Troubled US nuclear plant to shut down

2013-08-28 07:30
Nuclear plant.

Nuclear plant. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A 40-year-old nuclear plant in Vermont will shut down in 2014 due to the high costs of competing with cheap natural gas, the company said on Tuesday.

Entergy Corporation said the Vermont Yankee plant, which employed some 600 people and was licensed to operate until 2032, will be decommissioned after its current fuel cycle ends.

"This was an agonising decision and an extremely tough call for us," said Leo Denault, Entergy's chair and chief executive officer.

"We have reluctantly concluded that it is the appropriate action for us to take under the circumstances."

The Louisiana-based Entergy said the move was based on "a number of financial factors", and noted it had poured $400m into the plant's operations since 2002.

The top reason cited in a company press release was "a natural gas market that has undergone a transformational shift in supply due to the impacts of shale gas, resulting in sustained low natural gas prices and wholesale energy prices".

The company also pointed to "wholesale market design flaws" that lead to "artificially low" energy prices in the region.

The plant's end of operations, or safe shutdown, was set for the fourth quarter of 2014, the company said.

Vermont Yankee is a single unit boiling water reactor that began operating in 1972. Entergy acquired the plant from Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation in 2002.

Closures of nuclear plants in the US - where nuclear energy provides 20% of the electricity - are rare.

Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, has led to a massive expansion of natural gas production in the US.
Read more on:    nuclear

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.