Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Post on Federal Hearing at ANS Nuclear Cafe (and more)

Graph from economic report
March 2010
State Turns Economic Facts Upside Down

Yesterday, ANS Nuclear Cafe published my blog post: In Federal Appeals Court, Vermont Presents Backwards Economic Arguments. In this post I go through the Appeals Court hearing, and especially Vermont's claims of why they say they want to shut down Vermont Yankee. With quotes and examples, I show that Vermont's arguments are..well...bogus.

Yes, "bogus" is the word I used in the post, and I think it's the right word.  Though I am fond of the word meretricious, which Google defines as: "Apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity: "meretricious souvenirs for the tourist trade".

Let's look at these meretricious arguments.

First Vermont claimed they were interested in economics, not safety, when the Senate took their famous vote.  I point out that they voted in February. They had ordered an economic report on Vermont Yankee, but it was due to be issued a few weeks after their vote.  They voted anyway, not willing to wait for their own economic report on Vermont Yankee, which was issued in March.  Pretty hard to claim the vote was all about economics, under these circumstances!

Second, I quote their lawyer, who basically says that the state wants Vermont Yankee shut down because the paid-off plant makes it hard for new plants to compete.  The state has an interest in keeping electricity prices high?  That's a new one.

Third, in a last-minute salvo, the state lawyer said the revenue sharing agreement with Vermont Yankee is worth $587 million dollars (to Vermont utilities), and that agreement ties the utilities to Vermont Yankee, and that's a bad thing.  Again, a amazing statement.  True. Entergy may have to pay half a billion dollars to Vermont utilities, allowing them to upgrade infrastructure and/or lower rates to their customers.  How is that any evidence that the state should shut the plant down?

I end my ANS post with a quote from Cheryl Hanna of Vermont Law School   Hanna concludes that if the state loses the case (and she thinks it probably will), it is not going to be because the state was "out-lawyered." It will be because the facts and the law are mostly on the side of Entergy.

Please read my post about the hearing. I worked quite hard on it. I am pleased that it was chosen as Best of the Blogs at Nuclear Townhall yesterday.

Guy Page's Guest Post is Now at Energy Collective

Monday, I posted a guest post by Guy Page about the importance of the nuclear plants to the economy of New England.  He based his post on a New England Council report on energy and economics.  I am proud to say that his post has been picked up by The Energy Collective, a prestigious and widely-read blog about energy issues.  It's getting some good comments there, too. I am happy to see an important post on an important topic get more readership!  Energy Policy is Key to Vermont's Future.

Fun with Fuel Pools

XKCD is a scientist, cartoonist, and essayist.  On Tuesdays, he has a feature called "What  If?  Answering your hypothetical questions with physics, every Tuesday"  Yesterday he addressed the question: "What if I took a swim in a typical spent fuel pool?"   Great fun with beach balls!

For the geeky, I also recommend his comics. I love the one about energy density of uranium versus other fuels: Log scales are for quitters who can't find enough paper to make their point properly

1 comment:

Tom Clegg said...

Meredith, Vermont's argument reminds me of an old Abbot and Costell routine or 7 x 13 = 28. I know you are to young to know this routine but if you look it up on u tube you will see it is the same math that Vermont is using.