Today, thanks to decades of citizen organizing and protest; the wise backing of the elected officials of the State of Vermont; the attempted deception of Vermont Yankee owners, Entergy, whose representatives even lied under oath; and the hopeless economics of nuclear power, the Vermont Yankee reactor has shut down permanently.
The lights will not go out. In fact, the New England electric grid operator knew two years ago that permanently closing Vermont Yankee would not affect regional grid stability.
In a statement today, Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin, said: “Today, thanks to investments in renewable energy such as solar, Vermont's energy future is on a different, more sustainable path that is creating jobs, reducing energy costs for Vermonters and slowing climate change.” Shumlin was a strong advocate for the closure of the reactor once its license expired.
In what was viewed at the time as a blatant example of regulatory capture, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Vermont Yankee a 20-year license extension just ten days after the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Vermont Yankee was one of 23 GE Mark I boiling water reactors, along with eight Mark II units, in the U.S., the same flawed design as the Fukushima reactors. Watch Shut Vermont Yankee! and The Activists, two videos made by Beyond Nuclear during the campaign to close the plant. For more, read Harvey Wasserman's analysis.
Thom Hartmann hosted Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter (in studio in Washington, D.C.) and Kevin Kamps (live via Skype from Hancock, Vermont) on The Big Picture to discuss the significance of Vermont Yankee's closure in a segment entitled "This Is Why It's Time to Abandon Nuclear Power."
More media coverage: AP; a second AP article; the Boston Globe; the Brattleboro Reformer; the Keene Sentinel; MyChamplaignValley.com; the National Geographic; New England Public Radio; Newsweek; PowerMagazine; VPR (Vermont NPR's Jane Lindholm interviews Entergy's Mike Twomey, VT PSC Commissioner Chris Rechhia, and Chris Campagni from the Windham Regional Commission, on Dec. 17th); VPR #2 ("VY: A Look Back at its Start"); WAMC Northeast Public Radio; WCAX t.v.; WSJ; WWLP.
Dr. Mark Cooper of Vermont Law School's Institute for Energy and the Environment published a column in Forbes.