You’re at something of a disadvantage if i host you as a guest at Twin Oaks. Part of this is because with some regularity i don’t do a great job of orienting my guests and they have to find their way. For most of my guests this is not too much of a problem, but it understandably annoys some of my fellow communards. The other downside is that i have hosted a lot of people, and a fair few of them are odd.
Some of these odd people are dear friends of mine. An axiom i always found compelling was, “If you want to save a mad world, hire a mad person.” But some of my odd guests i don’t know very well.
Robin is odd. He is gregarious and occasionally cracks off-color jokes. He is far from a seamless fit in my commune that often guards its personal space.
And he is experienced and clever. Long before i brought shareholders’ resolutions against Dominion power for the proposed new reactors at North Anna, he had already done that a bunch of times. He was one of the first to push gradually increasing the renewable energy portfolio standards, and while Dominion shareholders rejected it, in state after state these have become the law.
Many of his strategies around North Anna are exciting. He wants to look at the dam, which might well not be designed to handle the level of earthquake we just had. As Robin points out, if the dam fails, emergency backup power is not of much use. Reactors are thirsty and there is no backup for cooling even a shut down reactor at that site without the lake.
Robin’s second thesis is that there is some chance that horizontal fracking and reinjection of wastes in shifting the local geology. There have already been fracking-induced earthquakes in Arkansas and other states. He is planning to hunt down the local well sites and do his own analysis.
His final angle is insurance, but i believe the Price Anderson act/sham will insulate North Anna from paying anything extra for the dramatically higher liability risk associated with continued operation of these reactors. But there is something here, there is a way that dramatically increased liability can be used to shut these reactors down (revoking their license extensions for lying on the application, perhaps) and certainly stopping the third block from being built.
My money is on the madmen, like Robin, to help us pull this off.