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Letter: Disturbing Incident at Vt. Yankee

Disturbing Incident at Vt. Yankee

To the Editor:

In case some readers missed it, there was a disturbing story Sunday about an incident at Vermont Yankee (“NRC: Vermont Yankee Security Violated Procedures”). A suspected pipe bomb was found at the site, according to a report written by a Yankee employee. The professionals working to safeguard Windham County from the dangers of nuclear power production must have thought to themselves, “What would Homer Simpson do?”

They “decided that by duct-taping a piece of string to the pipe and then standing back from it pulling the string to see if it ‘went off’ was the way to handle the situation,” according to the internal report.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission assures us that “there was never a threat to employees or public safety.” Probably because it wasn’t a pipe bomb, it was a discarded pump. Federal regulators, presumably from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said that Vermont Yankee violated company safety procedures, but don’t worry. NRC Chairman Neil Sheehan said that the plant owner, Entergy Corporation, has analyzed “what caused the errors and has taken steps to address them,” so it probably won’t happen again.

If you’re not assured, you might want to contact your congressional delegation and request that they work to create some serious and objective oversight of the nuclear industry and that the federal government find a safe place to store the ever-growing stockpile of nuclear waste it has allowed the nuclear power industry to create.

Patrick Kearney