Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Entergy, Vermont Electric Co-Op, and Some Links

Entergy just announced the completion of a deal to sell Vermont Yankee power to Vermont Electric Co-Op. The deal is for power available after 2012, contingent on Vermont Yankee still running after 2012. The opening cost for the power is 4.9 cents kWh, not much more than the 4.5 cents Entergy is currently receiving in its existing contracts, and far less that the touted 5.8 cents of the HydroQuebec deal with other Vermont utilities. Both the Entergy deal and the HydroQuebec deal quote only the going-in rate, and move with the market in a mysterious way.

Entergy also announced that it did not get an offer on Vermont Yankee. I admit I was wrong. I thought Entergy would get an offer. My reasoning was right in some ways: other utilities see the value of the plant. It is not an old rust-bucket. As the plant spokesman, Larry Smith, stated in the press release: Although we received interest from a number of companies, the conclusion of the sale process, without a sale, was driven primarily by the uncertain political environment in Vermont," Smith said. "The plant's strong operating performance was attractive to potential buyers; the political uncertainty was not." However, my prediction that another company would make a contingent offer turned out to be wrong.

Meanwhile, as I was following the twitter stream, journalist Shay Totten tweeted that the CEO of Vermont Electric Co-operative found the Entergy press release misleading and said that the CEO, Dave Hallquist, plans to "do a lot of interviews tonight."

More information to come on this, no doubt.

Finally, I would like to recommend a few links from the past day or so.


Author said...

Actually Iitate has not been evacuated. The IAEA thinks that it should be, based on the activity measurements, but the Japanese government hasn't taken action. Nevertheless, about half of the town's residents have left due to the panic, despite the lack of either mandatory or recommended evacuation:

The TEPCO site keeps a more detailed list of worker injuries.

Joffan said...

Based on this representation
(which accords with the maps at uvdiv's blog), any evacuation zone should be revised to encompass no more than the land 10km from a line between the plant and Iitate. Some extra territory for sure but more removed from the danger list.

If the government did that, they would improve my respect for them. If they just enlarge the zone, my opinion of them will go down.

Anonymous said...

So, do you think any of the anti-VY and political types will apologize for forced the higher-cost Quebec Hydro deal on the ratepayers of Vermont? Something makes me think, I don't think so...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, if you're interested in seeing the high cost of power take a look at Japan. I think right now they have the most expensive power in the world. If we continue to let the incompetent (or lying) people at VY to operate their plant we could very well find ourselves with a very expensive mess on our hands.

Meredith Angwin said...

Anonymous 2, you have your facts wrong. Please look at this authoritative chart of electricity prices.

For 2008. the U S price per kWh is 0.113, United Kingdom is 0.231, Japan is 0.206, France is 0.169, and Italy is .305. Lots of other comparisons also in the chart.

You also have your facts wrong about VY. The people there are not incompetent and not liars.

Anonymous 1. They will never apologize. You know it and I know it.

Anonymous said...

Uh, I meant the fact that at this moment the costs inflicted upon Japan by nuclear power are going to be mind-blowing. There will be parts of this country that will not be inhabital for generations. Lord knows how many will be dying of cancer over the coming years. What price do you put on their lives from this failed technology?

Jay Thayer and David McElwey both lied under oath. That's why they no longer work for VY, except for McElwey who snuck back in the back door after the dust settled. Both men had numerous opportunities to correct the record and did not. Don't use the lame defense that their lawyer found them innocent. Why do you think Entergy paid them $2mil? To find them guilty? They lied. They know it. I know it. And you need to come to terms with it.

Anonymous said...

You want to talk about liars, I'd say count every anti-VY demagogue who said that VY would never be competitive, it was an "old rust bucket", falling apart, so why even think they could supply a product with any measure of cost competitiveness. Then, lo and behold, they beat the much-touted Quebec Hydro deal by a significant margin, yet nary a word of acknowledgement of error, much less admission of lying and demagoging, from those who parroted the lie. Those are the truly despicable liars in this sad tale.

That's the trouble with the anti-nukes, they never have to admit to being wrong, never have to say they are sorry, are never held to account for their egregious errors and lies, never made to take responsibility for misleading and lying to people. Well, I'm here to say, not no more, brother. Every time you spout off some lie or misstatement, I'm going to call you on it. The days of sliding by on the laziness and incompetence and agenda-driven prejudice of the mainstream media are over.

Meredith Angwin said...


"Parts of Japan will be uninhabitable for generations" is not the case. Twenty five years after Chernobyl, a much worse accident in terms of types of radioactivity released and amount released, people have moved back into all but a fairly small area right around the plant. And people came to work at the sister plants to Chernobyl until the last one was closed in 2000. These plants were on the same site as the famous Chernobyl reactor. Not exactly the "enter here and die" scenario so beloved by those against nuclear power.

Please read this recent report on health effects of Chernobyl.

As far as lying. The lawyer report (which you don't trust), the Public Oversight Panel (which you MAY trust) and the NRC (whom you don't trust) said that the VY people had "no intention to mislead" when they answered the questions. In other words, everyone who actually investigated the matter agreed that they were not lying. Perhaps you should come to terms with that.

Anonymous said...

From one anonymous to another, if I'm not mistaken I think the new offer from VY was to a coop and it was for only 10 megawatts. When you're selling 650mgw at an higher price to others you can probably afford to just about give away 10mgw. Most likely they made this offer in an attempt to get out a good news story, which they failed miserably at, again. The story was that they can't sell their old, dangerous plant. According to them it's because of the political climate in Vermont; a climate that they created by lying to Vermonters about not having underground pipes that leaked. You can't blame the results of your own misdeeds on others; no matter how hard you try.

It should be noted that the state's two largest utilities don't seem to have any desire to do business with VY. What's that telling you?

RE: Ms. Angwin's comments about moving back to Chernobyl. The game running around that area still cannot be eaten because it's too radioactive. People are welcome to live wherever they want, but most will not choose to live in a radioactive area; unless they aren't planning on having children and are old.

BP said...

Wouldn't it be wise to clarify or correct your incorrect and premature reporting regarding the Entergy VY and Vermont Electric co-op "agreement"?
Which at this point isn't an "agreement" at all according to the CEO of VEC.

Anonymous said...

Radioactive boars in Germany a legacy of Chernobyl
Radioactive boars: A quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union carried a cloud of radiation across Europe, these animals are radioactive enough that people are urged not to eat them.

Meredith Angwin said...

Anonymous and BP. How about reading the blog post before commenting? It links to the press release describing the deal. Also in the post, I note that the VEC CEO says the press release is misleading. I say that more information will follow. I don't see anything premature about any of this.

Anonymous, if you had followed the link to the press release, you would see the Co-op named, but not the number of MW sold. However, it says that they will provide power to 34,000 Vermonters with this deal (if it goes through). Right now, VY provides about 1/3 of Vermont's power, about 220 MW, or power to about 200,000 Vermonters (roughly speaking). Calculating in my head, I get a deal for about 35 MW. I don't get where you get this 10 MW number. As I said, read the posts before answering them. The links usually work, too. Sometimes you have to read the links.

As I noted before, three organizations looked into the "they lied" allegation, and all three said there was "no intention to mislead." Anonymous comments simply repeating, over and over again, that "they lied" reinforce people who already take it as an article of faith that "Entergy lies." Such assertions don't convince anyone who actually investigates the matter, as three groups did.

Meredith Angwin said...

About Chernobyl and radioactive boars and so forth. I recommend the very thoughtful book, Wormwood Forest, by Mary Mycio.
I also recommend this article about radioactive boars, showing the levels of radioactivity considered dangerous are set very conservatively.

I never said that nothing bad happened because of Chernobyl, by the way. I just said that the "uninhabitable for generations" is just not true.

Anonymous said...

If Thayer, McElwey and Dreyfus did not lie, then why were they fired?

They had numerous opportunities to correct the record. Your friend, Arnie Gunderson, repeatedly asked the question about underground pipes. Those being asked knew exactly what he was asking about yet intentionally misled him, and the PSB.

When you have an opportunity to fix a misstatement and opt not to, then it seems as though you intentionally mislead, which in my book is lying.

They were hoping that they could get through this process without having their pipes leak like 37 other similar plants are leaking around the nation. As usual, their luck ran out.

Meredith Angwin said...

Well, you seem to know more about their fate than I do. I believe they were all temporarily relieved of their duties for giving misleading answers. Did it occur to you that not having the right answers at your fingertips, if you are supposed to testify, could be a cause for being disciplined? It shows carelessness.

You won't read the reports which said there was no intention to mislead . Arnie Gundersen SIGNED one of those reports. POP report.

Your latest idea is that BECAUSE these people were put on leave, they were lying. In the world you seem to live in, employees are never put on leave for anything except lying. Sheesh.

First off, read the POP report your friend Gundersen signed. Second, were they fired? I don't know. I know they were put on leave during an investigation. I thought that since three investigations said they were careless but had not intended to lie, at least some of them still work for Entergy. I think. I am not tracking them.

in other words, they were cleared after the investigation. Which undoubtedly proves something nefarious (to you) but seems standard practice (to me). People are put on leave DURING the investigation, and then go back to their old jobs or are fired AFTER it.

Ask your friend Gundersen why he signed the POP report saying there were no deliberate lies. Did Gundersen do this because he is a liar and so he is willing to sign anything? That seems to be what YOU are implying.

BP said...

Please don't be so quickly snippy.
I did read the diary which is why I chose to comment.

My point is exactly that you do link to the disputed Entergy press release. It was disputed quickly four days ago and proven misleading. You note Shay Totten’s four day old tweet, without commenting one way or another on it’s truthfulness and promise: “More information to come on this, no doubt”
Is there more information, an update to go along with the incorrect press release you link to?

Meredith Angwin said...


Read the date on the post. March 30. Four days ago. The press release was disputed only in a tweet at the time I wrote the post, despite all my Google searching for more information.

Yes, more news came out in the next few days, and I do plan to blog about it. I am a blogger, however, not a paid reporter. Sometimes I don't get back to a subject for a few days.

My post was accurate at the time I posted it. Your accusation of "incorrect and premature reporting" was unwarranted, mean-spirited, and proved that you didn't read the date on the blog.

BP said...

I did read the date on your diary four days ago on the 30th when I first read it and have been checking back and still look forward to the additional information promised four days ago.

Meredith Angwin said...


I will be writing a blog on that topic. I think the two best news articles on the subject are this blog from Shay Totten

and this by Terri Hallenbeck

I do not blog every day. I try to blog about three to four times a week. I don't always blog that often.

BP said...

Thank you
I trust you would correct a scientific discrepancy in the same time-frame.

Meredith Angwin said...

I have no idea how quickly I would do this or do that. I just do what I can, depending on what else I need to do.

Thank you for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

Meredith, the investigation to which you refer was done by Entergy's lawyers; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius,. It's hard to see how a law firm with 1400 lawyers is going to get paid if they did an independent investigation.

There job is to protect their client; not look for the truth. So let's stop referring to this as an investigation.

Meredith Angwin said...

You didn't read the report summary, i gather. The law firm did an an investigation, including implicating an employee whose name had not been mentioned before their report came out.

You also ignore the POP investigation (perhaps you don't trust the panel) and the NRC investigation (perhaps you don't trust the NRC). You are merely asserting, over and over, that Entergy lied and all the investigations were mere cover-ups. You are entitled to your opinion. Even though it is incorrect. It is your opinion.

Nate said...

"New England’s electricity consumers and nuclear power plant owners have poured close to $1 billion into a federal waste fund for the past three decades, honoring their end of a 1982 bargain with the government to finance the permanent storage of thousands of tons of spent fuel from the region’s reactors.
---The payoff?
A cavernous empty $11 billion hole in a Nevada mountainside, a broken promise from the U.S.government to remove the radioactive waste and mounting bills that could still saddle New England with at least five mothballed plants and dozens of dry spent fuel casks, turning communities into mini-nuclear waste dumps for decades, if not forever."
If any pronuke supporter wishes to respond to this and defend Yankee Nuclear in the face of this I would love to hear it. Also I would love to hear how nuke energy is cheapen in the face of this-it simply adds debt in many forms on the future generations.