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November 15, 2013

Present: Phil Bisesi, Brita Clark, Dr. Terry Clark, Dr. Stan Dienst, Beth Gilman, Steve Gilman, Mary Olson, Dr. Lew Patrie, Bob Howarth, Dr. Don Richardson, Barbara Scott, John Spitzberg

Lunch and refreshments began at 12 noon, and the business meeting followed at 12:30 pm.

KEY BUSINESS:

1. The minutes drafted by Steve for our October 2013 meeting were discussed and approved. There was consensus to move forward to other business without further comment.

2. Terry reported that our chapter has a balance of $1,908.63.

3. Lew Patrie has accepted the role of our chapter treasurer for the remainder of 2013. The 2013 chapter chair (Terry), chapter treasurer (Lew) and chapter secretary (Steve) should decide soon whether or not they want to run for these offices for the 2014 calendar year.  

4. Bob provided a draft outline on the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) chapter subcommittee (Bob, Terry, Don, Lew) work. Included in the draft was a list of nine OREPA support project items. There was consensus to accept the draft and to continue this chapter subcommittee work which now includes developing a time line.

5. Mary led the discussion regarding the 11/04 Nuclear Regulatory Commission public meeting in Charlotte, NC. WNCPSR provided $300 funding to co-sponsor a chartered bus  to/from Charlotte, and there are now several YouTubes from this event. Mary reported that the 47-seat bus was mostly filled, and there was no financial shortfall.   

6. Mary reviewed the nuclear waste management status, including the failure of Yucca mountain to be a waste depository. Mary also summarized key items that have occurred since a federal judge ruled that NRC needs to provide an acceptable environmental impact statement regarding nuclear waste before nuclear plant licensing and re-licensing can resume.  

7. Terry reported that the effort to validate our chapter’s contact list is progressing.

8. In regard to the “Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons” course that was offered at UNCA to the College for Seniors, it was reported that Dot Sulock may be at our January 2014 meeting. Dot created this course and can share potential next steps to advertise this course more widely.  

9. Steve participated in the November 2013 PSR National Board of Directors 3-day conference in Washington, DC and will provide notes before next month’s chapter meeting.  Steve’s major headline items from the conference:

a) Ira Helfand reported a revision to his Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear War indicating that there would be 2 billion lives at risk (not 1 billion as originally thought) if a regional 100-nuclear weapon war occurred between Pakistan and India. (The U.S. and Russia have over 3,000 over nuclear weapons.)    

b) The Health and Radiation committee in which Steve participates was voted to become a full-time committee. (It was previously enacted as a temporary committee.)

c) Anthony Ingraffea of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Health Energy provided a comprehensive presentation on fracking. In short, the discovery phase of what is happening at all U.S. fracking sites as it applies to water and air safety is on track to be completed within 2 years. Initial data show that the danger from methane is far worse than what industry experts have anticipated.

10. John Spitzberg and Barbara Scott are active in the local Asheville chapter of Veterans for Peace. They indicated that Veterans for Peace will sponsor a national meeting in Asheville in July 2014. They recommend that our chapter propose a workshop for this meeting.

11. Terry was contacted by Dr. Colette Dowell from McDowell county regarding her interest in PSR-related issues including effects of radiation. Terry will follow up.

12. Terry has been in touch with Bill Blackley, MD, Elkin, NC. Bill has shown interest in biomass and fracking and plans to attend a chapter meeting in the near future.

Next meeting: 12:00 pm Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville).

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC/PSR chapter secretary
Western North Carolina (WNC) Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Chapter meeting minutes -- Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

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