Entergy Nuclear's Vermont Yankee reactor is nearing the end of its 40-year operating permit, and the company is seeking a 20-year license renewal. Entergy's mismanagement has actually been an asset to Greenpeace's campaign to make sure Vermont denies that license renewal from a drunken supervisor to a spin-off company, it's no wonder Vermonters aren't too keen on their business operations (read more about accidents and incompetence at Vermont Yankee here). Running 20% above capacity, the infrastructure of the plant has been breaking down in recent years, and it poses a risk to people in three states (read our factsheeton Vermont Yankee's license renewal).
Luckily, the VT Legislature gave itself the authority to vote against a license renewal for Vermont Yankee, and that is what we're making sure happens when the session starts in January. Greenpeace is working in a coalition with some great local groups to move legislators that have not made commitments on what way they will vote. (We also did a tour around the state
earlier this year to talk to Vermonters about nuclear power and the future of energy in their state.)
I had the pleasure of spending the last two weeks with a terrific crew of Greenpeace activists, our GOT students, and volunteers from around Vermont. We organized events in Montpelier, Rutland and Burlington with our One World hot-air balloon. We had state representatives, business leaders, other environmental groups and community members come out to the events to address the crowds. The best quote came from State Representative Paul Poirier who said something like: Im no nuclear engineer, just a regular guy, but know that we cant have Vermont Yankee around any longer.
The balloon tour highlighted the fact that Vermont doesn't need nuclear power. We have local renewable companies that could replace the plant's energy, which would put our money into the hands of our friends and neighbors rather than in Entergy's pockets. Vermonters are standing up across the state to call for a clean energy future, and we hope you are too.
No nukes in Vermont!