To Advertise On Our Website Click Here

NRC CHAIRMAN ENTERS THE LION’S DEN IN VERMONT

Special to Nuclear Townhall
It was called a “stakeholders meeting” but the only stakeholders present were the pony-tailed men in business suits, the cheerful young attorneys from the Naderite Public Interest Group and the legions of well-dressed, well-spoken women who can’t for the life of them imagine why anybody would ever want to invent nuclear power.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko ventured into the vortex yesterday morning in Brattleboro, confronting more than a hundred passionate nuclear opponents (plus a dozen TV cameras) at the Ramada Inn on Route 5. If you’d taken a vote at 11 a.m., it would have been 125-0 in favor of closing Vermont Yankee that afternoon.

Jaczko took a lot of heat. The man who heads the commission that just shut down site clearance for two days at Plant Vogtle in Georgia because one of the contractors hadn’t turned in written statements from prospective employees about drug abuse was characterized as negligent, indifferent to public safety and in the pockets of giant, malignant corporations who are ‘only in it for the profit.”

The key moment occurred, however, when Jaczko made the casual and seemingly indisputable remark that “what the offshore oil industry is going through now the nuclear industry went through thirty years ago at Three Mile Island – except there was no off-site damage.”

To any objective observer, this was a simple reference to the “worst accident in American nuclear history” in which, fortunately, no one was hurt. To this crowd, however, it was red meat.

“What about the radiation monitors that blew out!”  “What about all those cancer studies?”  They are all steeped in the lore that Three Mile Island was in fact a health catastrophe that has been diligently covered up by the powers that be.

Nuclear community voices were already complaining yesterday that business interests were excluded from the Brattleboro session and that only one side was represented. But Jaczko’s method did seem to serve a purpose.  It allowed the anti-nuclear side –- a sizable contingency in this community -– to vent its anger. Of course they still weren’t satisfied.  The main theme at the end of the meeting was Jaczko’s refusal to allow the press to accompany him on his afternoon tour of the plant –- another alleged cover-up in the making.

And so the “Close Vermont Yankee Now” crowd had their day. The question that wasn’t asked, however -– and which the NRC, the state legislature and even the anti-nukes are eventually going to have to face –- is how in the world can the state possibly replace the 600 MW generated on the banks of the Connecticut River?  “Close it now” advocates argue that “only 270 MW is consumed in Vermont” with the rest going onto the New England grid. But subtracting 330 MW from the grid would mean all of New England would be scrambling over those few fossil-burning plants that are supposed to make up the difference.

It goes without saying that Citizens Awareness Network, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Nuclear Free Vermont by 2012, the Safe & Green Campaign, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance and the New England Coalition have a simple answer –- “conservation and renewables.”  Citizens Awareness even features a bevy of windmills surrounding the challenged reactor on its website.

Given that at this very moment public officials and environmentalists in the Great Lakes region around Niagara County, NY are passionately protesting the erection of 166 wind turbines on the Lake Ontario shoreline as part of the New York Power Authority’s effort to bring renewable energy to western part of the state, one has to ask how renewables of any scale can ever expect to fly in Vermont?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 Responses to “NRC CHAIRMAN ENTERS THE LION’S DEN IN VERMONT”

  1. knownukes Says:

    Wind mills don’t fly. In fact, most that I’ve seen don’t even spin!

  2. knownukes Says:

    Wind mills don’t fly. In fact, most that I’ve seen don’t even spin!

  3. knownukes Says:

    Wind mills don’t fly. In fact, most that I’ve seen don’t even spin!

  4. Charley Haughney Says:

    Not surprisingly it seems, a group of grand doyens of the New England anti-nuclear movement were organized, prepared and ready to stay “on message” as they led this particular lamb to the slaughter. The overwhelming irony of this encounter would seem to be that these doyens gored one of their own oxen, the irrepressible Greg Jaczko, a loyal disciple of one of the Grand Ayatollas of the anti-nuclear movement, Ed Markey. Let’s pray that Chairman Jaczko does not use his vilification as an excuse to force the plant’s untimely demise.

  5. Charley Haughney Says:

    Not surprisingly it seems, a group of grand doyens of the New England anti-nuclear movement were organized, prepared and ready to stay “on message” as they led this particular lamb to the slaughter. The overwhelming irony of this encounter would seem to be that these doyens gored one of their own oxen, the irrepressible Greg Jaczko, a loyal disciple of one of the Grand Ayatollas of the anti-nuclear movement, Ed Markey. Let’s pray that Chairman Jaczko does not use his vilification as an excuse to force the plant’s untimely demise.

  6. Charley Haughney Says:

    Not surprisingly it seems, a group of grand doyens of the New England anti-nuclear movement were organized, prepared and ready to stay “on message” as they led this particular lamb to the slaughter. The overwhelming irony of this encounter would seem to be that these doyens gored one of their own oxen, the irrepressible Greg Jaczko, a loyal disciple of one of the Grand Ayatollas of the anti-nuclear movement, Ed Markey. Let’s pray that Chairman Jaczko does not use his vilification as an excuse to force the plant’s untimely demise.

  7. David Says:

    Sad, propaganda with no reply and no debate. If the Chairman wants to shut down the plant he is doing it the right way.

  8. David Says:

    Sad, propaganda with no reply and no debate. If the Chairman wants to shut down the plant he is doing it the right way.

  9. David Says:

    Sad, propaganda with no reply and no debate. If the Chairman wants to shut down the plant he is doing it the right way.

  10. treasure isle cheats Says:

    If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read President Can’t Swim.

  11. Pink Friday Says:

    Hey, I think your really on focus with this, I won’t say I totally agree , but its not really that big of a issue.

  12. AT&T Forums Says:

    Very good written article. It will be supportive to anybody who employess it, including myself. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  13. AT&T Forums Says:

    You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found the majority of persons will have the same opinion with your blog.

  14. nail fungus cures Says:

    Finally, got what I was looking for!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. Glad I stumbled into this article! smile I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you article.

  15. make money at home Says:

    You made some nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found a good number of persons will go along with with your blog.