NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 17, 2014

Problem of spent, hot fuel rods remains

To the editor:

On Dec. 18, I attended the NRC public meeting on the concrete degradation issue at the Seabrook nuclear plant. At the meeting, Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives and Rep. Michael Costello did the right thing on behalf of the safety of their constituents: Katy and Mike jointly called for an immediate shutdown of the Seabrook plant.

It was a groundbreaking moment because it was the first time that any elected representative has called for an immediate shutdown. It was highly appropriate that they did so, since they represent districts where the bulk of Massachusetts’ residents, schools and businesses are located within the 10-mile evacuation zone.

I have been a huge fan of Sen. O’Connor Ives since I first met her and I am not surprised that she would exhibit such leadership. In my opinion, based upon what I heard at the meeting, our elected reps really had no choice.

The ASR problem at the plant — the degradation of the plant’s foundation in 131 locations including five safety-critical buildings such as the containment building for the reactor itself — is putting their district in dire risk, right now.

Both my wife Cynthia and I are extremely proud of our son Michael’s many contributions to improving the quality of life for the people he serves and have never been more proud of him than when he called for the shutdown of the Seabrook nuclear plant.

Mike has always been deeply concerned about safe evacuation, safe storage of spent, hot fuel rods and a myriad of other plant issues.

I know that he and Katy did their homework before making this bold call. They attended previous NRC meetings, listened to constituents and heard briefings from our local advocacy groups including C-10 Foundation and No More Fukushimas.

They realized they had no choice but to advocate for immediate shutdown.

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