The State of Vermont was lied to, under oath, by nuclear power officials, and that’s one reason why the Vermont Senate voted to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, as discussed here in the NY Times.

The larger point is that, if  such lying (or misstatements, as the attorneys would have it) occurs under oath, think about what is said, or written, by people who are not under oath, in the interest of promoting this industry (including cost estimates, as we’ve gone into here).

One could argue that every industry has bad actors who will lie (or stretch the truth, or make misstatements). But so what? This observation makes it all the more clear that we need to phase out the nuclear power industry, rather than promote it, because a few bad apples could indeed cause a catastrophe. (There are other compelling reasons for round-filing this industry, of course.)

The lying had to do with the fact that

Plant officials had testified under oath to two state panels that there were no buried pipes at Vermont Yankee that could leak tritium, although there were.

Now, as the article says, the company running the facility, Entergy, rushed in to say that the people involved were disciplined and

Entergy said it had instructed a law firm to examine the misstatements its officials had made under oath and concluded that officials had not intended to deceive the state. It said communications had “led to misunderstandings,” and a result was that “the responses were incomplete and misleading.”

I’d need to see the transcript, but, as is often the case, attorneys were brought in to wordsmith matters and to serve as a potential barrier in the event of legal action. (Read: big bucks are necessary if the State, or anyone else, wants to make a real issue of this). There’s little doubt that Entergy has its own attorneys on staff, so use of an outside law firm reveals that Entergy is more than a little concerned about this matter.


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