On Thursday night, September 30, we held the first meeting of the Energy Education Project at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich. We had a nice turnout, more than twenty people (not including the speakers). This was great for a rainy night in this area, especially because I felt I had done only a so-so job of announcing the meeting.
I was pleased to see that a couple of people came because of an ad I had put in the local paper. I wasn't sure if advertising would be effective or not. It was effective. Also, we were lucky that Mark Morgan, a local cinematographer, volunteered to record the meeting. We hope to have parts of the meeting on YouTube soon.
The meeting started with John McClaughry, acting president of the Ethan Allen Institute, introducing the two speakers: myself and Dr. Robert Hargraves. The Energy Education Project is part of the Ethan Allen Institute.
I spoke first. Basically, there's a paradox about understanding the grid and Vermont Yankee's role in grid reliability. Therefore, I talked about ISO-NE (the grid system operator) and how the grid is managed. The paradox is:
- People opposed to Vermont Yankee claim that VY is "only 2% of the grid capacity" (implying there is no problem with shutting it down)
- However, as I posted recently, ISO-NE refused to let VY drop out of the forward energy auction, because Vermont Yankee is necessary for grid reliability.
The History Of Vermont Yankee
Bob Hargraves updated a talk he gave this spring to the Hanover Rotary club. Bob told the history of Vermont Yankee, and the near-impossibility of replacing its power with renewables. Do Vermonters really want to devote twice the acreage of the Green Mountain National Forest to tree farms for biomass? Are 250 huge wind turbines on the highest ridges a good idea? Bob's somewhat updated presentation is available at the Ethan Allen website.
The Ethan Allen website version is a pdf, so you can scroll through it quickly. For the full story, however, you might want to listen to the earlier Rotary Club version, which has a voice-over.
VY 4 VT
Howard Shaffer and I are used to distributing material we have copied by ourselves. Fighting to keep clean air and nuclear in Vermont has been a self-financed business. Recently, Entergy has woken up a bit, and now provides people like us with lawn signs. We had a bunch to give out at our meeting. The signs were lovely (picture above) but rather big. To my delight, ten lawn signs went home with people attending the meeting. People who are pro-nuclear are serious and enthusiastic. In the past, pro-nuclear people had few places come to meetings, hear interesting talks, pick up lawn signs, or eat chocolate chip cookies.
We have more events planned at the Energy Education Project: Check out our website.
While you are there, click on the PayPal button. Membership is $30 a year, and it means a lot to the future of energy in this country. And thanks to those who have already joined!
In October, the Energy Education Project has three events planned, and more in the works.
- A second talk on Vermont Yankee and grid stability
- A debate about nuclear power. The Education Project did not plan this debate: it is part of a series of events at Castleton College near Rutland. However, Howard Shaffer is debating a man from one of the well-funded anti-nuclear organizations in Washington D.C., so I am listing it as an Energy Education Project event.
- A talk about Vermont Yankee and economics. This will take place mid-month, near St. Johnsbury. Date and time to be announced shortly.
Hope to see you soon. And if you can't come, donate!
Carnival of Nuclear Energy
The 21st Carnival of Nuclear Energy is up at Next Big Future. Is the Sierra Club is for nuclear? They used to be shills for natural gas, but that may be changing. The first thorium molten-salt reactor is on track to be built. And the taxes in Germany...well, let's face it. Nuclear makes profits, and profits are targets.
Always something new at the Carnival!