GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant reactors will gradually power down until they’re completely shut down by the end of this year.
Entergy Corporation announced last year that it would be shutting down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, because it’s too costly to operate.
Marsha Staples-Love of Greenfield said, “Alternative energy is a positive thing I do feel bad for the people that are losing jobs. I have friends that are a part of that.” There were more than 600 employees but they have been slowly cutting back.
Local business owners say they are already seeing a difference. Corinne Burnham of Rooster’s Bistro told 22News, “The income of not having all the people that work at the nuclear power plant is going to affect all the small businesses around here. They’re all moving away looking for other jobs because they have to.”
Vermont Yankee says it’s begun the planned reduction of the plants energy output or “coastdown” period, which typically occurs at the end of every 18 months of the plants operating cycle. This will culminate with the shutdown targeted for December.
Vermont Yankee says it will continue to update the electric grid dispatcher-ISO New England as it powers down. ISO oversees 6 New England states, 315 power plants and 8,000 miles of high voltage power lines.
Peter Hayes of Northfield said, “I hope that they can find a very safe way of encompassing the nuclear energy, because I do feel that it does generate a lot of power for us.”
ISO spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg said they will turn to other power plants in the area, whether they are hydro, natural gas, nuclear, or alternatives. The U.S. Energy Administration said Vermont Yankee provided about 70 percent of electricity generated in Vermont.