Russian weapons plutonium. 
Plaintiffs claim that the United States' role in the
scheme to use the plutonium-uranium / MOX fuel
violates the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  
Michigan plaintiffs in U.S. District Court in
Kalamazoo were joined by First Nations and Canadian
plaintiffs:  Association of Iroquois and Allied
Indians, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Northwatch,
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility,
Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County, all are now
parties to the suit.

The Treaty is an agreement among some 180 nations of
the world which requires a halt to the spread of
nuclear bombs and other weapons and immediate
negotiations to outlaw them completely.  The
plaintiffs say that a cooperative test of MOX fuel at
the Chalk River Reactor in Ontario, using MOX from
both the U.S. and the Russian Federation in one of
Canada's CANDU reactors, will send the wrong signal to
the world community.  They believe that CANDU owner
nations, in particular, will see the feasibility of
using MOX as an excuse not to disarm.  The plaintiffs
want the court to order a halt to the test shipment
coming from Russia after a similar request to stop
transport of the U.S. MOX was denied last December. 
Plaintiffs seek an order requiring closer public
examination of the environmental effects of the
Parallex test and its implications on the
international nuclear disarmament picture.

Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Romania, South
Korea, have CANDU reactors.  Turkey is ordering one. 
India and Pakistan each tested nuclear bombs in 1998,
and India has not denied that its bomb plutonium was
reclaimed from spent fuel from its CANDU reactors. 
Neither India or Pakistan has signed the
Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"The U.S. should be signaling to the world that any
use of plutonium is unacceptable, and marks a turn
toward a world plutonium economy, further endangering
humankind.  The U.S. and Russia should immobilize this
plutonium in glass ceramic placing it forever in a
guarded repository.  Instead,  the U.S. goes along
with Russian government's insistence that plutonium
has redeeming qualities as reactor fuel.   That will
let India and Pakistan off the hook as undeclared
nuclear powers who are accelerating their arms race,
outside of the Non-Proliferation Treaty said Terry
Lodge, attorney for plaintiffs in the Kalamazoo
Federal Court case.

"Keeping more, not less, plutonium in the nuclear fuel
cycle provides twenty thousand years worth of
potential for illegal marketeering and international
trafficking of the most potent and destructive
material in the world," said Alice Hirt, a U.S.
plaintiff.  "The use of MOX in Canadian reactors will
undermine disarmament efforts around the world."

"Russia and Canada are discussing the use of Russian
MOX in Canadian reactors for 20 to 25 years.  CANDU
reactors have design problems, and those reactors are
aging.  That's a recipe for serious radioactive
pollution, in the Great Lakes Basin" noted Kristen
Ostling, Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout (Ottawa).

"We came into this lawsuit as Canadian plaintiffs to
help demonstrate to the U.S. court that the
international grassroots community disagrees with the
narrow-minded policies being made by our governments,"
said Ole Hendrickson of the Concerned Citizens of
Renfrew County, Ontario,  where Chalk River test
facility is located.

"Be it resolved that any attempt to transport MOX fuel
through the Territorial Lands and Waterways of the
Mohawk People of Akwesasne will be met with full
resistance by the People of Akwesasne." proclaimed
Larry White of  The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne as
they announced their active participation as
plaintiffs in this legal challenge.

--- 30 ---

Contact:   Kristen Ostling (613) 789-3634   Alice Hirt
(616) 335-3405   Larry White (613) 575-2377
Anabel Dwyer (517) 332-4863  Kay Cumbow (810) 346-4513
 Terry Lodge (419)255-7552
Original Lawsuit  and  Motion for Preliminary
Injunction available at:  http://www.nirs.org

Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"