IL Letter to Editor speaks to all 50 states


Based in Chicago, IL  David Kraft, Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), succinctly writes in his Chicago Sun Times Letter to the Editor (LTE) a warning that presently applies to dozens of state legislatures across the country who are parroting and rebranding the same repeated lies and a dangerous failed energy policy of atomic power.

While state legislatures are apparently at the craven “beck and call” of the nuclear industry’s well-greased propaganda machine, the Illinois situation has drawn national attention to state energy policy by showing some iota of gumption with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s veto of his legislature’s attempt to repeal the state’s moratorium on new reactor construction.  In 1987, the Illinois General Assembly imposed a moratorium on new reactor construction absent an approved, demonstrated long-term management solution to the industry’s growing mountain of unmanaged high-level nuclear waste. Illinois Senate Bill 76 would have removed the state moratorium as the legislated barrier to new reactor construction of still unproven “advanced” and small modular reactors technology. Kraft points out that the nuclear proponents of SB76 had swallowed the nuclear industry line of “affordable”, “walk away safe”, “clean”, “carbon free”, “emissions free,” and “all its nuclear waste can fit in a Walmart” without question, research or the least bit of push back.

“Legislators not willing to put this much effort into learning such fundamental details have no business writing Illinois’ energy future legislation,” Kraft says.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (2021) points out, “Twelve states currently have restrictions on the construction of new nuclear power facilities: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.” Among these states, five have cited the need to satisfy the key condition of “the identification of a demonstrable technology or a means for high-level waste disposal or reprocessing (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Oregon).”

Illinois’ moratorium on new construction reactor has prevailed.  However, pro-nuclear advocacy for more radioactive waste generation is throttling up around the nation. Ironically, one of those states is New Hampshire. The state-legislated “Commission to Investigate the Implementation of Next Generation Nuclear Reactor Technology in New Hampshire” is preparing its final report to Governor Thomas Sununu and nation’s largest seated state legislature for the beginning of December 2023.  It’s ironic because the “Granite State” legislature has already quietly repealed its own “Don’t Dig Here” legislated ban on nuclear waste dumping in the state.  When the search for this nation’s “final solution” resumes in the US, New Hampshire ranks as a lead contender on the US Department of Energy’s most favored deep geological site for 80,000 to 120,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste (highly radioactive nuclear fuel) buried in the Cardigan Pluton crystalline rock body underneath seven Yankee towns in and around Hillsboro, NH.

We all need to be paying more attention to David Kraft’s LTE as a clarion call to all 50 states being bombarded by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s lobbyist manual “State Legislation and Regulations Supporting Nuclear Energy” (January 2023), your state included.

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