New Report Finds Vermonters #1 for Nuclear Waste

CAN Press Release!!

New Report Finds Vermonters #1 for Nuclear Waste

Montpelier and Brattleboro - Members of the Citizens Awareness Network, VPIRG, Sierra Club, Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance, Toxic Action Center Campaigns and Nuclear Free Vermont held press conferences at the Statehouse in Montpelier and at the Town Hall in Brattleboro today to release new data to showing that Vermont leads the nation in per capita production and storage of high-level nuclear waste.

“Our Research clearly shows that when it comes to producing and storing the deadliest substance known to humanity, Vermonters are number one,” said Chris Williams of CAN, the study’s author. “But having 2 pounds of this stuff for every Vermonter is not a distinction, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

The study relies on public information prepared by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service based in Washington, D.C. The data was taken from the Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository and US population estimates prepared by the US Census Bureau.

"Nuclear power is a catastrophic failure. Vermont's nuclear waste problem exemplifies this. Vermont's ranking number 1 in the country for per capita waste is shocking.” said Deb Katz, executive director of CAN. “Given the reality that both Yucca Mountain and Private Fuel Storage are failed solutions, deadly high level nuclear waste will sit on the banks of the Connecticut River for decades if not centuries. This is a terrible legacy for our children to bear."

The group pointed out the likelihood that the nuclear waste located at Vernon on the Connecticut River would be in place for the foreseeable future. The proposed national repository at Yucca Mountain is plagued with legal, scientific, and political problems, which make its availability to receive waste uncertain at best. Presently there is no other temporary or permanent solution except onsite storage of high level waste.

“The truth about nuclear waste in Vermont isn’t pretty,” Said Drew Hudson VPIRG’s Director of Field and Communications. “And that truth is all the more reason why Governor Douglas should make Entergy pay their fair share in property taxes by signing H.520 into law. To veto the bill would be reward the state’s largest polluter with a property tax rate a fraction of what most Vermonters pay and fly in the face of any definition of affordability.”

The study projects that by 2011 Vermont will have 671 tons of high-level radioactive waste at the Vernon site. To put the amount of radiation in perspective Ed Anthes of Nuclear Free Vermont said “The average hospital keeps 3 to 4 curies of radioactive material on hand for all nuclear medicine treatments, the bomb dropped at Hiroshima released 4,000 curies of radiation, Vermont Yankee has over 35, MILLION curies of radioactive waste in its fuel pool. We need to take prudent action at this point and stop producing this lethal material”
“It’s not fair, nor is it proper for Vermonters to shoulder this burden,” Said Dennis Rydjeski Political Director of the Vermont Sierra Club. “A top priority of the Governor and the legislature should be to shut this plant down as soon as possible. Fortunately we will have the ability to do just that when the legislature votes on the future of Vermont Yankee in 2009.”

“Decisions about Vermont’s energy future should be made by Vermonters,” concluded Alyssa Schurren, Executive Director of TAC. “Our organizations look forward to working with our legislature, the Department of Public Service, and the Douglas administration on the studies, safety reviews and energy plans that will be essential steps to closing the plant for good.”

Paper can be read at this link CLICK ON TITLE OF THEIS POST. Plus a great visual on the research data!