Eight Women Arrested at Valley Nuke Protest

On July 15, eight women were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone’s throw from New Hampshire. Among the women was Hattie Nestel of Athol, Massachusetts.

On August 10 at 11 a.m., activists in kayaks and canoes will protest near Vermont Yankee, which is on the Connecticut river (the rain date is August 11). The public is invited to join the protest. The event is being organized by the same group that organized a protest against Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro last year that drew 1,500 people, 137 of whom were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. The group’s web site is www.SAGEalliance.net. More information is available by calling Deb Katz of www.NukeBusters.org at (413) 339-5781.

Canoes and kayaks can be rented in Brattleboro. The nearest boat launching area with parking is in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, a hundred yards or so upstream from Vermont Yankee.

No arrests are planned at the August action.

Photos of a similar event last year are at:

www.valleypost.org/2012/09/15/photos-kayak-canoe-protest-valley-nuke

The hundreds of tons of nuclear waste at Vermont Yankee is the most deadly material on earth. The waste is so dangerous that it must be guarded 24 hours a day for the next 1 million years, according to the federal government. The electricity from Vermont Yankee is not needed, according to the state of Vermont.

At Vermont Yankee, a major accident or act of sabotage would kill thousands of people and leave an area the size of the Valley uninhabitable. Such a disaster is so likely that no insurance company will insure the facility; taxpayers would pay the costs of a meltdown.

A serious accident at the Indian Point nuclear power plant near New York City would kill 50,000 people and result in 100,000 “radiation injuries” and $300 billion in property damage. That’s according to “Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences (CRAC 2),” a study prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Congress. It was cited by Elizabeth Kolbert in her article “Indian Point Blank,” which was published in The New Yorker magazine on March 3, 2003. The same study says a major accident at Vermont Yankee would cause 7,000 "prompt fatalities." There is at least 10 times more nuclear waste at Yankee now than when the study was released.

If a plane hit the water-filled nuclear waste storage area at a nuclear power plant, a catastrophic nuclear emergency could ensue, according to a 2004 report by the National Academies of Science.

Karl Grossman is a journalism professor at the State University of New York. In a March 12, 2011 post on his blog www.karlgrossman.blogspot.com Grossman wrote: "The radioactive releases in the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident affected the entire northern hemisphere, as a book published last year by the New York Academy of Sciences documents. And 'Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,' authored by Dr. Alexey Yablokov, Dr. Vassily Nesterenko, and Dr. Alexey Nesterenko, finds that medical records between 1986, the year of the accident, and 2004 reflect 985,000 deaths as a result of the radioactivity released." Grossman told the Valley Post that a similar number of people will die because of the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan.

On May 2, 1977, police arrested 1,414 protesters at the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. In June 1978, some 12,000 people attended a protest at Seabrook. In August 1978, almost 500 people were arrested for protesting at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California. In May 1979, in Washington, D.C., about 70,000 people, including the governor of California, attended a march and rally against nuclear power. On June 2, 1979, about 500 people were arrested for protesting construction of the Black Fox nuclear power plant in Oklahoma. The next day, 15,000 people attended a rally at the Shoreham nuclear power plant on Long Island; about 600 were arrested. On June 30, 1979, about 38,000 people attended a protest rally at Diablo Canyon. On Aug. 23, 1979, in New York City, about 200,000 people attended a rally against nuclear power. On Sept. 23, 1979, about 167 protesters were arrested at Vermont Yankee. On June 22, 1980, about 15,000 people attended a protest near the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California.

Protests preceded the permanent shutdown of Shoreham, Yankee Atomic, Millstone I, Rancho Seco, Maine Yankee and at least a dozen other nuclear power plants. When he was president, Richard Nixon said the nation’s goal was to have 1,000 nuclear power plants by the year 2000. There are now 61 nuclear power plants in the United States. An article in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of American History did not hesitate to give protesters credit for the decline of the nuclear power industry: "The protesters lost their battle [when Diablo Canyon opened in 1984], but in a sense they won the larger war, for nuclear plant construction ended across the country in 1986."

Bob Mulholland ran a successful campaign to close the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant near Sacramento, Calif. Rancho Seco was closed in 1989 because the people of Sacramento voted to close it.
Mulholland, who now works for the California Democratic Party, told the Valley Post that the nuclear industry dramatically outspent the antinuclear groups in advertising before the referendum vote.
"David can beat Goliath," he said. "We had a New England Town Meeting-style community debate and people saw that the industry was lying. Closing Rancho Seco was the best thing our community ever did."

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More information about Vermont Yankee, and the movement to close it, is at:

www.valleypost.org/2007/11/09/what-can-history-nuclear-power-teach-us-ab...

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