The Wait for the License

December 23, 2011, 7:00AMANS Nuclear CafeA. Priori

(With no apologies to Clement C. Moore, Henry Livingston, or the thousands who have already parodied the original)


'Twas the wait for the license,

When all through the site,

Not a module was fitted,

No matter how light.

Work orders were logged

On the systems and boards

For the moment when workers

Would show up in hordes.

The owners and contractors

Eagerly waited

To pour some concrete

That is safety-related.

And I in my trailer,

Hearing no bosses' words,

Had flipped out my smart phone

To play Angry Birds.

But just as a pig

Was approaching my aim,

A message intruded.

(And ruined the game!)

Got my feet off the desk,

As deft as a whale.

I opened the laptop

And scanned the e-mail.

Deleting the spam

And a virus-emergent,

I opened the one

That the sender marked URGENT.

Attached was a photo,

So I clicked, and then stopped,

Because when I saw it

My jaw nearly dropped:

My boss, and some N.R.C.

Folks I know well,

Grinning and gripping

Our plant's C.O.L.!

I burst from the trailer

And, filling my lungs,

I guess that I must have been

Speaking in tongues:

"Engineering! Procurement!

Construction!" (Deliria?)

"Inspections! Tests! Analyses!

Acceptance Criteria!

"The paperwork's done!

We've secured our careers!

We're building!  We're building!

For the next several years!"

I was incoherent,

But still the word spread,

So it didn't matter

Just what I had said.

The e-mails and texts

Carried word far and wide,

From break rooms to cigarette

ghettoes outside.

A multitude scrambled

In hallways and lanes,

They pulled on their hardhats

And climbed into cranes.

The resident inspectors?

They also had heard.

They peered at our quality,

But it was assured.

As activity spread,

My heart took a hop:

Could anything happen

To make it all stop?

With the state and the locals

We have good relations;

Our reactor's design

Has certifications;

The hearings are over,

They aren't worth a mention;

The licensing board dismissed

Every contention.

The federal courts

Saw our case with abandon:

They found our opponents

Had no leg to stand on.

The supply chain's intact.

All the workers are clever.

If we couldn't do this,

Could anyone, ever?

To all our good fortune

I tried to adjust-

When up drove a limo,

With a new coat of dust.

Our CEO stepped out,

With a minion or three,

Presenting a sheet cake

and roaring with glee:

"Everyone gather round!

Let's all celebrate.

Reactor construction

Will STILL have to wait!

"The nuclear renaissance

Starts here and now.

Create it with vigor-

But first, have some chow."

We ate and we partied,

And I, an old fogey,

Was on my third plate,

and decidedly logy,

When the boss and his crew

Got back into their ride.

He waved, and his smile

Was just ever so wide.

But he yelled, as the limousine

Turned with a jerk:

"Happy license to all!

And now get back to work!"


A. Priori

Nuclear News

Senior Editor Blake

Shows us his alter ego

(Wow, what a mistake.)

A. Priori's a poet?

The truth we won't soften:

He's been hitting the egg nog

A little too often.