This letter to the editor appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer on November 4, 2011. Evan Twarog was kind enough to allow me to reprint it in this blog.
A Teen’s view of Vermont Yankee
Editor of the Reformer:
Nuclear power ... Vermont Yankee ... all increasingly controversial topics today. But no matter what side of the aisle you rest on, if you live in Vermont or New Hampshire, you’ll be affected if Vermont Yankee closes. Do I know for sure what the future holds for Vermont? No, not me and certainly not anyone else. But I can take a look at the statistics to determine what is most likely best for Vermont, and so can you. We all want what is best for Vermont, but we all have misconceptions and it takes will-power to overcome them. If we all open our minds to listen to the other side of the argument, we will be in a much better position to make decisions. In order to be a true leader, you need to have the courage to do that.
My dad works at Vermont Yankee. I’m incredibly proud of him. He’s worked tirelessly to get to the position he has now. He is a shift manager, and is in charge of operations at the plant when he is on shift. He is an incredibly smart man, and he wouldn’t have moved his family to this region if he felt that VY was in any way dangerous. On top of working 12 hour days and being a terrific father, he runs the Keene Youth Lacrosse Program. Many other employees of the plant are actively involved in other organizations as well. I understand that you might have negative feelings about the plant, but just try to put yourself in my shoes. Maybe you’ll see that my dad’s not the monster the media and anti-VY groups make him and the other VY employees out to be.
I’ve always thought that good things happen to good people, but clearly life is not so simple. I’ve always given back to the community, pushed myself in school, and helped others. Every night my family wonders what we will do if VY does shut down. We have to live with the fact that if VY closes, we won’t have the life that we enjoy now. No one, let alone a kid should have to deal with that. My family’s story is only one story of more than 600.
I have done the research, and I truly believe that Vermont Yankee is not only safe, but it is a reliable and clean source of energy. It is a major employer, which our area needs desperately in these tough economic times. I am proud to be part of the VY family.
Keene, N.H., Oct. 31