Community Member

Citizens Awareness Network

Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

Citizens Awareness Network (CAN) was formed to help end the use of dangerous and costly nuclear power and replace it with sustainable and affordable energy. The organization was founded in 1991 by concerned citizens in Western Massachusetts after lightning struck the Vermont Yankee and Yankee Rowe nuclear reactors in 1991. Fearing a potential reactor meltdown even more after learning that the NRC had gambled on allowing the reactor to continue running with a one in ten thousand chance of an accident rather than the required one in a million, CAN came together to combat the danger of nuclear plants, the threat of radioactive nuclear waste, and the astronomical costs of the nuclear industry. As a leading regional voice for resistance against the dangerous lack of proper oversight by the NRC and nuclear corporations in the Northeast, CAN provides an outlet where citizens can find the resources and solidarity needed to stand against the deeply entrenched nuclear energy industry.

July 4th parade in Brattleboro, VT in 2022

Citizens Awareness Network is a regional grassroots organization across New England with more than 4,000 members who are working for a democratic, environmentally just, and scientifically sound solution to America’s energy needs. This includes the vexing issue of how to dispose of nuclear energy’s radioactive waste. CAN has a vision for a safe and prosperous future where local energy production and conservation creates local jobs; where renewable energy is utilized in all homes and public buildings; and where everyone can access sustainable and affordable energy. The organization was instrumental in shutting down four reactors at Yankee Rowe, CT Yankee, Millstone Unit 1, and Vermont Yankee. This included legal victories against the NRC and nuclear energy corporations over high-level waste storage, decommissioning of aging facilities, and legally required public participation hearings. Each of these victories helped create a safer environment for citizens living near these facilities.

People marching on the day that Vermont Yankee was supposed to shut down had the NRC not extended its operating license. March 2012 in Brattleboro, Vermont. From 2016 Facebook post. Photo: Cate Woolner Photography

For more information:

Ann Darling: Nuclear power is no answer to anything our ailing planet needs – VTDigger, February 2023

Yale Thesis Chronicles ‘Long Closure’ of Indian Point – River Journal, January 2023

Deb Katz: Focus on the public good – VTDigger, August 2014

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Deb Katz, Executive Director


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Earthquakes, Flooding, Sea Level Rise, Water Contamination

Environmental Justice Concerns

Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Mining, Nuclear Power Plants


Art Activism, Community Organizing and Education, Fighting Industrial Contamination, Policy Reform, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


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