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Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Voices / Letters from readers

No risk, no reward

RE: “One lone group challenges VY sale” [Viewpoint, May. 9]:

As Guy Page points out in his recent op-ed, Conservation Law Foundation’s opposition to NorthStar’s proposed purchase of Vermont Yankee may claim to be based on fiscal caution, but a look at the numbers should leave very little concern for the plan’s reliability.

The trust fund for decommissioning of the site is valued at $571 million now and continues to grow. NorthStar’s highly detailed budget, which is broken down into 900 individual sub-projects, is $498 million. Hundreds of millions of dollars of added financing and insurance are further protection against any cost overruns.

Yes, decommissioning is expensive with some element of uncertainty, but we should consider the long-term benefits as well. An accelerated decommissioning means Vernon will have access to a restored greenfield site in as soon as 10 years, with the potential to redevelop as another industry center. A large-scale employer, good jobs, and high tax revenue are likely to follow.

If visionary projects were decided by unsubstantiated fear, many of the United States’ greatest accomplishments would never have been completed. Let’s not, in the false guise of fiscal prudence, force Vernon to remain the host town to a defunct nuclear plant and miss a promising future.

Mike Hebert

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Originally published in The Commons issue #460 (Wednesday, May 23, 2018). This story appeared on page E2.

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