2020 - 04 - 28

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace urges Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to demand that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) hold hearings on proposals for Holtec to transport high level nuclear wastes to an "interim storage site" in New Mexico.

April 27, 2020

US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi 1236 Longworth H.O.B. Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congresswoman Pelosi;

We are writing on behalf of the numerous members and supporters of San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace. A large number of our members live on the proposed routes for the transport of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) from the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant to Holtec’s proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) in southeast New Mexico. Hence, our voices must be heard: we very strongly object to Holtec’s plan, and we ask for public meetings.

There are only two options for moving the waste out of Diablo Canyon: 1) transport over narrow, winding roads, or 2) transport by barge down the California coast to a railhead. Both of these transportation routes must be fully analyzed for safety and cost. But neither of these options looks promising. Also remember that this toxic material would need to be moved twice, for this CIS plan is intended to be a temporary solution.

Mothers for Peace therefore advocates that the HLRW at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant be stored on-site. It must be stored in the safest manner possible until a scientifically sound and environmentally and socially just method for permanent isolation of the waste is found. It must not negatively impact Native American populations.

Mothers for Peace asks that you contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and demand:

  1. a public meeting on this proposal be held in San Luis Obispo County once it is safe to do so. The community has a right to learn about the Holtec Consolidated Interim Storage Facility Draft Environmental Impact Statement (CISF DEIS);

  2. the public comment period must be kept open indefinitely, with the 199-day public comment period countdown clock commencing only after it is safe to once again hold in-person public comment meetings.

There are substantial risks involved in transporting HLRW by trains, trucks, and barges. Holtec's CISF would ship and store 2.5 times the HLRW volume as the planned Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Thus, the NRC is obligated to hold a series

of public meetings along the transport routes. The people living along these routes, including those on Western Shoshone lands, must be given the opportunity to comment on this proposal both at public meetings and during an extensive comment period, similar to that provided by the Department of Energy in regards to Yucca Mountain 20 years ago.

As it currently stands, the NRC’s 120-day comment period ending on July 21 is too short. Only five public meetings have been announced, all to be held only in New Mexico. Adequate time and a greater number of meetings across the U.S. are vitally needed, for transport of HLRW represents an environmental justice burden to those living along the transport corridor.

Again, on behalf of your constituents, Mothers for Peace urges you to demand that the NRC hold public comment meetings in communities along the transport corridor nationwide, including in our state.


San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace Members of the Board:

Jane Swanson, President

Linda Seeley, Vice-President

Jill ZamEk

Sherry Lewis

Molly Johnson

Elaine Holder

Marty Brown

Nancy Norwood