Southern Anti-Plutonium Campaign  

Petition to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a formal licensing review of government plans to build a factory to make nuclear fuel from plutonium.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Georgians Against Nuclear Energy welcome non-governmental organizations from around the world to add your group to the list in support of our petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  To add your group, send your name, position, organization name, and address to  Thank You!

Georgians Against Nuclear Energy
P.O. Box 8574 Atlanta, GA 30306
Glenn Carroll, Coordinator

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
P.O. Box 88 Glendale Springs, NC 28629
Janet Zeller, Executive Director

February 22, 2001

Dr. Richard Meserve, Chairman
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555

Dear Chairman Meserve,

We petition you out of deep concern for the proposal to convert plutonium from decommissioned nuclear weapons into an experimental reactor fuel -- MOX. Although many of the decisions surrounding the MOX proposal are clearly outside NRC jurisdiction, the role to be played by the NRC is a critical one. Soon the Commission will undertake the review of a license application by Duke Energy, the French company Cogema, and Stone & Webster Engineering to construct a MOX fuel factory at Savannah River Site near Augusta, Georgia.

We are alarmed by many aspects of the MOX proposal, most notably the prospect of creating a plutonium economy and the nuclear weapons proliferation consequences attendant to such a scenario. While proliferation and international plutonium policy may not be the purview of the NRC, the agency does have authority over the environmental, and consequently, the public health, implications of MOX manufacture. It is to that authority which we appeal.

A global consortium of companies which have not previously collaborated together, of which only the French partner, Cogema, has any nuclear fuel manufacturing experience (which experience is a French “state secret”) seeks NRC permission for this unprecedented undertaking. The NRC currently plans to review the license application to build this first-of-its-type, full-scale plutonium fuel factory by an unknown entity, Duke-Cogema-Stone & Webster, under the informal ‘paper’ permitting procedures of 10 CFR Part 2, Subpart L (10 CFR §2.1201 et seq.).

We petition the NRC to use the procedures set forth in 10 CFR Subpart G (§ 2.700 et seq.) and that the Commission fully adjudicate the license application as a formal courtroom proceeding. The NRC’s Subpart G process provides the following basic significant procedural protections to the public:

The right to discover the underlying technical scientific and engineering basis for proposed permit conditions;

The right to depose and to cross-examine industry and governmental experts;

The right to produce in-person expert testimony in opposition to the proposed project;

The right to compel testimony and evidence via subpoena;

The right to a full and impartial Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of judges to evaluate the demeanor and credibility of witnesses, and to ask follow-up questions from the bench;

The right to develop and preserve a thorough factual record of opposition for meaningful review by the Federal court system.

Subpart L excludes these basic tools and is deficient to achieve full comprehension of the facts, risks and flaws of both licensee abilities and the design-basis of the proposed construction.

MOX fuel manufacture poses many unanswered technical questions. We believe that it potentially carries an unprecedented level of environmental, worker and public health risk. Society approaches the MOX prospect with no relevant industry experience in plutonium fuel converted from weapons, and with a conventional uranium fuel history that is riddled with accidents, egregious environmental contamination and an unacceptably high level of worker radiation exposures. At the same time, the NRC’s weakest regulatory performance is associated with the regulation of fuel processing and manufacture.

The public interest here lies in a procedurally rigorous process to achieve a credible decision whether or not MOX fuel fabrication deserves licensure. The U.S. experiments with weapons-grade plutonium are being watched by Russia and the world. The public and the NRC have extremely high stakes in ensuring the most informed decision is made. The NRC has itself expressed more than once that full public involvement consistently fosters improved industry performance and safety.

Chairman Meserve, we call upon you to exercise the authority granted to you by your office and to fulfill the NRC’s mandate to protect the public health and our environment by requiring the public adjudicatory process described in 10 CFR Subpart G (§ 2.700 et seq.) upon the licensing of MOX manufacture.

It is up to you and the Board of Commissioners to ensure that human progress in the nuclear age proceeds deliberately and with extreme caution. We believe that you will concur that our demand for Subpart G process on MOX fuel licensure is reasonable, and we eagerly expect your favorable response.


Glenn Carroll, Coordinator, GANE - Georgians Against Nuclear Energy

Janet Zeller, Executive Director, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

------------list of additional signatories-------------------


Local/Regional Organizations

Rev. Vernell Cutter, Director
Citizens for Environmental Justice
Savannah, Georgia

Bob Darby
Food Not Bombs
Atlanta, Georgia

Larry Winslett, CEO
Friends of Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia

Sara Barczak, Safe Energy Director
Georgians for Clean Energy
Savannah, Georgia

Dr. Mildred McClain, Director
Harambee House
Savannah, Georgia

Ed Arnold, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

Susan Bloomfield, Nuclear Issue Leader
Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club
Atlanta, Georgia

Connie Tucker, Executive Director
Southern Organizing Committee for Economic & Social Justice
Atlanta, Georgia

Tom Ferguson,
Atlanta, Georgia

Mary Terrell, Board President
Atlanta WAND
Women’s Action for New Directions
Atlanta, Georgia

Joan O. King, Coordinator
20/20 Vision - Georgia
Sautee, Georgia

Hope Taylor, Executive Director
Clean Water Fund of North Carolina

Mary Fox Olson, Director
NIRS - Nuclear Information Resource Service
Southeast Office
Asheville, North Carolina

Lewis E. Patrie, President
Western North Carolina Physicians for Social Responsibility
Asheville, North Carolina

E.M.T. O’Nan, Director
Protect All Children's Environment
Marion, North Carolina

Kitty Boniske, Nuclear Issues Chair
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Asheville, North Carolina

Don Moniak, Organizer, Aiken Office
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Aiken, South Carolina

Harry Rogers, Nuclear Issues Coordinator
Carolina Peace Resource Center
Columbia, South Carolina

Leslie Minerd, Hip-Wa-Zee
Columbia, South Carolina

Brett Bursey, Director
SC Progressive Network
Columbia, South Carolina

SC Progressive Network is:

A. Phillip Randolph Institute

AFL-CIO - South Carolina

American Civil Liberties Union - SC

Beaufort County Coalition for Choice

Carolina Peace Resource Center

CASA/Family Systems

Collaborative for Community Trust

Common Cause

Cocerned Citizens of Hopkins

Disability Action Center

Democracy South

Fair Share

Gay & Lesbian Pride Movement

Georgetown League of Women Voters

Grassroots Leadership

Greater Columbia Central Labor Council

Greenville/Upstate SC Secular Humanists


International Longshoremen’s Association

Local 1422

Lowcountry Gay and Lesbian Alliance

MCC of Columbia

National Organization for Women/52%

National Association of Social Workers - SC

Natural Guard Fund


Penn Center

Planned Parenthood of SC

ProJustice Carolina

SC Advocates for Pregnant Women


SC Association of CDCs

SC Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

SC United Action

United Tribes of SC

We Are Family

John Johnson
Katuah Earth First!
Whitwell, Tennessee

Paloma Galindo
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Harry Jaquess, Chair-Person
Upper Cumberland Scenic Environmental Alliance
Cookeville, Tennessee

Betty Schroeder, Chair
Arizona Safe Energy Coalition
Tucson, Arizona

Dixie Block
Black Mesa Indigenous Suppport
Prescott, Arizona

Patricia Birnie, Chair
G.E. Stockholders’ Alliance for a Sustainable, Nuclear-Free Future
Tucson, Arizona

Philip M. Klasky, Co-Director
Bay Area Nuclear Waste Coalition
San Francisco, California

Betty Brown, Chair
East Bay Peace Action
Albany, California

Barbara Wiedner, Founder/Director
Grandmothers for Peace International
Elk Grove, California

David Krieger, President
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Santa Barbara, California

Michael Welch, Office Coordinator
Redwood Alliance & REEI
Arcata, California

Marylia Kelley,
Tri-Valley CAREs
Communities Against a Radioactive Environment
Livermore, California

Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director
Western States Legal Foundation
Oakland, California

Bob Kinsey,
Colorado Coalition for Prevention of Nuclear War
Arvada, Colorado

Tom Marshall
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Boulder, Colorado

Beatrice Brailsford
Snake River Alliance
Pocatello, Idaho

David A. Kraft, Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)
Evanston, Illinois

Corey J. Conn, Vice President
Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)
Chicago, Illinois

Roger Voelker
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana

Debby Katz
Citizens Awareness Network
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

Sandra Gavutis, Executive Director
C-10 Research and Education Foundation, Inc.
Newburyport, Massachusetts

Kay Cumbow
Citizens For a Healthy Planet
Brown City, Michigan


Citizens For Alternatives To Chemical Contamination
Lake Station, Michigan

Keith Gunter
Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Campaign
Peace Action Of Michigan
Clinton Township, Michigan


Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi Two
Monroe, Michigan

Michael J. Keegan
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes
Monroe, Michigan

Corrine Carey
Don’t Waste Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Anabel Dwyer, Board Member
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
East Lansing, Michigan

Henry Peters
Radiological Evaluation & Action Project,
Great Lakes (REAP, GL)
Ewen, Michigan

George Crocker, Executive Director
North American Water Office
Lake Elmo Minnesota

Bruce A. Drew, Steering Committee
Prairie Island Coalition Against Nuclear Storage
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Maggie Drew
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Buffalo Bruce, Board Chair
Western Nebraska Resources Council
Chadron, Nebraska

Judy Treichel
Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force
Las Vegas, Nevada

Joni Arends, Waste Programs Director
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Greg Mello
Los Alamos Study Group
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Jay Coghlan
Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Don Hancock
Southwest Research and Information Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alice Slater
Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE)
New York, New York

Scott Cullen
Standing for Truth About Radiation (STAR)
New York, New York

Pamela Slater, Board Member
Standing for Truth About Radiation (STAR)


Chair for the Environment
League of Women Voters of Scarsdale
Scarsdale, New York

Chris Trepal, Executive Director
Earth Day Coalition
Cleveland, Ohio

Sharon Cowdrey
Miamisburg Environmental Safety and Health
Springboro, Ohio

Velma M. Shearer, Staff Minister
Neighbors in Need
Englewood, Ohio

Charlene Johnston
Terry J. Lodge, Esq.
Toledo Coalition for Safe Energy
Toledo, Ohio

Chuck Johnson
Center for Energy Research
Portland, Oregon

Lloyd Marbet, Director
Don’t Waste Oregon
Portland, Oregon

Paige Knight, President
Hanford Watch
Portland, Oregon

Judith H. Johnsrud, Ph.D., Director
Central Pennsylvania Citizens for Survival
State College, Pennsylvania

Phil Kaufman
Citizens Against Hazardous and Nuclear Waste
West Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Fred and Sue Fracke
Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power
Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania

Carola Seiler and Michael Sauers
Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Mavis Belisle, Director
The Peace Farm
Panhandle, Texas

Jessica Hiemenz
Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment (T.R.E.E.)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia

National/International Organizations

Jim Bridgman, Program Director
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Washington, D.C.

Tom Carpenter
Government Accountability Project
Seattle, Washington

Damon Moglen, Plutonium Campaign Coordinator
Greenpeace International
Washington, D.C.

Emily Craddock
Greenpeace International
MV Greenpeace

Lawrence “Butch” Turk, RN
Stop Star Wars Campaigner
Greenpeace USA
Oakland, California

Diane Curran, Esq.
Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg
Washington, D.C.

Michael Mariotte, Director
NIRS - Nuclear Information Resource Service
Washington, D.C.

Paxus Calta, International Campaigner
Nuclear Information Resource Service
Washington, D.C.

Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Washington, D.C.

James P. Riccio, Senior Policy Analyst
Public Citizen’s Critical Mass
Energy & Environment Program
Washington, D.C.

Scott Denman, Executive Director
SECC - Safe Energy Communication Council
Washington, D.C.

Pat Ortmeyer, Field Director for Nuclear Waste Issues
Women's Action for New Directions
Arlington, Massachusetts

Peer de Rijk
WISE - World Information Service on Energy
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Manuel Pinto
Greenpeace Amazon
Manaus, Brazil

Grand Chief Larry Sault
Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
London, Ontario

Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., President
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Montreal, Quebec

Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Toronto, Ontario

Ric Coronado
Citizen Environment Alliance
Windsor, Ontario

Beth McLaughlin, Director
Moncton, New Brunswick

Daniel Swartz
The ZHABA Collective
Budapest, Hungary

Charsky Vyacheslav, Chief
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Alisa Nikoulina, Coordinator
Anti-Nuclear Campaign of Socio-Ecological Union
Moscow, Russia

Vladimir Slivyak, Co-Chairman
Kaliningrad, Russia

Alexey Kozlov, Coordinator
Voronezh, Russia

Nathalie Mironova, Movement for Nuclear Safety
Chelyabinsk, Russia

Alexandra Koroleva, Chairman
Public Council on Environmental Education
Regional Duma (parliament)
Kaliningrad, Russia

Galina Ragouzina
WISE-World Information Service on Energy
Russian Bureau
Kaliningrad, Russia

Andrey Talevlin
Young Lawyers Organisation Pravosoznanie
Chelyabinsk, Russia

Mathilde Halla (Chairwoman)
Josef Pühringer (Secretary)
OÖ überparteiliche Plattform gegen Atomgefahr
Landstr. 31 A-4020 Linz

Marijke de Boer
WDCS-Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society
Bath, United Kingdom