A while back National Geographic ran a feature article reporting on a paradigm-changing idea in Germany. Instead of spending millions of marks dismantling a decommissioned nuclear facility, they converted it into an amusement park. Yes, Google it — an amusement park. Hundreds of thousands of people go there every year, pay an entrance fee and enjoy a safe, fun-filled outing. Instead of having to pay millions dismantling the facility, the country turned it into a profit-making tourist attraction.
As a recent article in this publication reported, a new vendor plans to save Vermont money dismantling Yankee, promising to leave a vacant grass-covered lot by 2030 — 13 years from now. But least we forget, the article reported, too, we have to store the waste since the feds cannot transport the material to another location for possibly up to 20 years Now we have to add more millions to store and guard this material over all those years. Doesn’t it make financial sense that before we start destroying this potential asset, we investigate other profitable uses?
Here’s a starting idea. Convert the whole facility into a museum. With the current development of so many different sources of sustainable energy, nuclear is already a relic of the past, the stuff of museum-goers. Think, too, this Vermont structure would be the only decommissioned nuclear facility museum in the U.S. There is one other one, and it is used solely as a movie set.
So, again, Vermonters, consider the choices. Tear Yankee down and spend millions doing it. Or, use it as a state attraction and make millions as a truly unique Vermont tourist attraction. Fellow Vermonters, we don’t need more state costs. Contact your representative. Ask them at the very least to investigate the possibility of this idea and spend some time thinking about other ideas. Dismantling a potential asset as it stands now doesn’t seem to be a sensible financial decision.