Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two Upcoming Events: VSNAP and ANS

The First Meeting: VSNAP Meeting on September 10 in Vernon

VSNAP is the Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the July 9 meeting of VSNAP: my post at ANS Nuclear Cafe describes the meeting. Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel: Safety Again!  The discussion was about safety, safety and safety.  The panel spoke as if the lawsuit hadn't happened.

The July meeting was in Montpelier, and poorly attended.  The next meeting will be at Vernon Elementary School at 6 p.m. on September 10.  I expect it to be well attended, because Vernon is near Massachusetts and many people come up from Massachusetts to protest the plant.  Many protesters live in Brattleboro, near Vernon, but even more seem to come from Massachusetts.

Liz Miller
DPS Commissioner
I suggest you come to this VSNAP meeting if you can, but remember that the opponents shout, carry signs, wear funny clothes and masks, and basically enjoy a good round of street theater.  As I wrote about the NRC meeting in Brattleboro, these meetings can be intimidating.  NRC Public Meeting In Brattleboro: The Politics of Intimidation. However, as Howard Shaffer has often said: "Nobody has ever actually hit me."

Also, the VSNAP panel is opposed to Vermont Yankee, and the crowd is opposed to Vermont Yankee.  Therefore, this meeting should be comparatively subdued.  It will be subdued compared to the behavior at an NRC meeting--that's what I mean by "comparatively subdued."

So I do encourage you to attend.

The Panel and The Plant

In June, Liz Miller lost a lawsuit against the NRC.  Miller is the chairperson of the VSNAP panel,  and she is Commissioner of the Department of Public Service (DPS). DPS had joined a local intervenor to sue  the NRC. In their lawsuit, DPS and the intervenor hoped to force the NRC to rescind Vermont Yankee's license. Their suit was based on a water quality permit issue. DPS and the intervenor lost in court.

More recently, Miller  asked the NRC to increase their scrutiny of Vermont Yankee until the NRC's work meets DPS standards for nuclear oversight.  The NRC has been reported as "cool" to her request.

Go to the meeting anyway

For nuclear supporters, this meeting will be fun if you're a masochist.

It turns out that I am invited to a reception that evening, and I won't be at the VSNAP meeting.  I will be devastated to miss it (not really!). Howard Shaffer plans to attend the VSNAP meting.

Why go?  Sheer masochism?  No.  There are reasons to go.

With any luck you might be able to convince the newspapers covering the meeting that the plant has supporters as well as Another reason  to attend is that some people from the plant are required to come to these meetings, and they like to see a friendly face in the crowd. You can be that friendly face. Also, Liz Miller is a dedicated plant opponent, but she is also a very nice person who tries to be fair to everyone who speaks.  Her behavior is another pleasant part of the meeting.

The Second Meeting: ANS Meeting in Connecticut on September 13

On the other hand, if you aren't a masochist you will enjoy attending the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Connecticut Region meeting on the evening of September 13.  As a matter of fact, I can guarantee you will enjoy the meeting, because Howard Shaffer and I will be speaking on "how to be a pro-nuclear activist."

This dinner meeting is a regularly scheduled meeting of the ANS, a professional society.  Such meetings are generally not announced to the public: they are only for society members. Guests are welcome, however, by pre-arrangement.  If you are interested in attending, please email me at mjangwin at gmail and I will put you in touch with the meeting organizers.

I hope you can come.  It will be a chance for Howard and me to come south from Vermont and see some of our supporters from Connecticut and other "points South."

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