Public Citizen & CBC News – 2005-09-17 00:24:43
Approval of Private Fuel Storage Means
Dangerous and Unnecessary Storage
of Highly Radioactive Waste in Utah
Wenonah Hauter / Public Citizen
(September 9, 2005) — Today’s decision by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to approve a “temporary” high-level radioactive waste storage site, Private Fuel Storage (PFS), on Native American land in Utah, is a significant mistake, made for all the wrong reasons. PFS is an unnecessary, irresponsible and unethical proposal that will do nothing to address the nuclear waste problem this country faces.
The primary motivation for PFS is the nuclear industry’s need for a publicly presentable waste solution that it can use in its push for a “nuclear renaissance.” Despite what has been claimed, PFS will not consolidate waste in one “safe and secure” place. As long as we continue to operate nuclear reactors, waste will always remain near cities and communities around the country, because irradiated fuel must be stored on-site for at least five years to allow it to cool before it can be transported.
In addition, PFS will mean the transportation of waste through densely populated urban and suburban areas across the country. The project will rush transportation forward and increase the number of times waste is moved. Even if all possible precautions are taken, and they have not been, the shipping of nuclear waste is a dangerous undertaking and should be absolutely minimized. Accidents of some nature are unavoidable.
PFS will also bring risks to Utah. The dump is not planned for permanent storage and will simply place the waste storage containers on concrete pads above ground. There will be no waste repacking facility on-site, as there are presently at reactors, to deal with accidents or problems. The “temporary” nature of PFS is also questionable, as it is dependent on the opening of Yucca Mountain, which continues to have significant problems and may never open.
Today’s irresponsible and misguided approval of this proposal should illustrate how far the NRC has strayed from its mission of protecting public health and safety.
Wenonah Hauter is the director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program
Contact: Melissa Kemp (202) 454-5176
Erica Hartman (202) 454-5174
Public Citizen is a national, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with 150,000 members. For more information, visit www.citizen.org.
Poll: Almost Half of Canadians Want Oil Industry Nationalized
(September 5, 2005) — The Canadian Press said Monday a Leger poll suggested 49 per cent of respondents want petroleum resources nationalized while 43 per cent said they would like to see the same fate for gas companies.
The Leger Marketing telephone survey of 1,500 people was conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 31, much of it before the major effects of Hurricane Katrina were felt.
Canadian gasoline prices jumped about 25 cents a litre since the storm hit the U.S. Gulf Coast a week ago Monday.
Quebecers were the strongest supporters of resource nationalization at 67 per cent, followed by residents of the Atlantic provinces at 53 per cent, Ontarians at 45 per cent and British Columbians at 42 per cent.
Forty per cent of respondents on the Prairies and 36 per cent of Albertans were in favour.
Among those opposed to resource nationalization, Albertans led the way at 49 per cent followed by British Columbians at 39 per cent.
Quebec led in support for nationalization of oil companies, with 61 per cent in favour, followed by the Atlantic provinces at 46 per cent.
Alberta was the most opposed to oil company nationalization at 59 per cent, followed by the prairies at 49 per cent, B.C. at 46 per cent and Ontario at 41 per cent.
Most of the respondents — 79 per cent — suggested they would like to see taxes on gasoline cut. Federal and provincial governments have made it clear that is unlikely to happen.
Seventy-six per cent of respondents indicated they wanted the government to intervene after gas prices increased before Katrina hit the coast.
Fifty-four per cent suggested they would like the government to fix the pump price.
Twenty-six per cent of respondents blamed the gas companies for pre-Katrina price jumps and 18 per cent blamed oil-producing countries.
Interestingly, 63 per cent of respondents said pre-Katrina gas price hikes had not affected their fuel consumption, while 25 per cent said they were using less gas.
Results of the poll are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
On Labour Day, gas prices in Montreal and Halifax averaged $1.38 a litre and the regulated price in St. John’s, N.L., was $1.48.
In Toronto, prices ranged from $1.22 to about $1.35 a litre.
Western drivers paid between $1.08 and $1.13 in Edmonton, and between $1.07 and $1.14 in Calgary.
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