Vermont Yankee’s $60 million dilemma

first_img NRC makes Vermont Yankee license renewal official | Vermont … Mar 21, 2011 … In a letter dated March 21, 2011, US Nuclear Regulatory Senior Project Manager Robert Kuntz notified Michael Colomb, Entergy Vermont Yankee … Aug 27, 2002 … Vermont Yankee finally sold to Entergy by Robert Smith The deal had more than its share of up and down moments, but the sale of the Vermont … Northstar Vermont Yankee,By Kate Duffy, Vermont Business Magazine. Entergy Nuclear has a $60 million decision to make ‘ whether to invest in refueling Vermont Yankee, even though a federal judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction assuring the company it could continue operating the plant while its lawsuit against the state is pending. US District Court Judge J Garvan Murtha denied the request for a preliminary injunction in a decision issued Monday afternoon. He said Entergy failed to prove during a two-day hearing in June that it would suffer ‘irreparable harm’ before the case, schedule for trial in September, is decided.During the hearing, Entergy’s lawyers argued that without an injunction that would let it plan for future operations, the company may be forced to shut down the plant before its current license expires in March. It would be unlikely to make a $60 million investment in fuel rods without an indication from the court that it might win its case. ‘Entergy, while it has raised the possibility, has not persuaded the Court that a decision to shut down is likely and imminent,’ Judge Murtha wrote in the 18-page decision. Entergy is suing the state in federal court over whether a law that effectively gives the Legislature the right to shut down a licensed, operating nuclear power plant is constitutional. Vermont Yankee, the state’s only nuclear power plant, is slated to shut down on March 21, 2012, at the end of its original 40-year operating license. Citing the plant’s age and history of radioactive leaks, last year the Senate voted 26 to 4 not to allow the Public Service Board to issue a certificate of public good to let the plant operate beyond its scheduled shut-down. In March, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates all of the nation’s 104 nuclear power reactors, approved a license extension that would allow the plant to continue generating power for another 20 years. Entergy says the plant is safe and reliable and should be allowed to continue operating. It had hoped a preliminary injunction would allow it to do so while the case is pending. Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, a Democrat, said the state had won an important battle but still has a war to wage. ‘This was a nice win, but really what’s better is that the preliminary injunction was not issued,’ Sorrell said. ‘If one had been granted, that would have been a devastating blow to us because it would have required the finding by the judge, based on his understanding of the facts and the law, that it was likely that Entergy would prevail on the merits of the case as a result of the trial. We would have been really knocked backwards if that were the case.’ In ruling on the failure to prove irreparable harm, Judge Murtha did not address whether he thought Entergy could win its suit based on the merits of its case. ‘I was a little bit surprised that he so carefully skirted the merits,’ said Pat Parenteau, an attorney and professor at Vermont Law School who has been closely watching the case unfold. ‘He gave a few hints of what’s troubling him and things he wants to see addressed at trial. It’s like reading tea leaves in the opinion. But I was not at all surprised he found no irreparable harm.’ Parenteau noted it is extremely difficult to prove irreparable harm in a case like this. Instead, he noted the judge fast-tracked the case, scheduling the trial for September 12-14, in order to address the merits of the case and make a final decision. ‘The judge expressed no views whatsoever on the constitutional issues that Entergy has raised,’ Parenteau said. ‘Reading between the lines, what I see is a judge who believes the state has a right to close the plant for the proper reasons, but a judge who is not 100 percent convinced the state has done that.’ In a statement issued to reporters, Vermont Yankee spokesman Larry Smith said the company is ‘disappointed in the outcome.’ He made no indication of whether it will buy the fuel needed for the plant ‘ a decision he previously had said would have to be made by July 23. ‘Our request for a preliminary injunction was about keeping the plant’s workers employed, the plant running safely and the electric grid reliable until this case is resolved. In the upcoming days, we will be evaluating Judge Murtha’s opinion and assessing the company’s near-term options.’ RELATEDCourt denies preliminary injunction in Vermont Yankee caseThe Federal District Court for the District of Vermont issued a decision Monday evening in favor of the State of Vermont and denied Entergy’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the State from enforcing its laws during the pendency of the litigation. In a prepared statement, Attorney General William Sorrell called the decision ‘a very good first step in an important case.’  Mar 3, 2010 … Vermont Yankee engineers and technicians continue their investigation into the source of tritium in the plant’s groundwater.www.vermontbiz.com/node/14600 Vermont Yankee finally sold to Entergy | Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Yankee narrows search for tritium leak | Vermont Business …last_img read more

Asset managers calm over risk of contagion from Greek election

first_imgEuropean asset managers have remained calm in the face of a potentially unstable Greek election result as the new party aims to renegotiate bailout terms.Yesterday, the left-of-centre and anti-austerity party Syriza won 149 seats in Greece’s 300-seat Parliament, falling just short of being able to form a majority government.Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, has now formed a coalition government with the Independent Greek party after it won 17 seats, with renegotiations with the Troika – the name given to the European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Commission (EC) – at the top of its agenda.The negotiations relate to restructuring the debt from Troika bailouts of the Greek government and banks, thereby allowing the government to scale back unpopular austerity measures. Greek GDP has fallen by more than 30% since the onset of the financial crisis, with equity markets falling 90% since 2007.Fidelity head of European equities, Paras Anand said Tsipras was likely to restructure the debt agreements to free the Greek economy from a “seemingly endless period of contraction.”He said much would be made of the threat to euro-zone stability from the left-leaning party’s plans, but that he expected the impact to be modest.“Syriza has repeatedly stated a desire to remain within the single currency,” he said. “The emphasis of key creditors within the euro-zone has already shifted from austerity to reform, and Syriza may find greater support from the mainstream European parties than its ‘radical’ tag would suggest.”Anand also said the risk of contagion to other euro-zone economies was limited given the uniqueness of the Greek situation and the tightening of yields across the euro-zone.Data from Bloomberg showed the yield on 10-year government bonds has risen since the election result, from 8.39% to 8.72%, but was still lower than the 10.68% seen earlier this month, a 15-month high.However, contagion risk in Spain and Italy seems limited, with yields continuing to trade much lower in the wake of the ECB’s quantitative easing announcement.Spanish 10-year government bonds are trading at 1.36%, falling from 1.53% since the ECB action, and more than half the yield from 12 months previous.Italy’s 10-year bonds paint a similar picture.“It is worth taking a step back and reflecting that the financial sector across Europe is in a significantly more robust position today than it was at the last ‘peak’ of the sovereign crisis in 2011,” Anand added.Meanwhile, Rob Burnett, investment director at Neptune’s European opportunities fund, argued that Syriza had no incentive to cause further turmoil in Greece.“Tspiras is taking power, with Greece having just registered its first quarter of GDP growth in seven years, and he is aware he has a tremendous opportunity to gather the plaudits as the economy recovers,” he said.“We expect Syriza’s negotiation with the Troika, comprising the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, will be difficult, but all sides are incentivised to come up with a face-saving compromise.”Viktor Nossek, research director at WisdomTree, said QE was likely to protect Spain and Italy from contagion, and preclude fiscal easing in these countries and Greece.“A compromise struck between the Troika and Greece is [also] likely to stabilise the euro as it dissipates contagion risk to Italy and Spain,” he said. “Nevertheless, a compromise should impact sentiment in Greece’s bond markets negatively.“Pressure on Greece’s bonds to fall further is likely. At risk, too, are Greek bank stocks that hold government debt of Greece.”last_img read more

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