Idahoans Gather on April Fool’s Day to Say No to Areva, the French-based Nuclear Giant
March 31, 2008

Andrea Shipley, Snake River Alliance Executive Director
(208) 344-9161 office
(208) 514-8713 cell

BOISE —The Snake River Alliance, Idaho’s nuclear watchdog and advocate for clean energy, will be joined by other concerned Idahoans for a rally outside the state annex building on April Fool’s day at 12:30 pm to tell Areva, the French-based Nuclear giant that Idahoans do not want a uranium enrichment facility built outside Idaho Falls.

Two pieces of legislation were passed this session to sweeten the deal for Areva to come to Idaho. H562 caps Areva’s property taxes at the first $400 million the company invests in its uranium enrichment centrifuge project so long as it spends at least $1 billion on the project. H561 gives Areva a sales tax exemption for production equipment. House bills 561 and 562 were designed to make Idaho more attractive as it vies with Washington and other states for bragging rights to host the nuclear company’s toxic operations.

Andrea Shipley, executive director of the Snake River Alliance, says, “The public must understand that the nuclear fuel cycle is extremely dirty and dangerous. We are facing a recession, but this kind of job growth leaves the children of Idaho to pay the price for the poor decisions of today.”

Several senators, including influential Republicans, voted against the measures as bad tax policy. They warned the property tax cap will only lead companies such as Micron to demand similar treatment. They also warned the measures are designed to clear Areva’s path to Idaho.

Shipley continues, “The real April Fools prank is that the legislative session is over, when the real work has just begun. Those legislators who voted for the Areva plant are leaving Idahoans with the ramifications of their decisions if Areva comes to Idaho—tons of radioactive waste and safety concerns, not to mention thousands in tax freebies. And what about government accountability to the State’s Energy Plan and fair tax incentives? It seems that dirty industries can just flash a few hundred jobs in front of decision makers and government accountability can be thrown out the door.”

“It’s time for state officials to take a reality check: Idahoans do not share their enthusiasm for all things nuclear, particularly given the ongoing threat to our Snake River Aquifer, and they especially don’t want our legislators to dig into our wallets to pay for it. Idaho has no working uranium mines or milling operations. It has no commercial nuclear power plants. And it has no need for a plant like this.”

The Snake River Alliance is a nonprofit organization promoting renewable energy f