Letter to the editor: Shortsighted about Yankee

Dear editor, I am utterly shocked at the shortsightedness and uncalled for paranoia concerning Vermont Yankee. While I’m very much on the side of my children having fewer than three arms each, the responses offered are just plain stupid. For one: yes, it is the same type as the one in Japan, but they built theirs on a fault line. That is really, really poor planning on their part, and says nothing of the type of plant short of “It can’t stand an earthquake that breaks entire cities.” There’s no inherent danger in it being the same kind, so relax. We have surprisingly few fault lines crossing Vermont. Second: Sure, it won’t affect students that much in the four-to-however-many-your-parents-will-buy years that they’ll live around here, but that is missing the point. It isn’t just about us! The shutting down of the plant will affect many people, not just college students in the next four years. The fact that anybody at all would cite that as a reason to shut it down is selfish and lunatic. Nuclear power is one of the cleanest power sources we currently have, short of wind and solar. And since solar is slow to catch on in a big way, and wind farms aren’t being built around here to preserve the natural beauty of the state, we need something better than burning coal. Which leads us to these options: drill for more gas — not so much a popular opinion around these parts — cut down and burn tons of trees — oh boy, no! — or try for coal, which burns a lovely black, and if something goes wrong in a coal mine, we’ll all be breathing more toxic fumes than usual. Vermont Yankee should be updated and made secure by modern standards, but kept open. I don’t understand how such a progressive group of self-proclaimed hippies would be willing to give up a pretty clean source of power due to a bit of paranoia. Does Yankee have problems? Definitely. Can they be fixed? Certainly. So until we have solar panels on every roof and wind farms from here to Bennington, buck up and accept the imperfect interim solution. -Johnathan Topol Class of 2013