Entergy plans to shut down Vermont Yankee

Vermont Yankee, photo from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Vermont Yankee, photo from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Entergy Corp. announced on Tuesday that it plans to close and decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon for purely financial reasons.

Entergy executives plan to shut down the plant in the fourth quarter of 2014, which is the end of the current operational cycle when the facility would next be scheduled for refueling.

Vermont Yankee is the only nuclear plant that Entergy is currently planning to close.

“This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us,” said Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “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.”

The company cited three reasons for shutting down the plant:

• The rapid proliferation and low prices of natural gas are negatively affecting the nuclear energy market.

• The cost of maintaining the 41-year-old plant is particularly high. Entergy says it has invested more than $400 million in the plant since 2002.

• Vermont Yankee is a merchant generator selling power on the open market, and executives say the New England wholesale market is flawed, resulting “in artificially low energy and capacity prices in the region.”

Entergy’s decision to close the plant comes less than a month after Entergy announced it was laying off 800 workers nationwide and cutting 30 jobs at Vermont Yankee. The reductions were a direct result of Entergy shares dropping more than 50 perent from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013.

Earlier this year, the fair market value of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant fell 69 percent, from $517.5 million to $162 million. UBS Securities downgraded Entergy Corp.’s stock from “neutral” to “sell.” The Swiss financial services firm also projected the closure of an Entergy nuclear facility in 2013, saying “Vermont Yankee is the most the most tenuously positioned plant.”

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2011 granted Vermont Yankee a new federal license to operate the plant for another 20 years. The company was in the process of applying for a state permit to operate for another two decades, but Entergy spokesman Jim Steets says the company will alter its application with Vermont Public Service Board. Entergy, he said, will request to operate until the end of 2014.

This news follows on the heels of a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that barred the Vermont Legislature from shutting down the plant.

Vermont Yankee, which has a Mark 1 General Electric boiling water reactor, began operating on Nov. 30, 1972. The facility has had physical plant problems over the last nine years, including the collapse of a cooling tower, a transmission fire and tritium leaks from underground pipes. Anti-nuclear activists and environmentalists say these kinds of problems are the result of the age of the plant, which they say presents a safety risk to the public.

The company plans to use the “SAFSTOR” method of decommissioning the plant rather than “DECON.” A previous decommissioning report for the plant showed that the DECON method would be cheaper and quicker and the SAFSTOR method takes as long as 60 years. There are, however, variations to both of these decommissioning avenues.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will oversee the decommissioning process. The plant would continue to be under tight security and radiation levels would be monitored during decommissioning.

Andrew Stein

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70 Comments on "Entergy plans to shut down Vermont Yankee"

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Cedar Hannan
2 years 10 months ago

Fantastic news.

2 years 10 months ago
Robert, Vermont Yankee energy production is about 620 MW x 8760 hr/yr x Capacity Factor 0.92 = 4,888,000 MWh/yr of low-cost, near-CO2-free, steady, 24/7/365, energy, i.e., high quality energy. Vermont’s total consumption is about 5,600,000 MWh/yr Until the end of 2013, Lowell Mountain production will be about 63 x 8760 x 0.189 = 104,305 MWh.yr After the $10.5 million S-C system is on line to clean up the low quality energy so it can be fed into the NEK high voltage transmission grid, the CF MAY become 0.25 and the production MAY increase to 137,970 MWh/yr, less about 3% for… Read more »
Dave Stevens
2 years 10 months ago

Hey Willem
Yeah its near Co2 free, but how long does it take the waste to break down? Cheap nuclear energy comes at a price. And although an accident is unlikely to occur, you would be hard pressed to completely rule it out.

Walter Carpenter
2 years 10 months ago

“And although an accident is unlikely to occur, you would be hard pressed to completely rule it out.”

How many close calls has yankee had in the past? Meltdowns, etc? It is about time this plant was retired before it does cause an accident or a major catastrophe.

keith stern
2 years 10 months ago

Time to cover the building with solar panels and wind turbines so we don’t end up losing any electricity output. Then the liberals will really have a win-win situation.

Bob Stannard
2 years 10 months ago
Wilem, Ya know it’s wonderful that you come out with all these numbers, equations and formulas that seemed to be designed to make you look very smart, but you lose people when in your first sentence when you refer to VY’s power as “low-cost”. If it had been low-cost then our utilities would have bought it. If it had been low-cost then they wouldn’t be closing the plant for economic reasons. The fact is that their power was just the opposite; it was HIGH-COST and that’s why they are closing. Once I read your low-cost statement, for the millionth time… Read more »
2 years 10 months ago
Bob, As you know, everything is relative. Regarding the accuracy of my numbers, just contact the DPS for verification. If they are not credible, I think the DPS would have refuted them directly, or used surrogates to do so indirectly. VY, a plant with a single small reactor, less economic than having two reactors, is producing energy at about 5.5 c/kWh, but grid prices are even less; “artificially low” according to Entergy, “because of a dysfunctional NE energy market.” I would like to see Entergy management explain their statement. Lowell’s PRODUCTION cost is at least 15 c/kWh, because of the… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 10 months ago
Wilem, notwithstanding the fact that I’m now retired, I still don’t have the time to run down all of your numbers. They may or may not be accurate; or accurately portrayed. Again, my point is that you begin your diatribe with the statement that VY had affordable power, which it did not. That’s why they’re closing, Wilem. Nobody’s buying their product. You do get that, right? So you can toss out all the rate numbers and formulas that you want and try to convince us that VY is clean and a good deal for Vermont, but it is neither. It… Read more »
Cheryl Pariseau
2 years 10 months ago

Robert – Sarcasm I hope at least regarding the mountain tops

Peter Liston
2 years 10 months ago

Yea. The natural gas boon and the cost of maintaining the oldest nuclear plant in the country are Shumlin’s fault. Obama’s too. Likely Hillary is in there too.

Jim Christiansen
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah, great news. Now we can replace those 600 hundred full-time jobs with good benefits with 1200 part-time jobs and public assistance.

My condolences to the workers and their families who have been the pawns in our Governors little game of legal chicken.

Welcome to 50+ years of Safe-stor Vermont.

There are no winners here.

2 years 10 months ago
Jim, It is much worse. The 630 people and their families WERE paying taxes, likely will need government support, and will likely have lower-paying jobs with less benefits, just as about 90% of other jobholders in Vermont. They WERE spending money in the area which helps businesses employ people, make profits and pay taxes, who, in turn, spend money, for a total multiplier effect of about 3 (per Economics 101), i.e., at least an additional 1500 jobholders AND their families will be have to find other jobs, also likely at lower pay and less benefits. That area will be a… Read more »
Dan Carver
2 years 10 months ago

..unless you are a current employee who is realizing they must either relocate to afford a comparable lifestyle, or prepare to find local work at a lower pay rate…

jordan brener
2 years 10 months ago

I fear Robert Rich is right; he’s dampened my elation. It’s good PR for the fracksters.

Pete Novick
2 years 10 months ago

Well, I guess the Vermont PSB is off the hook now!

Nice work guys! Have a great Labor Day Weekend – you earned it!

Michael Gardner
2 years 10 months ago

630 high paying jobs down the crapper. Maybe they will be replaced with organic goat cheese making jobs?

Bob Stannard
2 years 10 months ago

So much for Entergy’s concern for those loyal & dedicated workers.

Peter Liston
2 years 10 months ago

Oh, don’t worry, Bob. Entergy’s CEO will still get his $15 million every year.

keith stern
2 years 10 months ago

Shumlin will count it as a win come re-election time. Now we can cover fields with solar collectors and have clean, very expensive electricity. Big win.

Wendy Raven
2 years 10 months ago

I AM THRILLED WITH THIS NEWS! Now, is Entergy going to take care of it’s employees so they can find new jobs? Something that should have begun before 2012…..I hope those loyal employees remember to ask that question of their employer, rather than blaming the state of Vermont or the people who have worked so tirelessly to see that this aging and dangerous plant is shut down. Entergy knew a long time ago they had to shut….and should have had a plan in place for these employees long before now.

David Dempsey
2 years 10 months ago

Are you asking if Entergy has a plan in place, or are you saying they don’t?

victor ialeggio
2 years 10 months ago

What is the state of the decommissioning fund at this point? Empty bag?

John Greenberg
2 years 10 months ago

“As of July 31, 2013, the market value of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station’s decommissioning trust fund accounts was $581,510,622.” Aaron Kisicki, Special Counsel, Vermont Public Service Department

Moshe Braner
2 years 10 months ago
The so-called SAFESTOR approach is to underfund the decommissioning fund, then mothball the plant for 60 years (with, mind you, several times the amount of “spent fuel” sitting in the attic pool than there is at Fukushima which is of the same design), while the fund magically grows into the amount needed to actually do the decommissioning work. Ain’t gonna work. Ask any pension fund manager. Money doesn’t “grow” any more, since the economy doesn’t “grow” any more, since we’ve used up all the cheap oil. And Entergy itself will be long gone by then (if they even last the… Read more »
Mark Roberts
2 years 10 months ago
Yankee is old and should be closed, however, we need alternatives that don’t rape the countryside and further throw low income Vermonters under the bus. Perhaps a brand new, state owned nuclear power plant managed with open books and overseen by a rate setting board that is not in collusion with the producers. France does it and look how green they are… And hopefully more local wind and solar. Make it more possible for homeowners and businesses to install solar and wind power for their buildings on-site rather than on top of our mountains. Putting wind towers on our ridge-lines… Read more »
Moshe Braner
2 years 10 months ago
Love your “crown” analogy… As for alternatives, the main one is to USE LESS ENERGY. It’s the safest and cheapest. This means many things, some easy, some not so easy – for example: * Turn off lights when leaving a room. This makes a HUGE difference and costs nothing. * Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs. * Insulate, weatherize, and insulate some more. * Turn down the thermostat (or up, in the summer). Wear a sweater in the winter. A T-shirt in the summer. * Dry your clothes on a line. Yes, do the laundry when the weather is… Read more »
keith stern
2 years 10 months ago

Very easy but too many won’t care about wasting energy. That would make a huge difference tough for sure.

alice barnham
2 years 10 months ago
Higher rates will improve the outlook of those who waste simply because there are a myriad of ways to change and necessity will facilitate those changes. Actually when one gets used to doing things differently, there is a real excitement about it. We are intelligent enough to figure it out eventually. One exciting change I have made is the modern equivalent of carrying a torch wherever I go, kinda like Miss Liberty. My torch is somewhat like hers…it’s a solar rechargeable Dewalt fluorescent light and gives ample light to do most anything. I carry it room to room and I… Read more »
Lee Stirling
2 years 10 months ago
Unfortunately, with Entergy’s eye on SAFSTORing VT Yankee, access by the State to the valuable transmission infrastructure connected to the plant looks like a long shot for the foreseeable future. How much longer will Entergy as a company exist? Will they be around to dismantle the site within the 60 year timeframe? Sure, there won’t need to be any more appeals by Sorrell but I bet VT will get screwed in the long run by having to foot the bill for site dismantling. Entergy wants to draw that out in another way to save a buck and flip VT “the… Read more »
Mike Kerin
2 years 10 months ago

The good news is it’s closing, the bad news is NOT soon enough.
They have to fund the decommissioning fund and it hasn’t got near enough money to do it right.

Peter Everett
2 years 10 months ago

Maybe the state could convert the plant into a B & B. No need to provide lighting to the plant. It probably already glows in the dark.
This way those let go will have a great Vermont created, low pay, no benefits tourist job. Just what those in power want. No need for good paying jobs in VT. Let the other 49 states have the problems that go along with them.
Again, we’re continuing our trek to beating out Wyoming as the LEAST populated state in the nation.

Joseph Brown
2 years 10 months ago

Projecting forward; with all that spent fuel stored at Vernon and no viable option for dealing with it in a timely fashion, Vermont citizens could be looking at many decades with the problem.

alice barnham
2 years 10 months ago

One interesting note…there is a way to use the spent fuel.

2 years 10 months ago
Robert, It would be irrational to waste scarce capital and other resources, and to do additional environmental damage to build 459-ft tall, wind turbine plants on sensitive, pristine ridge lines, a la Lowell Mountain, that have high capital costs (compared to east of Chicago), high operation and maintenance costs (compared to east of Chicago), low capacity factors (about 0.25 vs 0.38-0.40 east of Chicago), to produce property-value-lowering; quality-of-life-lowering; health-damaging; variable, intermittent wind energy, i.e., grid-destabilizing junk energy, at about 3-4 times NE grid prices. Here are two very low cost alternatives to Vermont Yankee. 1) Natural Gas Use abundant, domestic,… Read more »
2 years 10 months ago
I would like to add the following to my 5:51 PM comment: The CCGT plant, which could consist of two 310 MW units, would take up about 10-15 acres of the Vermont Yankee site. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts each have a number of CCGT plants. The existing switchyard and part of the existing the cooling towers could be used, as the CCGT plants, much more efficient than Vermont Yankee, would be rejecting much less heat than Vermont Yankee. The Connecticut River would no longer be needed for heat rejection. Gas piping would need to be extended to the site.… Read more »
Moshe Braner
2 years 10 months ago
That’s what they think, but they may be wrong. The current price of natural gas (NG) is about a half of the cost of extracting it from the ground using “fracking” – the CEO of Exxon has said this year that they are “losing their shirts” on it. Drilling for NG has declined accordingly, the existing wells’ output declines 90% in two years, and the whole financial bubble that fracking for NG has been based on is in the process of popping. Expect NG supply to peak within this decade, and then prices will skyrocket. The price of power from… Read more »
2 years 10 months ago
Moshe, Below are the EIA projections for gas prices to about 2035. http://www.ogj.com/articles/2012/01/eia-projects-strong-crude-oil-natural-gas-production-through-2035.html Utilities buy almost all of their gas under long-term contracts, usually adjusted for NE grid prices with dampers to minimize fluctuations. The prices quoted in the papers are SPOT prices; they fluctuate up and down, for example, with the weather, etc. Utilities buy very little gas on the spot market. Using gas in 60% efficient CCGTs means 3413/0.6 = 5688 Btu/kWh costing about 2.275 c/kWh, if gas is at $4/million Btu. Even if gas were to increase to $6/million Btu by 2025 or 2035, the gas cost… Read more »
Pete Novick
2 years 10 months ago

Too bad…..because, back in the day, we had the perfect solution for all that spent fuel: just check it with Eastern Airlines.

Walter Carpenter
2 years 10 months ago

IBM was going on their own, with or without the state’s help. We could have shoved millions their way to keep them here, but they would be going anyway.

keith stern
2 years 10 months ago

It’s just a shame that the DOE that was started in the 70’s is as useless as the majority of government agencies including the department of education.
Natural gas has the supplies to provide the US with cleaner, stable, more affordable energy for many decades until we move beyond fossil fuels. The key is to make sure the price stays stable enough where there is no risk of losses so wells can continue to be drilled and more uses for it are developed along with a better transport system.

2 years 10 months ago
Bob Stannard, I am also retired, already for 23 years. I make time to chase down the numbers from sites, such as the DPS, PSB, and many others. “Nobody’s buying their product. You do get that, right? ” As you know, Vermont Yankee IS operating near capacity, AND feeding its energy into the NE high voltage transmission grid. ALL NE utilities are taking energy from the grid, including nuclear energy, because once energy is on the NE grid, one cannot tell one electromagnetic wave from another. NE utilities ARE buying VY energy, may be not under long term contracts, but… Read more »
John Greenberg
2 years 10 months ago
Willem: It’s hard to believe you’re actually missing Bob’s point, but clearly, you are. As you said yourself above, “everything is relative.” Bob’s point is remarkably easy to understand: if VY’s power were “low cost” relative to the market in which it sells its power, Entergy would have no need to close the plant. The fact is that relative to the market, VY’s output is HIGH cost, and that’s why it’s closing. Specifically, in the 15 full months since March, 2012, when VY was slated to shut down, ISO-NE markets have averaged a bit below 3.8 cents per kilowatt, versus… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you John. Well said. Let’s hope it’s understood.

Willem Post
2 years 9 months ago

John, Bob,
It is true VY’s energy costs are higher than annual average SPOT prices, but these are spot prices resulting from a flawed market that allows below cost and even negative bidding. Meredith has a write up about it on her website Yes Vermont Yankee.

For example, if the wind blows at night, a wind turbine owner can offer his wind energy at low prices, because he gets the production tax credit of 2.3 c/kWh and the RECs, currently worth about 5.5 c/kWh. VY does not get such subsidies.

Bob Stannard
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you for proving my point, Wilem. Their power is not a good deal. If it was a good deal then they’d be selling their power. If they could continue to sell their power at a profit then they wouldn’t be closing the plant. They are closing the plant, because they can no longer compete; thus their power is no longer cheap.

Again I would ask, “you do get this, right?”

Willem Post
2 years 9 months ago

Bob,
See my above Sep 1, 11:24 pm comment.

Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago
I saw it. You can say what you will, Wilem, but the plain and simple fact of the matter is that Entergy’s cost for power, in conjunction with the repairs and upgrades they were going to have to make, made the financially unviable. You can espouse your seemingly unlimited knowledge trying to convince me, and others, that this is not true, but you’ve not done a very good job of convincing Entergy, because THEY ARE CLOSING THEIR PLANT. Sorry I had to shout there, my friend, but you appear to be missing this rather crucial point. The plant is not… Read more »
2 years 9 months ago
Bob, Here are Entergy’s 3 main reasons for closing the plant. The company cited three reasons for shutting down the plant: • The rapid proliferation and low prices of natural gas are negatively affecting the nuclear energy market. • The cost of maintaining the 41-year-old plant is particularly high. Entergy says it has invested more than $400 million in the plant since 2002. • Vermont Yankee is a merchant generator selling power on the open market, and executives say the New England wholesale market is flawed, resulting “in artificially low energy and capacity prices in the region.” As a result… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

And Wilem, you (and presumably Meredith) would take them at their word?

Have your collective, inquisitive minds taken into consideration why it might be that many other sources of power are able to compete in this skewed marketplace?

Using this logic, Wilem, all power producers would be bowing out of the market; not just VY.

2 years 10 months ago

Anne,
My comment to Bob Stannard’s comment (Bob Stannard August 29, 2013 at 11:06 am) disappeared.
Please resurrect it.
Willem

2 years 9 months ago

Ann,
I would like to add the following to my 10:50 PM comment

Here is an article in Forbes with information from a science professor at UVM.

Basically, it mentions the same ponts I have been making in my articles and comments on VTDigger.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/01/who-told-vermont-to-be-stupid/

Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago
Wilem, I don’t know you other than your writings here at VT Digger, but I would say this. That you are siting this article in Forbes as an article to back up what you’ve been saying then you’re a sorrier case then I have imagined you to be. You might go read that column and then read my comments back to Mr. Conca. In my humble opinion, this man may be one of the biggest frauds of all time. There is very little in his column that is accurate. He says he’s a scientist yet reading his bio you get… Read more »
2 years 9 months ago
Hello Bob Stannard, my name is Willem Post. Below are some URLs for FYI. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/01/who-told-vermont-to-be-stupid/#sthash.hZnguYx4.dpuf This article you claim to have read, but do not agree with. Independent energy systems analysts (with decades of experience, retired, financially secure, who can call a spade a spade, and do) would agree with James Conda. Vermont’s Democrat leadership has been not just stupid, but irrational, as with Vermont’s 2013 Comprehensive Energy Plan, which has a goal for POOR Vermont to obtain 90% of ALL energy (not just electrical energy) from in-state and out-of-state RE by 2050; a more extreme goal, as ALL energy… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago
Yes, Wilem, I stand corrected. VY shut down for political reasons. It was the Democrats and activists who shut it down. The plant’s closing had nothing to do with the fact that their power offer was not attractive. It was attractive and those utilities should have done more due diligence and come to the same conclusion that you’ve come to, which is that VY’s power is, indeed, cheap and a good deal for Vermont as compared to the inferior deal the utilities did with HQ and Seabrook. I’m sorry I ever doubted you. You’re brilliant and you’ve got it right.… Read more »
2 years 9 months ago
Willem, thanks for the reference to Dr. Conca’s article on Vermont Yankee, everyone should read it. I noticed that Bob Standard didn’t like the piece, which isn’t surprising. Maybe one of the paragraphs in the article causing trouble for Mr. Standard was: “You know, folks, I understand nasty politics, but there is only one reason for being ignorant. Not doing your homework. I’m a scientist and even I don’t like to do homework. But you need to do your homework. Emphasis in this paragraph should be placed on: “Not doing your homework.”, like in our “Ready, Aim, Fire” Governor’s actions… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

Well Mr Yankowski, if you can’t find the glaring flaws in Conca’s piece there’s very little point in debating with you; even though you are a clever one

2 years 9 months ago
Bob, we realize the difficulty you’re having with defending an Administration whose record of failure to do its homework before acting is so pervasive that it makes it into Forbes Magazine. It’s plain to see that you’ve been overwhelmed with the many instances of this type of behavior to such an extent that you totally missed the cogent points made by Dr. Conca. The lack of the proper homework cited before acting is serious enough, but just one of many factors in the article. You may want to give playing defense for the Shumlin Administration a rest, re-read the Conca… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago
Mr. Yankowski, I have no difficulty defending the administration. They can defend themselves. I did take you up on your suggestion that I go back and re-read Mr. Conca’s article. I’ve spent about an hour or so o it and found that the best way to critique it was to cut and paste it into a WORD doc and offer my comment in CAPS. When you read this, please don’t think I’m shouting. I’m not. I’m just hoping to define my comments from his. If this works his column and my comments should follow below: In a week when we… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

When the best that Japan can hope for is a short-term chill http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/viewart/20130903/NEWS04/130903009/Japan-fund-ice-wall-stop-nuclear-reactor-leaks then I, nor the administration, have anything to apologize for in the effort to close VY

Howard Shaffer
2 years 9 months ago
What do Argentina, Brazil, China, Finland, France, India, South Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Slovakia, UAE and USA all have in common? Answer: They all have nuclear reactors under construction. Perhaps the announced closure of Vermont Yankee represents only local politics. I’m guessing that the Vermont utilities were afraid to sign purchase agreements with the plant. The one they signed with Seabrook was for nearly the same price. Let’s hope the 28 reactors under construction in China are in operation as soon as possible. After all they are in the northern hemisphere too, and their acid rain and CO2 form coal burning… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

Howard, of the plants you mention, how many are subsidized by their respective governments?

2 years 9 months ago
Bob, I have read your lengthy critique of the Conca article and its clear you put a lot of time into the effort. I respect your work, but do not agree with much of what you say as you generally put your spin and opinions up against what Dr. Conca has said. For instance, in discussing history, one has to start at the beginning, not at some convenient jumping in point to support an argument. You start your rebuttal by saying the plant closed for economic reasons, which Entergy did indeed cite as rational for closing last month. But this… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago
Mr. Yankowski, you say that you disagree with my analysis because I “put my spin and opinions up against what Dr. Conca has said.” Really? I would argue that Mr. Conca’s article was nothing other than his opinions, and yes, his spin. There was nothing scientific about it. Somehow, in your eyes his misleading statements are OK with you. Probably because you agree with all that he said. Like Mr. Conca, you are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. All I did was to go through his column and point out where,… Read more »
2 years 9 months ago
All, Decommissioning Vermont Yankee will harm New England’s economy and make it less competitive. Below is an estimate of replacing VY energy with in-state RE. If Vermont Yankee had continued to operate till 2032, its production during the 20-year license extension period would have been = 620 MW x 8760 hr/yr x CF 0.90 x 20 yrs = 97,761,600,000 kWh, which, at 1 lb of CO2/kWh for the NE grid, would have avoided about 95 billion lb of CO2, and at about 6 c/kWh, would have cost $5.9 billion. Instead, Vermont and other NE state chose to produce expensive RE… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

Willem, you do know that Entergy, not Vermont, is closing its VY plant. It’s over. It’s done. You can say that we’d be better off with it, but there’s not going to be a “with it”. It’s over. So saying that we could do better if_____ is irrelvant.

Oh, and you spell “much” wrong. Careful, Mr. Yankowski will scold you.

2 years 9 months ago

Bob,

What about the much better alternative?

No comments on the savings with respect to expensive RE generated in NE that are NOT that CO2-free as HQ hydro?

Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

What would you like me to say. I firmly believe that, in the long run, energy sources like solar, wind, hydro, geo-thermal, will all be less expensive. if you have any doubt about the costs of nuclear give the Japanese gov’t a call today. Better yet, give the US taxpayer a call when they end up on the hook for covering the costs of decommissioning VY.

The best, smartest, cheapest thing we can do is to increase efficiency and conserve more.

2 years 9 months ago
Bob, You think, in the long run, RE will be less expensive? Not in Vermont, for sure. The performance of the disastrous GMP Lowell Mountain wind turbine fiasco and expensive SPEED program on the DPS website speak for themselves. Lowell’s PRODUCTION cost is at least 15 c/kWh, because of the much lower 0.25 capacity factor (0.189 in first 6 months of 2013), i.e., less production, MWh/yr, less RECs sold to out-of-state entities, more future costs to be loaded onto already-struggling households and businesses, via rate schedules; you may verify that with David Hallquist, CEO of VEC. After the $10.5 million… Read more »
Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

Ok, compare that to the billions in subsidies over the past 40 for nukes. Now, add to that the risk to taxpayers via Price-Anderson. Add to that the $20 billion spent on Yucca Mt that we aren’t using, and if we did it’d be obsolete immediately. Add to that the risk to taxpayers should there not be enough funds available to decommission a merchant plant (like VY).

There’s probably more but I’m going to bed.

Bob Stannard
2 years 9 months ago

Also, to say that decommissioning the plant more quickly will harm the NE states is just plain strange. By decommissioning the plant vs mothballing it for 70 yrs (the only two choices available) we would be keeping more people employed over a longer period of time and thus lessening the economic impact on SE Vt; something we should all be concerned about.

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