For Vermont Yankee’s owner, hot water in New York
Aug 20, 2010 (The Keene Sentinel – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) —
Those who live near the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant — it’s just across the river from Hinsdale — might be interested in a recent editorial from The New York Times. It appears that the troubles of Entergy Nuclear, which runs the plant, are not limited to events around here. The company is also facing a firestorm of criticism over its Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan, New York. That’s a small town located on the Hudson River about 35 miles from New York City. As is the case with Vermont Yankee, the two Indian Point reactors began operations almost 40 years ago. And, also as with Vermont Yankee, Entergy is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend their operating licenses for 20 years.
Although the NRC has yet to deny a nuclear plant license renewal, Vermont Yankee’s request has been complicated by problems with the aging plant’s structure, such as cracks in various pipes and the 2007 collapse of part of a cooling tower. There’s also a string of careless operating procedures; the Vermont Legislature’s Public Oversight Panel recently condemned the company’s “corporate culture” and “miscommunication.” (The latter term has been used by Vermont Yankee to characterize untrue statements the plant’s then-vice president of operations made last year to state legislators and, under oath, to the Vermont Public Service Board.)
This past winter, Vermont Yankee spent two months trying to determine the source of radioactive tritium leaking into the ground near the plant. Along the way, investigators also turned up samples of cobalt-60, cesium-137 and strontium-90. People living nearby were told by company officials and the NRC not to worry their pretty little heads, that the leaked materials didn’t endanger the public.
full article – http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/etr_editorial-for-vermont-yankee-s-owner-hot-water-in-new-york-1127265.html
NY PSC is still vexed over possible Entergy spin off
By BOB AUDETTE / Reformer Staff
Monday August 23, 2010
BRATTLEBORO — When Entergy learned its plan to spin off five of its nuclear power plants into a new, wholly independent company was in jeopardy of being nixed by both the New York Public Service Commission and the Vermont Public Service Board, CEO J. Wayne Leonard said Entergy might consider the option of spinning off its seven other nuclear power plants instead.
Entergy’s plan was to spin off Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon and four other power plants in the eastern United States into a company called Enexus.
Those power plants are considered merchant plants because they sell electricity directly to the market and are not regulated as are Entergy’s seven other power plants.
The spin off was meant to raise money to retire Entergy debt and to reward stock holders.
Concerned about the financial implication of having a spin off with no direct connection to its parent company, the New York PSC and the Vermont PSB both denied approval of the transaction.
Now New York’s Public Service Commission is concerned that Entergy might follow through on its option of spinning off its regulated reactors into a new company, thereby producing basically the same effect as spinning off Yankee and its sister plants.
Full Article – http://www.reformer.com/localnews/ci_15863103