2014 Timeline

  • Resources

    • VT Yankee blew a fuse in an electrical control circuit for the condenser steam jet air ejectors, requiring the reactor to reduce power for a few hours. (Jan. 21)
    • NRC’s quarterly inspection report of VT Yankee (Feb. 6)
      • includes a “green” low level safety violation for failing to make a repair in a timely manner (“the deficient flooding pathways designed to withstand a flood event.” See leaky flood seal, March and November 2013).
      • indicates reduced reporting (of 22.5%) by workers for the month before and month after the closure announcement. The state is also reviewing the report.
    • VT Yankee reduced power to 32% to repair two of its three feed water pumps because the seals were leaking. (Feb. 24-25).
    • Entergy wants to use decommissioning trust funds to move spent fuel from the pool into dry cask storage. State of VT argues that will decrease the fund and delay decommissioning. Entergy will apply t NRC for permission to withdraw funds then sue Dept. of Energy to recover the costs.  VtDigger Special Report.   (March 2).
    • Due to impact on town budget with loss of VT Yankee taxes, Town of Vernon votes to eliminate Police Dept. (March 4). Enough petitions were gathered to call for a re-vote on the budget, with another Town Meeting to take place at a later date (March 14).
    • On Nov. 4 2013, a worker called police when a ” ‘suspicious item’ that resembled a pipe bomb” was discovered. Upon arrival, the police officer recommended the bomb squad be called in, but instead “Entergy employees duct taped a piece of string to the pipe, stood back and pulled the string to see if it ‘went off,’ according to the report.” VtDigger.org (March 21)
    • March 28: VT Public Service Board grants Entergy a Certificate of Public Good to operate through December 31, 2014, ending the re-licensing process which began in 2008.  (coincidentally this is the 35th anniversary of Three Mile Island meltdown). Docket #7862. MassLive has summary and links to other articles.
      • The CPG adopts the settlement agreement negotiated between the State and Entergy outside of the PSB process. MOU/Settlement 3.28.14
    • Entergy applied to the NRC for an exemption to off-site evacuation plannning, effective April 2016, 16 months after Vermont Yankee shuts down. Brattleboro Reformer (April 9).
    • VT Agency of Natural Resources says Vermont Yankee is not in compliance with Clean Water Act or state water quality standards. Brattleboro Reformer. (April 8).
    • Entergy sues the Dept. of Energy for cost of storing spent fuel from 2008 to 2014. Brattleboro Reformer.  (April 26)
    • Yankee burped radioactive steam Times Argus (April 30)
    • Entergy Corp. will give Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility, a check for $17.8 million as part of a revenue-sharing agreement with the utility. GMP will return the money to ratepayers and is working with the Department of Public Service on rate reduction. (April 30)
    • Entergy announced layoffs would begin when it stopped producing power. On that same day, Entergy gave $50,000 to Vernon Elementary School. (May 5)
    • US Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) & Ed Markey (MA) are co-sponsoring three new bills giving local communities and states more input into decommissioning, evacuation planning by reactor owners while fuel is in spent fuel pools, and requiring decommissioning reactors to move spent fuel out of fuel pools and into secure storage within 7 years. Markey has summaries of the bills here. US Rep. Peter Welch introduced similar bills to the House.
    • Entergy filed notice with the Town of Vernon and the Windham Regional Commission of its plans to build a concrete pad for new dry casks. “It plans to file a formal request with the state Public Service Board on June 30. In a news release, Entergy said construction would likely be finished by 2017 and all the spent fuel transferred by 2020.” Brattleboro Reformer  (May 16)
    • NRC Annual Safety Assessment Public Hearing: May 28 6:30-8:30pm BUHS Auditorium.   News coverage here.  Talking Points: info here.
    • Biomass plant with natural gas component proposed for Yankee site after decommissioning complete. June 4 Reformer article
    • Entergy applies to PSB for second nuclear waste storage pad adjacent to existing pad. Brattleboro Reformer: similar in size to the pad constructed in 2006, which now holds 13 dry casks, with room for 23 more. Each cask contains 68 fuel assemblies, meaning there are now 884 assemblies in dry cask storage. There are another 2,627 spent fuel assemblies in the pool in the reactor building and another 368 assemblies currently in the reactor vessel. ” NEC considers intervention. (June 30.)
    • VT Agency of Natural Resources released the draft thermal discharge permit for the remainder of VT Yankee’s operating life. Entergy’s permit expired in 2006.  Public comment period July 3-August. VT ANR news release and Fact Sheet (July 3). REVISED: Comment period extended to Aug. 27; Public Hearing Aug. 20, Vernon Elementary School, 6:00pm. PDF HERE (July 11).
    • VSNAP expands to 19 members and is now called VT Decommissioning Advisory Panel (NDCAP). New members include “citizen” reps Kate O’Connor of Brattleboro, David Deen & Derrik Jordan of Putney, James P. Matteau of Westminster and James M. Tonkovich of Wilder.  NDCAP webpage (Sept. 10)
    • Entergy announces it has begun powering down the reactor, in anticipation of shutting down by December 28, 2014. Reformer article 9.17.2014 (Sept. 17)
    • ANR grants thermal discharge permit, pending since 2005. BFB 10.13.14 (Oct. 13)
    • NH officials to hold first public meeting on Yankee closure plans, for NH residents October 23. (Oct. 14)
    • Entergy releases site assessment plan for VT Yankee: $1.24Billion. $817M for Decomm after SAFSTOR til 2040 to 2053+; $368M Spent fuel management by 2020-ish; $57M Site restoration. VtDigger 10.17.14    Keene Sentinel 10.17.2014   Reformer 10.18  (Oct. 17)
    • Entergy VY launches website for decommissioning http://vydecommissioning.com/
    • NRC questions Entergy facts in application for exemption to 10-mile emergency planning zone. Reformer 10.23.14
    • State of Vermont, joined by NY and CT, appeal NRC “waste confidence” ruling of October 20 which said indefinite storage of waste, whether in dry cask storage or fuel pools, at host sites is safe, and applies a generic environmental impact statement to all storage. World Nuclear News 10.28.14
    • Entergy ask for schedule delay in spent fuel dry cask storage pad application to PSB. Reformer 11.07.14
    • Entergy wants to use decommissioning trust funds for emergency planning, $1.24 million estimated. VtDigger 11.11.14
    • VT Public Service Dept. seeks public comments on Entergy VT Yankee’s Self-Assessment Study and PSDAS by Nov. 25 for inclusion in the Dept’s comments. Reformer 11.13.14
    • Entergy announces January 19, 2015 lay-offs of 165 of 554 active employees.   Reformer 11.19.14
    • NDCAP Meeting 11.20.14  Rutland Herald   Safe & Green Notes
    • 15 off-duty cops posed as evacuees and were processed by 15 Red Cross volunteers = successful evacuation drillRutland Herald 12.06.14
    • Entergy asks for new trial in security workers overtime case. Reformer 12.06.14 
    • Entergy will use a line of credit to cover $143 million to transfer fuel out of the reactor and spent fuel pool into dry cask storage. $225 million still needed to operate the storage “facility,” which it wants to take from Decommissioning Trust Fund (pending NRC approval). State says it is operational costs, should not come from trust fund. Times-Argus 12.09.14