Duke Shareholders MOX Resolution
From the proxy ballot for Duke Energy's Annual Shareholders
Meeting, Charlotte, NC, April 20, 2000
Use of Mixed Oxide Fuel in Nuclear Reactors
Refuse Plutonium Fuel for
Whereas: Duke Energy is under contract with the Department of Energy
(DOE) to use plutonium fuel (MOX) in the McGuire and Catawba nuclear reactors.
Whereas: Duke shareholders are concerned about the impact of
plutonium fuel on the safe, efficient and economic operation of the company for the
- Economic dividends
from this program are small, speculative, far in the future and not worth the risks to
reactor safety or company reputation.
- Growing public and
legislative opposition creates a bad public relations image for our company during a time
of utility deregulation and growing competition.
- Weapons grade
plutonium has never been used in commercial nuclear reactors posing unanticipated risks. European experience with reactor grade plutonium
fuel has produced inadequate information of unknown relevance to the U.S. weapons grade
plutonium fuel program.
- Uranium fuel is
plentiful and inexpensive, with predictable impacts on reactor operations. Plutonium fuel introduces differences in reactor
physics which increase accident risks and increases cancer deaths from serious accidents
by as much as 25%.
- Duke Energy
participation in this plutonium fuel program would make the company dependent on the
Department of Energy and the French government owned firm Cogema. The difficulties and red tape involved in doing
business with these two government make the business dynamics of this venture risky.
- The plutonium fuel
program depends on the Russian government doing a parallel program. Duke Energy should not involve itself in a program
that depends on political events in Russia.
- Use of plutonium
fuel sends the message that plutonium is acceptable for use in other countries, thus
increasing the risk of nuclear weapons material proliferation.
- Plutonium fuel use
would require amending the operating licenses of the nuclear reactors in a process that
could be expensive, time consuming and possibly unsuccessful.
- The Department of
Energy is also planning to immobilize some of the plutonium by mixing it with nuclear
waste and encasing it in glass or ceramics. The
immobilization option is faster, safer, cheaper and does not promote nuclear materials
proliferation. Duke shareholders should
promote this better option for plutonium disposal. There
is no need for Duke Energy to use the unproven weapons plutonium fuel.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the shareholders of Duke Energy require
the Board of Directors to establish a firm policy against the use of plutonium (MOX) fuel.
We urge all shareholders to please vote FOR this resolution.
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