NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 9, 2014

No More Fukushimas thanks City Council

To the editor:

No More Fukushimas expresses its deep thanks to the many members of the Newburyport City Council who stood up for public safety by attending the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s public meeting in December on the serious concrete degradation problem at the Seabrook nuclear plant. They all spoke as individuals rather than as a result of a specific council action, and they spoke loud and clear.

Our hats are off to Councilor Barry Connell, who brilliantly repudiated plant owner NextEra’s study of the alkali-silica reaction (ASR) in concrete structures at Seabrook. NextEra is conducting the study in “Texas” to try to resolve this problem in “New Hampshire.” Mr. Connell showed that our council has the intellectual firepower to pose powerful questions that lead to one conclusion — NextEra’s study is fatally flawed. Mr. Connell told the NRC that NextEra’s study “begs credulity” and leads everyone to the conclusion that the plant should be immediately shut down.

We are already in debt to Barry Connell for being the originating sponsor of the Newburyport City Council’s unanimous resolution questioning Seabrook plant relicensing, notably because of the concrete degradation at the plant. Mayor Donna Holaday made it a clean sweep by cosigning the resolution. The mayor deserves much credit because she is the first mayor — in Massachusetts or New Hampshire — to fight for public safety at the plant. The Newburyport resolution was sent to the NRC and, subsequently, five other area municipalities, including Haverhill’s Mayor Fiorentini, sent letters to the NRC questioning plant safety

We are very proud of the Newburyport City Council. The council contingent included outgoing incumbents and newly elected members. We appreciate the remarks of Ward 3 Councilor Bob Cronin, who spoke about his concern for his family and their life under Seabrook’s threat. Councilor at-large Ed Cameron posed a key question about flooding potential, and Councilor at-large Ari Herzog had obviously done his homework. Councilor Tom Jones shared his insights concerning concrete degradation, which as a builder/developer he knows a lot about. We thank new Councilors Charles Tontar and Jared Eigerman for being there for us. Several members could not make the meeting, although they wanted to.

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