Nuclear Power Doesn’t Belong in the Green New Deal

Source: Nuclear Power Doesn’t Belong in the Green New Deal

What AOC, Sunrise, and others may have overlooked is that nuclear power violates the very cornerstone of the GND: a “Just Transition.” Supporting existing nuclear power operation ignores the fact that currently operating U.S. reactors still have to run on fuel manufactured almost entirely from imported uranium — predominantly from Canada and Kazakhstan — often mined by Indigenous peoples. The radioactive detritus left behind by uranium mining and milling has decimated these and other Indigenous communities around the world. These operations, often conducted by foreign corporations, perpetuate racist colonialism.

Choosing to keep nuclear plants running means continued generation of lethal high-level radioactive waste, which is invariably targeted at frontline communities. For example, the proposed but now-canceled deep geological repository site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada is on Western Shoshone land. Two U.S. sites currently identified for “temporary” dumps in Texas and New Mexico have significant low-income and Latinx populations. The Goshute’s Skull Valley Indian Reservation in Utah was chosen but also defeated. (All of these sites were, or are, opposed not only by residents but by their political leadership.)

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