Date: 5/14/02 To the Editor, Today's Sunbeam:
As the Coordinator of the Close the Salem Nukes Now - The UNPLUG Salem Campaign, a network of 109 organizations, I am very disappointed in Congressmen Lobiondo and Andrews, who voted in the House this week to allow the transport of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain. Their vote means that trains, trucks, and perhaps barges, will be carrying high-level, dangerous nuclear waste from the three nuclear reactors on Artificial Island through much of South Jersey, thus exposing South Jersey citizens to possible radiological contamination. If, God forbid, there were an accident or a terrorist attack on these transports, the results would be catastrophic. These risks might be worth taking if the three nuclear plants on Artificial Island were decommissioned in the process, thus ensuring that no more nuclear waste would remain in South Jersey, as well as that no more fish would be slaughtered, no more cancer-causing radiation emitted, and no more aging and embrittlement that would threaten the safety of our citizens. But that will not be the case. Voting for shipping nuclear power waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada, allows the aging reactors on Artificial Island to continue to produce waste, radiation, cancers, and dead fish. The plants will continue to be terrorist targets that cannot withstand a 9/11-type attack. Hope Creek's spent fuel pool will continue to be vulnerable to attack. Salem Unit 2 will continue to operate with a defective steam generator. Salem 1 and 2 will continue to operate with fire seals that catch fire. All three plants will continue to embrittle. PSEG will continue to grapple with human error problems at all three nuclear plants. Security at the three plants will continue to not be as strong as possible. The State's Evacuation Plan will continue to be unworkable. And now the people of South Jersey will be at risk not just from the three nuclear plants, but from the transport of high level nuclear waste as well. There will be a vote in the Senate on Yucca Mountain. I urge our two Senators to vote for the safety of South Jersey citizens by voting against transporting nuclear waste to Nevada.
Norman Cohen 609-601-8583