Last night's NRC meeting about Vermont Yankee was relatively mellow. The meeting took place at Brattleboro High School, and was lightly attended. The first part of the meeting was a science-fair set up, in which people talked and looked at exhibits. As you can tell by the two pictures, there weren't many people there.
As they did last year, the Shut It Down Affinity Group (aka Raging Grannies) came in again, wearing costumes and masks. Once again, they walked single file around the room. I hope you can tell (despite my lousy photography) that they were wearing tie-dyed shirts and wore masks of former NRC commissioner Jaczko.
Later, when the more formal presentation was supposed to start, the women once again stood behind the NRC people. The women refused to sit down, and delayed the start of the meeting. They read long letters and repeated quotes from Jaczko about how all nuclear plants must be shut down.
However, unlike last year, the crowd did not swarm up and surround the NRC people in solidarity with them. (There wasn't much of a crowd, anyway.) So the Jaczko impersonators eventually sat down and the meeting proceeded.
Vignettes from the meeting
Being Friendly: During the open house, Cheryl Twarog (plant supporter), Mike Mulligan (plant opponent) and myself had a very friendly and upbeat conversation about children, the Navy, where we grew up, high school experiences, and so forth.
Aside: My husband was a baby during WWII, but later served on a destroyer (a "tin can"). I remember urging Cheryl and Mike (both associated with Navy nuclear) to read this book about destroyers in a major battle in WWII -- The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. I also recommend it to the readers of this blog.
Being Unfriendly: During the meeting, a woman with a heavy German accent (I don't know her at all) gave the usual anti-Vermont Yankee spiel, including lots of comments about Fukushima. She ended it with the question: "How did you [addressing the NRC people] ever become so contemptuous of other human beings that you encourage nuclear power?" (I didn't record the question, but this was the gist of it.) At that point, the NRC people began talking about what happened at Fukushima and what we have learned. She interrupted them to say: "I had ONLY ONE question: how did you became so contemptuous of your fellow human beings?" This woman sure had an advanced case of self-righteousness!
Update: My blog post on the meeting is up at the ANS Nuclear Cafe today: Speaking Out of Turn at the NRC Meeting. The post is about how I spoke out of turn, and how that helped the meeting get back to order.
- Annual assessment letter for Vermont Yankee from NRC. All green.
- NRC announcement of the open house and the annual assessment: includes many links to more detailed information.
- March 2013 Nuclear Performance Monthly from NEI, including this quote: For the third time since 2007, Vermont Yankee ran continuously during 2012 and part of 2013 before shutting down for refueling on March 9 (a 493-day run). The unit also achieved continuous runs during 2006-2007 (547 days) and 2009-2010 (532 days).
- NRC Hears Concerns about Vermont Yankee (article by Susan Smallheer in the Times-Argus).
One of the people in masks was kind enough to stop and pose while I took a picture, but I did a bad job of taking that picture, and so it isn't on the blog. I apologize. My camera is old and is getting unreliable.