There have been many accidents, breakdowns, operational and oversight lapses, and other problems at the 43-year-old Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor. Most of the recent problems appear to be the result of the reactor’s advanced age, a 20% power increase beyond its original design capacity, and cost-cutting measures resulting in deferred maintenance.
Background: Vermont Yankee is a GE BWR-4 nuclear reactor with Mark 1 containment which began operating in 1972. The license to operate was approved by a margin of one vote in the Vermont legislature. In 2002, Entergy Corporation purchased Vermont Yankee from a regional consortium of utilities. In 2003, Entergy applied by a power uprate of 20% and in the process was sanctioned $52,000 by the Vermont Public Service Board for “bullying and corrosive behavior.” In 2013, Entergy announced it was closing Vermont Yankee at the end of 2014 and would put the reactor into SAFSTOR for up to 60 years.
A partial list since September of 2004, compiled from newspaper accounts, includes the events and news broken down by year. Click on the year in the box to the right to see incidents and events for that year. You may use a field search [Ctrl F on PC] to look for a topic in that year. For example, click on 2012, search “thermal pollution.”