28 August 2013

Another US Reactor Scheduled for Closure

On 27 August 2013 Entergy announced that it would close the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor at the end of its current fuel cycle, which will be towards the end of 2014. The power plant started up in 1972 and was licensed to operate until 2032. The plant was granted a 20 year life extension only in March 2011. The decision to close the reactor was “driven by sustained low power prices, high cost structure and wholesale electricity market design flaws for Vermont Yankee plant”, the company stated. On a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page of their website, Entergy simply states: “This shutdown decision was made because this asset is not financially viable.” Entergy, apparently, tried to sell the plant, but were unsuccessful, the plant was previously put up for sale in 2010, but again without success, prior to it receiving the extension to its life extension. Earlier in 2013 the Swiss financial services company UBS released a report on the fiscal outlook for Entergy which suggested that their situation might improve with the closure of both the Vermont Yankee and NY Fitzpatrick nuclear power stations. The announcement comes soon after the closure decisions for reactors at the San Onofre and Kewaunee power plants in June and May 2013 respectively.