Template Letter to conservative Congressmembers
When emailing your representatives, remove the original message and copy and paste this alternative message based on the NIRS original into the form here.
As a concerned citizen of the U.S I am writing to you to ask you to reject Section 310 of the Senate FY 2023 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. It would authorize temporary Consolidated “Interim” Storage Facilities (CISFs) for irradiated (“spent”) nuclear power fuel, through the backdoor of the appropriations process, triggering thousands of extremely radioactive and dangerous shipments over decades to come.
These radioactive casks could become an easy target of terrorists as they would be stored above ground. This does not make us a more safe country. It puts us at danger.
The other problem with the “interim” storage of radioactive waste is that it will have to be transported twice: once to reach its temporary storage site and again to a final repository, putting this dangerous waste on the highways, trains, and waterbodies longer, giving terrorists an even easier target.
The House passed the FY 2023 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill without this bad provision which has been added in Senate. The final bill will be negotiated by House and Senate leaders after Continuing Resolutions end. Be sure these leaders know you and your constituents oppose Section 310 and want it out of the final appropriation.
It legalizes highly controversial nuclear waste sites currently not permitted under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and puts the country at risk from MASSIVE, decades-long nuclear waste shipment campaigns through most Congressional districts. Although dubbed as “pilot” projects, there is no limit on the size of the waste sites. Technically tens of thousands of tons, all the high-level irradiated ‘spent’ fuel waste in the country, could move only to be moved again.
Procedurally, authorizing legislation should not be snuck into appropriations bills. This provision has been removed from past appropriations bills as this is not the place for such a monumental change to existing law. Don’t reverse hard-fought, important provisions of the NWPA with an inappropriate authorizing provision buried in the appropriations package.
Shipping irradiated nuclear power fuel and storing it at supposedly temporary sites (CISFs) is dangerous and violates federal law.
Congress specifically excluded sending irradiated nuclear fuel waste to temporary surface “parking lot” or shallowly buried “interim” storage facilities that can easily become de facto permanent.
Loaded nuclear waste canisters plus transport casks weigh close to 200 tons. Assuming they get upgraded through new infrastructure spending, which could take decades, that won’t make transportation safe from collisions, terrorist attacks, fires, submersion, and leaking or failing canisters, which could lead to severe radiological releases.
I urge Congress to reject Section 310 of the FY 2023 Energy and Water Appropriations.