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Vermont Yankee nuclear plant not financially viable?

nuke-plant-sad“Entergy’s financial problems must not become nuclear safety problems,” Tim Judson, president of Citizens’ Awareness Network and one of the petition’s authors, said in a public statement. “Unfortunately, that may already be happening, and the NRC must act now. Entergy is in this business to make a profit, and the pressure on the company to cut costs, delay maintenance, and drive these plants to the edge is just too great.”…..

 The NRC’s inquiry into Vermont Yankee’s finances comes one month after the Swiss financial services firm UBS Securities downgraded Entergy’s stock from “neutral” to “sell.”

UBS released a report earlier this year that suggested Entergy could improve its financial outlook if it closed Vermont Yankee.

Entergy document cites drastic  fall in value of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, raising questions about its viability VT Digger, by Andrew Stein | March 21, 2013 Thursday marked the one-year anniversary that Vermont Yankee’s initial 40-year operating license expired, and the aging nuclear plant finds itself on rough financial footing.

In a November 2012 filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Entergy Corp. informed investors that in March of last year the company estimated that the fair value of its Vermont Yankee plant had dropped to $162 million — three times less than the carrying value of $517.5 million.

The fair value is “based on the price that Entergy would expect to receive in a hypothetical sale of the Vermont Yankee plant,” the filing says. The cash flow projections “depend on pending legal and state regulatory matters, as well as projections of future revenues and expenses.”

The news of Vermont Yankee’s devaluation was brought to light almost a year later. The Rutland Herald’s Susan Smallheer spotlighted the issue on Thursday— a day after the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) asked Entergy for additional information on its finances. The NRC staff requires further information to insure that the licensee is meeting NRC requirements for financial qualifications,” wrote Richard Guzman, NRC project manager, roughly a year after his agency renewed Vermont Yankee’s federal operating license.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the financial qualifications place a precedent on safety.

“We want to make sure the owners of nuclear power plants have the financial wherewithal to properly and safely operate a plant as well as decommission it when the time comes,” he said.

Does Vermont Yankee currently have the “financial wherewithal” to operate safely?

“We don’t know that at this point,” he said……

NRC’s letter was sent out two days after a coalition of anti-nuclear activists petitioned the NRC to enforce federal regulations. The group filed a petition on Tuesday morning that accused Entergy of no longer meeting the financial qualifications to legally operate Vermont Yankee and the NY Fitzpatrick plants.

“Entergy’s financial problems must not become nuclear safety problems,” Tim Judson, president of Citizens’ Awareness Network and one of the petition’s authors, said in a public statement. “Unfortunately, that may already be happening, and the NRC must act now. Entergy is in this business to make a profit, and the pressure on the company to cut costs, delay maintenance, and drive these plants to the edge is just too great.”…..

The NRC’s inquiry into Vermont Yankee’s finances comes one month after the Swiss financial services firm UBS Securities downgraded Entergy’s stock from “neutral” to “sell.”

UBS released a report earlier this year that suggested Entergy could improve its financial outlook if it closed Vermont Yankee. http://vtdigger.org/2013/03/21/entergy-document-cites-drastic-fall-in-value-of-vermont-yankee-nuclear-power-plant-raising-questions-about-its-viability/

March 22, 2013 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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