Below is an important sign-on appeal from our
friends at Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. We hope your group will
sign this letter, as NIRS has.
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
We are seeking ORGANIZATIONS to sign on to a
letter opposing the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and the return to
letter will be delivered to the Great 8 Nation Summit (G8 Summit} that
will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia July 14 - 17. This
letter will join statements written by other NGOs from around the
world, opposing reprocessing and demanding cleanup of the existing
Please send YOUR NAME, YOUR ORGANIZATION,
YOUR CITY, and YOUR STATE to
We are seeking hundreds of US based NGOs to
sign this letter.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS WIDELY TO YOUR COLLEAGUES.
Please send your response to Jodi Dart,
Program Director, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
DEADLINE: July 10, 2006
Letter for sign-on:
July 14, 2006
Dear G8 Leaders,
As you gather at this G8 Summit in St.
Petersburg, Russia to discuss global energy security, the undersigned
public interest organizations from X countries urge you to reject U.S.
President George W. Bushs proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
(GNEP). Under GNEP, the U.S. and a few other selected countries would
reprocess the worlds commercial nuclear waste, and use the separated
plutonium in fast neutron reactors. We are opposed to this proposal,
because global experience in the past 60 years has shown that
reprocessing is extremely polluting and expensive, and undermines
global nonproliferation efforts. Moreover, efforts to build fast
reactors have been safety and economic failures. No solution has been
created to deal with the nuclear waste generated by nuclear power or
reprocessing. GNEP would result in no new energy supplies for a several
decades and perhaps much longer, while investment in energy efficiency
and renewable energy would provide energy now and long-term without
proliferating nuclear weapons materials.
Of the G8 members, five countries (France, Japan, Russia, the United
Kingdom, and the United States of America) have reprocessed or are
reprocessing domestically. Two other G8 countries, Italy and Germany,
sent their waste to France and the UK for reprocessing. None of these
countries have solved, or even improved, its nuclear waste problem by
reprocessing. In fact, reprocessing waste is not easily
contained and has contaminated the global environment. The most
radioactively contaminated places on Earth, including Lake Karachai in
Russia and Hanford in the United States, are from reprocessing waste.
In Europe, both France and the UK discharge radioactive waste into the
sea. This waste has contaminated water as far away as the Arctic, and
has been found in marine life in Norway and Denmark. In the United
States, reprocessing waste threatens to contaminate the Columbia River
and the Savannah River, two of the most important water resources in
Despite spending more than $100 billion
globally, no country has successfully commercialized reprocessing and
transmutation technologies. All of these programs are heavily
subsidized by their governments. A July 2000 report commissioned by the
French government concluded that reprocessing and plutonium fuel are
uneconomical, costing about $25 billion more than a once-through fuel
cycle. Last year, 20 tons of uranium and plutonium leaked from a pipe
at the U.K. government-owned THORP reprocessing plant. The plant, which
was losing money even when operational, remains closed and its future
is uncertain. Meanwhile, the Japanese company, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.,
recently started up its Rokkasho reprocessing plant, which took 13
years to build and cost $20 billion, three times more than initially
Reprocessing also makes it easier for
terrorists to obtain the fissile material needed to make nuclear
weapons, and undermines nonproliferation efforts. As a result of global
commercial reprocessing, 250 metric tons of plutonium has been
separated and remains vulnerable to theft. This amount of plutonium is
equivalent to more than 30,000 nuclear bombs.
The proliferation-resistant reprocessing
technologies currently being researched by the U.S. Department of
Energy are not sufficient to prevent theft by terrorists, while the
plutonium mix that results from these technologies could be used to
make a nuclear weapon. Like the existing, decades-old PUREX process,
these technologies would inevitably make weapons-usable material harder
to track and easier to lose. Moreover, the materials, technical
personnel, technologies and specialized equipment involved in these
processes could leak out, as they have in the past, to foreign
clandestine weapons programs or be diverted within a states program to
make nuclear weapons. The fact is that any reprocessing technology is
more dangerous than leaving the weapons-usable plutonium bound up in
highly radioactive, easy to track, bulky spent fuel rods.
In order to reduce the radioactivity of the
reprocessed waste, it is necessary to build one fast neutron reactor to
every three light water reactors. Since the early 1950s,
around the world have made huge investments into the development of
fast reactors, but the results have been safety and economic failures.
As you consider global energy security at
this Summit, we urge you to acknowledge the economic, safety, and
proliferation failures of reprocessing and transmutation. GNEP would
threaten, not improve, global energy security. Instead, we ask you to
put the vast financial resources that would be needed for GNEP into
research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy
Please sign on YOUR NAME, YOUR ORGANIZATION,
YOUR CITY AND YOUR STATE
Alliance for Nuclear
Don't forget to sign the Petition for A
Sustainable Energy Future, at
www.nirs.org and send it to your friends, classmates, colleagues,
church groups, and everyone else to sign as well!
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