WAMM Member Susu Jeffrey had the following letter published in the Star Tribune on March 16, 2011
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
A time of wake-up calls and warnings
I was one of 1,414 nonviolent protesters arrested at the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hamphire in 1977.
The subsequent incidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island ended the nuclear discussion until recently.
Now we revisit the issue.
The Monticello reactor, 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis, is a General Electric Mark 3-design boiling water reactor similar to the Mark 1 reactors at Fukushima.
These reactors are 40 years old, and thus far, four of the six Japanese reactors have experienced cooling system failures.
In November 2006, the Monticello plant received a rubber stamp from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate another 20 years beyond its 40-year design life.
Extremely hot fuel rods are stored in a cooling pool 70 feet above the reactor. That is where the fire is in Fukushima.
In addition, at Monticello there is semipermanent nuclear storage in above-ground bunkers adjacent to the reactor on the Mississippi River floodplain, just upstream of the Twin Cities water intake valves. This spring we are expecting record floods.
We could use the Fukushima disaster to move toward a multifaceted efficiency-first and renewable-energy policy. Efficiency is the easiest, cheapest way to save significant power.
Retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency would promote jobs and taxes here. Renewable startup ventures are the small businesses of our dreams.
This is our chance to insure a secure economic and environmental Minnesota future with an eye to the international market.
SUSU JEFFREY, MINNEAPOLIS