Entergy Responds to a Letter Writer With Solid Data Refuting Accusation That Vermont Yankee is Unreliable
The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant has been under attack for several years by a concerted, organized effort to force it to shut down. One of frequently employed tactics has been to widely publicize and repeatedly mention any event that puts the plant in a bad light. The tactic of repetition imposes a perception in the minds of many who are not closely involved that the plant is “falling apart” and should be shut down as soon as it reaches the end of its initial operating license, if not sooner.
Like many of my pronuclear blogging friends, I have been a little disappointed in the lack of quotable responses from the plant owner. Today I received a copy of a letter that directly answers a critic with a detailed listing of facts about the plant’s sustained performance history. It is nice to see such a calm, factual and convincing response from Entergy to Mr. James Leas of Burlington, Vermont after he accused Vermont Yankee of exhibiting “extraordinary” reliability issues.
Recently I posted the first part of an extensive essay on the history of the antinuclear movement at:Deregulate the Atom, and during the research I did for that item, I found that there were several attempts at the beginning to reason with those that were objecting to the presence of any sort of nuclear reactor in their community. The problem is that antinuclear feelings are not driven by rational thinking in most cases, and when it is, it is more often concern for property values than anything else.
Antinuclear activists have made a science of FUD and making mountains out of molehills: it is their stock-in-trade. While it is nice to see a level-headed reply from a nuclear plant executive, it will roll off the backs of the protesters, like water off a duck.
@DV82XL: I think you may, perhaps, miss the point. Sure, there are *committed* anti-nuclear ‘haters’, who will not and cannot be reasoned with. But, when the antis make claims, and those claims go unanswered, many people who are simply uneducated about the truth of the matter, but who have heard/read those claims, will presume that silence is confirmation. The Nuclear industry *must* vigorously respond to the false accusations, so that they can convince the vast majority of people who are, to a greater or lesser extent, mostly reasonable, and interested in finding out the truth. Such people are not the one making these claims, but they hear these claims, and they need to hear the rebuttals.
@Jeff Schmidt: Jeff you are quite right, and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, I support this sort of insinuative totally. I am a Canadian and I have written Michael Binder the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, on more than one occasion, applauding his habit of writing to the editors of every paper in Canada that prints stories suggesting that Canadian nuclear facilities are dangerous, or poorly run, to correct the record. In fact, he is a bit of a pit-bull about it, but unfortunately it is goiung to take time before the message gets through, and already he is being accused of being in the industry’s pocket for his troubles. (An accusation which is outright ludicrous given the CNSC is an agency so anal, you couldn’t pull a pin out.)
My comment was more of a general observation that historically efforts like this while laudable, and perhaps necessary, are not enough and we should not expect too much from them.
@DV82XL – I do not expect too much from a single effort, but I do plan to laud it, repeat it, and encourage other industry leaders to do the same. One thing that nukes should understand better than most is how to build up from a “fiducial level” of isolated reactions to a self-sustaining power source using their understanding of controlled chain reactions.
Rod, thanks for posting this. Take my word for it the changes cited in the letter just scratch the surface of improvements we’ve made in the plant in the last 10 years. Much of the major components are new such as , feed pump motors, condensate pump motors, HP Turbine, Main Transformer, main generator, hydrogen coolers, all feedwater heaters, service water pumps, emergency service water pumps will be new this year and unit coolers. To accomplish Extended Power Uprate we implemented 50+ modifications in 2004-2005. We set a new industry standard for evaluation and monitoring of the steam dryer. The capital investment by Entergy is way beyond what Vermont Yankee could have implemented without the purchase by Entergy. I haven’t even mentioned the large investment in the cooling towers.
Impressive letter. I hope it enjoys wide circulation in Vermont.
It’s too little too late for Entergy.We’ve had it with their lies and arrogance. No discussion can begin on VY until Entergy is gone
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