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Pasco Hearings On Plutonium Reprocessing March 8, 2007

Posted by publicpolitics in Uncategorized.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has  notified Washington state residents of public hearings on the resumption of a long discontinued technique of extracting weapons grade material from spent fuel.One of the proposed sites for this dangerous initiative is located near Pasco, Washington. There will be a hearing there on March 13th at the Red Lion Hotel Gold Room, 2525 N. 20th Avenue in Pasco.

The hearing provides opportunities to present comments and ask questions.

[q]The Bush administration is requesting a FY2008 budget of $405 million for its major new nuclear energy initiative, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), which involves “reprocessing” the used (or “spent”) fuel from nuclear power reactors. Reprocessing separates plutonium and uranium from other nuclear waste contained in spent nuclear fuel. The separated plutonium can be used to fuel reactors, but also to make nuclear weapons. Nearly three decades ago, the United States decided on non-proliferation grounds not to reprocess spent fuel from U.S. power reactors, but instead to directly dispose of it in a deep underground geologic repository where it would remain isolated from the environment for at least tens of thousands of years.[q]

The scientists believe that this reprocessing would damage U.S. waste management efforts, woud be more costly than any feasible alternative, and would increase the risks of nuclear terrorism.

Comments can be mailed to Timothy A. Frazier , GNEP PEIS Document Manger, Office of Nuclear energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave Sw, Washington D.C.  2085-0019 or by email: GNEP-PEIS@nuclear.energy.gov. All comments must be received by April 4th and marked as “GNEP-PEIS Comments”

Relevant Links: Department of Energy GNEP web site.

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