The Nuclear Retreat

We coined the term, "Nuclear Retreat" here at Beyond Nuclear to counter the nuclear industry's preposterous "nuclear renaissance" propaganda campaign. You've probably seen "Nuclear Retreat" picked up elsewhere and no wonder - the alleged nuclear revival so far looks more like a lot of running away. On this page we will keep tabs on every latest nuclear retreat as more and more proposed new nuclear programs are canceled.



Markey Statement on Closing of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station


Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Senator Ed Markey, 202-224-2742

Markey Statement on Closing of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station

WASHINGTON (August 27, 2013) -- Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) issued the following statement in response to the announcement that the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station will permanently close in 2014:

“Closing Vermont Yankee reflects the growing realization in New England and around the nation that it is time to move towards a safer, more affordable clean energy future of wind, solar, geothermal, along with well-regulated, domestic natural gas. While nuclear energy was once advertised as being too cheap to meter, it is increasingly clear that it is actually too expensive to matter.

“While the nuclear industry is blaming today’s closure on competitive electricity markets, they should be looking into the mirror with the rest of the energy industry. Had the Senate passed the Waxman-Markey bill in 2009 that would have put a price on carbon, nuclear power today would be better able to compete.”

The announcement today marks the planned closure of the fifth nuclear reactor in the past year:

--In October 2012, Dominion Resources announced the closure of the Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin, citing economic factors related to the price of affordable natural gas.

--In February 2013, Duke Energy announced that it would permanently close Florida’s Crystal River plant rather than pay for costly repairs.

--In June 2013, Southern California Edison announced that it would close the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station’s two reactors rather than pay for costly repairs that resulted from the licensee’s apparent effort to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

--Additionally, Exelon announced in 2010 that the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is expected to close permanently in 2019, ten years earlier than previously planned, in part to avoid the installation of costly cooling towers.

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Statement of Deb Katz, VCAN on Entergy’s Decision to Close Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

For Immediate Release – August 27, 2013

Contact Persons:

Deb Katz, Vermont Citizens Action Network – 413-339-5781

Chris Williams, Vermont Citizens Action Network - 802-767-9131

Amy Shollenberger – 802-793-1114

Statement of Deb Katz, VCAN on Entergy’s Decision to Close Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

“We applaud Entergy’s decision to shut down an aging nuclear power plant, rather than to push it past its limits. We appreciate their commitment for planning for a safe and orderly shutdown. We will remain vigilant to ensure that the decommissioning is done responsibly and in the safest way possible. Today, we celebrate this milestone in our work to end nuclear power generation in the Northeast and to foster a renewable energy future. This is a win for the people. Their relentless work has made the closure of Vermont Yankee possible. We thank all who have worked to make this day happen, especially the state of Vermont for its perseverance on this issue.”

VCAN is a 501c4 organization dedicated to building a renewable energy future for Vermont and the Northeast. More information can be found at



Entergy to pull the plug on Vermont Yankee in 2014

The rising cost of increasingly dangerous and non-competitive nuclear powered electricity has forced yet another aging atomic reactor to permanently close in the United States. The New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation announced that it will permanently close Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in the fourth quarter of 2014.  The Entergy announcement continues this year’s “domino effect” that began with the permanent closure of four operating US atomic reactors in Florida, Wisconsin and California in 2013 and the abandonment of construction projects for six more units across the country.   Still more announcements for reactor closures are expected in 2013 and 2014 as the nuclear industry continues to economically implode.  

Vermont Yankee is a 600 megawatt electric Fukushima-style reactor, a General Electric Mark I boiling water reactor located in southeastern Vermont. It was first licensed to operate in 1972 and received a twenty year license extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission the day before the Japanese nuclear catastrophe began on March 11, 2011 in spite of a broad citizen-based mobilization and the State of Vermont to deny the license extension.

Proponents of nuclear power will no doubt lament the closure of Vermont Yankee to mean an increase in fossil fuel replacements in Vermont and New England. In fact, the small 600 megawatt merchant power reactor does not sell its electricity in Vermont and can be simply retired on the combination of new renewable energy resources, improving energy efficiency standards and an existing cushion of excess electricity capacity in the region that exceeds well beyond the 12.5% to 15% reserve margin maintained through the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).  The reactor can be closed without jeopardizing the region’s electricity reliability or necessarily raising carbon emissions.  The broader energy future for the region and the United States can now focus on the expansion of safer and more sustainable renewable energy resources from the wind and the sun and stronger energy efficiency and conservation programs.

The public health and safety concern now focuses the next year as Entergy winds down reactor safety investments in advance of shutdown. When the reactor is finally shuttered one Entergy spokesperson has described the company plan to “mothball” the reactor for up to 60 years on the shores of the Connecticut River before fully dismantling and decommissioning the radioactive hulk. While Entergy claims to have a war chest of more than $500 million for the radioactive cleanup, waiting 60 years should raise concern over who becomes liable for what will likely run into hundreds of millions more in extensive cost overruns as the buried radioactive skeletons begin to come out of the closet.


Spain shuts old boiling water reactor

From Energy Market Price: Santa Maria de Garoña is one of the eight nuclear reactors operating in Spain and it was closed under an order issued by the Industry and Energy Ministry amid economic reasons. The 446 MWe boiling water reactor at Garoña entered into operation in 1971 and was allowed to operate until 2019 given certain technical upgrades. However, four years ago the Spanish government issued an operating licence lasting only until 5 July 2013. Despite a change in government, the nuclear power plant operator Nuclenor did not apply for a new licence mainly due to a new tax regime including new charges for electricity generation and used nuclear fuel which would have cost Garoña about €150 million ($192 million) each year, about 30% of the its revenue. This is too much if combined with the amount of €120 million ($154 million) in upgrades required to operate until 2019. The reactor was dismantled in mid-December 2012 to avoid a full year of retroactive tax charges.


No radioactive shipments from Bruce Power to Sweden

From Dr. Gordon Edwards: Concerted efforts by an unusually diverse and powerful movement of ordinary citizens has led to an unequivocal victory. Bruce Power's contract to ship 16 huge radioactively contaminated steam generators, each weighing 100 tonnes, from Owen Sound Ontario to the Studsvik facility in Sweden for "recycling", has been officially scrapped.  

This outcome is entirely due to public opposition, since Bruce Power had received all the necessary authorizations -- including a CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) licence -- to proceed with the shipments.

The plan was fiercely opposed by many hundreds of environmental groups, by first nations communities, and by almost 300 municipalities.  

The idea of shipping 1600 tonnes of nuclear waste through the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence River (and the Welland Canal, pictured left) was the main rallying point for most people. A resolution opposing the shipping of any nuclear waste through these precious waterways was one of the main organizing tools used to alert and educate people.

But the idea of blending man-made nuclear waste materials into scrap metal for general commercial use, without even any labelling to indicate that the "recycled"metal contains nuclear waste, was another powerful motivator driving many to oppose the Bruce Power plan.

Increasingly, the nuclear industry is seeking permission from governments to be allowed to freely release radioactive waste materials into the environment and into commercial products.  Citizens from all walks of life must be alert to this dangerous trend which will result in irreversible contamination of unregulated sites and manufactured goods. Read more.