BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
JULY 20, 2000
Louis Zeller 098-054-6619 (NGO Center Okinawa), email email@example.com
Vladimir Mikheev 098-054-6619 (NGO Center Okinawa)
Cellular phone in Okinawa 090-3401-4858
On Saturday, July 22, Vladimir Mikheev, Director of the Citizens Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation in Krasnoyarsk and Louis Zeller, Community Organizer with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League in North Carolina, will hold a joint press conference. The press conference will be held in the NGO Center in Nago, Okinawa and will begin at 12:00 noon.
The Russian and American representatives of the two NGOs are in Okinawa to express their deep concerns about the proposed use of plutonium fuel in American, Russian, and Japanese nuclear power reactors. Zeller and Mikheev will speak about their efforts to meet with G-8 leaders and about the dangers of using weapons plutonium in civilian nuclear reactors.
At a meeting in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in early June, many scientists, engineers, and nuclear experts gathered to present the latest findings on the problems of increased nuclear proliferation and reduced reactor safety caused by plutonium. On June 4, President Clinton and President Putin signed a bi-lateral agreement on plutonium fuel which stated that the two nations would ask for financial backing of the project from the G-8 nations. Those meeting in Krasnoyarsk sent letters to the G-8 heads of state signed by 72 NGOs from six nations which expressed firm opposition to the project and asked for a meeting in Okinawa and a delay in any decision-making. However, on June 13 the G-8 Foreign Ministers issued a statement which committed the G-8 to "multi-lateral arrangements necessary for a coordinated and integrated program for...weapon grade plutonium...."