Yankee Rowe Nuclear Plant Is Shut Down (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: Deeming the cost of safety tests too high, the Yankee Atomic Electric Company decided to shut down its nuclear power plant permanently.
Summary of Event
In February, 1992, Andrew C. Kadak, president of the company that had operated the Yankee Rowe nuclear power plant for thirty-two years, announced that the plant would be closed permanently. The plant had been shut down since September of the previous year, because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had ordered the company to conduct tests of the reactor container to determine whether radiation embrittlement of its steel and its welds was advanced enough to lead to rupture under emergency conditions. When estimates for the testing and possible repair or replacement of the reactor container parts came to nearly $23 million, the company realized that it could not recoup such an expenditure in the foreseeable future and elected to close down the plant.
Yankee Rowe is situated in the northwestern Massachusetts town of Rowe, about four miles south of the Vermont-Massachusetts border. It was the first nuclear reactor commissioned by the NRC’s predecessor, the Atomic Energy Commission. It was also the smallest reactor in use at the time, producing some 175 megawatts of power or about 1 percent of that fed into the Massachusetts grid. Yankee Rowe had a reasonably good safety record, with shutdowns averaging one per year. Most of the...
(The entire section is 2067 words.)
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