Entergy, the owner of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, has taken the first of two formal steps to notify the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the plant is shutting down.
Entergy Corporation submitted its formal notification to the NRC this week that the company intends to shut down its Vernon reactor in the fourth quarter next year. NRC Region One Spokesperson Diane Screnci reports that a specific shutdown date was not given and the company will provide a final shutdown date later.
As Entergy begins the formal process to shut down Vermont’s only nuclear plant, the local community is also beginning a transition process. Last week the Brattleboro independent newspaper The Commons sponsored a forum on adapting to a post-nuclear economy. Vermont State Representative Republican Mike Hebert, who represents Vernon and Guilford, is a member of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. Hebert notes that planning started in earnest 5 to 6 years ago for the closure of the plant.
Representative Hebert continues citing data that assessed probable economic repercussions from a closure of the nuclear plant.
Although none of the power currently produced by Vermont Yankee is sold within Vermont, Vermont Energy Partnership Communications Director Guy Page says the closure of the plant puts the state in a weaker negotiating position to obtain cheap power.
Entergy announced in August that Vermont Yankee would close in 2014 due to negative economic factors.