Entergy’s announced decision to close Vermont Yankee hit me pretty hard. It was the fifth announced closure of a large nuclear reactor in 2013. It was one more indication that the nuclear renaissance that seemed so close to becoming real in 2005 is struggling.
It was also an announcement that I took a little personally, I’ve been writing about the struggle between good and evil in Vermont for many years. Some of the good people I know in that fight, Meredith Angwin and Howard Shaffer have devoted a good portion of their time for more than half a decade in efforts to help their neighbors understand the value that the plant’s clean, emission-free, gas-independent, power brings to the people who live near it.
Many of my friends have shared their feelings on the issue privately, but most seem to accept that it is a case where facts and logic have lost to emotional appeals. As scientists and engineers, they feel almost helpless in that kind of political battle.
Earlier this week, Meredith published a post on ANS Nuclear Cafe titled We are not Spock: Emotion and Nuclear Power in which she gives herself, and all other technically minded people, permission to mourn. Please go and read that post now and think about ways to remind people about the human costs of political actions that shut down valuable assets and put well-trained, high integrity people with demonstrated work ethics out on the street in search of new employment.
Steve Aplin at Canadian Energy Issues makes an important statement about antinuclear activism in the concluding remarks of his post titled Conservation, anti-nuke style: still more carbon, even if successful.
If you are anti-nuclear, you are pro-fossil. You are not fighting carbon. You are helping it into the atmosphere.
We need to keep repeating these simple truths, and we need to do it in such a way as to emphasize our deeply held emotions about their implications for the 7 billion people who are already on Earth and those who will be joining us in the future.