Monday, July 12, 2010

PSB Update: Send Your Comments

Please send in your comments to the Commissioners. The Public Service Board (PSB) Commissioners are receiving hundreds of comments on docket 7600. This docket proposes to shut down Vermont Yankee immediately. Even up the balance! The opponents have organized campaigns to send comments to the PSB, and we have to send comments also!

You can file a comment using the PSB general Comment Form. Choose "other" from the Drop Down list, and head your comments with the words "Docket 7600."

The Door to the Meeting

The picture above shows the scene near the door of Brattleboro High School on July 8, just before the PSB meeting on Docket 7600. That's me on the left (green shirt, purse). My own picture of the man in the fish costume didn't show all three eyes, but Howard Shaffer was kind enough to send me this picture.

If you double-click on the picture, you can read the sign "Revoke the Certificate of Public Evil." I suspect the fish was part of the Safe and Green Campaign's Fourth of July event, focusing on "radioactive fish." The fact that all fish have only contained background levels of radioactivity doesn't matter much to the foes of the plant. The fish are NOT radioactive, but with a fish costume and a few lies, the facts won't matter.

As I approached, the fish began talking to me. "Hi Meredith," it (he?) said. "See what your tritium has done to me? I have three fins!" (It had three eyes and two fins, actually.) After a few moments banter, the fish said he was going to eat a banana, and I warned him against doing so.

This is the first time a fish has addressed me by name. However, my favorite Mahler symphony includes a movement about St. Anthony talking to the fishes. The fishes hear the Saint's good advice, but don't change their actions.

So I was partially prepared for this conversation.

No News is Still News?

The opponents had nothing new to say. The tritium leak is fixed, the NRC gave the plant a clean bill of health. A heat-wave was raging with power prices up near $150/MWh and the plant was at 100% power, selling by contract at $45 .

What could they say? They said the same old stuff. They said that they are scared of the plant. They SUNG that they are scared of the plant. (Two people sang their testimony.) They brought banners saying No Nukes. Street Theater from top to bottom. No content.

The picture shows a man testifying (I don't know his name). The commisioners are at the front table. You can see John Dunn's back (striped shirt on left). John works at the plant. The woman with the banners is taking a picture. The man with the video camera is the controversial documentary maker, Robbie Leppzer.

The Good News

From my point of view, there were several pieces of good news about the meeting. Sure, the statements of the opponents were repetitive and snore-inducing. How long can you listen to "I'm scared. I'm really really really scared?" I guess, about three hours is the limit.

However, in the good news, more people than usual testified in favor of the plant. I was particularly happy to see a person I had never met speaking up for the plant. As the Sentinel Source reported:

David Garrecht of Guilford, Vt., spoke in support the plant’s operation and said he’s concerned that the plant will be closed early due to pressure from the media and opponents of the plant.

Garrecht said he isn’t involved with any of the advocacy groups that have formed in support of or in opposition to nuclear energy generation.

“The only connection I have is that I use electricity and I get bothered a little bit when some of the advocates say they’re speaking the public will, because that’s not my will,” he said. “I think that Vermont Yankee ought to continue until it can be replaced in 2032 by a more dense design of clean energy.”

To which I say: Amen.

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