I told some friends the other day that I often feel like a time traveler from the Age of Reason who sees questionable behavior and is forced by training to ask, "Why?"
May 6, 2014, 2:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
September 11, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
On August 27, Entergy announced that it plans to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in the fall of 2014, when the plant's current fuel is depleted. Entergy plans to decommission the plant using the SAFSTOR option, which consists of defueling, mothballing the plant for a period, then dismantling it by the end of 60 years. Entergy said that it is closing the plant because it is no longer projected to make money, considering the estimated future natural gas prices. Electric power generated by gas is now over 50 percent of the ISO-New England grid.
September 3, 2013, 1:57PMANS Nuclear Cafe
In May 2013, the United States lost a perfectly functional and well-maintained nuclear power plant, the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant. Last week, Entergy announced that it would be shutting down a second such plant, Vermont Yankee, after its current fuel load has been consumed. In both cases, the owners indicated that the plants were no longer economical due to market conditions; namely, the low price of natural gas, the presence of subsidized renewable energy suppliers that can pay the grid to take their power and still receive revenue for every kilowatt-hour generated, and an insufficient market demand for electricity in the markets where the plants were attempting to sell their output.
August 28, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
"Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station generates 72.5 percent of the state's electricity while emitting no greenhouse gases."
August 13, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Energy-related events in Vermont continue to be a jumble of citizen activism, political maneuvering, changes to the electric power system, and an overall focus on nuclear power.
May 15, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Vermont's Capitol building has a gold-painted domed roof. The media reports legislative activity somewhat derisively as taking place "under the golden dome."
February 27, 2013, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
December 11, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Some long-awaited events related to the continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant took place toward the end of 2012, such as the trial of some members of the Shut It Down Affinity Group (known to the media as the "nuclear grannies") who have been arrested many times for blocking Vermont Yankee's gates. Some unexpected events have occurred as well, such as a Public Service Board ruling and a brand new lawsuit by a long-term intervenor.
July 24, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
VSNAP is the Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel. This state panel gives advice to the state government on nuclear issues. The most recent meeting was in Montpelier, Vermont, on July 9.
July 10, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Since the previous View from Vermont posted June 12, courts have issued several decisions that will have a major effect on nuclear power nationally, and on the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in particular. The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act has moved attention from these important federal court decisions, which otherwise would have received more publicity (outside of Vermont).
June 12, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Vermont Yankee's annual NRC performance review for the previous calendar year was held May 23, in Brattleboro Union High School, within 10 miles of the plant. In previous years, annual reports and state meetings have been held here, and in the Vernon Elementary School, across the road from the plant. The town of Vernon stopped hosting plant-related events due to behavior of some attendees.
May 15, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Since March 22 of this year, the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has been operating via a 20-year license extension granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The State of Vermont has been barred from attempting to shut down the plant by federal court injunctions. Nonetheless, the follies surrounding the plant continue, with all stakeholders participating: the legal system, the legislature, plant supporters, and plant opponents.
May 2, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
One of my college roommates served for a while as the manager of our football team; we would talk about the "tape review" sessions that were used by the team to evaluate past performance and to prepare for future opponents. Nuclear organizations, for their part, often have highly developed "lessons learned" programs and they practice the use of technical methods that have been successfully employed by other organizations.
April 10, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Plymouth, Massachusetts, "America's Home Town," is the place where the pilgrims landed, and is also the home of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. On March 29, a forum was held in Plymouth to discuss a non-binding ballot question for the town election in May. The question is whether or not to freeze the plant's relicensing process until all the Fukushima fixes are completed.
March 27, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant's original Nuclear Regulatory Commission license expired on March 21, 2012 . The NRC, however, has renewed the license for another 20 years, and a recent court ruling will almost certainly allow the plant to operate for many more years. The American Nuclear Society's Vermont Pilot Project (headed by Howard Shaffer) and the Energy Education Project of the Ethan Allen Institute (headed by me) thought it was time to celebrate! So, we held a rally on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, to celebrate the court ruling and 20 more years of Green Power.
March 20, 2012, 3:49PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The plant dodges another bullet at least for now
March 13, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant received a 20-year extension of its operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 21, 2011. Vermont Yankee also is required to be issued a renewed Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from Vermont's Public Service Board to continue operating.
February 28, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
When I am reading an article or a blog post, I always appreciate when the writer places the immediate events into a bigger context. I always try to do this myself. Putting Vermont Yankee issues in context, however, is like facing a huge mountain range. There is always another set of hills beyond this one. Which mountain? Which context? Where to start?
February 13, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
On January 19, the Federal District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., issued a court decision in favor of Entergy Corporation, regarding the continued operation of its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Entergy had sued the State of Vermont on several issues, but mainly on Act 160, a Vermont law that was crafted to block the continued operation of the plant. The plant needs a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the state in order to keep operating, but Act 160 says that the state's Public Service Board needs legislative approval before it could release its findings on the application for the CPG. Without the new CPG, the plant would have had to shut down when the original one expires, on March 21, 2012. The federal court's decision "permanently enjoined" the state from using Act 160 to deny a CPG to Entergy; the basis for that decision is the supremacy of federal law over state law.
January 24, 2012, 6:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe