The Federal Government, the US Department of Energy, and the nuclear industry are still searching for a site to permanently store high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. High-level radioactive waste is so dangerous that it must remain isolated from living things for thousands of years. It is mainly irradiated (spent) fuel rods from nuclear reactors, which still contain most of their original uranium, as well as with radioactive strontium, cesium and plutonium, which are created during the reactor fission process.
A site in the Texas Panhandle is being considered for permanently storage radioactive waste. The environmental and social risks are staggering, without even mentioning the risks of terrorism. Is this a risk Texas should own? To give us an update on the situation, and how citizens can participate in the conversation and take action, we had long time environmental activists Tom “Smitty” Smith and Karen Hadden in the studio with Shades of Green.
Tom “Smitty” Smith recently retired after leading the Texas Office of Public Citizen as its Director since 1985. Smitty has been a prominent advocate and activist in state and local environmental, ethics, and campaign finance battles since he arrived in Texas in the 1970’s. Although he is retired, he is still active in environmental issues.
Karen Hadden is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition which works for clean air and clean energy. It supports affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to meet our energy needs. Karen is also the Chair for the Electric Utility Commission which advises the Austin City Council regarding Austin Energy policy issues.