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Statement by World Nongovernmental Organizations Opposing the Use of Plutonium (MOX) Fuel

9/28/2000

September 28, 2000
We, the undersigned representatives of nongovernmental organizations around the world, call on the governments of the United States and Russia to forego the fabrication and use of plutonium (mixed oxide) fuel as a means to render surplus weapons plutonium unsuitable and unavailable for reuse in weapons, and demand that they pursue safer and more proliferation-resistant disposition methods.

We acknowledge that each country's declaration of roughly 50 metric tons of plutonium as surplus to military needs is a positive step toward worldwide nuclear disarmament and support the goal of preventing this plutonium from being diverted, stolen, or reused in weapons.

In an attempt to achieve this goal, the US and Russian governments have agreed to a plan to convert most of this plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) plutonium fuel for use in commercial nuclear power reactors (mainly light water reactors) in both Russia and the United States and possibly Canada or other countries. Russia also plans to use weapons MOX in plutonium breeder reactors, which are capable of producing more plutonium than they consume (though during the life of the program they will operate the reactors in such a way as not to produce more plutonium).

We oppose the MOX plan for the following reasons:

  • It would create a proliferation threat particularly while it is being transported to or stored at reactor sites, as the plutonium in fresh MOX fuel can be separated and used for weapons purposes.
  • It would establish a MOX infrastructure, thus encouraging reprocessing of plutonium-bearing spent fuel both in the US and Russia. Reprocessing generates vast amounts of high level liquid radioactive waste and increases stockpiles of separated plutonium. (Russia has specifically stated that it would reprocess and re-extract the plutonium at the end of the disposition program.)
  • It raises many unresolved technical and safety questions as weapons-grade plutonium has never been used as a fuel in commercial reactors. At minimum, it would complicate safe reactor operation and increase the consequences of a severe nuclear reactor accident.
  • It is likely to take longer and cost more to dispose of plutonium using MOX compared to the current alternative, immobilization.
  • It would not prevent plutonium from entering the environment. It would merely incorporate it into high-level radioactive waste.
  • It would breach the barrier between civil and military nuclear activities and undermine global nonproliferation efforts.
  • We believe that immobilization is a far better option for plutonium disposition. It involves putting plutonium into a non-weapons usable form by mixing it with other materials and making the resultant waste form proliferation resistant, that is, resistant to theft and re-extraction by non-governmental parties or nuclear-capable states.

Under current US-Russian agreements, only the US will pursue immobilization and just for a portion of its surplus plutonium not deemed suitable for MOX. At this time, Russia is not planning on pursuing this option at all, and must be pressed by the international community to reverse its position.

We believe the full amount of plutonium declared surplus by each country should be immobilized and that research and development for immobilization, along with the necessary funding, should be increased to improve and further develop this technology. In the period before immobilization technologies are available, all plutonium should be stored securely and safely and placed under international safeguards.

Further, we believe that any plutonium disposition program must ensure public access to information including, but not limited to: adequate notification of decision timelines, information on program costs, knowledge of operating records of the various actors involved, detailed data on projected environmental impacts, and reliable data on safety and health risks. The public in the communities most directly affected in both countries should have ample opportunity for meaningful input into the decision-making process, including the right to intervene legally.

In both countries there should be sound independent oversight of the program and all aspects of the program should adhere to all relevant environmental or public process laws.

Therefore, we, as concerned colleagues across the globe who embrace efforts to reduce nuclear arms and safely dispose of surplus weapons plutonium, declare International Nix MOX Action Day, September 28, 2000. We pledge to expand a united international movement that will challenge every effort to develop, encourage, or use MOX fuel as a means of plutonium disposition, will work toward the goal of having all plutonium declared surplus, and vow to continue our efforts to ensure the isolation of plutonium from the environment.

Signed,

USA
Pat Ortmeyer
Women's Action for New Directions
Cambridge, MA USA
Kathy Crandall
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Washington, DC, USA
Kimberly Roberts
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Washington, DC USA
Michele Boyd
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Takoma Park, Maryland USA
Tom Clements
Nuclear Control Institute
Washington, DC USA
Kevin Kamps
Nuclear Information & Resource Service
Washington, DC USA
Wenonah Hauter
Public Citizen
Washington, DC USA
Lawrence Turk
Greenpeace USA
Washington, DC USA
Ellen Thomas
Proposition One Committee
Washington DC USA
John Loretz
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) 
Cambridge, MA USA
Linda Gunter
Safe Energy Communication Council
Washington, DC USA
Larry Leaman-Miller
American Friends Service Committee
Denver, CO USA
Louis Zeller
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Glendale Springs, NC USA
Mary Olson
Nuclear Information Resource Service SE
Asheville, North Carolina USA
Harry Rogers
Carolina Peace Resource Center
Columbia, SC USA
Sara Barczak
Georgians for Clean Energy
Savannah, GA USA
Glenn Carroll
GANE
Georgians Against Nuclear Energy
Atlanta, GA USA
Terry J. Lodge, lead counsel in Hirt, et al. v. Richardson (anti-Parallex Project litigation)
Toledo, OH USA
Bob Darby, Tom Ferguson
Food Not Bombs/Atlanta
Atlanta, GA USA
Susan Bloomfield
Sierra Club Savannah River Group
Augusta, GA USA
Ed Arnold
PSR Atlanta
Atlanta, GA USA
Jen Kato
WAND Atlanta
Atlanta, GA USA
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space Gainesville, FL USA
Faith Young
Energy People
Dixon Springs, TN USA
Kevin Petajan
West Allis Community Media Center
Milwaukee, WI USA
Alyson Ewald
Sacred Earth Network
Petersham, MA USA
Peg Ryglisyn, Michael Albrizio
Connecticut Opposed to Waste
Broad Brook, CT USA
Judi Friedman
PACE (People's Action for Clean Energy)
Canton, CT USA
Nancy Burton
Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
Mystic CT USA
Norman Cohen
Coalition for Peace and Justice
Linwood, NJ USA
Norm Cohen
the UNPLUG Salem Campaign
Linwood, NJ USA
 
Fred and Sue Fracke
Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power
PA, USA
Phil Kaufman
Citizens Against Hazardous and Nuclear Waste West Hazleton, PA USA
Scott D. Portzline
Three Mile Island Alert
Harrisburg PA USA
David N. Pyles
New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution
Brattleboro, VT USA
Edward Smeloff
Pace Energy Project as a signatory to the resolution.
White Plains, NY USA
Pamela Slater
STAR Foundation
(standing for truth about radiation)
Scarsdale, NY USA
Deb Katz
Citizen's Awareness Network
Shelburne Falls, MA USA
Susan Griffin
Chenango North
South Plymouth, New York USA
Alice Slater
Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE)
New York, NY USA
Terri Maurer-Carter
Women's International League for Peace (WILPF)
Delaware Member-At-Large, DE USA
Bill Smirnow
Nuclear Free New York
Huntington, New York USA
Scott Cullen
Standing for Truth About Radiation (STAR)
East Hampton, NY USA
Kyle Rabin
Environmental Advocates
Albany, NY USA
Linda R. Safley
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS CENTER
Baltimore, MD USA
Kay Cumbow
Citizens For Alternatives To Chemical Contamination
Lake Station, MI USA
Dale R. Anderson
Kalamazoo Area Coalition For Peace & Justice
Kalamazoo, MI USA
Alice Hirt
Don't Waste Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
Keith Gunter
Citizens' Resistance at Fermi Two
Monroe, MI USA
Michael J Keegan
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes
Monroe, MI USA
Joann Brooks
The Holland Peacemakers
Holland, Michigan USA
Kay Cumbow
Citizens for a Healthy Planet
Brown City, MI USA
Robert C. Anderson
Peace Video Project
Kalamazoo, MI USA
Dave Kraft
Nuclear Energy Information Service
Evanston, IL USA
Mark Donham, Kristi Hanson
RACE, Regional Association of Concerned Environmentalists, Southern
Illinois, Kentucky , Missouri, Indiana USA
George Crocker
North American Water Office
Lake Elmo MN USA
Bruce A Drew
Prairie Island Coalition
Minneapolis MN USA
Lorraine Caputo Crouch
WILPF
Columbia, Missouri USA
Chuck Broscious
Environmental Defense Institute
Troy, Idaho USA
Buffalo Bruce
Western Nebraska Resources Council,
Chadron, Nebraska USA
B.J. Medley
ECO
Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
LeRoy Moore, Judith Mohling
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Boulder, CO USA
Jay Coghlan
Nuclear Watch of New Mexico.
Santa Fe, NM USA
Frank C. Subjeck
Air, Water, Earth, Org.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona USA
Jack & Felice Cohen-Joppa
the Nuclear Resister
Tucson AZ USA
Owen Berio
Dawn Watch
Springdale, WA USA
Greg Wingard,
Waste Action Project
Seattle, WA USA
Lynn Sims
Don't Waste Oregon
Portland, Oregon USA
Paige Knight
HANFORD WATCH
Portland, Oregon USA
Bernice Kring
Citizens Along the Roads and Tracks (CART) Sacramento, CA USA
Michael Welch
Redwood Alliance & REEI
Arcata, CA USA
Mary Beth Brangan
The Nuclear Democracy Network
Bolinas, CA USA
James Heddle
The Ecological Options Network
Bolinas, CA USA
June Von Ruden
San Luis Obispo Mothers For Peace
San Luis Obispo, CA USA
Marylia Kelley
Tri-Valley CAREs
(Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) Livermore, CA USA
Daniel Hirsch
Committee to Bridge the Gap
Los Angeles, CA USA
Samara Dun
JustAct: Youth Action for Global Justice
San Francisco, CA USA
Jennifer Olaranna Viereck
HOME: Healing Ourselves & Mother Earth
Tecopa CA USA
Laura Hunter
San Diego Environmental Health Coalition
San Diego, CA USA
Carol Jahnkow
Peace Resource Center of San Diego
San Diego, CA USA
 
RUSSIA
Vladimir Mikheev
Citizen Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation,
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Nikolai Zubov
Krasnoyarsk branch of the Socio-Ecological Union, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Alexey Yablokov
President of Center for Russian Environmental Policy
Vladimir Slivyak
ECODEFENSE!
Moscow, Russia
Pavel Malyshev
ECODEFENSE!
Kaliningrad, Russia
Alisa Nikoulina
Antinuclear campaign of the Socio-Ecological Union, Moscow, Russia
Galina Ragouzina
World Information Service on Energy (WISE) Russian Bureau in Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad, Russia
Alexandra Koroleva
The Environmental Education Council of
Kaliningrad regional Duma
Kaliningrad, Russia
Anatoly Korolev
Baltic Resource and Information Center
Kaliningrad, Russia
Dmitry Kaptsov
Green Arrow
Sochi, Russia
Mikhail Piskunov
Center for Assistance to Citizen Initiatives Dimitrovgrad, Russia
Tatyana Razzhavina
Information-Juridical Center
Dimitrovgrad, Russia
Tamara Dobretsova
In the Name of Life
Kostroma, Russia
Alexey Kozlov
Anti-nuclear Resistance
Voronezh, Russia
Vitaly Kudrin
ECODEFENSE!
Voronezh, Russia
Anna Shvedova
Stop Corporation!
Voronezh, Russia
Konstantin Hramenkov
Green Arrow
Voronezh, Russia
Alexey Leschev
Environment program of the Center for Citizen Initiatives Development
Voronezh, Russia
Olga Razbash
Environmental and Human Rights
Moscow, Russia
Ashat Kayumov
Socio-Ecological Union/Dront
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Sergey Paschenko
Siberian Scientists for Global Responsibility
Novosibirsk, Russia
Ekaterina Ahmadeeva
Ecofront
Chelyabinsk, Russia
CANADA
Irene Kock, David H. Martin
Nuclear Awareness Project
Uxbridge, Ontario Canada
Kristen Ostling
Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Norman Rubin
Energy Probe
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Ross Clark
Ontario Greens
Theresa McClenaghan
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Dr. Rosalie Bertell,
International Institute of Concern for Public Health West Toronto Ontario Canada
Anne Adelson
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Brian Bedford
OPIRG-Guelph
Ontario Public Interest Research Group Guelph, Ontario Canada
Chris Michener
Pembroke Area Field Naturalists
Golden Lake, Ontario Canada
Ole Hendrickson
Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area Pembroke, Ontario Canada
Citizens' Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario
Windsor, Ontario Canada
Mike Buckthought
OPIRG-Carleton
Ontario Canada
Walter Robbins
Campaign STOP
(Stop Trafficking of Plutonium)
Kingston, Ontario Canada
Clearinghouse Group
Glassville, NB, Canada
Bill Adamson
Inter-Church Uranium Committee,
Saskatoon, Sask. Canada
Anne Williams
Lethbridge Network for Peace
Lethbridge, Alberta Canada
Jeanette Liberty-Duns
Project Ploughshares Saskatoon
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Shannon Croutch,
Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES)
Saskatoon, SK Canada
Patrick Rasmussen
Mouvement Vert Mauricie
St. Matthieu du Parc QuÊbec Canada
Dr. Gordon Edwards
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility Montreal QC Canada
Jacques Boucher
Disarmament and Peace Concerns
Centre de ressources sur la non-violence
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Enviro-Clare, Nova Scotia, Canada
Concerned Citizens of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Liz Armstrong
Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition
Erin ON Canada
Peter Tabuns
Greenpeace Canada
Toronto, Ontario
MEXICO
Luis Gutierrez-Esparza
Latin American Circle for International Studies Mexico City Mexico
EUROPE
Olov Wikstrom
The Waste Net,
Skelleftea, Sweden
Ingrid Bildstrom
Avfallskedjan
Fransta, Sweden
Jorma Kahanpaa
Swedish Anti Nuclear Movement
Marc FAIVET
collectif STOP MêLOX et MOX
Solange Fernex
WILPF France
Paris, France
Philippe BROUSSE
Rouseau "Sortir du nuclaire"
(Network of more than 500 groups and associations) LYON - FRANCE
Bruna Nota
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Geneva, Switzerland
Dr. Arthur Muhl
President, Swiss affiliate of IPPNW
Claus Biegert
Nuclear-Free Future Award
Munich, Germany
Claudia Baitinger
In der Furge
DORSTEN - Germany
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, WILPF,
German section (Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und Freiheit) München Germany
Bernd Bennecke
Basis-Gruen
Luebeck, Germany
Bernd Frieboese
BARSEBÄCKSOFFENSIV
Berlin, Germany
Ludger Klein-Ridder
Umwelt-AG der Anne-Frank-Gesamtschule in Gütersloh Gütersloh, Deutschland
Birgitta Möller
Miljöpartiet de Gröna
i Helsingborg
Dachverband der Oberpfälzer Bürgerinitiativen gegen Atomanlagen e.V.
Schwandorf
Margaaret Turner
UK Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Antonina Galkina
Spilni Dii
Nikolaev, Ukraine
Hakob Sanasaryan
President of Greens' Union of Armenia Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
Alexandr Ivanchik
Dolgozhitel
Chernigov, Ukraine
Viktoria Tkach
Int'l Black Sea Network
Nikolaev, Ukraine
Tatyana Elunina
Step to Understanding
Odessa, Ukraine
Alexandra Tolstyh
Zeleny Svit
Nikolaev, Ukraine
Ivan Sitnikov
Invalids of Chernobyl
Nikolaev, Ukraine
Sergey Shapovalov
Institute of Ecology
Nikolaev, Ukraine
Oleg Derkach
National Environmental Center of Ukraine
Nikolaev, Ukraine
Alexandr Kashtalyan
Center for Wildlife Protection
Minsk, Belorussia
JAPAN
Yumi Kikuchi
Monkey Bay Wildlife Fund
Japan
Hideyuki Ban
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center
Tokyo, JAPAN
Satomi Oba
Director of Plutoium Action Hiroshima
Hiroshima City, Japan
AUSTRALIA
Irene Gale AM
Australian Peace Committee (SA Branch)Inc.
Adelaide SA Australia
Jo Valentine
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Perth, Western Australia
Jo Valentine
Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia