|Recent CSI Headline|
More Bad News for Vermont Yankee Expected from 14 Town Meetings Weighing Reactor’s Fate; National Implications Seen for 27 or More of 107 Reactors With Tritium Leaks.
MONTPELIER, VT.///March 1, 2010///Many or most of the 14 Town Halls across Vermont (including 12 on Tuesday) weighing the fate of Vermont Yankee are likely to result in a repeat of the vote last week in the state’s Senate for closure of the controversial nuclear reactor by 2012, judging from a new scientific survey of 802 Vermonters conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI).
Based on polling that took place February 19-22nd immediately before the Vermont Senate vote took place, the findings resonate nationally in that a main driver of deteriorating public support for Vermont Yankee centered on the leaking of radioactive tritium, a problem that also is playing out at 27 or more of the nation’s 104 reactors across 31 states.
Key CSI survey findings reported by Opinion Research Corporation include the following:
Pam Solo, founder and president, Civil Society Institute, said: “These survey findings indicate that the Vermont Senate action to close Vermont Yankee by 2012 was very much in keeping with the views of the state’s residents. As a result, we are likely to see many of the 14 Vermont Town Hall meetings where this same issue will be deliberated arrive at a similar outcome. Nationally, there is a real message here for a U.S. nuclear power industry with literally dozens of other reactors plagued with similar tritium leaks: You can’t sell Americans on the notion that you are providing ‘clean and safe’ power at the same time that you are leaking a radioactive substance into wells and other bodies of water. Citizens in other states may not be able to intervene as directly in reactor issues as Vermonters can, but this survey suggests they are unlikely to remain silent about tritium leaks and other legitimate safety concerns.”
Solo noted that the Vermont Yankee is also a regional issue, since only about half of the employees are state residents and its location makes it an issue for both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where the Civil Society Institute is headquartered.
Opinion Research Corporation Senior Researcher Graham Hueber, said: “It would appear from these survey findings that Entergy has dug itself a very deep hole from which it may not be able to emerge. For example, fewer than half of Vermont residents (46 percent) now trust Entergy to clean up the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee. In fact, a very high two thirds of Vermonters now give Entergy a low rating for ‘trustworthiness’. Similarly, about three out five state residents (58 percent) give Entergy low marks for ‘competence’. In short, this is the picture of a corporation that has lost the support of the Vermont public and will be very hard pressed to rebuild its damaged reputation.”
Important note: The Civil Society Institute is the sole sponsor of this 100 percent independent survey, which is not being released for or with financing from any energy company, environmental group or allied organization. CSI has released more than 25 national and state-specific surveys and reports since 2003 on a wide range of energy and climate issues.
KEY SURVEY FINDINGS
For complete survey findings, go to http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org on the Web.
The Civil Society Institute survey by Opinion Research Corporation was conducted February 19-22, 2010 among a sample of 802 adults comprising 399 men and 403 women 18 years of age and older living in the state of Vermont. Completed interviews are weighted by two variables, age and gender, to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total state population, 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
ABOUT THE CIVIL SOCIETY INSTITUTE
Based in Newton, MA., the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org) is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society. Since 2003, CSI has conducted more than 25 major national and state-level surveys and reports on energy and auto issues, including vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, consumer demand for hybrids/other highly-fuel efficient vehicles, global warming and renewable energy. In addition to being a co-convener of CLEAN, the Civil Society Institute also is the parent organization of 40MPG.org (http://www.40MPG.org) and the Hybrid Owners of America (http://www.HybridOwnersofAmerica.org).
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or email@example.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A streaming audio recording of this news event will be available on the Web as of 6 p.m. EST on March 1, 2010 at http://www.civilsocietyinstitute.org.