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Editor of the Reformer:

As a retired nuclear engineer, I can attest that 15 millirem is both an acceptable and conservative radiation level to prescribe for a greenfield project ("Hold NorthStar to previous radiation standards," Jan. 30). Under NorthStar's proposed 15 mr level, a farmer can safely live at the decommissioned site, raise livestock and eat the crops grown there. If the town of Vernon proceeds with its plan to develop another industrial site on the property, there is no environmental reason to reduce the radiation level as the site is decommissioned.

Once the safety of 15 mr is understood, the real question becomes do we want Vermont Yankee to remain in SAFSTOR for another 50 years or reap the economic and environmental benefits of a decommissioned site within the next decade? NorthStar's offer is an once-in-a-lifetime deal — let's not lose our chance. Milli means one thousandth. A rem is a very large amount. The name is an abbreviation for Roentgen Equivalent Man. Roentgen was the discoverer of X-rays. The unit measures the amount and effect of radiation on people. It is an older unit of measure. The modern unit is Sievert which is 100 times larger.

Howard Shaffer,

Enfield, N.H., Feb. 22