A nuclear plant is shutting down. Track its daily progress on Facebook (for the next 60 years).


When Vermont Yankee scrams on December 29th, it will be for the last time. Then, the dismantling process begins. It will take 60 years . . . . 

At least, that’s the current estimate. 60 years is the maximum duration allowed for the NRC’s SAFSTOR program. A nuclear plant in the SAFSTOR program has been placed in a kind of dormancy while its owner can save up enough money to fund the decommissioning process.

All fuel is scheduled to have been removed from the spent fuel pool and transferred to dry cask storage by 2020, which is around five years from now. Entergy estimates that they’ll have enough money saved up by the early 2040s, when decommissioning can begin.

That’s 25 years from now. Minimum.

The liberal contingent, represented by Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, is hoping to build a park on top of the old site once it’s finished. He likes symbols of victory, I suppose. Who doesn’t?

The problem is, the building of a “green space” is contingent upon the spent fuel being removed by the Department of Energy.

That last piece is up in the air. The DoE is contractually obligated to remove the spent fuel. Problem is, it just doesn’t have anywhere to store it. Politicians and bureaucrats have shut down Yucca Mountain. Or at least thrown up more roadblocks. Maybe progress will resume one day.

Alas, as they say, the future is uncertain.

So, Entergy has set up a website that is keyed in to their Facebook and Twitter social media streams. You can follow them on either of these to track Vermont Yankee’s decommissioning progress.

Of course, who knows if either company (Facebook or Twitter) will be around in 60 years. If not, it means something better will have replaced them.

Just think about the accelerating economic growth experienced over the last 60 years. Sixty years ago was 1954. That was the year Ray Kroc founded McDonalds. Billions and billions had not yet been served.

There were no color TVs. The transistor radio had just been invented. The Internet was still 36 years away (1990) — in text. The graphical browser as we know it today didn’t show up for another three years (Netscape in 1993).

What will the world look like in 60 years?

Now that’s a fascinating question.

Continue reading at http://vydecommissioning.com/

What do you think?