This list since September of 2004, compiled from newspaper accounts, includes many of the accidents, legal events and other Yankee 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.”
This is not a list of citizens’ actions. Please visit our Action Center for current and past actions.
KEY DATES [in progress…]
1963 VT utilities CVPS, Green Mtn Power and regional allies propose nuclear reactor to be built by 1970 for $88 million, with rate projection of .05/kWh. The project was approved by one vote in the VT Legislature.
03.21.1972: Atomic Energy Commission grants operating license for 540-megawatt reactor
11.30.1972 VT Yankee opens, owned by a consortium of state and regional utilities, at a cost of $215 million and rates of .265/kWh.
03.06.02: VT’s Public Service Board approves Sale of VT Yankee to Entergy Corp.
07.31.02 Entergy buys reactor for $180 million.
2003: Entergy applies to PSB for 20% power increase (uprate).
2004: PSB approves uprate to 650 megawatts.
2005: Act 74 passed by VT legislature, approving on-site waste storage through March 2012 and creating the Clean Energy Development Fund. April 2006: Uprate begins, following federal approval.
May 2006: Legislature passes Act 160. Both House and Senate must vote Yes before PSB can grant a Certificate of Public Good to extend the operating license.
08.21.07: Cooling Tower Collapse. “Hot” shipment that left VY four times more radioactive than allowable federal limits
2008: Year full of accidents and discoveries. Cracks in steam dryer. Crane drops spent fuel. New cooling tower leaks found. Radiation leaks forces evacuation of workers (twice).
2009: Tritium leaks begin (January) and continue throughout the year. Public Oversight Panel established to provide independent study to the State.
February 24, 2010: Vermont Senate votes 26-4 against recommending that the Public Service Board (PSB) act on Vermont Yankee’s request for a 20-year extension of its license to operate.
2010: PSB says Entergy officials lied under oath to the PSB as well as to Public Service Dept, the Public Oversight panel, to the legislature and to the public. Entergy attempts to “spin off” Northeast reactors. Tritium leaks continue. Radioactive isotopes found in river, fish.
03.21.11: Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants 20-year license extension to VT Yankee (ten days after the Fukushima meltdowns begin).
04.18.11: Entergy sues Vermont over Act 160, saying it is preempted by federal law.
09.12-15.2011: Entergy v. Vermont preemption trial is held in US District Court in Brattleboro before Judge J. Garvan Murtha.
01.19.2012: US District Court strikes down ACT 160 while affirming the PSB role in the licensing process. 02.2012: Entergy files a motion in federal court to require the State of Vermont pay Entergy $4.6 million in legal fees for its lawsuit against the state. 02.18.12 State of Vermont appeals US District Court ruling in preemption case.
03.19.12 US District Court rules State cannot prevent storage of nuclear waste on site; and Yankee can operate beyond 3.21.12 even without a Certificate of Public Good (CPG).
03.22.12: Entergy refuses to pay into state mandated Clean Energy Fund because it does not have a CPG.
03.22.2012: Vermont Yankee’s Certificate of Public Good expires. 2,000 people march in Brattleboro, 143 arrested at local Entergy HQ, 7 in national HQ in New Orleans, LA and 5 at regional HQ in White Plains, NY.
03.28.12 Yankee operates at reduced power due to problems with 40-year old condensor, due to be replaced in 2015 or 2016 for $150 million.
9.11.2012: Entergy sues Vermont claiming Act 143 (which taxes large power producers) violates Commerce Clause and Supremacy Clause of US Constitution. Suit dismissed 10.25.2012; Entergy appeals January 2013.
01.03.2013: A report by UBS Securities recommends that Entergy retire Vermont Yankee and FitzPatrick, its two smallest reactors, to help alleviate cash flow problems.
04.25.13: Entergy sues Vermont claiming the state has delayed approval of a back-up generator, seeking an injunction saying federal law trumps state law.
08.06.13: Entergy and Green Mtn. Power Corp. settle $6.6 million lawsuit over cooling tower collapse. GMP had sued Entergy for increased power costs due to the partial collapse of Vermont Yankee’s cooling towers in 2007 and again in 2008.
08.14.13 Federal Court of Appeals decision on Entergy v. State of Vermont: (1) Act 74 and Act 160 are federally preempted; (2) VT Public Service Board may proceed with their role in the permit process; (3) VT does not have to pay Entergy for its legal fees related to the federal case.
08.27.2013: Entergy announces it will close Vermont Yankee in late 2014.
12.23.2013: Entergy and VT Dept. of Public Service announce a “Settlement Agreement” and MOU for the Public Service Board which closes all pending law suits and requires the Public Service Board to grant a Certificate of Public Good by March 31, 2014.
03.28.2014: VT Public Service Board grants Entergy a Certificate of Public Good to operate through December 31, 2014. (3.28.13 was the 35th anniversary of Three Mile Island meltdown).
09.23.14 First meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel, a 19-member group, replacing VSNAP (VT Nuclear Advisory Panel) established by Act 178.
10.13.2014: ANR gives Energy VT Yankee thermal discharge permit, pending since 2005.
10.17.2014: Entergy releases site assessment for decommissioning, waste management and site restoration.
12.29.14 Vermont Yankee shuts down at 12:12 pm.
10.13.15 Entergy announces it will shut down Pilgrim nuclear facility, in Plymouth, MA by 2019.
11.02.2015 Entergy announces it will shut down Fitzpatrick nuclear facility, near Oswego, NY, at a date to be determined. (Later in 2016: Entergy announces it will sell Fitzpatrick to Excelon, and NY State will subsidize the market to keep the workers).
11.08.2017 On Election Day, Entergy announces that it hopes to sell Vermont Yankee to NorthStar LLC within two years. The NRC must approve the license transfer and the VT Public Service must grant a Certificate of Public Good on the sale.
01.07.17 Entergy announces it is closing Indian Point in 2020-2021 – Entergy’s last merchant reactor.
03.02.18 Settlement Agreement and MOU on sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar and related decommissioning agreements announced: DPS Announcement on Sale
10.12.18 NRC approves license transfer from Entergy to NorthStar
12.06.18 VT Public Utility Commission approves sale by Entergy to NorthStar
01.11.19 Entergy completes sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar [VtDigger article here]