Do you want DOE at the to add you to a new e-mail list (as part of an effort by them to do better outreach to the concerned public about future use of the site)?
If you been following the vague DOE proposals for “energy parks” at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina or at Piketon in Ohio, you will know that I have been pushing DOE for not having a clear “energy park” policy and for failing to involve all stakeholders and the public in the decision-making process involving future use of the sites. At SRS, amongst other things, the SRS boosters still have their eyes set on a reprocessing “park,” which DOE officials have urged them to pursue, and at Piketon a consortium of Duke and Areva has announced the aim is to build an EPR reactor at the site. The public has so far been cut out of any planning with DOE on these projects or any other possible uses of the sites.
(I’m attending the SRS Citizens Advisory Board this afternoon and all day Tuesday and will have my ears open to anything said about the “energy park” idea.)
In response to my concerns, a DOE Assistant General Counsel recently wrote to me and said that “my office and DOE,’s Savannah River Operations Office (Operations Office) are in active discussion, and the Operations Office is currently working to establish a process that will provide transparency and meaningful public participation in relation to plans to utilize land at the Site as an energy park and with regard to relevant NEPA procedures.”
As part of what I assume is the above transparency effort mentioned above, DOE-SRS e-mailed me last Friday and said that “We are trying to expand our notification to include you and other non government organizations interested in SRS.” The e-mail went on to ask if I would help them pull together a list of NGO contacts, which would want to receive information from DOE about things at SRS. I don’t know if DOE is making this effort at Piketon or other sites but what they do here may be indicative of how DOE handles the “energy park” approach at other sites.
While I don’t want to be doing DOE’s work, I do think it important that any groups, which want to be informed of things happening at SRS, particularly about planning for any “energy park,” be on this list. They should have been doing a better job at outreach in the past but I am willing to help them get better in working with environmental stakeholders and not just with contractors and local special interest groups. We need to let them see that NGOs a re concerned about what happens at the site for any “energy park” proposals so I hope many of you will want to be on their list.
Thus, if you want your organization to be on DOE’s notification list for SRS activities, please affirm your interest to me and I’ll pass your name, organization name and e-mail address on to the SRS Office of External Affairs.
For more information contact Tom Clements@ tel. 803-834-3084/ cell 803-240-7268/ email@example.com.
EM to Aiken/Augusta Community: You want Spent Fuel Storage & Reprocessing at SRS – Go for it and we’ll help you!
DOE-EM meeting, Augusta, Georgia (near Savannah River Site)
March 18, 2009
From Tom Clements
As you know, Environmental Management has recently been touting “energy parks” as part of its “footprint reduction” efforts in cleaning up DOE sites and has used this to sell the Obama folks on throwing $6 billion in stimulus funds at EM. They have presented this concept in various papers and at individual Site Specific Advisory Board meetings around DOE sites, including with the Savannah River Site SSAB.
Now, the top folks at EM have gone live with the idea and pushed it strongly at a national meeting of heads of local Site Specific Advisory Boards, which met on March 18 & 19 in Augusta, Georgia (near the Savannah River Site). The idea is that once clean up is done, a work force with active experience in nuclear projects could then be deployed on energy projects.
At the SSAB meeting, both the Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Ines Triay, nominated last week by Obama to the asst. secretary position, and one of her deputy assistant secretaries spoke about the “energy park” concept in glowing and supportive terms. As they tried to explain use of the $6 billion in EM stimulus funds – sounds like “accelerated clean up” déjà vu – they underscored that the money would not only help with clean up, shorten the time line for clean up but then result in using the sites for “energy parks.” (She also said some communities around DOE sites may want to choose “real estate ventures.”)
Chalmers Johnson (August 6, 1931 – November 20, 2010), author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic , talks about the similarities in the decline of the Roman and Soviet empires and the signs that the U.S. empire is exhibiting the same symptoms: over-extension, corruption and the inability to reform.
Chalmers Johnson was president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific.