Ding-Dong, The Witch is Dead!

I just heard via “Live & Local” that Entergy has announced the Closure of Vermont Yankee.


Comments | 16

  • Gloating is misplaced

    Regardless of how you may feel about nuclear power, your headline is inappropriate.

    Yes, a possibly dangerous thing is going to be removed from our midst (although very slowly). If you are happy about that, fine.

    But beyond that, 600 people will be losing their jobs in our midst. Also kind of slowly, depending on the decommissioning plan, but nevertheless, they are losing their jobs. Their livelihoods. These are well-paying jobs, at over $100,000 per year on average.

    Our region is already one of the slowest-growing, economically, in New England, if it grows at all. The economic impact of this closure will be felt, not just in the homes of those 600 people, but in the stores of our downtowns, at the businesses of tradespeople and professionals who supply services to those people, at the businesses of other contractors who supply services to Vermont Yankee, at restaurants, school systems, municipalities, theaters, non-profit organizations, hospitals, farms, etc., all of which derive some of their income from the wages and contracting services paid by Vermont Yankee.

    You may say that this creates opportunities, and it does. Hopefully it will turbocharge economic development efforts such as SeVEDS. But the region will not get through this transition without considerable upheaval and uprooting of families and businesses. Think about that before you shout Hallelujah.

    • Certainly having hundreds of

      Certainly having hundreds of people lose their jobs is a terrible situation. And, you’re right. That many people unemployed will definitely have an impact on local businesses;the spouses of the Entergy employees who may be employed at local schools, hospitals,other organizations will certainly feel the loss of having so many people perhaps leave the area. But, the fact that Entergy apparently sent out this press release before they even notified their employees says to me that they don’t really care about their workers- what matters to them is the money. So, yes, whenever VT. Yankee closed down -for whatever reason – many people would be out of jobs, many,many families affected. That’s the down side of this. But, for those of us who have felt VT Yankee was a danger,was an unsafe thing looming over our lives- this is a happy day. I think everyone can feel sorry for the workers whose lives will be disrupted and still feel relieved and glad that the closing of VT Yankee is near.Hopefully,Entergy will step up and provide as much assistance as is needed in helping their employees survive this closing.

      • Healing

        That’s fine, have your happy day. Then get to work helping with the healing.

        • Okay ,Martin- your snarky reply

          Okay, Martin- your snarky reply aside – I don’t think anyone -regardless of what ‘side’ they are on regarding Vt Yankee is happy about 600 people being out of work.The reality of our society is that businesses – small and huge – close every single day. Many of them with much less notice than Entergy is giving.
          From what I’ve read the closing is going to be a slow process – best case scenario would be at least a year. And while that doesn’t change the fact that thousands of people (when you count the families of employees) will be uprooted in some cases and certainly have their lives disrupted- they will have a period of time to start figuring out what their lives will look like once the plant is closed. Ideal? No, of course not. But it does allow some time to adjust and hopefully, Entergy will do all it can to help these families get a new start. Vt Yankee is an aging, dangerous plant. It should be closed. I’m glad that it is, finally, going to be closed. That doesn’t mean I’m happy for the families impacted. I would hope that our community will come together – as we do in bad times- to do whatever we can to help the families involved. Being sanctimonious about it doesn’t “help with the healing’.

          • Where's the Party?

            This sure sounds like news to celebrate to me. It’s a 40+ year weight lifted.

            If I were to feel sorry for anyone, it would be the Town of Vernon.
            They’re taking a big hit to their tax base, which means everybody in town is going to see much higher tax bills.

            I expect most of Yankee’s work force saw this coming.
            Didn’t VY lay off 30 of their “600” employees recently? Was their workforce really 600 full time employees?
            Mothballed nuke plants require around the clock supervision. I’ve met people who in town that work at Yankee Rowe still. So the Vernon workforce isn’t going from 600 to 0. It’s going from maybe 550 to 50 or something.

        • Lemonade

          When life gives you lemons…

          There are a lot of highly talented people presently working there that now have to make different plans.
          Some will be employed there for varying amounts of time.
          Some will transfer to other Entergy installations.
          Some will migrate elsewhere.
          Some will choose to remain in the area.

          The worldwide electrical energy business is changing, and, I believe, for the better.
          Large centralized generation is rapidly becoming outmoded, being replaced by smaller, distributed systems.
          Recent developments in solar, wind, geothermal and biomass signify a whole new world of opportunity.
          It would benefit these people and the entire region if some kind of “Energy Park” could be developed there, utilizing their talents, these renewable technologies and the transmission infrastructure already in place.

          I don’t know what role I could play in such a development, but I’m willing to help.

    • Sword of Damocles

      I am an Electrical Engineer.
      When I moved to Windham County in 1980, I made a conscious decision to not seek employment at Yankee, despite the opportunity for a well-paying job.
      I never regretted that decision.
      I am not rejoicing for the 600 people who will lose their jobs. That’s tragic.
      However, I am rejoicing for the nearly 200, 000 residents of Windham, Cheshire and Franklin Counties who will soon have this Sword of Damocles lifted.

      Quoting John Kennedy:
      Every man, woman, and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.”
      Address Before the General Assembly of the United Nations, September 25, 1961

      • Swordplay

        JFK was speaking specifically about nuclear weapons and the possibility of a nuclear war being started by “accident or miscalculation or by madness.” He was not referring to nuclear power generation. He in fact said the following:

        “There are two points on conservation that have come home to me in the last 2 days. One is the necessity for us to protect what we already have, what nature gave to us, and use it well, not to waste water or land, to set aside land and water, recreation, wilderness, and all the rest now so that it will be available to those who come in the future. That is the traditional concept of conservation, and it still has a major part in the national life of the United States.

        But the other part of conservation is the newer part, and that is to use science and technology to achieve significant breakthroughs as we are doing today, and in that way to conserve the resources which 10 or 20 or 30 years ago may have been wholly unknown. So we use nuclear power for peaceful purposes and power.”

        — President John. F. Kennedy, Sept. 26, 1963

        It is misleading to say the Damocles address referred to nuclear power generation. There is already enough dissembling on the right. We need not do it or condone it on the left.

        Gorty Baldwin

        • Well . . .

          I bet that the people of Chernobyl and Fukushima would disagree that the sword of Damocles refers only to nuclear weapons. The metaphor seems apt to me, regardless of JFK’s intent.

    • Doomed from the start

      I do agree with Martin L.
      But the plant has been doomed since the day it was built – at a cost three to six times more than its original estimate. In its first year of operation it had to be shut down several times for safety and other reasons. Faulty fuel rods had to be replaced. It emitted radioactive gas into the air. The electric power it produced cost Vermonters far more than had been promised. There were serious concerns, even then, about the plant’s safety.
      That’s just in the plant’s first year. The thing has been a thorn in our collective side for more than 40 years. You can’t blame people for feeling some relief, even elation, before they face the challenges and opportunities that change will bring.

      • Can't Wait For the Fourth Now!!

        It’s gonna be so nice around here now. No more Anti nuke 90 yr old grannies protesting and chaining themselves to the grounds of the plant.

        No more out of state ant-nukes protesting.

        And best of all no more anti nuke freaks in the 4th of July parade.

        I see the silver lining already.

        • Grannies

          You know, I think it was when I first read about the arrests of those old ladies that I knew Entergy VY officials had a sense of their own futility. Calling the cops on a bunch of old ladies is an act of cowardice, fear, and desperation. If only they had served tea instead of having their jackboots lead nonagenarians away in handcuffs.

          I toast indomitable grannies.

        • Right...because there are no

          Right…because there are no intelligent, articulate, “normal” people who don’t support Vt Yankee…just freaks. Got it.

  • Not Useful Remarks

    Ding Dong the Witch is Dead is insensitive. Lots of gut reactions to the news are. That’s what emotional response often is.

    The response by many of our town business leaders and boosters who have had years to get used to the idea of VY closing is also mighty counter-productive. How about we quickly through the familiar and emotional “sky is falling” response we have been hearing for years? Can we move on to what we HAVE rather than what we lose? Public pronouncements of a “downward spiral” and “body blows” needs to shift to clear messaging on what Windham County has to offer and what we are doing. What company or family is going to move to a town in a downward spiral, where gloom and doom is the prevailing sentiment from leadership? Time to get un-stuck, folks.

    We live in one of the best small towns in America — and that’s not just our opinion, the Smithsonian says so. How many top 20 lists are we on? (I’ve read plenty over the years; but couldn’t find them on any of our town booster websites just now; perhaps I didn’t dig deep enough.) Brattleboro has the arts, culture, education, nature, character, and lots of creative entrepreneurs. We’ve got schools coming downtown to the Brooks House, solar projects being built, etc etc. Vermont is on a zillion top ten lists and we are the gateway to it.

    Duke Energy announced the closure of a reactor with 600 employees earlier this year. A fine OpEd by the local Country Commissioner listed the assets of the county and concluded, “So while we face big issues, individuals can be proud to live in Citrus County. The nuclear plant does not define us, and its closing will not devastate us.”

  • Vermont Yankee closing

    For what it’s worth…
    In the ten-plus years I lived in Vernon, I always considered VY a good neighbor.(BTW, we don’t live in Vernon anymore because:)
    A. My wife got a better job -and-
    B. I lost my job and a move seemed to be a necessary step.
    If those events had not happened, I/we probably would have remained in Vernon where we were quite happy.

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