Poor Vermont Yankee’s troubles just won’t go away. Following the collapse of a cooling tower, a leaking coolant system, and the delivery of radioactive lead shielding, the troubled nuclear reactor has become the latest victim of the global economic meltdown:

The decommissioning trust fund for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has taken a hit on Wall Street, dropping by 10 percent or more than $40 million in the past month, officials said.

[…]

The fund, which would pay to dismantle Vermont Yankee, dropped from $427 million on March 31 to $397 million on Sept. 30.

The fund is about $400 million short of what will be needed to clean up the plant, according to recent estimates.

But guess what? There is some good news. Vermont Yankee has found a rich backer to bail her out of her financial troubles – the US taxpayer! Legislation was drawn up last year in Vermont to force the reactor’s owner Entergy to make financial guarantees for the reactors decommissioning. Vermont’s Governor James Douglas vetoed the legislation instead trusting to Entergy’s goodwill on the matter.

It now seems the energy company is trying to wriggle out of its responsibilities – and they haven’t made a contribution to the decommissioning fund since 2002.

Where does that, once again, leave the reserves of trust and goodwill for the nuclear industry? About as short of contributions as the Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund.