Why Are There Armed Guards In The Peaceful Village Of Wiscasset?
If you have lived in Maine for more than a few years, or you are a frequent visitor to the Pine Tree State, there is a good chance you have been to the quaint mid-coast town of Wiscasset. You may have taken a walk along the Sheepscot River, gotten a lobster roll from Red's Eats, or just driven through on your way to Boothbay Harbor.
Regardless of you reason for visiting, or how much time you spent in town, there is no denying that it is an idyllic, peaceful Maine town. In fact, it has been called "Maine's Prettiest Village".
So, what's the deal with the armed guards?
According to the Bangor Daily News, they are keeping an eye on massive quantities of nuclear waste.
Well, the story starts back in the late 1960s. According to Wikipedia, construction of the Maine Yankee nuclear powerplant began in 1968. The powerplant went online in December of 1972 and operated until 1996. In 1995, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission began to investigate alleged safety violations at the plant. It was determined that, given the amount of money needed to fix the violations, it was not cost effective to keep the plant running. The decommissioning of the plant began in August of 1997. It was not completed until 2005.
However, there is still radioactive waste at the site. A lot of waste. According to the Bangor Daily News, there is about 550 metric tonnes of waste stored at the site.
That could change in the near future. The Biden administration's Department of Energy is working on a program that would allow communities to "volunteer" to host the waste produced by reactors.
Because of the dangerous-nature of the waste, there are guards on site 24 hours a day. This costs the company about $10 millions per year. The salaries for these guards are being paid by money from the United States government.
The real big question is "what community is going to want to host radioactive waste?"
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