Neighbors are concerned


Monday, October 22
about Vermont Yankee

On Oct. 5, on National Public Radio, I heard Vermont's Governor Douglas say that he "doesn't like the idea of a neighboring state being able to ask for an Independent Safety Assessment of Vermont Yankee."

He may have said this because the recent collapse of the cooling tower and the emergency shutdown has brought up for reconsideration of a bill which was introduced by Bernie Sanders last March, as an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, to "improve the safety inspection process at nuclear facilities" — to be done partly by allowing the "requesters" for an Independent Safety Assessment of the reactor to be the governor of any state in danger of contamination from radiation from the reactor, or whose public is within its emergency planning zone.

As a resident of New Hampshire, roughly 30 miles up the Connecticut River, I feel as if I should have a say in an issue that threatens all of New England. Governor Douglas reminds me of the people in Washington, who, from behind their desks, hand out death sentences to the entire world.

Tons of toxic waste stored on the banks of our river will surely contaminate it, and an accident at Vermont Yankee could make our countryside uninhabitable for hundreds of miles around for an untold number of years and kill hundreds of thousands of people. Not only that, but if the prevailing winds have anything to say, much of the radiation will blow toward Massachusetts or across the river into New Hampshire.

Governor Douglas, the NRC and Entergy Corp. have declared again and again that the reactor is safe. If so, why have they refused for so many years to allow an independent inspection? What are they hiding? Vermont's governor, along with his corporate cronies and the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is making us all guinea pigs, while Entergy, as long as its reactor keeps standing, rakes in the profits.


Charlestown, N.H.


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