Well, that was a wicked winter. Now that Spring has reached our valleys and hills, let’s get together soon. Join us on Monday April 6, with Kevin Kamps, “Safeguarding Radioactive Waste at VT Yankee.” 7pm, Centre Congregational Church, in the Parlor. 193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT. Ample time for Q&A and discussion on one of the most important issues facing us: what to do with the high-level nuclear waste sitting on the banks of the Connecticut River. As the Nuclear Waste Watchdog for Beyond Nuclear, Kevin is one of the nation’s experts and has traveled the country educating local communities and their elected officials at all levels of government. Read more about him on our website here.
April 14, 6:30pm, Informational Forum with a presentation by Entergy reps on decomm process and end of the EPZ. Greenfield Community College Downtown Center, 270 Main St., Greenfield, MA. Scheduled by MA Rep Paul Mark (D-Peru), who said, “It’s really for people of the region to have their say and to have a more interactive forum with Entergy. Even at the panel meetings we have, a lot of time is spent on presentation and not public discussion. I really want Massachusetts to have a chance to get a little more information and have more of a say.” The Greenfield Recorder has an article here.
IN THE NEWS
Support for nuclear power is at 51%, its lowest level since 2001, an 11 point drop since 2010. Even “70% of Republicans for solar and 63% for wind” http://safeenergy.org/2015/03/30/comparing-the-opinion-polls/
The NRC ruled against citizens again this week. For three years, citizen groups have been asking the NRC to take a close look at Entergy’s weak finances, which have been widely reported, to determine if the company can maintain its leaky old reactors in the Northeast properly, and decommission Yankee. Predictably, NRC trusts Entergy’s financial reporting and said that there’s nothing to worry about. http://vtdigger.org/2015/04/01/nrc-largely-rules-against-anti-nuclear-groups-on-entergy-funding/
On the other hand … in a phone conference a few days earlier, the NRC “at first glance” thinks Entergy plans to use of the decommissioning funds improperly for things such as “using the $660 million fund for Yankee’s property taxes, Entergy Nuclear’s membership dues in the Nuclear Energy Institute, insurance, security staffing costs and shipping nonradioactive asbestos waste.” The NRC will investigate 5 other recently closed nukes as well to make sure they’re following trust fund rules. http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20150325/NEWS02/703259939
Vermont Yankee will hold an “Emergency Plan Full Participation Exercise Scenario” on Wednesday, May 13. Details of the drill are confidential; the NRC defines one as “appropriate offsite local and State authorities and licensee personnel physically and actively take part in testing their integrated capability to adequately assess and respond to an accident at a commercial nuclear power plant.” We wonder: will it be the last drill before Entergy quits the emergency plan?
Speaking of security: Entergy made a stink about two recent trespassing incidents at Yankee. There is no longer any security at the gate, and it looks like folks just kind of wandered onto the site. One took a stroll through the dry casks and the other took photos out her car window.
Public comments on Entergy’s decommissioning plan (the PSDAR) have come to a close. But only 2 of the 41 public comments submitted to the NRC via its on-line comment page are available for the public to read. You can download a bunch from our website. CLICK HERE FOR: PSDAR Comments to the NRC including State of Vermont, area legislators, Town of Brattleboro, Fairewinds Energy Education, Shut It Down affinity group, yours truly and others.
Fairewinds has released a report, Vermont Yankee’s Decommissioning As An Example of Nationwide Failures of Decommissioning Regulation. It outlines changes that need to take place in the NRC’s approach to decommissioning, with an eye to the wave of reactor closures that are to come.
Entergy’s Southeast region was in the news this week. In Mississippi, Entergy will now benefit from ” pure corporate socialism.” Passed without one dissenting vote, and masked as economic development, the new law will allow Entergy ratepayers to pay for “speculative buildouts of infrastructure, whether or not the industry or business to be served becomes a reality and buys electricity from the utility.” Entergy “can go build a shoe factory and put the cost of building a shoe factory in the rate base and never give an electric power customer a pair of shoes,” [one critic] Blanton said. “It’s the most un-American bill I can imagine.” http://news360.com/article/284895381#
EVENTS IN SOLIDARITY
April 1-12 Pipeline Pilgrimage — on the proposed route of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline, 143 miles from Pittsfield, MA to Dracut, MA. Led by the New England Young Adult Friends (Quaker) Climate Worker Group. Most nights at 6:30pm: Pipeline Pilgrimage Community Pot Lucks. Sunday April 5 at 5:00pm: Passover Seder potluck, All Souls Unitarian Church, Greenfield, MA.
April 7 – Stand Up for Solar! Lobby Day at the MA State House. 10am-2pm. Sign up at http://tinyurl.com/StandUpForSolar MA legislation on nuclear as green – or not. One House bill, “An Act to Repower Massachusetts,” includes nuclear as “clean” power. Another states that nuclear is not a renewable energy source, and two others expand the EPZ. Learn more on our website, then contact your legislators and let them know your thoughts. www.safeandgreencampaign.org/action-center
April 15 Book Signing with Frances Crowe, “Finding My Radical Soul,” Solar Store of Greenfield, 2 Fiske Ave., Greenfield MA 6-7:30pm Claire@solarstoreofgreenfield.com
May 10 Cape Downwinders “We’re Mad as Hell Mother’s Day Rumble” 11am-2pm, St. Catherine’s Chapel Park, Plymouth, MA. to close Entergy’s Pilgrim reactor. If you would like to be part of the rumble program at the park-music, song, poetry, personal reflection, or other, please contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be part of the Grandmother’s Affinity Group to plan a creative action, please contact Sarah at (508)385-2316 or Elaine at email@example.com before April 25th.
We hope to see you all this Monday to join us in discussing nuclear waste with Kevin Kamps. We’ll close with his words after our January VY UnPlugged party:
I can point out to people that shutting down Vermont Yankee was a miracle, right? We weren’t, as the people, supposed to have that power. And people did it anyway. They insisted on it and they saw it through and made it happen. And so the same kind of courage and vision will have to be applied now to the decommissioning process. People have to stay in there, attend all the meetings, read all the documents. It’s a Herculean task and if anybody can do it, it’s the folks who have already forced the shutdown of Vermont Yankee. [Nuclear Free Future Yankee Post-Mortem 01.06.15]
Leslie Sullivan Sachs
for the Safe and Green Campaign