Photo Op: Colorful, full size replica of a high-level atomic waste transportation container – dumbbell shaped metallic cylinder 18 feet long by 7 feet in diameter-on a trailer, parked in front of the West Valley plant, with background shots of the old reprocessing facility.
Where: Press conference at the front of the West Valley Demonstration Project, at the mock
nuclear waste cask. Rock Springs Road, West Valley N.Y.
When: 2 p.m., Monday, July 9th, 2001.
Who: Kevin Kamps-Nuclear Waste Specialist, Diane D’Arrigo- Waste Project Director, both of
Nuclear Information & Resource Service; Carol Mongerson, Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes; David Pyles, New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution & former West Valley reprocessing worker; Tim Judson, NY Citizens Awareness Network.
What: One of the largest loads of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel in U.S. history is scheduled to leave West Valley for Idaho by rail sometime this
summer. The West Valley and Idaho (INEEL-Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Labs) sites must be cleaned up; they are not suitable to store nuclear waste forever. The federal government now threatens to cut more funds for these clean-ups
and to make more of this same waste. We will gather to remind the public of the origins and dangers of this nuclear waste that was generated decades ago. We are warning the country not to repeat the mistakes made at West Valley and Idaho – reprocessing irradiated fuel and burying radioactive waste.
The Bush/Cheney Administration’s National Energy Plan advocates new nuclear power plants and resumption of reprocessing of irradiated fuel, banned 25 years ago in the US. Given the federal government’s reluctance to pay for cleaning up the radioactive messes left from reprocessing decades ago, at West Valley and in Idaho, this proposal is foolish and dangerous.
We bear witness to the continuing risks transportation poses not just here and along the route this summer but for centuries to come no matter where it goes. Much more radioactive waste remains at West Valley than is to be moved in this enormous shipment. Radioactive waste remains in the burial grounds, in the solidified high level radioactive glass logs, in the old reprocessing facility, in the underground plume of leaking radioactivity and elsewhere on the site.
This will not be the last shipment from West Valley, nor will it be the last nuclear shipment across the country.
The event will kick-off a national mock high-level nuclear waste shipment to dramatize these risks. This cross-country tour with a full size replica of a nuclear waste transport container will follow the actual rail routes through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri,
Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and the Fort Hall Reservation of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. We express solidarity with those being threatened by this waste across the country and in Idaho.