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12 Comments

  1. Being in the Mountain Time Zone two hours behind you, I put up that blog post at about 10 PM Saturday night. The east coast would have been easing into Sunday morning. Mystery solved.

  2. We had a major winter storm here past two days. Sleep cycle is shot to hell from multiple episodes of snow blowing, naps, and more snow blowing. So far we’ve had about 12-18 inches of heavy, wet stuff – very much NOT trhe type of snow usually found in Idaho which is usally dry powder. This is east coast snow. What’s it doing out here?

  3. Maybe the climate is changing?

    A couple of weeks ago, the east coast had a major storm with up to 24 inches in some places. The snow during that storm was quite powdery; almost western in consistency. It broke a number of records in various cities up and down the coast for the month of December.

    I did not bother with strange sleep cycles to try to keep my driveway clear; we were holed up in a Shenandoah Valley B&B and let the owner take care of plowing to provide us access to depart after our visit.

  4. “…who will benefit if Vermont Yankee is forced to stop supplying low cost electricity?” Perhaps the same people who will benefit from the mass deployment of wind turbines and solar panels needing back-up generation.

  5. Twenty years ago I worked at a nuke in California that closed early after a similar anti-nuke campaign. The capacity of that was replaced with natural gas despite all the claims about conservation and renewable energy.

    There is nothing wrong with conservation or renewable energy but it does not replace large baseload nukes. For a few years, I worked on renewable energy. I learned that nimby applies to all power projects except hypothetical ones.

  6. Kit P – you have provided some evidence of one of my major points on Atomic Insights – well-funded efforts to shut down nuclear plants end up providing a long term increase in sales for companies that sell fossil fuels. Due to the effects of supply and demand balances on commodities whose rate of production is limited by natural resource abundance, the increase in sales volume often comes at a higher price than would be expected if the nuclear plant had continued to operate. An increased sales volume at a higher price – what more could a fossil fuel selling company want?

    Accidental – I think not!

    NIMBY may apply to other energy sources, but somehow fossil fuel projects manage to find (buy?) enough supporters that they get built and operated anyway.

  7. Hi Kit. I also used to work in renewables, specifically geothermal. My statement about renewables is that you can’t move them, so you can’t build them. NIMBY wins almost every time. You can’t move renewables because you have to put them where the resource is (the meadow with the geothermal steam under it, the high ridge near the ocean for the wind turbine) and so NIMBY can stop them very easily. For a nuclear plant or a fossil plant, all you need is a body of water, a few acres, and a rail line. More possible sites means less NIMBY power. I should probably blog about this! One of these days, maybe!

    Glad to see all these comments!

  8. VY is going to be a big fight – and really important, too. It’s important for the future of Vermont, important for the future of Western Massachusetts, important for the future of New England, important for the future of the country at large, important for the world. Whether or not we’re serious about fighting global warming depends on this: whether fear of the unseen, of the unknown, of the “invisible world”, of modern-day “witchcraft”, and reflexive articles of political (even quasi-religious) faith will win over science, engineering, common sense, decency, and REAL environmental protection. This is going to be the Scopes Monkey Trial – if not the Salem Witch Trial – of the 21st century.

    The Court of Oyer and Terminer is open for business up Montpelier way, and now comes the defendant, Vermont Yankee, accused of weird, mysterious, and strange means of generating energy, ways not understood, ways feared because they are uncanny, and inexpensive, and endanger the fossil fuel interests! Witchcraft is rumored to abound down in Vernon, Vermont under the unholy concrete of the Reactor Building!

    At the bench, we have Peter Shumlin, a latter day Judge Hawthorne, who always findeth so many and divers witches, and always hath so little firewood, while for the Prosecution, we have his erstwhile accomplices of VTPIRG. What evidence do they have? Cows have given sour milk, and strange lights have been seen in the night…and these little girls have given us evidence! They have seen witches in their dreams, speaking in tongues about strange rituals! SPECTRAL EVIDENCE!

    A coven of witches dancing around the pressure vessel chanting “Boil, boil, toil and trouble, fuel rods heat, and reactor bubble! Jet pumps run, and dry steam bring; wetwell quench, and turbine sing. Unknown deposits of the Chalk River, distill thee out! Get thee hither!” WITCHCRAFT! The claw of the Devil holds Vernon, Vermont!

    Who’s funding this modern day Inquisition? The filthy special interests who have their eye on Vermont – King Coal and Standard Oil – King Coal’s looking to bulldoze the Green Mountains into the Brown Hills – while Standard wants to DRILL BABY DRILL!

    The question before the jury: Do we want poverty? Or do we want a decent life? Should government serve the special interests? Or shall it serve the public good? Shall we give blood for oil? Or shall we make energy for all? Shall we fight global warming with the only thing powerful enough to stop it? Or will we all be downwind of the global meltdown? In the balance stand the people of Vermont – the people of New England – the people of the United States of America – the people of this planet.

    The clock is ticking: either civilization ends carbon, or carbon ends civilization. Either we end fossil fuels, or fossil fuels end us all.

    Ending fossil fuels starts with saving Vermont Yankee from this latter-day witch-hunt.

    1. Dave – once more I would like your permission to elevate your comment to the blog front page. That makes is visible not only in the comment thread but also for the search engines, TheEnergyCollective, and NuclearStreet (both of which republish Atomic Insights posts now). Terrificly stated with both allusion and humor. It should be a thought provoking discussion.

  9. Meridith

    I found that many local people are very supportive of both renewable energy and nukes assuming you can show that it will benefit the community. NIMBY is kind of a misnomer unless your project is next to a private school for the kids of big city lawyers.

    I have found local environmental activists and attorneys with a store front office on Main Street are opened minded. Show them that power plant operators become a responsible part of the community that listens to the concerns of the community and siting battle is much easier. It is the out of agitators who have no problems denigrating the reputation of people.

    Rod wrote,

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