SB 89 Would Lift Kentucky Moratorium On New Nuclear Plants
February 13, 2016
Dear Senator Carroll:
I'm writing to express my concerns regarding SB 89. KRC opposes the bill, because it sends the wrong message to the nuclear power industry regarding the level of accountability that Kentuckians expect from them regarding the management of their spent fuel rods and other high-level nuclear wastes.
SB 89 would end the current moratorium on nuclear power plant construction in Kentucky, and would open the door to new nuclear power plants provided that they have a storage plan, rather than the waste disposal plan that current law requires. KRC opposes the lifting of the current moratorium for these reasons:
- Indefinite storage of spent fuels at nuclear power plants is a significant homeland security risk. A National Academy of Sciences 2005 Report concluded that few, if any, current nuclear reactors could withstand a terrorist airplane attack, and such a collision could cause fatalities as far away as 500 miles.
- There is currently no long-term national nuclear waste disposal facility or strategy for secure disposal of wastes that pose human and ecological risks for thousands of years. The longer-lived radionuclides that would need to be managed to prevent exposure have half-lives of 24,000 years, and the wastes will need to be securely managed for hundreds of thousands of years.
Since 1991, Kentucky law requires each county to have in place a plan for disposal of household garbage. KRC believes that we should ask no less of the nuclear power industry before we give them the green light to build a new generation of power plants. For these reasons, I respectfully must oppose SB 89.
Thank you for your interest in Kentucky's environmental and public health. Individual contributions from donors across the Commonwealth make it possible for KRC to do its work every day, including advancing environmental, energy, and public health policies in Kentucky.