10 August 2009

Thanks, but no thanks on nuclear waste

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The state Department of Ecology has received a petition from the federal Department of Energy for a Land Disposal Restrictions Variance on about 5 kilograms of extremely radioactive waste. The comment period on Ecology’s tentative decision to approve the petition started July 20. My comment? Thanks a lot, but no thanks.
Our state DOE employees and employees of Hanford have worked like Trojans to protect all of us, and the Columbia River, from nuclear waste. Our national legislators have had to fight tooth and nail over the last umpteen years for the funds necessary to continue cleanup. Their reward for hard work and competence is to be asked to take care of the waste from other sites! I am convinced that, if we allow disposal of this additional waste as requested, it will open the door for a landslide of future requests! Then they’ll cut our funding again when things get tough. So please, call or write. Ask our state DOE not to grant this “variance.”

Every site that produces nuclear waste should be required to provide for storage of that waste; not depend on taxpayer dollars to provide a salt mine, or to ship it to Washington state. Oh but wait! That will reduce profits won’t it? Nineteen new nuclear plants have been licensed in the southern states. Gee. Wonder what they’ll do with the waste for the next 2,500 years?



  1. This is a Heart of America member that was published in The Olympian! Great job Sharon!

    We could NOT agree more - do NOT add more waste to Hanford!

  2. While granting variances on 5kg of radioactive waste may not seem to be a huge deal given the amount of wast that is already stored at Hanford, it establishes a dangerous precedent. If Ecology approves this DOE request, there will undoubtedly be additional similar requests in the future. I hope that Ecology decides to stick to the principle advocated by the people of Washington: No new waste means no new waste.