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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear waste’

Many of you have been clamoring for these videos of the clean tech forum that we attended on Wednesday, so here they are in streaming digital goodness.
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Outside the event we caught up with two of the panelists from the forum, specifically the ones opposed to San Antonio investing in the new nuclear expansion.  First, Craig Severance, a CPA by trade, who did a financial “due diligence” type of analysis on the proposed nuclear expansion at STP 3 and 4. Read about it in his blog at energyeconomyonline.com/San_Antonio_Debate

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We also spoke with Dr. Arjun Makhijani, a noted power expert, on the risks of nuclear expansion.

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It’s time to be hard-headed about this, folks.  Investing in nuclear  is an economic risk the City of San Antonio simply can’t afford to take.

Hungry for more?  We have full footage of the “Risking San Antonio’s Economic Future, Nuclear Experts Explain Flaws and Risks of Pursuing More Nuclear Reactors” forum that was held later in the day at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

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Here’s some of the press coverage from the event:

Energy leaders to debate nuke issue in S.A.By Tracy Idell Hamilton   -Express-News

Nuclear forum highlights contrasting opinions –  By Anton Caputo   -Express-News

Nuke vote delayed; final hearing is set By Tracy Idell Hamilton   -Express-News

Nuclear investment part of a viable energy portfolio By Patrick Moore
(please go here and leave snarky comments about what a corporate stooge sell-out Patrick Moore is)

http://johntedesco.net/blog/2009/09/16/fresh-from-twitter-debating-nuclear-power/

http://blog.barberassociates.com/2009/09/san-antonio-clean-technology-nuclear.html

http://www.ksat.com/news/20966023/detail.html

And last but certainly not least, for our Amigos who can habla espanol, please watch this video from Univision featuring our own Melissa Sanchez and David Power!

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Energia MiaCPS has a meeting today at Firefighters Union Hall (8925-IH10 WEST) from 6:00-8:00 pm. Anyone from District 8 is encouraged to attend and speak for the cause. Each person gets three minutes of talk time and the Local Power/Energia Mia Coalition needs to have its concerns about the South Texas Projects Proposed expansion voiced by as many people as possible. This is especially true of our concerns about the proposed reactors’ heavy water consumption during times of drought (like this one), the proposal’s high cost and the high likelihood of costs over-runs, and the huge financial burden this means for San Antonio ratepayers.

Next week another CPS meeting will be held Tuesday, August 4 (District 2) from 6:00-8:00 pm at Freeman Coliseum, 3201 E. Houston St.
(Held in Auction Barn. Enter through west gate off W Houston near railroad tracks. Parking available in Lot #9)

Here are some other important Local Power/Energia Mia events:

August 10 – Mayor Castro’s Town Hall Meeting (Part 1) from 5:30-9:00 pm at the City Council Chambers (across street from City Hall). Questions that were given to the Mayor’s office from some environmental groups will be answered by CPS, who will have them a week ahead of time so they can’t “wuss out.”

August 12 – Town Hall Meeting (Part 2) from 3:00-5:00 pm, same place. This will be a chance for City Council members to ask their own questions of CPS.

We need as many people to turn out at both meetings as possible. City Council must know that we care about this issue and that we have numbers on our side. Get as many people as you can to go to this – we want people standing in the aisles. Invite those at your district meetings who spoke to oppose nuclear expansion.

August 12 – same night! – Texas Public Radio will have its own Town Hall Meeting on nuclear energy. They are requesting audience members to bring and ask questions of their panel. I will pass information on as it becomes available.

Future CPS presentations that need to be attended in force; plan the ones you will attend:

Tuesday, August 25 (District 9)
Alzafar Shrine Temple (Terrace Room)
901 North Loop 1604

Tuesday, September 1 (District 10)
My Father’s House
3131 Nacogdoches Road, Suite 105

Wednesday, September 2 (District 3)
Holy Name Activity Center
6618 Fairlawn

Tuesday, September 15 (District 4)
Knights of Columbus
5763 Ray Ellison Blvd.

September 16 – San Antonio Clean Technology Forum’s panel discussion/luncheon with guest speakers. It will cost, but we need to show a strong presence, as this is the clean energy investment business community we have to persuade to oppose nuclear. More when we know more 🙂

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ReadingTime for a Friday wrap-up, all the news that’s fit to link:

The Cost of Climate Inaction, Op-Ed in the Washington Post

An Affordable Salvation, New York Times Op-Ed about the benefits of cap and trade

Carbon Offsets in Waxman-Markey Bill, An Overview, Carbonfund.org Blog

Maryland Passes Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, SustainableBusiness.com News

Cap and trade won’t push heavy industries overseas — study, The New York Times

Net metering: The civil rights movement for solar energy, Photovoltaics World

Who gets tough against companies polluting Texas? Hint: It’s not the state, Houston Chronicle

Utah takes nuclear waste from states with own dump, Houston Chronicle (A glimpse of what could happen in Texas if the Andrews Waste Dump goes through)

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Rep. Lon Burnam’s bill, HB 3423, will be heard on Wednesday, April 1st, in the House Committee on Environmental Regulation hearing at 10:30 AM or upon adjournment, in E1.014. If you are able to come, we’re trying to get as many people as possible to register their support of this bill (by filling out a witness affirmation form). That’s right, officially registering your opinion on a bill is as simple as filling out a card.  The bill closes the Compact Loophole, and requires other states who want to send radioactive waste here to get legislative approval first.

The Compact Agreement was originally between Texas, Maine and Vermont.  Maine pulled out of the Compact, and now Texas and Vermont are able to send their radioactive so-called “low-level” waste to be stored at the Andrews County dump in West Texas. A loophole in the Compact Agreement allows any state to send radioactive waste to Texas. We don’t need to be the nation’s nuclear dump!

The license for that dump was recently issued by the TCEQ, and the agency wrongly denied the opportunity for a contested case hearing (read: locals were not allowed to voice their opposition in any formal environment). Three long-term scientists at TCEQ recommended denying the permit — and actually left their jobs for ethical reasons once the permit was approved. The science is NOT solid for the Andrews County radioactive waste dump – and there are concerns that radionuclides could come in contact with underground water. It is possible that contamination could spread to the Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies eight states, including the nation’s wheat growing region.

96% of the radioactive waste slated  for the site would be from nuclear reactors — everything except the fuel rods. Radionuclides in the waste are dangerous today and remain dangerous for thousands of years. A recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling reclassified depleted uranium from reprocessing, putting it into a less hazardous (Class A) category. Now up to 1.4 million tons of depleted uranium could go to the West Texas site and/or Clive, Utah sites.

If you can’t make it in person, calls to the Environmental Regulation committee in support of Burnam’s bill are needed! If you are a constituent, please let them know that.

Rep. Byron Cook (Chair) – 512-463-0646, [email protected]
Rep. Warren Chisum (Vice-Chair) – 512-463-0736, [email protected]
Rep. Lon Burnam – 512-463-0740, (it’s his bill, give him a call to say thanks.)
Rep. Jim Dunnam – 512-463-0508, [email protected]
Rep. Jessica Farrar – 512-463-0620, [email protected]
Rep. Kelly Hancock – 512-463-0599, [email protected]
Rep. Ken Legler – 512-463-0460, [email protected]
Rep Marc Veasey – 512-463-0716, [email protected]
Rep. Randy Weber – 512-463-0707, [email protected]

For further background on the Andrews County dump, check out Forrest Wilder’s article from the last Texas Observer, Waste Texas: Why Andrews County is so eager to get dumped on. Or if you’re more the auditory type, listen to the podcast.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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radiationsignI have been remiss in my duties as Blog Lady because I haven’t told you anything about the slated Andrews County nuclear waste dump.  Oh, you hadn’t heard?  TCEQ approved a “low-level” radioactive dump out in the lower panhandle.  There wasn’t a contested case hearing — and citizens of Eunice, New Mexico, the closest town to the dump, haven’t been able to officially voice their opposition because they don’t have standing under state law.  The dump is also only licensed for 15 years, after which all that toxic waste will be the responsibility of the state.  Aaaaand the dump will be accepting waste, not just from Texas, but from all over the United States.

Check out the press release below for more information.  If you happen to live near Odessa, be sure to swing by Big Daddy’s Grill and Bar at 6 PM —  D’Arrigo will be speaking there this evening.  She will be joined by Dr. Terry Burns, with the Permian Basin Sierra Club, who will discuss health concerns, Rose Gardner – a concerned citizen from Eunice, New Mexico, the city nearest the radioactive waste dump, and SEED Coalition Director, Karen Hadden.

For a truly beautiful article on this issue, be sure to read Forrest Wilder’s Waste Texas: Why Andrews County is so eager to get dumped on in the newest Texas Observer.  That boy can really write.

Vince Leibowitz over at Capitol Annex also has a really good post on the legislative history of the dump.

Radioactive Risks for West Texas

Odessa, Texas – Texas environmental organizations hosted speaker Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) at a press conference today. She discussed the risks posed to Texans living near the so-called “low-level” radioactive waste dump in Andrews County.

“Low-level radioactive waste could remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands to over a million years,” said D’Arrigo. “Texas’ waste dump in Andrews County calls for a private company to manage a low-level dump, but the company would only be licensed to operate it for 15 years. They could then renew their license or decide to close the dump and walk away, leaving a toxic mess to the state of Texas. This could also happen if the company just folds up and vanishes into the night.” (more…)

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A message from our director, Tom “Smitty” Smith:

efficient-homeToday the House and Senate are working to reconcile their different versions of the long-awaited economic stimulus package. The stakes are now higher than ever for Texans, who stand to gain from billions that could go toward developing renewable energy and efficiency in the state, reducing pollution from diesel engines, and cleaning up abandoned nuclear waste sites.

But as much as the state needs that massive investment in our energy future, there is a troubling side to the senate version of the stimulus package: Senators amended the stimulus bill to include $50 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear plants in Texas and elsewhere in the nation.

If Congress needs a reminder why this is a bad deal, it should just ask Wall Street why it doesn’t loan money for nuclear reactors. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nuclear loans default at a rate of 50%. Banks learned long ago that these plants simply can’t be built on budget and aren’t viable without massive taxpayer subsidies. Texans are still paying for the last generation of over-budget nuclear plants each month in a hidden charge on their electric bills. (more…)

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