In his State of the Union Speech, President George Bush called on Congress to enact legislation to support his energy program, including “safe, clean nuclear power.”
*Where Bush sees “safe, clean nuclear power,” we see construction of new pre-deployed weapons of mass destruction to be used against us.
Every community near a reactor would be at risk.
*Where Bush sees “safe, clean nuclear power,” we see an unsolved legacy of lethal radioactive waste.
This waste will continue to pile up at reactor sites, even if the proposed Yucca Mountain waste site—which does not and cannot meet federal regulations—were to open. Building new reactors would exacerbate the problem, and force the U.S. to find yet another national dumpsite, probably in the Eastern U.S.
*Where Bush sees “safe, clean nuclear power,” we see the proliferation of nuclear weapons-usable technology across the globe.
Bush should have taken the courageous lead of International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei, who has called for a five-year moratorium on construction of new uranium enrichment facilities to help prevent nuclear proliferation. Instead, the administration supports construction of such plants in New Mexico and Ohio.
*Where Bush sees “safe, clean nuclear power,” we see the diversion of scarce resources from sustainable technologies that should be used to combat the global climate crisis to the most expensive, least effective technology available to address the overriding environmental issue of our times.
*Where Bush sees “safe, clean nuclear power,” we see an industry that spews radiation into the air and water on a daily basis from all of its reactors, mines, processing plants, and other facilities, and poses the constant threat of atomic meltdown.
There is nothing “safe” or “clean” about nuclear power. The first generation of atomic reactors brought us bankrupted utilities, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the threat of a nuclear waste transport accident—a “Mobile Chernobyl,” and the existing 103 reactors scattered across our nation that can provide nuclear dirty bombs for the enemy.
The Bush Administration’s energy bill has failed for the past four years for good reason. Its support for the polluting nuclear, coal and oil industries offers mid-20th century solutions to 21st century problems. Rather than rewarding the Bush Administration’s energy industry friends with taxpayer dollars, the Congress can, and should develop an energy policy that will lead the world in efficiency and sustainability, provide millions of new jobs in progressive new energy industries, and take effective steps toward ending the global climate crisis.
The Bush Administration’s energy policy can, should and will be rejected by the American people and their elected officials.