Thanks undeRGRond. I sure hope that are prioritizing well the hardening that they are doing. Protecting the nuke plants would be my top priority.
I know that being a lineman can be a dangerous job and often have crappy working conditions, but for many folks looking for opportunities it can make for a great middle class career. They can make a ton of overtime every time there is a major weather calamity. Around here the power company jobs are much coveted.
On the private vs public issue, I really don’t care who pays for it so long as it gets done. What I would prefer however is a govt.mandate that the hardening must be done. I do not trust that the many power companies we have will all get the job done if it is purely voluntary. I used to live in the evacuation zone for the VT Yankee nuke plant (which just shut down for good last week) and did not always have a warm fuzzy feeling. A few years back a cooling tower collapsed, which I understand didn’t pose a safety hazard, but the fact that their inspections never detected it was ready to collapse made me wonder what else they weren’t inspecting. Then there was a radiation leak into the groundwater (tritium I think??) that took forever to find the source of because it was coming from underground pipes they didn’t seem to know about. Our evacuation route had us driving north a couple miles towards the plant and then taking a circuitous route to a location that was maybe 3 miles outside the zone, and which I could have driven directly to in a fraction of the time their route would have taken. Again, not a warm and fuzzy feeling. This is partly why I am not entirely comfortable that the power companies will do the right thing as regards hardening the grid without a clear mandate.