On February 24th 2010, Vermont state senate voted against a re-licensure of its nuclear power plant Vermont Yankee (VY). Public concern rose over the last few weeks over a tritium (a radioactive isotope) leak VY had spilling from until then undisclosed underground pipes. The official stance was that the leaking isotope was not harmful and therefore of not much ecological concern. However opinions on general radiation released from nuclear power plants are divided. Some believe that the radiation nuclear reactors release during regular operation is not harmful; others believe that people and the ecosystem already are affected by enough background radiation and that any man-made radiation should not be added.
Background radiation is radiation exposure from a variety of causes encountered on a daily bases. Examples would be: cosmic radiation, radiation from rocks and minerals, household radiation (such as glow-in-the-dark watches and fertilizers for example) and man-made radiation from fallout, such as weapons tests and use and nuclear reactors, irradiated food, but also medical uses such as x-rays and mammography. However, the more nuclear reactors are being built, the more man-made radiation omits into the atmosphere. This also applies to nuclear weapons test, uranium mining (which is necessary for nuclear power plants to work) and any other man-made radiation exposure. Scientists do agree that children and infants, as well as pregnant women are the most vulnerable, so they have smaller allowable radiation doses.
Shutting down Vermont Yankee could offer the State of Vermont an opportunity to act as a leader in sustainable and ecological power production, such as solar and wind power. To grasp this prospect towards a healthy and environmentally friendly trend could also create a magnitude of jobs. You can contact your representative under this website address to demand an investment increase in renewable energy sources: http://www.vermont.gov/portal/government/