US Nuclear Power Plant Shuttered

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station

The USA’s 43 year old Vermont Yankee nuclear power station has stopped generating electricity as the state moves toward a cleaner and safer energy future.

Located in the town of Vernon, Vermont Yankee is a boiling water reactor (BWR) capable of  generating 620 megawatts of electricity at full power.

It commenced commercial operations in 1972 and at one point generated 71.8% of all electricity generated within Vermont.

Current Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is happy to see the end of nuclear energy in his state.

“The closure of Vermont Yankee marks the end of years of controversy over operation of a nuclear plant in our state. I have long advocated for the closing of this plant at the end of its original license, and I believe the ceasing of operations today after nearly 43 years represents a positive step for our state and our energy future,” said Governor Shumlin.

” 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.”

Vermont Yankee was a significant employer and the Governor says his administration will continue working with local communities to ensure that jobs and opportunities in the region grow as operations wind down at the plant.

Entergy VY, owner of Vermont Yankee, will provide $10 million in economic development for Windham County over five years and $5.2 million in clean energy development support for Windham County and elsewhere.

Decommissioning the plant isn’t just a case of the last one leaving not forgetting to turn out the lights. According to the Toledo Blade:

“The plant will sit for decades while its radioactive components cool and its decommissioning fund grows. It’s expected to cost nearly $1.25 billion to dismantle the plant, which likely won’t occur until the 2040s or later.”

us nuclear power plants

The USA Energy Information Administration states there are currently 62 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 100 nuclear reactors in 31 states in the USA. Thirty-five of these plants have two or more reactors.

Approximately 17 million Americans live within 30 kilometres of a nuclear plant – an area the size of the Fukushima evacuation zone.

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