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View Diary: Court to Vermont: "Drop Dead" (200 comments)

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  •  Mon frickin' Dieu. (8+ / 0-)

    I find the judge's decision mind-boggling. The cynical part of me thinks there is money to be followed here somewhere.

    Just because it's made up doesn't mean it isn't true.—Plan 10 from Outer Space

    by mofembot on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:33:00 AM PST

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    •  What a tangles mess this has been ..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mofembot, carolyn urban

      To recap: this plant opened in 1972 with a 40-year operating license, which would expire this year. And as noted, the Legislature made it clear that any extension would have to pass muster with them.

      But when Entergy bought the plant ten years ago, they made a presumption .... that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) would approve an extension of the operating license. And since the NRC has never turned down a single extension, it proved to be an astute purchase ... as the NRC approved a 20-year extension.

      And in February 2010, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 against re-certifying the plant, citing radioactive tritium leaks, misstatements in testimony by plant officials, a cooling tower collapse in 2007, and other problems.

      Interestingly, the state of Vermont's utilities had already made other power contract arrangements, based upon the original 2012 end date. So any future power generated wouldn't go directly to Vermont ratepayers: it would simply go into the regional grid (although it could then be bought on the spot market, and used in the state as needed).

      The upshot? The company probably feels bullet-proof, now. Since nothing they did prevented a license renewal: if the license renewal goes on without any notable state restrictions, they could confidently run their operations without any concern (other than on a public relations basis).

      And similar to those old Midwestern coal plants exempt from the Clean Air Act because it was assumed they'd be mothballed - but for which utilities wound up extending their life on a continuous basis, to preserve their $ advantage - well, who's to say that Entergy won't decide twenty years from now to seek another extension (although perhaps for a shorter period) if the NRC maintains its perfect score? Their return-on-investment just keeps getting better-and-better.

      I tend to be not as anti-nuclear as others ... but this development has me quite angry. The best statement came at that February, 2010 vote not from a "No Nukes" type, but a Vermont state senate Republican who was a nuclear advocate:  

      State Sen. BROCK: If its board of directors and its management were thoroughly infiltrated by anti-nuclear activists, I do not believe they could have done a better job destroying their own case.

      (Soundbite of laughter)

       The dissembling, the prevarication, the lack of candor have been striking.

       

      "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

      by Ed Tracey on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:56:31 PM PST

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