CNN doesn't want both sides of the story on Vermont Yankee. A CNN show is airing today and tomorrow: U S Nuclear Plants Similar to Fukushima Raise Concerns. The show is basically a hatchet job on all Mark 1 reactors, with extra-special attention to Vermont Yankee. The trailer includes extensive interviews with Arnie Gundersen, scary music, and a segment that makes the NRC look like a bunch of stone-walling idiots. Watch the trailer if you have a strong tummy.
Why do I say CNN doesn't want both sides of the story? Well, some of it is just seeing the trailer. Some of it is personal. CNN called me in November about getting both sides of the story, but they never called back or interviewed me. They never interviewed Howard Shaffer or any other plant supporter whom I know. To me, it's all adding up to a show that Helen Caldicott would love. It will air tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET and PT. But you can make a difference!
The Audience Strikes Back
Pro-nuclear bloggers have already put up some excellent blog posts about this show:
Eric McErlain at the Nuclear Energy Institute blog Nuclear Notes wrote a Preview of CNN's Report on Vermont Yankee. His post includes a video of American nuclear plants withstanding flood, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes...all in 2011! McErlain also notes that CNN never called the Nuclear Energy Institute about this program. (So it's not just me, Eric. I'm glad to know that...)
McErlain also posted Some Facts on Vermont Yankee That Didn't Make the CNN Report and How Safe is Vermont Yankee? Ask the NRC, not CNN. The latter has great links to the NRC reports on VY safety and operation.
Meanwhile, at Atomic Power Review's February 17 post, Will Davis has links to everything you would possibly want to know about Mark 1 reactor safety and containment. Great job, Will!
The more general audience has also struck back. At the main CNN page about the upcoming video, there are over 1000 comments at this writing. Many of the comments are pro-nuclear. At a webpage CNN wrote about the comments on the original page (the page about the page is called overheard on CNN) CNN notes that the comment below has the most "Likes".
Jack Baker: "We have been using nuclear power for over 50 years, and there have been very few serious incidents, and only a couple of incidents with injuries or radiation release. And considering that the quantity of waste by-product is significantly less than any other type of power generation, including natural gas, how can people be so adamant against nuclear power?"
You Can Take Action and Let People Know What You Think
The first and most simple action would be to go to the CNN page about the video, register, and post a comment. You can also post a comment on that page through Facebook or Disqus or Twitter. Most of the people who have commented on the page are using screen names. If you want a screen name, I think that the CNN registration is the easiest way to get one.
You can also comment on the
CNN Presents Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cnnpresents. I just did. Obviously, my name appears on the comment. (Update. My comment disappeared from FB and will probably appear on the CNN page. I should have expected that...)
You can also tweet to @cnnpresents and @amberlyon (Amber Lyon is the reporter.) I recommend that you tweet while the show airs, sometimes called live-tweeting. Live-tweeting would probably be most effective way to comment with Twitter.
Don't sit by while extremely biased reporting and scary music set the nuclear agenda for Vermont. Say something!