Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club Position Statement on Radioactive Waste
The Lone Star Chapter of the
Sierra Club reaffirms its historic commitment
to promoting reduction in the generation of radioactive
waste and safe & proper management of those wastes remaining and to opposing efforts to make Texas a dumping ground for the nation’s
The Lone Star Chapter recommends that management of radioactive wastes in Texas incorporate the following principles:
• A publicly accountable state agency, not a private company,
should be licensed to manage any radioactive wastes (although
the State may contract with private companies to operate
• No new states should be added to the existing radioactive waste compact (Texas and Vermont), and the compact “loophole” – allowing the Texas Compact Commissioners to contract with any state, group of states, or company to import unlimited amounts of radioactive waste to be disposed of in Texas – must
• Radioactive wastes should not be buried below ground. Above-ground storage of waste in “assured isolation” facilities has the potential to avoid the health hazards of below-ground burial and avoid the high cost associated with remedial action that inevitably will be required if below ground disposal is used. If assured isolation is pursued, it must be statutorily defined so as to require inspection and monitoring on all sides of the facility, environmental monitoring, easy access to the waste canisters and ability to repackage the waste as leaks are detected, preventative maintenance, adequate financial assurances to repair damage or degradation, and “zero-release” as
a design objective.
• Radioactive waste should be kept as near the site of generation
as possible, with sites of the largest generators (the nuclear
power plants) used for management of waste from other locations,
in order to minimize the risks of accident or injury from
transportation of such wastes.
• All decisions on the management, siting, storage, and transportation
of radioactive waste should be made with full and effective
public participation so that decision-makers and the public
have a full range of information on which to base decisions.
Adopted by the Executive Committee of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club at its meeting in Austin, Texas on January 22, 2006.
Coastal Bend Sierra Club and South Texans Opposed to Pollution
(STOP) co-hosted an educational workshop May 17 on uranium
mining presented by Geochemist Dr. Richard Abitz (standing
in front wearing white pants and blue shirt to the left of
center).Click photo to enlarge. May 17, 2008