The Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor, one of the oldest nuclear plants in the country and the subject of heated battles over the decades, will close late next year. This would leave the US with 99 operating reactors. Four reactors in Georgia and South Carolina are under construction, and the Tennessee Valley Authority is finishing a fifth in Tennessee. But the industry is in a period of rapid decline.
Right after Chernobyl blew its top, Edward Teller said on the ABC Evening News in late April 1986, “The chances of a real calamity at a nuclear power station are infinitesimally small. But should it happen, the consequences are impossible to imagine.” Now after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, radiation continues to spread across the Pacific to North America with unimaginable consequences.