Reflections on Vermont Yankee - 1

Although the nuclear power station known as Vermont Yankee had another 18 years left on its license, it was shut down for economic reasons at the end of 2014. Entergy Corporation,the plant's owner, and others have cited the low price of natural gas in the region as deterministic, but the reality is that many other issues were also at play.

The Latest Sop to Nuclear Opponents

viewfromVermontVermont Yankee will go into decommissioning at the end of its current fuel cycle. The last day of operation for the nuclear plant is now set for December 29, 2014. Entergy, the owner, elected this course last year after financial analysis indicated the plant's unprofitability in a future of projected low natural gas prices.

A CAN-CAN Dance around Vermont Yankee Decommissioning

View1Our Sierra Club local chapter recently sponsored a joint presentation-by two local anti-nuclear groups. A small audience of attendees heard of the horrors that citizens might expect during Vermont Yankee's upcoming decommissioning. The presenters claimed that their participation in decommissioning will be needed to insure that all goes well because Entergy, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, can't be trusted. Included as usual was a litany of things about to go wrong-all caused by nuclear power!

Vermont Yankee: The Art of the Deal

viewfromVermontThe Art of the Deal is the title of a book by Donald Trump, and it certainly applies to a recent press conference in Vermont. The press conference, on December 23, 2013,   was about the eventual closing down of the Vermont Yankee power plant and was a big deal, a game changer, and a just-in-time Christmas present for many.

Vermont Yankee: Now What Are Opponents Doing?

viewfromVermontThe shutdown of Vermont Yankee at the end of its current fuel cycle next fall has been announced. Now that opponents have been handed what they were working for, it might be expected that they would declare victory and go on to something else. This isn't happening. It would be normal for the state and local governments to be concerned about the economic impact of the shutdown, and begin to plan for it. But what are the "anti-nukes" doing? You might be surprised, if you didn't understand their real motive.

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

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.

A Dangerous Precedent or a Slippery Slope?

viewfromVermontThe governor of Vermont last year established the "Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission" after citizens protested  a proposed wind farm (meanwhile, the legislature proposed a wind farm moratorium bill). The main purpose of the governor's initiative was to evaluate how much local input should be required in energy siting decisions.

Framing the Discourse

viewfromVermontI have been thinking lately about "framing the discourse" on nuclear energy. Framing is the way that people use words and concepts to present their points of view in an understandable and appealing way to other people. I think that pro-nuclear people are often bad at this. We figure that "the truth will set you free," and then we don't spend very much time on how to frame the truth.