Petition to Stop the Nuclear Bailout
To: The 110th United States Congress
We ask that all members of Congress join us in working to remove from the pending Energy Bill massively expensive loan guarantees—potentially a virtual blank check from taxpayers— for the building of many more nuclear power plants.
We strongly support those parts of this Energy Bill that advance Renewable Portfolio Standards, increased fuel efficiency for automobiles, and other safe, clean solutions to global warming.
The tragedies of September 11th, 2001, underscore how vulnerable atomic reactors are to terror attacks by airplanes and missiles. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island remind us that major nuclear accidents can also be caused by human error.
The problem of radioactive waste remains unsolved. All reactors create deadly by-products that must be isolated for centuries. These wastes will have to be moved throughout the nation on trucks and trains, which could themselves have accidents and become terror and proliferation targets. There is no storage site even planned for the wastes that would come from new reactors. The controversial dump under construction at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which may never open, cannot handle even the waste from reactors already in existence.
Huge quantities of energy are used for nuclear fuel enrichment, transportation, construction and waste storage. This is no solution to global warming. Reactors in Alabama and France have already shut because they are super-heating nearby rivers and streams.
The “new generation” nuclear plant now being built in Finland is already 18 months behind schedule and $900 million over budget. This is a design planned for our country. If construction begins here, tax and ratepayers will be stuck with the bill.
The Senate version of the Energy Bill could authorize the Department of Energy to provide virtually unlimited guarantees for backers of new reactors. The industry indicates it wants $25 billion in guarantees for 2008, and another $25 billion for 2009, with untold billions more to come after that.
The industry wants these subsidies because after fifty years, atomic power has been rejected by the marketplace. The first commercial nuclear reactor opened in 1957. But after fifty years of proven failure, Wall Street will not independently invest in more of them, and still no private insurance company will underwrite the possibility of a major reactor disaster.
In fact, nuclear power has been left behind by a profitable revolution in safe, clean, renewable energy sources, and in energy efficiency. Wind, solar, bio-fuels, geothermal, ocean thermal and more are shaping a green-powered Earth that produces jobs and sustainability. This is the true solution to global warming.
These wasteful reactor loan guarantees would siphon away resources better spent on truly competitive sources of power.
So we ask that they be removed from the Energy Bill. Higher auto mileage standards, biofuels, energy efficiency and requirements for renewable energy are what we need to survive and prosper, not more taxpayer bailouts for the proven failure that is atomic energy.
To ensure the validity of this petition, we have chosen a double opt-in procedure. What this means is that in order to sign this petition, you will be required to take two actions. The first is to fill out the form below. Shortly thereafter, you will receive an email with a link in it. The second thing you must do is to click this link in order for us to verify your email address.