Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trending Topics

Dear God,

You know, with millions and even billions of dollars at its disposal, Entergy can bring some incredible technology to play supplying Vermont and the power grid with electricity, all while protecting the people of Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire from nuclear nightmare. Our resources and how we spend them are just two of the reasons I'm so proud to work here.

A third reason, though, is that, even though we're rolling in the big bucks, we know the value of a dime. And so rather than spend on a firewalled communication system, we here in the PR department follow each other on Twitter.

#samcollinsisournrcadministratorinchargeofenforcing safety

Those, God, are our trending topics. And Twitter, God, is God's gift to us. Except that sometimesthehabitofthinkingintermsoftendingtopicsishardtobreak. Asaremanybadhabitslyingbeingoneofthebigones.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Metal Fatigue and Compassion Fatigue

Dear God,

You know, I just hate to let a good prayer go to waste. And I've written some good prayers about the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, which seems to have a safety and performance record second only to that of Vermont Yankee in terms of the trouble it presents its PR people.

Well, Lordy, Lordy. New safety problems have just arisen at Davis-Besse, and they're far worse than expected. I know that, in solidarity with PR guys throughout the nuclear power industry, I should be praying on behalf of Davis-Besse.

But I've already prayed about that plant--6 times since November of 2007!

  • Here (including a cute picture of a big-eyed cat, if you like that sort of thing).

  • Here (including a picture of Prince, who, like Vermont Yankee and Davis-Besse, neglects to put time and money into maintenance).

  • Here (including the awful possibility that people are getting sent to jail over their Polish accents).

  • Here. (It's a quiz!)

  • Here. (If you like "I Love Lucy", this one's for you.)

  • Here. (Well, here is where I actually explain that, in the late winter of 2002, the Davis-Besse plant was discovered to have a six-by-five-by-four-inch cavity in the liner of the core. All that remained of the liner was a warped piece of steel a little thicker than tin foil. It and it alone contained approximately 2500 psi of highly radioactive internal environment. Had the pressure burst through the remaining lining and into the reactor containment building, it might have set in motion a core meltdown. Toledo is only 21 miles away from the plant.)

Anyway, we've had some of the same problems as Davis-Besse--tritium leaks, for example. But now it seems that as many as 16 critical parts in the Davis-Besse reactor lid are cracked or flawed, and engineers expect to find more problems in the coming weeks. That's huge! Still, with all the trouble we've been having here in Vermont, I just can't get it up for that plant one more time. And really, what can one expect with an aging reactor, anyway? So would it be sacrilegious of me to ask you to consider all of those previous prayers to be playing on "repeat" tonight? Huh, Lord? Please?



Monday, April 5, 2010

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Dear God,

Entergy announced this morning that "that effective immediately it plans to unwind the business infrastructure associated with the proposed separate non-utility nuclear generation and nuclear services companies while it evaluates and works to preserve its legal rights."

Whoa. Big news. If only I could figure out what that means.

It has something to do with our intention to "unwind the internal organizations created for Enexus Energy Corporation and EquaGen LLC to eliminate dis-synergies."

Eww. Dis-synergies. Kill them before they multiply.

Anyway, gossip around here has it that Enexus is dead. New York State didn't like it, and the Vermont legislature killed a measure to support Vermont Yankee in a license extension. So there's a pause in the PR battle. For me, today is the day that the earth stood still.

"Klaatu barada nikto," is what I have to say about that.

I'm going home. Maybe I'll take a stress pill and lie down. Then tomorrow when I come back, I'll join my colleagues in "moving forward on the business side to create and capture value unrealized today." Whatever.



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yes We Can!

Dear God,

On Friday April 2, 2010, the Brattleboro Reformer boldly proclaimed in headline, VY Staffers Absolved in Wrongdoing.

And so, God, I say unto you: If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, this week is their answer. An independent investigation led by our long-time legal counsel has concluded that we did not intentionally mislead investigators and state regulators concerning our buried piping. We are innocent and pure of heart.

And that's the answer.

This week held the same answer (just ask her lawyer) for Marsha Ward, 27, of Brattleboro, who was arrested April 2 for causing a disturbance at Hannaford. She was cited to appear in Windham District Court at a later date to face the charge.

This week held the same answer (just ask her laywer) for Lola M. Dodge, 33, of Brattleboro, who was charged April 3 for trespassing at her boyfriend's house. She had previously received a written warning for doing precisely the same thing. Dodge will appear in Windham District Court on May 1 to face the charge.

This week held the same answer (just ask his lawyer) for Robert J. Williams, 72, of Bellows Falls, who was arrested March April 1 for the possession and cultivation of marijuana. Police executed a search warrant at his apartment on Canal Street, where they found 19 marijuana plants along with grow lights and potting soil.

This week held the same answer (just ask her lawyer) for Elissa P. Brooks, 34, of Putney, who was arrested March 30 for DUI after police stopped her vehicle for weaving and driving on the sidewalk. Upon further investigation, police found Brooks' dead great aunt riding shotgun.

1984 held the same answer for Union Carbide, whose leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at a pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madya Pradesh, India, killed thousands on the spot and poisoned as many as 500,000 others. Just ask Union Carbides' lawyers.

2000 held the same answer for Firestone, whose exploding 15" tires caused more than 250 deaths and 3000 injuries. Just ask Firestone's lawyers.

1989 held the same answer for the captain of the Exxon Valdez, and for Exxon itself. Just ask those lawyers.

It is the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who send a message to the world that we can get away with anything, anything, because we are big. We are great. And some of us are rich.

Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Plumbing We Will Go

Dear God,

While Attorney General Williams Sorrel is looking into the possibility of criminal charges being pressed against Entergy personnel who testified under oath that Entergy has no buried pipes, I'm still working to help the public understand the subtle difference between "buried" and "underground" as those terms relate to pipes.

Meanwhile, we're doing another heck of a job with our new Cesium 137 problem.