Grassroots citizen activism and the No Nukes movement have won another great victory with Entergy’s announcement that the Vermont Yankee reactor will shut down.
It is closing only because of the fierce non-violent determination of countless activists over the decade who value life and understand the horrible destructive power of atomic energy, as is now being demonstrated so destructively at Fukushima.
This is the fifth U.S. reactor shut-down announced this year. As many as seven proposed reactors have been cancelled since January 1. Five major reactor upgrades have also been scrubbed.
This dangerous, destructive atomic reactor was licensed to operate for another 20 years. Entergy had just won a major court decision allowing it to ignore decisions by the state legislature based on safety concerns, an astonishingly short-sighted and unjust reading of the law.
But that decision also left numerous avenues for the state and the public to bring Vermont Yankee’s increasingly dangerous operations to a halt.
The overriding fact is that the No Nukes movement won the overwhelming support of the people of Vermont and the state legislature. The key vote in the Vermont Senate in favor of shut-down was 26-4.
The lesson here is that even a giant corporation, with huge supplies of cash, must ultimately succumb to the popular will.
Entergy has emphasized that it does not intend to shut its two reactors at Indian Point, north of New York City, or at Fitzpatrick, upstate, or at Michigan’s Palisades. But they said the same at Vermont Yankee.
This victory proves that in the long run, the spectacular advances being made in the Solartopian transition to a green-powered earth in Germany and elsewhere are taking deep root. Atomic energy’s days are numbered. The future is with renewable, community-owned energy.
It also means that in the long run, the survival instinct will trump the profit motive, even when being pushed by a big corporation.
We congratulate the countless activists who worked so tirelessly, decade after decade, to win this victory in Vermont, in the recent shut-down at California’s San Onofre, and so much more. Thanks to your successful efforts, your children and grandchildren will live to thank you.
~ Harvey Wasserman serves as Secretary of Energy in the Ecology Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet United States. This statement is dedicated to Tony Mathews.