Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nuclear plants, films and trains

Breakers opening at Vermont Yankee when it went offline for the last time 2014
Photo courtesy of Entergy
Film night

Two nights ago, I went to a "sneak preview" of Power Struggle, a new documentary that chronicles the activism to close Vermont Yankee.  Robbie Leppzer, the filmmaker, has been filming this story for about 7 years.  Here's a balanced review in VPR.

Leppzer gives nuclear proponents a voice in the movie.  Howard Shaffer, Mike Hebert and I all appear several times, and we are depicted sympathetically, for the most part. Leppzer wanted us to attend, and he called me and Howard personally to extend his invitation. (He probably called Mike, too.  I just haven't spoken to Mike about it.)

That said, it must also be said that the preponderance of film time was spent following anti-nuclear activists and Arnie Gundersen.  They didn't just appear in the movie: they were the heroes. There was a panel discussion after the movie.  From the discussion and the major content of the movie,  it was clear that Leppzer thinks nuclear power is a very bad idea.

I am not doing a movie review here.  In some ways, it was a hard movie to watch because almost every nuclear opponent that I have ever met was in the audience.  Jeff Potter of The Commons introduced the movie, and he warned the crowd that there were pro-nuclear people in the audience also, and the crowd should not be too exuberantly anti-nuke, but be respectful.   Still, at various points, the joy of the crowd could not be contained.

I may do a movie review at a later time.
Tank car, wikipedia

Coffee shop and fuel trains

Instead of a movie review, I am going to post something I wrote on Facebook almost exactly a year ago today.  I have edited it slightly.   I hope you like it.

I got up in a sort of blue mood. So George and I went over to Tuckerbox for coffee. This sometimes helps: leave home, go somewhere cheery.

Tuckerbox is right by the rail yard, and we saw (as usual) a train which was being made up. So we are sitting in a coffee shop in downtown White River Junction watching tank car after tank car that contains "Liquefied petroleum gas, no odorizer added." First the train traveled in one direction, then in the opposite direction. That is usual, when they are being made up. The cars bumped together and joined, then moved away and then a new car bumped together with the train. As a friend of mine said: "I like to sit in Tuckerbox and watch the trains couple."

We do what we can for voyeurism, here in Vermont. It's not the Riviera.

And I am thinking: some of these people, sitting here in the coffee shop, right next to a fuel-train being made up….are undoubtedly feeling SO much safer because Vermont Yankee is shut down.

So I guess Tuckerbox didn't completely help my mood.

But the coffee is good. If you come to this area, let's go over there and have coffee. The food is good, too!

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