Vermont Sparks a Revolution – People’s Convention Sep 1-2

The People’s Convention will take place September 1 – 2, 2012 in Burlington, Vermont. Join The Revolution!

For more information –

Put People First May Day Rally

In 2011, the Put People First Campaign was launched by our friends at the Vermont Workers’ Center to begin to get our Green Mountain communities organized across issues, across organizations, and across our rural geography so that together we will be able to fashion structural solutions to societal problems.

On May Day 2012, two thousand people representing 40+ organizations, including the Vermont Sierra Club, came out on a rainy Tuesday to march on the Statehouse in Montpelier and rally together to demand that our state policies Put People and the Planet First!

Scientific Evidence of Pesticides Killing Honey-Bees Denied by EPA

Colony Collapse DisorderThe EPA recently denied a March 20, 2012 Petition to suspend the use of clothianidin, which belongs to a group of pesticides known as Neonicotinoids. Several European countries have banned these pesticides due to Scientific studies that show a connection to their use and honey-bee colony collapse disorder..

The EPA is currently accepting public comments on its latest decision. Now is a crucial moment to make our voices heard for the bees. If we don’t convince the EPA to reconsider, it is not scheduled to review clothianidin again until 2018!

To tell the EPA that the bees can’t wait until 2018 sign the petition

Full letter to the EPA  from August 22

3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide

NRC – Spent Fuel Pools and Fukushima

CCTV Host Margaret Harrington and Fairewinds Energy Education’s Arnie Gundersen discuss the urgent need to empty spent fuel pools into dry cask storage to prevent a serious but avoidable accident. They also discuss the economic cost to nuclear plants if they where forced to withstand natural calamities, the future of Yucca Mountain, and the radiological contamination caused by depleted uranium weapons.

Video transcript –

NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane talks about the 3 New actions the NRC has issued in response to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident – Allison also speaks about the need for the NRC to improve communication with the public in order to gain trust, it is interesting that both ratings and comments have been disabled in this youtube video.

Here is the NRC page detailing their “response” which does NOT include moving the spent fuel from pools into dry casks –

Can Spent Fuel Pools Catch Fire

Fairewinds Associates Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen analyzes a US government national laboratory simulation video that shows nuclear spent fuel rods do catch fire when exposed to air. This simulation video proves Fairewinds’ assertions that nuclear fuel rods can catch fire when exposed to air, and Arnie discusses the ramifications of this phenomena if the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent fuel pool were to lose cooling water.

Regardless of what the nuclear industry claims, a fuel pool fire is possible if the water were to drain from a seismic event.  Now this is not just a Fukushima-Daiichi Unit 4 problem.  There are 23 Mark I reactors in the United States and they have even more nuclear fuel in them than Unit 4 at Fukushima-Daiichi.  This is an international problem, especially in the United States, because we have the most of these Mark I reactors….

In the United States, we can demand that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission take the fuel out of these fuel pools in the 23 nuclear reactors that are identical to Fukushima-Daiichi.  Right now, industry pressure to save money is preventing those fuel pools from being emptied.

Full video Transcript –

Tell your State Representatives to attend the Congressional Briefing on Nuclear Sep. 20th

Chuck Ross – Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture – The Necessary (r)Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems

Chuck Ross Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture Speaks at UVM’s Conference on The Necessary (r)Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems.

We have food deserts in this state and in this country. We have significant socioeconomic barriers for some people to access the kind of food in the food system I am talking about. We have labor issues, where we are seeing an increased dependance on migrant laborers without an adequate national policy that allows them to work openly and legally, and enables us to treat them humanely, as they deserve….

Fast Food, too Much of it. We know it but we still eat it…. and in fact over the last 50 years the amount of time we spend preparing our food has decreased 40%, that is loosing our literacy with food. We know we have environmental issues, the agriculture and food systems can and do impact the environment and we need to be honest about that and we need to address that. We must continue to push for sustainable farm practices. We need to continually innovate, implement those practices, those new practices that enable farmers to make a living, while producing those products that are good to eat and are good for the environment….

…I ask you to reinvest your commitment to changing our agriculture and food systems so they will meet the needs of the 21st Century.

UVM PDF  – Vermont Agricultural Resilience in a changing climate 2012

Through the understanding of how natural systems work, how they rely and interact with one another, we can design and integrate our Food Systems into the landscape in a way that will actually benefit Ecosystem health. This method of understanding and designing systems is known as Permaculture. – VT4Evolution

5 U.S. Nuclear Reactors Shutdown in Past 3 Days

Published on Aug 15, 2012 by

1. Minnesota – Prairie Island – Shutdown Aug. 14
2. Minnesota – Monticello – Shutdown Aug. 14
3. Maryland – Calvert Cliffs – Shutdown Aug. 12
4. Michigan – Palisades – Shutdown Aug. 12
5. (forgot to include in the video, ty for the reminder @Socksee)
Connecticut – Millstone Power Station – Shutdown Aug. 12

Details of each shutdown below video in information panel –!

Bread and Puppets Confront Charest in Vermont

Published on Aug 8, 2012 by

The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side, and has since moved to a farm in Glover, Vermont. For nearly 50 years, they have been performing radical street theatre all over the world.

On July 30th, Bread and Puppets travelled to Burlington, Vermont, to perform outside of the Regional Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, where Quebec premier Jean Charest was also attending.

CUTV was on the scene to film this performance, and spoke with one of their members about their work.

For more info:

Nuclear Spent Fuel Pools and Their Potential Impacts UPDATED

US Spent Nuclear Fuel Largest Concentration Of Radioactivity On Planet

US has 71,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel that is not properly protected..

…these pools were vulnerable, and that if they were caused to–something caused them to drain–they would lose their water–the temperature in the spent fuel, because of the radioactive material decaying, would get so high that it would cause, essentially, the cladding of the fuel to catch fire and release catastrophic amounts of radioactivity. And we estimated that a single pool fire in the United States at a typical reactor could render an area uninhabitable substantially greater than that created by the Chernobyl accident…. Four to five times (greater).

– Bob Alvarez

PDF of Robert Alvarez 2011 – Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in The US

Tell your State Representatives to attend the Congressional Briefing on Nuclear Sep. 20th

A week has passed since the ground breaking Federal decision to cease issuance of nuclear operating licenses. Until now there has been little to no discussion of Vermont Yankee’s situation. VT Digger- Nuclear Regulatory Commission puts halt to nuclear power licensing decisions

What the NRC’s decision means for the 40-year-old Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon is unclear…. No one interviewed for this story said Vermont Yankee’s relicensure case would be re-evaluated by the NRC. Several sources suggested the commission’s new requirement for environmental assessment of waste storage could have an impact on the Vermont Public Service Board’s pending consideration of a certificate of public good for the plant.

Below is the link to a Podcast from August 10, 2012 interviewing Arnie Gundersen in a discussion about the current post accident status at Fukushima Daiichi, the lessons the United States has not learned from that triple meltdown, and the cultural shift happening in Japan as a result of this catastrophe. Additionally, Rick and Arnie discuss the serious safety consequences of the steam generator problems at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre’s plant as well as the recent nuclear waste licensing decision mandated by the courts.

When/if the NRC comes out with their EIS on long term storage for nuclear waste, you should be able to see and review it on the EPA’s EIS Database – 

To understand more about this process and the Public’s role in Environmental review check out – The Citizens Guide to NEPA  and A Citizen’s Guide to Using Federal Environmental Laws

This is the only existing EIS for Vermont Yankee I could find – VY-EIS 2007

§309 Reviewers Guidance for New Nuclear Power Plant Environmental Impact Statements – This analysis addressed fuel cycle impacts on land use, water consumption, thermal effluents, chemical effluents, radioactive releases, burial of transuranic and high- and low-level wastes, radiation doses from transportation other than fuel to the plant itself and spent fuel and radioactive wastes from the plant itself, and occupational exposures. –  (emphasis added)

The NRC could try to avoid preparing an EIS by conducting an Environmental Assessment and label Nuclear Waste storage a Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”). As ARnie states in the podcast above all they have to do is waive their own requirements… Lets hope they don’t, It is definitely significant, if an 82 year old nun can break into the most heavily guarded weapons grade uranium enrichment facility…..Yikes!

People’s Convention for Human Rights – Vermont

When: Saturday, September 1 at 9:00 am – Sunday September 2 at 4:30 pm.
(full Agenda)

Where: Burlington High School, located at 52 Institute Road.

Breakfast, lunch, and refreshments are provided on Saturday and Sunday. Please indicate dietary restrictions in registration. On Saturday evening participants are invited to attend a concert at nearby Battery Park, where street vendors selling affordable dinners (at or under $10) will be available. (More information)

The Vermont People’s Convention will be a space where hundreds of Vermont based individuals and organizations, along with regional and national partners will gather to discuss and continue to develop a broad grassroots vision for the direction of the state and beyond.

Many folks in Vermont are struggling to be able to meet their fundamental needs in order to live a life with dignity. It is often a struggle to access the healthcare one needs, find decent housing, receive affordable childcare, find a meaningful job that pays the bills, or be able to organize at the workplace, all the while our communities are working in the face of climate change for a healthy environment and livable planet.

In 2011, the launch of the Put People First! Campaign was meant to begin to get our communities organized across issue areas so that together we will be able to fashion structural solutions to the problems in our communities.

On May Day 2012, thousands of people representing 40+ organizations came out on a rainy Tuesday to March on the Statehouse in Montpelier and rally together to demand that our state policies must Put People and the Planet First. This was an amazing display of solidarity.

People’s Convention for Human Rights

EU Petition to Stop Nuclear – Internation Comittee on Nuclear Justice

Published on Aug 11, 2012 by

It is currently European Law that exposure to radioactivity in the environment is permitted and controlled by the EURATOM Basic Safety Standards Directive or BSS. This has a clause in it which states that “if new and important information about the efficacy of the provisions of the BSS emerge, all radiation exposure practices have to be re-examined (justified). Since the BSS was drafted in 1996 there has been a very large number of studies showing that the scientific basis of the BSS is totally unsafe, and many studies of populations show that millions have died and will die because of this.

The Petition

Vermont Yankee’s Operator License REVOKED?

The latest decision of the US government should mean, Vermont Yankee’s operator license extension is invalid. The NRC has not completed the environmental impact review for on-site nuclear waste storage. VY is storing nearly 33 Years of spent fuel on-site, 4 times as much as Fukushima. We should revoke the NRC’s operator license, this review is a few decades overdue.

Nuclear waste issues freeze permits for U.S. power plants

By Steve Hargreaves @CNNMoney August 9, 2012: 7:12 AM ET –

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The U.S. government said it will stop issuing permits for new nuclear power plants and license extensions for existing facilities until it resolves issues around storing radioactive waste.

The government’s main watchdog, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, believes that current storage plans are safe and achievable. But a federal court said that the NRC didn’t detail what the environmental consequences would be if the agency is wrong.

“We are now considering all available options for resolving the waste issue,” the five-member NRC said in a ruling earlier this week. “But, in recognition of our duties under the law, we will not issue [reactor] licenses until the court’s remand is appropriately addressed.”….. (full article)

An Interview with Arnie Gundersen

The show discusses the recently released Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission report; the San Onofre steam generator modifications and ensuing complications in California; loan guarantees for the nuclear industry; radiation concerns worldwide; whistleblowers and domestic nuclear issues; and a future with energy alternatives. (link)

related article –

Judges grill NRC over spent-fuel muddle

Lawrence Hurley, E&E reporter – Greenwire: Friday, March 16, 2012

Vermont For Energy Freedom – Burlington Convergence on Governors Conference 2012

Published on Aug 5, 2012 by

Video diary of the Burlington Rally, March and Human Oil Spill Action at the Governors Conference July 29, 2012 Vermont. The message to the northeast governors & premiers: “we will stand united to keep our land and water tar sands free”.
Northern Pipeline BC discussion PDF at:

Excerpt –