Wednesday, June 3, 2015


While the nuclear industry and their Big Bucks interests keep telling us that nuclear energy is safe, we remember Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima today. Vermont Yankee is talking about shutting down their operations, but reports show that political gimmicks mean that it could take up to 60 years for the completion of this plan.
Phyllis Carter
The Vermont Yankee shutdown means the plant carcass must be safely decommissioned as quickly as possible. With full spent fuel pools, we hope Vermont Yankee rests in peace, not in pieces like Fukushima Daiichi. In this video, CCTV Nuclear Free Future Host Margaret Harrington discusses the economic, environmental, health and safety implications that the recent closing of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will have on New England with Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps and  Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer of Fairewinds Energy Education.
Entergy first applied to operate VY for twenty additional years in January 2006, beginning a long process of increased oversight by the public, the state, and frontline activists. The shutdown of VY happened much sooner than Entergy planned on December 29, 2014. Arnie and Kevin look at the huge costs Entergy would have incurred to keep the aging plant operating with safety modifications required since the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. With VY's shutdown, environmentalists hope that the diminished wildlife in the Connecticut River, specifically shad fish , should rebound now that the thermal pollution has ended.
What's next for Vermont Yankee? Rapid safe decommissioning and safe clean up of the carcass of the plant by owner, Entergy is possible according to calculations Arnie has developed. State supervision to assure that Entergy continues to protect the people and environment of Vermont is imperative. Entergy wants to take as many short cuts as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow including ending the emergency planning program.
Entergy has asked for a special exemption simply to avoid spending money on the current evacuation plan even though the equivalent of radiation from 700 atomic bombs sits in the spent fuel pool.

Another example of increasing risk to the public is evident at the San Onofre nuclear site where owner Southern California Edison let go of security guard forces before any approval by the NRC.
From Vermont Yankee's shut down, Arnie and Kevin express the optimism and hope of a new trend of fewer aging nuclear reactors and impress upon us the responsibility to hold Entergy to a safe and thorough clean up.


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