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Letter: Eastman Forum on Nuclear Power

To the Editor:

The recent announcement of the closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station is the latest in a series of potential plant retirements that may signal a shrinking role for nuclear power in the nation’s energy mix. Vermont Yankee is the fifth reactor in the country to be scheduled for closing during the past year, although several new reactors are currently scheduled to come online. The disaster at Fukushima also focused the world’s attention on nuclear safety and contamination, and we are still grappling with the issues of long-term storage for spent nuclear fuel. These issues will be the subject of a symposium sponsored by the Eastman Charitable Foundation and the Eastman Community Association on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the South Cove Activities Center at Eastman off Exit 13 of Interstate 89 in Grantham. Admission is free and modest refreshments will be served. Registration begins at 4 p.m., the program at 4:30.

This is the fifth annual symposium on energy-related topics sponsored by the Eastman Charitable Foundation. We are very fortunate that Frank von Hippel, professor emeritus at Princeton University, will lead the discussion on this important topic. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on nuclear power and has chaired many governmental and international groups on related matters over almost four decades. He is currently the co-chairman of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, which includes members from 18 countries, and has served as assistant director of the White House Panel for National Security in the Office of Science and Technology. He has won numerous awards for his work in this field, including the prestigious Leo Szilard Leadership Award for his work in illuminating public policy in nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. Von Hippel is also the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship.

This is a rare opportunity to hear commentary about the future of nuclear power from a leading expert in the field. We look forward to seeing you.

Maynard Goldman

President, Eastman Charitable Foundation

Grantham