This week's announcement that Vermont Yankee would be shut down in 2014 was sad news to bear for our industry. Here at NEI, we covered the negative impact on the local economy that this closing will have, and our CEO Marv Fertel's comments expressed how disappointing it is when a well-run and highly productive nuclear plant gets shuttered because of skewed markets.
It was easy to feel discouraged by this, especially knowing all of the hard work put forth by the talented employees and tireless supporters of Vermont Yankee. That's why it was both inspiring and uplifting to read the following message to industry communicators from Caroline Cochran, a nuclear engineer, blogger and advocate.
I wish we were fighting a battle of facts, but clearly that's not what this is. This is a battle of hearts and guts and cool and public opinion. That’s why what you all are doing is so important. Organizations like PopAtomic Studios and The Breakthrough Institute are great because they make nuclear energy accessible and fun, and help people understand that it’s critical for our environment.On behalf of nukes everywhere, I want to say thank you, Caroline. This is exactly what we needed to hear. We are heartened by your message and will continue to spread the word that nuclear energy is crucial for powering our future.
I've seen it over and over again talking to person after person in all types of settings. I work in marketing now and speak with thousands of people monthly -- the change is coming. Young people are pro-nuclear. They think it’s cool. They also think it’s important for our future. Many visionaries and big names are pro-nuclear too: Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and Elon Musk is really coming around.
I was just at the largest annual inbound marketing conference, and everyone I talked to there loved the idea of nuclear. These aren’t engineers, these are young techies and social media types. The types that love TechCrunch and Wired and blogs. I was also just in D.C. meeting with the heads of several agencies and offices. There is momentum coming from there as well. The New York Times and the old guard will have a change of heart…eventually!
Don’t lose heart guys. The smart money is on nuclear. The people that really care about our future care about nuclear.