April 13, 2011 Contacts: Bob Bady, Safe & Green Campaign
Deb Katz, CAN
Nuclear-Free Walkers from Indian Point to Vermont Yankee
On April 10, two dozen people began a 206-mile walk from Indian Point Nuclear Power Station in the Hudson Valley of New York to Vermont Yankee in Vernon, Vermont. Japanese Buddhist nun Jun Yasuda is leading the walk as a meditation on peace and a nuclear free world. They will arrive at Vermont Yankee April 24. Sister Jun Yasud said, “The current crisis in Japan is a call to renew our efforts for a nuclear free world. A walk will pray for those affected in Japan and envision a world without nuclear energy or bombs.”
The Safe and Green Campaign and Citizens Action Network are recruiting local walkers and sponsoring events in the Brattleboro area. Safe and Green organized the successful walk from Brattleboro to Montpelier in January of 2010, just prior to the Vermont Senate’s vote to close Vermont Yankee in 2012.
On Sunday April 24, the public is welcome to join the walkers for their last 9 miles to Vermont Yankee. At 10:15 am they will leave West Brattleboro (55 Marlboro Road), on Route 9 two miles west of I-91 Exit At noon, walkers can join the last six-mile leg of the walk at the Marlboro Graduate Center in downtown Brattleboro. After a prayer vigil at the Vermont Yankee gates, car pools will return to Brattleboro and West Brattleboro. At 5:00 pm, there will be a simple dinner at the West Village Meeting House (All Souls Unitarian Church) in West Brattleboro. All are welcome; a $5 donation is requested.
Those interested in walking should register by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The walk is initiated by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order, based at the Grafton Peace Pagoda in New York and in Japan. They are ‘engaged’ Buddhists whose founder was inspired by the walks of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. These actions are in response to the disaster at Fukushima, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, and the similarities of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Indian Point and Vermont Yankee. Entergy owns both US plants, and both are seeking to extend their license to operate for another twenty years. Vermont Yankee and the Fukushima reactors share the same GE design, manufacture and age. “We walk together in love and solidarity to pray for those affected by the tragedy in Japan and as a meditation upon a future world that is nuclear free,” says the order, “So that all living beings upon the earth may live in peace and safety.”
On Tuesday, April 26, a memorial vigil will be held to honor the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. The memorial will be from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Wells Fountain in downtown Brattleboro. Japanese Buddhists from the Grafton, NY, Peace Pagoda will lead the vigil with drumming, chanting and prayers. The vigil is sponsored by the Nuclear Free Future Coalition of Western Ma., The Citizens Awareness Network and the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice.
The Chernobyl, Russia nuclear power station exploded at 1:32 am on April 26, 1986, sending plumes of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. Radiation was found in every country in the northern hemisphere, and some parts of Europe are still impacted. Today, there is an uninhabitable wasteland for 25 kilometers around Chernobyl, including the abandoned city of Pripyat.
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The Japanese Buddhists live at the Grafton Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist center founded by Nipponzan Myohoji . Sister Jun Yasuda led a 206-mile walk from Indian Point to Vermont Yankee, as a meditation on peace and a nuclear free world. Their walk, which will arrive at Vermont Yankee on Sunday, April 24, was inspired by the Chernobyl anniversary, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, and the similarities of the Fukushima reactors to Indian Point and Vermont Yankee.