The Road from Vermont Yankee to Texas

Safe and Green Campaign is co-sponsoring a New England tour which will connect the dots among environmental justice, nuclear waste, and nuclear reactors in our region. [Click here for the tour details. Tour stops include Brattleboro Food Coop (Community Room, 1 Cananl St.), Montpelier on Friday; Greenfield, MA (Saturday 12:30), and towns near Seabrook & Pilgrim reactors.

Environmental Justice and Nuclear Waste: The Road from Vermont Yankee to Texas

What: Examining the issues of high-level nuclear waste (HLNW) and Federal waste policy. 

Who: Rose Gardner, Sierra Club member and a resident of a community impacted by both a Texas low-level waste dump and a proposed Centralized Interim Storage site for HLNW in Andrews County, Texas; Kevin Kamps with Beyond Nuclear, speaking on the vulnerabilities of on-site storage of HLNW and federal policy; and Deb Katz with Citizens Awareness Network, addressing the issues of NorthStar, decommissioning, and hardened onsite storage at nuclear reactors.

Do you know where our Vermont Yankee nuclear waste goes? Although the nuclear industry and federal government committed to create a solution for high-level nuclear waste disposal, no acceptable solution exists.  

The industry pits nuclear communities against each other; reactor communities fear inadequate storage casks, lack of onsite protections, and abandonment of high level nuclear waste.  Communities targeted for nuclear waste disposal don’t want dangerous nuclear waste in their backyard, particularly given the abysmal record of leaks and inadequate environmental protections.  Waste communities face unconscionable choices – short-term economic survival or long-term health and safety.

This is a timely topic as the public and the state look at Yankee decommissioning. Waste Control Specialists (WCS) is one of the “dream team” created by NorthStar.  WCS has low level waste sites in Texas and is applying for a license to store high level nuclear waste [UPDATE: WCS put its application for a high level waste site ‘on hold’ last week Dallas News 4.19.17]

In addition to the Sierra Club’s Lone Star chapter, Nuke Free Texas and the Texas Public Citizen chapter have been fighting WCS and state regulators for decades. No Nuclear Waste Aqui! posts local press.

A 2009 article,  “Why is Andrews County so eager to get dumped on?” has insights that are still applicable today. Like Vernon, Andrews has been an energy hub – but for oil. With oil boom times coming to an end, some residents welcome future “energy projects.” Others see low level and high level nuclear waste as dangerous for the same reasons we do – risky –  citing issues with accidents or sabotage while transporting the waste, leaks which could radiate the groundwater, public health issues, and lack of tranparency by the government and dump owners. [High Level Waste is High Risk, 4.28.16 with Rose Gardner]

Lissa Weinmann has written an excellent piece published 05.05.17, VY Expert: Faster Reuse Unrealistic Amid National Waste Dilemma which includes interviews with the panelists.

Please join us in learning about and discussing these issues. Locally:

  • May 5 Vermont Yankee: 5:30 Pot Luck, 6:30 Program. Christ Church, 64 State Street, Montpelier, VT
  • May 6 Vermont Yankee: First Congregational  Church, Greenfield, MA, 1:00- 3:00 PM (soup lunch at 12:30pm)
  • 4:30pm on May 6th at the Brattleboro Food Coop Community Room, 2nd Floor, Canal Street entrance, Brattleboro. [This is a change in location as of 4/27]

Free and open to the public.

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