Saturday, January 22, 2011

You Never Give Me Your Money

Dear God,

I'm sure you heard about the latest tritium leak. We're not really speaking about it publicly yet, so just let me refer you to my oft-repeated advice:


1. To beat the traffic, evacuate the day before an emergency.

2. Radiation exposure is especially harmful to children. Build up your children's immunity by programmatically giving them x-rays beginning shortly after birth.

3. Dress your child in a haz-mat suit for Halloween, just in case that's a bad day for us.

4. Always pack your child's lunch box with holy water.

5. Ask your doctor whether cancer is always as serious as you've been led to believe.

6. Remember that, even if your children are in a school in Guilford, Vernon or Brattleboro, no force in creation can stop a good parent like you from cowboying your way through police lines to get to them once they have been cordoned away from you and proclaimed a public health risk to others.

7. Appreciate the way that evacuation puts your life problems in perspective.

8. Try not to read too much into the little details like how in heaven's name you will ever rebuild your life even if you and everyone you love survive.

9. If you actually work at the Vermont Yankee plant, every day ask yourself, "Hmmm, does this coffee taste a little too potassium iodide-y?" Lousy coffee is a morale buster. During an evacuation, a bright outlook will go a long way.

10. Remember that heart disease is actually our nation's number one killer.

Like I said, we're not yet really giving out information about this. But what we are speaking freely about, at least at the plant, is some good news. We are so glad to finally be able to download Beatles songs from the iTunes store!

It's so cool. You know, one of the things that people don't really appreciate about Vermont Yankee is how much fun we have around here forgiving each other for our blunders and mistakes. It's really a "peace, man" and "no worries" kind of place. Another very cool fact about us: Our employees are happy, picturesque people with good singing voices.

And that's something the ad agency really likes. I know I showed you the website we spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on, the one showing people how downright Caucasian we are and how nice one of us in particular looks in a red bathing suit. Well, did you also know that we sing George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" at lunchtime in the employee cafeteria, and that when we do we all join in on folk guitars? The "Alleluia"s and "Hare Krishna"s bring tears to our eyes. And did you know that if you don't tear up spontaneously that you can pull your nose hairs when no one is looking and get it to happen?

We talk about the Beatles a lot at Vermont Yankee because, like us, they were technical innovators. Just think of "Abbey Road." Hey, most of the world was way behind the times, playing 8-track cassettes and building nuclear power plants! But they were assuredly bringing Moog synthesizers into the studio and playing chords backwards.

You might also remember that the climax of that album is a 16-minute medley. Hey! Remember "Sun King?" And "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"--written (did you know?) after a fan came into Paul's house through the bathroom window? And who could forget "You Never Give Me Your Money?"

Well, we haven't forgotten "You Never Give Me Your Money"--not at Vermont Yankee. We started singing it to the state in 2007 when we tried to pocket a quarter of a BILLION dollars from the Decommissioning Fund. (NOTE: Pages 8-12 are particularly fun when sung in chorus.) Specifically, what we did was attempt "to draw down the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund by applying the cost of the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) to Vermont Yankee’s Decommissioning Fund." NRC statute prohibits this, and eventually Entergy retracted its effort to "strip the fund of these unauthorized costs." Apparently, no other plant in the U.S. has had the cojones to try to use their Decommissioning Fund this way.

So, yes! We're innovators! But, also yes, now we've been found out, and the report has been made public, and all while we're grappling with another ill-timed tritium leak. Frankly, I fear that, boy, we're going to "Carry That Weight" of our incompetence and tomfoolery right into the next legislative vote on our Certificate of Public Good.

I'm frantic about this, God, pulling out my nose hairs and everything.

You got any PR miracles up your sleeve? Any technical ones? Unfortunately, Paul is dead, and he can't help. I know many people say it's George and John who are dead, but I've listened to all of those songs backwards and forwards.

Hare Krishna, My Sweet Lord,



Anonymous said...

jeez- fake rob y'ole coot you sure are one funny guy... right on target...

Anonymous said...

Dear Fakey Robbie: The link to the Fairewinds decommissioning report doesn't work. Just so you know-- all synchronicity with ENVY's plumbing I suppose. LaughingMama