Entergy, citing economic reasons (not its long battle with the State of Vermont nor the intense and persistent protests demanding its closure), announced that it will close Vermont Yankee by the fourth quarter of next year (2014).
I heartily congratulate all those who have fought the long, hard battle to shut down Vermont Yankee.
I also appreciate how some people feel, how they work for the plant or have friends or relatives who depend directly on it. I feel very bad for them. I mean that in all sincerity. And I appreciate how some feel it will “hurt our already weak economy.” It may, indeed.
But I must say that no amount of money, no amount of “good jobs,” no amount of “business stimulation” could make me wish that plant to stay open a minute longer.
Yes, this does make our already difficult economy of southern Vermont in yet more in need of help to get it moving out of the doldrums. But we should also keep in mind that many of those who come to this area do so because it offers a cleaner, safer, healthier environment. And again: What economic stimulation is worth the price of endangering all living things for generations to come?
Sometimes we have to take a step back and take an honest look at what we are doing. Nuclear power plants create toxins more powerful to humans than anything that has ever existed on the face of the earth. This is not an environmental activist’s nightmare; it is a simple, horrifying fact. Nothing we can construct can ultimately “contain” such forces. How much more proof than Fukushima do we need? We are fallible creatures and we know it, right?
Nuclear plants are neither the solution to our need for electricity nor are they a solution for our economy. We’ve already created enough radioactive waste to threaten humans a hundreds of generations ahead of us. We can at least turn off the dangerous engine and stop creating more unimaginably radioactive poisons. We must.