Skip to main content

“Many Stood Up and Yelled” for Millstone

Millstone 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.


Tiki said…
I live in New London County. Ms. Burton and her group lost a lot of credibility in the county a year or two ago when she published a report crediting all deaths of young children in the area of Millstone to Millstone. The article was published in The New London Day, and names of children were named. The parents sued. She had even included the name of a child who was run over by its father as being due to Millstone.
Here's the link to the local paper. Local politicians say: "State Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, said at Wednesday’s news conference that the proposed tax sends an anti-business message about Connecticut and would discourage future investment in the state.

The bill “would send our entire state in absolutely the wrong direction in regards to economic development,” Stillman said.

Waterford First Selectman Dan Steward said Dominion represents about 30 percent of the town’s tax base, or $20 million a year of property tax. He said the uncertainty surrounding the tax and a potential plant shutdown may already be costing the town money as it proceeds to issue bonds for school projects."
Joffan said…
I'm glad that Burton's rudeness in trying appropriate the Q&A time for her own use was met with a suitably rude response in turn. Well done Connecticuters.
Anonymous said…
Burton claimed playwright August Wilson's fatal cancer was due to Millstone radiation because he once spent a summer in the area.
Tiki said…
And Burton has been disbarred, twice. As Green Party candidate for Attorney General, she garnered 17,000 votes. Her association with the Green Party has done nothing for its image in Connecticut.

The above from the ABA Journal, "Ex-AG Candidate Loses Free Speech Appeal over Corruption Claim."

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…