Employee-owned Vermont Yankee funds decommissioning and river stewardship

Governor Peter Shumlin
Attorney General William Sorrell
Vermont House of Representatives
Vermont Public Service Board
Vermont Senate
Vermont news media

A letter to the editor (173 words), open letter, press release and op-ed piece (317 words):

There is an alternative to closing Vermont Yankee: an employee-owned nuclear-power plant funding timely “green field” decommissioning from profits of continued operation until 2032 while demonstrating exemplary stewardship of the Connecticut River.

Finding no other buyer, Entergy may sell Yankee cheaply to get this burden off its books and its shareholders off the hook.

Employees, who say that Yankee was well run before Entergy bought it, could gladly operate it safely and efficiently while contributing the profits to pay up the decommissioning trust fund instead of sending money to Entergy in New Orleans.

When the federally extended operating license expires 21 years from now, demolition and cleanup can begin immediately and be completed as soon as possible. Vermonters will have planned, designed, permitted, built and perfected alternatives to Yankee.

We also can demonstrate environmental innovations protecting the Connecticut River while pumping cooling river water through Yankee. Cool inflow can first circulate through a hatchery and nursery for native aquatic life. Warm outflow can first circulate through greenhouses growing flowers, fruits and vegetables year-round.

Continuing an open letter, press release and op-ed piece (144 additional words):

Entergy can instead operate Yankee while the courts decide the constitutional questions. Can the State of Vermont constitutionally prevent continued operation of a specific business duly licensed by the federal government and engaging in interstate commerce? Can the Vermont Legislature, despite constitutional separation of legislative and executive powers, authorize (or not) the Vermont Public Service Board to issue a certificate of public good to a specific business?

Closing Yankee, Vermont will lose reliable electricity, good jobs and millions in taxes and fees. We will keep a derelict nuclear plant and its radioactive waste and pollution that must be secured and safeguarded until the decommissioning fund grows to pay for demolition and cleanup decades from now. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will wonder why we swapped cheap electricity for exempting Entergy from contributing to the decommissioning fund.

If anyone “wins” by closure, what will Vermonters win?

Howard Fairman
Vernon, Vermont, USA


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Vermont Uncommon Taters

A deeply rooted native Vermonter, I ask what was unasked, say what was unsaid and show what was unseen about Vermont’s present and future for you to explore, consider and draw your own conclusions.