Friday, December 15, 2006

Millstone Metaphors - nuclear power woes

Nancy Burton, the Green Party candidate for Connecticut attorney general, has racked up some milage campaigning under the season’s crisp canopy of leaves
She’s been driving around hauling a goat shed, bales of fragrant hay and three lop-eared nibbling goats, pragmatists every one.

Aside from promising a chicken in every pot, it’s hard to imagine why a politician would want to make campaign appearances with a farm animal. But Burton, who’s eccentricities, and environmental intensity are well known, also has method.

Katie, the mother goat in her caravan herd, lived on a farm not far, five miles or so, from the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, and gives milk laced with Strontium-90. With Burton at the left is one of Katie’s two kids, photographed on a bright sunny day in Georgetown. Watching this small family, it’ was easy to think about the future.

As Burton shepherds her “Strontium-90” goats around on tour, as she makes campaign speeches, her goal is to bring attention to the problem of nuclear energy’s aging infrastructure, which like the national debt, isn’t going away in just one generation.

Burton says the problems include:

  • repeated releases of radiation,

  • the lack of a no-fly zone over Millstone,

  • a whistle-blower’s revelation that the company routinely disables the plant’s security system because of its hyper-sensitivity.

  • Millstone’s overfilled spent fuel pools, (I read a report about this problem ten years ago in Time Magazine. It was chilling even then.) kept that way because of the failure of the federal government to establish a long-term nuclear waste storage facility.

  • Above ground storage of nuclear waste made possible by the declaration by the government that closed reactors can be used as storage facilities. (Millstone 1 is closed, for that matter Connecticut Yankee in Haddam Neck is closed too and is still a storage site for spent fuel. )

  • a cancer hot zone moving up the Nyantic River from Millstone

To consider the positions of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone visit
---- Mar Walker