The NAYGN Chapter in Marlborough hosted a medley of public advocacy events in November 2013, determined to start a broader discussion on the future of nuclear energy in New England. Pairing up with the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the group met with members of the cabinet of Massachusetts Governor, Duval Patrick, provided testimony at the Waste Confidence Rule hearings in Chelmsford, MA, and hosted the mayor of Marlborough, Arthur Vigeant, at their AREVA headquarters.
A group composed of NAYGN members, ANS MIT students, and several AREVA employees met with the Undersecretary for Energy and Undersecretary for Environment of Massachusetts amidst a burgeoning effort that is currently spearheaded by anti-nuclear groups to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant. The conversation centered on the overwhelming contribution nuclear power has on Massachusetts’ legally-required, clean air energy standards, basic misconceptions about the upkeep of nuclear power stations, nuclear power safety, and the future of nuclear technology and research. The group was very well received and was asked to engage more powerfully in local politics to bring more metric based energy policy to the state.
The group also partnered with the MIT ANS chapter at the Waste Confidence Rule hearings in Chelmsford, MA. Advocacy Chair, Diego Garcia, provided public comment amongst a very anti-nuclear crowd. The transcript of the testimony can be found here (heckling and all): http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1331/ML13310B069.pdf
Lastly, Mayor Arthur Vigeant of Marlborough visited the AREVA offices on November 12th, 2013. After a brief tour of the facilitates, the Mayor sat down with employees to discuss the importance of nuclear energy for a CO2–free energy mix, his support for the nuclear power generating stations in New England, and how his administration can help support AREVA’s business in Marlborough.
More advocacy work for next year is being planned in partnership with MIT, Harvard, and Boston University, and is geared toward educating state legislators and the public.