NEIS ACTION ALERT: The final battle to stop new nuclear power plants from coming to Illinois begins!!
Action alert emailed by Dave Kraft, director, NEIS, at 1:50pm ET on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. If you reside in IL, please take direct action. If you do not, please alert everyone you know who does live in IL:
NEIS ACTION ALERT
The final battle to stop new nuclear power plants from coming to Illinois!!
Call your State Rep ASAP, OFTEN, urging opposition to SB0076, a bill that repeals Illinois nuclear reactor construction moratorium
On Tuesday April 18 the House Public Utilities Committee voted 20-1 to advance SB76 to the full House for a vote, date unknown. The IEC has said, “Senate Bill 76 greenlights dirty energy development at the expense of clean energy resources in our state. That’s obviously the wrong direction if we hope to responsibly tackle the climate crisis. ..”
If the climate crisis and the renewable energy goals of CEJA are important to you, you must take action below!
It is now up to you and us to prevent new reactors from being built in Illinois. That House vote will be our last chance to preserve the moratorium and prevent its negative effects on CEJA and Illinois energy future.
Make no mistake – the nuclear industry sees this as the necessary first step to build their proposed “small modular nuclear reactors” (SMNRs), presumably at the sites of retiring coal plants and mines. More reactors of any kind will mean: more radioactive waste (the condition the Moratorium was set up to prevent), more bailouts, more rate hikes, continued accident threat, and LESS renewable energy and efficiency.
Time is of the essence. You need to act ASAP. We do not know when this bill might be called to the House floor for a vote. Pro-nuclear lobbyists are already crowing that they have the votes to pass the bill. That leaves it up to YOU to make the difference, and send them home crying.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: PLENTY — BUT IS MUST BE DONE SOON!!
1.) Contact your state Representative ASAP, urging him/her to oppose SB76 when it comes up for a House vote. Find yours and get contact info by clicking this link, and following the instructions.
2.) Be polite, but assertive: Let them know that Illinois energy future extremely important to you, that you don’t want nuclear to be a part of it, and that an incorrect vote on their part will not be taken kindly. Even if you’ve done it before, do it again!
3.) Write Governor Pritzker, asking him to VETO any legislation that would repeal the construction moratorium or promote new nuclear plants for Illinois.
4.) Download the attached petition, get it filled out, and return to NEIS ASAP, either by mail, or scanned e-mail. We need the results for a press event we will schedule.
5.) Write short letters to the editors TODAY: Contact your local papers, and put in a short, 2-3 line let-ed in opposition to more reactors and radioactive waste in Illinois. (use background materials below and here as you need to).
This is the last fight, folks. There is no more room or time for fence sitting. As that great progressive Jim Hightower has said, there’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos. If you do not want more nuclear reactors to be part of Illinois energy future, you need to take action, now and often before this House vote.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Nuclear Energy Information Service www.neis.org
This Moratorium was enacted in 1987 and has insured that Illinois will not become the de facto radioactive waste dump for the nation, since Illinois nukes have generated the most high-level radioactive waste (~11,000+ tons to date).
- NUCLEAR ILLINOIS: Illinois has more reactors and high-level radioactive waste than any other state. 11 operating reactors; 3 closed/decommissioned. To date, all of these reactors have created over 11,000 tons of highly radioactive and dangerous “spent-fuel” wastes, currently stored onsite at the reactors.
- According to law, the Federal Government was supposed to have created a permanent disposal repository for the spent-fuel by 1997. It failed to do so; therefore all spent-fuel is being stored at reactor sites until a disposal facility is operating.
- In 1987 environmental groups succeeded in passing a common-sense law regarding radioactive wastes, stating that Illinois won’t allow building more waste-producing reactors until the Federal Government builds and operates a disposal place to send radioactive waste to. That moratorium law remains in effect, and currently applies to Exelon/Constellation’s commercial power reactors.
- The potential implications of this repeal are numerous and all negative:
o The current Illinois reactors are declared so uncompetitive by Exelon/Constellation (the new Exelon “spin-off” company) that they have required over $3.0 BILLION in ratepayer-funded bailout guarantees from the State over the past 5 years. If more are built, they too will likely be deemed uncompetitive and require future bailouts.
o This attempted repeal is being done with the intention of promoting and building “small modular nuclear reactors,” (SMNRs) which will produce even more waste with no disposal site for radioactive wastes available.
o SMNRs would compete for market share and transmission access with the renewable energy projects mandated in the 2021 CEJA legislation, thus thwarting achievement of the CEJA goal of 100% renewables by 2050.
o SMNRs do not even exist yet, and will not be available at commercial scale until the 2030s at best, making the moratorium repeal illogical and premature since they too will add to the waste burden; and are a useless choice to combat the climate crisis.
o If SMNRs get fast-tracked licensed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), they could conceivably be built at existing reactor sites, potentially by-passing critically important environmental reviews required for the existing reactors; or sites of retiring coal/gas plants, throwing a lifeline to the fossil fuel industry. This is a potential safety threat to reactor communities, and the State as a whole. And if they too become uneconomic, they would be candidates for even more ratepayer funded bailouts.
- Legislators should oppose the repeal of the 1987 Nuclear Construction Moratorium and the building of new nuclear reactors in Illinois, UNTIL such time as the renewable energy goals expressed in CEJA are first completed. In addition the state should prioritize funding and efforts towards more energy efficiency, developing energy storage, and improving the transmission system.
Please contact us at NEIS for more information.
Thanks in advance for your action!
David A. Kraft, Director
3411 W. Diversey #13
Chicago, IL 60647
SKYPE address: davekhamburg
NEIS is a member of EarthShare Illinois
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