A week ago Sunday, I was strolling down a sidewalk in southern California when a woman from Greenpeace approached and asked for our help in saving the whales. There was a whale festival going on in honor of gray whale migration season.
The conversation inevitably turned to where we were from. Before I knew it, pretty much my first conversation in California turned to Vermont Yankee.
“Oh, we just shut down the nuclear power plant there," she said. "Because of Greenpeace.”
To which I replied, “Sort of.”
As in, Greenpeace sort of was involved and the plant has sort of been shut down.
I didn't expect the whale woman to know all the details, any more than I have a clue about whales. It struck me, though, the way the word was spreading.
Greenpeace lobbied against Vermont Yankee, but one might argue that a number of other organizations were also involved and that Vermont Yankee itself played quite a role in the vote the Senate recently took not to support continued operation.
It's also very much still running. As irony would have it, I’d been there for a tour just two days earlier and stood in the control room while they powered it back up to 100 percent from running at 70-something percent for fuel maintenance.
Technically speaking, what the Senate did was vote not to allow the Public Service Board to rule on Vermont Yankee’s continued operation after March 2012. That vote could still be reversed or challenged.
The whale-saver might not have had all the nuclear power details down, but it goes to show you this story is migrating faster than a gray whale.
- Terri Hallenbeck
Labels: Vermont Yankee