Sole Nuclear Plant in Vermont Closes

Posted: 08/28/2013  browse the blog archive
Sole Nuclear Plant in Vermont Closes

Vermont Yankee, Vermont’s only nuclear power plant, will close by the end of 2014, Entergy Corporation announced earlier this week.  The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission throughout the decommission process.

The future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station has been uncertain since 2010, when the Vermont Senate voted against granting a permit to allow the plant to operate for an additional 20 years.  Public concern has risen sharply in the past few years; According to USA Today, there have been a number of incidents at Vermont Yankee, including a cooling tower that partially collapsed, a leak that released radioactive tritium into the soil, and alarms of high radiation alerts.  

However, Entergy said in a statement that the decision to close Vermont Yankee was motivated primarily by financial factors.  The company cited the small size of the plant and wholesale market design flaws that result in artificially low energy prices as contributing factors. 

Vermont Yankee currently employs around 630 people, which will gradually be reduced as the plant progresses through the stages of decommissioning.  Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has vowed to help these affected by the plant’s closing and minimize the overall economic impact of its closure.  The current plan, which according to Entergy is likely to take decades, is to close the plant in the fall quarter of 2014 and place it in “safe-store,” which requires the facility to be maintained and monitored for up to 60 years while its radioactive components cool down before removal.  After a sufficient time has elapsed, the plant will be decontaminated and dismantled. 

The Chanler Group is actively engaged in the review and analysis of incentive-based renewable energy programs to determine potential benefits to our clients.  Global energy consumption continues to increase each year and, with this increase, the demand for safe, clean, and unlimited energy is on the rise.  The Federal and State governments promote this interest through a variety of financially-beneficial incentives.  Our understanding of these laws allows us to guide homeowners, businesses, and/or developers through the various ways to take advantage of these incentive-based benefits.  With the appreciation that renewable energy laws and regulations are constantly changing, The Chanler Group is committed to investing in its understanding and practice of this area of law.

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission