A group calling itself a watchdog of Illinois nuclear issues is putting Yucca Mountain back on the radar.
Specifically, the Nuclear Energy Information Service, based in Chicago, wants Illinois' congressional delegation to slow down on the plan to store nuclear waste at that defunded Nevada site – or anywhere else until further study can be done.
Not only could one of the disposal sites be in Illinois, says NEIS director David Kraft, but wherever the waste travels, the route is likely to include the state's roads, rails, and waterways.
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“Referring to the Japanese nuclear disaster, we want to stop it before it happens this time, and we're urging the Illinois delegation – and Congress as a whole – to abandon the ridiculous notion of moving waste before you have a place to move it to.”
Downstate Congressman John Shimkus is singled out as a “cheerleader,” as Kraft put it.
“Perhaps he could volunteer his district for one of these temporary sites,” Kraft quipped.
An e-mailed statement from Shimkus' office quotes the congressman:
"Glowing green trains and sludge filled trucks cruising Michigan Avenue are nothing but figments of anti-nuclear activists’ imagination. The reality is that nuclear materials are safely transported throughout the United States on a daily basis, and have been for years, without endangering the public or the environment," the statement begins.
"The Energy and Commerce Environment and Economy Subcommittee, which I chair, examined the transportation of nuclear materials earlier this month. Testimony by Kelly Horn, head of Environmental Management for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Co-Chairman of the Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee, and others not only affirmed the fact that we can and do have the capability to ship nuclear material safely, but that transportation routes would not run anywhere near major tourist areas."