Public Meltdown: The Story of Vermont Yankee

March 8, 2012
Dave Lochbaum
Former contributor

Dr. Richard Watts, an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Vermont, recently authored a book titled Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The book chronicles the plant’s ups and downs since it was purchased by Entergy in 2001. Dr. Watt’s extensive research including interviews with many of the key players provides sound commentary on what happened and why it happened.

Having monitored events at Vermont Yankee and even having served for a short while on the Public Oversight Panel for the reliability assessment commissioned by the Vermont state legislature, I knew about the majority of the issues covered in the book. Nevertheless, Dr. Watt’s research greatly supplemented my awareness by providing the background for many of the twists and turns. Those revelations made reading the book a wise use of my time. And the book is very well written, making acquisition of this information both easy and interesting.

I recommend the book to anyone interested in the Vermont Yankee story. The book also contains invaluable insights to anyone interested in the roles of the federal government, state government, corporations, and the public on nuclear power issues.

Nuclear power is a very controversial topic, and Dr. Watts does a fine job of explaining the perspectives, strategies, and tactics of all sides involved in the debate.

For information on Vermont Yankee and other plants, see UCS’s interactive map, the Nuclear Power Tracker.