Windham County, Vermont, is home to Vermont Yankee. A recent Task Force from that area issued a report on what will happen (and what should be done) when Vermont Yankee closes.
The Task Force was formed by the Southeast Vermont Economic Development Strategy Planning Group. Task force members included businessmen, anti-nuclear activists, and people who serve on various commissions. I have not been able to find a website for the parent organization. (With a name that long, they should have no trouble getting a unique URL.) If anyone can find a web site for them, please let me know.
According to an article in The Commons, "the task force invited representatives from VY and the town of Vernon, where the plant is located, to participate. Both politely declined."
The town of Vernon refused to participate in this task force, but the Safe and Green campaign did participate. Very interesting. This could be a comment on how this supposedly bi-partisan task force was perceived, or it could be chance.
The Task Force Results
A short Vermont Tiger story ("Hard Times") about the task force gave me the idea for the illustration. You can read the task force report here.
Basically, the Task Force report agreed with earlier posts in this blog:
- approximately 1000 jobs would be lost in the region and millions of dollars of tax revenues will be lost.
The report also predicts:
- a decline of 5 to 15% in local real estate prices. I personally think this is optimistic, and the decline will be more like 10-20%
- a decline in quality health care. When hundreds of families with high-quality health insurance leave a small area, you can expect doctors to leave also.
- a decline in quality of life, from the loss of educated and active people, many of whom are community-minded and spend time volunteering.
All those lousy effects are very predictable. However, the Task Force wasn't just supposed to define the problem, they were supposed to begin to cure it. In other words, they were to suggest "mitigation plans" and they did. Here are a few of the plans:
- Vermont should declare the area a Special Economic Zone and give it money from the state general fund
- The area should apply for state resources for a comprehensive mitigation plan
- (Someone should) expand healthcare services and assistance services
- The area should prepare for the proposed location of a Vermont Technical College location in Brattleboro
- Locals should advocate for immediate decommissioning of VY following closure, rather than long-term SafeStor, so that there is mitigation in the form of decommissioning jobs and economic impact over a period of up to 10 years. (This won't work. As I wrote in an earlier post, Decommissioning: Facts Versus Fancy, decommissioning doesn't bring steady jobs.)
- There should be regional marketing efforts designed to attract young retirees and career changers to the area.
Well, now we know the plan.
Howard Shaffer Describes the Public Service Board Meeting
Howard Shaffer has an excellent blog post at the ANS Nuclear Cafe:Back to the Vermont Public Service Board: Square One or Before! With all due respect to the various newspaper reporters, Shaffer does a better job of describing the three major issues in front of the Public Service Board. These issues are: when does the certificate run out, the effect of the federal court ruling on the Public Service Board, and spent fuel storage. Worth reading!
On March 17 (this Saturday) we will be holding a rally at Vermont Yankee at 5 p.m. (shift change). I will blog about this tomorrow, and probably leave that blog in place through Saturday. If you live in the area and support the plant, I hope you can come! My earlier post about the rally is here.
Illustration from Dickens novel Hard Times. The pie illustration seemed to be various places on the web.