…And that ain’t all!

If the account of a Vermont Yankee employee attempting amateur bomb disposal isn’t enough to persuade you that “Elvis has left the building,” there is an incident report filed yesterday that reinforces the picture of wreckless abandonment.

It seems that on March 19, a random fitness-for-duty test identified an employee non-licensed supervisor with alcohol in his or her bloodstream.  

We are assured in the report that that supervisor has no further access to the plant; but the fact that the test was “random” begs the question of how many other employees might be working similarly impaired; and what the hell might  the amateur bomb cracker  have been on at the time of his infraction?

One might further speculate that the imminent shut-down of Yankee may have given rise to a dangerous culture of personal irresponsibility among the managers and employees who no longer see a future at VY.

But if you would expect the people who know best about the cost of nuclear plant folly, the Japanese, to hold the line against irresponsible decisions, you might be sadly disappointed.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has strong ties to the nuclear power industry, has made it his priority to bring Japan’s nuclear power plants back on line as quickly as he can.

One of the first locations where this is likely to happen is at the Ikata Nuclear Power Station, a facility built in 1977.  Under Japanese rules, the town of Ikata must first approve the restart; but this is almost assured to happen even though surrounding communities oppose the move.  The Power Station is the principle employer in the town, and despite misgivings about the risks associated with operating the plant, the Mayor  says the town will endorse a restart if they can be assured of the plant’s safety.  

Like the majority of Japanese, people in neighboring communities which do not depend on the plant for employment are distinctly less enthusiastic about the prospect of reopening the plant; but there is little they can do to prevent the Power Station from resuming its output if the town of Ikata gives it the nod.

Depending upon official assurances of safety has its problems, as well.  Mr. Abe’s government and the entire Japanese regulatory system are more or less captive to the industry.  What they deem “safe” ain’t necessarily so.

Reminding us  that officials have severely underestimated the threat of future cancers amongst children who lived under the invisible canopy of Fukushima exposure during  the early months of the unfolding event, Fairewinds Associates has re-released its video exploration of the evidence as documented in 2013.

Watch it again and ask yourself whether Japanese nuclear industry authorities can be trusted to tell the truth.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

6 thoughts on “…And that ain’t all!

  1. My cha-chingy is on Arnie & Maggie Fairewinds version — Abe plus aiders & abetters is playin a losin game — f’king breathtaking:

    Earth-to-Abe & abetters:

    “If you’re gonna play the game, boy

    You gotta learn to play it right

    You’ve got to know when to hold ’em

    Know when to fold ’em

    Know when to walk away

    Know when to run

    You never count your money

    When you’re sittin’ at the table

    There’ll be time enough for countin’

    When the dealin’s done

    Every gambler knows

    That the secret to survivin’

    Is knowin’ what to throw away

    And knowin’ what to keep

    ‘Cause every hand’s a winner

    And every hand’s a loser

    And the best that you can hope for

    Is to die in your sleep”

    … hopefully not at the hands of the nefarious nuke-nuts.

  2. Let’s not forget that a couple of years ago the person in charge of testing VY workers for drugs tested positive for drugs. That was around the time that a maintenance supervisor came in drunk. He got (a whole entire) two weeks of treatment instead of a pink slip and went back to work.

    At the safest plant in America.

  3. the timid & polite assurances from the gracious Japanese guests who attended & took part in the somewhat recent conferences in Boston & NY which the Gundersens also attended re the Fukushima nuclear issues soft-pedal backwards a bit when remarking on the true health consequences — reciting from the nuclear industries’ dystopian-sounding strict rules of “inconclusive evidence/studies/results” rubric & the seemingly ever-present invisible gun held to their heads.  

    Watch it again and ask yourself whether Japanese nuclear industry authorities can be trusted to tell the truth.

    Japanese conferees pretty much said it all.

    This is simply heartbreaking & entire topic very difficult to entertain.  

  4. found time to finish watching, following two or three previous attempts. Despite length, well worth the effort as depressing as the topic & myriad related issues are.

    Predictably – women & children are sol as the newly uprated “safe” dosages are much kinder to adult men but risks for women & children are vastly higher. The number-crunchers are callously deciding how much of an increase faceless victims the market can bear and subjected to increased cancers, birth defects & death.

    Narrator helpfully speaks slowly & clearly – it’s highly technical & I suspect would be difficult for many to follow much less digest information presented for those of us who are not versed in these highly technical comparisons.

    With each story presented, difficult to understand how anyone anywhere could still be considering nuclear power as an energy option following Fukushima. Proof exists that the unique circumstances of tsunamis & earthquakes are not the only factors which would be capable of producing the very same scenario anywhere else.

    Rules & protocols are partialy based on junk pseudoscience & inaccurate information. “Models” are used, therefore the parameters are not actual but virtual and form the “facts” thus guidelines used in manuals used by the industry & nuclear safety commissions.

    That Japanese officials are once again rolling the dice by pushing another nuclear gambit on the citizenry, in this earthquake, tornado, tsunami-prone volatile area is unbelievable as they are not even near being out of the woods re Fukushima, units 3 & 4 which look like bombed-out buildings in a war zone are teetering on collapse.

    Radiation from Fukushima is still being dispersed by jet streams & weather patterns at least in the northern hemisphere & possibly word-wide (pls correct if this is wrong) Japanese are not known for foolishness, although certain someones receive a failing grade for building closer than the tsunami markers allowed – part of the reason why catastrophe happened in the first place. I have heard nothing about revised codes for any increase in safety either. Decision, based on brinkmanship methodology, if not (hopefully) scrapped is as stunningly stupid as it is astonishing.

    Once again, thanks for bringing it Sue. Thanks to Fairewinds & Gundersens for dedication & commitment to educating the public & keeping us informed and most of all for standing with & by the Japanese people.    

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