Pilgrim Shut Down!

Another nuke bites the dust! Pilgrim is the 4th to close since the closure of Yankee …. only 97 more to go, folks. Safe & Green Campaign gives a big shout out to all the individuals and groups who worked for decades to bring  this feeble nuke down — year after year Pilgrim was deemed one of the least safe in the US by the NRC. Congrats to Cape Downwinders, Pilgrim Watch, and Cape Cod Bay Watch. (Check out a full list at Pilgrim Coalition).

The 47 year old Pilgrim Nuclear Reactor shut down on Friday May 31 2019. Pilgrim was bought by Entergy (former owners of VT Yankee) in 1999. It was losing $40 million a year. Due to the good work of many activists, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would not prop it up with ratepayer fees.

Holtec is seeking to purchase Pilgrim from Entergy (lured, no doubt, by the decommissioning trust fund). Holtec’s casks are being used at VT Yankee & Pilgrim, despite controversy about their safety. In addition, Holtec has come under increased scrutiny for corruption charges in New Jersey: A False Answer, a Big Political Connection and $260 Million in Tax Breaks

Citizens groups are continuing the struggle. Like for Vt Yankee, this next stage includes a Citizens Decommissioning panel (NDCAP). Diane Turco of Cape Downwinders writes, “The Holtec house of cards is planning to buy Pilgrim but won’t answer questions of concern posed by the NDCAP. No transparency or honesty should equal no contract.” Pilgrim Watch has created a “Decommissioning Pilgrim Handbook” available here as a pdf slideshow.

Cape Downwinders established “a citizens radiation monitoring network with monitors in Plymouth, Sandwich, Dennis, Harwich, Truro, and Ptown. We will continue to monitor during decommissioning and fuel transfer.”

Here is a taste of recent media coverage on Pilgrim’s shut down:

Closing Pilgrim: A 2019 series of stories on the closing of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. (WBUR Radio) 

Radioactive waste big concern for now-closed Pilgrim nuclear (Cape Cod Times)

Pilgrim nears end as nuclear declines (Boston Globe)

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Power Struggle film showings in June

POWER STRUGGLE Film Screenings
 
Thursday / Friday, June 6 and 7 at 7pm
Northampton Center For The Arts
 
Saturday, June 15 at 7pm
118 Elliot Gallery
 
Tickets: $12 advance online / $15 at the door / No one will be turned away for lack of funds.   
 
A feature-length documentary chronicling a successful grassroots citizens’ effort to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in Vermont, directed by long-time Pioneer Valley filmmaker Robbie Leppzer.  A timely, inspiring story of democracy in action; about whether citizens’ voices will be heard against big moneyed interests, and what people are doing locally right now to make a difference for a sustainable energy future. Original Music by John Sheldon.
 
This is a benefit fundraiser to launch a national grassroots film campaign. For more information and to watch a film trailer, visit: www.PowerStruggleMovie.com
 
Filmmaker Robbie Leppzer will speak and moderate post-screening discussion panels with film participants. 
 
Thursday, June 6 Post-Screening Panel (Northampton):  Features local activists talking about the current status and future of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning process, as well as the long-term public health hazards from high-level radioactive waste that will be stored indefinitely on the banks of the Connecticut River at the Vermont Yankee site. Panelists include: Deb Katz and Harvey Schaktman of the Citizen’s Awareness Network, and Clay Turnbull of the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution.

 

Friday, June 7 Post-Screening Panel (Northampton): Features Frances Crowe and members of her Shut It Down Affinity Group (all women over 70), including Marcia Gagliardi and Hattie Nestel, who will talk about their participation in the movement to shut down Vermont Yankee and reflect on their affinity group experiences for lessons learned that could apply to other grassroots political struggles.

 

Saturday, June 15 Post-Screening Panel (Brattleboro): Features local residents and civic stakeholders talking about the current status and future of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning process, as well as the long-term public health hazards from high-level radioactive waste that will be stored indefinitely on the banks of the Connecticut River at the Vermont Yankee site. Panelists include: Chris Williams of the Citizen’s Awareness Network and board chair of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Clay Turnbull of the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, and Derrik Jordan, member of the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel.
 
“A genuine David vs. Goliath battle. A rich story of whether grassroots democracy, in the form of citizens and local government, can triumph over entrenched, powerful interests like the nuclear energy industry. Through a story with many twists and turns, Leppzer keeps the film’s focus on the individuals caught up in the drama.”
— Steve Pfarrer, DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
 
POWER STRUGGLE is the remarkable story about how people power overcame corporate power and government cover-ups to finally shut down an aging and dangerous nuclear plant. We see how small town citizens were transformed into tenacious environmental activists who triumphed against the odds. POWER STRUGGLE is a hopeful story that reminds us that citizen activism is not just possible, it is essential to saving our endangered planet.”
— David Goodman, best-selling author, journalist and radio host, THE VERMONT CONVERSATION
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!
 
Invite Friends – NORTHAMPTON: www.facebook.com/events/735944480133418/
 
Invite Friends – BRATTLEBORO: www.facebook.com/events/434031377160032/
 
Can’t attend? Order a DVD, Blu-ray or Digital download or streaming of POWER STRUGGLE at: www.PowerStruggleMovie.com
 
Help us to raise funds for our national grassroots film campaign to bring POWER STRUGGLE to schools, libraries and community groups across America. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution:

https://fromtheheartproductions.givecorps.com/projects/16691-documentaries-power-struggle 

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Mother’s Day & NDCAP

All are invited to celebrate Mothers Day this coming Sunday May 12th. The Liberty Union is hosting a gathering & program on the Brattleboro Common from 1:00-4:00pm, “honoring the work of millions of mothers who work for peace in homes, on the streets, on the job, in government.”
 
NDCAP: The next meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel is scheduled for Monday, May 20 at the Vernon Elementary School from 6-9pm. Keep an eye on their website for the agenda: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/electric/ndcap 
 
Safe & Green’s website posts the most recent relevant news on our decomissioning-resources page.
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F-35 Silent Vigil & Meditation

Citizens Silent Vigil and Meditative Protest Against F-35A in Vermont

A group of concerned Windham Country area citizens will conduct a Silent Vigil & Meditation on the Whetstone Path at the Brattleboro Food Co-op on Thursday May 9, between 4:00-5:00 PM to protest the basing of the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Bomber at Burlington’s International Airport next year.

This local action is in solidarity with a state action on 9 May in Montpelier that will include a 24 Hour Meditation Protest for Peace, culminating with a one-hour meditation for all to join from 2-3:00 pm on the Statehouse lawn. [Details below]

Participants who join us are encouraged to either stand silently, holding signs, or to join those who will be meditating. Please bring your own chair or cushion

The  F-35A, a stealth bomber, is designed to carry a nuclear payload, thus making it an offensive, not a defensive weapon. This exposes Burlington, and the entire state of Vermont, to being a first-strike target.

The stationing of the F-35s with nuclear capability in Burlington means, that the City becomes a s first strike or a retaliatory target by foreign powers to take out the nuclear weapons and the F-35s to prevent a counterstrike.

Immediate consequences of an accident involving a nuclear weapon will be catastrophic beyond human imagination. Any accident of the F-35, even without nuclear weapons on board, will devastate the greater Burlington area due to the toxicity of the materials with which the plane is constructed; producing fire not extinguishable by conventional means.

For further information, contact Tim Stevenson, bereal@vermontel.net or 802.869.2141
 
Statehouse: Meditation Protest for Peace schedule:
Wednesday, May 8 at 3:00 pm.  (Set up will commence up to one hour prior)  Two individuals will begin 24 hour sit at 3:00 pm.  (If you would like to sit for the full 24 hours please let us know).  
Wednesday afternoon-overnight-Thursday morning:  Silent meditation.  Please join as your schedule allows.
 
Thursday, May 9 at 1:40 pm.  Begin gathering in preparation to join the Sit at 2:00 pm.  The last hour of the Sit will run from 2-3:00 pm.  
     ***This is the time that we want most people to attend so if this time is open in your schedule, please join us***
 
Thursday, May 9 at 3:00 pm.  Press conference.  Please plan to stay present for the press conference to show your visible support for banning the basing of nuclear weapons in our State.  
 The stand we take has the power to reverberate and inspire activism all over the country; Vermont has led the way before, and Vermont can lead the way again.  

Contact Jennifer Decker galloway.jennifer@gmail.com

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Call The VT Statehouse: No nuclear weapons in Vermont

F-35 jets can be made capable of carrying nuclear bombs, and basing them in Burlington makes us a target in the event of war. We don’t want any part of it.  The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons starts in Vermont.

NUCLEAR BOMBER FREE VERMONT — Call Your representatives, today!

Leave a message at 802.828.2228 and ask your state senators to co-sponsor the Pollina/Clarkson Resolution to keep Vermont nuclear weapon and nuclear weapon system free. Please leave messages at 802.828.2228 THIS MORNING for Senators Pearson, Ashe, Lyons, and Sirotkin: “PLEASE keep Vermont nuclear weapon platform free and sponsor the Pollina/Clarkson Amendment.”

Rep. Cina and Rep. McCullough are introducing H.R. 7, their Nuclear Bomber Free Vermont resolution to the House this week. Call the State House at 828-2228 and urge them to support H.R. 7, the Nuclear Bomber Free Vermont resolution. If you prefer to email, you can look up your Representatives contact here.  

LEARN MORE at our event this coming Monday, April 22 at 6pm, Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street, Brattleboro. 4.22 Event: Nuclear Bombers in VT?

 

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4.22 Event: Nuclear Bombers in VT?

Join Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont (CANBVT), Safe and Green Campaign, and other concerned citizens in a discussion about the F-35 nuclear bombers soon to be based in Burlington. Dr. Ira Hefland of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is our featured speaker for the night. Come get informed on the bombers and what it means to have them based in our state on Monday, April 22nd 6:00pm Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street in Brattleboro. We will meet in the Parlor.

The F-35 planes will come to the National Guard base in northern Vermont this September. Nothing about nuclear bomb capability was brought up in the planning process that approved the aircraft being sited in Vermont. The first information the nuclear weapon capability and mission of the F-35 came to light in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. For example:

“The United States is incorporating nuclear capability onto the forward-deployable, nuclear-capable F-35 as a replacement for the current aging DCA (dual capable aircraft). ”  — (2018 Nuclear Posture Review, Introduction, page X-XI)

Learn more about Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in VT:  https://www.canbvt.org/

On the website is a petition CABVT is promoting:

We urge you to support the resolution in the statehouse to reject the basing of any part of a new nuclear weapons system in Vermont.

All new F-35As are being built with the capability to carry the B61-12 guided nuclear bomb, a weapon specially designed for the F-35A.  Existing F-35As will be eventually modified to carry this 50 kiloton nuclear weapon.  It has over 3 times the explosive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which killed approximately 150,000 civilians.
  
Experts have stated that the military had long planned to make the F-35A a nuclear weapon system.  However, this fact was never revealed to the public.  It was only because of recent articles in the military press that referenced the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review that this information was revealed. 
 
Both of Vermont’s senators have said they oppose building new nuclear weapons. Our current President has impulsively made statements about wanting to use nuclear weapons.
 
The particular bomb to be deployed on this bomber is a so-called “dial-a-yield.”  Because the yield can be adjusted, military planners refer to it as a “usable nuke” because they think they can use it and not create all-out nuclear war. 

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Year Eight of One Radioactive Disaster

It’s been eight years since the horrific events at Fukushima changed lives.

If you’ve forgotten why we should still care about a disaster on the other side of the world, remember this: some of Japan’s nuclear reactors are the same age, make and model as Vermont Yankee and dozens of other reactors in the US — some with extended licenses and over packed fuel pools, on bodies of water so much smaller than Fukushima’s Pacific Ocean.

Here’s another challenge we have in common: what to do with radioactive materials. Japan says they’ll move dirt from the Fukushima location by 2045 — but no other town wants it either. Sound familiar? One proposal: use the irradiated soil as the foundation for road, embankments, and other infrastructure. The Guardian covers some issues here.

Not much progress on what to do with the One Million Tons of irradiated water, either. The ice wall is working imperfectly, the 1,000 tanks aren’t holding up, they are running out of space to put the tanks, and because there are NO GOOD SOLUTIONS decision-making is slow. Releasing it into the Pacific Ocean is still being considered — even though “a system meant to purify contaminated water had failed to remove dangerous radioactive contaminants. ” Learn more: Reuters on water woes

Brattleboro is the same distance from VT Yankee as the town of Namie is from the Fukushima reactors. Although the government said Namie is safe for residents to return, only 875 of the 17,000 residents have done so.

“We were driven out of our community, and had it destroyed,” he said. “We asked the town and the prefecture to re-create a community for us, away from home, but we were not listened to.”

“The elderly who come back feel pessimism and depression. The biggest tragedy now is the high rate of suicides.”

The Olympics are being held in Japan in 2020. Softball games will be held in the Fukushima province, and there is even talk of the the Olympic torch starting from Fukushima. Put on a happy face, Fukushima! Show the world how we’ve beat this thing! After all, we want to build some new nuclear reactors!

If the plight of humans does not move you, but $ signs do, consider this: Think tanks put costs between $315 billion and $728 billion. 

This month, Greenpeace published an in-depth report on the radiation risks and human rights violations resulting from continuing disaster, “On the Frontline of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Workers and Children.” You can read it or  download the PDF from here: Google link to open Greenpeace report

 

 

 

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NDCAP Meeting POSTPONED to Jan. 31

The agenda for Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel (NDCAP) has been posted. The meeting starts at 6pm 1/24  Thursday January 31st at the Vernon Elementary School. It is the first meeting with NorthStar as owners of VT Yankee.

It includes, following NorthStar + state updates:
6:50 State of Vermont Role in VY Decommissioning: – Overview of NRC & VT PUC Decisions on VY Sale – State Agency Roles: ▪ Public Service Department ▪ Agency of Natural Resources ▪ Department of Health ▪ Attorney General’s Office

The agenda is linked here in our Event calendar and on the State of VT page here: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/electric/ndcap 

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1/12/19: Bye Bye Entergy

Entergy has left Vermont after 17 years. Ownership formally turned over to NorthStar for decommissioning yesterday.

9 years ago this week, Safe and Green Campaign organized then walked 126 miles from Brattleboro to Montpelier to say the time had come to turn off Vermont Yankee and switch to safe, affordable and available alternatives. They marched by day and gave public presentations at night, before sleeping in churches and host homes. Read their “Step It Up to Shut It Down” blog here http://stepitupwalk.blogspot.com/

As they walked, local media was full of the news that Yankee was leaking tritium … and Entergy was lying about it. Bye, bye, Entergy. We won’t miss you.

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PUC Approves Sale of VY to NorthStar

To the surprise of no one, Vermont’s Public Utility Commission has approved the sale of Vermont Yankee from Entergy to NorthStar.

VtDigger has a post here (by Mike Faher, updated on 12/7) and here is the Brattleboro Reformer’s article (by Susan Smalheer). No other in-state media that we have seen has covered the sale with any level of detail.

The PUC’s Order and Certificate of Public Good are too large for our website to handle. You can access them from the PUC’s website.  You will need to log on (or create a user name and password to do so). The link is: http://epuc.vermont.gov/?q=node/64/27332/FV-BDIssued-PTL

 

 

 

 

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