Entergy still doesn’t get it…

by Jim Riccio

January 14, 2011

For Sale!

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, VT has had more than its share of problems in 2010.

Unfortunately for Entergy, the owner and operator of Vermont Yankee, many of those problems were self inflicted.

When tritium, radioactive hydrogen, was found leaking into ground water at Vermont Yankee, Entergy and those in its employ just could not help trying to spin the issue.

Jay Thayer, Entergy’s executive, so royally screwed up his testimony that Entergy had to hire a well heeled Washington law firm to come to his defense and claim that he hadn’t lied to the legislature.

As a result of Entergy’s ineptitude, the Vermont Senate voted last February 26 to 4 to deny Vermont Yankee a certificate of public good. And Peter Shumlin rode the Vermont Yankee issue all the way to the statehouse. Within hours of Shumlin’s victory Entergy announced the reactor was up for sale.

For its part, Entergy (ETR) still claims that it wants to convince Vermonters to allow them to operate the reactor beyond March 21, 2012. But recent decisions by the reactor owners indicate that they just don’t get it!

In mid-November Entergy announced that pumping of the tritium laced water on the site was completed.

Great News Right!?! But not so fast…

Entergy announced that pumping had ceased NOT that the radioactive wastes had been clean up! Less than a month later tritium had turned up in drinking water wells on the reactor site and the further down you went, the more the radiation increased.

Entergy stopped pumping because they had reached the number of gallons they said they would pump. But there is still tritium in the soil. That tritium is still moving, along with other longer-lived radioactive elements toward the Connecticut river. Unfortunately, Entergy still doesn’t get it!

The point of pumping was to clean up the radiation, not reach some pre determined gallon amount. Fortunately for Vermonters, their newly elected governor Peter Shumlin recognized this ridiculousness pressed Entergy to keep pumping.

Entergy has shown time and again that their corporate profits trump environmental concerns. They cannot be trusted to do the right thing by Vermonters. The decrepit old reactor should not be relicensed, it should not be re sold, it should be retired and the radioactive wastes it created secured from the environment.

Take action and send Entergy’s CEO J. Wayne Leonard a message

Entergy should just shut it down, clean it up and go away!

Jim Riccio

By Jim Riccio

Jim Riccio served as Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst from 2001 to 2017 and has over two decades of nuclear activist experience. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe, and has appeared on ABC News, NBC News, Al Jazeera, CNN, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.

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