Peacemakers On The Scene

Seven arrested Wednesday April 25th, 2007 at Vermont Yankee

VERNON, Vermont

  "No tax subsidies for Vermont Yankee" read the sign carried Wednesday (April 25, 2007) by seven women of the Shut It Down affinity group of the Citizens Awareness Network as they stood chained across the driveway of the Entergy nuclear power plant here.

  The nuclear reactor has been the focus of controversy since receiving permission for increasing its nuclear power output. The aging plant, due for decommissioning in 2012, is viewed by many as a danger to communities within a 100-mile radius, including those in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York. Entergy has sought a 20-year operating extension for the reactor, and anti-nuclear groups including Shut It Down oppose relicensing.

  Vernon and state police arrested the women after about 45 minutes when Entergy officials requested that they leave the premises and they refused.

  Women of the Shut It Down group have been arrested five previous times at the power plant site and at Entergy headquarters in Brattleboro, each time demanding that the dangerous nuclear power plant be closed.

  Each time, the state's attorney has dropped charges.

  Wednesday, the seven were charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful trespass and ordered to appear in Windham County Court, Brattleboro, on June 19.

  Those charged include Julia Bonafine, 38, of Shrewsbury Vermont); Frances Crowe, 88, and Paki Wieland, 63, both of Northampton, Massachusetts; Ellen Graves, 66, of West Springfield, Massachusetts; Hattie Nestel, 68, and Marcia Gagliardi, 59, of Athol, Massachusetts; and Dorthee (her full name), 78, of Wendell, Massachusetts.

  Also part of the Shut It Down group is Claire Chang, 53, of Gill, Massachusetts, who did not participate in Wednesday's demonstration.

  Each of the women signed the following statement, left at the power plant site:

  "We women of the SHUT IT DOWN group have come to Vermont Yankee during April, federal income tax month, to demand an end to all federal, state and local tax subsidies to Entergy's Vermont Yankee and all other nuclear power facilities."

  "We want to see taxpayer dollars subsidizing SAFE, SUSTAINABLE ENERGIES that don't radiate and poison our air, bodies, and water, do not require evacuation plans or potassium iodide pills, and will not create a radioactive waste site on the banks of the Connecticut River."

  "We come to support the legislation filed by United States Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT, on the anniversary of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, Pa, to require all reactors to have an Independent Safey Assessment before they can be relicensed."

  "We come to support the demand of Vermont Senate President pro tempore Peter Shumlin for an Independent Safety Assessment of Vermont Yankee. We support his concerns about the dangers of nuclear waste piling up at Vermont Yankee and acknowledgement that this is an unacceptable legacy to leavefor our children."

  "We come to support the entire Congressional delegation of Massachusetts and the attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and others to require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, to amend its regulations to ensure that environmental impact statements, (EISs), for nuclear power plant relicensing decisions consider the vulnerability of high-density spent fuel storage pools to serious accidents by a wide range of factors including natural phenomena, operator error, equipment failure, and terrorist attacks."

  March 16, 2007 to the NRC from the Congress of the United States signed by the entire Massachusetts Delegation.

Hattie Nestel reporting


Hattie Nestel

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