It’s that time of year that we ask you to become a financial supporter of SAPL. Please give generously to support the leading Seacoast citizen organization working for a safe and sustainable energy future.
Though it’s been a long and often challenging year (especially politically!), we have seen some important successes, both in terms of staving off Seabrook re-licensing and bringing attention to its health and environmental threats, as well as promoting the most promising alternative power source for our region – offshore wind. We’ve also made substantial changes and updates to our website, Board/staff profiles, various factsheets, as well as a new SAPL logo. Thanks to Curio Museum Design for all the great artwork and layout of the site!
Please consider helping us stay in the game so we can keep pushing for alternatives to continued reliance on life-threatening nuclear technology on our fragile seacoast. We will continue to press these and related issues with Governor Sununu and local officials – but only with your generous support.
SEABROOK’S CRUMBLING CONCRETE
The continuing saga of Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) problems at Seabrook, the gradual degradation of the plant’s concrete structures due to chronic exposure to groundwater, continues to be the “Achilles heel” of their re-licensing gambit. The latest development has been a petition from our allies at C-10 Foundation to intervene in NextEra’s proposed ASR mitigation amendment to their re-licensing proposal – of which they were just granted “standing” to move forward toward a hearing. What this means is that at minimum the process will be extended to address their concerns (which we share!), with final decisions on ASR/re-licensing having already been postponed at least till the end of next year.
THE SEACOAST CANCER CLUSTER
Another recent development that has brought some attention to the potential heath impacts of Seabrook’s routine radioactive emissions has been NH state health officials’ determination that there’s a “cluster” of rare pediatric cancers in Seacoast communities. There is no known environmental cause yet for these kinds of cancers, but their presence does raise troubling concerns that Seabrook’s pollution could be a contributing factor. Increases in childhood cancers have been detected near other nuclear plants in Europe as well as other U.S. plants, and some of you may recall that we raised this very same issue about a dozen years ago, using less specific county-wide data from CDC that showed evidence of a 19 percent increase in such cancers after Seabrook start-up in 1990.
We have raised our renewed concerns at public meetings and with the Governor’s Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster, and have submitted updated data on state and county data showing cancer increases since Seabrook’s start-up for the Task Force’s final report. The issue will continue to be investigated by state officials as well as a newly-formed state commission.
We have also continued the drumbeat for state engagement on offshore wind development, to act on the findings of a legislative study of offshore wind issued several years ago. It recommended establishment of an intergovernmental task force and work with neighboring governors to identify and permit sites in federal waters of the Gulf of Maine to lease for potential wind farm development.
With our allies at 350 New Hampshire, we collected almost 2000 signatures from residents statewide last year on a petition to then-Governor Hassan, delivering them last August. We also participated in a joint rally for offshore wind as we delivered the petition, and we subsequently met with the Governor’s staff several times to discuss specifics of the issue for New Hampshire. Unfortunately, she did not act on this request before leaving office, so we have worked since then with 350NH to “localize” the issue with community resolutions aimed at the new governor. So far, Durham, Dover and Portsmouth councils have approved resolutions, and we are working with other Seacoast towns to put the issue to voters for town meetings next March.