Super Bowl Outage and Vermont Yankee

Sandy Levine | @CLFLevine

Keeping the lights on shouldn’t be this difficult. The response by Entergy to the outage at the Super Bowl is very reminiscent of the responses by Entergy to the many problems at its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. It boils down to a piece of equipment failed and the power went out. A repeated problem at Vermont Yankee has been equipment failures – from cooling tower collapses to leaking pipes.

Sure problems happen, but c’mon. Enough already. The problem is that the same company that can’t keep the lights on for the Super Bowl is also challenged to keep its nuclear fleet running smoothly.

Even without news of the Super Bowl outage, UBS issued another report  about the shaky financial future of Vermont Yankee. The report states:

We continue to believe Entergy is likely to decommission at least one of its units, such as Vermont Yankee, in 2013. We anticipate the process of decommissioning will become of greater importance to Entergy shareholders, as concerns around shareholder-financed contributions to decommissioning funds continue to garner concern.”

The financial outlook looks bleak. Meanwhile, next week hearings begin at the Vermont Public Service Board about Vermont Yankee’s future. Entergy has money to keep four law firms employed working on the case. That money would be better spent closing the plant and cleaning up the site.

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