Entergy Corp., a New Orleans-based power company, announced Tuesday it plans to shutter its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station by the end of 2014.
The decades-old plant, located in the town of Vernon, is the latest casualty of the U.S. fracking boom, which has driven down the price of natural gas and made it difficult for other sources of electrical power to compete.
Company officials cited financial considerations as the reason for the shutdown, saying that competition from natural gas combined with steep operating costs have made it hard to turn a profit in recent years. “The plant was no longer financially viable,” Leo Denault, the CEO and chairman of Entergy told Bloomberg.
Shutting down a nuclear plant is no easy task, however. Vermont Yankee will continue to operate through the end of next year, at which point the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will step in to oversee the decommissioning of its sole nuclear reactor.
According to the Associated Press:
The plant will be placed in ‘safe-store,’ in which federal regulations allow it to be mothballed for up to 60 years while its radioactive components cool down before removal.
Mothballing is a process whereby plant operators shut down a power facility without dismantling it.
The news met with an enthusiastic response from Vermont’s lawmakers who believe the plant poses a safety threat and have repeatedly attempted to shut it down through legal means.
“I am delighted that Entergy will shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant which has had so many problems in recent years,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday in a statement. “There is a strong desire on the part of the people of the state of Vermont to close the plant.”
With nuclear power no longer an option, Vermont will likely expand its portfolio of alternative energy sources in the coming years. Sanders was quick to point out, “The closure will allow Vermont to focus on leading the nation toward safer and more economical sources of sustainable and renewable energy like solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.”
What We're Following See More »
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"
An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.
Sen. Ben Sasse, the most prominent elected official to declare that he's #NeverTrump, wrote an open letter on Facebook to the "majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together." Calling to mind recent conversations at a Fremont, Neb., Walmart, the senator pitted the presumptive general election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as such a "terrible choice" that there would be an appetite for another candidate to emerge. In a parenthetical aside to reporters, Sasse ruled himself out. "Such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months," he wrote. "Therefore he/she likely can’t be an engaged parent with little kids." Meanwhile, his colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted in a private recording obtained by Politico that Trump hurts his reelection chances.