Candidate Chris Lugo Speaks Out Against Nuclear Waste Transport and Asks
"Why Are We Importing European Nuclear Waste to Tennessee?"
Nashville, TN: In a statement released from his Nashville office today, US Senate Candidate Chris Lugo asked why the federal government is considering allowing a private corporation to transport and process massive amounts of nuclear waste from Europe into Tennessee, "Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considering allowing the company called 'Energy Solutions' to ship in nuclear waste to burn, melt, transport and dump right here in Tennessee? Since when did Tennessee become a dumping ground for European nuclear waste? I oppose the NRC issuing a permit to this corporation to pollute our state. It is bad enough that we have our own nuclear waste to deal with from years of nuclear weapons production as well as nuclear power generation. The federal government doesn't even know what to do with its own nuclear waste. Taking in nuclear waste from Europe to dump in the United States is simply unacceptable."
According to a release from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, EnergySolutions runs 2 commercial nuclear waste dumps in the US and incinerators, a metal melter and other "processing" facilities in Memphis and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. EnergySolutions is applying for a federal license to import 20,000 tons of radioactive waste into the US for processing including incineration, "recycling", transport and disposal. This nuclear waste from Italy would be burned, smelted, chopped up and process in Memphis and Oak Ridge, resulting in more radioactive emissions in those regions and creating more radioactive nuclear waste in Tennessee. Some of this waste could even be dumped in solid waste dumps in Tennessee.
Tennessee has a long history of resistance to becoming a nuclear dumping ground for private corporations. In Hartsville, Tennessee an organization called Louisiana Energy Services attempted to dump a uranium processing facility on that community in 2003. A grassroots organization called Citizens for Smart Choices organized a grassroots campaign to keep radioactive waste out of Hartsville and eventually won over the city council of Hartsville with a simple, common sense discussion about the environmental impact a uranium processing facility would have on the ecology of the region. In 2006, an organization coalesced in Johnson City, Tennessee to oppose the depleted uranium processing happening at Aerojet facilities in Irwin, Tennessee. For over twenty years, an organization called the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance has called for the cleaning up of the Oak Ridge bioregion, which has been severely impacted by the nuclear weapons complex facilities in the area.
"Tennesseans don't want nuclear waste polluting their water, air and soil. We want a healthy environment in which we can safely raise our families, grow our food, and enjoy the outdoors." Chris Lugo, a progressive candidate for the US Senate in Tennessee said that he is opposed to any further nuclear waste processing in Tennessee. "We need to tell the federal government that Tennessee is not a dumping ground for European nuclear waste. Tennessee is rich in natural resources, and we need to preserve our bioregion for future generations. Radioactive nuclear waste contaminates everything - the air, the soil, the water, plants, animals and people. Why would anyone think that it is a good idea to import nuclear waste from a foreign country into Tennessee?"
US Senate Candidate Chris Lugo is urging Tennesseans to write to the US Nuclear Regulator Commission to say NO to License Applications IW023 and XW013 which would permit the Energy Solutions corporation to transport and process nuclear waste in Tennessee. He is also urging people to vote for candidates this fall that will look out for the long-term interests of the environment, "We only have one planet, and only one Tennessee. I think it is clear to voters who will support the real interests of the environment."
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