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 Opinion: Vt. Yankee

VermontFrom: Jane Newton

To the Editor

It's both sad and difficult to believe that, in spite of the senate's vote to shut down Vermont Yankee in 2012, we are still being asked to remind people that our worn out nuclear reactor is a danger to most of New England and to all of the children who live in it. I've read that one reactor in one year emits as much radioactive material as 1000 Hiroshima bombs. For sure, with all the waste produced by the world's nuclear reactors and the radioactive weapons used everywhere by our military, we, (even if we shut down Vermont Yankee) are leaving our children, for some 250,000 years, a legacy of a radioactive wasteland.

Will there be 20 more years of waiting for an “accident” or a “terrorist” attack that will make our world uninhabitable? Will the evacuation plan continue to be a joke for 20 more years? ...

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In 20 years the fish and our children might all be dead anyway; there will be 20 more years of spent fuel for which there is no solution except to do things like filling up old ships with radioactive waste and sinking them; 20 more years of subsidies and profits for the few in the billions; 20 more years of CO2 released into the air in the processes of mining and enrichment of uranium, and, 20 more years of the nuclear energy's deadly connection with the military during which we are stashing away about 10,000 nuclear warheads and the depleted uranium that is causing, wherever we fight our wars, a genetic genocide

In Falluja, 25% of the babies are born with horrible birth defects. The children will be playing in the radiation from DU forever, for DU has a half-life of something like 5.4 billion years.. Our own soldiers and their children are dying...

There is no end to our crimes against humanity. Shutting down Vermont Yankee becomes almost infinitesimal when faced with the horrors of the world. But it isn't. Tiny as it is, it is a beginning..a baby step in the right direction, and, just to add a bit of much needed hope, there are many more states and even countries that are watching. Vermont will lead the way. Maybe we can prove Kurt Vonnegut wrong when he wrote that there are very few people who care about a world for our grandchildren.

Jane Newton
So.Londonderry Vt.

[08 February 2011]

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