Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anti-Assertiveness Training

Dear God,

I hope you haven’t missed me? I haven’t prayed in a while, I know? But it’s not arrogance that has stopped me? I actually hope that you can see that I'm feeling meek? Scared? Questioning? Brimming with polite curiosity? At least that's the attitude I'm trying to project?

That's because Entergy is catching a lot of flak for threatening to sue the state of Vermont if it asks us to top off the Decommissioning Fund?

People are also starting to catch on that Vermont Yankee did not, as we've claimed, get a "pass" from the Vermont Yankee Oversight Panel? You'll remember that it uncovered more than $100 million in deferred maintenance on components? Furthermore, according to Arnie Gundersen in an editorial in the Reformer, “Nationally, most nuclear plants replace their condensers between 20 and 30 years of operation? VY's condenser has been operating for 37 years and Entergy has known the condenser had issues prior to its purchase of VY in 2002, yet chose to delay the repairs until at least 2014? The VYOP also found that VY's design could not be licensed today because it does not meet today's modern NRC design criteria?" (Actually, Arnie did not use question marks within that statement because he was feeling anything but meek when he wrote it?)

And did you know, God, that they've sprung quite a leak at Indian Point 2 Nuclear Power plant, one of our Entergy "sister" plants? According to The New York Times, "A one-and-a-half-inch hole caused by corrosion allowed about 100,000 gallons of water to escape from the main system that keeps the reactor cool immediately after any shutdown…?" The discovery of a leak of that magnitude has raised concerns about the monitoring of old, buried pipes at nuclear plants like ours?

What should I do? Like I said, we at Vermont Yankee have been told by the folks higher up at Entergy to appear obsequious in public? But when I answer my phone with a chipper yet pleading tone and hear the activists laughing, that's almost too much for poor, little me? Please don't tell me to escape to the Cayman Islands when my phone rings? Because our tax shelters there and our executive housing near the beach are going the way of the Republicans? So near to death, and quickly accelerating toward that white light?

To boost morale here at the plant while we all flex our humility muscles, I've xeroxed for everyone a little "feel good" song? I've burnt a copy as a sacrifice to you and the ashes should have arrived by now? Got it? Then sing it out loudly with us, Lord! (?)

Pretty please?

Grandmother's Song
by Steve Martin

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.

(You sing here, God.) Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don't know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.

(We at Vermont Yankee sing here.) Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Get all excited and go to a yawning festival.

(O.K. everybody!)

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Lord, let 'em hear you outside when you sing!