Nuclear Industry to Vermont: 'Drop Dead'

The
nuclear power industry is sending a clear and forceful message to the
citizens of Vermont: "Drop Dead."

The greeting applies to Ohio,
New York, California and a nation under assault from a "renaissance" so
far hyped with more than $640 million in corporate cash.

The
Vermont attack includes:

The
nuclear power industry is sending a clear and forceful message to the
citizens of Vermont: "Drop Dead."

The greeting applies to Ohio,
New York, California and a nation under assault from a "renaissance" so
far hyped with more than $640 million in corporate cash.

The
Vermont attack includes:

1) A direct threat to ignore the state
Senate's 26-4 February vote against renewing the Yankee reactor's
operating license. As a condition of buying Yankee, Entergy long-ago
ceded to the legislature approval of any extension of an operating
license, which expires in 2012. But Entergy now says it will spend all
the corporate cash it needs to evict the current Senate and install one
more to its liking.

2) Vermont's pro-nuclear Republican Governor
Jim Douglas says the Senate's vote is "meaningless." Douglas is not
running for re-election but is certain to become a high-priced Yankee
arm-twister when he leaves office.

3) Entergy has also implied
that if it fails to buy itself a pro-nuke legislature in 2010, it will
sue over any denial of the license extension.

4) Entergy is
trying to shift ownership of Yankee into a shell corporation called
Enexus which would allow it to avoid financial exposure. The scheme has
been attacked by regulators and analysts in New York (Entergy also owns
Indian Point) and elsewhere. "With its leaks and lies," says Yankee
activist Deb Katz, VY "is a liability for Entergy and a black eye" which
some observers think the industry may want to jettison.

5)
Entergy's decommissioning fund has been radically drained by stock
market losses and mis-management. It retains nowhere near enough money
for safe dismantlement, so Entergy says Yankee must operate for decades
more to recoup the losses.

6) Under oath and in public, Entergy
officials have denied the existence of underground piping at Vermont
Yankee which does exist and is leaking radioactive tritium as well as
other deadly isotopes.

7) A probe (nicknamed "Rover") sent into
the piping system to locate the leak has become stuck in radioactive
muck.

8) State regulators and others warn that Yankee's
radioactive offal may already be pouring into the Connecticut River.

As
angry citizens in Vermont and downwind New Hampshire and Massachusetts
are told their worries have no place in a reactor renaissance, the
message to "drop dead" has spread.

In Ohio, the infamous
Davis-Besse reactor has turned up---again--- with potentially
catastrophic defects. In 2002 Davis-Besse came within a fraction of an
inch of a catastrophic melt-down when boric acid ate nearly all the way
through the reactor pressure vessel. Now assemblies that guide rods into
the reactor core are again cracking. Davis-Besse's owner, First Energy,
is ignoring demands from terrified downwinders that the nuke be
permanently shut.

In New York, Entergy's Indian Point is leaking
inside and out. Entergy continues to resist public demands for
shut-down or a definitive clean-up.

In California, Pacific Gas
& Electric is pushing hard to extend the operating license for its
Diablo Canyon reactor, ignoring public demands for a three-year project
to map earthquake faults that run within three miles of the plant.

Federal
agents have confirmed that a suspected al Qaeda operative worked at 6 US nukes
sites
. Former CIA official Charles F. Faddis warns that America's 104 operating reactors are
dangerously vulnerable to terror attack
.

None of which seems
to phase an industry and administration that want the public to pay for
still more.

Politically, economically, ecologically and in
terms of the public health, the message from the "nuclear renaissance"
to the American people is perfectly clear: "Drop Dead."

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