Thursday, December 6, 2012

Howard Shaffer in Debate Today 9 a.m. EST

On NHPR today, at 9  a.m. EST, Howard Shaffer will debate Ray Shadis of New England Coalition (NEC). That's a few minutes from now.

Here's a link to the NHPR announcement, and you can listen on the web by clicking on the appropriate link in the lower left hand corner.

NEC began fighting Vermont Yankee before it opened, and recently asked the Vermont Supreme Court to shut down the plant.

Update: you can now listen to the broadcast and comment on the program at the NHPR site.


Joffan said...

Shadis isn't the greatest speaker, but he hsa a few tricks that might be useful - like using up as much time as possible with diversions into vaguely related topics. Howard could have started with essentially what he said, with added diversions into climate change, the nuclear navy, energy security, technological excellence, skilled jobs, etc.

I'm not a great fan of rambling but it seems to be effective on a platform like this. Or maybe this radio station just likes letting people talk... and talk. Seemed that way from some of the callers, too.

One point Shadis made that could have been quickly knocked down - if Howard had had the opportunity - was deployment time. What kind of power plant can anyone deploy quicker than one that is already running, for goodness' sake?

Mike Mulligan said...

It is amazing Ray is the best they got... Howard does ask the big picture questions and I like that.

Howard Shaffer said...

Thanks for listening and taking the time to comment.
Yes, rambling, and "firehosing" - throwing out a multitude of topics-are tactics. I didn't and don't want to use up time. Rather we all want to get the correct info out concisely. Listening to the show again, I think I was given the most time. That's the advantage of being in the studio.

Thanks for the support and the support of VY and nuclear power.

Howard Shaffer said...


Thanks for taking the time to listen, and for commenting.

I believe that the industry and government have missed being up front by saying. "Yes there is some risk. We think the beneift to the country as a whole is worth the little risk to you. In other technolgies, at other places, other people are taking the risk for you. This is your "fair share" we belive. This is what governments are for."


Rod Adams said...


You and I are on the same side. Please do not take this the wrong way, but I strongly disagree.

The nuclear industry emphasized risks to the public since its very inception. We tell them there is a risk, but we are working hard to reduce it. I think many people's brains stop listening as soon as they hear the experts say that there is a risk - they never get to hear the part when we tell them that the risk is small.

According to a very multi-year study called the SOARCA (State of Art Reactor Consequences Analysis) the NRC has determined that even a meltdown with containment failure at a US nuclear power plant would result in few, if any injuries or deaths for any member of the public.

"The project’s preliminary findings include:
Existing resources and procedures can stop an accident, slow it down or reduce its impact before it can affect public health;

Even if accidents proceed uncontrolled, they take much longer to happen and release much less radioactive material than earlier analyses suggested; and

The analyzed accidents would cause essentially zero immediate deaths and only a very, very small increase in the risk of long-term cancer deaths."

There is essentially no risk of public harm; that statement can be supported by a detailed analysis.

Shadis would not accept the analysis, but many audience members might.