FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Citizen Activism has Shut Down the Vermont Yankee Nuke

The Vermont Yankee atomic reactor is now permanently shut down.  Citizen activists have made it happen.  The number of licensed US commercial reactors is now under 100, where once it was to be 1000.

VY pumped out its last few electrons yesterday, December 29, 2014.

Had it not been for decades of hard grassroots roots campaigning by dedicated, non-violent nuclear opponents, working for a Solartopian green-powered economy, the reactor’s corporate owner might have let it limp along for years to come.

Entergy says VY was losing money.  Though fully amortized, it could not compete with the onslaught of renewable energy and fracked gas.  Throughout the world, nukes once sold as generating juice “too cheap to meter” are financial failures.  Even with their capital costs long-ago stuck to the public, these radioactive junk heaps have no place in today’s economy—except as magnets for massive ratepayer and taxpayer handouts.

So in Illinois and elsewhere around the US, their owners are begging bought and rented state legislators and regulators to force the public to eat their losses.  Arguing for “base load power” or other nonsensical corporate constructs, reactor owners are trying to prolong operations while losing out in the market.  Where they can throw their “campaign donations” around, they are gouging the public to keep increasingly dangerous radioactive jalopies on line.

vermontyankee

Such might have been the fate of Vermont Yankee had it not been for citizen opposition.  Opened in the early 1970s, VY was the northern tip of clean energy’s “golden triangle.”  Down the Connecticut River, grassroots opposition successfully prevented two reactors from being built at Montague, Massachusetts, where the term “No Nukes” was coined.  A weather tower was toppled, films were made, books were written and an upwelling of well-organized grassroots activism helped feed into a rising global movement.

A bit to the southwest, in the early 1990s, it shut the infamous Yankee Rowe reactor, which had been hit by lightening and could not be subjected to a verifiable test of its dangerously embrittled core.

But VY persisted.  Entergy, a “McNuke” operator based in New Orleans, bought Yankee from its original owners about a dozen years ago.  It signed a complex series of agreements with the state, then brazenly trashed them to keep VY spiraling ever-downwardhoin its fleet of heavily-subsidized decaying reactors.

But hard-core organizers like Deb Katz’s Citizen Awareness Network never let up.  Working through a network of stage and local campaigns, the safe energy movement has finally forced Entergy to flip the off switch.

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and edits www.nukefree.org.  His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

 

More articles by:

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

November 15, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Ukania: the Land Where the Queen’s Son Has His Shoelaces Ironed by His Valet
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Spraying Poisons, Chasing Ghosts
Anthony DiMaggio
In the Wake of the Blue Wave: the Midterms, Recounts, and the Future of Progressive Politics
Christopher Ketcham
Build in a Fire Plain, Get What You Deserve
Meena Miriam Yust
Today It’s Treasure Island, Tomorrow Your Neighborhood Store: Could Local Currencies Help?
Karl Grossman
Climate of Rage
Walter Clemens
How Two Demagogues Inspired Their Followers
Brandon Lee
Radical Idealism: Jesus and the Radical Tradition
Kim C. Domenico
An Anarchist Uprising Against the Liberal Ego
Elliot Sperber
Pythagoras in Queens
November 14, 2018
Charles Pierson
Unstoppable: The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and NAFTA
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail