Monday, March 28, 2011

Vermont's Nuclear Future

Like many others, I have been following the goings-on with the Japanese nuclear reactor on an almost daily basis. My concern is both as a global citizen and as a Vermont resident since we are grappling with the issue of re-licensing of a nuclear power plant that is as old, and most likely as problem ridden as the Fukushima nuclear facility.
Last year the Vermont legislature voted to deny the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant a license renewal. Recently, even despite the world news pouring in about the nuclear crisis in Japan, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted Yankee a license extension. Even more troubling is the fact this was done while the local news has been replete with articles about leaks of tritium at the plant. Last night, tap water as close to us as Massachusetts was recording radiation from Japan. I shudder to think of what Vermont would be like, or what might be left of it if we were forced to face a similar crisis.
Luckily, here in Vermont, we are the only state in the country that requires the legislature to approve the re-licensing of a nuclear facility. So far, our Legislature has been unwilling to do that. Let's hope that intelligent minds prevail and lobbyists cannot buy out our future --especially given the state of the nuclear crisis that is in the news at this very moment.

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