March 1, 2010

the nuclear option

AMID the kubuki-theater politics that was the Bipartisan Health Care Summit, I thought the national media missed a significant but underplayed story: the decision by the Vermont state government to shut down Vermont Yankee, one of the oldest -- and perhaps most dangerous -- nuclear power plants in the nation. 

The Green Mountain State's decision to put the kibosh on the plant is significant; for years, critics point to the fact that the plant's been leaking radioactive, cancer-causing material into the ground, with football-sized holes reported in some of the pipes and a management company, Entergy, that's been called untrustworthy and unreliable.  The AP has a has a brief take on it here.

Why should we care?

Well, President Obama recently announced support for nuclear power, a glowing green olive branch to Republicans and a signal that he's willing to play ball to get the upcoming energy bill passed.  But there are very real doubts and a lot of skepticism about whether nuclear power is safe, and that could be trouble for the White House as it tries to get a bill past recalcitrant Republicans.

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