Nuclear Free Vermont by 2012
Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
August 30, 2004
Dear Members of the Selectboard:
Nuclear Free Vermont is a grassroots citizen group concerned about how nuclear power affects the health and safety of the public. Right now, we are trying to ensure that the Evacuation Plan for all the Emergency Planning Zone towns is as complete as possible. We believe that the majority of the public will have confidence in the Evacuation Plan (the Radiological Emergency Response Plan, i.e., the “RERP”) only if the Plan addresses the worst case scenario: a fast-breaking General Emergency, resulting from an accident or terrorist attack, that would involve a significant release of radiation and would require evacuation of all EPZ towns. Rudy Giuliani warned local first responders recently that he expected another terrorist attack in the U.S. and that it likely could be in rural America. He also told them, ”Prepare for everything!” The potential for this kind of radiological emergency and the need to plan for it is also mentioned on page 22 of the recent “Strategic Review of the RERP,” prepared by Vermont’s Department of Public Safety.
However, in order for the Plan to adequately address this kind of situation, we believe that the elements on the enclosed list need to be added immediately to the RERP budget. Many of these things are mentioned in the Strategic Review as recommendations but there is no timetable to accomplish them. This is unacceptable because, without these things, the current Plan will not work. The towns and Vermont Emergency Management need to have a greater sense of urgency about this. Vermont Yankee is already 32 years old but key elements of the evacuation plan are not yet in place!
We understand that local Emergency Management Coordinators in each EPZ town will meet this September with VEM and ENVY to discuss the budget for the 2006 RERP. We are asking all the towns in the EPZ to include the following things in their 2006 budget requests, even though you do not know what the specific costs will be. According to Senator Jeanette White, the budget for the RERP is supposed to be based upon what the needs are, not on costs. If all the EPZ towns agree these are important elements, then the budget should include them.
We believe that these things are essential parts of any Plan in order to make sure that the public is notified quickly, that there are adequate transportation resources to evacuate all towns at the same time, that there is a local plume team immediately available to monitor the path of the plume (not one that will need 6 hours to come from central and northern Vermont) and to make sure that there is a Reception Center west of ENVY so that people in West Brattleboro, Halifax and Marlboro will not have to potentially evacuate into the path of a radioactive plume.
We would also suggest that you ask Vermont Emergency Management to release, as soon as possible, the results of the Time Evacuation Study that was done by ENVY this year as this will be important information for the towns to have.
One of our members from your town will be approaching you directly about these needs and hopes to be able to talk to you in person about them at upcoming Selectboard meetings.
Finally, we would very much appreciate hearing from you about your town’s response to our suggestions.
Judy Davidson, Nuclear Free Vermont in 2012