Honored were Dianne F. Kaufman, a formerly homeless woman who now makes about 600 meals a week for the homeless in Hyannis; Diane Turco, co-founder of the anti-nuke group the Cape Downwinders; and Steven G. Xiarhos, deputy chief of the Yarmouth Police Department.
Cornerstone Award winner Diane Turco
Turco, nominated by commission member and activist Mary Zepernick, began the Downwinders back in the late 1980s, when the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was going back online after recommendations against it by the governor, senators and public safety officers.
Public safety is at the root of all of the Downwinders’ efforts, she said.
“Pilgrim is the greatest threat to the public’s health and safety,” said Turco.
Turco said that the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear disaster was “the first real-life test” of the General Electric Mark 1 boiling-water reactor, which is also used in the Pilgrim plant. GE and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission knew that the reactors would fail in a disaster, she said; in 1986, Harold Denton, NRC safety officer, said it had a 90 percent chance of failure in just such a scenario.
“Fukushima wasn’t an accident. It was a prediction that came true,” she said.