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Power The Almighty Buck

Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds 179

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-keep-it-running? dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes with this bit of news about the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant shutdown. From the article: "On Friday, the Vermont Public Service Board voted to authorize Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., the operators of the Vermont Yankee electricity generating station ..., to close down their nuclear power plant by the end of this year. Because Entergy planned to shut the Vermont nuclear plant down prior to its licensed end-term, the board was required to approve the shutdown....

Entergy has reserved just over $600 million to date for decommissioning the Vermont nuclear plant, according to the Department of Public Service. This amount will not be adequate to meet the costs of full deconstruction, estimated at more than $1 billion according to the company's 2012 Decommissioning Cost Analysis report."
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

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  • by polar red (215081) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:41AM (#46638509)

    and yet even more subsidies for the nuclear industry will follow.

    • by imikem (767509) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:48AM (#46638559) Homepage

      Of course. It's so silly that no other industries ever get subsidized by tax dollars.

      • Of course. It's so silly that no other industries ever get subsidized by tax dollars.

        It is silly to justify something stupid by pointing out that we also do other stupid things. That is just circular logic that results in a lot of stupidity.

        • by operagost (62405)
          OK, Captain Logical Fallacy-- perhaps we subsidize nuclear power generation for the same reasons we subsidize other forms of power generation. That is the implication.
          • ... the same reasons we subsidize other forms of power generation.

            The reason is to channel money to politically connected special interests. It is stupid for that to be tolerated in a democracy, but the beneficiaries are concentrated, while the victims are diffuse, so it happens. Voters can often be conned into believing that these subsidies are in their own interests (hey, cheaper power!) without realizing that the taxes they pay to finance the subsidies far exceed the savings on their utility bills.

    • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:57AM (#46638623)
      Well, that is how they stay competitive with all the other subsidized industries.
      • by Medievalist (16032) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:45AM (#46639793)

        Well, that is how they stay competitive with all the other subsidized industries.

        In theory, the government subsidies are intended to further social goals that the free market cannot adequately address without regulation.

        In practice, the government subsidies are treats that the political powers (such as congressmen) hand out to economic powers (such as favored contributors).

        Since our economic powers have evolved into multinational corporations that actively oppose our social goals and purposely subvert our cultural values, this means that the government subsidies are quite often doing the exact opposite of what they are nominally intended to do.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      Then what about massive subsidies for coal and oil industries?

      Let me know when every single power plant, every car is required to collect its waste and deposit it for storage. Only then you can call it equal.

      • Well, let me know when automobile waste has a half-life equivalent to that of nuclear waste, then.

        It's a false equivalency. Yes, coal and oil subsidies are bad, but that doesn't mean the Bush/Cheney nuclear subsidies aren't substantially worse.

        Nuclear was on the way out until Cheney stepped in and threw regulated capitalism out the window [wikipedia.org] in favor of Soviet-style centralized economic decisionmaking.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This issue demonstrates that arguments about the low lifetime cost and impacts of nuclear power tend to externalize significant costs. Decommissioning can be added to waste handling/storage and subsidized insurance.

    • by bobbied (2522392) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:24AM (#46638919)

      This issue demonstrates that arguments about the low lifetime cost and impacts of nuclear power tend to externalize significant costs. Decommissioning can be added to waste handling/storage and subsidized insurance.

      Partly true, but the real problem is that though out the lifetime of this plant, the expected costs for decommissioning have gone though the roof by a mass of changing rules, laws and policies which have conspired to not only raise the costs but shorten the useful lifespan of the plant. As such, this is not really the operator's fault, but the cold economic facts of changing political climate are really to blame. IMHO...

      • Not to mention being shut down earlier than planned due to a vitriolic political environment coupled with the price pressure of shale gas and excessive subsidization of renewables.

        For those that speak of nuclear subsidies...on a $ per KWh generated basis, nuclear subsidies are nowhere close to other energy technologies.
        • by mellon (7048) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:14AM (#46639423) Homepage

          Um. The plant was originally licensed to operate for 40 years. It is falling apart. Literally: a few years back one of the cooling towers collapsed. Buried pipes are leaking, and nobody knows where the pipes are or where the leaks are. Sources for backup power have dried up because the providers don't want to be held liable in the event of an accident. The idea of extending its operating permit for another 20 years was incredibly irresponsible. The State of Vermont refused to certify its continued operation, but the courts overrode the state.

          It is bloody unfortunate that the low cost of shale oil is what finally did the plant in, but closing it is the right move. The only decent alternative would be an extremely costly remodel, which would not likely be cheaper than closing it and building a new one with better technology. The alternative Entergy wanted was to keep running it, and damn the safety concerns, because they wouldn't have to pay if it failed catastrophically anyway.

          • What a waste – Vermont Yankee is in beautiful condition [atomicinsights.com]

            The NRC recently extended the operating license for 20 more years, so apparently any issues were minor or have been addressed. It sounds like your claims are significantly exaggerated, and that there is no safety concern.

            Most of Vermont's electricity came from that plant, and closing it is only going to result in burning more fossil fuels and increased prices.

            • by mellon (7048)

              Right, because the NRC is noted as a really strict regulator that never gives nuclear plants the pass on safety issues. Oh wait, no it's not.

              It's not accurate to say that most of Vermont's energy came from Vermont Yankee, although certainly quite a bit did. We import a lot of energy from Hydro Quebec, and we are adding renewables at a rapid pace. So yeah, Vermont Yankee going offline will change things, but we'll manage. Indeed, losing a source of subsidized power will create more opportunities for

      • by timeOday (582209)

        the real problem is that though out the lifetime of this plant, the expected costs for decommissioning have gone though the roof by a mass of changing rules, laws and policies which have conspired to not only raise the costs but shorten the useful lifespan of the plant.

        What you call the "real" problem is actually re-stating the GP's point - that is, during the lifetime of the plant, some of the externalizations mentioned by the GP have been internalized through the rules you mentioned. Is that unfair? P

        • by khallow (566160)
          You make the broad assumption that they were externalities in the first place. It's trivially easy to add costs to someone else's project which don't have any benefits to them. That happens a lot to nuclear power.
        • by bobbied (2522392)

          OK, but you understand that all the financial arrangements for the decommissioning of this plant where made starting nearly 50 years ago based on the assumptions of the day. Plus they managed to come up with 1/2 to 2/3 of what they need despite the regulatory changes and wholesale electricity. Finally, owner's of Vermont Yankee can afford to cough up the costs if they get amortized over a few years. They had a billion dollars in just profit in 2013. They won't like coming up with the money, but they can

      • by gweihir (88907)

        Oh, you mean they cannot just throw the highly poisonous nuclear waste into the sea anymore?

        • Oh, you mean they cannot just throw the highly poisonous nuclear waste into the sea anymore?

          To be fair, it IS still legal to have a man in blue and red underwear gather nuclear waste into a gigantic net, fly it into space, and hurtle it into the Sun.

          It's not a method that is popular with the public nor critically acclaimed, but it is still legal.

    • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @04:37PM (#46642807)
      The Vermont Yankee plant [wikipedia.org] has been in operation since 1972, and generates about 4700 GWh each year. So over its lifetime it has probably generated about 190,000 GWh of electricity. $1 billion in decommissioning costs works out to about 0.5 cents per kWh (vs an industrial/commercial/residential cost of about 10/14/16 cents per kWh in Vermont). It does not substantially change the lifetime cost of the electricity generated.

      All the states I know of require nuclear plant operators to collect these decommissioning costs in a fund. That is, part of their revenue from electricity sales must be placed into a trust fund specifically for decommissioning the plant in the future. That the Yankee plant has insufficient funds despite 41 years of operation suggests accounting fraud, regulatory incompetence, or inflated decommissioning costs more than it does non-viability of nuclear power. The San Onofre nuclear plant operated a similar amount of time, had about 3.6x the generating capacity when it was shut down, and was also shut down prematurely. It has a $2.7 billion decommissioning fund which is expected to exceed the costs, so they are planning to refund the excess to customers.
  • by Pop69 (700500) <billy@nOspam.benarty.co.uk> on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:45AM (#46638533) Homepage
    Then you pay the costs associated with them.

    If they've failed to properly provide for shutdown and decomissioning costs then it's their problem, they should be forced to pay them rather than pleading poverty and being allowed to walk away from their responsibilities
    • by peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:52AM (#46638581)

      Except in this case the plant was approved for twenty additional years of operation in 2011 and is now being shut down.

      Therefore, contrary to your assertion, they were properly planning for the costs but that planning did not encompass irrational public opinion shutting down the plant ahead of schedule.

      The people therefore who demanded it be shut down will also be the people who pay the extra costs associated with shutting it down.

      • by n1ywb (555767) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:55AM (#46638605) Homepage Journal
        Entergy is shutting it down because it's unprofitable. It's purely by choice. The state's efforts to shut it down were thrown out in court.
        • by bobbied (2522392)

          But the legal effort to resist the state's efforts cost the utility money as did the public relation campaign.

          The real reason here is that electricity rates have dropped do to Natural Gas production and operating/decommissioning costs have risen since the plant was commissioned due to changing regulations. All this as conspired to give us the problem we now have and like it or not, pretty much everybody will be paying for this in some way.

          • by mdsolar (1045926)
            Vermont Yankee could not outbid Seabrook and HydroQuebec, in fact. Natural gas is playing a role though. http://vtdigger.org/2013/08/28... [vtdigger.org]
          • by n1ywb (555767)

            But the legal effort to resist the state's efforts cost the utility money as did the public relation campaign.

            The lawsuit cost them a trifle and they won an important precident for their industry. And the PR campain went on for decades and achieved jack squat. Entergy made it clear they couldn't care less about it. These are not the reasons they closed.

            The real reason here is that electricity rates have dropped do to Natural Gas production and operating/decommissioning costs have risen since the plant was commissioned due to changing regulations. All this as conspired to give us the problem we now have and like it or not, pretty much everybody will be paying for this in some way.

            Like I said. The real reason it closed is economics. Nothing else really mattered. If they thought the plant would turn a profit they would surely continue to operate it.

        • It turns out that natural gas and renewable energy are making a lot of nuclear plants uneconomic. http://will.illinois.edu/nfs/R... [illinois.edu] This situation is bound to accelerate as renewable energy gets even cheaper as projected. (see appendix B) http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10o... [nrel.gov] So, it is time to fully fund decommissioning before that happens over the next seven to twelve years.
          • It turns out that natural gas and renewable energy are making a lot of nuclear plants uneconomic.

            Not really. Nuclear and renewable cover different portions of the demand curve. Nuclear is good for baseline power-- 24 hours a day. Renewable (other than hydro) tends to be a variable power source. Solar, in particular, is a good source for daytime peaking power, particularly in summer. Valuable-- but a different portion of the demand curve

            Natural gas is indeed changing the structure of the electrical power market. One significant reason it's changing it is because gas turbines can vary output rapidl

            • by mdsolar (1045926)
              Nuclear power plants are shutting down for economic reasons. Analysis (linked above) shows that it is the economics of natural gas and renewables that is doing this. So far, wind has played a big role, forcing zero pricing at night. A number of Midwestern nuclear plants may close this year. http://articles.chicagotribune... [chicagotribune.com] Obviously, if low cost gas can backstop supply of even cheaper wind, the concept of baseline power is useless. And it only made sense if nuclear could be the lowest cost supplier,
          • by khallow (566160)
            Eh, looking at the most pessimistic EIA cost columns in that list, I don't see the cost benefit increasing fast enough to justify your claim. We'll have to see how it works out. I would like it if the cost decline is more aggressive than forecast.

            Well, at least the cost will be better for bargain hunters. They already can put together small economical systems with decent ROI.
            • by mdsolar (1045926)
              I think learning curve models are the most realistic in this situation because there are still so many new materials to try. It is worth noting too that the EIA model is already well off the real world data which has seen much stronger cost reductions. So, if you like the EIA curve, you have to reset it to today's prices, which probably covers your objection.
              • by khallow (566160)
                I should have taken a closer look at that time axis. I hope you're right about the long term!
          • by rahvin112 (446269)

            Utility scale solar and wind is almost as cheap as coal on a per kw basis and prices continue to fall. With all the cheap gas for the night time energy use (and how ridiculously cheap NG generators are) it's no wonder utilities are running away from nuclear.

        • Exactly (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:24AM (#46639539)

          Nothing the State of Vermont did caused the plant to be shut down. It was entirely Entergy's own stupidity on multiple levels. First they decided to run as a 'Merchant' plant, refusing to sign a contract to provide VT with power (ironic as it was us who bore the burden of the threat of some disaster, etc). They could have locked in a profitable rate but they were stupid and greedy and screwed themselves. Secondly they were INCOMPETENT, or at least in many instances managed to LOOK incompetent. Parts of the cooling tower fell down, they lied to the regulators about tritium leak issues, etc. Thirdly they failed to do basic good cost accounting, for instance not planning for the replacement of a condenser who's rebuilding was MUCH MUCH more expensive than they 'guessed' it would be.

          As for the decommissioning cost thing, this is not some new thing or a bolt out of the blue. The original operators sold the plant to Entergy to get out of these liabilities and Entergy never properly funded the fund. It was a routine matter of discussion in VT TEN YEARS AGO that this day would come. What they did back then was come up with a plan to 'invest' the fund in something-or-other and then decommission in 60 years using the projected proceeds (and then of course get hammered in 2008, like they cared). After that they tried to spin the plant off so they too could escape from the burden of dealing with the twin messes of decommissioning and waste disposal.

          Overall Entergy has been rather dishonest and conniving, not to mention a bit less than totally competent at some level. Mark my words, the state will end up getting boned. Everyone will be paying for decades, yet magically "Nuclear power is cheap!" continues to be the mantra. All I can do is roll my eyes.

        • And the economics of your energy supply are heavily affected by subsidies and regulatory costs, both of which are directly influenced by public opinion.

          Some people look at economics as a science, but it seems as if the economics of anything related to energy are more of a popularity contest.

      • by Pop69 (700500)
        From TFA

        "Entergy announced last August that it intended to shut down the reactor late this year for economic reasons."

        Try to keep up at the back there please ?
      • by sunking2 (521698)
        Perhaps is said company wasn't running an operation that leaked tritium into the ground water on site the public may not have turned against them.
        • We need to start having "radiation leaks" in terms of units that people can understand, like "bananas."

          Would you really care if you were instead told that it was leaking tritium equivalent of "3 bananas per day" into the ground water?

          Radiation is a part of life on Earth.

          • by Minwee (522556)

            Or perhaps you could express the amount of radiation leaked by a nuclear plant by comparing it to the normal operation of a coal power plant.

            On average, a nuclear plant leaks about 10 milli-coal-plants [ornl.gov] worth of radioactive material. Which is why you see the coal industry being hit with billions of dollars in cleanup costs every time they dump radioactive uranium and thorium in the form of coal ash [scientificamerican.com].

            Oh, wait. You don't, really. Because coal power plants aren't regulated the same way nuclear plants are th

            • by gtall (79522)

              That and when the coal industries get in bed with local government, then you get the coal ash slurry dumps like what happened in North Carolina. And those coal slurry accidents are not all that rare. And as usual, the locals take it in the neck when it happens.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <(ten.3dlrow) (ta) (ojom)> on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#46641049) Homepage

            Bananas are not good units to use because the potassium they contain is not very dangerous to humans. The body maintains a fairly constant level no matter how many you eat, passing the excess out.

            Compare that to what is being released from, say, Fukushima. It bio-accumulates and ends up sitting inside your organs for decades, slowly irradiating them. Although the radiation level is low it is also constant, which is why your risk of getting cancer goes up.

            People who use the banana equivalent dose don't seem to understand this rather basic and crucial fact. It's also why you don't hear experts on the subject using it.

        • by mellon (7048)

          The tritium leaks aren't likely a problem at all, except that they indicate that the infrastructure is decaying. It's unfortunate that people go "oh noes! tritium" when really they should be going "oh noes! plant is falling apart!"

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        If it's not one of the newer designs, like thorium, I would also like it shutdown. All nuclear power plants should be using modern negative-feedback self-limiting designs that consume most of their fuel, resulting in relatively short lived radioactive waste.
        • All nuclear power plants should be using modern negative-feedback self-limiting designs that consume most of their fuel, resulting in relatively short lived radioactive waste.

          Can you please explain how this helps the interests of the fossil fuel corporations? I fail to see the relevance to this conversation when we're talking about government regulators.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Therefore, contrary to your assertion, they were properly planning for the costs but that planning did not encompass irrational public opinion shutting down the plant ahead of schedule.

        Uhh... no.
        Their plan is to idle the plant and let the decommissioning fund appreciate.

        What it really sounds like is the State of Vermont & the NRC made some poor assumptions about decommissioning costs and didn't require the operator to set aside enough money over the last 42 years.
        Irrational public opinion has nothing to do with this, even if Entergy wasn't shutting the plant down because of profitability concerns.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          What it really sounds like is the State of Vermont & the NRC made some poor assumptions about decommissioning costs and didn't require the operator to set aside enough money over the last 42 years.
          Irrational public opinion has nothing to do with this, even if Entergy wasn't shutting the plant down because of profitability concerns.

          No, it's not the NRC or Vermont's fault. The plant was life-extended another 20 years. Entergy however sees it as uneconomic, so they applied to Vermont and the NRC to approve

        • by Minwee (522556)

          Suppose that you just started University. Tuition and expenses run about $20,000 a year and you have $75,000 in a trust fund to pay for it all, so you should be able to make it through your four year program without having to go into debt. Yay!

          After your first year you have around $57,000 left but your on-campus housing is shut down without warning. This raises your costs for the next year to $25,000 because you have to move into a more expensive place, but you can manage that.

          By the start of the third

    • If they've failed to properly provide for shutdown and decomissioning costs then it's their problem, they should be forced to pay

      Who are "they"? The decommissioning charge tacked onto utility bills is set by the public utility commission, which is a government entity. So if the people responsible are held accountable, then "they" are the taxpayers of Vermont who voted in the past to push costs off into the future ... which has now arrived.

      • by mellon (7048)

        Incorrect. VY sells power to utilities. They are supposed to factor the cost of decommissioning into the cost of the power. The utilities then charge what they have to to pay for the power they buy. The PUC just makes sure that they get a fair return, but no more, based on actual costs.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      Yes, you would think that was the case. Problem is, these "people" are corporations and the humans behind the corporations rotate in and out of seats regularly. So it's just not as simple as all that is it?

      To that end, one thing that is most definitely true: When commissioning a nuclear plant, the cost of decommissioning should be paid for in advance or at the very least, paid for over the first years of its operation to an account set aside specifically for decommissioning. (I'm not a brilliant person s

      • by erroneus (253617)

        (P.S. Yes, I know they already do that. I guess what I'm rhetorically getting at is that either someone has been raiding that honey pot or they didn't estimate decom costs well enough... you know, accounting for the devaluation of the US dollar and all that?)

        • you know, accounting for the devaluation of the US dollar and all that?)

          Alas, Fed policy changes with the winds, so anticpating the devaluation of the dollar is really hard to do.

          Face it, ten years ago, would anyone have been believed if they'd said that the Fed would start printing a trillion dollars a year in (what was then) the near future?

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Not if you do nuclear power. Nuclear power is associated with "might" and gives you the bomb as side-product. Without that, it would never have made it past any halfway competent economic modeling.

  • by jsepeta (412566) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:51AM (#46638571) Homepage

    the government (us citizens) always foot the bill for building and decommissioning nuclear plants. why should the actual businesses have to pay their own expenses?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You regulate the electricity costs, so your fingerprints are all over it already, "The People".

      • by plopez (54068)

        What's needed is a full accounting and transparency. Then and only then will people be able to make good decisions. And the private sector is guilty of cooking books and "selling" things as well, unless fear of regulators or lawsuits causes them to come clean. And that means personal responsibility from the managers who make the decisions.

        • by bobbied (2522392)

          You do realize that the "managers who make the decisions" are likely all retired and many are dead by now right? This plant was commissioned in 1972, 44 years ago which means that the decision to build was made over 50 years ago now. If the average age of this management team was 40 years old, that puts the average age now at 90 years, which means a good portion of that group are likely dead. I don't know how you suggest we "hold them responsible" for this.

          What needs to happen is what will likely happen

    • There is something fairly wrong with this article, as it's generally believed that the costs of decommissioning a nuclear power plant are on the order of 300-400 million. 600 million should be adequate.

    • To be fair, most successful businesses of all types find ways of getting the citizens to foot the bills. I mean, businesses can't really give back 100% of what they get from a community and still be profitable, that would probably violate the laws of thermodynamics. Furthermore, a business which leeches off the community is going to have a huge advantage over a competitor that doesn't.
  • wait, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I don't think a single aspect of the summary was accurate. They didn't need approval from Vermont to shutdown, they needed approval to run the plant until the end of the year. And of course they don't have enough money to decommission the plant today - they only made the decision to close the plant about a year ago. The plant needs to continue saving up money in their fund until they have enough to decommission the plant - no surprises there. So what is the point of this story?

    • by mdsolar (1045926)
      This is permission to close down, part of a deal on economic development funds. http://www.masslive.com/news/i... [masslive.com]
    • So what is the point of this story?

      One of Slashdot's most beloved features - the hourly Two Minute Hate.

    • The plant was originally licensed for 20 years and had an expected design lifetime of 40 years, that is 2012. The fund was set up in 1972 and should have been managed such that it would be adequate in 2012 to shut the plant down. Thus the point is quite valid since said funds clearly are short by 40% or so. Entergy tried to extend the lifetime of the plant by another 20 years (and succeeded, they can legal go ahead and run it until 2032 and I believe even do so at a higher power output). They didn't need 'a

  • Looks like all the customers will be paying more for their power.

  • by wayne_t (668999) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:09AM (#46638769)
    The Slashdot quote at the bottom of the page when I scrolled down was:

    "Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

    That may be the most relevant one I've ever seen.

  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:49AM (#46639169)
    It's still the Sun, providing reliable, local service for over 4 billion years.
    • Agreed. It's a shame we can't harness it properly. (note: it takes almost as much energy - 95% as fossil fuel - to produce a working solar collection system as that system will provide over its entire life)

      • Energy payback times are about 5% of the system lifetimes for solar. http://cleantechnica.com/2013/... [cleantechnica.com] That comes to an energy returned on energy invested of about 20, not counting the effect of recycling which can bring that up over 80 over a century or so. Nothing, aside from early shallow oil deposits, now long since depleted, is as good as solar PV on this score.
      • Agreed. It's a shame we can't harness it properly. (note: it takes almost as much energy - 95% as fossil fuel - to produce a working solar collection system as that system will provide over its entire life)

        This is uttermost nonsense.

      • Fun fact : what you wrote is utter bullshit.
        Another fun fact : you need to invest more energy in order to get 1kWh worth of oil than 1kWh of solar electricity.

  • Seriously, it is far better to use the 600 million to get new mPower reactors, and continue this with CHEAPER energy. In addition, ideally, some money from these plants will be used to get thorium reactors going that can burn up the old nuke waste.
    Regardless, while having new cheap reactors running on-site, you can then slowly dismantle the old reactors, while using the rest of the equipment.
    • Gosh yes, and we should just leave this nuclear plant to rust in the middle of a flood plain, you know full of all kinds of fuel. You realize this is a GE MK1, the same as the reactors at Fukushima, with all the same design flaws, the nice spent fuel pool on the top floor, etc. Sorry, cleanup isn't an OPTION, its a necessity.

  • This is really strange. It takes a billion to cleanup a not-exploded nuclear plant? Just ship out the radioactive stuff, erase the computers, destroy the classified tech, and it's a medium sized corporate demolition job. That's a millions tops. I don't see where the billion parts comes in.

    And then there's why the heck are they shutting it down early? If it's safety reasons, just fix the safety issues. I bet that doesn't cost a billion.
  • by bobbied (2522392) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:26AM (#46639563)

    The owner of Vermont Yankee is Entergy Corp. and they are HUGE.

    Looking at their most recent annual report filed in February of 2014. This company made about a billion dollars in profit last year. They might not like having to pony up another 500-600 Million dollars over the next 5 years, but it's not like they couldn't. It would barely be a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things for them. It's obvious they will easily pay for this and the government won't have to take over.

    Tell me again why this is news?

  • why they don't just sell their spent fuel? It shouldn't be difficult to find buyers in, say, the Middle East.

  • Use the allocated funds to remove the radioactive components.

    Then simply dial 1-800-GOT-JUNK and they'll take care of the rest.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Nah, the last time I used CASH-4-URAnium they took five billion years and I only got half the quoted value for my stuff.

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