Sponsored by:

vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Post-Yankee questions

Vermont Yankee’s troubles with tritium and other issues have certainly raised the specter that the plant might not be give permission by the state to operate for another 20 years after March 2012.

Even if it’s not the Legislature or the Public Service Board that pulls the plug on the plant, Entergy Corp. Chief Executive Officer Wayne Leonard suggested last week the company might not be interested in keeping the plant. Leonard said last week during a corporate earnings conference call that Vermont Yankee "is simply not covering its cost of capital."

So then what would happen to that parcel of land alongside the Connecticut River in Vernon if Vermont Yankee opponents got their wish and the plant shut down in 2012? Last we knew, the company had 60 years to mothball the plant in a process called Safstor (CQ: No e’s) while letting the decommissioning fund accumulate interest. Plenty of people don’t feel good about leaving things hanging that long.

Twice, the governor has vetoed legislation that would make Vermont Yankee owner Entergy Corp. sock more money away for decommissioning the plant. This Legislature has had noted success in overriding other vetoes by the governor, but not this one.

A new bill has been introduced this year that would require a nuclear power plant to create two trust funds _ one to restore the site to greenfield status, the other to pay for long-term management of spent nuclear fuel.

One of its sponsors, Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, said he doesn’t think the Legislature will pass the bill this year, declining to specify why, but he said he plans to bring it back next year.

"Safstor would be off the table, absolutely," Klein said. "It would set a date certain that greenfielding would have to occur by."

The state Public Service Department has opposed the Legislature’s decommissioning bills, but Commissioner David O’Brien has also said he’s not comfortable with Safstor.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Wark said the department hasn’t taken a stance on Klein’s new bill, but he said it "could be appropriate" for the state to zero in on setting requirements for greenfield status and managing spent fuel in the absence of a federal solution to that issue.

Vermont Yankee opponent Bob Stannard, a lobbyist for Citizens Action Network, has not lined up behind decommissioning legislation so far for fear that lawmakers would see it as assurance that the plant can continue to operate. Now he’s ready for such legislation. "Some sort of decommissioning bill has to pass the Legislature that says Entergy Corp. is responsible," Stannard said.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Labels: ,

Old reactors can not make enough money anymore, tritium is a good way to remind people across the nation that they are old and dirty without admitting the real
scale of the enviornmental atrocity the nuclear industry has commited, a tritium
leak might be a mental seed, grooming.
Gee wouldn't it be great if there was some magical new reactor design without
this tritium problem, wouldn't it be more great if it could burn that nasty high
level waste sitting just above the flood plain in poorly designed containers and
in the pool suspended several stories above an active reactor, under a roof that
could probably not withstand a falling plane.
All you would need is some sort of ON SITE enrichment process, like GE/Hitachi's global laser enrichment process.It would be like a gift to the earth!
Wouldn't it be great if this new reactor could be retrofitted into the yankee building without costing Entergy money?
Wouldn't it be great if it could produce tritium for nuclear bombs cobalt 60 for the food industry and a number of other very valuable "products" for the
open market, it would be worth billions.
Have a look at our future my freinds, GE brings "good things" to life, we don't have yucca mountain anymore but GE/Hitachi/Entergy has our soulution and it will be our only option now that they have joined forces with Comcast and can openly
buy politicians and judges.
Faced with the threat of a shell corporation leaving us holding the bag full of leaky radioactive casks, mountains of radioactive concrete and contaminated
soil, this magical reactor retrofit will look good to this T.V. nation.
Never mind the saftey issues, or the envornmental impact, or the security issues, or the trillions of taxpayer dollars, Obama's got that covered, Don't worry about
the ethical implications of commercial reactors producing nuclear bomb materials, it's magical!
It "captures tritium", it's "good for the economy" it "creates new jobs" it is a "recycling center for nuclear waste" it will "make our country more secure" and
"close the loop" with "carbon credit" to spare, it will... ensure that there is
a nuclear plant running at the Vernon site virtually forever, or at least until the site becomes so radioactive people start dieing of cancer in numbers too big
to cover up, or some nut flys a plane into it, or the "passive saftey features" of the new virtually unproven design fail and the place self destructs. Never
mind all of that, it is a magical "soulution", a "gift to the earth" and "good news" for investors.I think the executive vice president for external affairs at
Entergy put rather poeticly when, in the course of producing some intra-corpporate propaganda recently, he plagerized:

"If you can make one heap of all your winnings,
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss"

Yes, GE/Hitachi/Entergy/Comcast/NBC shareholders,
yours is the earth.
The Douglas administration sure has come to this party late.
Post a Comment

<< Home

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010