CHICAGO– Local nuclear expert David A. Kraft, Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) headquartered in Chicago, received a national award from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) and Beyond Nuclear on May 23, 2017 on Capitol Hill. The ANA hosted a reception to honor leaders in the movement to stop unnecessary nuclear weapons research and production, clean up radioactive wastes and address the needs of those contaminated by nuclear facilities.
Kraft was awarded the Judith Johnsrud Unsung Hero Award “for nearly four decades of diligent dedication in the belly of the beast, and his good humored, visionary work for a nuclear-free world, demonstrating tireless determination despite daunting odds.”
Kraft co-founded Nuclear Energy Information Service in 1981, to provide the public with reliable information about nuclear power and radiation hazards, and energy alternatives to these risks. He has long served as director of Illinois’ nuclear power watchdog, in the state with more atomic reactors and commercial high-level radioactive waste, than any other.
The Unsung Hero award was named after Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud, a geographer who dedicated more than 50 years of her life to the opposition of nuclear power in all its phases and forms. Johnsrud, a founding board member of Beyond Nuclear, passed away in 2014.
Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear presented the Unsung Hero Award. “Dave’s sense of humor often shines through, as with Alms for Exelon street theater, complete with collection buckets,” said Kamps in his remarks. “NEIS worked long and hard to expose, and oppose, the largest U.S. nuclear utility, robbing its own ratepayers, gouging households and businesses for $2.35 billion on their electric bills, to keep several dangerously old, financially failing reactors operating another decade.
“Dave’s bridge building with the climate and environmental justice movements is an example to follow, as is his outreach to youth and diverse communities.”
The Unsung Hero Award highlights the vital role that Dave Kraft and NEIS continue to play in the arena of nuclear power and nuclear waste in the state, the region and the nation. NEIS is taking the lead on several keys issues facing Illinois and other states with nuclear power plants: proper decommissioning of aging power plants, fighting the bailouts of money-losing nuclear plants, just transitions for reactor communities that will be impacted by plant closures, and best practices for storage of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive wastes that are being stored in reactor communities.
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is a network of three dozen groups working on issues of nuclear weapons production and radioactive waste cleanup. Scores of ANA activists traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in over 100 meetings with Trump Administration and Congressional leaders as part of the 29th annual “DC Days,” May 22 to 24, 2017. Beyond Nuclear is a national nuclear industry watchdog group.