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Industry News

Entergy to Decommission Vermont Yankee

LCG, August 28, 2013--Entergy Corporation yesterday announced that it plans to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vermont. Entergy anticipates that the plant will terminate power production after its current fuel cycle and will move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of next year. The 605-MW station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) throughout the decommissioning process.

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station includes a boiling water reactor (BWR) manufactured by General Electric that started commercial operation in late 1972. In March 2011, the NRC issued a 20-year license extension for the station following a five-year review of the safety and environmental aspects of the plant. The State of Vermont, however, has pursued a number of avenues to accelerate the closure of the carbon-free, electric generating facility.

Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer stated, "This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us. Vermont Yankee has an immensely talented, dedicated and loyal workforce, and a solid base of support among many in the community. We recognize that closing the plant on this schedule was not the outcome they had hoped for, but we have reluctantly concluded that it is the appropriate action for us to take under the circumstances." The station employs approximately 630 people.

Entergy's decision to close Vermont Yankee in 2014 was based on a number of financial factors, including: (i) a natural gas market that has resulted in sustained low gas prices and low wholesale energy prices, (ii) a high cost structure for the plant, and (iii) wholesale electric market design flaws that continue to result in artificially low energy and capacity prices in the region and do not provide adequate compensation to merchant nuclear plants for the fuel diversity benefits they provide.

"We are committed to the safe and reliable operation of Vermont Yankee until shutdown, followed by a safe, orderly and environmentally responsible decommissioning process," said Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer. "Entergy remains committed to nuclear as an important long-term component of its generating portfolio. Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, carbon-free and contributes to supply diversity and energy security as part of a balanced energy portfolio."

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