WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Marvin Fertel, made the following comments about Entergy Corp.’s announcement today that it will retire the Vermont Yankee nuclear energy facility in late 2014.
“This closure will be a great loss to the state of Vermont, the regional economy and consumers, and the environment. Vermont Yankee reliably produces nearly three-quarters of the electricity generated in the state while employing some 600 highly skilled professionals.
“More broadly, this is more proof that competitive markets must be designed appropriately to ensure reliable long-term electric capacity and to provide fair capacity payments to companies producing electricity in those markets. Design flaws in wholesale markets such as New England continue to result in artificially low electricity and capacity prices.
“This announcement, and the retirement of Wisconsin’s high-performing Kewaunee nuclear facility earlier this year, is jarring evidence that market reform is essential to ensure that the nation maintains a diversified portfolio of electricity options. Failure to do so will jeopardize reliable electricity supplies and leave consumers vulnerable to steep or long-term electricity price swings.
“Our nation’s energy security, economy and environment all suffer when energy markets fail to value the attributes intrinsic to nuclear energy—namely clean energy with virtually no air emissions, continuous baseload generation that enhances electric grid reliability, fuel and technology diversity, thousands of well-paying, long-term jobs, and myriad contributions to local and regional economies."