Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Vermont Yankee Series Expands. The "Attitude Post" and more

The American Nuclear Society  blog has run a three-part series on the reasons for Vermont Yankee closing. Seven bloggers contributed.  Here are links to part one, part two, and part 3.

Now, the series has expanded at another blog.  Dan Yurman described the reasons for the series, and the credentials of the bloggers, at his blog: Neutron Bytes.  His post is called Seven At One Blow (seven bloggers on one topic, in one series).  Pro-nuclear bloggers are knowledgeable and accomplished people, but the bloggers are seldom explicitly acknowledged.  A big THANK YOU to Yurman for his post.

Well Begun is Half Done

The third post in the American Nuclear Society blog could be called the "attitude" post.  How shall we approach the political battle for nuclear energy?  Our attitudes matter.

Well Begun is Half Done. Confused beginnings  and confused goals rarely lead to success.

Vermont State House chamber
Howard Shaffer's post is titled "Failure to Politically Engage. As Shaffer writes: Unfortunately, Entergy Vermont Yankee carried through with the industry’s error of misunderstanding the campaign against the plant as a technical and legal policy debate, as opposed to recognizing it for what it truly was—a bare knuckle political campaign.

Shaffer doesn't leave it at that, though.  He develops a list for winning a campaign. The material on the list might be old-hat to a politician, but these things seems new to the nuclear industry. For example:

Be the first to get negative information about you into the media. You get to define the issue, not your opponents. 

Shaffer is a co-owner of  this blog, as well as a frequent contributor to ANS Nuclear Cafe. I recommend his ANS Nuclear Cafe post about testifying to a legislative committee about spent fuel storage: Getting Inside the Legislative Process.

Dan Yurman continues the theme with his post "Vermont Yankee Shuts Down for Good."  He concludes that low gas prices and the regulatory environment contributed to Vermont Yankee closing, Entergy, which is a Louisiana business, never got a sense of how to deal with New England greens.  Yurman's conclusion, however, is more about the market: Entergy...(could not) to recover value, nor earn revenue, ... based on the carbon emission reductions it provided to the region.
Prices in New England

In this case, it was the market that was ill-begun.

Dan Yurman is a pre-eminent nuclear blogger.  His current blog is Neutron Bytes: his former blog, Idaho Samizdat, was one of the pioneering pro-nuclear blogs.

So Many Thanks!

First, I want to thank Dan Yurman, who had the idea for this series of blog posts at ANS.  He was also a contributor to the blog, the collector of the posts (we sent them to Yurman), and a major force in publicizing this effort.

Second, I want to thank Will Davis of the blog Atomic Power Review and Linda Zec of the Outreach Department at American Nuclear Society, who took the seven essays across the finish line for publication at ANS Nuclear Café.

Third, I want to thank the people who wrote excellent, informed and thought-provoking comments on Reflections 1 and Reflections 2.  Join the conversation!

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