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PNS Daily Newscast - October 17, 2017 


On the rundown; a new poll has Americans turning thumbs down on Trump’s hurricane response; changes in the works to North Carolina’s election law; a move to protect Central California wilderness; and making federal buildings “bird friendly”

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More Radioactive Waste Rolling through New Hampshire?

Nuclear waste from the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant and other sources could roll through the Granite State under a measure coming up for a vote in the U.S. House. (J Richmond/wiki)
Nuclear waste from the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant and other sources could roll through the Granite State under a measure coming up for a vote in the U.S. House. (J Richmond/wiki)
July 31, 2017

EXETER, N.H. – Environmental groups have a warning for the nation's leaders: Haste will make more waste.

A House vote could come soon on legislation known as the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017.

The bill would mean building more temporary storage facilities around the nation to hold high-level radioactive waste from nuclear reactor sites, both current and closed.

Doug Bogen, executive director of the Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, says New Englanders could end up sharing the roads, rails or waterways with nuclear waste from New Hampshire's Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant, Maine's decommissioned Yankee Nuclear Power Plant and from the nuclear submarine base at Portsmouth Shipyard.

"And all of that waste would need to be shipped down the East coast, through towns like Portsmouth or Dover, and on southward and westward,” he points out. “And we're very concerned about the issues around transport, as well as the final destination of this waste."

HR 3053 is sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus, a Republican from Illinois, who says it would modernize the energy infrastructure and environmental laws and enhance the nation's energy security.

David Kraft, director of the Nuclear Energy Information Service, says the measure would vastly increase the amount of this waste coming through almost every state by road, rail and barge.

He calls it a bad idea.

"The bill, if it passes, is calling on the re-institution of the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada, which has been shown to be flawed,” Kraft states. “And in addition it's calling for the construction of new waste sites around the country, which are both expensive and unnecessary."

Kraft says a better way to go is for the nation to devise an environmentally responsible plan for a permanent disposal facility.

Dozens of environmental groups oppose the legislation. They call the plan "mobile Chernobyl," and warn it would send spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors through 100 major cities in 44 states and 370 congressional districts.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH