Entergy Corporation plans to cut about 30 jobs at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant by the end of the year. While it’s not good news for the plant nor surrounding community, Vermont Yankee supporters say the real concern is the state’s continuing effort to shutter the plant.
Entergy will cut about 800 jobs nationwide and plans to eliminate about 4 percent of its employees at Vermont Yankee in Vernon. Calls to Vermont Yankee were referred to Entergy Vice President of Nuclear Communications Terry Young, who said the across the board cuts are part of a redesign of their nuclear plant organizational structure.
Young added that safety was at the forefront in discussions about the reorganizations.
Vermont Law School Senior Research Fellow for Economic Analysis Mark Cooper issued a report just days before the layoff announcement noting that the economics of old nuclear reactors such as Vermont Yankee is abysmal.
The New England Coalition opposes continued operation of the Vermont nuclear plant. Last week the group warned that a layoff announcement was imminent and Technical Advisor Ray Shadis believes even more will come.
Entergy’s Terry Young counters that the 30 workforce reductions at Vermont Yankee are all that will occur under their current effort.
Vermont Yankee has a current workforce of about 650, and the 30 layoffs are among the smallest in Entergy’s fleet. Nevertheless, they will impact the surrounding communities in Windham County, according to Economist and Vermont Economy Newsletter Publisher Dick Heaps.
Ethan Allen Institute Energy Education Project Director Meredith Angwin believes the dire economic reports are overly pessimistic and says Entergy continues to have good cash flow and any lower stock prices are due to a natural gas glut. Angwin says the threat to Vermont Yankee comes from within Vermont.
According to the Wall Street Journal, about one-third of the 800 layoffs will occur in Louisiana, where Entergy is based. About 110 jobs will be cut in New York along with the 30 anticipated at Vermont Yankee.