USA Nuclear plant update, June 18,2013

The New York Times recently reported on the closing of several nuclear power plants in the USA.

The owners of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California, which has been shut since January 2012, said on Friday that they would close it permanently because of uncertainty over when it could be reopened.

Dominion shut its reactor in Wisconsin in May because of unfavorable economics, and Duke said in February that it would not restart Crystal River 3 because mechanical problems were too expensive to fix.

In another report from the New York Times plants are being closed for economic reasons, and they suggest that Vermont Yankee might be one of them:

Two to watch are Vermont Yankee, in Vernon, just north of the Massachusetts border, and Indian Point, in Buchanan, N.Y., 30 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. The states of Vermont and New York are seeking to close them. If they remain profitable, the owner of all three units, Entergy, seems likely to fight tooth and nail to keep them open, but Vermont Yankee’s profitability does not seem certain. It could join plants like Maine Yankee, or Zion, near Chicago, in retirement and decommissioning.

Finally, the report mentions that power plants of all types, coal, gas, and nuclear are being closed:

of the power plant retirements since 2010, 41 percent were coal and 33 percent were natural gas. Ten percent were nuclear. Old power plants lead conditional existences; they may not survive new environmental rules or other circumstances that require expensive retrofits.

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