Nuclear Energy

Nuclear: When a town loses its economic center

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, formerly operated by Entergy Corp., shut down in 2014 (Credit: Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Wikipedia).

VERNON, VT — “Ask Tim Arsenault how life is changing in this tiny riverfront town, and he’ll tell you about the little things.

The cops used to keep a 24-hour watch in Vernon. To save money, the town dialed it back to 20.

The library’s budget just got cut by a third. Now it has one employee and a squad of volunteers.

The town office got rid of its custodian. Arsenault, who’s the town clerk, and his middle-aged co-workers haul the trash themselves. ‘I don’t mind,’ said Arsenault, who’s 61. ‘The question is, is it the most efficient use of a town clerk’s time?’

Such small austerities are early signs of how Vernon’s adjusting to its biggest shake-up in decades: the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. Once the economic heart of this town, Yankee now sits idle after Entergy Corp. shut it down at the end of 2014.”

— Sadiq Rahim, E&E News

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