Thursday, January 22, 2015

On the Roof? Video about Vermont Yankee retirement

WCAX interviewed Howard Shaffer and Arnie Gundersen about Vermont Yankee's retirement.  Gundersen apparently does not know where the fuel pool is: he says that the fuel is stored "on the roof."  Really?  Last I looked, it was under the roof.

Shaffer is reasonable as usual.

Just a quick post to share this. I hope the video comes through.  If not, please follow the link.

  WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-


Robert said...

A statement like about "on the roof" - this is where it would help if you nuclear people could use some visual aids, especially a model of the facility. Arnie says "on the roof" as if it is the top of the white 1/3 of the building. I think it the pool starts right where the gray (thick concrete) and white (like a high school gym?)meet. I once went to a Westinghouse facility in college and was appalled when the presenter just drew crudely on the board. Invest in visual aids. I would help also to have some good photographs too with an explanation of what we are looking at. Maybe someone needs to make a video tour of VY to show what is going on. For example, some said that the pool is on the 5th floor. Does that mean the top is on the 5th floor and it goes down to the 4th, 3rd, 2nd floors and to the ground? Maybe one of the people who works there could explain and show that.

Meredith Angwin said...


I agree with you about visual aids. The nuclear industry just doesn't even think of them (IMHO).

For example, I once toured a nuclear plant and a few months later, toured a coal plant of similar size. Both these plants are noisy, and you have to wear ear protection most places.

The coal plant had nice little poster-board signs on easels, everywhere it was interesting to look at something. The signs explained what you were looking at. The poster was usually a picture of the object, with call-outs of important things to notice. Also, a brief general description of the object was on the poster board, just under the picture. This type of sign is NOT expensive to make. This is not rocket science.

While at the nuclear plant, no posters, no nothing.
Instead, the guide valiantly attempted to shout louder than the equipment, and shout load enough to get through our ear protections. "What we have here is a lack of communication" all right!

However, Gundersen knew what he was doing when he spoke. He was trying to make things scary. "On the roof" generally is used in phrases such as "Oh no the frisbee landed on the roof!" It means "on top" of the roof. Gundersen didn't want to confuse us (sarcasm alert) with statements about exactly where in the building (IN the building and UNDER the roof) the fuel pool is located.

The nuclear industry should spend more time building some visuals. It would be a great help. I agree with you completely on that.

Robert said...

Actually, I think of that old song about "On the roof its peaceful as can be" and "when I come home feeling tired and weak, I go up where the air is fresh and sweet."

Did Vermont Yankee and Entergy try to do anything about visual aids, like the posters you mention above?

Meanwhile, have you ever attempted to maybe have a debate with our friend Arnie? If you used visual aids, I think you would win!

Meredith Angwin said...

Entergy made some visual aids about the tritium scare, but only people who came to a meeting in Brattleboro saw them.

Yes, I did debate Gundersen, and so did Howard Shaffer, on two occasions.

I can't write more right now, alas, but you should know that Gundersen has a staff who do visuals and videos for him. Several people. I came alone to the the morning, I hadn't known I was going to be the debater. If I had known, I would have at least asked my husband to come. Anyhow, so I sat down alone in the first row, which was saved for family-and-friends of me and Gundersen, and some young men sat down next to me. "We're Gundersen's tech team" is how they described themselves.

Gundersen makes a good living at being an opponent, as far as I can tell, and he pays people to help him. In contrast, I did my own visuals for the debate. Sigh. I think I did well, though. Well enough, at any rate.