This morning I saw a couple of Twitter posts from friends who write about nuclear energy. They linked to a site called I am Vermont Yankee. The site is compelling. It uses readily available web tools and a clean, easy to navigate interface to help you find short video clips of Vermont Yankee employees telling their stories. There is a straightforward page of facts and links.
(Hint to the site designers: – think about linking to some nuclear energy blogs, not just the standard links to the DOE, the NRC, the ANS, the WNA, and the NEI. We will link back and help to spread your story and get it picked up by search engines; good luck getting links and publicity from those three letter organizations.)
The videos are simple and direct. They are real people with real faces – and Vermont accents – telling the world why they work where they do, why they feel safe and secure in raising families near the plant, what motivates them to go to work on all shifts and to study hard to learn their assignments. I particularly like the story from the father who has encouraged both of his daughters to intern at the plant. One of them even decided to seek and find a job there after leaving the state for a while and then deciding to come home.
I hope that we will be seeing more videos like the ones posted so far on the site so that those who support the continued operation of the plant can have their stories heard – even if they are not the kinds of people who take to the street and carry signs aimed at attracting the commercial news media looking for a controversial story to cover. When workers get their stories out, it makes it more difficult for people to demonize the place where they work. When worker stories are readily available, activists are shown to be anti-jobs when they continue pressing for the plant to be shutdown. It removes the ability to portray the battle as one against an out-of-state corporate owner.
Many people think that electricity is a magic service that simply comes out of a wall socket on demand; the people that produce it understand that it is a quality product that requires carefully maintained machinery, raw material and a dedicated, 24 x 7 work force. Go to I am Vermont Yankee and show your support. Do it now, before you get busy doing something else.