Entergy To Shut Down VT Yankee

HUGE NEWS: At 8:30 AM on Wednesday, August 28 2013 Entergy sent out the press release below, which was forwarded via email to activists by 8:50 AM.

LET’S TAKE ANOTHER MOMENT TO ENJOY THE MOMENT>>> After spilt coffee was cleared from computer screens, after husbands and wives hugged and wept, after jigs were danced in public places, while friends were called and while we were still shaking from the news, you all started writing in ….. Disbelief REALLY??????????????”  “Is this a Yes Men prank?” “If this is really true I have one question–when and where is the party????”  Succinct:   We did it.    Yipppeeeee!!!!      YES! AND YES AGAIN!!!!     Yeee HAWWW!    Congrats from other groups “Woo Hoo! Congratulations to everyone who has worked so long and so hard to shut this monster down! NIRS”  “WONDERFUL WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!  THANK YOU ALL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!!!!  IT GIVES US SUCH HOPE TO FIGHT AND WIN AGAINST PILGRIM!!!  CONGRATULATIONS!!!”   “GREAT NEWS!! CONGRATS TO YOU AND ALL THE OTHERS WHO WORKED SO TIRELESSLY!!” IPSEC (Indian Point)       “We are so happy and envious—we live in the shadow of Seabrook.  Congrats, for No More Fukushimas, Bruce”    “YAHOO! NO more NUKES in Vermont. Farewell Entergy! Now get the hell out of New York!”  “Incredible news, what a day.”  Bets on who’ll fall next   Pilgrim, Fitzpatrick or Indian Point? Diablo Canyon?  Sincere  Dear Friends, an amazing victory. I acknowledge all the blood, sweat, and tears, (not to mention imagination) to help make this happen. Plenty of work left to do to shut it down now, not in 14 months, and to stop UN-SAFSTOR, but I salute your focus and intelligence in keeping on through thick and thin.      Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of our community. For those of us who are less able to be activists now, your steadfast determination and dedication is both inspiring and appreciated. One by one they fall.”  “Thanks so much for passing along this amazingly wonderful news.  Here’s to a safe 16 months remaining! Blessings and gratitude to all who have worked so long and so diligently towards our public safety.”  “All right!! Congratulations to you all for the great work and continued pressure. Of course they will NEVER say that they are closing because the public demands it!”

Was at the peak of a mountain in Acadia with a couple of VT friends, decided to check my phone, just out of curiousity to see if there was a signal, when I saw your emails.  This is one time when I was quite happy to be connected, to receive this good newsmore to come, I’m sure, but it was a nice vacation treat.

“Douglas got me at Upper Valley Food Coop while I was bagging organic crystalized pineapple squares, and my scream echoed through one end of the store to the other.  They will put up a sign outside announcing the news. We did it, dang it.  Forget the economics that VY speaks of.  We made it clear the state of VT doesn’t want VY, and we drained them, spoke to them, and educated the people so the company couldn’t survive.  We need to party.”   Oh yes, that is the most consistent reaction:   PARTY! PARTY! PARTY?–Will There Be A Celebration Gathering?  Who wants to have a party??!? We feel a party coming on!  Whooooooooo hooooooo !!!!!! Time to Paaaarty !!!!!!!

We’re working on a party, folks! Bands, beverages and the BEST DANG NUCLEAR ACTIVISTS IN THE USA

Love, Peace & JOY will empower us for the months ahead!

In case you missed the memo, here it is:

Entergy to Close, Decommission Vermont Yankee

Decision driven by sustained low power prices, high cost structure and wholesale electricity market design flaws for Vermont Yankee plant 

Focus to remain on safety during remaining operation and after shutdown

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) today said it plans to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vt. The station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of 2014. The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission throughout the decommissioning process.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120913/MM74349LOGO)

“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 decision to close Vermont Yankee in 2014 was based on a number of financial factors, including:

   -- A natural gas market that has undergone a transformational shift in 
      supply due to the impacts of shale gas, resulting in sustained low 
      natural gas prices and wholesale energy prices. 

   -- A high cost structure for this single unit plant. Since 2002, the company 
      has invested more than $400 million in the safe and reliable operation of 
      the facility. In addition, the financial impact of cumulative regulation 
      is especially challenging to a small plant in these market conditions. 

   -- Wholesale market design flaws that continue to result in artificially low 
      energy and capacity prices in the region, and do not provide adequate 
      compensation to merchant nuclear plants for the fuel diversity benefits 
      they provide.

Making the decision now and operating through the fourth quarter of 2014 allows time to duly and properly plan for a safe and orderly shutdown and prepare filings with the NRC regarding shutdown and decommissioning. Entergy will establish a decommissioning planning organization responsible for planning and executing the safe and efficient decommissioning of the facility. Once the plant is shut down, workers will de-fuel the reactor and place the plant into SAFSTOR, a process whereby a nuclear facility is placed and maintained in a condition that allows it to be safely secured, monitored and stored.

“We are committed to the safe and reliable operation of Vermont Yankee until shutdown, followed by a safe, orderly and environmentally responsible decommissioning process,” Denault said.

Commenting on the future of nuclear power, Denault said: “Entergy remains committed to nuclear as an important long-term component of its generating portfolio. Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, carbon-free and contributes to supply diversity and energy security as part of a balanced energy portfolio.”

Financial Implications

Entergy plans to recognize an after-tax impairment charge of approximately $181 million in the third quarter of 2013 related to the decision to shut down the plant at the end of this current operating cycle. In addition to this initial charge, Entergy expects to recognize charges totaling approximately $55 to $60 million associated with future severance and employee retention costs through the end of next year. These charges will be classified as special items, and therefore, excluded from operational results.

The company noted that the estimated operational earnings contribution from Vermont Yankee was expected to be around breakeven in 2013, and generally declining over the next few years. As a result of this decision and based on continuing operations into fourth quarter 2014, the estimated operational earnings change, excluding these special items, is expected to be modestly accretive within two years after shutdown, and cash flow is expected to increase approximately $150 to $200 million in total through 2017, compared to Vermont Yankee’s continued operation.

Regarding decommissioning, assuming end of operations in fourth quarter 2014, the amount required to meet the NRC minimum for decommissioning financial assurance for license termination is $566 million. The Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust had a balance of approximately $582 million as of July 31, 2013, excluding the $40 million guarantee by Entergy Corporation to satisfy NRC requirements following the 2009 review of financial assurance levels. Filings with the NRC for planned shutdown activities will determine whether any other financial assurance may be required and will specifically address funding for spent fuel management, which will be required until the federal government takes possession of the fuel and removes it from the site, per its current obligations.

Vermont Yankee, a single unit boiling water reactor, began commercial operation in 1972. Entergy acquired the plant from Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation in 2002. In March 2011, the NRC renewed the station’s operating license for an additional 20 years, until 2032.

Additional information regarding today’s announcement is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of www.entergy.com.

Entergy Corporation, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Additional information can be accessed online at www.entergy.com.

A Loss and Two Wins at Federal Court

“Vermont’s attempts to close its lone nuclear power plant were deceptive and misleading, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in largely upholding a lower-court ruling against the state.” (AP News).

The Federal District Court ruled on August 14, 2013 that (1) In writing Act 74 and Act 160, the Legislature was motivated by safety issues and so the laws are invalid; (2) the VT Public Service Board may proceed with their role in permit process, as long as they do not address safety; (3) VT does not have to pay Entergy for its legal fees related to the federal case, estimated at $4.6 million. It is a 54 page decision (click here) to read the PDF.

NY Times article

Brattleboro Reformer 

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone has launched a petition drive to Congress, to amend the “Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to provide states with authority to permanently shut nuclear power plants for reasons of public health and safety…”

Thoughts? Email contact@sagealliance.net

 

Flotilla ~ August 10

heading out under the bridge

Read about the 2013 Flotilla, see photos and more on the Safe and Green Campaign website here.

Weather Update as of Saturday 7AM: SUNSHINE, highs in the mid-70s. See you soon!

Return to the River: Join us for the SAGE Alliance FLOTILLA 2013 to protect the Connecticut River from Entergy Vermont Yankee’s thermal pollution: 11 am on August 10 at the Prospect Street Boat Landing, Hinsdale, NH. Invite friends who love our River, who fish, paddle, or simply bask on her shores. Map is hereDetails are on the Event calendar.

Updated Program: People’s Mic, a Very Special Guest, SHAD MAN ….plus Dr. Andrew Larkin on thermal pollution in the Connecticut River … CAN’s Deb Katz on status of nukes and what’s ahead. Music led by Court Dorsey.  Emceed by Leslie Sullivan Sachs. Volunteers are welcome! contact@sagealliance.net

 

Last year’s Flotilla made a difference. How many people had even knew what thermal pollution is before we started planning the 2012 flotilla? Our agitating and writing and meeting and finally the Flotilla itself created a year of heightened consciousness on the issue. But we have to keep the pressure on. Entergy’s weakened finances means they’ll fight hard to keep from using the more expensive closed cycled cooling towers.

The Flotilla is a day to call attention to thermal pollution and to enjoy our river. Canoes, kayaks and other non-motorized boats launch between Brattleboro, VT and Hinsdale, NH, most from the Prospect Street Boat Launch in Hinsdale, NH. Shore supporters wish the paddlers bon voyage at the boat launch, and then gather in a shady grove opposite the reactor. After paddling together towards Vermont Yankee, the flotilla approaches the grove to join shore supporters for a rally.

Messages….This year, everyone is invited to write and read aloud their own one-line message to Entergy or a wish for the health of the river. Fold it up and set your message afloat on the river.

Imagine the river full of origami peace cranes and swans, tiny canoes and fish, and simple paper ribbons, floating away with our wishes and intentions for the health and safety of our river and all the life that it supports.

Bring your own creation or make one at the Flotilla.

What Else Can I Do?  — Bring a thermometer on a long string to measure the river temperature.  – Volunteer to help out before the action or that day. Let us know what you can do to make this a day to remember and have an impact.  contact@sagealliance.net  Spread the word! Write a letter to the editor inviting your area to join us. Put up posters and hand out them out — just click on the flyer on the top of this page and print it out. Call your friends, send emails, and post on Facebook.  Bring gifts to share.  Can you make a lot of paper floats and hand them out to other folks for their messages? Got extra produce or fruit to share and enjoy? Do you have a favorite water poem you’d like to read?  – Let us know what you’re planning, we’ll spread the word contact@sagealliance.net

Vermont Yankee releases millions of gallons of heated water, up to 105 degrees F., daily into our Connecticut River. This thermal pollution harms aquatic life and the effects of this heated plume extend up to 55 miles downriver to Holyoke, MA. Entergy, the owner and operator of Vermont Yankee, could use its cooling towers instead of heating up the river.

Entergy’s old Pilgrim reactor in Plymouth, MA has had to reduce power this summer due to high temperatures in Cape Cod Bay! If that old Entergy-owned reactor is in trouble on ocean, what is happening on our modest –sized river?

See you on the Connecticut August 10th!

 

SAGE cool it flotillaIn 2102 our 250+ water craft and land lubbers successfully drew attention to the dangerous combination of global warming and nuclear discharge. Take a look at last year’s Flotilla here: 2012 Flotilla press and photos

Latest News

SPRING INTO ACTION !!!

Picnic SAGE SpokesSAGE SPOKES COUNCIL on JUNE 1, Saturday — Pot Luck Picnic (blue link).  11am-1pm, Town Common, Park Place, Brattleboro, VT. Bring your lawn chairs, food to share, and ideas for brainstorming.

FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF A NUCLEAR EVACUATION with Chikako Nishiyama of Kawauchi, Japan and Chiho Kaneko of Hartland, Vermont. Presentations with photos. Click blue links for details: BRATTLEBORO May 28, in GREENFIELD May 29 and in MONTPELIER June 4.

MEMORIAL DAY BANNER DROP: Affinity Groups gather on highway bridges and hang no nukes banners to let holiday visitors and locals know that there is a nuclear reactor in their midst. Click here for   FRIDAY  and    MONDAY   actions over the weekend.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS  

August 10th — Saturday  2 0 1 3 –  F L O T I L L A !!!

SAGE cool it flotilla

 

April News

Andrew Larkin has a new blog: Vernon Radiation Safety. He writes regularly on all things related to nuclear power radiation, from national articles to his own radiation readings at VT Yankee. An avid boater, Andy is also interested in thermal pollution issues. He is a retired physician from Northampton, MA and a member of the SAGE Alliance.

Nina Swaim was interviewed by Debra Reger on Moccasin Tracks, a WGDR radio show. Nina shares stories, from her Seabrook days to her current activities in the SAGE Alliance. Listen to the podcast on Moccasin Tracks here.

PUBLIC EVENTS: NRC Annual Assessment of Vermont Yankee
Tuesday April 30: Open House 5:30 pm Q&A  7-8pm 
Multipurpose Room, Brattleboro Union High School
“The NRC staff will host an open house to discuss Entergy’s performance at Vermont Yankee during calendar year 2012. Following the open house, the NRC will host a Q&A session during which members of the public will be able to ask questions regarding our role in ensuring safe plant operation.” Meeting Contact: Ronald R. Bellamy, Ph.D., Chief, Projects Branch 5 Phone 610-337-5200  E-mail: Ronald.Bellamy@nrc.gov
UP-COMING SAGE ACTIONS:
BANNER DROP: A holiday weekend is coming, prime time for letting thousands of travelers know that an old leaky Fukushima twin is in the neighborhood. Let’s build on the Columbus Day plan to make the next Banner Drop even more successful (and fun).  If you are interested in planning or participating, contact Leslie Sullivan Sachs at safeandgreencampaign@gmail.com

FLOTILLA: Time to dust off your canoes and kayaks. Another Flotilla is in the works for AUGUST 10th, Saturday

Next SAGE ALLIANCE SPOKES COUNCIL Sunday May 5 at 11:00 am Upper Valley Coop, White River Junction, VT.  Want to carpool to the parade or Spokes Council? We have a SAGE group on Ridebuzz.

LEAKS LIES & LAWYERS 3.30.13 Parade & Rally: Such a strong, coloOperating Illegallyrful and joyful parade 500 of us created together on Saturday! So many new faces and new banners, fresh music and fresh energy, united together saying NO more leaks, lies and lawyers, no more waste! YES to fresh new ways of creating our energy future!

The parade line stretched all the way from the Town Hall to the Latchis Theater, where Theater, Chris Williams led us in a rousing call and response of ‘objection! objection!’ as he talked about his two weeks at the Public Service Board hearing on the CPG witnessing Entergy’s four legal firms cry “Safety!” at every turn, and explained other Entergy legal shenanigans on the state and federal level. The Vocal Chordz led the audience in a rousing rendition of The Twelve Lies of Entergy. Sen. Jeanette White reminded us that the Vermont legislature took, and will take, action because we the citizens keep up the pressure on our elected leaders. Links to the current bills are here.  Frederic Noyse played “Sonny Spinco” (Entergy stooge) in a satire closing with citizens backing lawyers off the stage. Deb Katz said we are at a tipping point, to keep up the pressure, and closed the program with a standing ovation. You can read her remarks here.

Folks are posting photos on our Facebook page (you don’t have to be a Facebook member to access our page).  If you have photos or video to share, please let us know – contact@sagealliance.net and we’ll start an album on this website.