The New York Times has put up a very well implemented – and interactive – map that provides a lot of data about the Japan earthquake and about Fukushima Daiichi. Worth bookmarking.
The Economist has posted a debate – done in classical style, a treat for us old college arguers – that proposes the following: This house believes that the world would be better off without nuclear energy.
Read through the arguments – very well researched on both sides, so even those in favor of the statement are worth attending to by nuclear advocates – and cast your vote. Currently, 32 percent favor the statement and 68 percent disfavor it. Technically, you can’t vote your conscience, but only for the better argument. Assuming the voters are doing this, what can we say? Go, nuclear energy!
Up in Connecticut, a bill in the legislature proposes taxing nuclear energy. If the bill passes, Dominion Energy, which runs the Millstone plant, will shut it down – it cannot pass the cost to customers due to contractual arrangements and it cannot afford the additional $332 million tariff per year the tax would cost. Dominion said it would try to renegotiate the contracts, but failing that, closure. (Of note: Millstone is the state’s only nuclear plant, so this is a very targeted tax – just on principle, it’s pretty atrocious.)(Oh, and Millstone produces 53 percent of the electricity in Connecticut. Hope they get those windmills up fast.)
Anyway, who knows? Still early days on this one and of course, we’ll track it. But the interesting thing is the behavior of the audience at a Waterford (where Millstone is sited) town hall:
During the question and answer period after Dominion’s presentation, Nancy Burton, president of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, began a speech on the dangers of nuclear energy. She showed several posters of Japan’s destroyed nuclear power plants, and made allegations that Millstone was casting radiation into Mystic [River] and causing cancer.
Before she could finish her speech, the public began to grow restless. Many stood up and yelled at Burton, demanding she ask one question and let everybody else talk.
Later in the question and answer period, Burton stood up again to speak. Again she made allegations that Dominion was cutting corners and misinforming the public, and that the media was backing the power company.
This time, before she could finish her speech, boos rained down. She tried to talk over the jeers, but the public just booed louder until she eventually returned to her seat.
Pretty rude, I admit, but if you’ve been to one of these, you know anti-nuclear advocates sometimes try to soak up the time to make their arguments seem dominant even when that is not true. If Ms. Burton tried that, didn’t work. If she was making a simple statement, back to rude.
But it’s striking that in the town where the plant is located, the townspeople wouldn’t have it.