The Human Factor

Is it possible that smart people might mess up their priorities? This is a reminder that a nuclear power plant will require skilled labor basically forever, or until the radioactive fuel is trucked off to a safe place– wherever that turns out to be. From The Boston Herald…

With its current operating license just weeks from expiring, officials at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth sent nearly half their employees home this morning hours after their contract expired, a move dubbed “disgraceful and disturbing” by union leadership as they weigh the plant’s latest offer.

Despite negotiating into the early morning hours, officials with the Louisiana-based Entergy Corp. — which runs the Plymouth plant — and members of Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 failed to hash out a new contract after a month of talks, both sides said today.

That prompted the plant to turn away all of its “non-essential employees” this morning, said union president Dan Hurley, who scoffed at the designation that any worker is “non-essential.”

“It’s a nuclear facility, so I’d think that everyone in there is an essential person,” said Hurley, who helps represent 380 workers at the plant. He said healthcare as well as safety and staffing issues were the major sticking points separating the two sides, and the union plans to vote on Entergy’s latest offer next week.

We can’t keep creating nuclear waste in the belief that future generations will be more rational and selfless than our own. This stuff lasts forever.

And when something goes wrong, corporations vanish and citizens are left with the burden. See Greenpeace on private profit–socialized risk.

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