Jurich: Rally against nukesWritten by Stacy Jurich | | email@example.com
I love Toledo. You love Toledo. Our special city was developed on a magnificent, exceptional and biologically diverse location. As stated on Oak Openings website, the Oak Openings Region we live in is a globally rare ecosystem and was named “One of America’s last great places” by the Nature Conservancy. Not only do we have a deep, varied, rich land make-up, but we exist next to the Maumee River, the largest Great Lakes tributary, and Lake Erie, the 13th largest lake in the world (Wikipedia). What’s not to love? We are located between DTE’s Fermi 2 in Monroe and the Toledo Edison Nuclear Power Plant, Davis Besse.
The dangers of nuclear energy have come to light recently with the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, expected to surpass the Cherynobl death toll (mainstream news seems to have a blackout on this coverage), and Davis Besse’s application for an extension of its operating license, currently set to expire in 2017. What many people seem to have hidden under the rug, or for some in my generation never caught on our radar, are the two “near-misses” of nuclear melt downs in our backyard. Quick re-cap: “The gaping rust hole found in 2002 in the lid of the Northwest Ohio [Besse] reactor was the fifth-most dangerous situation at an American nuclear plant in the last quarter century …” (The Plain Dealer) and in 1985 “Davis-Besse experienced a 12-minute interruption in the feedwater flow to steam generators…The potentially catastrophic event idled the plant for more than a year…the Nuclear Regulatory Commission referred to the 1985 accident as the worst since Three Mile Island in 1979…” (Tom Henry, Toledo Blade).
I do not know the ins and outs of nuclear energy. I am not a scientist or engineer and would need very detailed visual diagrams in order to begin to comprehend how a nuclear power plant works. Most people probably don’t understand complex specialized nuclear technology and terms like ‘fission’ and ‘isotopes’. However, my intuition, gut instinct, ever-knowing guiding force trumps any of that information. I know that nuclear energy is dangerous and toxic, and the only thing keeping us safe from a nuclear disaster in Toledo is luck. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and First Energy are not reliable because they are putting profit before public safety. “It’s the lottery from hell,” said U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, who has pressed for reforms at the NRC and has been a harsh critic of FirstEnergy” (The Plain Dealer).
As long as we are paying our utility bills, we are paying the salaries and wages of nuclear jobs and we are paying for the operation of Davis Besse, and therefore we continue to demand nuclear energy and pay for poisoned air and water. With our purchasing power and voice, we must demand that the available technology and all this hype about alternative energy come to fruition before it is too late! Toledo has the workers, the knowledge, the resources, and the money (divest, redirect and creatively reinvest). Toleoans have a right to clean energy, clean air, and clean water!
We cannot wait for a Fermi or Besse nuclear disaster before we say NO to dangerous and deathly energy production. Now, in 2011, energy adviser Ned Ford says, “…wind [is] cheaper than any new fossil-fuel generation in most of the U.S.” (Columbus Dispatch). Even General Electric said, “Solar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors within three to five years because of innovations” (Bloomberg). The time has come for Americans to follow the lead of our European counterparts and ban nuclear power plants.
This Saturday we will rally against nuclear energy, joining simultaneous organized actions all over the world. “The citizens of Italy voted to ban Nuclear Power this Spring, the German government has announced that they will de-commission all of their Nuclear plants by 2022 and other countries, including Japan, are pointing to renewables to replace this proven catastrophic danger to humanity.”
The rally calls “for Fermi 2 and Davis Besse to be shut down permanently and be replaced by renewable energy sources…” The afternoon festivities include music, food and speakers including politicians and activists including myself, Toledo City Council Green Party candidate Anita Rios, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
“October 1st Day of No Nukes rallies in Monroe, MI and Toledo, OH”
Saturday, October 1st, Promenade Park 1-4pm
Find the event on Facebook for more information.