To the editor:

The article in Friday’s paper about the boy from Belarus who has cancer from the effects of Chernobyl made me sad.

It’s been more than 30 years since the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl and people are still being affected. A June 18th article in the New York Times noted that “cows far from the accident site still produce milk with dangerous levels of radiation, children still drink it and the problem could persist for decades to come.”

We are nowhere near Chernobyl or Belarus, but we are fewer than 10 miles from the nuclear power plant in Seabrook. After I moved here in 2016, I set about learning as much as I could about this area.

I discovered many historical sites, beautiful parks, and an incredible wildlife sanctuary on Plum Island. I also learned there is a nuclear power plant in our midst. I wanted to learn what it meant to live so near one, so I started doing some research, which led me to C-10 Research and Education Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to protect public health and the environment surrounding the Seabrook Station.

What I learned from C-10 is that the concrete used to build most of Seabrook has ASR – alkali-silica reaction. ASR degrades concrete over time and there is no cure for the problem.

According to an NRC report, some of the damage is already considered moderate-severe. Despite this, the owner of the plant in Seabrook is seeking an extension of its license from 2030 to 2050 and didn’t mention the ASR issue in their license extension application. This failure concerned C-10, so it raised the issue and has been allowed to intervene in the license renewal process. A hearing on the license renewal is scheduled for early next year.

I urge you to learn more about this issue and support C-10 in its efforts opposing the license extension. Check out the C-10 website, www.C-10.org, for more information. We live in one of the most beautiful communities anywhere and in addition to preserving its history, we need to ensure its future.

Patricia Torkildson

Prospect Street

Newburyport

Recommended for you