Watchdogs say Entergy not qualified to operate reactors
Posted in the Brattleboro Forum
#2 Mar 24, 2013
The petition points to a litany of recent equipment failures and emergency shutdowns at the plants and asks the NRC to determine whether there is a connection between these failures and Entergys economic issues. For instance, FitzPatrick has seen an above average number of equipment problems in recent months, including condenser fouling and tube leaks, a transformer fire, and a problem with the turbine control system. Pilgrim also has seen a number of equipment failures. Its scram valve failed in March for the second time it failed in the last two months. The petition also points to a number of expensive upgrades the plants will need in coming years due to their age. Vermont Yankee and FitzPatrick will both need a new condenser, which could cost approximately $150 million each. Pilgrims spent fuel pool is at maximum capacity and dry cask storage is now required at a huge expense to Entergy. All three plants are Fukushima-style Mark I Boiling Water Reactors and will be required by the NRC to install potentially expensive upgrades in the next few years.
The bad news is that there really is a conflict here between public safety and Entergys short-term bottom line for these particular nuclear reactors, since good maintenance of equipment and safety upgrades cost money, said Jessica Azulay, organizer with the Syracuse-based Alliance for a Green Economy.The good news is that there is no tension between what would be good for the public and what would be good for Entergy as a whole, since UBS says these plants are dragging down the whole fleet and that Entergy could put itself on much better economic footing by closing them. We believe it is in everyones interests for the NRC to force Entergy to cut its losses and to prevent the company from running these plants into the ground. If NRC will not enforce its regulations, we would hope Entergy shareholders would do the right thing here.
Entergys financial issues are caused in part by lower market prices for electricity in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts than when the company acquired its Northeast nuclear fleet. At the time, Entergy relied on Power Purchase Agreements to show it would be financially qualified to operate the reactors. Entergy entered into Power Purchase Agreements with the plants original owners to guarantee a set price for Entergys electricity regardless of the market price. As detailed in the groups petition to the NRC, with the expiration of those agreements, Entergy is unable to turn a profit on these reactors, and is no longer financially qualified to operate them.
With Entergys systemic mismanagement of Vermont Yankee including the cooling tower collapse, delayed maintenance, groundwater contamination and its routine reneging on commitments it made when it purchased the reactor, the questions raised by UBS about the financial viability of Vermont Yankee and other reactors in Entergys fleet are of great concern, said Deb Katz, executive director of CAN.As a merchant plant with no ratebase to return to for financial security, Entergys bottom line overshadows Vermont Yankees operation. The unnerving tension between profit and safe operation of its aging reactor fleet requires NRC to act to protect the public health and safety.
Whether or not NRC grants the petition, the possibility that Entergy may close these plants to save its own bottom line means that state and local policy makers need to put in place a transition plan that protects workers rights, provides for comprehensive decommissioning and isolation of radioactive waste, and encourages replacement with renewable energy sources." ...
#3 Mar 24, 2013
"From NRC 3/20 Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station Request for Additional Information Regarding 10 CFR 50.33 Financial Qualification Review (TAC No. MF0947)
FYI NRC to Entergy VY
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is reviewing the information provided in your quarterly10-Q SEC filing and has determined that more detailed information is needed to support its financial qualification review. Enclosed is the NRC staffs request for additional information (RAI). The RAI was discussed with your staff on February 14, 2013, and it was agreed that your response would be provided within 45 days of the date of this letter.
[Entergy 10Q:] The estimated fair value of the plant and related assets at March 31,2012 was $162.0 million, while the carrying value was $517.5 million. Therefore, the assets were written down to their fair value and an impairment charge of $355.5 million ($223.5 million after-tax) was recognized.
NRC: Because an impairment is an indication that there has been a change in the cashflow and/or revenues generated by Vermont Yankee as determined by the company through periodic assessments, the NRC staff requires further information to insure that the licensee is meeting NRC requirements for financial qualifications.""
#4 Mar 25, 2013
They're still f*ing ridiculous with those 'value' estimations, it's like placing a brand new on the lot co$t value on a used car that's already 10+ years old with 150K miles on it and stil with the original timing chain etc..
And unlike with 42 year GE Mark I nukes, with such an old car one doesn't have the problem of expen$ive looong-term storage of all the car's used waste oil etc.
The crazy high 'value' of VY that Entergy puts on it is only done in the hopes of finding some dumb suckers to buy it
'Entergy document cites drastic fall in value of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, raising questions about its viability'
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^"Its well past time to shut down that aging nuclear power plant.- Guvna Shumlin
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#5 Mar 27, 2013
I have heard a lot of twisting and distorting of facts on this subject. Why not let it go and find another cause?
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