The small rural New England town of Vernon, Vermont is home to an aging nuclear power plant. Vermont Yankee, nestled on the banks of the Connecticut River, first opened its doors to power production in 1972 with its 40 year contract set to expire March 21, 2012. Throughout its existence, the reactor has been the subject of much debate; now, everyone is worried about the plant’s future. Many want to see it shut down, citing various environmental and health concerns and also controversial court decisions that some say pit the state against the federal government. Others worry about what will happen if the plant closes, fearing the loss of jobs and increased taxes that will result, as well as other economic and social impacts.
On February 25, 2012, a team of eight photographers spanned the town of Vernon, photographing and interviewing local farmers, business owners, town officials, and activists while on a one day mission: to tell the story of Vernon, not just Vermont Yankee. This multimedia project is a result of their efforts. The footage in this presentation was captured in a very short period of time; all of the audio and most of the photographs were captured in a single six-hour day, and the final presentation was completed less than 48 hours from when the project began.
Photographs by Chris Bertelsen, Josh Farr, Annie Flanagan, Michael Forster Rothbart, Kari Post, Nancy Shepherd, and Lu Zhang. Interviews by Michael Forster Rothbart and Kari Post. Audio editing by Kari Post and Josh Farr. Multimedia production by Josh Farr, Annie Flanagan, and Kari Post. Project inspired and facilitated by Michael Forster Rothbart and sponsored by the Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, Vermont.