99 Reactors on the Wall – Vermont Yankee Closes

Vermont Yankee is a bad joke disguised as a reactor complex.  Today it is closed, dropping the US below 100 reactors, a lofty total it will almost certainly never reach again.

Just another day at the reactor - Vermont Yankee 2004 Transformer fire.

Just another day at the reactor – Vermont Yankee 2004 Transformer fire.

The activists who fought this reactor did an amazing job, ultimately forcing the state of Vermont to vote against it’s continued operations and the Governor to demand it be closed.  An act which had no direct effect, because the utility which owned Vermont Yankee hid behind the pro-industry Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which granted the plant a license extension.  But the political waters for the continued operation of this lie and error plagued reactor had been set.  And ultimately the will of the people prevailed over the power of the nuclear establishment.

Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin, said:Today, thanks to investments in renewable energy such as solar, Vermont’s energy future is on a different, more sustainable path that is creating jobs, reducing energy costs for Vermonters and slowing climate change.” Shumlin was a strong advocate for the closure of the reactor once its license expired.

The New Orleans based Entergy Corporation bought this reactor in 2002, hoping this trouble plagued reactor would turn out to be a cash cow.    They admit they were wrong. “This has been a bad investment for us,” said Barrett Green, an Entergy finance executive who recommended both that Entergy buy the plant and later that it be closed.  But bad economics are not enough to close reactors any more.  Were it not for the political organizers in Vermont, Entergy would be seeking the same kind of non-market solutions which Exelon is looking for in Illinois.

Literally thousands of activists and hundreds of thousands of people across the small state of Vermont are responsible for this win.  But i feel like i need to name some names.

Deb Katz herded the cats that is the Citizen Action Network and ran some of the most fun action camps i have ever been to, and i have been to a lot of action camps.

Deb Katz

Deb Katz “Let me tell you again why this does not work”

Relatively recently she has been joined by noisy and effective Chris Williams, and long NIRS board member.   His next target Davis Bessie.

Chris pointing at something.

Chris pointing at something.

Jim Riccio kept Greenpeace honest (a very tricky task) and focused on the one we could win.

Riccio and a GP-US hig visibility action.  Another notch under his belt

Riccio and a GP-US high visibility action. Another notch under his belt

The whole lovely staff at Beyond Nuclear wrote reports, educated the press, supported activists and helped in innumerable other ways to shut this plant down.

Paul Gunter on Russia Today TV explains who VT Yankee and Fukushima are the same design

Paul Gunter on Russia Today TV explains who VT Yankee and Fukushima are the same design

And a special thanks to the guy who got me up to Vermont Yankee in the first place, who was behind the scenes and occasionally quite out in front.  My friend and mentor Michael Marriote from NIRS.

Michael Marriote at recent climate march in NYC

Michael Marriote at recent climate march in NYC

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

3 responses to “99 Reactors on the Wall – Vermont Yankee Closes”

  1. msvivphd says :

    Terrific!! Good job by everyone who worked to get this accomplished.

    • Peter Sipp says :

      I am HAPPY to see VY close!!! Thank you everone for your tireless effort!!! Now for the closure of the other 99. The cheerleaders will try HARD to keep them rocking and puffing along. They are sure to close too. With every Sun rise, we are just that much closer.

  2. MILO says :

    about b____ time. that thing is thirty years past it’s design life.

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