Anti-Nuclear Group Posts Hazard Signs Near Vermont Yankee

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(Host) A group of antinuclear activists hung nuclear hazard signs Tuesday along key escape routes within Vermont Yankee’s ten-mile evacuation zone.

Spokesmen say the signs are a reminder of important issues that will not be part of the upcoming court case.

Court hearings will begin later this month in Entergy Corporation’s challenge to the state’s authority to close Vermont Yankee when its license expires.

But Vermont will not be allowed to present arguments about safety or the risks of nuclear power. The law says states can only address economic and reliability issues surrounding power plants. Safety is the province of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

But group organizer Jito Coleman of Warren says citizens shouldn’t lose sight of their safety concerns.

(Coleman) "If the legal wranglings of the court are all that’s discussed in the news, the news will lose the real impact of what’s important to us. And those safety issues those health issues, those will not be part of the testimony but they are clearly part of our concerns."

(Host) Deb Katz of the Massachusetts-based Citizens Awareness Coalition says the NRC doesn’t adequately address safety.

(Katz) "I mean there is a way in which they are just not taking it seriously, which is what the Japanese did. They said, ‘Certain terrible things will not happen.’ And unfortunately they did, and there’s a kind of arrogance and smugness that the industry as well as the nuclear regulatory commission operates out of."

(Keese) A report issued this week by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined that Vermont Yankee ‘accident mitigation guidelines’ do meet industry standards.

The NRC will be in Brattleboro on June 22nd to discuss the findings with the public.

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