Entergy distributes layoff notices to Vermont Yankee workers

With the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant scheduled to close at the end of this year, Entergy (NYSE:ETR) said Nov. 19 that it has distributed layoff notices to 165 employees that will be let go on Jan. 19, 2015.

At the same time subsidiary Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee plans to keep 316 interested employees the opportunity the option to remain employed at Vermont Yankee through early 2016 to start decommissioning. As of Nov. 1, there were 554 active employees at the site.

Entergy announced in August 2013 that Vermont Yankee would permanently cease operations by the end of 2014. Even though Entergy announced the plant closure last year, Entergy is issuing notices to employees and local officials today to ensure compliance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

The WARN Act was enacted in 1989 to offer protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring certain employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of certain plant closings and mass layoffs.

In addition to the affected employees, Entergy has filed the notices with the Vermont Department of Labor and the Town of Vernon.

Of the 165 employees leaving employment at Vermont Yankee starting on Jan. 19, 2015, 69 reside in Vermont, 48 reside in New Hampshire and 39 reside in Massachusetts.

Since the plant closure was announced, 40 Vermont Yankee employees have decided to retire and 79 have transferred or will be transferring to another Entergy facility, the company said.

Entergy said recently that it expects Vermont Yankee decommissioning to cost roughly $1.24bn in 2014 dollars.

The roughly 600-MW boiling water reactor (BWR) in Windham County, Ver., is already starting to “coast down” its power generation. Federal records listed it at 84% power generation on Nov. 19.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.