Monday, May 26, 10:30 AM
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Radioactive Waste Bill Nears Final Vote Groups Tell Senate to "Can It!"
AustinToday the Texas League of Women Voters, the Lone Star Sierra Club, and other groups joined West Texas residents outside the Texas Senate chamber to unveil a 14 X 10 foot wall of 120 nuclear waste canisters. The display illustrates the dramatic increase in highly concentrated radioactive waste that will be allowed to be dumped in Texas under the new conference committee report negotiated in secret and presented to the Legislature last week. The groups used the event to renew their push to convince the Senate to vote against the HB 1567 conference committee report.
The conference report allows 120 times more Class B and C radioactive waste than the Senate agreed to allow. The conference report raises the limit on B and C waste form 5,000 cubic yards to 600,000 cubic yards. B and C waste is much more concentrated and dangerous than Class A waste. In fact, Class C waste, unshielded, can be lethal to those exposed to it for than 15 minutes.
The market rate fee for disposing of Class B and C waste is $10,800-$54,000 per cubic yard, whereas the fee for disposing of uncontainerized Class A waste is $162-$540 per cubic yard.
"This bill is not about meeting Texas' obligations for a small amount of waste," said Fran Sage, from Alpine. "This bill is about one company making huge amounts of money at the expense of Texas citizens. We in West Texas do not want all that waste shipped to us. We in West Texas ask senators to care about all its citizens."
"Well be delivering these mock radioactive waste canisters made out of soda cans to each Senate office, asking them to can this dangerous bill," said Erin Rogers, spokesperson for the Lone Star Sierra Club.
A final Senate vote on the conference report is expected any day before the June 1 deadline. The House passed the conference report on Friday, May 23.
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