Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov. 15 & 16 – Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards – PUBLIC MEETING on PROPOSED VERNON REACTOR UPRATE

Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov. 15 & 16
Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards
PUBLIC MEETING on PROPOSED VERNON REACTOR UPRATE
*************************************************

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC ‘s) Advisory Committee on
Reactor Safeguards will hold a public meeting on Entergy Nuclear’s proposal
to increase electrical output, along with profits and radioactive waste
output, at New England’s oldest operating nuclear reactor in Vernon,
Vermont. The Committee will hear public comment in the Grand Ballroom at the
Quality Inn and Suites, 1380 Putney Road, Brattleboro, Vermont, for two
days, on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 15-16, 2005.

The committee sits until 7:30 PM on both days.

WHAT’S the PROBLEM?

Increased operating temperatures and loss of a back-up cooling pump,
increased water and steam pressure and velocity, increased speed of the
rotors, excess vibration, and containment overpressure are some of the
concerns bound to be addressed.

In the past, the NRC has not allowed discussion of counterfeit, and probably
substandard parts used in the original construction. A biological organism
was found to infest and damage welds, but regulators said their provisions
concerned animal threats, not plants as threats. Indeed there are many
unanswered questions. Please bring yours, and hear an earful. This is a
tremendous opportunity to hear the details and address concerns.

This meeting is announced as the final opportunity the public to comment
before a recommendation is made to allow or NOT allow the increases.
Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, the owners of the Vernon reactor which
began operation in 1971, have been pushing for a 20 percent reactor power
boost before the Vermont Public Service Board and the NRC since February of
2003. Their effort has been stalled because the questions being asked by
regulators, interveners, legislators, town select board members, and
citizens about the suitability of the uprate have still not been answered.

Entergy Corporation is the second largest electric generating company in the
U.S., with a net value of $14 billion and over 14,000 employees. Entergy’s
application before the NRC, filed in September 2003, has required 36
amendments and has taken twice as long as expected to gain NRC technical
staff approval. Entergy has hired the giant law firm of Pillsbury,
Winthrop, Shaw, Pitman with over 900 lawyers to fend off technical and
safety challenges by interveners, the Vermont Department of Public Service,
and the New England Coalition. The Department’s Office of Public Advocacy
boasts just six attorneys and has hired outside counsel: long-time
environmental champion Anthony Roisman of Legal Scholars in Hanover, NH.
New England Coalition is represented without an attorney by its staff
advisor, Raymond Shadis.

Electronic recordings will be permitted. Signs will not be permitted in the
meeting room. Phone: 301-415-8065

Members of the public who wish to provide oral statements and/or written
comments were asked to notify a Designated Federal Official, Mr. Ralph
Caruso (Telephone: 301-415-8065) at five days prior to the meetings, and
asked to check again for schedule changes at the same number at least two
working days prior to the meeting to be advised of any potential changes to
the agenda. No evening hours were announced, substantially limiting public
comment. The agenda for the meeting was announced as follows:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005–8:30 a.m. until 12: Overview by NRC Staff ,
Sub-Committee Review of Technical Issues (including Full Transient Testing).

1 PM until the conclusion of business: Public Questions and Comment.
Perhaps this is the afternoon to discuss full testing of evacuation plans.
In order to make informed decisions about evacuation in hills and valleys
with variable wind patterns, Traprock Peace Center asserts all schools need
radiation monitors in at least a 50-mile radius of the Vernon reactor. On
Monday seven women who went to raise this concern and others at the Entergy
Nuclear offices were arrested for tresspass. Neither Entergy spokesperson
Rob Williams, (802 258-4181) nor Community Relations staffer Larry Smith
(802 258-4118) have responded to calls requesting a meeting at another site.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005–8:30 a.m. until 12: Sub-Committee Review
of Technical Issues, including Emergency Core Cooling Pumps and the August
2004 NRC Team Inspection. Entergy is likely to argue that the inspection is
it equal to the V.T. PSB ordered Independent Engineering Assessment and many
members of the public will argue that it is far from adequate.

1 PM until the conclusion of business: Public Questions and Comment.

Thermal-Hydraulics

According to a press release from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the
ACRS Subcommittee on Thermal-Hydraulics will review the application by
Entergy Nuclear Northeast (Entergy) for an extended power uprate for the
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.

The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with
representatives of the NRC staff, their contractors, Entergy and other
interested persons regarding this matter (these interested persons include
expert witnesses for the New England Coalition). The Subcommittee will
gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate
proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the full
Committee.

Further information regarding this meeting can be obtained by contacting the
Designated Federal Official between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (ET).

For more information contact Joe Bish, Outreach and Events Coordinator for
the New England Coalition, P.O. Box 545, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
joebish@necnp.org 802-257-0336, or see

..Home

MA Guard campaign in last week; Ritter coming to WMass; NRC committee comes to VT

December 31, 2005 – Petition Update – The drive was ended by organizers as it did not have sufficient numbers to get on the ballot.

We’re on a brief break. A new newsletter will come out in January.

A. Petition Drive for the Massachusetts National Guard is in final days.
B. Scott Ritter tours CT Valley, Iraq Confidential — Dual Deception
C. Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov. 15 & 16
Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards
PUBLIC MEETING on PROPOSED VERNON REACTOR UPRATE

A. Petition Drive for the Massachusetts National Guard is in final days.
****************************************************

Volunteers are collecting signatures in the final days of a petition to put
a question on the November 2006 MA ballot. Several web-driven organizing
campaigns, including True Majority and MoveOn have joined the effort and may
help reach the required 65,000 registered voters needed to put the question
on the ballot. Organizers emphasize these pointers:

1. Registered voters sign on a page for their town only, so that voter
registration can be confirmed.
2. Voters need to sign LEGIBLY,
3. stating street address (and apartment #), NOT PO box,
4. and avoid extraneous marks on the page.
5. It is illegal to interfere with the collection of signatures.
6. Petitions can be printed directly from the website, using laser
printers. (Ink that can smear is not valid for this legal petition.)
http://www.HomeFromIraqNow.org
7. Volunteers are asked to mail in signatures this week for a tally party
in Brookline this weekend. The address is on the front of the petition.
Even one signature is worth mailing in!

B. Scott Ritter tours CT Valley, Iraq Confidential — Dual Deception
****************************************************

6:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005
Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall,
*** Amherst, Massachusetts ***

Scott Ritter, UN Weapons Inspector for seven years, was right. Disarmament
worked. Every time he speaks we learn something new. Ask your questions
about Iraq or Iran. Truth builds bridges for mutual benefit as veterans,
students, pacifists — all neighbors are invited to confer at a discussion &
reception to follow. Presentations in Shelburne Falls and Amherst are free &
open to the public. Doors at the Grace Church Parish Hall open at 6 pm.
Representatives of several Amherst peace groups will be invited to make
statement or pose a question. Donations are welcome. Reserved seating is
available by mail or online, Traprock, 103A Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342,
www.traprockpeace.org

Traprock donors support bringing Ritter’s appeals for truth in government
and truth in media to students at area high schools, radio and by web
audiences. Plans for the day include stops at area schools on Thursday.
Mohawk Regional School in Shelburne Falls will open the program to the
public at 9:15 AM. Scott Ritter’s topic will be, “Truth in the Media.” At
Frontier he will discuss, “Truth in Government.”

BACKGROUND:
With the support of donors, Traprock Peace Center began working with Ritter
in December of 2002, and prepared a radio interview with him for WMUA.
Traprock has sponsored and co-sponsored public programs and press
conferences in Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield, Deerfield, Springfield,
Boston, Wichita, Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore, and provided contact
information to many groups across the nation who have brought Ritter to
speak about disarmament in Iraq. In December, 2003, Traprock arranged for
Ritter to speak at three area high schools on the topic, “Disarmament Works,
but Requires Political Will.”

Former UNSCOM Inspector and Marine Intelligence Officer, Scott Ritter is …
a seasoned media commentator, and has been interviewed by Congressional
staff and committees as well as CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the BBC, and on such
shows as Hardball, Crossfire, Frontline, and Donahue. His assessments stem
from nearly a decade of professional on-the-ground experience in Iraq.

A former intelligence officer with professional experience of planning
military operations inside Iraq. Ritter served directly under General
Schwarzkopf during the 1991 Gulf War. Ritter can speak with unusual depth
and detail to the logistics of launching military operations. His
right-on-the-money analysis made him a Pentagon “whistleblower” during that
war, when he single-handedly refuted US military claims that it was shooting
down Scud missiles.

A recognized expert on Iraq’s program for weapons of mass destruction. In
the course of his UNSCOM career, Ritter participated in 30 weapons
inspection, 7 of them as chief inspector. The Iraqi government branded him
a “spy” for his aggressive inspection style. Before the rush to war, Ritter
addressed questions on concealment, noncompliance, and the effective
destruction of weapons and production capabilities in Iraq. Ritter explained
why he trusts surveillance and forensic sampling, not Iraqi disclosures or
the U.S. administration‚s proclamations. Working with intelligence agencies
from many nations has given him a unique perspective on the “War against
Terror.“

Author of Endgame: Solving The Iraq Problem Once And For All, and Frontier
Justice, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America.
Ritter’s writings have appeared in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Los
Angeles Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, & Arms Control Today.

————————————————-

C. Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov. 15 & 16
Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards
PUBLIC MEETING on PROPOSED VERNON REACTOR UPRATE
*************************************************

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC ‘s) Advisory Committee on
Reactor Safeguards will hold a public meeting on Entergy Nuclear’s proposal
to increase electrical output, along with profits and radioactive waste
output, at New England’s oldest operating nuclear reactor in Vernon,
Vermont. The Committee will hear public comment in the Grand Ballroom at the
Quality Inn and Suites, 1380 Putney Road, Brattleboro, Vermont, for two
days, on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 15-16, 2005.

The committee sits until 7:30 PM on both days.

WHAT’S the PROBLEM?

Increased operating temperatures and loss of a back-up cooling pump,
increased water and steam pressure and velocity, increased speed of the
rotors, excess vibration, and containment overpressure are some of the
concerns bound to be addressed.

In the past, the NRC has not allowed discussion of counterfeit, and probably
substandard parts used in the original construction. A biological organism
was found to infest and damage welds, but regulators said their provisions
concerned animal threats, not plants as threats. Indeed there are many
unanswered questions. Please bring yours, and hear an earful. This is a
tremendous opportunity to hear the details and address concerns.

This meeting is announced as the final opportunity the public to comment
before a recommendation is made to allow or NOT allow the increases.
Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, the owners of the Vernon reactor which
began operation in 1971, have been pushing for a 20 percent reactor power
boost before the Vermont Public Service Board and the NRC since February of
2003. Their effort has been stalled because the questions being asked by
regulators, interveners, legislators, town select board members, and
citizens about the suitability of the uprate have still not been answered.

Entergy Corporation is the second largest electric generating company in the
U.S., with a net value of $14 billion and over 14,000 employees. Entergy’s
application before the NRC, filed in September 2003, has required 36
amendments and has taken twice as long as expected to gain NRC technical
staff approval. Entergy has hired the giant law firm of Pillsbury,
Winthrop, Shaw, Pitman with over 900 lawyers to fend off technical and
safety challenges by interveners, the Vermont Department of Public Service,
and the New England Coalition. The Department’s Office of Public Advocacy
boasts just six attorneys and has hired outside counsel: long-time
environmental champion Anthony Roisman of Legal Scholars in Hanover, NH.
New England Coalition is represented without an attorney by its staff
advisor, Raymond Shadis.

Electronic recordings will be permitted. Signs will not be permitted in the
meeting room. Phone: 301-415-8065

Members of the public who wish to provide oral statements and/or written
comments were asked to notify a Designated Federal Official, Mr. Ralph
Caruso (Telephone: 301-415-8065) at five days prior to the meetings, and
asked to check again for schedule changes at the same number at least two
working days prior to the meeting to be advised of any potential changes to
the agenda. No evening hours were announced, substantially limiting public
comment. The agenda for the meeting was announced as follows:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005–8:30 a.m. until 12: Overview by NRC Staff ,
Sub-Committee Review of Technical Issues (including Full Transient Testing).

1 PM until the conclusion of business: Public Questions and Comment.
Perhaps this is the afternoon to discuss full testing of evacuation plans.
In order to make informed decisions about evacuation in hills and valleys
with variable wind patterns, Traprock Peace Center asserts all schools need
radiation monitors in at least a 50-mile radius of the Vernon reactor. On
Monday seven women who went to raise this concern and others at the Entergy
Nuclear offices were arrested for tresspass. Neither Entergy spokesperson
Rob Williams, (802 258-4181) nor Community Relations staffer Larry Smith
(802 258-4118) have responded to calls requesting a meeting at another site.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005–8:30 a.m. until 12: Sub-Committee Review
of Technical Issues, including Emergency Core Cooling Pumps and the August
2004 NRC Team Inspection. Entergy is likely to argue that the inspection is
it equal to the V.T. PSB ordered Independent Engineering Assessment and many
members of the public will argue that it is far from adequate.

1 PM until the conclusion of business: Public Questions and Comment.

Thermal-Hydraulics

According to a press release from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the
ACRS Subcommittee on Thermal-Hydraulics will review the application by
Entergy Nuclear Northeast (Entergy) for an extended power uprate for the
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.

The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with
representatives of the NRC staff, their contractors, Entergy and other
interested persons regarding this matter (these interested persons include
expert witnesses for the New England Coalition). The Subcommittee will
gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate
proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the full
Committee.

Further information regarding this meeting can be obtained by contacting the
Designated Federal Official between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (ET).

For more information contact Joe Bish, Outreach and Events Coordinator for
the New England Coalition, P.O. Box 545, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
joebish@necnp.org 802-257-0336, or see

..Home

DU contamination in Iraq

Traprock Homepage

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4425562.stm

November 10, 2005
BBC
UN warns on Iraq environment fate

Inspectors found much of the waste rotting and abandoned.

Derelict factories, military scrapyards and battle sites across Iraq pose a threat to the environment and to public health, the United Nations has said.

The UN Environment Program has trained Iraqi specialists in detoxification, but says any clean-up could cost up to $40m (£23m).

Chemical spills, unsecured hazardous material and pollution by depleted uranium are among the issues.

Without clean-up, heavy metals can poison ground water, causing illness.

The Unep has examined five sites as part of its training efforts, and is concerned by the results.

“There are hundreds, probably thousands of other sites with the need of assessment,” said Mural Thummarukudy, Unep’s manager in Iraq, who appealed for donations.

String of wars

Among the five sites already probed are a metal plating facility at al-Qadyissa that was bombed, looted and then demolished in 2003.

Iraqi doctors say cancer cases have increased, especially among children.

Several tons of cyanide remain on the site, which is now an unsecured area used as a playground by local children.

The other sites include an old sulphur mine, a munitions factory containing unexploded ordnance and an abandoned petrochemicals plant.

Narmin Othman, Iraq’s environment minister, said that some 311 sites were polluted by depleted uranium, the Associated Press reported.

Many of Iraq’s potential danger spots were either damaged or destroyed during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf war or the US-led invasion in 2003.

In addition, many of the sites have been looted in recent years as insurgents and militias raid them for weapons and materiel, with little thought for potential environmental effects.

Support Spreading for counter-recruitment protesters

Support spreading for counter-recruitment protesters
Hands off Dave!

By Eric Ruder | November 11, 2005 | Page 2
Reprinted with permission of Socialist Worker

DAVE AIRHART never thought that when he hung an antiwar banner on top of a climbing wall brought to his campus by military recruiters, it would land him in trouble with police and administrators at Kent State University in Ohio.

As a combat veteran who was stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, before he was honorably discharged last year, he witnessed the killing of innocent civilians and was encouraged to abuse detainees. For his service, the Marine Corps awarded him the Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

To Dave, climbing a wall and hanging a banner that said, “Kent, Ohio, for peace,” didn’t seem nearly as offensive as the combat experience the Marines had commended him for.

But the military recruiters, one of whom assaulted Dave for hanging the banner, didn’t see it that way. Neither did police who cited Dave for disorderly conduct, nor campus administrators who scheduled a November 16 disciplinary hearing to decide whether he should be suspended or expelled.

This crackdown on counter-recruitment protests is part of a pattern at campuses around the country–from Holyoke Community College in Western Massachusetts, where an activist was maced by campus security; to the City University of New York in Manhattan, where three students and a staff member were arrested last year; to San Francisco State University, where administrators and campus right-wingers went on a witch-hunt against groups that organized the protests.

But there was something else Dave hadn’t counted on–that when campus administrators targeted him for exercising his right to dissent, it would generate an energetic support campaign on campus and beyond. “I really am shocked and elated by the support,” he said.

Around the country, activists leading the struggle on this new front of the antiwar movement are also finding backing from opponents of the war hoping to see a deeper resistance develop.

At Kent, activists from the Kent State Anti-War Committee (KSAWC) sprang into action, organizing a “Hands off Dave” campaign that filled the campus with stickers, flyers and petitions about protecting the right to dissent.

“This wouldn’t have been a big deal if I had just climbed the wall and hung a banner,” said Dave. “It’s a big deal because the university has tried to discipline me. We’ve gotten a lot of outside support–from people like Howard Zinn, Cindy Sheehan and other prominent antiwar figures. And a lot of the faculty at Kent has written in and said they’d be willing to appear on my behalf at the November 16 hearing.”

KSAWC activists are already planning for a demonstration on the same day of the hearing and are spreading awareness of Dave’s case.

“Our campus paper, The Daily Kent Stater, isn’t printing any articles or opinion pieces that we have produced,” said KSAWC member Nikki Robinson. “But they’re certainly publishing the views of the other side. For example, the editorial board wrote a piece that called Dave’s action ‘a cheap stunt.’ So we’re going to make massive numbers of copies of our articles, and distribute them ourselves.

“Last week, we were going to have a large counter-recruitment action, but the Army didn’t show, even though they had a table reserved. They were MIA. So the 15 or 20 who showed up to counter-recruit went around with stickers and petitions to talk to people. This is something that’s making the war hit home and making it real. And talking to people at a table on campus, I’ve only had a couple people say I don’t want to sign. The sentiment I’m hearing is how dare Kent State punish an Iraq vet for hanging a sign against the war.

“Being part of the Campus Antiwar Network, we’re working with schools all around the U.S. that are also fighting repression. Other campuses are getting behind ‘Hands off Dave’ because it’s about the greater issue of free speech, not just an individual.”

Defend Dave Airhart by telling Kent State University President Carol Cartwright to end the disciplinary hearing–call 330-672-2210 or e-mail carol.Cartwright@kent.edu.

http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/565/565_02_HandsOffDave.shtml

Index to November 11, 2005 issue:
http://www.socialistworker.org/Storylist.shtml

To Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee

From Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
November 4, 2005

To Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee
223 Old Ferry Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302Dear Sirs,

I write to request a meeting to discuss concerns about the health
effects of the proposed uprate at the Vernon reactor. In a phone
conversation today was glad to hear your spokesperson, Mr. Williams express
concern for safety during a demonstration on Monday morning, but I suspect
that your concern for traffic safety is a bit misplaced. I don’t expect a
large group to demonstrate on a Monday morning.

I ask for a meeting to discuss with you a pressing need for radiation
monitoring equipment for all schools, and medical facilities in a 50-mile
radius of the Vernon reactor, and for all residents without cars. Mr.
Williams assures us that the industry is thoroughly regulated, but after the
fact, no NRC fines or closure of facilities will adequately address
radiation exposures during an accident. School administrators need accurate
and exact radiation monitoring on site, in order to decide whether to impose
a lock down with closure of entrances and windows at schools, and removal of
children from classrooms with windows to interior hallways and more
protected areas such as basements; or to work instead to achieve evacuation
on roads that may be veritable parking lots, when everyone who has a car
tries to leave an area at the same time. Because wind directions vary
greatly in our hills and valleys, on site monitoring at your perimeter will
be of quite limited value.

In addition we can’t trust government sources of information. For
example our understanding of the 3-day delay in evacuating women and
children after the accident at Three Mile Island; the federal government’s
long-standing traditions of brutality and misinformation during atomic
testing; and other, more recent non-disclosures of information regarding
contamination at reactors cause us to insist that we need accurate and local
access to radiation monitoring immediately.

Please meet with me and with my neighbors who share these concerns on
Monday morning. Because I fully expect that all the employees at the Vernon
reactor and Entergy Nuclear hold the welfare of our communities and our
nation in high regard, I ask that you reconsider your decision to meet with
no one on Monday morning. I am reachable by voice mail message, and will
look forward to hearing from you by phone, or in person on Monday when I
hope to visit your offices. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Sincerely,

Sunny Miller, Executive Director, 413-773-7427
(cc’d to responsible & concerned neighbors)

Urgent Appeals re: Vernon, VT Reactor

Urgent Appeals re Vernon Reactor
November, 2005

1. Direct Action: Urgent Appeals re the Vernon Reactor
2. WXOJ airs EMERGENCY EVACUATION issue Monday, 6pm
3. Why we need real-time radiation monitors: in all area schools, healthcare
facilities, & for the car-less, in a 50-mile radius.
4. What You can do
5. CALLS are urgently needed

1. Direct Action: Urgent Appeals re the Vernon Reactor

Perhaps you read the news this weekend that the NRC staff has given
preliminary approval to Entergy, moving along the process towards
Possible approval of an uprate entailing a 20% increase in electrical
output, increased operating temperatures, increased water and steam
pressures, intensified mechanical stresses and increased radioactive
emissions.

On Mon 11/7, at 10am five women from Massachusetts will make urgent appeals
to Entergy Nuclear for a thorough safety assessment of the Vernon reactor,
wider evacuation planning, and funding for real time radiation monitoring in
all schools and medical facilities a 50-mile radius. Entergy spokesman Rob
Williams says officials will not meet with us. We will go to the Entergy
offices and await their willingness to meet with us. Demonstrations of
support are welcome. There are some parking restrictions, so you may want to
carpool.

We’ll be at Entergy offices in Brattleboro, 223 Old Ferry Road.
From the valley take 91 North to Exit 3.
Go around the circle to 5North.
Proceed to first light. Turn Right onto Old Ferry Rd.
Pass food store, UPS, car dealer, to the ENTERGY Nuclear office.

2. WXOJ airs EMERGENCY EVACUATION ISSUE Monday, 6pm

103.3 FM Northampton, & at
http://www.traprockpeace.org/audio/fniplenary29oct05aimedia.mp3
51:22 minutes: 23.6 mb; 64 kbps mono

At the New England Coalition Nuclear Institute, held at the School for
International Training on Oct. 29, Ed Russell taped an important commentary
on initiatives neighbors are taking near the Pilgrim reactor in Plymouth, to
address emergency evacuation issues. (Pilgrim is also owned by Entergy
Nuclear.)

Mary Eliazbeth Lampert of Duxsbury ( http://www.pilgrimwatch.org )
explained that with help from public grants, highways have been marked to
indicate best evacuation routes. Schools and other public buildings were
assessed for their potential as radiation shelters. Wooden buildings provide
only 20% dose reduction. Masonry buildings can provide 80% shielding.
Basements and interior spaces provide the best protection. In a radiological
emergency windows provide little protection. Lampert questions the ability
of school administrators and evacuation planners to assess in advance
whether putting kids on buses and having them sit in a traffic jam will be
better than locking down a building to reduce inhalation and exposures.

Many schools are welcome centers. In the event of an emergency during school
hours, administrators must choose between protecting their students by
locking down the building to prevent radiation contamination, or opening the
doors to admit evacuees and contamination. Therefore to be prepared, new,
fully-equipped radiological evacuation centers at a great distance from each
of the nation’s reactors must be designated, staff must be designated, and
centers must be stocked with some provisions in advance.

Pilgrim area neighbors are pressing for distribution of potassium iodine
(PI) tablets to the entire, local population. We believe that since
radiation health effects are carried on the wind with no consideration for
lines on any map, distribution of PI should be nationwide, to protect
against just one of the quickest acting contaminants.

Thanks to Ed Russell of http://activeingredients.org this commentary airs at
6 pm Monday on WXOJ, 103.3 FM Northampton, and thanks to Charlie Jenks the
commentary will be posted at http://www.traprockpeace.org
Thank you NEC staff and volunteers! http://www.necnp.org
More issues at http://www.nukebusters.org

3. Why we need real-time radiation monitors:
in all area schools, healthcare facilities, for the car-less, in a 50 mile
radius — Appeal sent through Mr.Rob Williams, spokesperson, 802, 258-4181,
rwill23@entergy.com (and soon to Mr. Larry Smith, Community relations, 802
258-4118)

From Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
November 4, 2005

To Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee
223 Old Ferry Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302

Dear Sirs,

I write to request a meeting to discuss concerns about the health
effects of the proposed uprate at the Vernon reactor. In a phone
conversation today was glad to hear your spokesperson, Mr. Williams express
concern for safety during a demonstration on Monday morning, but I suspect
that your concern for traffic safety is a bit misplaced. I don’t expect a
large group to demonstrate on a Monday morning.

I ask for a meeting to discuss with you a pressing need for radiation
monitoring equipment for all schools, and medical facilities in a 50-mile
radius of the Vernon reactor, and for all residents without cars. Mr.
Williams assures us that the industry is thoroughly regulated, but after the
fact, no NRC fines or closure of facilities will adequately address
radiation exposures during an accident. School administrators need accurate
and exact radiation monitoring on site, in order to decide whether to impose
a lock down with closure of entrances and windows at schools, and removal of
children from classrooms with windows to interior hallways and more
protected areas such as basements; or to work instead to achieve evacuation
on roads that may be veritable parking lots, when everyone who has a car
tries to leave an area at the same time. Because wind directions vary
greatly in our hills and valleys, on site monitoring at your perimeter will
be of quite limited value.

In addition we can’t trust government sources of information. For
example our understanding of the 3-day delay in evacuating women and
children after the accident at Three Mile Island; the federal government’s
long-standing traditions of brutality and misinformation during atomic
testing; and other, more recent non-disclosures of information regarding
contamination at reactors cause us to insist that we need accurate and local
access to radiation monitoring immediately.

Please meet with me and with my neighbors who share these concerns on
Monday morning. Because I fully expect that all the employees at the Vernon
reactor and Entergy Nuclear hold the welfare of our communities and our
nation in high regard, I ask that you reconsider your decision to meet with
no one on Monday morning. I am reachable by voice mail message, and will
look forward to hearing from you by phone, or in person on Monday when I
hope to visit your offices. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Sincerely,

Sunny Miller, Executive Director, 413-773-7427
(cc’d to responsible & concerned neighbors)
————————————————
PS Underlying other news of the day this question remains:
What wouldn’t you do to prevent a melt-down and an evacuation?
Truth matters – Labors matter – Gifts matter
in a Neighbors’ Network to End War

For more information you can also contact

Sally Shaw, Gill acer8sac@crocker.com 413 863-4992
Nina Keller, Millers Falls ninakeller@crocker.com

4. WHAT YOU CAN DO TO URGE, INSIST, DEMAND
Of ALL LEGISLATORS, STATE AND FEDERAL

Legislators must

? immediately legislate for Research & Development to implement renewable,
clean replacement power sources
? initiate legislation to change the evacuation plans from the meager 10
mile radius to a 50-mile minimum radius
? advocate for Entergy to provide real-time radiation monitors for all
schools and healthcare facilities in a 50-mile radius of the Vernon reactor
? support health studies that analyze the increase in cancers, thyroid
disorders and immune deficiencies
? support additional studies which will test soil, water, fish and milk for
radiation
? initiate studies of radiation impacts on fish reproduction in the CT River
? immediately intervene to object to the reactor restarting with the hotter
fuel rods. The aged nuclear facility is nearing its 40-year license
termination and must not be allowed to uprate or re-license without an
in-depth, independent safety assessment as provided at Maine Yankee.

Let legislators know that

? we are a majority of constituents who want them to slow down the uprate
process until our concerns are answered
? the nuclear licensing and oversight process harms democracy: Citizens
feel disenfranchised from their rightful role in setting standards of health
and safety for industry to follow. Regarding re-licensing and uprate issues,
we feel a deep sense of frustration, loss of hope and loss of control over
our safety, property and lives.
? we are outraged that mothers & grandmothers must risk arrest in order to
bring their concerns to the industry that potentially threatens their
family’s right to health and safety.
? we demand an end to further production of highly radioactive waste until
a safe isolation system can be found that will endure for hundreds of
thousands of years.

VT. House: 802 828-2228 Senate: 802 828-2241
MA. House: 617 722-2000 Senate: 617 722-1455
NH. House: 202 225-3121 Senate: 202 224-3121
U.S. House: 202 225-3121 Senate: 202 224-3121
_________________________________________________
It is crucial that we ask local public officials to speak up about
readiness to cope with an evacuation emergency:
We can ask Healthcare Providers, Emergency Responders,
School Administrators & Nurses, Town Hall & Boards of Health.
_________________________________________________
What is your destination if there is a fire in the spent fuel pool? Will our
phones work if we ALL have urgent questions during an emergency? Who do you
know who doesn’t drive? What if you’re out of the area when your pre-teen
needs to evacuate from their soccer game in Northfield, Deerfield,
Northampton, Turners Falls? What if buses are needed in Bernardston, but
preoccupied with taking kids home on their usual routes?

5. CALLS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED

Perhaps you can call local officials to ask how one can ascertain current
Radiation levels. My local hospital emergency room has a radiation monitor.
The hard working supervisor on the night shifts invites me to call Monday
through Friday to ask Mr. Fred Callahan my questions about how many first
responders or members of the public can be decontaminated per hour. Many
calls to your federal and state legislators expressing concerns
are URGENTLY NEEDED!

Many State Legislative Representatives have written to the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission expressing concerns and reservations about the
proposal to increase risks at the Vernon reactor. They need to hear from
constituents to affirm that preventing further risks and harm are a priority
for a majority of their electorate.

Have you thanked them, or urged them to take a strong position? We require a
thorough independent safety assessment like the thorough analysis done at
Maine Yankee. We require thorough testing and inspection of components,
rather than a cursory glance at systems and abstract analysis on paper.

Summary contact info including STATE REPS:

VT. House: 802 828-2228 Senate: 802 828-2241
MA. House: 617 722-2000 Senate: 617 722-1455
NH. House: 202 225-3121 Senate: 202 224-3121
U.S. House: 202 225-3121 Senate: 202 224-3121

Some detailed contact info:

MASSACHUSETTS

Senator Edw. Kennedy… 202 224- 4543
Sen. John Kerry… 202 224- 2742

Rep. John Olver… 202 225- 5335
Rep. Richard E. Neal… 202 225- 5601
Rep. James McGovern 202 225-6101
Rep. Barney Frank 202 225- 5931
Rep. Martin Meehan 202 225-3411
John Tierney 202 225-8020
Rep. Ed Markey 202 225-2836
Rep Michael Capuano 202 225-5111
Rep. Stephen Lynch 202 225-8273
Rep. William Delahunt 202 225-3111

VERMONT

Senator Patrick J. Leahy 202-224-4242
Fax 202-224-3479 senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

Senator James M. Jeffords 202-224-5141
Fax 202-228-0776 http://jeffords.senate.gov/contact.html

Representative Bernard Sanders 202-225-4115 202-225-6790
http://www.house.gov/formbernie/forms/contact.html

New Hampshire

Senator Judd Gregg 202-224-3324
Fax 202-224-4952 http://gregg.senate.gov/sitepages/contact.cfm

Senator John Sununu 202-224-2841
Fax 202-228-4131 mailbox@sununu.senate.gov

Representative Jeb Bradley 202-225-5456
Fax 202-225-5822 http://www.house.gov/bradley/contact.html

Representative Charles F. Bass, II 202-225-5206
Fax 202-225-2946 cbass@mail.house.gov

We ask you to pick up the phone to ask your questions, locally and
nationally, of the media, of administrators, of reps, on behalf of our
families, our grandchildren, the birds & the bees, … we work for the
beloved community, and to preserve these lands, these communities we love.

Best regards,

Sunny Miller, Executive Director
413-773-7427
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
————————————–

The nuclear age is at our doorstep, knocking.
Truth matters – Gifts matter – help fund your

Neighbors’ Network to End War

Open Letter to Congressman John Olver

Attn: Kristin Wood
Economic Development Specialist for
Congressman John Olver
Kristin.Wood@mail.house.gov

Re: Constituent Concerns About Entergy Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station
Issues: Public Safety, Terrorism Susceptibility, Reliability, Inadequate Engineering Analysis

Dear Congressman Olver,

We need high-level leadership such as yours to represent the concerns and interests of our region with regard to threat to public safety and to the local economy represented by the power uprate of Entergy Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.

This is a real threat to the region, not simply a typical political concern. To make a difference is a challenge, but to have a chance of making a difference, we need your involvement.

As an energy engineer who has personally reviewed the limited inspection report provided on the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Reactor and as a citizen living in the 10 mile evacuation zone of the reactor, I and my family are very concerned about the changes that are proposed at the reactor.

There are a host of concerns with the proposed uprate. It is our understanding that:

• A 20% power increase, even accomplished in two steps, is an extreme uprate. Most uprates have been accomplished in smaller steps and been for a smaller increase.
• An increase in power output requires more steam/water to be passed through the system at a faster rate; this subjects all components to greatly increased stresses and vibrations. These effects can lead to making parts break off or to breaking of pipes which can cause major malfunctions in the rest of the power station.
• Operation under uprate shortens time available for operator response and increases the likelihood of a malfunction due to operator error.
• The limited inspection review provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was inadequate. Information and analyses provided by Entergy were incomplete and inadequate. Vermont state legislator Steve Darrow said that Entergy gave evasive answers to questions asked. He testified at Vermont Public Service Board hearing that Entergy is gaming the process.
• The recent fueling of the nuclear reactor with more highly enriched uranium in advance of completion of the uprate approval process and prior to a ruling by the Vermont Public Service Board on the acceptability of the inspection report is unacceptable.
• Instead of providing a comprehensive analysis of the ability of components to handle the increased stresses, the NRC is proposing to allow Entergy to stress test components during the process of ramping up the power level. We hold that such an experimental approach to assessing the operation represents an irresponsible approach and an unacceptable risk.
• David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists said that such experiments belong in a laboratory, not in communities.
• We are aware that similar uprates at other reactors of this type have caused costly shutdowns due to potentially dangerous steam dryer cracking and valve jamming. Cracks are known to exist in VY’s steam dryers, which are identical to the Quad Cities unit that failed in Illinois.
• In addition, the Entergy request to run the ENVY reactor at containment overpressure is a potentially dangerous and operationally confusing condition that puts the public at risk.
• It may be seen that in addition to safety concerns, the power uprate will reduce the reliability of existing power production at the reactor.
• We are concerned to read in the March 22, 2005 Federal Register that Entergy is no longer reequired to report annual occupational radiation exposure for its workers. This suggests relaxation of safety standards for public and workers alike at a time when risks of harm are heightened by the uprate..

We call on Congressman Olver:

• To call on the NRC to require a comprehensive Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) using the same methodology and scope as that applied to Maine Yankee Reactor. I call on the Congressman to enlist the Vermont congressional delegation (Jeffords, Sanders, Leahy) to stop the uprate until such a study is completed and to assert the inadequacy of the inspection report that the NRC provided.
• To request the GAO (General Accounting Office) to investigate the adequacy of the NRC’s streamlined inspection which they substituted for a safety assessment. We question whether the NRC in, using the streamlined inspection process in this case, is meeting its responsibility to protect the public from unnecessary radiation exposure. The Independent Safety Assessment process as used at the Maine Yankee reactor uncovered many deficiencies that the NRC’s current process would never address or reveal. We feel our children deserve the same protections as Maine’s children.
• We call on the Congressman to work with the Vermont delegation to make the Entergy parent company financially responsible for the on-site storage nuclear waste expenses for as long as the waste remains on the site.

We further call on Congressman Olver to write to the Vermont Public Service Board and deliver the following message:

1. We call on the Vermont Public Service Board to reject the NRC’s inspection report as inadequate to meet the VPSB’s requirement for an independent engineering assessment.

2. We urge the Vermont Public Service Board to rescind its conditional approval of the power increase until an adequate report is provided and its results are evaluated and subjected to public scrutiny.

3. If added on-site storage is to be allowed at all, we make a call on the Vermont Public Service Board to require hardened on-site storage (using concrete and steel structures around each waste module, enclosing them in protective mounds, and with waste modules spread further apart). If this storage system is inadequately designed and constructed, then future generations may end up bearing the economic and societal burden associated with protecting the site and preventing any malfunction while reaping none of the benefits.

4. We call on the PSB to consider health concerns and related costs to the state, local agriculture and business economies which would be adversely affected by an accident or technical problem leading to added releases of radiation to the area. We also perceive the power uprate as reducing the reliability of existing power production at the reactor.

5. We call on the Vermont Public Service Board to make the Entergy parent company financially responsible for the on-site storage nuclear waste expenses for as long as the waste remains on the site.

The address for the Vermont Public Service Board is:

Vermont Public Service Board
Chittenden Bank Building
112 State Street
Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05620-2701
clerk@psb.state.vt.us

Please write to the Vermont Public Service Board to emphasize our continued concerns about the Entergy-VT Yankee nuclear power reactor. As citizens living within the 10-mile evacuation zone, we write to express our concerns.

Iraq vet arrested at protest of military recruiters – “We won’t let students be vulnerable”

Iraq vet arrested at protest of military recruiters
“We won’t let students be vulnerable”

By Nicole Colson | November 4, 2005 | Page 12 – Socialist Worker Online

“I CAME to Kent State because I figured that Kent is the total opposite of what the military is like.” But Kent State University student, former Marine and antiwar activist Dave Airhart was in for a shock when his involvement in a protest against military recruiters on campus last month left him with fines and facing possible disciplinary action at school.

On October 19, Airhart, a member of the Kent State Anti-War Committee (KSAWC), took part in a protest against the recruiters, who had set up a rock-climbing wall on campus to help entice students to talk to them. The recruiters weren’t prepared when Airhart–who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay before leaving the military in 2004–scaled the wall and hung a banner reading “Kent, Ohio for Peace.”

“They sent an Army recruiter up to get me, so I climbed down the back of the wall and I also had to take off my harness to do that,” explained Airhart. “Those two things are what they said ‘endangered me.’ They also said that I endangered others, because they claim that I could have made the wall fall over.”

When police showed up 10 minutes later, Airhart was briefly detained, and then given a $105 ticket for disorderly conduct. “I’m also in trouble with the university,” he explained. “I might get expelled or suspended for a couple of semesters.”

But while Airhart faces a November 16 disciplinary hearing, Kent State administrators stayed silent about the fact that one of the recruiters assaulted him–grabbing his shirt and trying to yank him off the wall as he was climbing down. Additionally, says Airhart, Kent’s own anti-discrimination policy prohibits the military from setting foot onto campus.

“I guess I didn’t realize how much Kent State values the military recruiters,” said Airhart. “It’s sad because they’re putting an entire campus in danger, and they’re allowing Kent State to be used as a supplier of bodies to be sent over to Iraq.”

Airhart knows firsthand what students who are recruited may face in the military. Against the war from the beginning, he explained that during his time in Iraq, “not all, but most of the casualties I saw were civilian casualties. Children, women, elderly. Mostly civilians… Also, I’d say 90 percent of the casualties inflicted on my unit were from friendly fire–mostly close air support, bombing raids that would end up killing more of us and more civilians than it would kill insurgents.”

When he served in Guantánamo, Airhart said that part of his job included transporting prisoners from the airport to the prison camp. “There was a school bus that we had taken the seats out of,” he said. “We’d put them on the school bus, and drive them back to Camp X-Ray…

“We were encouraged by our officers to be extremely brutal and violent with [the prisoners]. Even if they made the slightest movement, like maybe they moved their finger or took too deep of a breath, we were told to kick them in different sensitive areas, like their ribs. A lot of times they were just beaten for entertainment purposes.”

Now, Airhart is one of a growing chorus of voices on campuses across the country speaking out to say that not one more person should be sent to kill and be killed for oil and empire.

Prominent activists, including Howard Zinn and war resisters Pablo Paredes and Camilo Mejía have risen to Airhart’s defense. “Surely, the memory of that shameful episode at Kent State in 1970 would be enough to make the university administration sensitive to unjust wars and the right of protest,” Zinn wrote in a recent letter to Kent State President Carol Cartwright. “A university should not be subservient to government, or the military, especially where an immoral war is taking the lives of so many people here and abroad. And a university should protect its students, not punish them, for engaging in that honored American tradition of protest against injustice.”

As Paredes said in a statement, “Dave Airhart did not climb a playful climbing wall, he climbed an unwelcome mountain of military exploitation of our youth, and upon conquering it, rightfully and courageously reclaimed his campus, placing his flag of dissent atop a symbol of deceit.”

Airhart says that the administration is mistaken if it thinks it can silence him–or other antiwar voices on campus. “If Kent thinks that KSAWC are going to back off–if they’re going to try and make me an example–they’re wrong,” said Airhart. “We’re trying to make Kent a better place. We’re trying to make the students safer by not allowing them to be vulnerable to be recruited and sent over to Iraq.”

Defend Dave Airhart–call Kent State University President Carol Cartwright at 330-672-2210 or e-mail Carol.cartwright@kent.edu.

Read statements in support of Dave on the Web at www.traprockpeace.org/kent_state_students/

Republished with permission from Socialist Worker
http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/564/564_12_Kent.shtml

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