Nuclear power in Vt. energy mix seems like a no-brainer

A article in VTDigger.org by Anne Galloway on July 31 noted that going forward, Vermont will experience a greater-than-30-percent gap between the power needed to supply the state's needs and the amount that has been guaranteed to be supplied to the state's businesses and residential customers.

The article quotes a report prepared by the Vermont Energy Partnership. The article quotes the report as noting that due to this gap there is a strong potential for electricity prices to increase as the utilities are forced to bid in the daily market for electricity to make up this gap.

The report also noted that approximately 12 percent of Vermont's electricity will come from nuclear power and states that the sources are Seabrook Station in New Hampshire and Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Connecticut.

What is missing in this statement is the fact that Vermont purchases approximately one third of its electricity from Hydro Quebec.

From the name, one would think that Hydro Quebec produces electricity using water power and that is true - in part. Approximately 80 percent of the electricity generated by Hydro Quebec comes from water power. The rest comes from fossil fuels and the Gentilly Nuclear Generation Station.

Vermont buys nuclear power from three places: Gentilly, Millstone, and Seabrook.

How many people do the companies employ in Vermont? None.

How much do these companies pay in Vermont taxes? None.

How much do these companies contribute to the Vermont economy? Very little.

By contrast, Vermont Yankee employs more than 600 people, all of whom pay Vermont income taxes, and pays more than $6 million in taxes to the state every year.

Vermont Yankee also contributes more than $100 million to the local economy every year.

Should we keep Vermont Yankee operating and providing safe, greenhouse-gas-free, dependable electricity? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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