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Radioactive sludge on the streets? No thanks.
November 15, 2017
The production of nuclear weapons and nuclear power leaves a harmful legacy that compromises our health and the environment. According to the General Accounting Office, there are 90,000 metric tons of nuclear waste in 74 sites across the country. Exposure to unshielded spent nuclear fuel can deliver a lethal dose of radiation in a matter of minutes.
Now, Congress is considering dangerous legislation that would truck nuclear waste from across the country to "interim storage sites" in the Southwest. The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act could even resurrect the Yucca Mountain site, which is hazardously located on fault lines and risks leaking high-level radioactive waste into drinking water sources.
This plan is a disaster for public health. Here's why:
- It permits the transport of radioactive sludge across 44 states, nearly doubling the number of nuclear waste shipments. Rail and truck routes would cut through major cities and farmlands.
- The so-called "interim storage sites" risk becoming long-term dump sites for the nation's nuclear waste, raising serious concerns about the impact on community health and the environment.
- Depositing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain reinforces the disproportionate health impacts of nuclear production on Native American communities. More than half of all U.S. uranium deposits lie under indigenous lands. Native Americans should not be exposed to any more radiation.
Experts agree that it is far safer to create hardened facilities and store this waste onsite now. Tell Congress we need real solutions for nuclear waste that protect public health.
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