No, this doesn't mean that we need you to find the best way to transmute minor actinides (though if you do have that information I know some places that are hiring). But you can go far in making nuclear fuel recycling a national priority by showing your support at a Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) scoping meeting that DOE is holding in Washington, DC on Monday, March 19. The meeting will be at the Hotel Washington from 1pm to 5pm, though I suggest that advocates arrive no later than 12:30pm.
DOE has held seven such scoping meetings in communities that are potential hosts for GNEP facilities. In locations such as North Augusta, GA and Carlsbad, NM local supporters organized themselves and the meetings were very positive with balanced media coverage. However, in Joliett, IL nuclear opponents outnumbered supporters by about 3 to 1 and media coverage was predictably negative.
There are no potential GNEP sites in the Washington, DC area but it is still important that nuclear advocates demonstrate support of the initiative. Antinuclear groups are certain to be present and we want to ensure that the PRO-nuclear message is the dominant one!
Plus, while Congress, policymakers, and media of all stripes increasingly recognize the important contribution nuclear makes to meeting our energy and environmental goals, there remains much skepticism about advanced fuel cycle initiatives. To help overcome such skepticism I believe our leaders and the media need to see that citizens want our country to pursue a path that will better utilize natural resources and make the world cleaner and safer.
There are several things you can do to help:
- Attend the meeting and speak as a representative of your organization.
- Attend the meeting and speak as a private citizen. If you want help in crafting a message, please send an email to closethefuelcycle-at-hotmail.com. But it is also tremendously beneficial just to say something as short as “My name is John Q Public and I work in the energy industry. I support the GNEP initiative because I know nuclear energy is clean, safe, and reliable and an important part of a balanced energy mix in this country. By recycling used fuel, the GNEP initiative will encourage greater use of nuclear energy and will more efficiently use our natural resources.”
- Attend the meeting and wear a pro-nuclear sticker.
- If you can’t attend the meeting but would like to show your support, you can write a letter to DOE. The Federal Register Notice is here with contact information at the bottom of the first column on the second page.
1. DOE's GNEP website
2. An excellent Op-ed
3. Fact Sheet on the economic benefits of power plants to states and local communities—not exactly the same thing as GNEP facilities, but comparable.
4. Fact Sheet on preventing proliferation with a short section on GNEP
5. Policy Brief about advanced fuel cycle technologies
Speakers must sign in at the meeting no later than 12:45 pm to be assured a slot and the earlier you sign-up the better. There may be time at the end of the meeting for additional speakers, but it isn’t guaranteed. If you are representing an organization be sure to let them know at the sign-in table because they may have representatives go first.
If you plan to attend or speak or have any questions, please send an email to closethefuelcycle-at-hotmail.com.
GO FORTH AND ADVOCATE!