No wonder Entergy is fighting to use Vermont’s decommissioning funds for all the expenses it can squeeze out. Entergy’s “stock price has plummeted by nearly 30 percent this year.” Entergy’s bills are piling up:
*** Entergy owns the 3 worst nukes on the NRC’s performance list. Pilgrim and its two Arkansas reactors are all one step away from shut down. As activist Mary Lampert says “Pilgrim is an antique reactor built when the Beatles sang on Ed Sullivan’s show.” https://www.bostonglobe.com/ It costs Entergy a bundle to get a reactor back in the NRC’s good graces: Patriot Ledger 09.04.15. Update: 9/18: Boston Globe has a headline today. “Pilgrim nuclear plant says it may shut down.”
*** Entergy will decide in December whether to shut down Fitzpatrick merchant reactor because it can’t compete with cheap natural gas. Sound familiar? “Entergy closed a similar plant, Vermont Yankee, last year. The company’s cash flow has benefited from that decision, [Entergy CEO] Denault said.” But it could be a ploy: Entergy is in contract negotiations with the union, suing over property taxes, and looking for concessions from labor and local politicians scared by the loss of Fitzpatrick jobs. Or it could be that, once again, Entergy must admit it made a mistake when buying old reactors as merchants. www.syracuse.com/sept 09 2015
*** Entergy’s Palisades reactor scrammed (automatic shut down) Sept. 16 “due to a failure in the turbine generator system — a non-nuclear, non-safety related system. ” (Just another old part, nothing to worry about, etc etc. Ignore the fact that the reactor is embrittled and leaks in Lake Michigan). Palisades had 5 unplanned shutdowns in 2011.
“These unplanned shutdowns and sudden “reactor trips” are like slamming the brakes in your jalopy of a car—not good for the integrity of systems, structures, and components going forward,” said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear.
Read about Beyond Nuclear’s battle with Entergy here.
*** An NRC investigation into a Christmas scram at the Riverbend nuke in Louisiana determined that Entergy’s training simulator was wrong so operators made errors. “the simulator failed to demonstrate expected plant response to operator input and to normal, transient and accident conditions to which the simulator has been designed to respond.”
*** Entergy is suing NY State over the state’s decision to subsidize the conversion of a coal burning plant to natural gas. Entergy claims it is unfair to subsidize competing energy producers. Yup, they believe only nukes should be subsidized. Capitol New York March 2015
*** What about Indian Point, the Entergy-owned albatross 20 miles from New York City? The site has been without a water quality permit from the State of NY since 2007. NY held 3 weeks of hearings in September. The NRC license for Unit 3 expires in December. Entergy is engaged in a massive PR campaign, aimed at NYC’s soccer moms and African Americans, saying asthma will increase without clean nuclear power. None of the slick mailings say IP has had 5 transformer fires in 8 years; the most recent, in May, caused a spill of thousands of gallons of diesel into the Hudson River. Between the lawyers and public relations, Entergy must be spending a bundle.
On September 17, NIRS published a long but lovely piece on their Safe Energy blog: The Great Nuclear Bailout List: Who’s a Pawn, Who’s Toast
“The reality is that when a nuclear utility–especially one like Exelon, Entergy or FirstEnergy, all of which have an ideological pro-nuclear fixation–says that it may close one or more of its reactors early, what it really means is that it wants a taxpayer and/or ratepayer bailout to make up for its losses. Only when that approach fails will it actually think about cutting its losses by closing a reactor.“