Grassroots Summit on Nuclear Waste Sparks Debate

June 3, 2008 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Activists and Experts Gather to Resist the U.S. “Nuclear Relapse”

COLUMBIA, SC — Grassroots organizers from around the country gathered at U.South Carolina-Columbia this weekend to plan a nationwide movement of resistance to the “nuclear relapse” proposed by the United States Government. Activists shared stories of their victories and challenges in their connected campaigns against the nuclear industry, with participants at the summit ranging from students new to the cause and veteran demonstrators imparting the wisdom of decades in the field. The key areas of focus at the summit included bridging the gap between campaigns against nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, synthesizing climate and nuclear issues within an organization’s policy, and comparing the advantages of large-scale programs sponsored by private industry and government to grassroots initiatives organized by concerned citizens.

The National Summit was organized by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (link), a research and activism network working to bring together and support the full spectrum of campaigns within the anti-nuclear movement. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Frank von Hippel, speaking on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, a new initiative by weaponized states to launch a “nuclear renaissance” as a so-called solution to the worldwide climate and energy crisis. The summit concluded with a talk from Dr. Arjun Makhijani who discussed his new book, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (link). Dr. Makhijani is an expert advisor to lawmakers, scientists, and energy industry leaders around the world. His message: with the planet in a state of intensive care, we cannot afford to waste what little time we have on the risky and disastrous project of nuclear energy, and must turn our full attention to the application of present technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency before it is too late. You can download his new book free of charge and subscribe to the journal of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Science for Democratic Action, at [ieer.org].

The summit featured discussions with activists who focus on every point in the nuclear supply chain, from Defenders of the Black Hills organizing against uranium mining in First Nations territory, to women’s groups and civil society organizations in the Southeast fighting proliferation reprocessing, to activists in the Southwest protesting waste transit and deposit at Yucca Mountain. The highest priorities that emerged during the weekend’s discussion included the upcoming Lieberman-Warner Bill on U.S. climate policy, lobbying Tennessee Governor Phil Bredeson to oppose the import of waste into the Southeast, and mobilizing resistance to the Department of Energy’s new license application to dump tons of radioactive waste into Yucca Mountain. For more information on each of these issues, you can join the NIRS listservice at [http://www.nirs.org/].

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Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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