Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The Vermont Senate recently voted 26-4 to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant after 2012. Recent leaks of radioactive tritium at the 38-year-old plant as well as the collapse of a cooling tower in 2007 and misstatements in testimony by plant officials are the reasons for the closing.
Vermont Yankee is a General Electric boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear power plant owned and operated by Louisiana-based nuclear operator Entergy. It is located in the town of Vernon, Vermont and generates 620MW of electricity. The plant began commercial operations in 1972. It provided Vermont with nearly 73 percent of its electrical generating capacity prior to the 2006 uprate and meets 35 percent of the overall energy requirements of the state. The state has no plan to replace the electricity generated by the plant, which has justifiably caused concern among many businesses in Vermont.
The vote came shortly after
President Obama declared a new era for the nation’s nuclear industry, announcing federal loan guarantees of $8.3 billion to assure the construction of a twin-reactor plant near Augusta, Ga.
It’s going to be interesting to see where Vermont comes up with replacement power. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this and I wouldn’t be surprised if this vote is revisited in the near future. We’ll keep you posted.

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