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Oct 26, 2008

    The New York Times reported that there is about to be a renaissance in the nuclear power industry. After 30 years with no new plants having been built in the US, there are proposals for 34 new nuclear power sites before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Let me tell you what I know about the power plant pictured above. It sits on an otherwise pristine area of the beautiful Connecticut River in the town of Haddam and began energy production in 1968. The town fathers thought that locating a nuke plant in Haddam Neck, across the river from the main part of the town, was a fine idea. The tax revenue generated by the plant ensured that town taxes would be low for as long as it operated, which I am sure they expected to be longer than 28 years. It would be out of the way, it would be relatively small so as not to spoil the view of the river, and would provide hundreds of jobs.

    However, these town fathers made a deal with the devil. In order for the plant to be built, they had to agree to permanent on-site storage of all the nuclear waste the plant produced. It didn't seem like a big deal way back then, I guess, because they signed on the dotted line and lo and behold, once the plant was up and running Haddam enjoyed one of the lowest town tax rates in the entire state.

    Fast forward to the mid-1980's. The river, having so much hot water continuously dumped into from the nuke plant, became home to invasive foreign species of aquatic life carried upriver by barges. Asian clams loved the warm water, as did many non-native plants and striped bass. Now the fishermen on the river loved the bass, but they were destroying other fish species in large numbers.

    And then there was the cancer. The town's medical director told me, around 1989, that there was a large number of inexplicable cancers in a residential belt that ran across the river from the plant. Unusual numbers of leukemia and thyroid cancers were occurring. Although he couldn't prove it, he felt it was connected to Connecticut Yankee.

    The regional paper, the Middletown Press, used to regularly publish little squibs about unexpected plant emissions, but these were always described as "harmless" and "uneventful". By the early 1990's, when people began to add up all the unusual things going on that seemed to be connected to the plant, these notices disappeared from the newspaper.

    And then there were the stories told by plant workers of how cursory the inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission actually were. How things didn't get reported or written up. Incidents that were minimized.

    After a large enough and vocal enough group of citizens waged a bruising, heated campaign to shut down Connecticut Yankee, the plant's board finally voted to stop production and schedule the plant for decommissioning.

    Alas, the fun never ended. After Connecticut Yankee shut down, it was discovered that spare lumber and cement blocks from the site had been offered and given away to people who wanted them for home projects. But these gifts were found, long after, to be highly contaminated. The tennis court, built by a benevolent board to provide a place for plant employees to exercise in the fresh air on their breaks, was found to have been built on contaminated ground. But the worst result is forever - Haddam now has a nuclear waste dump on the banks of the river. The fabulously low taxes are gone with the wind, and nothing remains from the devil's deal but spent nuclear fuel, the memories of those who succumbed to cancer and a river that has been ravaged by non-native plants and animals.

   Why do I write this? Because there is no way in hell that anyone can ever justify to me - who lived through those turbulent times in Haddam, was told by the first selectwoman to keep my mouth shut at meetings about the plant (yeah, right) and fought long and hard to close Connecticut Yankee down - the building of more nuclear plants. The trade-off between no air emissions and everlasting nuclear waste, with all its concomitant plagues, is not worth it.

    What I have written is just what I know about Connecticut Yankee. I am sure there are  many with even more information. And I am sure that similar situations have occurred, and are occurring, on nuclear power plant sites and in the towns and cities where they sit. I don't want one more nuke plant in the US. 34 would be a tragedy.

© 2008 RC deWinter

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Posted: Oct 26, 2008 8:06am
Jun 21, 2006
Vertonia sent me a great link to a PrisonPlanet article. This is a provocative and important article. Anyone looking for the truth about 9/11 should read it:


By the way, I watched last evening's PBS FRONTLINE broadcast an informative and scary documentary called "The Dark Side" -
guess who it was about?


That's right - THE DICKMAN! You can watch it online beginning tonight at 5 PM   as well as learn a lot more about Cheney and the pervasive web of Washington power.

This man is pure evil...

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Posted: Jun 21, 2006 5:42am

 

 
 
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RC deWinter
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Middletown, CT, USA
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