Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power News Politics

Vermont May Revoke Nuclear Plant License 163

Posted by kdawson
from the green-glowing-mountain-state dept.
mdsolar writes "Following the Vermont Senate's 26-to-4 vote not to approve a 20-year license extension for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, the Vermont Public Service Board will consider revoking its operating license as well. Meanwhile, the plant continues to operate without its Director of Nuclear Safety Assurance, who has been placed on administrative leave; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has merely issued a Demand for Information rather than shutting down a plant that is lacking a full complement of safety personnel. It may be that the NRC is not capable of doing what is needed with regard to Entergy, the plant owner, which is also facing prosecution by the Mississippi Attorney General."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vermont May Revoke Nuclear Plant License

Comments Filter:
  • by StarDrifter (144026) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:47PM (#31299510)

    Oh, this can 't be happening! You're operating without a T-437, Vermont!
    Sweet mother of mercy!

    • by timeOday (582209) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:51PM (#31299540)
      Heh, not sure if you were being sarcastic or not. But although I support nuclear power, maintaining long-term credibility and safety does require regulation, and action to follow through when the regulations are not met. Nothing could discredit the nuclear industry more than letting things slide. (The fact nobody thinks to make any long-term changes every time another couple dozen coal miners are buried alive is a separate issue...)
      • by Xtifr (1323)

        Heh, not sure if you were being sarcastic or not.

        Hint: to recover the original quote, apply the rule s/Vermont/Springfield/

      • by vtcodger (957785) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:05PM (#31299636)

        No matter how pro nuclear power one is, it's really, really hard to support licensing and approving operating permits for an outfit who apparently can not read the blueprints for their own nuclear power plant. AFAICS, Entergy is not capable of safely operating a coffee maker, much less a 600MW nuclear reactor.

        • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:55PM (#31300302) Homepage Journal

          No matter how pro nuclear power one is, it's really, really hard to support licensing and approving operating permits for an outfit who apparently can not read the blueprints for their own nuclear power plant.

          It's not hard at all. Read some of the other comments to this story and you'll see it's quite easy for some people. There's a crowd that, any time any safety issue relating to any nuclear plant is mentioned, react with howls of "OMG the liberal socialist greenies want to take our clean safe never-has-any-kind-of-problem-EVAR nuclear power away!!!" They're pretty much the other side of the same coin as the "nuclear power is dangerous 'cause it's got atoms in it!!!" types, and just as ignorant.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Golddess (1361003)
            I cannot say I have ever seen a comment stating that nuclear power "never-has-any-kind-of-problem-EVAR", except when followed with a "when the proper safety procedures are followed". I mean, it's kinda hard to ignore Chernobyl* and TMI** when the "nuclear power is dangerous" crowd keeps trying to shove them in everyone's faces as examples of why nuclear power is dangerous.

            *What happens when proper safety procedures are not followed.
            **Not a problem at all, but they still try and bring it up despite the f
            • by Dan541 (1032000) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @09:18PM (#31301206) Homepage

              Three Mile Island is an example of how safe nuclear power is, NOT how dangerous it is.

              • I suggest reading my other post here or in fact anything at all which describes the events at TMI.
                TMI was an example of fairly unique good initial safeguards put in place for other reasons and dumb luck saving us all from the complacency and stupidity that had set in prior to the accident. It was an example of what could happen which woke up the nuclear industry for a while and resulted in a lot of effort to prevent worse incidents from occurring.
                Your post is an example of the sort of stupid complacency th
              • by Golddess (1361003)
                That's what I said in my bullet point, or tried to anyway.

                The anti-nuclear crowd brings it up as a reason why nuclear power is dangerous, but really, it's a reason why it isn't dangerous, when the proper safety procedures are followed anyway.
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:11PM (#31299672) Journal
        It's presumably the same thing that drives the different approaches to safety between passenger cars and passenger aircraft.

        Stalin said "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."

        However, from the perspective of the news media, "The death of one man is an obituary, the death of millions is a long-running and frankly rather tedious investigative series on page A15, and the deaths of a few hundred all at once is days of front page stories with large pictures"....
        • by Bemopolis (698691)

          However, from the perspective of the news media, "The death of one man is an obituary, the death of millions is a long-running and frankly rather tedious investigative series on page A15, and the deaths of a few hundred all at once is days of front page stories with large pictures"

          And just wait until a blonde teenage girl is killed — they'll talk about that crap for YEARS. *coughcough*Austin yogurt shop murders*coughcough*

        • by mqduck (232646)

          Stalin said "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."

          Not that it's really relevant, but no, he didn't [wikiquote.org].

      • by MikeURL (890801) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:24PM (#31300114) Journal
        You could not be more right. The entire reason that nuclear power can be considered safe is due to never-ending, unyielding and eternal vigilance in maintenance, oversight, and operations.

        If the industry starts to look like any other where things just, you know, slide for a while then the whole notion of safety becomes quite laughable. This isn't a business where you allow inertia to determine whether a plant continues to operate. If a plant fails to meet standards in any significant way it should be ordered to begin an orderly shutdown immediately.
        • by apoc.famine (621563) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (enimaf.copa)> on Sunday February 28, 2010 @11:44AM (#31306100) Homepage Journal
          You hit the nail on the head. I'm a life-long Vermonter. While there were a few eternal protesters about the plant during the last 20 years, by and large we were happy to have it. It makes a bunch of jobs, and provides a lot of power to the state at very competitive rates.

          Fast forward to 2002 when Entergy took over, and nobody here is happy. They cranked the plant up to 120% of its designed output, as parts started to fail inspection. The decommissioning fund, which was based on the stock market, tanked. We won't be able to afford to decommission it until 2060 or so now. It will sit mothballed and hot until then.

          All this was the lead-up for their petition to extend the operation of the plant 20 years beyond its initial license. It's scheduled to cease operation in 2012. They want to suck another 20 years of profit out of it. Of course, at 120% of the operating power, with parts still failing inspection, and without the money to decommission it. That's the framework for all the issues in the Senate. As has been well noted, they completely shot themselves in the foot with their inability to answer detailed questions about the plant to the Senate.

          Vermont is a tiny state. It has the 2nd smallest population in the US. Probably a majority of towns have populations in the thousands. The biggest city is about 60k. When we vote people into state government positions, they are our friends, neighbors, and relatives. They are not some nameless face we saw on a poster. We've done business with them, drank a beer with them, shook their hand and looked them in the eye. Because of that, our state legislators do NOT screw around much. If something is going to be bad for their community, it gets shut down. If you screw over the 4,000 people in your town, you're probably going to have to move.

          Because of this climate, Entergy can't get away with lying to the senate then writing a bunch of checks to cover the issues. They were asked point blank if they had any buried pipes. The answer was, "not that we know of". A year later, and buried pipes are leaking tritium into the ground water. When pressed, they answered, "Oh, well we define "buried" as encased in dirt, and carrying liquid. If it's underground, but encased in concrete, and carrying vapor, it's not considered "buried".

          As I said, our legislators don't screw around. They got that sort of response from a company that we've steadily lost trust in, and the end result is that we're denying their 20 year extension to operate.
      • by dbIII (701233) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @07:27PM (#31300480)

        Nothing could discredit the nuclear industry more than letting things slide.

        TMI was a perfect example of starting off well and letting things slide later.
        In the early design and construction stages a lot of care was taken, the small risk of getting hit by a large aircraft from a nearby airport resulted in building containment vessels to withstand impact. However years later by the time it was up and running nobody cared much about the control systems and they wouldn't have been acceptable in any other form of power plant, chemical plant or oil refinery in the country. When the accident happened the carefully designed containment vessels which were unique at the time saved everyones bacon but nobody knew what happened because the instrumentation and control systems were rubbish. It was sheer dumb luck that it happened there and not at another of the plants where the consequences would have been worse. It gave us the best sort of nuclear accident you can get - one that wakes everyone up.
        Now far too many have gone back to sleep. There are of course plenty of petty idiots that like to pretend that only Russians get things wrong and there is no need to be careful.

        • Nothing could discredit the nuclear industry more than letting things slide.

          TMI was a perfect example of starting off well and letting things slide later.
          In the early design and construction stages a lot of care was taken, the small risk of getting hit by a large aircraft from a nearby airport resulted in building containment vessels to withstand impact. However years later by the time it was up and running nobody cared much about the control systems and they wouldn't have been acceptable in any other form of power plant, chemical plant or oil refinery in the country. When the accident happened the carefully designed containment vessels which were unique at the time saved everyones bacon but nobody knew what happened because the instrumentation and control systems were rubbish. It was sheer dumb luck that it happened there and not at another of the plants where the consequences would have been worse. It gave us the best sort of nuclear accident you can get - one that wakes everyone up.
          Now far too many have gone back to sleep. There are of course plenty of petty idiots that like to pretend that only Russians get things wrong and there is no need to be careful.

          There's a pretty good argument for TMI being sabotage.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            Leaving that conspiracy theory far aside my point about TMI being an example of complacency stands because there were so many things wrong with it which were later fixed in other reactors.
            What I'm writing about is the reaction to the accident and the change from a lax attitude to a return to better standards and a closer scrutiny of risks. The "next TMI only without the dumb luck saving us" became effectively a non-event like the Y2K bug as a lot of work was put in to stop it from happening. The USSR of c
            • Not so much a conspiracy theory as a "disgruntled nuclear plant worker saw a movie about a disgruntled nuclear plant worker and decided it was a pretty cool idea".

      • by mdsolar (1045926)
        There was a pretty steady decline in US coal mining deaths until they plateaued around 2000. They might be heading down again now though. http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp [msha.gov] The Mine Safety and Health Administration does try to learn from past accidents but coal mining remains an unsafe occupation. Things may also get worse as Appalachian coal declines in quality and mining gets more technically challenging or a shift to western open pit mining may help out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jonwil (467024)

        Of course the real answer is to recognize that coal is dirty, ban the construction of any new coal power plants and start building replacements for the ones already operating.
        If we arent using coal, there is no need to mine it. And then no-one will die in the mines.

    • Pff. My T-1000 kicks your T-437’s ass! ;)

  • Hard to Replace (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sam.haskins (1106069)
    One of the issues with shutting down Vermont Yankee is that it provides over a third of the electricity to the state. I feel like a lot of the reason it has been treated so leniently is because of the massive increase in price Vermonters face in getting power elsewhere in that kind of volume. Hydro-Quebec provides a good portion of the rest, perhaps they have the capacity, but there's nothing quite like homegrown cheap power.
    • by lorenlal (164133) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:54PM (#31299566)

      The region currently has a power-generation surplus of 4,000-5,000 megawatts, meaning it could lose up to 16 percent of its generation and not face a power deficit.

      The article seems to take very lightly that the region has enough spare capacity to power only 3-4 Deloreans...

      • They must be referring only to the Windsor county area? That's an odd way of putting it... my wikipedia statistics (which match with many I've heard on other media) indicate that the surplus cannot apply to the whole state...

        73% of the state's electrical generation capacity which is 35% of the state's electrical needs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_yankee [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      please, they won't shut it down. it's just another government department flapping it's wings about a technicality. "director of nuclear safety" sounds like every other safety job i've ever seen in the resources sector. paper pushing, meetings and nothing concrete. a directors job would consist of nothing more then managing the lower rank safety staff and communicating with the government department, having them on leave won't actually effect the safety of the plant at all - that's all down to the engineers
    • What I don't get about this whole situation is why the NRC doesn't bring someone in (either an NRC employee, or maybe a qualified consultant) to be the Acting Director of Safety? Doesn't the NRC have anybody qualified to take over operations of Nuclear Plants when necessary? If Entergy can't run the plant safely, bring in someone who can (at least temporarily, until the 'permanent disposition' of the situation can be sorted out). If Entergy really did something bad, perhaps they should be forcibly divested

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ndkchk (893797)
        The Vermont legislators aren't "rushing to this idea of shutting down the power plant." They're voting not to extend the license, thus stopping the plant's operation at the end of its designed lifespan. Entergy wants to run it for another 20 years past that.
      • by mellon (7048)

        The NRC can't do that because it would be spending Entergy's money, which it has no right to do, or else spending public money fixing something that belongs to Entergy, which again it has no right to do. Entergy has to fix it. But people are so disgusted with Entergy's message-managing that they don't trust that Entergy will actually do what it takes to keep the plant running safely. It's a really crappy situation--you're right that fixing the plant might well be cheaper than replacing it--but it's a

        • by JSBiff (87824)

          "The NRC can't do that because it would be spending Entergy's money, which it has no right to do, or else spending public money fixing something that belongs to Entergy"

          Ok, first, I don't really know that it's necessary in this case, BUT: I have no problem with applying *special rules* to nuclear plants that we don't normally apply to most other types of businesses, if necessary. I have no problem with the government spending a nuclear operating company's money if it means protecting public safety, and I al

      • by mdsolar (1045926)
        That would seem to blur regulating a licensee and running a licensee's power plant. The problem is more that the NRC seems to be generally supportive of a run-to-failure attitude in licensees and does not care at all about whistleblower protection. That is how Nuclear Fuel Services, for example, has run into a ditch. http://www2.tricities.com/tri/news/local/article/safety_issues_keep_nuclear_processing_work_on_hold_at_nfs/41758/ [tricities.com] It should not be forgotten that the NRC was covering up a near criticality
        • by timmarhy (659436)
          did you even read your own link?

          1. there was no incident, it merely states it was a congressmen's opinion that they were lucky. there is nothing from anyone with any credentials in that article making an informed statement that the fuel would have gone critical.

          2. the NRC merely marked documents containing sensitive information about the production of nuclear fuel as offical use only, the incident still recieved a full investigation and had congress over sight. pretty fucking far from a cover up as you tr

          • by mdsolar (1045926)
            It is clearly a cover up since they were required to hold a public meeting about the incident. They failed to give any notice.
    • Cheap power? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mdsolar (1045926) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @08:41PM (#31300956) Homepage Journal
      Entergy claims they have saved Vermonters $300 million over 8 years http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2010/02/26/leaking_credibility_vt_yankee_must_step_up_or_face_closure/ [boston.com] But they have also failed to contribute to the decommissioning fund required for all nuclear plants and the deficit seems to be just about that much. So really, what they have been doing is faking cheaper power to constrain competition in a dishonest manner.
  • Did they really lie? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lorenlal (164133) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:48PM (#31299522)

    FTA:

    The following week Vermont Yankee officials were accused of misleading state regulators and lawmakers by saying the plant did not have the type of underground pipes that could carry tritium.

    Actually, I don't think they were misleading the regulators... It appears that they didn't have pipes that could carry the tritium. If only we could figure out why they were there in the first place.

    • by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:19PM (#31299722)


      Actually, I don't think they were misleading the regulators... It appears that they didn't have pipes that could carry the tritium. If only we could figure out why they were there in the first place.

      Maybe, maybe not. I found this statement interesting:

      "The Entergy responses were limited to only pipes that touch soil, (not those encased in concrete) that carry liquid (not gaseous matter) and that are part of whole systems as defined by law," Entergy's statement said.

      To me that's kind of a lawyering statement where they're trying to get out of any legal repercussions by trying to be very precise about what they say they meant. I don't know the actual quote of what Entergy said to regulators, or the context in which they said it so it's hard to make any definitive analysis here. At this point I wouldn't give the company the benefit of the doubt though.

      • by sincewhen (640526) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:45PM (#31300240)

        "I did not have sexual relations with that tritium."

      • Only pipes that touch soil: Because the contamination is in ground water. Pipes encased in concrete are much less likely to be the culprit because they are ENCASED in concrete.

        Pipes that carry liquid: Well, unless we are talking about very large amounts of heavy water vapor then this is a no brainer.

        As part of whole systems as defined by law: No clue. I don't really know what piping could be defined as not part of a whole system. Maybe piping left over from construction days that never go used for anything.

        • by mellon (7048)

          That's naive, unfortunately. Concrete cracks. Pipes embedded in concrete can be far worse than pipes that are in soil, because you can't get at them. If they are leaking, the leak will wind up in the soil, and the only way to fix them is to jackhammer out all the concrete, which is contaminated, which means you're operating a jackhammer in a radiation suit. And of course once you're done jackhammering, the concrete is more low-level radioactive waste you have to get rid of.

          • By you saying that you have to operate a jackhammer in a radiation suit you have shown your ignorance. We are talking about tritium here, not plutonium, and we are talking about contaminated water and not open fuel assemblies. Also radiation suits are very rarely used in the nuclear field because they are ineffective for their bulkiness and weight, the term you were looking for was anti-contamination suits which are nothing more than an outer-garment. Beyond that, sure you end up with more low level waste f

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:51PM (#31299546)

    who owns the place mr burns?

  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:09PM (#31299656) Journal

    the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has merely issued a Demand for Information rather than shutting down a plant that is lacking a full compliment of safety personnel.

    Give me a break. If you strip away the inflammatory wording, this seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. When was the last time you heard of a coal fired plant or a coal mine being shut down because they didn't have a "full complement of safety personnel"?

    The NRC "merely" did something reasonable rather than taking some draconian action that the fossil fuel industry apologists could then use to argue against the safety and reliability of their biggest competitor ("Look! They had to shut it down for safety violations! Oh Noooooooo!")

    -- MarkusQ

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:19PM (#31299712)

      mdsolar is not a fossil fuel apologist. He is a new-age solar energy proponent who has a hatred of nuclear power. For some reason Slashdot continues to post his frenetic articles.

      • Not new age (Score:2, Troll)

        by mdsolar (1045926)
        Stodgy old protestant I'm afraid. I do get romanticized on slashdot which is a little uh, disturbing. I support nuclear power in naval propulsion applications but it is pretty clear that civilian nuclear power is a mistake. I have a fairly low acceptance-to-submission ratio for articles, around 0.16 last I checked.
        • by FreekyGeek (19819)

          Civilian nuclear power is a mistake? Yeah - right. We've had a total of one-half of one accident here in the US, what was it - 40 years ago? - which didn't cause a single death. Hell, the recent giant Coal Ash spill did a hell of a lot more harm. And one bad accident at a crappy, crumbling, Soviet-era plant run by the three stooges.

          You may want to tell France what a bad idea it is - they get something like 75% of their power from nuclear.

          Nuclear isn't just the best idea, it's the *only* sane idea: do as

    • by Aladrin (926209) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:28PM (#31299762)

      Yeah, the bias in the 'article' (and summary) is disgusting. Vermont is simply doing exactly what -should- be done when safety procedures are not being met. I would hate to see -any- nuclear plants shut down, but it's a lot better to shut it down than let it run unsafe, even for a short time.

      • by X.25 (255792)

        Yeah, the bias in the 'article' (and summary) is disgusting. Vermont is simply doing exactly what -should- be done when safety procedures are not being met. I would hate to see -any- nuclear plants shut down, but it's a lot better to shut it down than let it run unsafe, even for a short time.

        Having a nuclear plant not meet safety procedures/regulations, in the first place, is more worrying than anything else.

    • No kidding (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pavon (30274)

      Okay, so the company suspended the safety director only four days ago, and the submitter is bitching about "lack of full complement of safety personnel", and implying that the plant should be shut down? Give me a fucking break. He has assistants and subordinates that can fill in for him until a replacement is chosen. It's not like he never took vacation or was away from the plant during the time he was working there.

      This is a serious situation and needs to be looked into closely, especially given the deceit

      • by mellon (7048)

        How do you *know* the plant is not unsafe at this time? If you really know, there's a job opening at the plant you should probably apply for. If you don't, isn't it a bit silly to claim otherwise?

    • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:53PM (#31299906) Homepage

      If you've been following this story you'll see its always submitted with an inflammatory summary. The slashdot janitors are too lazy to read the actual story and fix the summary.

      • by Trepidity (597)

        The submitter also coincidentally seems to own a company selling solar panels.

    • When was the last time you heard of a coal fired plant or a coal mine being shut down because they didn't have a "full complement of safety personnel"?

      Actually, I've seen fire department inspectors (and health inspectors) willing to shut down just about anything if someone wasn't taking their safety concerns seriously enough. And I can't speak for the coal mines specifically, I don't live anywhere near one, but I do remember that they were looking very hard for people to blame for the Coal mine accidents that killed a number of miners a few years ago.

      One major complaint was that they didn't have enough emergency respirators in case of a collapse. Now, I

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:35PM (#31299794) Homepage

    the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has merely issued a Demand for Information rather than shutting down a plant that is lacking a full compliment of safety personnel

    What's bizarre about the whole thing is the level of radiation leaks that started all this trouble weren't even that high, near the level we can measure accurately. There was no need to lie, unless they were trying to cover up something even bigger. They could have owned up to their troubles and fixed most of what was wrong and probably stayed out of trouble.

    Now they're screwed. After the NRC proctological exam, they probably will get shut down. Of course, with all the protections the Supreme Court gives artificial corporate people, you can be sure no one will actually be held accountable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rudy_wayne (414635)

      What's bizarre about the whole thing is the level of radiation leaks that started all this trouble weren't even that high, near the level we can measure accurately. There was no need to lie, unless they were trying to cover up something even bigger.

      This is the problem with the Nuclear Industry. Although there have never been any major accidents or injuries, they have a 40 year history of:

      Massive cost over-runs on almost every nuclear power plant built
      Poor management
      Poor maintenance
      Not fixing identified pro

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        so what you are saying, is they are like every over industry and government department ever? i can find examples of all of them lieing,poor managment, poor maintenance and not fixing problems until forced.

        though your last point should be marked as flame bait because it's completely untrue. care to show me an instance of a western run nuclear plant that put nuclear waste in someones backyard where it leaked? oh right you can't, because they put them deep under ground in them middle of no where, in geologica

      • by cdrguru (88047) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:30PM (#31300154) Homepage

        No plan for waste? I'm sorry, there are two things that come out of a nuclear power plant: old fuel rods and other misc. waste. The fuel rods should be reprocessed - there is no reason not to and it is a horrible waste of materials not to do so. The other waste is currently shipped off to be buried and is relatively low-level. I believe old salt mines are pretty popular today for this stuff.

        Additionally, there is a plan that has existed since the 1970s for dealing with high level nuclear waste - not fuel rods, but other stuff. That has been consistently kicked around and the State of Nevada has pretty much sat down and said they will not permit the facility to operate. So there is a plan, just nobody wants it in their State and the State that was selected has refused to allow it.

        First thing that would make a positive impression on uninformed people would be to start reprocessing fuel rods. A fuel rod is no longer useful when around 3% of the uranium has been used and there are significant quantities of other isotopes present. Reprocessing would recover the 97% of the uranium and the other isotope materials leaving little or no "waste".

        Now if you want to treat the used fuel rods as waste I recommend that we also consider automobiles to be waste after five full tanks of gasoline and force the owners to store them in their garage until they rust away into dust. This would make about as much sense as the current fuel rod policies and would put the problem into proper focus.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by maxume (22995)

        All those negatives, and still they have released far less radioactive material into the environment than coal power.

  • What a crock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:57PM (#31300312)

    mdsolar is promoting:

    1) his lame political affiliation and
    2) his business "renting" solar solutions

    Can you spell opportunist a-la Al Gore?

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @08:11PM (#31300772) Journal
    Freeze in the dark for all I care you fucking hippies.
  • Shut It Down (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @10:52PM (#31301896)
    Just shut it down and let the lights go out in Vermont.

    Oh, and how much extra mid-east oil will we import to make up for that clean, carbon neutral power? Enquiring minds want to know.
  • Is this a follow up on the tritium [slashdot.org] scare [slashdot.org] engineered by some?

    I summarize it by : OMG there's a tritium leak that make the water undrinkable by regulation, if you are dumb enough to dig a well under that power plant!

    There are probably 1000s or enterprise leaking contaminated oil in the ground that are making water far more undrinkable than this, for years after the leak is gone. And those companies would be just as clueless to plug their leak. So why treat this differently?

    Now, show me a major leak that has a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:57PM (#31307818)

    I've followed this story for many years nw, as I am a lifelong resident of Vermont, and I can't say I am surprised, but a LOT of the facts about this story are not being told here, or are misrepresented.
        First it Is important to know that the VT Legislature did not and can not rule on the safety aspects of the Vernon, VT reactor. Their ONLY area of concern is the reliabilty of the plant to provide base-load energy to the state. Vermont is unique in this way... No other state legislature has any role to play in determining the future of a nuclear reactor. The VT Legislature was given the role of assessing reliabilty of the reactor as part of the terms of sale when Entergy purchased the plant about a decade ago. The decision about the safety of the plant is the purview of the Public Service Board, which I believe is the norm nationwide.
        Also important but seemingly ommitted here on /. is the story about how Entergy is trying to spin-off a subsidiary company called Enexus, and then sell the reactor (and all liability) to that company, wiping their hands clean of all responsibility. It is widely speculated that Enexus is over-leveraged and may not be able to afford the decommisioning costs (in the hundreds of millions, before any discovery of leaked tritium). VT certainly cannot saddle these costs if Entergy/Enexus leaves the burden to us.
        Yes, the Entergy officials did make misleading statements regarding buried pipes. Whether this was intentional or out of ignorance does not matter, really, in the eyes of Vermonters who no longer put much trust in the company that owns the plant. Because of this, many legislators and the Governor who once strongly supported the 20-year relicensing have changed their minds or have greatly reduced their support for a yes vote on the relicensing matter.
          The Legislature voted on the reliability of the plant, which despite it's age has continued to score well on safety (I've heard it gets an A+, but I don't see how a letter-grade applies to such a broad concern). Perhaps the legislature was ALSO allowed to rule on the reliabilty of the company who owns the plant... That would certainly drag-down the plant's reliability assessment, in their eyes.
        Finally, the "1/3 of the energy in VT" statement being bandied about is misleading. The reactor does generate the equivalent of 1/3 of VT's base-load, but I believe the amount of VT's power that comes from VT Yankee is 11%, as we get our power from a very diverse power portfolio. VT Yankee sells us what we need from them, and sells the rest to other states on the "NorthEast Grid." we probably get more energy from Hydro-Quebec's massive surplus, but I don't have the figures to know for sure.
        This is a very touchy subject in VT right now. Rabid pro- and anti- nuclear power opinions are everywhere... I just about refuse to discuss the matter openly with friends and acquaintances these days. I hear LOTS of FUD regarding "skyrocketing power-costs" that are "certain" to come if the reactor is nt relicensed, but it seems unlikely it will actually put us in poverty. We've enjoyed low rates (~$.041/Kwh), but Entergy/Enexus is going to increase that to ~$.06/KWh if they do get relicensure in their new contract with the state. It is said that we can expect to meet that rate for the amount of energy we'll need to replace.
        In the interests of full-disclosure, I personally would like to see VT get it's energy needs met elsewhere. There are a number of growing companies in the state that have a chance to supply "green-energy" if there was a demand. When the US is lagging far behind countries like China in the science and business of green energy, it makes sense from tecnological and economic viewpoint, not just environmental. Unfortunately, I expect the unique Legislatorial decision will be overturned by deep pockets and a lawsuit, and in the end corporate interests will end up sticking our small state with a cleanup bill that will be orders of magnitude greater than any accumulated energy cost savings to date. We will have to wait and see.

  • The Vermont Senate stayed away from the safety issue as that is NRC territory. What distressed many people was the costs of decommissioning and major distrust of the ability of the owner, Entergy, to finance shutting the plant down. Entergy has a plan to spin off its nuclear power plants to a debt-laden independent corporation. Unfortunately for Entergy, Verizon has just completed a spin-off of its land lines to Fairpoint Communications. Fairpoint took on heavy debt...and went bankrupt. We see the same thi
  • Nobody wants radioactive trees, or the hulking fern of doom.

New systems generate new problems.

Working...