Crude Oil ( ) Brent Crude ( ) Natural Gas ( ) S&P 500 ( ) PHLX Oil ( )
Current ETR Stock Info

Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) announced plans on August 27, 2013, to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vermont.

The station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of 2014. The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission throughout the 60-year decommissioning process. A handful of factors, including sustained low natural gas prices, high cost structure, and wholesale market design flaws factored into the decision.  Click here for a transcript of a story on National Public Radio announcing the closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.

The Vermont Yankee closing comes in the wake of heavy criticism against a plant owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) in Fukushima, Japan. The plant suffered heavy damage from a 2011 tsunami and resulted in extensive contamination to the shoreline and sea. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has harshly reprimanded TEPCO for failing to safely clean the area, and recently raised the contamination rating to Level 3, which is deemed a “serious” situation. Japan’s industry minister said the government will take over cleanup efforts.

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a list of Combined License (COL) to construct a nuclear plant.  At present, there are only two licensees with COLs.  Southern Nuclear Operating Company and South Carolina Electric & Gas are licensees with new COLs.

The Vermont Yankee and Fukushima plants each use the same General Electric-designed boiling water reactor. The design uses river water as a cooling source, and has exacerbated issues on Japan’s coast. Vermont residents have lobbied against the Vermont Yankee since its completion in 1972, and feuds with lawmakers span the past decade.

Four other United States-based reactors have closed recently, with decommissions coming in Florida, Wisconsin, and two in California. EDF, a French-subsidized nuclear giant, also announced its withdrawal from the U.S. nuclear power market “due to the inability of nuclear power to compete with alternatives and the dramatic reduction in demand growth caused by increasing efficiency of electricity consuming devices.”

Nuclear energy’s effectiveness has been deeply affected by the emergence of natural gas. The boom of the local Marcellus shale and cost-effectiveness of natural gas has propelled the resource into a premier energy producer while production costs of nuclear energy continue to climb. Natural gas production has increased 16% since 2009, while the construction of new nuclear plants is becoming a rarity. Public sentiment also favors the development of natural gas. A 2013 Gallup poll revealed 65% of all Americans favor a higher emphasis on natural gas production, compared to only 37% for nuclear power.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, total natural gas consumption has risen 37% since 2008.  The largest usage of natural gas in America is for electric power.  During the same period, coal consumption for electric power is down 21% and nuclear power consumption is flat.

[sam_ad id=”32″ codes=”true”]

Important disclosures: The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, EnerCom, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to its completeness or accuracy. EnerCom’s conclusions are based upon information gathered from sources deemed to be reliable. This note is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument of any company mentioned in this note. This note was prepared for general circulation and does not provide investment recommendations specific to individual investors. All readers of the note must make their own investment decisions based upon their specific investment objectives and financial situation utilizing their own financial advisors as they deem necessary. Investors should consider a company’s entire financial and operational structure in making any investment decisions. Past performance of any company discussed in this note should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future results. EnerCom is a multi-disciplined management consulting services firm that regularly intends to seek business, or currently may be undertaking business, with companies covered on Oil & Gas 360®, and thereby seeks to receive compensation from these companies for its services. In addition, EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of these companies. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this note. The company or companies covered in this note did not review the note prior to publication. EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of the companies covered in this report or on Oil & Gas 360®. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s reports or Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report.


Important disclosures: The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, EnerCom, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to its completeness or accuracy. EnerCom’s conclusions are based upon information gathered from sources deemed to be reliable. This note is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument of any company mentioned in this note. This note was prepared for general circulation and does not provide investment recommendations specific to individual investors. All readers of the note must make their own investment decisions based upon their specific investment objectives and financial situation utilizing their own financial advisors as they deem necessary. Investors should consider a company’s entire financial and operational structure in making any investment decisions. Past performance of any company discussed in this note should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future results. EnerCom is a multi-disciplined management consulting services firm that regularly intends to seek business, or currently may be undertaking business, with companies covered on Oil & Gas 360®, and thereby seeks to receive compensation from these companies for its services. In addition, EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of these companies. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this note. EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of the companies covered in this report or on Oil & Gas 360®. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s reports or Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report.