April 19, 1997

Dear Representative,

Re: Nuclear Waste and Nuclear Weapons

It is very unfortunate that the Senate has ratified S-104, the "Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997." We understand this extremely dangerous legislation is now headed into your arena for disposition. We urge you to vote "NO."

Until the scientists have learned how to safely neutralize and/or dispose of nuclear waste, it shouldn't be transported across our nation's crowded highways.

If you would like proof that accidents happen, I'll be glad to send you newspaper clippings about hazardous wastes dumped into suburbs, creeks, etc., by truck drivers who were caught by bad weather, mechanical failures, or human carelessness. No doubt you have access to such information. Surely we can't afford to risk such disasters with radioactive waste, which takes thousands of years to dissipate.

Please take time to consider this carefully. Bad as it is to have radioactive cooling ponds at 109 nuclear power plants nationwide (and other federal facilities in 11 states) -- transporting this stuff is DANGEROUS. The communities that accepted nuclear

power plants have been living with the problem a long time. While I understand their anxiety to be freed of this danger, spreading it doesn't help. Wait until something permanent can be done, and don't put even more people at risk.

Of course, we must shut down the nuclear power plants for the problem to be solved.

Scientists should be encouraged to find alternative, truly clean energy sources. We must convert the current war and energy machines, in order to provide sustainable futures for our children.

To that end, in addition to opposing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, I hope you will co-sponsor Eleanor Holmes Norton's current House bill, HR-827, the "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act."


Ellen Thomas

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