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E-M:/ Fwd: 4/7/00 MOX Press Advisory

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4/6/00*****Press Advisory*****4/6/00
"MOX Opposition Swells and Regroups to Stop DOE Plan"

A Groundswell of Opponents to the use of Bomb Plutonium in Nuclear Power Reactors seek Preliminary Injunction in Federal Court April 7th.  This time to Challenge U.S., Canada & Russia in their collective non-adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)  thus violating International Treaty.     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  WEDNESDAY 11:00 p.m. 4/5/2000

"Plutonium Opponents Claim Disarmament Treaty Violations:
Seeking Preliminary Injunction to Halt Russian MOX Delivery"

KALAMAZOO, MI. (Wednesday)  ...Opponents of  the recent clandestine shipment of nuclear weapons plutonium across the Great Lakes Basin are back in federal court this Friday (beginning at 8:30 a.m). to seek a Preliminary Injunction 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.  Also, U.S. National groups, Physicians for Social Responsibility,  Nuclear Information Resource Services and Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (Southeast U.S.). All are now parties to the suit. Michigan Plaintiffs include: Alice Hirt, Anabel Dwyer, Kathryn Cumbow,
Robert Anderson, Terry Miller, Doris Vernon Schaller and Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination.

The NPT 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 contend 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.

Plaintiffs now contend the 30-year-old international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be violated by the United States' participation in a test usage of mixed oxide plutonium (MOX) fuel. The treaty, signed by all but four (4) nations in the world, is supposed to restrict trafficking in plutonium, which is the core ingredient of thermonuclear bombs. The plaintiffs will call an internationally-recognized law professor, author, and nuclear disarmament advocate, Francis Boyle, as their principal witness on treaty violations.  Dr. Gordon Edwards internationally recognized expert on the plutonium economy will provide historical perspectives  of this treachery.

The international plaintiffs brought suit in December to stop the Parallex Project, a test irradiation of MOX fuel from the U.S. and Russian federation. Critics believe the test will signal other nations that the United States has reversed a 25-year-old policy of curbing plutonium shipments to other countries. They seek an order to halt the delivery from Russia of its MOX contribution to Parallex.

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Page 2. "MOX Opposition Swells and Regroups to Stop DOE Plan"

Fifteen pounds of plutonium in a nuclear weapon (the size of a softball) was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in World War II.  Physicists believe that only a  tiny fraction of plutonium actually fissioned.  Today's weapons utilizing tritium to boost the plutonium are 100's & 1,000's of times more destructive.

Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Romania, South Korea, all 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.  "The use of MOX in Canadian reactors will undermine disarmament efforts around the world" Lodge proclaimed.

"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.

Thursday 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 Michael Keegan (734) 457-5979
Original Lawsuit  and  Motion for Preliminary Injunction available at:  http://www.nirs.org

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