PO Box 545
Brattleboro, VT 05302
Contact: Clay Turnbull-802-380-4462
Raymond Shadis -207-380-5994
Story of Wisconsin Reactor’s Demise follows PSB Testimony of VY Opponent Almost Step by Step.
Posted on 10/23/2012 by Greenwire
Republished with permission
(Full Direct Prefiled Testimony of New England Coalition filed on October 22, 2012 Raymond Shadis)
STATE OF VERMONT
PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD
|Amended Petition of Entergy Nuclear Vermont
Yankee, LLC, and Entergy Nuclear Operations,
Inc., for amendment of their certificate of public
good and other approvals required under30 V.SA, § 231 (a) for authority to continue after
March 21, 2012, operation of the Vermont Yankee
Nuclear Power Station, including the storage of
Spent nuclear fuel
October 22, 2012
Docket No. 7862
3 Q-10. How do you consider viability in the context of the petition for a CPG?4 A-10. It begins with asking a question: “What is the value or potential liability to5 Vermont of entertaining Entergy’s extended operation plan if it has only limited or
6 marginal viability?”
7 Over the last few years, Entergy has on multiple occasions alluded to the
8 marginally profitable, or even non-profitable, status of VY. In the mid-1990’s, in a
9 strikingly similar electricity market with an abundance of newly-developed Canadian
10 hydropower and ever-cheaper natural gas-fueled generation, I witnessed the
11 struggles of Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company, and to a lesser extent,
12 Connecticut Yankee, in trying to find the money to deal with an ever-growing
13 backlog of repairs, emergent design flaws, necessary equipment replacement and
14 up-grades. At both plants an in-depth NRC inspection or series of inspections rooted
15 out additional and previously undetected flaws that the companies could not afford
16 to correct. These costs are analogous to what VY faces in the upgrades required in
17 response to the Fukushima incident and repairs/replacements necessary to keep this
18 aging plant (with several failing and leaking components) operating. At Maine
19 Yankee, in something of an understatement, NRC’s inspection team attributed a
20 root-cause of the plant’s many accumulated flaws to an insufficiency of allocated
21 resources. Entergy appears to be facing similar prospects with VY.
22 Entergy Vermont Yankee’s proposed period of extended operation is a walk into a
23 veritable forest of financial uncertainties; something quite remarkable and possibly
1 foolhardy for a company whose CEO, J. Wayne Leonard, told a 2011 Earnings Call that
2 VY had barely met O&M costs.
4 price of natural gas continues its downward trend, there is a tipping point at which VY,
5 with its added costs, is no longer viable and becomes a liability to Entergy rather than
6 asset. If Seabrook Station had power to sell to Vermont utilities for less than Entergy
7 VY’s lowest offer, I would question Entergy VY’s security as a baseload market
8 provider. The flip side of the industry’s brag that nukes provide baseload power is that
9 for technical reasons, nukes are not practical as demand or standby generators. This,
10 along with the many uncertainties discussed above, render the benefits of extended
11 operation claimed by Entergy to be as unreliable as the station itself.
expenditures. Experts say that as a result, the nuclear industry may be nearing its first round of retirements since the mid-1990s.
has not run since September 2009, when it shut down for replacement of major
components. The installation job may have damaged the containment building, which may not be worth the $1.3 billion or so it would take to fix.
basically worthless,” he said. And with average costs approximating average revenue, some reactors face higher-than-average costs.
leaving only one with unannounced intentions.
economic circumstances may be instead.