Activists urge rejection of nuclear waste reprocessingby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A new group called "Carbon Free, Nuclear Free," is calling on Minnesota's congressional delegation to reject proposals to allow reprocessing of nuclear waste.
The group includes 16 environmental, native, and peace organizations.
The U.S. doesn't allow nuclear waste reprocessing because it produces plutonium, which can be used in nuclear weapons. In addition to concerns about proliferation, there are safety and cost issues.
Lisa Ledwidge, with the Minneapolis-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, says reprocessing actually increases the volume of nuclear waste, and it's very expensive.
"The French as well as the British, the two leading reprocessing countries in the world, have contaminated seafood all the way up to the Arctic," said Ledwidge. "If this waste were instead packaged in drums and thrown overboard from a ship, it would actually be illegal under international law."
Climate and energy legislation currently being considered in Congress includes provisions to study nuclear waste reprocessing.