ACTION ALERT! –Attempt to Repeal IL Nuke Moratorium, Events, More…

Well, the holiday is over.  The pro-nuke tribe is at the gates yet again.  Time to get back into the trenches, and fight for safe energy once more.  Please take action on as many of these as you can.  Thanks in advance!

–Dave Kraft, Driector—


Just like rust or a bad case of herpes, the pro-nuclear lobby is back again.  This time Sen. Mike Jacobs  (D., 36th, Moline; Chair of the Senate Energy Committee) has introduced S.3417, calling for the repeal of the section of the Public Utilities Act which prohibits the construction of new nuclear reactors in Illinois until a demonstrated method for high-level, spent fuel radioactive waste disposal has been developed by the Federal Government.  This common-sense law – akin to requiring a home builder to install bathrooms as part of the plan – has prevented Illinois from becoming a de facto waste dump for even more reactors than the 14 we already have.  This is the 5th time such legislation has been proposed in the past 6 years.  Each previous time, NEIS, you, and other environmental groups have beaten back the attempt; even persuaded a previous co-sponsor of such a bill to recognize that her legislation was not in the best interests of Illinois, causing her to withdraw support for her own bill.

This has not dissuaded Sen. Jacobs – whose family has historic ties to Exelon/ComEd – from introducing the current inanity.  Nor have the many other facts and snips of reality, such as:

  • No utility interest: Exelon has not only stated it will not be building any new reactors anytime soon, but that it may CLOSE three reactors in Illinois in 2014-15;
  • No energy need: Use of renewable energy and natural gas use has increased in Illinois, driven by the State’s mandated Renewable Energy Portfolio standard;
  • No “nuclear renaissance”: The nation is retreating from nuclear power nationwide.  Five reactors were closed or announced closure in 2013-14.  Numerous utilities have scrapped plans to build new reactors, even with federal loan guarantees dangled as bait to build more;
  • No benefit for Illinois ratepayers or taxpayers:  The inability under the best of circumstances to bring new reactors online for at least a decade or more into the future;
  • No waste disposal solution yet: The Federal Government still has not opened a permanent disposal facility for spent-fuel high-level radioactive waste, 27 years after Illinois enacted it protective legislation.

One can only speculate on Sen. Jacobs’ intentions or frame of mind in proposing this legislation.  The bottom line is – it’s a proposed “solution” to a non-existent problem, which will bring absolutely NO benefit to Illinois for at least another decade at best, if then.  It WILL, however, remove the only protection the state has from additional high-level radioactive waste generation, at a time when DOE reports and recent Congressional legislation may attempt to bring AN ADDITIONAL 9,000 tons of highly radioactive spent-fuel to Illinois for storage for up to 35 (or more) years.


What You Can Do:
  1. Contact your State Senator, asking him/her to oppose S.3417 should it come to the Senate floor for a vote;
  2. Contact Senate leader John Cullerton (773-883-0770; 217-782-2728), urging him to make sure the bill never reaches the Senate floor for a vote;
  3. Contact Sen. Mike Jacobs, (309-797-0001; 217-782-5957), asking him spend his valuable time introducing legislation that would fix some of Illinois’ REAL problems, like the budget, pensions, and education.
  4. Check the NEIS webpage,, for updates and Fact Sheets.


NEIS kicks off its 2014 “KNOw-Nukes!” film series with a showing of the new documentary, “High Power,” by Indian documentarian Pradeep Indulkar.  The film will be shown along with a panel discussion with the filmmaker on Thursday, March 6th, 6:30 p.m. at DePaul University’s Schmitt Academic Center, Room 154, 2320 N. Kenmore Ave., in Lincoln Park, Chicago.  The showing is being done in cooperation with the DePaul Dept. of Religious Studies, and independent DePaul students.  The showing is free, and open to the public.

The film chronicles the horrible effects on the local population and environment resulting from the opening of the Tarapur Nuclear Power Plant in India.  With India’s plans to build many more such nuclear reactors, and the Fukushima disaster still ongoing, this film serves as a warning not just to the people of India, but of the world.


NEIS is coordinating efforts in the Chicago area to observe the third anniversary of the continuing Fukushima nuclear disaster.  As part of a nation-wide effort, NEIS will be leading a protest and letter signing event at the Japanese Consulate in Chicago the morning of the 11th.  Details for the event are in development.  Check the NEIS website and Calendar of events for developing details; and contact the NEIS office if you are interested in participating.  Films about Fukushima will be shown the evening of the 11th, location TBD.


As we enter our 33rd year, NEIS still remains the only organization in Illinois devoted exclusively and full-time to the issues of nuclear power and radioactive waste, and radiation hazards.  Trouble is – it’s getting harder and harder to raise the funds to keep going; and we don’t see any groups waiting in the wings to continue the work if we’re gone.

With the new threat to the Illinois moratorium on nuclear reactors, the threat of 9,000 tons of long-lived dangerous spent reactor fuel coming to Illinois, the radiation threat from fracking, and the irresponsibly conducted decommissioning of the Zion nuclear reactor site underway, NEIS is stretched thin as it is.  We definitely need your support, and need it now.

Please visit our website today and become a member or make a contribution to a less nuclear world at a level you can comfortably afford.  You may not get any public Olympic recognition for doing it, but you will have done an important thing at a time when it was sorely needed.