“Between the trillion dollars in construction loan guarantees and the regulatory restrictions, it’s celebration time for the nuclear industry. If they can eliminate the public and tie the hands of the regulators and get the taxpayers to pick up the bill, they should be able to move along quite nicely.”

— Ellen Vancko of the Union of Concerned Scientists,

It’s like a bottomless bank for them, and Sens. Mark Udall (Colorado), Jeff Bingaman, (New Mexico) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have jumped right up to hand out our tax money with their bill called the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative Improvement Act of 2009.

Udall gave a speech about the bill to the Senate the day after Halloween. In it, among many whitewashing statements about the dangers of pursuing nuclear power, he said glibly that, “Uranium supplies (for new reactors) are sufficient to support a worldwide expansion of nuclear power for the next century.”

Senator Udall, have you never heard of Colorado’s Uravan uranium mill evacuation? Or the two other uranium mining area Superfund sites in your own state? Are you considering the native people who have suffered the physical devastations of having uranium mining on their land?

What about the Cotter uranium mill Superfund site outside Canon City, and the devastated people and land around it? What about the millions of tons of radioactive waste especially in the Four Corners area, Senator Bingaman?

The radioactivity causes cancer, mutates the gene pool and lasts virtually forever.

The town of Uravan was established in 1935 to house workers and their families at the mill and mine facilities. This town has since been evacuated and demolished. The site was placed on the list of Superfund sites on June 6, 1986.

The nuclear industry will step up its glossy rhetoric that Udall seems to be under the spell of. As Congress begins debating clean energy legislation, the industry — rich with spectacular brainwashing campaigns — is looking for: investment tax credits, production tax credits, worker training tax credits, changes to the IRS codes for nuclear decommissioning funds and the inclusion of nuclear energy in the nation’s “renewable” energy standards.

They don’t want financial risks, they don’t seem to really care about careful use of taxpayer money, or land or perhaps even lives. They want easy, free cash with no risks.

Senators Udall, Bingaman and Murkowski, admit your mistakes and lead us toward true energy security — huge campaigns developing renewable, safe energy and energy efficiency.

Judith Mohling is a member of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.