Whitewash — a NYT Specialty

nuclear-wasteGood grief, what the hell is this? Either Entergy paid an awful lot to get this bit of PR regurgitated on the pages of the New York Times, or the New York Times is demonstrating once again why it is largely irrelevant when it comes to separating facts and fiction.

So, we hear how the locals in Vernon apparently love their big nuke, and how they’re sure Entergy wouldn’t want to pour radioactive waste into the Connecticut. We get three photo captions as follows:

  • “Robert Miller, 49, who serves on the Vernon governing board, says that closing the Vermont Yankee plant “will ruin this town”.
  • The Vermont Senate’s vote to close the leak-prone nuclear plant in Vernon does not sit well with some residents.
  • The plant is a major source of jobs in the farming town of 2,100 people and provides a hefty tax break.

Entergy’s repeated lies are called “misstatements” (sort of the verbal equivalent of a typo — how very benign), while opponents of the plans are called “fiercely anti-nuclear.”

What we don’t get is any mention of the fact that the plant is ancient and was scheduled for closure. That it has been running above capacity for decades. That is has been cracking at the seams for years. And while we hear about the millions Entergy pays in taxes, there’s no mention of the fact that cleaning up this god-awful mess will cost hundreds of millions and that Entergy is actively trying to stick Vermont with the tab while making off with all the profits. Maybe all the good people in Vernon who apparently love the smell of tritium in the morning would like to pay for the clean-up out of the own pocket? We don’t know, because in this weird mutant of an article the question is never asked. Instead, we’re presented with biased crap like, “Given the reactor’s tangible benefits, Vernon residents find themselves defending it against deteriorating support statewide.” If we’re hearing about the benefits wouldn’t it be prudent to also mention some of the rather significant drawbacks?