He also pointed out that two factors have given Vermont Yankee bad press: missteps and miscommunications by the plant management, and a poisonous atmosphere promoted by Senator Shumlin among others. Specifically, O'Brien noted that the tritium leak had been blown completely out of proportion, that over twenty nuclear plants had such leaks, and Vermont Yankee had taken the correct steps to address it. At that remark, I could hardly stop myself from standing up and shouting "Yes, Yes, YOU TELL THEM!" (Actually, I'm kind of a quiet person, and this was a Republican breakfast meeting, so I didn't say anything.)
Aside: In a recent post, I noted that VY found the leak very quickly, and leak was less than 0.5 curie of tritium (Rod Adam's calculation). Adams also noted that a well-run CanDu reactor releases 5400 curies of tritium per year. The NRC notes that American reactors also release tritium in liquid effluent. From the NRC website: In 2003, the average PWR released about 700 curies of tritium in liquid effluents and the average BWR released about 30 curies of tritium in liquid effluents. (Vermont Yankee is a BWR).
In contrast, Vermont Yankee is a zero-liquid-discharge reactor which had a minor spill. Half a curie of tritium. This amount of tritium would look pretty good to most of the reactors in this country. End Aside.
O'Brien refused to panic over this incident, despite the endless chorus of "tritium will get into the Connecticut River and incredibly bad things will surely happen!" Well, no they won't. It was good to see that O'Brien paid attention to the facts and not the hype.
But enough about tritium for a while. Have a banana, sit back, and relax. I realize that I have posted videos featuring Gundersen and Shumlin. So let's have some air time for the good guys for a change. Here's a video of the president of Areva North America, Jacques Besnainou, talking about America and nuclear.
Note: I received an email that someone could not see the video. If you cannot see it, you can link to it here.