The Energy Education Project

Entergy Announces That Vermont Yankee Will Close in October 2014

Last week's announcement that Vermont Yankee would close was not expected by most people at the power plant. It was unexpected here at the Energy Education Project, too.  In announcing the closing, Entergy said that the decision was based on plant economics.  A major reason was that low natural gas prices dominating the grid.  

The plant closing will change the future of energy production in Vermont, hurt the economy of Vermont, and devastate the economy of Windham County. There will be a lot more to say about this closing in the future.

For now, we will link to some relevant comments:

John McClaughry: Shumlin's Unlikely Olive Branch to Entergy

Meredith Angwin: Questions I Frequently Ask Myself About Vermont Yankee Closure

Rod Adams: Why don't we "mothball" shutdown nuclear plants?

Tim McQuiston: Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Dilemma

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Vermont Yankee

Vermont legislators were attempting to shut Vermont Yankee on the basis of radiological safety, which is regulated by the federal government, not the states.  The Appeals Court upheld the District Court ruling: Vermont cannot legislature nuclear safety.  You can read the ruling here.

Meredith Angwin of the Energy Education Project was one of the people discussing the ruling in an interview with Pat Bradley of WAMC Plattsburgh.  You can listen to the four-minute radio segment here.

Angwin's post about the ruling was syndicated on the prestigious blog The Energy Collective

On the radio segment, Angwin wondered whether the Public Service Board will look at the economics of Vermont Yankee, or whether it will listen to the anti-Vermont Yankee charge being led by the Shumlin appointees at the state Department of Public Service. 

On the same segment, Cheryl Hanna of Vermont Law School said the appeal court decision was no surprise. (Hanna had written an article predicting this outcome, right after the hearings in January.) Hanna also said that whoever wins at the Public Service Board, the other side will almost undoubtedly appeal the decision to the Vermont courts.

Thorium Reactors for the Energy Future

Molten salt reactors with thorium fuel may become the best source of nuclear power for the future.  John McClaughry authored two recent reviews about the promise of these types of reactors. (Note: McClaughry was a nuclear engineer before his political and policy career.) 

A cheaper, safer source of nuclear power

Nuclear power for the anti-nuclear set

Vermont's Energy Future

Citizens of Vermont must make very important choices about energy.  To ensure a prosperous and environmentally sound future for Vermont, we must make choices that are informed and realistic.

The Energy Education Project is part of the Ethan Allen Institute.  The Project provides reliable and unbiased information about energy in Vermont. 

Two energy issues are currently before the people of Vermont.   

The future of Vermont Yankee

The Comprehensive Energy Plan and its implementation

All are discussed in the Ethan Allen Institute commentaries and in the Yes Vermont Yankee blog.

Vermont Yankee is currently tied up in several court cases.  We have many of the important documents linked to pages on this website: Dockets for Public Service Board and Courts.

The land use implications of the Comprehensive Energy Plan may be unacceptable to Vermont, but have not been studied.  We are preparing a white paper on the subject.  Meanwhile, we recommend a recent article by Guy Page, now posted at The Energy Collective. Transitioning to Renewable Power: An Expert Describes What It Might Look Like. 

Save Vermont Yankee Facebook Page

Meredith Angwin and Howard Shaffer were administrators of a Facebook Group called Save Vermont Yankee.  However, Facebook is phasing out certain Groups, and recommending that Pages be made instead.  The new Save Vermont Yankee Facebook Page is up and very active!   We hope you Like it! (small pun)

FAQ's about Vermont Yankee

Now that the NRC has renewed Vermont Yankee's license for twenty more years, the focus for the future is on the decisions of the people in Vermont. 

We are pleased to present an important new document about Vermont Yankee, written by Richard Schmidt, a nuclear engineer, and edited by George Angwin.  FAQs about Vermont Yankee includes information about 

-nuclear power advantages and disadvantages 

-HydroQuebec issues 

- what types of power are most likely to replace Vermont Yankee if it closes 

Information on Vermont Yankee

The Joint Fiscal Committee of the Vermont Legislature keeps this somewhat incomplete list of official Vermont Yankee documents.  The base document does not appear on that website at this time, but you can download it here: the  Memorandum of Understanding that was agreed upon when Entergy purchased the power plant in 2002. The Public Service Board website on their dockets is out of date. Jeffrey Tranen's testimony in favor of Vermont Yankee was filed in June 2012 but is not yet on the public website.  (Warning: Tranen's testimony is a long pdf and may be slow to download.) 

History of recent legislative votes concerning Vermont Yankee (relicensing, decommissioning, etc.)

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