Contact Deb Katz at 413 339 5781 or Marcia Gagliardi at 978 249 9400
With attached photo by Mary-Ann DeVita Palmieri
Photo caption: Marcia Gagliardi of Athol, Massachusetts; Julia Bonafine ofCuttingsville, Vermont; Dorthee (her full name) of Wendell, Massachusetts;Claire Chang of Gill, Massachusetts; Frances Crowe of Northampton,Massachusetts and Hattie Nestel of Athol, Massachusetts, from left, during aShut-It-Down affinity group demonstration Tuesday morning (January 23, 2007)at the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in Vernon, Vermont. With Paki Wielandof Northampton, who also chained herself to the group in the driveway, theywere arrested by Brattleboro Police and charged with trespass and disorderlyconduct.
VERNON, Vermont :: Chaining themselves across the Entergy Vermont Yankee entryway Tuesday morning (January 23, 2007), seven women shut down Vermont Yankee for nearly an hour until Vernon, Brattleboro, and Vermont state police cut them free with a bolt cutter. State and local police thenarrested the seven, who were charged by Brattleboro police with trespass and disorderly conduct.
The Shut-It-Down affinity group, including one from Vermont and six from Massachusetts, entered the Vermont Yankee driveway at about 10:15 andchained themselves to a longer chain stretched across the entrance. They held signs reading Shut Down Vermont Yankee with the international symbol warning of radioactivity. Tuesday's arrests constitute the first time Shut-It-Down has been detained at the Vernon reactor itself.
Previous arrests occurred atEntergy's headquarters in Brattleboro, although Shut-It-Down spray-paintedthe reactor driveway in July, 2006, when they posted a sign reading Vermont Yankee, Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Until Tuesday's arrests, no one has been arrested on the premises of a United States nuclear power plant since September 11, 2001. Julia Bonafine, 38, of Shrewsbury and, all from Massachusetts, Claire Chang, 50, of Gill; Marcia Gagliardi, 59, and Hattie Nestel, 68, both of Athol; Paki Wieland, 63, of Northampton; Dorthee (her full name), 78, of Wendell and Frances Crowe, 87, of Northampton told Entergy officials the dangerous, aging power plant must shut down to give way to sustainable,n atural power sources like wind, solar, biomass, conservation, or energy efficiency, fuels of the future.
They carried a bill of particulars (reprinted in full below) indicting the Vermont Yankee reactor as "a danger to all life." The document, signed by the seven, acknowledges that there is "no safe level of exposure toradiation." From the Leverett, Massachusetts, Peace Pagoda, Brother Toby Keyesoffered a Buddhist prayer during Tuesday's demonstration. About a half hour after chaining themselves together, the women sang Happy Birthday to Nestelin honor of the occasion later this week.
Affinity groups supported by Citizens Awareness Network haveparticipated for more than a year in a civil resistance campaign aimed atclosing Vermont Yankee. Tuesday's demonstration was Shut-It-Down's fourthdirect action at Vermont Yankee or Entergy's Brattleboro headquarters. Charges have been dropped in each of the previous arrests. Those charged Tuesday are scheduled to appear for arraignment in Windham County DistrictCourt March 20.
More information about Vermont Yankee is available at www.nukebusters.org or by calling 413 339 5781, CAN, provides educationabout the dangers of nuclear reactors and organizes lobbying activity.
The statement carried Tuesday by Shut-It-Down is reprinted below in its entirety.
We women who have signed the bottom of this document assert that we havecome to SHUT DOWN VERMONT YANKEE! We know that Vermont Yankee is radioactive, old and corroding‹a danger to all life.
We know that as the Vermont Yankee facility ages it becomes ever more dangerous.
We know that the recently granted approval to operate at 20 percent abovethe original licensing permit increases radioactive emissions possibility of a cataclysmic accident at Vermont Yankee.
We DO NOT WANT OUR ENERGY PRODUCED IN A WAY THAT CREATES RADIATION.
We are aware that there is NO SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE TO RADIATION.
We know that Vermont Yankee exceeds even the Vermont State emissions standards and that the State of Vermont has no enforceable laws to hold Entergy accountable for this violation.
We also know that Entergy violated FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, DOT, laws on August 31, 2006, by exceeding DOT legal radiation levels with a shipment that endangered the populations of Massachusetts, Connecticut, NewJersey, and Pennsylvania. Illegal radiation levels of the shipment were four times mandated levels.
We know that the NRC has consistently stated that it does not believe it's appropriate for issues like spent fuel storage, emergency planning, and security to be dealt with for license renewal application review.
We know that the ATOMIC SAFETY AND LICENSING BOARD turned down the Massachusetts Attorney General¹s contention regarding the dangers ofdensely-packed, spent fuel storage on-site at the Vermont Yankee facility.
We know that the NRC has refused to consider contentions raised by the State of Vermont stating that Entergy has not provided an adequate storage plan tostore spent fuel on-site and has not addressed the potential environmentalimpacts of such long-term storage.
We know that the NRC also refused to hear New England Coalition's contentions about Entergy's management plan for the reactor's primary containment vessel or its steam condenser.
We know that the elevated water temperature discharged by Vermont Yankee has a long-term adverse impact on various aquatic species in the Connecticut River.
Therefore, we women have taken the responsibility upon ourselves to SHUTDOWN VERMONT YANKEE! January 23, 2007
Paki Patricia Wieland
Cuttingsville, Vermont--Marcia Gagliardi Haley's, a mile west of Athol center on Route 2A488 South Main Street
P O Box 248
Athol, MA 01331