Vermont Yankee Timeline
March 21, 1972 — Atomic Energy Commission grants operating license to 13-member consortium of New England utilities for 540-megawatt reactor in Vernon, Vt.
Nov. 30, 1972 — Vermont Yankee begins operation.
2001 — Vermont Public Service Board requires an auction for sale, after Maryland- and Virginia-based suitors, along with Entergy, express interest in the plant.
March 6, 2002 — Signed agreement between Vermont Public Service Board and Entergy says as purchaser, Entergy agrees to board’s decision of whether to grant a certificate allowing plant to operate beyond March 21, 2012.
July 31, 2002 — Entergy buys plant for $180 million.
October 2005 — Entergy notifies federal regulators it plans to see 20-year relicensing to operate beyond 2012.
April 5, 2006 — Federal regulators approve Entergy’s application to boost Vermont Yankee’s output from 540 to 650 megawatts, following state’s OK in 2004. Output increases later in April 2006.
May 2006 — Vermont Legislature passes law giving lawmakers up-or-down vote before Public Service Board can consider granting Vernon plant a “public good” certificate for another 20 years beyond 2012.
Aug. 21, 2007 — Cooling tower partially collapses, raising public concerns over integrity of plant structure. Entergy reduces power output by 50 percent until repairs are carried out.
Jan. 7, 2010 — Radioactive tritium is reported leaking into the ground at the Vernon plant, following repeated Entergy officials’ testimony to state regulators in 2009 that underground pipes containing radioactive materials did not exist there.
Feb. 24, 2010 — Vermont Senate votes 26-4 against allowing state Public Service Board to decide on Entergy’s application for a new certificate.
March 21, 2011 — Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants 20-year license extension.
April 18, 2011 — Entergy sues State of Vermont in U.S. District Court, claiming the state lacks authority to force the Vernon plant to close.
Jan. 19, 2012 — U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha rules Vermont lacks authority to close Yankee over safety concerns.
Feb. 18, 2012 — Vermont appeals court ruling.
March 9, 2012 — Public Service Board announces it is resuming consideration of Vermont Yankee’s request for a 20-year certificate.
March 19, 2012 — Judge Murtha rules state cannot prevent storage of nuclear waste at Vernon site. Public Service Board says that despite Entergy’s lack of a valid certificate to operate beyond March 21, it was not forcing shutdown of the plant at this time.
March 28, 2012 — VY reportedly operating at reduced power for a week due to undiagnosed problem with condenser. Possibilities included a metal deck plate mistakenly left behind in condenser since October or problem with epoxy coating applied to deteriorated condenser tubes. Estimated $150 million replacement of 40-year-old steam condenser reportedly scheduled for 2015 or 2016.
March 30, 2012 — VY letter to NRC says no intention to shut down in next five years, therefore no need to report to the NRC on state of decommissioning funds.
April 25, 2012 — Vt. Gov. Shumlin’s administration recommends raising plant’s annual generating tax to $12 million from $5 million. Vt. lawsuit still pending in federal court.
June 26, 2012 — Plant at 45-percent power for at least five days after 40-year-old industrial motor malfunctions and is removed for repair.
September 2012 — Entergy files new lawsuit against state in U.S. District Court opposing new $12.8 million electric generation tax as unconstitutional.
March 2013 — Vermont Supreme Court denies petition to shut down Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant submitted by the New England Coalition, contending Entergy had violated the sales order authorizing Entergy to buy the plant in 2002.
April 13, 2013 — FEMA report finds 23 problems with evacuation plans for Vermont Yankee following town/Entergy drills, but says not serious enough to cause concern for public safety.
July 22, 2013 — Entergy announces workforce reductions as part of a plan to cut costs company-wide.
Aug. 14, 2013 — Federal appeals court rules that Vermont’s efforts to close plant were deceptive and misleading, largely upholding lower court decision against state regarding 2005, 2006 and 2008 laws passed in effort to impede relicensing.
Aug. 27, 2013 — Entergy announces plan to shut down VY beginning in late 2014.
— Recorder Staff