Tuesday, January 20, 2015

At American Nuclear Society Blog: Second Part of Analysis on Vermont Yankee Closing

It's the politics?

In yesterday's post at the American Nuclear Cafe blog, Les Corrice and I analyzed Vermont Yankee's closing. We both concluded that  the statement that "it was uneconomic to operate the plant" was kind of a smokescreen. The "economics statement" was a way to avoid admitting the real issue: the plant closed mostly due to political opposition. That was the first post in the series at ANS Nuclear Cafe: you might call it "the politics post."

I also encourage you to read the first comment on the post, clearly written by someone who worked at the plant.  The comment includes more detail on exactly the type of political pressures the plant was facing.  Once you have read the comment, join the conversation.

It's the economics, maybe? Or the lack of advocacy?

Today, ANS posted  the second part of that three-part series on Vermont Yankee's closing.

In this post, three bloggers comment on the closing. Two of the bloggers describe the economics of the plant, and the third describes what real advocacy could mean.

  1. Rod Adams worked hard to convince buyers that the plant was worth saving, and he presents cogent economic arguments for keeping the plant running. Adams blogs at Atomic Insights, and most bloggers who read this blog have seen his posts and guest posts.   One of his recent posts is Prevention is Easier and Less Painful than Cure--Keep Vermont Yankee Open.  In today's post at ANS Nuclear Cafe, he gives a concise analysis of how Vermont Yankee could be an economic asset.
  2. Edward Kee is an energy economist, and the owner of the Nuclear Economics Consulting Group.  He blogs at Nuclear Economics where he recently posted Nuclear Lessons from Vermont Yankee Closure.  Today, at the American Nuclear Cafe blog, Kee writes that the lack of profitable power contracts was a major cause of Vermont Yankee's closing. He also notes that the grid markets do not financially favor nuclear plants, despite their reliability. 
  3. The third blogger, Robert Margolis, feels that the major problem was lack of advocacy.  We needed advocacy for Vermont Yankee, and while we had some, we didn't have enough.  As an example of "enough," Margolis cites Frederick Salvucci, a civil engineer who had personal reasons to advocate for the Big Dig in Boston...and he fought for it, and he won.  The Big Dig was built, however unlikely that might seem in retrospect.  Nuclear advocates are fighting for something better than the Big Dig, but we need some of Salvucci's fire.

I encourage you to read this second Vermont Yankee post at the American Nuclear Society blog, and comment on it.

1-93 Tunnel, part of the Big Dig

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