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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Niantic

 

 

We order lime margaritas at the Main Street Grille

sit on the deck overlooking Niantic Bay

blue-on-blue view, Long Island Sound in distance

a chilly breeze blowing out the sun.

Rising on the horizon is the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant

a gray-white city surrounded in green.

 

Amtrak's Acela zooms by

and the little boy at the next table

is enthralled by the speed.

 

You tell me about your Uncle Bill

an electrician proud to help construct

nuclear reactor Unit One in the late '60's

to bring New England into the Atomic Age.

 

We guess he was probably there at the plant opening

December 28, 1970.

He moved his family from Hartford

to a house in Waterford near Millstone Point

so he could see the plant every day

while swimming at the beach.

 

We forego another margarita and head out to sunny Main Street

with the tourists sipping wine or eating ice cream.

How many know what the low tide brings or

where the crosswinds will blow?

The next shutdown looms as cooling reactors

raise water temperature.

 

Uncle Bill's Unit One shut down in 1998

but Units Two and Three continue to operate

earning OSHA's top award for workplace safety.

The little boy's generation

will be guaranteed nuclear-generated electricity to 2056.

 

                                                             —Jules Nyquist