Related Events

 

 

Date TBD The Vermont Public Service Board's informational session and public hearing on the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services at Vernon Elementary School has been postponed due to the snowstorm.

 

Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Overview

 

 

In late December, 2014, the 650-megawatt Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, VT., formally ceased operations. Plans to shut down the boiling water reactor, which had been operating since 1972, had been announced the prior year, and in the intervening period Entergy Corp., the Louisiana-based energy company that owns the plant, had begun a limited downsizing of its work force. In 2015, with the plant no longer operating, the company’s reductions in jobs and purchases of local services began in earnest.

 

Public interest in the power plant has largely focused on the environmental issues, but the economic repercussions of the shut-down also call for attention – not just in Windham County, Vermont where the power plant is located but also Franklin County, MA. and in Cheshire County, New Hampshire. Nearly one-third of Vermont Yankee’s employees live in Cheshire County.

 

At the height of its operations, Vermont Yankee employed nearly 600 people, with an annual payroll (including fringe benefits) of $82 million. During the course of the next six years, employment by Vermont Yankee is expected to plummet to about 50 people, and the payroll figure is projected to shrink to about $2 million.

 

 

More Than Just Power Plant Jobs

The rapid and significant downsizing of the Vermont Yankee presence will be reflected in a variety of ways – property tax payments by the plant in Vermont, charitable contributions, indirect employment in other sectors, real estate values, corporate and personal participation in community affairs and purchases of goods and services. Some of the indirect impacts of a Vermont Yankee shut-down were explored in a December, 2014 report by the UMass Donahue Institute on commission from the Franklin (MA.) Regional Council of Governments. The report, titled “Economic Impacts of Vermont Yankee Closure” can be found here

 

An earlier examination of the possible impacts of a plant closure was “Consensus Economic Impact Analyses Associated with the Future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant” prepared by   Economic & Policy Resources, Inc. and Kavet, Rockler & Associates, LLC, can be found here.

 

Mitigating the Impact

As part of a decommissioning settlement worked out by Entergy and the state of Vermont, the power plant’s owner will direct $10 million to help moderate the socio-economic effects of its downsizing in Windham County, Vermont. The first distribution of funds by the state involved $814,000 in grants. Click here for more details. 

 

Some nuclear power companies have made small grants to their host communities while on the way out, but none approaching anywhere near the size of Vermont Yankee readjustment fund, which resulted from the settlement of lawsuits. Significantly, neither Cheshire County in New Hampshire nor Franklin County in Massachusetts, each of which will feel significant effects of the shut-down, was named as beneficiaries of readjustment money.

 

 

Back to top