May 10, 2004

Vermonters Protest Proposed 20% Yankee Nuclear "Uprating"

The NRC Nuclear Mascot - he doesn't have an official name, but 'Nukie' will do!The embattled, aging Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon (which recently made headlines when two highly radioactive pieces of fuel rod were reported missing) is expected to be given a 20% power boost - or "uprating."

This doesn't sit very well with many residents of this characteristically "back-to-nature" region. From today's Brattleboro [VT] Reformer:
BRATTLEBORO -- Flashing placards, more than 125 nuclear power protesters marched downtown on Saturday, calling for a cease to "uprate" proceedings and, moreover, for Vermont Yankee's closing. The group, which made its way from the Brattleboro Food Co-op to the Common, held placards saying, "Stop Vermont Yankee," "Not Another Chernobyl," and "Does Vermont Matter?" A child in a stroller had a sign which said: "Protect My Future."

Doug Wight, of Shutesbury, Mass., yelled, "Not in my backyard, not in country, not in my world," as he walked toward the Common, where demonstrators listened to anti-nuclear speakers.

The event was organized by Citizen's Awareness Network in Shelburne Falls, Mass., an anti-nuclear energy activism group. The demonstration was supposed to protest the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's unwillingness to perform a comprehensive, independent assessment of the Vernon nuclear power plant before its power output is upped 20 percent. But the NRC announced last week that it would conduct an independent engineering assessment.
Another demonstration to shut down Vermont Yankee down is scheduled for May 15 in Greenfield, Mass. Demonstrators are to meet up at Greenfield Common at 11 a.m. and march through the city to Energy Park.
The 33-year-old plant is among the oldest in the United States, which leads nuclear opponents to say it cannot withstand a 20 percent power boost. Vermont Yankee officials maintain that the plant is inspected regularly by the NRC and has not had any significant problems.
The missing fuel rods from Vermont Yankee are still AWOL, and the Providence Journal (registration reguired) reports officials are planning a search of waste sites in South Carolina and Washington State in an effort to track down the pieces.

Entergy Corp. website [VY parent company]
Google News on "Vermont Yankee Nuclear"
Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC] and the NRC's Student Resource Pages
Citizen's Awareness Network [CAN]

No comments:

Post a Comment