The big buzz around St. Lawrence County this weekend is Massena officials have broached the idea of attracting a nuclear plant to town.
At a press conference yesterday, town supervisor, Joe Gray, and village mayor, Jim Hidy, said they’ve been “kicking around” the idea for some time. Hidy said it could bring “a generational change” to a town hammered by closures, jobs cuts and attrition at the General Motors, Alcoa, and Reynolds plants over decades.
The pair said they’d set up an exploratory committee to start looking into details and soliciting opinion from local residents.
Let’s remember this: this is the basic area that’s tried to lure a major aquarium, a massive NASCAR racetrack, and a 20,000 cow feedlot-meets-ethanol plant. Oh, and did I mention the underground atomic supercollider?
Obviously, none of those happened.
Gray and Hidy acknowledged the process of attracting a nuclear plant would take at least a decade, if it happened at all. And they deserve credit for raising the proposal as a topic of public conversation at the very earliest stages.
It’s definitely created a buzz. Supporters are salivating about hundreds of jobs. Opponents (I’ve seen a flurry of e-mails on a local environmental activist listserv I monitor) are already kicking into high gear to fight the idea.
What would you think about having a nuclear reactor in your backyard? (Aside from getting to live out your “I’m Homer Simpson” fantasies…)