NEC investigates the safety, suitability, and environmental effects of nuclear power plants; we participate in government hearings; and we inform the public and government agencies of the hazards and risks of nuclear power.

2018_03_02 MOU Vermont Yankee Dkt 8880

Vermont Public Utility Commission
7 PM Public Comments
6 PM Information session
Brattleboro Union High School Multi-Purpose Room
(Enter the school via doors which face the athletic track.)

You may also submit your comments to the PUC by sending an email to puc.clerk@vermont.gov and put Docket 8880 in the subject line.  Two Commissioners are reviewing Entergy’s petition to sell VY to NorthStar, and as important, they will set clean-up standards.

Spring 2018

Dear Members and Friends,

I’m writing with an update on Vermont Yankee and asking for your financial support at this critical time.

On March 2nd a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, was filed with the Vermont Public Utility Commission proposing terms for the sale of Vermont Yankee by Entergy to NorthStar. After much give and take in confidential settlement discussions amongst all the intervenors in this case before the Commission, New England Coalition has taken the monumental step of signing on to this agreement.

Raymond Shadis, our board member and technical adviser in these proceedings, sums up what may seem a startling conclusion to these negotiations. “With approval of the MOU by the Commission, we will no longer be adversaries, and NEC will do its best to help NorthStar achieve a state-of-the-art, best-practices, and environmentally responsible decommissioning, as free of nuclear pollution as it can possibly be made.”

NEC has advocated since the closure of the plant in 2014 for a timely decommissioning of VY without compromising environmental safety. With significant financial guarantees above those originally proffered by the parties, and, more importantly, with firm and monitorable commitments both to heightened safety practices during decommissioning and to strict clean up standards for site release, this agreement, we feel, provides reasonable assurances that the proposed sale is in the public good.

Though much can happen between now and when the Commission decides whether or not to issue a Certificate of Public Good approving the sale based on this agreement, we feel here at NEC that we are at a historic turning point, both in the Vermont Yankee saga and in the whole sordid history of nuclear power at large.  If approved, this deal is likely to serve as a model for others to improve and build on for nuclear decommissionings to come.

Despite initial concerns prompted both by NorthStar’s holding its cards so close to its chest, as well as various challenges to NEC’s intervention, we choose now to partner ourselves with NorthStar Corporation. It should be understood that NorthStar is not a “pro-nuclear” industry. Its expertise is facility and infrastructure demolition and pollution abatement. Though this will be its first commercial scale nuclear power plant decommissioning, it has retired five research reactors as well as numerous commercial power plants. With the upcoming shuttering of literally dozens of reactors in this country, we all need competent, sound, and forward looking enterprise to get us safely out from under this massive burden of nuclear waste and infrastructure that so threatens this and future generations.

NorthStar and its partners want this project to work and to work well. Its successful completion would promise a bright and, yes, profitable future for the company—– quite the opposite if it fails to deliver. Are its values always going to mesh with ours? Obviously not.  But we will sit at the table with them and with other informed stakeholders throughout the decommissioning process. This was our goal from the beginning and is at the heart of what we consider to be responsible citizen engagement in this most important task.

I’d like to thank our attorney and friend Jim Dumont who has worked tirelessly to get us to this point with infinite patience and good humor. And a mighty bow to Ray Shadis and our friend Arnie Gundersen, our expert witnesses whose unimpeachable testimony was approved by the Commission over Entergy’s repeated and spurious objections.

And thanks to everyone for your tremendous response to our recent fundraising effort. We did, in fact, just match our $10,000 matching funds anonymous donation. In response, our benefactor has kicked in an additional $5,000 of funds to be matched as well! It is, frankly, much needed as we find ourselves much further in the hole than we ever quite imagined. And we aren’t done yet by a long shot as we must still engage legally in several more months of technical hearings and further exchange before the Public Utility Commission. We figure we currently need upwards of $40,000 to get us through the turning of this most important page in New England Coalition’s ongoing mission and in the life of this reactor community.

Please renew your support today. And thank you for everything you do to stand up to the folly of nuclear power. We are winning this battle because we must.

Schuyler Gould
President, New England Coalition


This story first appeared in the Valley Advocate

Vermont Yankee transfer gaining traction with state agencies and environmental activists

After several weeks of negotiations, Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant owner Entergy, potential buyer NorthStar, state agencies, and citizen activists have come to an agreement on how the shut down plant could be transferred and decommissioned by NorthStar.

One agency, however, does not think the plan has enough financial supports in place if something unexpected happens.

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Wikimedia Commons photo from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commision

NorthStar had proposed to buy the plant so that it could decommission the plant, which shut down in 2014, decades earlier than Entergy. While Entergy said it could complete the process by 2072, NorthStar said it would be finished by 2052, with partial restoration of the site by 2030 or even earlier.

Schuyler Gould, president of the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, said his organization had signed off on the agreement, a memorandum of understanding that was released on Friday, March 2.

“We feel on balance that this is a good deal for the state of Vermont and we’re ready to move forward with that and support NorthStar’s efforts,” he said.

The New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, a safe energy advocacy group focused on the hazards and risks of nuclear power, was one of 10 groups at the table during closed-door negotiations over the document, including Entergy, Northstar, the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, and two Native American Tribes.
READ THE REST of the story at http://valleyadvocate.com/2018/03/06/vermont-yankee-transfer-gaining-traction-state-agencies-environmental-activists/


March 2, 2018
CONTACT:         Schuyler Gould, President 802-479-7227
                     Raymond Shadis, Expert Witness 207-380-5994
             James Dumont, Attorney 802-453-7011
             Clay Turnbull, Staff and Trustee  802-380-4462

Agreement Reached on Sale & Clean-up
of Vermont Yankee

Today a Memorandum of Understanding was filed at the Vermont Public Utility Commission outlining an agreement amongst nine of the ten intervenors reviewing the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee by Entergy to NorthStar. New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, after much give and take with Joint Petitioners Entergy and NorthStar during the course of negotiations, supports this agreement.
Raymond Shadis, NEC board member and technical adviser in these proceedings, said “We now consider ourselves allies and partners with NorthStar and will do our best to help them achieve a state-of-the-art, best-practices, and environmentally responsible decommissioning, as free of nuclear pollution as it can possibly be made.”
NEC president Schuyler Gould says, “Despite our concerns when the sale was first proposed, we have always been hopeful for an expedited decommissioning fully protective of the environment. Our immediate concern has always been for the safety of the decommissioning process itself. Our long term concern has been for the health of future generations which will soon forget what lies beneath their feet. We believe this agreement addresses our concerns, and we support its provision for stakeholder establishment of an appropriate public engagement process.”
A formal review of the MOU will take place over the next few weeks, including the filing of evidence and arguments made by all the parties to the negotiations. The Commission will soon set a date for a public hearing to get input regarding the MOU. “This hearing is not icing on a cake already out of the oven,” says Gould. “It is an integral part of the information the Commission needs to decide whether or not to issue a Certificate of Public Good allowing the sale to go forward. A good outcome is virtually guaranteed if we take it upon ourselves to make it happen.
“We who call this beautiful valley home are the most important voice in this entire process. One needn’t understand every aspect of the agreement to show up at the public hearing and let your voice be heard!”

New England Coalition encourages everyone to review the terms of the MOU by going to the following link or at its website www.NewEnglandCoalition.org.


Vermont Yankee is For Sale.  Current owner Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee and proposed buyer NorthStar Group Services have submitted a joint petition to the Vermont Public Service Board for state approval of the sale.  Also in the petition NorthStar seeks approval for the limited clean-up  which they have proposed ‘as a condition for the sale to proceed’.

The complete petition is available on our “VY For Sale” webpage.

46th Annual Membership Meeting  Oct. 21, 2017.  Click a photo to go directly to that spot in the meeting video.
For higher quality video and to see the entire meeting go to https://www.brattleborotv.org/new-england-coalition-presents/46th-annual-member-meeting-102117

Schuyler Gould, Presidents Report
Schuyler and Tina open an  afternoon of presentations with a reading of Winona LaDuke
Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education, Update From Fukushima and Ongoing Contamination
Ray Shadis, Why Are We Here
Age of Decommissioning David Kraft, The Age of Decommissioning
David Kraft, Q+A

45th Annual Membership Meeting  Oct. 12, 2016 video links in photos

Ray Shadis: The Vernon Preserve Restoration Project
opens new window at Smoke Screen https://youtu.be/qPQAh13DIrk?t=1h45m06s Arnie Gundersen,
CO2 Smoke Screen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse
Maggie Gundersen, The Flawed Myth of Nuclear Power
Ray Shadis introduces activist Ann D. Burt
Down To Earth Stories movie



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NEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. YOUR GIFT IS TAX-DEDUCTIBLE


NEC 42nd Annual Members & Friends Meeting video





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