Friday, August 25, 2017

Nuclear Neighbor

Speak Up

This is a post scrip to my poem On Being Quiet that I posted recently. In that poem I mentioned that I hear humming noises. One of these noises sounds like electric currents.  Well, sometimes it’s good to be quiet and other times it’s good to speak up and I felt obliged to speak up about this.

I just found out that there are two uranium-powered nuclear reactors not far from where I live – the US Reserve, Kenneth A Kesselring site in West Milton, near Saratoga Springs, New York where they train the Navy to use nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. The site is operated by Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory which is located not far away in Niskayuna, near Schenectady, New York. The current way these reactors are run is with lots of electricity and, of course, they are generating lots of electricity. Therefore, it is possible that this is contributing to the noises that I hear. They have been in operation since 1955. There used to be four active reactors at this site but one has been dismantled and one is presently being dismantled.

By the way, nuclear waste remains radioactive for about 200,000 years and is very toxic. There is a risk of leakage into the environment and problems about storage.

I spoke to a local resident and he described how he used to go hunting in the area but since 9/11, roads to the site have been blockaded and it’s all very top secret. Also, he has noticed lots of concrete trucks coming and going. I would guess this is at least in  part due to the dismantling operation. I wonder where all this toxic waste is going. And where has all the other radioactive waste gone over the past 62 years that this site has been producing it?

At any rate, my view from all this is that the noises I hear are not a figment of my imagination or that it has always been this way  Although there have been nuclear reactors in operation all my life, I'm more aware of them now. When I say I wish my environment was quiet, I do not mean an absence of crickets chirping or other natural noises, I mean I wish there were no humming noises from machines and electricity.


How Much Nuclear Waste Does Your State Hold? Three out of every four states in the United States contain nuclear waste. Uh-oh, The Motley Food, by Maxx Chatsko, Jul 27, 2013 at 10:30AM, Thanks for use of photo: More than 50 sites across the country are licensed for dry cask storage of spent nuclear fuel.  

On Being Quiet – A Poem by Jennifer Wilson,

How much electricity is needed to start a reactor and keep it running? Eurofusion,

How safe are the two reactors in Milton? Units sited by fault lines designed for war – Navy says, by Brian Nearing Staff writer, Updated 1:41 pm, Thursday, March 24, 2011,

Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory,

Naval Nuclear Laboratory, Kenneth A. Kesselring site,

Nuclear Waste: Do We Know What to Do With It? by Amanda Onion, May 17, 2017,

Radio Active Waste and Pollution, Riverkeeper, NY's clean river advocate, 

Stuck in the Middle with B'org by Jennifer Wilson, B'org Food Chain blog,

World Nuclear Association, Nuclear-Powered Ships, updated July 2017,