Why use corporate resources when you can mooch off of the public trust? Surely this is a sign somewhere on the wall at Entergy headquarters. The Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor has cooling towers that (when they're not collapsing) are designed to run the heated reactor water through a network of pipes that bring the temperature down to a level that matches the river temperature before the water is discharged into the river. But if they actually use the barely repaired towers, they'll soon be collapsing again. So Entergy prefers to pump hot water (up to 105 degrees) directly into the river and save on the costs of maintaining the pesky cooling technology. The NRC, always happy to accommodate, has given reactors around the country permission to raise water temperatures to a certain degree.
A recent evaluation of Entergy's own data regarding water temperatures has shown that VY effluence has often been hotter than was permissible and many are making the case that the Connecticut River is suffering because of it. We just don't seem to get it. Our state, our river, our citizens' health in the tri-state region and beyond are all subservient to the needs for Entergy of Louisiana to reap massive profits from VY's operation - profits that go straight to Entergy stockholders and executives while leaving us with the radioactive waste and a heated river.
Vermonters, thank goodness, aren't willing to simply accept this brave new paradigm of corporate
The event will be all about the water: Beginning at 12:30 p.m., Christian Parenti, noted author and writer for The Nation, David Deen, Vermont legislator and Connecticut River Steward, and Deb Katz, executive director of CAN, will be floating on the river and addressing the rally with a portable sound system. At 1 p.m. the flotilla will launch with a wide variety of plain and decorated craft, each determined to deliver the message that we will not tolerate Entergy and VY's continued abuse of our state and its natural resources. Pontoon boats will be carrying musicians who will will be playing mid-river and the press will have the opportunity to observe from the middle of the river as well.
While Entergy may be enjoying the federal court injunction that is preventing the state of Vermont from being able to enforce its own laws to deny the reactor an extension of its operating license, it is important that we continue to let the corporation know that they are neither wanted nor trusted by Vermonters and that we will not cease our work until they are shut down and safely de-commissioned.
To quote Leo Schiff of the SAGE Alliance: "The water is a very powerful platform from which to send our message. This river is the lifeblood of New England. Vermont Yankee threatens the entire watershed of the rive, imperiling marine life, human life and the entire New England region." Anyone who would like to join the flotilla on the water is asked to arrive at the launch point by 1 p.m. Supporters who plan to stay on land are welcome as well, with several points along the river designated for viewing and supporting the flotilla. For more information visit SAGEalliance.net.
Dan DeWalt writes from Newfane. He is also a contributor to www.thiscantbehappening.net.