Anne Galloway

State, Entergy pursue talks at high level

Litigation and decommissioning schedule are hot topics

Entergy Corp. representatives and Vermont officials met Dec. 2 in Gov. Peter Shumlin's office to negotiate a number of issues related to the shutdown of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

It's the second time in several weeks that the governor, high ranking members of the governor's staff, the Vermont attorney general, and officials from the Louisiana-based company will discuss a wide variety of issues concerning the plant in Vernon, which is slated to close a year from now.

When Entergy announced at the end of August that it would close the plant in 2014 because it was losing money on the facility, Shumlin said that he and Leo Denault, the chairman and CEO of Entergy, had agreed “to move beyond our past disputes and work cooperatively toward a timely shutdown.”

The talks are an unusual twist in a relationship between the state and Entergy that has been marked by long-running acrimony over the plant's operation, taxes, re-licensure, and plans for decommissioning Vermont Yankee.

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Retreat found in compliance with federal standards

Hospital awaits final determination whether federal funding will continue

Federal regulators finished a three-day survey of the Brattleboro Retreat on Nov. 6. The surveyors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Retreat officials they had no findings of noncompliance with federal conditions of participation, according to a press release from the psychiatric hospital. A final determination...

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Suicide at Brattleboro Retreat raises questions

Samantha Siano was last seen on Sept. 2. Two days later, her body, which had begun to decompose, was found in a residence hall bathroom at the Brattleboro Retreat, the state's largest psychiatric hospital. Siano died of a drug overdose. The Vermont medical examiner and local police determined last...

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State officials say Entergy must set aside $60 million for Vermont Yankee site restoration

The Shumlin administration has recommended that a quasi-judicial board grant Entergy a license to continue operating Vermont Yankee through the end of 2014, as long as the company meets three conditions. Among the conditions proposed by the Vermont Department of Public Service is the creation a new $120 million fund to pay for site restoration. Under the proposal, Entergy, the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, would be required to make a deposit of $60 million to that...

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Vermont Yankee: Where activists, lawyers and politicians failed, the market succeeded

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon has been the subject of one of the longest and most intensive anti-nuke campaigns in the region. Even before the plant was constructed on the banks of the Connecticut River in 1972, anti-nuclear activists demonstrated against Vermont Yankee with a fervor that bordered on religious conviction. Anti-nuke groups formed - the New England Coalition, Citizens Awareness Network, Shut It Down Affinity Group, and the Safe and Green Campaign - and environmental organizations...

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Entergy replaces radiation monitors at Vermont Yankee

Four times since mid-June, monitors have recorded “spurious spikes” in radiation levels inside the Vermont Yankee plant. The “false positives” for high radiation levels were a result of faulty equipment that produced inaccurate results and did not indicate there were actual increases in radiation in the building that contains the spent fuel pool, according to Rob Williams, a spokesman for the plant. Entergy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the equipment malfunction last week. On July 26, the Vermont Department...

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State’s backup plan for Brattleboro Retreat looks like its post-Irene mental health plan

The federal government will decide in mid-August if it will continue funding the Brattleboro Retreat. The Retreat, the state's largest private psychiatric hospital, faces decertification because it failed to meet federal standards in a review last spring. If the hospital cannot satisfy the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the agency could terminate Medicaid funding for the retreat or shut down the facility entirely. Doug Racine, the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services, says if the Retreat loses...

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Brattleboro Retreat sanctioned for inadequate care

Brattleboro Retreat is in trouble with the federal government again, and the state is preparing for the worst. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says it plans to terminate payment for Medicare services on Aug. 15 because the Retreat is not providing adequate care for patients. It's the fourth time in 18 months that the hospital has violated federal standards. The Brattleboro Retreat, the largest psychiatric facility in the state, is scrambling to submit a plan of correction...

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