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Dear Bernie, your nuclear power plan is unacceptable - here's why

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Sheila Parks, Ed.D.       (Page 1 of 11 pages)     Permalink

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"The number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards, but this is not a natural health hazard - and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby - who may be born long after we are gone - should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent." President Kennedy, June, 1963

Dear Bernie,

Thank you for your moral and righteous deed in speaking out against nuclear power in general and in saying we have to close Indian Point now. [Nuclear Power Plant in NY]. (April 4, 2016)

Tragically, though, your moratorium in your "Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet" is not in sync.

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Your nuclear power plan is unacceptable - here's why

This must be only the beginning. You have clearly stated that nuclear power is very dangerous and "there is no good way to store nuclear waste" and "the cure is worse than the disease."

You have called for a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals when each current license expires. I am asking you to join our movement in calling for all nuclear power plants (npp's) in the United States to close NOW. Your nuclear power moratorium will allow npp's to continue to operate 38 years (1 npp), 32 years (1), 30 years (3), 29 years (4), 28 years (3), 27 years (1) 26 years (5), 25 years (2) 24 years (2), 23 years (2), 21 years (3) and so on - beginning to count from 2017, when you would be President, if elected. Twenty-seven npp's will be open for many years once your moratorium is in place, some as long as three decades.

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Your plan to combat climate change includes this goal: "Create a Clean-Energy Workforce of 10 million good-paying jobs by creating a 100% clean energy system. Transitioning toward a completely nuclear-free clean energy system for electricity, heating, and transportation is not only possible and affordable it will create millions of good jobs, clean up our air and water, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil."

What a wonderful goal! However, doing this for nuclear power, according to your moratorium, will leave millions of lives at risk for decades because of nuclear power plants that continue to operate until their expiration date.

Courtesy Gail Payne and ArtistLauraLynch

"Nuclear power plants are cancer factories. They make waste that lasts a million years"can get into people's body and food chain"" says internationally acclaimed pediatrician Dr. Helen Caldicott on a Radio Ecoshock interview with Alex Smith on January 27, 2016 [at 5:22].

It is urgent to bring this issue forth now as strongly as possible, while we can still do something about it. Carol Wolman, M.D., long time no-nuclear power activist and writer says, "Radioactivity, which directly attacks DNA, poses the single greatest threat to life on planet Earth." [Personal email conversation with Dr. Wolman.]

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In the debate with Hillary Clinton on April 14, 2016, when discussing climate change, you clearly state, "I certainly don't phase out nuclear tomorrow." That is most definitely true, as in your moratorium plan. However, given all you have said against the horrific dangers of nuclear power, especially recently, this most recent sentence belies your very serious and knowledgeable statements about nuclear power plants.

Your plan does not mention what will happen to the npp's during the moratorium nor how long the moratorium will last. What will happen to the moratorium after you serve your one or two terms as president, if elected? On April 1, 2016, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed a bill that lifted a moratorium on building new npp's that had been in place for 33 years. And although you are rightfully very concerned about the radioactive waste, you do not say what will happen to the spent fuel rods during the moratorium. Your moratorium plan discredits and denies what you know about the catastrophic effects of nuclear power. Are you truly in favor of letting some npp's continue to operate for all those years, piling tons of additional radioactive waste on top of the murderous amount that already exists?

See graph on the last page of this paper and also in Table 1, for how many years it will be between the expiration date of each npp and 2017. Your 6000 plus word statement on "Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet" has two paragraphs on nuclear power tucked inside it. The paragraph about the moratorim is 107 words. Your "clean energy work-force" statement is 58 words. These both totally miss the mark of the heinous destruction and deaths from leukemia and other cancers that nuclear power plants cause. The nuclear power issue must be front and center to your climate change and environmental agenda.

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Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is a former college professor. She had a spiritual awakening many years ago and left her career to do peace and justice work full time. She is the founder of the grassroots group On Behalf of Planet Earth (found on FB). The (more...)

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