Twelve Lies of Entergy: What are we singing about?
These are the lies of Entergy Louisiana, the owner of Vermont Yankee, a nuclear power reactor five miles south of Brattleboro. VT Governor Peter Shumlin listed these “untruths” in his stirring speech at the “Defend Democracy: Unite to Shut Down Vermont Yankee” rally on April 14, 2012. He said that when Entergy Louisiana bought Vermont Yankee they made ten promises, all of which they have since broken. There have been more since, so we’ve added two to fit the tune ’12 Days of Christmas’ – Vocal Chordz Affinity Group
1. We’ll always obey Vermont Law. Entergy explicitly agreed that the state “has jurisdiction under current law to grant or deny approval of operation of the [Vermont Yankee nuke] beyond March 21, 2012…” But after the Vermont Senate voted 26-4 against Entergy, Entergy sued the State. So much for state law. And in the last 12 months alone Entergy filed four lawsuits against the state!
2. Fund the decommissioning. Entergy agreed, when it bought the reactor, that it would maintain the fund for cleaning up the reactor after it closes. Instead the fund was hit with losses in the stock market and Entergy did not reinvest. It took legal action to reveal the damage that had been done — $300 Million short of the $800 M needed.
3. Close on time. Yup that’s what they promised us, in writing. But folks, it’s still running. Because Entergy sued our state, Vermont Yankee will stay open while the case slowly winds its way through the federal courts – probably all the way to the US Supreme Court. At the heart of the case is this: Who has the right to determine our energy future? The citizens of Vermont? Or an out-of-state corporation?
4. We’ll run it how we’re supposed to. Less than a week after the disaster in the Fukushima nuclear reactors — the same make, model and age as Vermont Yankee — the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved our reactor to run for another twenty years — though we have tritium, strontium 90, and other heavy metals leaking into our groundwater.
5. No Underground Pipes! Under oath Entergy executives said there are no underground pipes carrying tritiated water at VT Yankee. When those non-existent pipes starting leaking, the execs, said, “We’re not liars! It’s a simple miscommunication! We have buried pipes, not underground pipes!”
6. Tritium is harmless. Of course they have to say that: Tritium is leaking from 48 of 65 nuclear sites in the US. But when tritium is inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, it’s a radiation hazard.
7. Own it til it’s shut down. Entergy promised that when they bought it. Then they tried to spin off ownership onto a highly leveraged Wall St bank. When that failed, they tried to sell it but got no takers. So they are stuck with this leaky old plant. And so are we.
8. We’ll tell you any problems. Vermonters are too smart to be bought by their green-washing. Entergy has a stable of lobbyists and spin masters who hide their problems with full page ads and television campaigns. “We’re green! We’re clean! We’re reliable!” Time and again in town meetings across the state, we vote to shut the nuke down.
9. Cooling tower’s just fine. In 2007, Entergy’s spin masters sent out a press release one day saying there had been a “small leak” in one of their cooling towers. A worker took a photo, sent it to clean energy advocates, and it went viral. Does this look like a “small leak” to you?
10. Follow Act 160. When Act 160 was written, Entergy supported this law giving the VT Legislature a say in the future of VT Yankee. The political winds changed when Entergy’s leaks & lies & bribes alienated the legislature , so Entergy decided to sue instead of follow the law.
11. Plenty of cheap power. There is so much power on the market, Entergy Louisiana could not get even one Vermont electric company to buy power from our local nuke. Nuclear is not priced competitively any more.
12. We’ll never use pre-emption. Entergy promised in writing “to waive any claim … that federal law preempts the jurisdiction of the Board … to allow operation of the VYNPS after March 21, 2012…” In their lawsuit, Entergy claims federal law should pre-empt our state law.