Saturday, July 11, 2009


Dear God,

Forgiveness is a flower that never withers, right? Right?

And forgiveness is easier to get than permission. Again, am I right?

Anyway, that second aphorism has been our corporate strategy here at Entergy Vermont Yankee, and with that in mind I'm praying that you'll come to our July 13 public meeting. It's:

VPSB HEARING MONDAY JULY 13 7PM Vernon School. Docket 7530 In Re Petition of Entergy Nuclear *Vermont Yankee*, LLC, to locate a new perimeter fence

The meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2009, at 7:00 P.M., and the school is at 381 Governor Hunt Road in Vernon.

You see, Lord, activists are pounding on their tom-toms again. That's because we at ENVY are right now trying to buy up houses near the plant so that we can push our site boundary out farther from the plant. Why do we want to do this? Because we're generating more radiation than ever before. And that's because, since approval of our "Uprate," we've been operating for the most part at 120% of capacity. We've also begun storing spent nuclear fuel outside the plant. These two factors together have pushed the radiation readings at the site boundary over the State's dose limit.

So moving the "fenceline" is a safety move on our part. We'll buy up the property, push the fenceline away from the plant and closer to the Vernon Elementary School, and therefore obtain more reasonable fenceline radiation doses. And should keep us safe from fines and other nasty items generated by regulatory agencies.

Lord knows what the radiation levels will be at the elementary school itself, or even what they are now. Doesn't matter. Radiation levels at the school are not part of the set of regulations to which we must attend--even though children are 10 times more radiosensitive than adults.

So in a way I'm fairly confident that the public meeting will go smoothly for me and all of us at ENVY. But here's where my concern about forgiveness (and permission) comes in. See, the public record shows that we were warned in April 2003 that the Uprate would push radiation to unacceptable levels at our fenceline. In response, we assured everyone that we had done careful, conservative calculations and could safely predict that it would not. Then we got permission for the Uprate. Then radiation at our fenceline exceeded acceptable levels. Now we need forgiveness.

Am I wrong in thinking that you, sir, are in the forgiveness line of business? And if I'm right, do you think you could do me a little favor and come to the Vernon meeting and forgive me and all of ENVY right there, in front of everyone?

I am filled with glee and hope at the thought of your mercy radiating down upon my sweet, anxiety-prone head--so happy, so gleeful in an attractive, child-like way, that in anticipation of said occasion I feel moved to recite a little poem that I learned when I was but a wee lad in an elementary school not too unlike the Vernon one in which many children are daily being irradiated with full NRC approval.

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

--Lewis Carroll

I hope I see you at the meeting, Lord. It will be awe-inspiring if I do. Truly.



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Irradiated Cows

Dear God,

Please don't get the FDA and the whosawhatzit boys in charge of food safety involved!

Here's a note I dutifully distributed to interested parties:

On July 13 at 7 p.m., the Public Service Board will hold a public hearing at the Vernon Elementary School on Vermont Yankee’s request for relocating the outer plant property fence line to the west (toward Governor Hunt Road) of the current fence line. The new 1,500 feet of fence will clearly delineate the protective zone around the plant and clarify the calculations of public radiation dose by merging the two terms “boundary line” and “fence line” into one for dose assessments by Vermont Yankee and state and federal regulators. The land to be enclosed is in agricultural use by a neighboring farm and we expect that to continue. [Emphasis mine. But, hey, it was my announcement to begin with.]

If you recall, Lord, I explained in my June 12 prayer (you gotta read it again; come on! It's funny!) that we at Entergy Vermont Yankee want to move our fenceline so that it will be even closer to the cows that feed the school children in the elementary school across the street. An added benefit to the fenceline move is that, by giving the children and cows equal doses of illegally high radiation, we will gain immunity from civil lawsuits by parties such as the ASPCA, who might have been planning to argue that we were denying cows the pleasure of the radiation illnesses they might otherwise have shared with their little human friends.

Lawrence Auclair, the (I blissfully thought) erstwhile owner of a site called EVACUATIONPLANS.ORG, has distributed the above announcement to an impressive list of people who occasionally attend public meetings. And by distributing it, he may get a turnout this time, Lord. Which is really unfair. Because I don't think I'm alone in having thought that this Lawrence Auclair guy was long from the scene. I mean, he announced aeons ago that he was closing down his site for personal reasons.

Is no promise sacred? He made a big deal about not continuing! And I was so looking forward to his not! Now here is trying to drum up attendees at a meeting. And having a perfectly functioning, up-to-date site, to boot!

Well, Mr. Auclair, I fart in your general direction! (Oh, go on. Click that link for heaven's sake! You've been so timid lately.) And here is what my Lord and I think of your inability to keep a simple promise! --->

So, to get back to my original thought, Lord (as if I ever had one). Do you see this fenceline radiation movement thingy as a potential liability food safety-wise-y?