In 1998, the House of Representatives approved a compact struck between Texas, Vermont and Maine that would allow Vermont and Maine to dump low-level nuclear waste at a designated site in Sierra Blanca, Texas. Sanders, at the time representing Vermont in the House, cosponsored the bill and actively ushered it through Congress. This site sits above the Oglala Aquifier, upon which, Texas and Oklahoma depend for drinking water. It is also currently the only site in the country that can receive waste, because of the accident at WIPP, in New Mexico (another so-called “low level” site, that was disposing of non-permitted, high-level waste from Los Alamos, which was mishandled and blew up). Many fear a similar situation is developing at the site in TX, since pressure is building to dispose of hundreds of tons of waste, nation wide. This pressure is exacerbated by Obama updating the Nuclear arsenal. As a member of committees related to these issues, Sanders has not been effective in stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and waste.
Consider the partnership, fostered by Sanders, between University of Vermont and Sandia labs (operated under contract by Lockheed Martin) to create a Nuclear Research Center. “The IGERT program at UVM is operated in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, who provide research experience and mentoring for all trainees, as well as short courses on smart grids and cognitive sciences. Participation in this program is a great way to experience first-hand the exciting culture of one of the nation’s great national laboratories (and manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction- my words),” from the UVM website.
Have UVM and Sandia/Lockheed National Labs discovered a way to do what Einstein couldn’t- simultaneously prevent AND prepare for nuclear war? These are concerning Bernie- bedfellows that are not getting much attention these days.
He was ineffective in getting the dangerously-past-it’s-lifespan, Vermont Yankee Nuclear PP, shuttered. In fact, it had extension on it’s operating permit granted In March of 2011, days after the Fukushima triple meltdown. Sanders did write a letter of protest to the NRC, and the plant operator fortunately shut it down voluntarily in 2014.
Sanders’ “last resort/moratorium” position on nuclear power is on par with Clinton saying Keystone XL is a “distraction.” There is a mile of wiggle room in those statements- please examine the context/record before making assumptions about candidates’ agendas, based on what they may say.