Letter: Ongoing struggle
It was a sign of public relief to have seen so many jubilant Franklin County faces the day after hearing that Vermont Yankee (VY), the nearby nuclear reactor will be closed. The nuclear battle will not end in our lifetime as decommissioning, “clean up” and maintaining high-level radioactive waste storage will be a protracted process. Still, Entergy’s announcement that they will close the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor is an essential step toward security for a vast region.
Entergy will expect to extract from the reactor much power and lucrative return before they cease producing nuclear energy. This is from an aged facility no longer in their financial interest to maintain at highest safety standards, on a site which is repository for tons of high-level radioactive material.
The best way to hold a company, which is not a person, accountable, is by vigilance and action. Contacting all our legislators and related government bodies and urging them to be accountable for the processes involved, improves safety and clarifies who will pay for remediation in our future.
Writing letters to editors stimulates public attention and does not allow an out of state company to assume we are pacified.
Several county town meetings voted to shut the reactor down now, not when the fuel was expended as Entergy expects. Local school committees including Mahar, Union 28, and Mohawk, have requested that the 10-mile evacuation zone be expanded. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) suggested that after the melt down at the Japanese Fukushima reactor, a 50-mile evacuation zone was advised. Urge our officials to continue pressing their and our votes.
Entergy must prove it has adequate funds to decommission correctly. We are downwind, downriver neighbors of VY, so contact with the VT Public Service Board to not grant a Certificate of Public Good to VY Entergy is in order. We can insist Entergy begins shut down and decommissioning immediately. They can provide hundreds of workers with decommissioning labor that will take decades.
If we are part of the process, we can look for a brighter future that does not claim it is “too cheap to meter.”