Letter Box

There are 6 comments on the Brattleboro Reformer story from Nov 23, 2010, titled Letter Box. In it, Brattleboro Reformer reports that:

This dreary day suits our mood, we have lost a very good one this weekend. Travis Richmond, our hearts break and our puffy eyes weep for you, your friends and your family.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Brattleboro Reformer.

Stanley

Brattleboro, VT

#1 Nov 23, 2010
"...if Vermont Yankee is as safe as was claimed in those ads, why are 37 sirens in two states necessary?"
Paul, The reason we have those sirens is because in the 1950's we scared the beejeezus out of ourselves with the threat of nuclear war. It translated to a fear of radiation that borders on paranoid schizophrenia. The NRC made the rules under tremendous political pressure to assure the people, us, that nuclear power was safe. The sirens are unnecessary but they are there and will remain there as long as people have an irrational fear of nuclear power.
Check out ..."Nuclear fear: a history of images By Spencer R. Weart."
Weart is the first historian I know of who directs his attention to the pervasiveness of nuclear imagery in our lives. If you ever did the 'under your desks dears, an atom bomb might be coming' drill in grade school. you need to read this. If you have kids, you must read this. Not an easy book, but all the more rewarding. Very powerful stuff, indeed.
The French say "electricite de la fission," fission electricity! Never say "nuclear power" Spencer explains how that political phrase commands a veritable anti-fission electric inquistion in the US.
The other way to look at the sirens is that the NRC is so highly motivated to protect the public that they have required the sirens even though nuclear power is perfectly safe.
Now don't you feel better about the job the NRC is doing?
Stanley

Brattleboro, VT

#2 Nov 23, 2010
Paul, do you suffer from "nuclear fear"?

"Spencer Weart, director of the Center for the History of Physics, examined how these images have shaped nuclear policy and the public's opinion of nuclear power in his 1988 book, "Nuclear Fear: A History of Images." In his work, Weart writes, "Modern thinking about nuclear energy employs imagery that can be traced back to a time long before the discovery of radioactivity. That fact is disturbing, for it shows that such thinking has less to do with current physical reality than with old autonomous features of our society, our culture, and our psychology." He argues that although there are concerns about the use of nuclear technologies, they are dwarfed by the distorted images this society carries about fission."
Stanley

Brattleboro, VT

#3 Nov 23, 2010
Paul;

" question from Charlotte Walsh of Fairmont, WV

Is this fear of nuclear power limited to America? It seems that France has little problem relying on nuclear power and neither does several other countries? If it is true that this is an American fear, why has it developed here and not elsewhere?

Dr. Spencer Weart responds:

As far as I've been able to determine--and there is quite a lot of polling data to go on--fear of nuclear energy is about the same in all countries. The images associated with nuclear things vary a bit from place to place (American Saturday morning cartoons have a lot more evil scientists than some other countries, for example) but just about everywhere there is a large group of people who find anything nuclear very worrisome. The market for information is global.

The one place with an especially high level may be Japan, where the devastation from two atomic bombs has caused, some say, a "nuclear allergy." Nevertheless Japan, almost as much as France, has been vigorous in building nuclear reactors.

A lot happens between vague public concerns and policy decisions. One factor is that Japan and France have mostly used up their readily accessible coal and hydropower sources and don't have any oil to speak of. Nobody wants to be beholden to foreigners for their vital energy sources, and nuclear is as close to self-sufficiency as France and Japan can get. Besides, both countries have centralized "technocratic" policy-making structures. Once a majority decision is debated and concluded in France or Japan, the bureaucracy carries it through. By contrast, in the U.S.(and in Britain, Germany, etc.), there are many points in the political and legal system where a determined minority can raise an outcry and delay or entirely block action."

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/november96/...
Mr Burns

Little Rock, AR

#5 Nov 24, 2010
"...if Vermont Yankee is as safe as was claimed in those ads, why are 37 sirens in two states necessary?"
If your house is so safe then why test you fire and CO alarms monthly ?

Since: Nov 10

Brattleboro, VT

#6 Nov 24, 2010
Stanley, by the number and amount you post on these forums, you appear seriously alarmed by the impending loss of your job and in denial about the fact that you will need a new one in less than two years. Do you need some help with your résumé?
Mongering

Ware, MA

#7 Nov 24, 2010
Face the Fax wrote:
Stanley, by the number and amount you post on these forums, you appear seriously alarmed by the impending loss of your job and in denial about the fact that you will need a new one in less than two years. Do you need some help with your résumé?
Well you told him! Way to go. Actually Stanley was merely answering in a very professional, matter of fact way, the questions posed by the writer in the Reformer's Letter Box. I thought he did a great job answering these questions, not ranting and raving liking the antis. It's not all about the jobs that these Nuclear PLant workers may/ may not lose, most are very intelligent professionals who will have no problems finding jobs elsewhere. And you? What's your motivation for bashing Stanley? Where his answers not subjective?

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