|Vermont Yankee when it was operating|
Entergy and NextEra have announced their withdrawals from the Nuclear Energy Institute. http://southeastenergynews.com/2018/01/18/two-utilities-withdraw-from-leading-nuclear-energy-trade-group/
This could simply mean that these companies prefer to hire their own public relations firms and lobbyists. Eliminate the middle man, etc. Another possibility is that nuclear energy issues are so state-specific that an institute focused on Washington has become less relevant. I can think of all sorts of reasons why this "may not be so bad, really."
But I think it is bad, really. I consider these major withdrawals from NEI to be very bad news for the nuclear industry.
To me, this also means that ordinary people who support nuclear energy have to be out there, supporting it. The big institutions may not be doing their part in the future.
Update: In a post today, US Industry Faces Watershed Year, Dan Yurman has further background on events at NEI, plus links to this post and other posts on the need for advocacy.
Entergy faces union issues about decomm
Usually, I don't write about "labor negotiations are ongoing..." etc. However, according to this LOHUD article, Indian Point Strike Deadline, one of the big issues in the on-going contract negotiation is whether current plant workers will stay on to do the decomm, or whether Entergy will turn over the decomm to a separate company: "Topping the list of worker concerns is whether they will have a role in the years-long dismantling process that will follow Indian Point's shut down. "
This just in: Talks have broken down over the weekend. Whether the union workers will be doing the decomm continues to be a major contention. https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/indian-point/2018/01/20/indian-point-talks-halt-weekend/1051511001/
Keeping the current workers on-site will be difficult, because the people who operate a plant have different skill sets (and usually higher pay) than the people who decommision a plant.
If Indian Point was going to operate for another twenty years, this entire issue would be irrelevant. Plus, New York would continue to have clean power.
To me, the union request means that ordinary people who support nuclear energy and plant operation have to be out there, supporting it.
Two News Items, One Conclusion
The big institutions (NEI, unions) are changing their roles. The nuclear industry needs its supporters, now more than ever. It needs all the people who are willing to write letters, talk to their representatives, speak to a high school group or a Rotary, hold a rally, teach a class at the local community college, everything.
Nuclear advocates: the people of the world need you more than ever!
I am somewhat cheered by the number of pro-nuclear groups that are active now, and the number of pro-nuclear books that are currently being published. And the videos, blogs, white papers, etc. Still, we pro-nuclear advocates are need to up our game, be out there, be effective.
It's up to us, now.