Keep the Pressure On

On Thursday, Sept. 24th, emergency response — a topic of huge concern to most of us living in the shadow of Vermont Yankee — is on the agenda for the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel (NDCAP). The Emergency Planning program will end next April. This will be an introduction into what we will be left with for the next five or six decades. On the agenda at 6:50pm:

Emergency Response During SAFSTOR and Decon with presentations ] Vermont’s Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security, and by Dr. Bill Irwin of the Vermont Department of Health. There will be time for public comment following the panel’s comments.

A link to the full NDCAP agenda plus other background information is on our webpage here: Our comments, a timeline and links to news articles on the EPZ and emergency rapid response are here:

In January 2012, former Gov. Madeline Kunin wrote a commentary that goes to the heart of the problem. In 1985, she had “learned that the plant had falsified inspection reports for years and that thousands of unchecked parts may have been installed … Both plant officials and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had kept me in the dark … How could I assure Vermonters that the plant was safe? That is the same question that is being asked today.”

Governors have the responsibility to protect the safety of their citizens. If the plant accidentally releases radiation, the governor takes immediate action, ordering an evacuation, issuing iodine pills. But the governor had no power to prevent an accident in the first place.

If you read her full post [VtDigger 01.26.2012], you will learn that her actions led to Yankee being shut down for 8 months for repairs. You and I know that the whole situation could have been kept under wraps had it not been for the pressure of informed, organized citizens.

We are in the same situation today. The state battles to keep us “safe,” demanding that the EPZ be kept in place until all the radioactive fuel is moved. The NRC simply states “it is safe.” We need to keep the pressure on.


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