Vermont Yankee to Shut Down in 2014
CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 8/30/13 through 9/6/13
(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:
- Vermont Yankee to Shut Down in 2014
This week the owners of Vermont’s only nuclear power plant announced that they will close the 40-year old Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in 2014. Entergy Corporation will close Vermont Yankee after its current fuel cycle is completed and move to shutdown mode in the last quarter of 2014. The plant is a Mark I design, a twin design to those that melted down and exploded at Fukushima Daiichi. It is located on the Connecticut River.
The announcement ends a legal battle over the future of the plant. In 2010, the Vermont Senate voted down a bill that would have authorized a state board to give Vermont Yankee permission to continue operations for an additional 20 years. The Vermont legislators were concerned about the age, stress corrosion cracking and safety record of the plant.
Nearly all of the nuclear power generated is shipped out-of-state. The legislature had asked Entergy to provide lower priced power to Vermonters if the state granted the 20-year extension. Entergy sued Vermont and won. The state appealed the decision and earlier this month the court ruled mostly in Entergy’s favor. But the court overturned a part of the lower court decision which said that Vermont had violated the U.S. Constitution by trying to obtain cut-rate power from Vermont Yankee if it granted a 20-year permit.
Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement, “This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us. Vermont Yankee has an immensely talented, dedicated and loyal workforce, and a solid base of support among many in the community. We recognize that closing the plant on this schedule was not the outcome they had hoped for, but we have reluctantly concluded that it is the appropriate action for us to take under the circumstances.” http://www.entergy.com/News_Room/newsrelease.aspx?NR_ID=2769
In the past year, five nuclear power plants have announced their closure. In October 2012, Dominion Resources announced the closure of the Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin citing the price of natural gas; in February 2013, Duke Energy announced that it would close Florida’s Crystal River plant rather than pay for costly repairs; and in June 2013, Southern California Edison announced the closure of the two reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, also citing repair costs.
Senator Edward J. Markey, of Massachusetts, said in a statement, “Closing Vermont Yankee reflects the growing realization in New England and around the nation that it is time to move towards a safer, more affordable clean energy future of wind, solar, geothermal, along with well-regulated domestic natural gas. While nuclear energy was once advertised as being too cheap to meter, it is increasingly clear that it is actually too expensive to matter.” http://www.markey.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=345599
This has been the CCNS News Update. To learn more, please visit our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org.