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Washington State Public Health Association
2007 - Resolution 5
PREVENTING NUCLEAR EXPANSION IN WASHINGTON STATE UNTIL HEALTH IMPACTS FROM CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION, NUCLEAR WASTE ISSUES AND TRANSPORTATION ARE RESOLVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
WHEREAS every resident in Washington State has an equal right to conditions that protect and promote human health, including a healthy and safe environment; and
WHEREAS Washington State recognizes that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” and a fundamental human right 1 ; and
WHEREAS humans have a responsibility to protect and nourish the greater biotic community of animals and plants by ensuring a healthy environment; and
WHEREAS the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington is the most contaminated site in North America, with 53 million gallons of high-level nuclear waste in aging underground tanks; and
WHEREAS one-third of Hanford’s 177 underground tanks are known to have leaked; and
WHEREAS the groundwater beneath Hanford is contaminated, with at least 10 contaminants exceeding the EPA’s drinking water standard; and
WHEREAS the groundwater at Hanford is migrating to the Columbia River, which provides drinking water for the Tri-Cities; and
WHEREAS people use the Columbia River for recreation and consume fish from the river; and
WHEREAS Hanford is being considered as a “hosting facility” for the Bush administration’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership 2 ; and
WHEREAS a Tri-City group 3 has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy to make Hanford a reprocessing center for spent nuclear fuel from the proposed nuclear expansion; and
WHEREAS spent nuclear fuel would be transported to Hanford from around the country; and
WHEREAS the National Academies of Science state 4 that no exposure to radiation has been proven safe;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the WSPHA opposes any new production activities at Hanford that would create radioactive waste until existing nuclear waste is in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws; and be it further
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the WSPHA opposes the import of high-level nuclear waste to Hanford until existing waste is in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws; and be it further
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that should Hanford become compliant with all nuclear waste laws, shipment of new nuclear waste to Hanford will not proceed until an independent risk assessment has been completed ensuring public health along transportation routes.
Signed by: Rick Porso, WSPHA President 2006-2007
Contact Name: Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT
Agency: INND (Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders)
Agency Address: 8232 14th Ave. NE
City, State, Zip: Seattle, WA 98115
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
1 WHO Alma-Ata Declaration (1978)
2 U.S. Department of Energy at www.gnep.energy.gov
3 U.S. Department of Energy at http://www.gnep.energy.gov/gnepSitingStudies.html
4 National Academies of Science, Biologic Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII: Health Risks
from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, June 2005.