Yesterday I attended the NEIS annual mtg in Chicago (June 10, 2012). It was a pleasure to be among a group of such dedicated, intelligent, and diligent activists who have been working for 31 years to end the nuclear power ‘experiment’ in the United States. With the ongoing disaster of Fukushima Japan still fresh on everyone’s minds we had a lively discussion of local, regional and national trends in the Nuclear industry. There was unanimous applause regarding the recent NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) ruling that spent fuel can continue to be stored on site at nuclear plants in lieu of a plan for centralized storage at a facility like Yucca Mountain. On site storage, while not necessarily safe, should force more site by site scrutiny by the NRC. The NEIS supports hardened on site storage (reinforced concrete and steel structures around each waste canister) which is deemed much safer than the current widespread practice of storage pools.
Because of the Fukushima disaster, Japan has shut down all of its nuclear power plants. The Japanese people have shown tremendous solidarity to support this move which as reduced their overall electricity consumption by 30%. But with the oncoming heat of summer, it’s not clear that Japan will hold out as a nuclear free nation.The GE Mark I reactor at Fukushima melted down when all power was lost to the facility due to the tsunami that struck the coast of Japan in March 2011. There are 23 nuclear power plants in the US that share the same flawed design.
The NEIS continues to watchdog the nuclear power industry in Illinois and beyond. Please join them and support them with your time, talent and financial resources. www.neis.org