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PRESS RELEASE

Campaign Launched to Commit Massachusetts to 100% Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
Monday, February 13, 2017

Clean energy supporters in Massachusetts announced legislation backed by more than a quarter of the state legislature committing Massachusetts to obtaining 100 percent of its energy needs from clean and renewable sources by mid-century.

The legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker and in the Senate by Senator Jamie Eldridge, establishes targets for Massachusetts to meet its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2035 and all of its energy needs, including heating and transportation, from renewable sources by 2050.

Read more

 


 

COOPER: "NUCLEAR WAR AGAINST THE FUTURE" MAY DELAY … BUT WILL NOT STOP … THE RISE OF RENEWABLES, ENERGY EFFICIENCY, AND 21ST CENTURY TECHNOLOGY

Expert: Pandering to Nuclear in EPA Clean Power Plan, IL and NY Bailouts of Exelon, and FirstEnergy Reactor Prop-up Plan in OH, Only Postpone the Transformation of the Electricity Sector… at Considerable Expense to Ratepayers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 17, 2015 – The 20th Century model of large baseload electricity generation, including nuclear reactors, is in an irreversible decline in the face of the emerging 21st Century decentralized power model relying on renewables, energy efficiency, and technology-based demand management, according to a new report by Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School.

The Cooper report, "Power Shift: The Deployment of a 21st Century Electricity Sector and the Nuclear War to Stop It," is available online at
http://www-assets.vermontlaw.edu/Assets/iee/Power_Shift_Mark_Cooper_June_2015.PDF.

Read more: http://216.30.191.148/nuclearwaronfuture/release.html

 


 

PRESS RELEASE

May 22, 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Massachusetts Downwinders and Cape Downwinders

CONTACT: Diane Turco- (508) 776-3132 or tturco@comcast.net

 

AN ACCIDENT AT THE PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION COULD FORCE PEOPLE TO RELOCATE

BOSTON, MA - If a nuclear accident occurred at Pilgrim it is likely those areas contaminated with high levels of radiation will be relocated, including "swaths of Boston". This was the message from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at a meeting set up by Governor Bakerʼs office. Members of MA/Cape Downwinders met with MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EEA) Legislative Director C. Stolle Singleton, and Assistant Secretary for Environment Daniel Sieger to address concerns about public safety and the dangers of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. Citizens called for closing Pilgrim as the primary means to assure public safety. Representative Sarah Peake and Senior Advisor for Senator Wolf, Seth Rolbein also attended. Sean O'Brien, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee audited the meeting.

Five Downwinders made presentations that ranged from citing flaws in the current planning, degraded conditions at Pilgrim as document by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), similar concerns expressed by New York and Vermont Governors and officials as well as past Mass Governors and officials, the arbitrary 10 mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) which is the limit of where evacuation is the theoretical prescribed protective action vs. the historical examples of 18.6 and 24 mile evacuated areas at Chernobyl and Fukushima respectively, to the moral argument that it's a risk just too great to take. Senator Wolf's Senior Chief Advisor Seth Rolbein and Representative Sarah Peake supported those concerns.

Sheila Parks of On Behalf of Planet Earth states, "When a nuclear accident occurs there is no way to fix the disaster. The end result is unimaginable. Land becomes uninhabitable and people may never be able to return home".

This past winter's Nor'easter Juno, Pilgrim's Loss Of Offsite Power (LOOP), the resultant automatic emergency shutdown with complications due to equipment failures and malfunctions, and the NRC's immediate deployment of a Special Inspection team to Pilgrim was the springboard for this meeting. MEMA Director Schwartz acknowledged that:

1.) prior to the storm MEMA had concerns about Pilgrim procedures that they made the NRC aware of.

2.) current Pilgrim Emergency Preparedness planning does not account for severe weather events that make travel conditions and evacuation too dangerous or impossible and needs to be incorporated into planning.

3.) the second phase of improving Cape Cod's nuclear preparedness is overdue, the first phase being the 2013 Telephone Survey that revealed hundreds of thousands of Cape Cod residents will be trapped unprotected in gridlock and in that light a condition that current emergency resources on Cape Cod are not equipped to fully cope with.

4.) under certain conditions, like Cape Cod, "swaths of Boston" may need to be relocated after being contaminated with radiation. Diane Turco of Cape/MA Downwinders states "As stakeholders, we should have a voice in this matter. Public policy should reflect the real needs of the people for protection by removing the threat to us all, not planning to forcibly and permanently relocate people."

The Downwinders requested the following of the Commonwealth:

  • Convene a committee to investigate the January 26, 2015 Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station-NRC 95002 Supplemental Inspection Report 05000293/2014008 and the soon to be released report by the special inspection team which investigated the emergency shutdown caused by the winter storm Juno on January 27, 2015.
  • Reverse approval of the current generic, one size fits all Pilgrim Emergency Preparedness Plans because public safety is not assured.
  • Acknowledge and act on the concerns of the twenty Cape and Islands towns and the growing number of concerned citizens across the State with the request to the NRC to uphold their mandate to protect the public health and safety and REVOKE the operating license of Entergy/Pilgrim.

MEMA and EEA state officials will take their impressions and findings back to Governor Baker for his evaluation and a direction going forward.
A follow up meeting with Governor Baker is expected.

 

 


Entergy compromising safety and security and hiding dangerous financial losses

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2014

 

Contact Persons:

Deb Katz, Citizens Awareness Network: 413-339-5781/ 413-834-3280

Tim Judson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service: 212-729-1169

Jessica Azulay, Alliance for a Green Economy: 315-480-1515

Mary Lampert, Pilgrim Watch: 781-934-0389

 

VT/MA/NY—Watchdogs in three states told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently that nuclear operator Entergy Nuclear should not be allowed to obscure financial problems at its struggling nuclear reactors because public safety is at stake. The groups reiterated their request that the nation's nuclear regulator enforce its rules and shut down reactors that do not earn enough revenue to cover operating expenses.

Read more:

/cms-assets/documents/185872-670904.press-release-10232014.pdf

 


 

CAN Statement on Citizens Advisory Panel on Vermont Yankee Appointments

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2014

Contact Person: Deb Katz, Citizens Awareness Network, 413-339-5781

 

Statement of Deb Katz, Executive Director, Citizens Awareness Network, on appointments to the Citizens Advisory Panel

"The creation of a Citizens Advisory Panel for the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee by the state of Vermont is an important step. It provides greater transparency and a more democratic process for the citizens of the tri-state community. It sets an important precedent."

BACKGROUND: Communities affected by nuclear facilities should have the ability to participate in matters that affect them. Citizens need a substantive role in order to clarify, negotiate and protect their community's interests. A Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP) can be a mechanism to ensure greater community participation. The CAP will meet regularly to give meaningful input into decisions concerning health and safety. The CAP will function to educate their communities to the technology that exists in their neighborhood and its effects and advocate for their communities interests with regulators and corporations. Although the CAP is relevant to all stages of nuclear power production, it is especially relevant to site cleanup.

The CAP was created with language in the appropriations bill during the 2014 legislative session, restructuring an already-existing panel (VSNAP) to this new purpose.

A factsheet on the CAP's purview and responsibilities can be found here: http://www.vtcitizen.org/cms-assets/documents/165273-527670.cap-factsheet-and-legislation.pdf

 


 

Statement by The Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance regarding the PSB's decision to grant a Certificate of Public Good to Vermont Yankee

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2014
 

The Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance has been working to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for over 40 years. The decision on Friday, March 28, 2014 by the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) moves us a significant step closer to the closure of Vermont Yankee and the beginning of its decommissioning.

We commend the PSB for addressing Entergy’s history of untrustworthiness. Additionally, the PSB addressed some of our concerns regarding Entergy by over-ruling a number of Entergy’s remaining objections. The PSB rejected Entergy’s claims for full federal preemption citing a US Supreme Court precedent and asserted dual jurisdiction over areas not involving radiological safety.

We appreciate that by granting the Certificate Public Good (CPG) conditioned on the Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by the state and Entergy the PSB expects Entergy to live up to the commitments signed in the settlement with the state of Vermont. Our concerns remain the expedited transfer of the dangerous, irradiated spent fuel rods from the pool into dry cask storage; protection of the workers and the community throughout the decommissioning process; continued thermal discharge into the Connecticut River; the creation of a citizen’s advisory board and finally, the shortfall of decommissioning funds.

We are thankful to all the intervening parties and citizen activists who persevered through decades of struggle to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. We continue to be wary of Entergy Nuclear.  Though we are in new stage of endeavor, there remains a critical need for continued public vigilance for a safe, thorough and responsible decommissioning process leading to the final restoration of the site.

 


 

Statement of Citizens Awareness Network on Vermont Yankee Certificate of Public Good

For Immediate Release: March 28, 2014

Contact Person:
Deb Katz, Executive Director, Citizens Awareness Network, 413-339-5781 / deb@nukebusters.org

Citizens Awareness Network supports the Public Service Board's decision to grant approval of the amended CPG that supports in total the Memorandum of Understanding reached between the State of Vermont and Entergy. While many have serious concerns about Entergy and its ability to live up to its commitments, the settlement reached between the state and Entergy is precedent setting. It is now up to the corporation to live up to its commitments and work constructively with the state of Vermont to achieve a safe and responsible decommissioning of the plant.

This agreement is also important because it mitigates the the impact on Vermont Yankee's workforce that would have almost certainly faced greater hardship without this agreement. We're relieved that Entergy has committed to the expedited removal of the high level waste from its fuel pool upon closure. With closure the fuel pool remains the most significant safety related issue facing the community.

The work is not over. Serious questions remain concerning the adequacy of the decommissioning fund. We also believe it is essential that a Citizen Advisory Board is established to create as democratic and transparent a process as possible for on going decommissioning activities.

 


 

Petition Challenging Entergy's Financial Qualifications to Operate FitzPatrick, Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim

On March 18, 2013, CAN joined with nuclear watchdogs in Massachusetts and Vermont to file an emergency enforcement petition against Entergy and three of its subsidiaries for failing to meet the NRC's financial qualifications requirements. According to predictions from the financial services firm UBS, FitzPatrick and Vermont Yankee are operating at a loss. The same might be true of the Pilgrim reactor, though no specific UBS analysis on the plant has been released. NRC regulations require companies to be financially qualified to operate their reactors so as to avoid a conflict between profit and safety. On April 23, 2013, the petitioners filed a supplement after discovering plant-specific profit and loss predictions from UBS.

Entergy Financial Qualifications Petition
Entergy Financial Qualifications Supplement 1 - filed after new detailed information came out about the finances at the plants
Entergy Financial Qualification Supplement 4 - update after the announced closure of Vermont Yankee


On May 7, 2013, CAN and other petitioners met with the NRC petition review board to discuss the petition. After the meeting, we submitted further supplements to the petition:
Supplement 2 - Answers to NRC Petition Review Board Questions
Supplement 3 - Recent developments in Entergy's finances, which further make the case against Entergy's financial qualifications
Entergy's 2nd Quarter Earnings Report
Entergy announces layoffs across the company
Mark Cooper Report on nuclear closures and risk factors for FitzPatrick and other plants

On August 8, 2013 CAN and other petitioners were notified that the NRC Petition Review Board had accepted the petition for review by the NRC. The petition now awaits a determination by the Director of Nuclear Reactor Regulation at NRC.
August 8 letter and federal register notice from NRC 

Increased Unreliability and Condenser Issues at FitzPatrick

In the second half of 2012, we began noting an alarming trend of emergency shutdowns and unplanned power changes at FitzPatrick, mostly stemming from unreliable equipment.
See AGREE's analysis from December 2012

As the problems worsened at FitzPatrick, CAN joined a Union of Concerned Scientists emergency enforcement petition filed on July 25, 2013, seeking an NRC requirement that FitzPatrick's condenser be replaced by the end of the next refueling outage in 2014. The petition details the growing problem with FitzPatrick's condenser and how it is contributing to dangerous plant instability. It also shows how FitzPatrick has become an outlier in the industry on condenser related events.

2.206 Petition on FitzPatrick's Condenser

See also the latest industry trends report from the NRC and the latest performance indicators report about FitzPatrick to compare how FitzPatrick compares to other reactors in the United States on a number of performance criteria. We note that FitzPatrick is an industry outlier on Emergency Scrams, Unplanned Power Changes and System Safety Functional Failures.



 

Environmental Leaders and Public Comments Reflect

Growing Opposition to Proposed Fracked Gas Pipeline Extension

For immediate release

November 18, 2013

Contact: Paul Burns, VPIRG 802-793-1985 (cell)

Montpelier, VTSiding with the overwhelming majority of public comments submitted to the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB), many of the state’s leading environmental groups announced today that they too oppose a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) for the proposed fracked gas pipeline extension.

To date, the public has submitted roughly 2,000 comments to the PSB about the controversial Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) proposal to build new pipeline infrastructure through Addison County. A careful review by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) found more than 96 percent of the comments submitted so far were from Vermonters opposed to the plan.

Read more...



  

Entergy’s Nuclear Limbo Threatens Public Safety

For immediate release

October 23, 2013

Contact: Deb Katz, Citizens Awareness Network 4213 339 5781, Chris Williams VT Citizens Action Network, 802 767 9131, Jessica Azulay, Alliance for a Green Economy (315) 480-1515

Entergy, the corporation that owns the troubled Vermont Yankee, FitzPatrick and Pilgrim nuclear reactors is cutting the workforce, failing to invest in key equipment, and showing increasing indecision about keeping its reactors running. Entergy’s uncertainty creates a unique safety hazard, and nuclear watchdogs have asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to expand an investigation into how the plants economic problems impact public safety. The request is a supplement to a petition accepted for investigation by the NRC by Citizens Awareness Network, Vermont Citizens Action Network, Alliance for a Green Economy, and Pilgrim Watch.

Read more…

/cms-assets/documents/137444-687323.20131023-press-release-vy.pdf

 


 

For Immediate Release – August 27, 2013 

Contact Persons:

Deb Katz, Vermont Citizens Action Network – 413-339-5781

Chris Williams, Vermont Citizens Action Network - 802-767-9131

Amy Shollenberger – 802-793-1114

 

Statement of Deb Katz, VCAN on Entergy’s Decision to Close Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

“We applaud Entergy’s decision to shut down an aging nuclear power plant, rather than to push it past its limits. We appreciate their commitment for planning for a safe and orderly shutdown. We will remain vigilant to ensure that the decommissioning is done responsibly and in the safest way possible. Today, we celebrate this milestone in our work to end nuclear power generation in the Northeast and to foster a renewable energy future. This is a win for the people. Their relentless work has made the closure of Vermont Yankee possible. We thank all who have worked to make this day happen, especially the state of Vermont for its perseverance on this issue.”

Click here 

VCAN is a 501c4 organization dedicated to building a renewable energy future for Vermont and the Northeast. More information can be found at http://www.vtcitizen.org/index.shtml


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NRC Accepts Petition Challenging Entegy's Northeast Nuclear Operations

Nuclear Watchdogs Call for Swift Enforcement

 

August 9, 2013

 

Contact:

Deb Katz, Citizens Awareness Network: (413) 339-5781

Tim Judson, Citizens Awareness Network: (212) 729-1169

Jessica Azulay, Alliance for a Green Economy: (315) 480-1515

Mary Lampert, Pilgrim Watch: (781) 934-0389

Chris Williams, Vermont Citizens Action Network: (802) 767-9131

 

 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has officially ruled that a petition filed against Entergy by concerned citizens in three states will move forward. The petition challenges Entergy's ability to operate the FitzPatrick, Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim nuclear power plants safely. Watchdog groups argue that Entergy no longer meets NRC’s minimum financial standards for operating reactors.

Read more

 

 


  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Watchdogs Say Entergy Not Qualified to Operate Reactors

March 18, 2013

Contact:
Tim Judson, Citizens Awareness Network: (212) 729-1169
Jessica Azulay, Alliance for a Green Economy: (315) 480-1515
Deb Katz, Citizens Awareness Network: ( 413) 339-5781 
Mary Lampert, Pilgrim Watch: ( 781) 934-0389

It's not often that anti-nuclear activists concern themselves with a nuclear company's financial troubles. But in the case of Entergy Nuclear Operations, which has seen consecutive negative financial reports that some of its reactors are losing money, activists are getting involved, pointing to a dangerous conflict between financial viability and nuclear safety.

Groups in three states are calling on the Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) to enforce its regulations, which require nuclear companies to be “financially qualified” to operate and maintain nuclear reactors safely. The groups filed a petition with the NRC this morning, calling on the agency to shut down two Entergy-owned atomic reactors in the Northeast, and investigate a third, because the company's financial troubles compromise nuclear safety.

"Entergy's financial problems must not become nuclear safety problems," said Tim Judson, president of Citizens' Awareness Network and author of the petition. "Unfortunately, that may already be happening, and the NRC must act now. Entergy is in this business to make a profit, and the pressure on the company to cut costs, delay maintenance, and drive these plants to the edge is just too great," continued Judson.  "NRC has 'financial qualifications' requirements for exactly this reason, and Entergy is no longer fit to operate these plants. NRC must shut these plants now so the smoking gun is not an evacuation siren."

The petition states that Entergy is no longer financially qualified to operate the James A. FitzPatrick reactor near Oswego, New York on Lake Ontario and the Vermont Yankee reactor in Vernon, Vermont. The petition asks the NRC to investigate Entergy's qualifications to operate the Pilgrim reactor in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod Bay. Groups filing the petition are Citizens Awareness Network (Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York), Alliance for a Green Economy (New York), Pilgrim Watch (Massachusetts), and Vermont Citizens Action Network (Vermont).

Recent analyses by the financial services company UBS have stated that Entergy is losing money on FitzPatrick and Vermont Yankee and predicts that the company may close one or both of those reactors in the near future to improve its financial viability. UBS additionally reports that Pilgrim may also be losing money and at risk of closure. In February, UBS downgraded Entergy's stock from “neutral” to “sell.”

Mary Lampert of Pilgrim Watch stated, “All antiques are expensive; you can't run reactors on the cheap without jeopardizing public health, safety and property.”

The petition points to a litany of recent equipment failures and emergency shutdowns at the plants and asks the NRC to determine whether there is a connection between these failures and Entergy's economic issues. For instance, FitzPatrick has seen an above average number of equipment problems in recent months, including condenser fouling and tube leaks, a transformer fire, and a problem with the turbine control system. Pilgrim also has seen a number of equipment failures. Its scram valve failed in March for the second time it failed in the last two months. The petition also points to a number of expensive upgrades the plants will need in coming years due to their age. Vermont Yankee and FitzPatrick will both need a new condenser, which could cost approximately $150 million each. Pilgrim’s spent fuel pool is at maximum capacity and dry cask storage is now required at a huge expense to Entergy. All three plants are Fukushima-style Mark I Boiling Water Reactors and will be required by the NRC to install potentially expensive upgrades in the next few years.

“The bad news is that there really is a conflict here between public safety and Entergy's short-term bottom line for these particular nuclear reactors, since good maintenance of equipment and safety upgrades cost money,” said Jessica Azulay, organizer with the Syracuse-based Alliance for a Green Economy. “The good news is that there is no tension between what would be good for the public and what would be good for Entergy as a whole, since UBS says these plants are dragging down the whole fleet and that Entergy could put itself on much better economic footing by closing them. We believe it is in everyone's interests for the NRC to force Entergy to cut its losses and to prevent the company from running these plants into the ground. If NRC will not enforce its regulations, we would hope Entergy shareholders would do the right thing here.”

Entergy's financial issues are caused in part by lower market prices for electricity in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts than when the company acquired its Northeast nuclear fleet. At the time, Entergy relied on Power Purchase Agreements to show it would be financially qualified to operate the reactors. Entergy entered into Power Purchase Agreements with the plants’ original owners to guarantee a set price for Entergy's electricity regardless of the market price. As detailed in the groups' petition to the NRC, with the expiration of those agreements, Entergy is unable to turn a profit on these reactors, and is no longer financially qualified to operate them.

"With Entergy's systemic mismanagement of Vermont Yankee including the cooling tower collapse, delayed maintenance, groundwater contamination and its routine reneging on commitments it made when it purchased the reactor, the  questions raised by UBS about the financial viability of Vermont Yankee and other reactors in Entergy's fleet are of great concern," said Deb Katz, executive director of CAN.  "As a merchant plant with no ratebase to return to for financial security, Entergy's bottom line overshadows Vermont Yankee's operation. The unnerving tension between profit  and safe operation of its aging reactor fleet requires NRC to act to protect the public health and safety."

Whether or not NRC grants the petition, the possibility that Entergy may close these plants to save its own bottom line means that state and local policy makers need to put in place a transition plan that protects workers' rights, provides for comprehensive decommissioning and isolation of radioactive waste, and encourages replacement with renewable energy sources.

 

Resources

Full text of the 2.206 Petition to NRC:
http://allianceforagreeneconomy.org/sites/default/files/2206_FitzPatrick-Pilgrim-VY.pdf

UBS reports:
http://vtdigger.org/2013/02/20/ubs-downgrades-entergy-corporation-stock-urges-investors-to-sell/
http://www.clf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ETR_010213-Nuke.pdf
http://www.clf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ETR_020313-MgmtMeet.pdf

Petitioner Websites:
Citizens Awareness Network – www.nukebusters.org
Alliance for a Green Economy – www.agreenewyork.org
Vermont Citizens Awareness Network – www.vcitizen.org
Pilgrim Watch – www.pilgrimwatch.org

 

 


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 7, 2013

 

CONTACT:

Elektra Gray, egray@demos.org(212) 485-6014

  

Federal Appeals Court Rules In Brodsky v. NRC; Reverses Lower Court Decision
Plaintiffs, Brodsky, RFK Jr., and Activists Hail Decision

 

WESTCHESTER, NY -Brodsky v. NRC is the federal litigation challenging the NRC's practice of  issuing "exemptions" to its own health and safety regulations at Indian Point, and to do so in complete secrecy.  The plaintiffs argued that Federal law requires the NRC to notify and involve the public before it allows Entergy to violate NRC health and safety requirements. Yesterday the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued its' decision on the matters argued last May in New York City.  The Court agreed with the plaintiffs, and expressed grave concern about the NRC's ongoing practice of making safety decisions in secret. A copy of the 2nd Circuit decision is available here

The Appeals Court remanded the case to the District Court and required the NRC to appear and explain why public participation was "inappropriate or impracticable."

In other words, the Court has created a new legal standard and legal presumption in favor of public participation in "exemption" decisions. From now on the NRC must permit public participation or explain why it's not going to do so.  This is a substantial victory because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such secret "exemptions" at Indian Point and at other reactors across the country which have weakened or evaded safety and health requirements.  It's now possible to seek an accounting of those "exemptions" and challenge many of them.

The particular Indian Point "exemption" challenged in Brodsky v. NRC dealt with fire safety.  NRC Rules require that the electric cables that control reactor shutdown in an emergency have fire insulation that lasts one hour.  When tested, the insulation at Indian Point (and elsewhere) lasted 27 minutes.  Rather than require Entergy to upgrade the insulation to meet the one hour requirement the NRC, at Entergy's request, issued an "exemption" that lowered the requirement to 24 minutes.  It did so without notifying the public of its consideration of Entergy's application, or permitting the public to comment, or participate, or attend a public hearing.

By ending the secrecy of the "exemption" process the Court has created two important dynamics.  First, it will be difficult if not impossible for the NRC to continue to use secrecy as a shield for decisions that are at best controversial and at worst truly dangerous.  Second, we can begin to examine the true extent of "exemptions" at Indian Point and scores of other reactors.  Both are important parts of making the NRC a fair and effective regulator.

Plaintiffs had also challenged the Indian Point "exemptions" as violations of other laws as well.  While the 2nd Circuit declined to agree on some of those matters, plaintiffs are pleased that the core of their concerns have been favorably addressed.  Plaintiffs will continue to vigorously participate in the continuing litigation.

The coalition that brought the litigation included the Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter and Westchester's Citizens Awareness Network (Westcan), whose steadiness and support were crucial.  The plaintiffs are appreciative of the intervention of then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whose early concern about this issue was noted by the Court.

 

Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy said, "This 2nd Circuit decision in Brodsky v NRC is a turning point in our long-running struggle to end the collusion between the NRC and the nuclear industry. It will both protect and involve the public in key NRC health and safety decisions.  Our primary concern has always been public health and safety, nowhere more important than with an Indian Point reactor with the worst health and safety record in the nation and located 28 miles from New York City."

Hamilton Fish, a Board Member of the leading environmental organization Riverkeeper said, "This is a real victory for public safety and transparency in the critical area of nuclear oversight from a court  celebrated for its commitment to free speech and the first amendment." 

Marilyn Elie, President of Plaintiff WestCan said, "This is a victory for transparency in government and due process.  It makes it possible for people to have a voice in important nuclear decisions in their community and helps hold the NRC accountable for protecting public health and safety, something it hasn't done in years."

Annie Wilson, former Chair of the Energy Committee of Plaintiff Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter and Energy Co-Chair of Sierra NYC said, "These dangerous 'exemptions' can no longer be handed out in secret.  We're very pleased with the Court decision."

 

Below are excerpts from the decision.

The NRC must "supplement the administrative record to explain why allowing public input into the exemption request was inappropriate or impracticable."  

The failed fire insulation at Indian Point was a "degradation of defense-in-depth fire protection and safe shut down in the event of a significant fire".

The NRC is bound by the requirement that "federal agencies examine and disclose the potential environmental impacts of projects before allowing them to proceed, which process “must involve the public."  

"public scrutiny [i]s an “essential” part" of NRC actions, which "must insure that environmental information is available to public officials and citizens before decisions are made and before actions are taken."  

"The record before us fails to provide any agency explanation for why no public participation was deemed practicable or appropriate with respect to the challenged exemption  case.” and is "devoid of any evidence of public input on Entergy’s exemption request, and with no explanation by the NRC of its decision not to afford public participation of any kind."

  

Richard Brodsky is a former NYS Assemblyman who is currently a Senior Fellow at the progressive think tank Demos in NYC and at the NYU Wagner School for Public Service.

 

  


 

 

Leading Environmental Groups Slam Proposed

Moratorium on Renewable Wind Energy

Montpelier, VT – A proposed three-year moratorium on renewable wind energy development in Vermont was roundly criticized today by some of Vermont’s leading environmental organizations.  Groups including the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Conservation Law Foundation, 350Vermont, Sierra Club Vermont Chapter, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Citizens Awareness Network, National Wildlife Federation’s Northeast Regional Center, and the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance all came out strongly against a moratorium bill introduced by state senators Joe Benning and Bob Hartwell.

“With storms like Irene and Sandy still fresh in our minds, and 2012 having broken all sorts of records for heat, droughts and floods, this is no time to retreat from Vermont’s commitment to clean energy,” said Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG.

“We are in the process of creating a paradigm shift in the way we generate energy,” said Deb Katz, executive director of Citizens Awareness Network. “This shift requires a commitment to a sustainable energy future; we cannot allow fear or doubt to weaken our resolve.”

Click here for the full press release.

 


 

November 17, 2012

Nuclear Free Future For Vermont

VT's Energy Future is VT's Choice - NO CPG for VT Yankee!

A coalition of groups will hold a rally in Montpelier to support state's rights and make clear that Vermonters want Entergy to close Vermont Yankee and decommission it responsibly. The groups support the Public Service Board's right to determine Entergy's future regarding the Certificate of Public Good. It is part of Vermont's democratic process. They are also calling for the PSB's rejection of Entergy's application for the CPG.

Click here for the media advisory.

 


 

October 9, 2012

Panel Discussion: "Decommissioning: A Future Without Vermont Yankee"

Rutland, VT - Come learn more about the current status of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, VT: the lawsuits and appeals, the Public Service Board process; public engagement and the inevitable nuclear power plant decommissioning.

Click here for the media advisory.

 




October 4, 2012

Panel Discussion: "Decommissioning: A Future Without Vermont Yankee"

Rutland, VT - Come learn more about the current status of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, VT: the lawsuits and appeals, the Public Service Board process; public engagement and the inevitable nuclear power plant decommissioning.

Click here for the media advisory.

 



 
September 8, 2012

"Our River Runs Through It" Flotilla

There will be a creative "flotilla" navigated by citizens in watercraft and along the shore to protest the thermal polluting of the Connecticut River by Entergy, owner of Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor. Citizens will make clear that they want this rogue corporation to stop using the river to cool its aging reactor. 

Click here for the media advisory.

 


 

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November 28, 2017


Valley Gives

May 1, 2018


CAN-DID Summer 2017 

Click here 


 Women Artists 2016

 

This year’s edition of the notebook honors the work of environmental
activist Deb Katz 

  

 To The Village Square

To the Village Square: From Montague, Massachusetts to Fukushima, Japan 1975-2014

A book by Lionel Delevingne, Photographer

"Along the way Lionel Delevingne has been the 'family photographer' of an amazing body of people and actions that, against all odds, have created a way for the human race to survive. Our time together has been joyous, demanding, pathbreaking, exciting, astounding and so much more. All captured on film by the brilliant, loving lens of Lionel Delevingne, and in the beautiful words of Anna Gyorgy’s introduction. 'To the Village Square' is the essential passport to four decades of peaceful passion. Don’t miss it!"

—Harvey “No Nukes” Wasserman

“To the Village Square is AMAZING and important and moving”

—William C. Newman (Director ACLU, Western Mass Regional Office.)

Signed copy by author: $35.
Free Shipping.

 

For more information on the book, go to: http://www.tothevillagesquare.net/


Giraffe Heroes

Deb Katz: 2000 Giraffe Hero Commendation, given to people who stick their necks out for the common good  


   

 
Citizens Awareness Network PO Box 83, Shelburne Falls MA 01370 Tel: (413) 339-5781 Email: can@nukebusters.org