May 14, 2012

Canyon Country Rising Tide and Others Plan a Weekend of Action AgainstNuclear Plant

From our friends at Canyon Country Rising Tide

Moab, UT

More than a dozen organizations and Indian tribes have announced plans to assemble on the outskirts of Green River, Utah, on May 19th to protest a proposed nuclear power plant near the banks of the town’s namesake river.

“This issue affects more than just southern Utah residents,” said Sarah Fields, director of the citizen group Uranium Watch. “That’s why we’re seeing involvement from downriver residents like the Fort Mojave and Colorado River Indian Tribes, along with those who live downwind in Colorado and points beyond. The effects of nuclear power are farther reaching than the reactor site and stretch well into the future.”

Protestors will assemble near the proposed reactor site at Green River’s west end, along
Highway 6 just north of I-70 exit 157, at 6:00 p.m. for a march to “Celebrate and Protect the Green River and the Colorado Plateau.”

The parade will be set against the backdrop of the Book Cliffs and the proposed construction site. Participants are specifically asked to bring colorful umbrellas, while street art, banners, costumes, puppets, decorated bicycles and an enthusiasm for singing and dancing are also appreciated.

Those organizing the protest are motivated by a number of concerns, including the reliability of the company backing the plant, the secondary impacts of mining and milling radioactive minerals, and potential threats to regional safety. However, the biggest issue is water. “It’s foolish to build thirsty nuclear reactors in a desert like this,” says John Weisheit, Conservation Director of Moab-based Living Rivers.

“The Green River is unreliable and over-appropriated. Even the State Engineer, when granting the project rights to nearly 48 million gallons of water a day, asserted that there will not always be enough water to operate the plant.” He continues, “As we endure an ongoing drought here, do we want to further compromise the health of this life-giving river? Do we want a fickle desert waterway to be our buffer against disaster? I don’t think so.”

To further highlight themes of water, on Friday, May 18, at 7:00 p.m., protest organizers are also hosting “A Celebration of the Colorado River System: Discussion of Threats and Actions.”

This event, held at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, will include traditional singing and dancing from members of the Lower Colorado Indian Tribes, a panel discussion on mitigating threats to Colorado River Basin water, and a documentary film about the long-term impacts of nuclear accidents like Fukushima.

Barbara Galler, a Moab resident and spokeswoman for No Green River Nuke says, “It’s true everywhere, but especially in the desert: Our survival is dependent on rivers. Granting so much precious water to a company with no experience or credibility in the energy business, for use in the riskiest form of power production, is an enormous mistake. That’s why I’m marching.” Protest organizers include: Canyonlands Watershed Council, Canyon Country Rising Tide, Colorado River Indian Tribal Members, Ft. Mojave Tribal Members, GreenAction, HEAL Utah, Living Rivers, No Green River Nuke, Sierra Club, Peaceful Uprising, Uranium Watch, the Utah Rivers Council and more.

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