Thursday, July 03, 2008

Media Release: New Report Blasts Upton's Latest Promotion of Risky Atomic Power

Tue, 1 Jul 2008
From: Kevin Kamps

For Immediate Release Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Contact: Kevin Kamps 301.270.2209 (o)
or 240. 462. 3216 (cell)

Watchdog Group Blasts Congressman'sLatest Promotion of Risky Atomic Power

New Beyond Nuclear Report Examines Longstanding
Pro-Nuclear Record of Rep. Upton

Takoma Park, MD  A fresh examination of the congressional record of
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI 6th District) reveals a consistent championing of
the nuclear industry's financial wish list regardless of safety and
security issues that could threaten the wellbeing of Michiganders.
Beyond Nuclear released its new report today in response to Congressman
Upton's latest promotion of nuclear power at a press conference held at
Cook nuclear power plant in Bridgman, MI. On June 30, Upton unveiled the
Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition's national initiative to
construct at least 30 new atomic reactors across the nation. CASEnergy
is a nuclear front group, created and funded by the industry's
Washington, D.C. lobby and public relations arm, the Nuclear Energy

The report - /Fred Upton, One of the Nuclear Power Industry's Best
Friends in Congress  /found that Upton has marched in lockstep with the
Bush administrationb's nuclear power expansion plans, championing such
nuclear power industry priorities as the Yucca Mountain dumpsite for
high-level radioactive wastes; massive subsidies and tax breaks for the
construction of new atomic reactors; and a revival of reprocessing that
would risk nuclear weapons proliferation overseas. In addition, Upton
has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions
from electric utilities, the energy/natural resources sector, and the
nuclear power industry. The full report, a summary, and supporting
documentation can be viewed at under the Breaking News
Kevin Kamps, author of the report, a Kalamazoo native, a board member of
Donbt Waste Michigan, and member of the Great Lakes United
Green Energy Task Force said of his findings:
"It's high time for Congressman Upton to work on behalf of the health,
safety, and pocketbooks of southwest Michigan's residents and taxpayers,
rather than the nuclear power industry's bottomless greed.
The atomic power subsidies that Upton supports will transfer the huge
financial risks from the nuclear power industry onto the backs of
hard-working American taxpayers. These billion dollar giveaways go to an
industry that has already enjoyed lavish subsidies at the expense of
U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers for the past 50 years. The tally to date
is at least $500 billion in research and development support, liability
coverage in the event of catastrophic radiation releases, high-level
radioactive waste management costs, and much more.
Given the hefty corporate campaign contributions Upton receives from
the nuclear power industry, itbs natural to question whether his
loyalties lie with Michigan residents or with those lining his campaign
Upton has failed to protect public safety and security against failures
at Palisades and Cook nuclear power plants. Now he wants to give away
billions of taxpayer dollars to help the nuclear industry build more
radioactive bull's-eyes, reactors that are vulnerable to accidents and
It's ironic that Upton called for over 30 new atomic reactors on the
very day that the Barnwell, South Carolina waste dumpsite closed its
doors to Michigan's radioactive refuse. Now those wastes will begin
piling up at Cook and Palisades nuclear plants on the Lake Michigan
shoreline, with nowhere to go.
We urge Congressman Upton to stop promoting the dead end that is nuclear
power, and instead secure federal funding for genuinely safe, secure,
reliable, and clean renewable sources of electricity, such as solar and
wind power. Michigan has an abundance of such renewable energy
resources, which, along with energy efficiency measures, would create
many thousands of well-paid jobs in the state, while protecting public
health, the environment, and the climate.
Despite Upton's pro-nuclear stance, his constituents appear to feel
differently. In the June 30th edition of "Fred's Survey of the Week",
posted on Congressman Upton's Web site, 59% of respondents stated that
renewable energy sources should contribute more than 25% of electricity
in a broader U.S. energy strategy.

Kevin Kamps
Radioactive Waste Watchdog
Beyond Nuclear
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

Office phone: (301) 270-2209
Cell phone: (240) 462-3216
Fax: (301) 270-4000