Are Nuclear Plant Closures Due to Market Manipulation and Decommissioning Fund Rules?

September 19, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear CafeJim Hopf

DC PerspectivesMost of you are well aware that Entergy recently announced it will permanently close its Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear plant. The primary reasons given were continued low natural gas prices, the cost of post-Fukushima upgrades, and "flaws" in the local wholesale electricity market that suppress prices and harm the profitability of baseload facilities like VY. VY was close to breaking even this year, as well as the last few years, but was projected to become unprofitable in the future-over the next few years, anyway.

Vermont Yankee closure announced – There is work yet to be done

September 11, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear CafeHoward Shaffer

viewfromVermontOn 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.

Farmers, City Folk, and Renewable Energy

May 28, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear CafeMeredith Angwin

viewfromVermontCity people sometimes move to a farming community and then are somewhat shocked that the beautiful fields are actually not just for looking at and painting. A farmer's fields are a sort of factory. The fields produce stuff. They take inputs of raw materials, such as seeds, fertilizer, water, pesticides, and so forth. With these inputs, they produce food. Some farms are organic, and they use non-chemical fertilizer and more "natural" methods of pest control, but the goal is the same. A farmer's fields are supposed to produce food. That's the goal of farming.

No Holiday from Politics

January 8, 2013, 7:00AMANS Nuclear CafeHoward Shaffer

In Vermont, the Holiday Season did not slow the wave of actions and interest about energy in general and the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in particular. Vermont Yankee continues to run very well, and there have not been even any routine events for opponents to "crow" about.