For Immediate Release
Aging Vermont Yankee Reactor Relicensed as Japan Crisis Unfolds
ermont Yankee plant uses same reactor model involved in crisis in Japan, and had previously leaked radioactive tritium into groundwater
WASHINGTON - The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission yesterday extended the operating license of the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor plant, even though the plant has leaked radioactive material and uses a Mark 1 boiling water reactor—the type of reactor currently experiencing multiple failures in Japan and causing growing radioactive contamination.
“It is stunning that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would rubber stamp the use of this aging reactor for another two decades, and it’s outrageous that it would do so just days after announcing a 90-day review in response to the crisis in Japan. This move calls into question the seriousness of that review,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth. “Vermont Yankee is home to the same type of reactor implicated in the nuclear emergency in Japan, and just last year aging pipes at Vermont Yankee leaked radioactive materials into groundwater, producing radiation readings 37 times the federal limit.”
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision is reckless. It’s a big favor to the nuclear industry but a slap in the face to the public in Vermont, where elected representatives have voted to retire the aging plant,” added Pica. “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should place an immediate moratorium on reactor licensing given what is happening at Fukushima.”
In 2010, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 in favor of retiring the aging nuclear plant as scheduled. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has also strongly supported retiring the plant. A survey conducted in February 2010 found that 68 percent of Vermont residents would support closing Vermont Yankee in 2012.
A poll released today by the Civil Society Institute found that more than half of Americans want "a halt to the United States extending the operating lifespan of its oldest nuclear reactors.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.
Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.