The Brattleboro Reformer is not known as a friend to Vermont Yankee. Most people at the plant refuse to read the paper, calling it the MisInformer. The Reformer editorial policy can be summarized in three words: Shut It Down!
So imagine my surprise when I read the July 14 editorial entitled: Just the facts, please.
Now, I don't want to oversell this editorial. It does not support VY's continued operation, and ends by urging people to give money to the most effective anti-VY groups.
But, in the meantime, this editorial lists and refutes the usual pack of lies told against VY. Here are the first few paragraphs:
The opponents of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant’s continued operation are passionate, emotional and rightly concerned about the health of their children, themselves and the environment.
But many of the claims used to support their stance are not hard cold facts but rather exaggerations, misinformation and downright wrong, which do not serve their cause well.
For example, there were cries of distress when the Department of Health revealed that bones from fish caught near the power plant tested positive for strontium-90, proof the plant has been leaking radioactive materials into the environment.
A spokesman for the Vermont Department of Health told the public that the strontium levels were normal and within the background levels that are a result of the meltdown at Chernobyl and weapons testing that went on until 1965. Even the river steward of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, a fierce opponent to the plant’s continued operation, said the levels were normal.
The editorial goes on to refute several of the other calumnies against the plant and against nuclear power (the Tooth Fairy Project, the German children-get-leukemia study). It urges anti-plant activists to
- stop throwing compost at people in meetings
- stop pretending to copulate during public meetings
- stop other antics which please the hard-core zealots, but repulse ordinary citizens
The editorial ends with this ringing suggestion:
So if you are opposed to the plant operating past 2012, put your money where your big mouth is, become better informed and stop the childish outbursts and juvenile foot stomping.
Wow. What happened in Brattleboro?
I think I know.
The Fish Turned
As the editorial noted, the Vermont Department of Health, and a well-informed anti-nuclear group (among others) noted that the fish in the Connecticut River contain only background levels of radioactive strontium. However, as I have noted in earlier posts, that has not prevented groups from marching in the Brattleboro Fourth of July parade as radioactive fish, showing up at meetings as radioactive fish, etc. It did not prevent Shumlin from stating that radioactive strontium was attacking the teeth of children in Vermont.
In a post called Destructive Lies, published in June, I stated that the lies of the anti-nukes were destroying the Vermont Brand. I think that when the (not) radioactive fish walked down the street in Brattleboro in the Fourth of July parade, other people also noticed this. (You can't help but notice a human-sized, three-eyed fish.) Other people saw this and became aware of what the anti-Vermont Yankee lies are doing to Vermont.
People in Brattleboro will no longer accept lies about contamination and dangers caused by VY.
Good News on Indian Point
I want to give a tip of the hat to Rod Adams, for his excellent post on pro-Indian Point citizens coming out to testify in New York. We can all learn from this! We have to be out there and visible.
Especially now that the fish has turned.