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Report criticizes Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

Posted Nov. 19, 2008 / Posted by: admin

For more information contact:
Dylan Blaylock, Government Accountability Project, 202.408.0034 ext 137
Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0748
 

13 findings detail serious problems with GNEP proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, a coalition of public interest, environmental and policy groups are releasing a groundbreaking report detailing the severe shortcomings and false assertions posed in the Global Energy Nuclear Partnership (GNEP). The new report, Risky Appropriations: Gambling US Energy Policy on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, finds that GNEP is “an ill-conceived, poorly supported, rushed, and technically and economically risky program.”

The report was commissioned and sponsored by: Friends of the Earth USA, the Government Accountability Project, Institute for Policy Studies, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

A PDF copy of the report can be accessed by clicking here: http://www.whistleblower.org/doc/2008/GNEPMarch.pdf.

A Report Fact Sheet is available here: http://www.whistleblower.org/doc/2008/GNEP%20%20FACT%20SHEET.pdf .

GNEP is a key component of the Bush administration’s plan to expand America’s use of nuclear power. The crux of the plan involves the United States importing and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from other countries to harness nuclear energy. The Bush administration and Department of Energy (DOE) claim that GNEP would reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels in a safe manner. Specifically, many pro-nuclear power proponents have been pushing the plan as adequately addressing the rising issue of global warming and rapid climate change.

However, Risky Appropriations details how the plan will actually exacerbate these critical challenges to mitigate climate change, halt nuclear proliferation and meeting energy demand at home and abroad. Key findings of the report include:

The Bush administration has presented no economic analysis of the costs and benefits of the GNEP plan.

None of the proposed GNEP technologies and processes currently exist in commercially viable applications. Few technologies that GNEP requires have ever been shown to be viable in any large engineering-scale demonstration projects.

The current proposed schedule for GNEP is not feasible – the technologies that would be required to implement GNEP successfully would take decades to develop if, in fact, they can be made technically and commercially viable at all.

GNEP would be an unreasonably expensive and slow option for addressing global climate change.

GNEP would lock the United States into decisions to deploy certain nuclear technologies and processes much before research and development phases are completed, demonstration projects are tested, and technologies are shown to be feasible.

GNEP will likely worsen the radioactive waste disposal problem and would make the United States the dumping ground for nuclear waste from the other participating nations.

David A. Schlissel, the report’s lead author and a Senior Consultant at Synapse Energy Economics, stated “Like everything else that this administration does, GNEP is an ill-conceived and incompletely thought-out plan. Without producing any economic studies showing GNEP’s costs and benefits, the Bush administration wants to commit the country to spending hundreds of billions of dollars, if not more, on technologies and processes that do not yet exist in laboratory or engineering scale test facilities, let alone commercially viable applications.

Robert Alvarez, a contributing author on the report and Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, stated “The Bush administration lacks (or at least, has yet to disclose) credible plans for addressing any of the unprecedented health, safety and financial risks that GNEP would create. Unless the administration can furnish these details, the public should urge their legislators to zero out GNEPs budget. We are better off by investing in renewable energy and conservation, rather than pouring billions of dollars into the same old “limitless energy” schemes of our nuclear laboratories.”

Report authors David A. Schlissel and Robert Alvarez are available to the media for comment. Please contact GAP Communications Director Dylan Blaylock at 202.236.3733 to set up interviews.

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Institute for Policy Studies

The Institute for Policy Studies turns Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment. IPS strengthens social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes responsible energy choices that solve global warming problems and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast.

 

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