AREA ACTIVISTS PLAN TO RE-LAUNCH OYSTER CREEK WATCH NUKE GROUP
MEETING WITH SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER 9/7/2000
Area activists opposed to the continue operation of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant have scheduled a meeting on Thursday, September 7th, 7:00 PM, at the public meeting room of the Berkeley Mental Health Center, 160 route in, in Bayville. Following up on the recent protest at Oyster Creek and the teach-in by members of the Citizens Awareness Network, as well as the continued interest in the baby teeth collection efforts of the Tooth Fairy Project, local activists have decided that it is important that there be an organized group of citizens whoís aims are to close down the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant as soon as possible, and to act as a safety watchdog group while the plant remains in operation. A Temporary Steering Committee is in formation. Activists on or invited to be on the Steering Committee include Norm Cohen of Linwood, Edith Gbur of Toms River, Ernest Zobian of Ocean Grove, Rena and Len Amada of Whiting, Alison Coyle of Brick, and Luanne Acevedo of Jackson. Additional members will be elected at the re-organization meeting
This meeting will also feature a special guest speaker, Ray Shadis, Staff Technical Advisor for the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, and founder of Maineís Friends of the Coast, the group that helped to shut down the Maine Yankee Nuclear Plant and is currently working on decommissioning issues in Maine.
Shadis will talk to the group about how to go about shutting down a nuclear plant, and about decommissioning issues that follow shutdown. He is one of the most able and experienced anti-nuclear activists in the nation.
The New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution [NECNP], founded in 1972, is one of the nationís oldest and experienced
safe-energy advocacy organizations. In his position as Staff Technical Advisor to NECNP, Ray Shadis is responsible for tracking and addressing nuclear safety and environmental issues at New Englandís nine nuclear power stations. Four of these reactors are permanently shutdown and undergoing decommissioning. Shadisí duties also include interacting with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC], other federal agencies, and state regulators. His office also provides information and assistance to activists and grassroots organizations across the United States. Shadis reports handing nuclear information queries from as far afield as India and Japan, and from a constituency that ranges from students to retired nuclear engineers.
Shadis lives on a 100-acre coastal farm in Edgecomb, Maine. It lies just one and one-half miles downwind of the now-defunct Maine Yankee Atomic Power Station [Maine Yankee]. In 1979 Shadis and his wife, Patricia, launched the nationís first initiative referendum campaign to close an operating power reactor. The campaign drew more political contributions than any initiative in the stateís history. It also drew world-wide media attention with the Shadisís appearing in New York and Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun, and Newsweek as well as the foreign press. Shadis appeared on numerous TV newscasts, including BBC Television, Swedish Television, and Japanese Television. He appeared on ABCís Good Morning America program to debate head of the New Hampshire Republican Party, John Sunnunu, who later became Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief-of-Staff. The campaign secured a record number of voter signatures to put the question of nuclear power to the voters in a special election held on September 23, 1980. In a record turnout for a Maine special election, 41.9 percent of those voting chose immediate closure of Maine Yankee. Activists have since forced two additional votes on the fate of Maine Yankee.
In 1981, Shadis was hired by the citizenís group, Sensible Maine Power, to coordinate technical information in an intervention before the NRC. The group intervened to prevent enactment of a proposal for increasing the density of spent fuel assemblies at Maine Yankee. The intervention was successful; one of only a few citizen interventions before the NRC to succeed.
It was also in 1981 that Shadis became a Trustee of the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution; serving on the Coalitionís Board until February of 1998 when he was hired to serve as the Coalitionís Staff Technical Advisor. During his tenure as a Trustee, Shadis had served as a consultant and information resource to safe energy groups, and other entities as diverse as the US Office of Technology Assessment and the Governorís Office of Georgia. Shadis participated in numerous nuclear forums and guest speaking engagements including the Annual Meeting of the Maine Society of Professional Engineers. He provided testimony before a Congressional Committee on Seabrook Nuclear Generating Station evacuation plans and accompanied a Commissioner of the NRC on a tour of Seabrook prior to its completion.
In 1995, Shadis founded the Maine environmental and nuclear-safety group, Friends of the Coast- Opposing Nuclear Pollution. The organization was successful in focusing regulatory, political, and media attention on safety defects in the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Station which led to its permanent shutdown in December 1996 and the decision by the plantís owners to go into decommissioning in August of 1997. Friends of the Coast is the only citizenís environmental organization actively engaged in the Maine Yankee decommissioning. Shadis has served since 1997 on Maine Yankee Atomic Power Companyís Citizen Advisory Panel on Decommissioning.
In 1998 Friends of the Coast intervened in a Federal Energy Commission rate case on funding Maine Yankee decommissioning. Shadis represented the group pro se, that is, acting in place of an attorney. In a settlement agreement, Maine Yankee not only agreed to pay the groupís expenses, but also agreed to fund independent environmental studies and to donate a 200-acre saltwater farm and $200,000 for the start-up of a center on environmental policy dialogue. The company also agreed that any deed transferring ownership of the plant site would contain a prohibition against redevelopment as a nuclear facility.
Recently Friends of the Coast forced an agreement with Maine Yankee and changes in Maine law that require nuclear clean-up standards two and one-half times more strict than those of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The measures also prohibit the disposal of radioactively contaminated demolition debris, a practice that had earlier been part of the company's plans.
Shadis has twice been invited to address a full-commission meeting of the NRC. He was the only regional activist invited to address two panels on regulatory change in NRCís Annual Regulatory Information Conference. Shadis has participated in numerous NRC consulting meetings, scoping sessions, technical issues meetings, and workshops. He recently completed a series of NRC working sessions on spent nuclear fuel storage hazards.
In 1999, Shadis was selected to participate in a Keystone Foundation National Dialogue on Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning. (Also participating in that dialogue was Jim Hildebrand of Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station).
Shadis is a native of Livingston, NJ and attended public and parochial schools in Livingston. He is an artist-sculptor and former teacher. Shadis and his wife of 37 years, Patricia, have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Patricia is an attorney in general practice and family law in Newcastle, Maine.
The re-launch meeting of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Watch is free and open to the public, who are urged to attend. For more information, please call Norm Cohen at 609-601-8583 or Luanne Acevado at 732-905-9370
CONTACT: Norm Cohen 609-601-8583
Luanne Acevdo: 732-905-9370
Ernest Zobian: 732-869-0760
Rena & Len Amada: 732-849-9050
Alison Coyle: 732-477-4910
Edith Gbur: 732-255-8044