1982 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the Johnston (D-LA) motion to kill the Thurmond (R-SC) - Hollings (D-SC) amendment to the National Nuclear Waste Policy Act. The Thurmond amendment, supported by environmentalists, would have stopped the government from providing temporary storage for nuclear wastes from private power plants. Government "away from reactor" storage represents a major bailout of the nuclear industry, and a top priority for industry lobbyists in 1982. Although the industry would pay storage costs, the federal government would assume the risks and financial liability involved in transporting and storing up to 7,000 truckloads of deadly nuclear wastes at one or more central facilities, one of them in South Carolina where it could potentially leak into the ground water of several southeastern states.
A single urban transport accident resulting in a major nuclear spill could cost thousands of lives. Current models of nuclear waste shipping casks have never been physically tested; only obsolete models containing a far less explosive form of nuclear fuel were "crash tested" for a government public relations film. Environmentalists believe that the nuclear industry should bear the full risks involved in the disposal of its own wastes. At a time of massive budget cuts for alternative energy sources, we do not need another subsidy for nuclear power. Johnston motion adopted 46-43; April 29, 1982. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (Government "AFR" storage was included in the final bill passed by Congress.)