Yankee no longer produces power, but it’s still cranking out bad PR

If anyone needed a reminder why Entergy wore out its welcome in Vermont, well, we just got another one. The corporation has decided to outsource Vermont Yankee’s security four years earlier than planned, in a move expected to save “millions of dollars.”

But that’s not the “bad PR” part of the story. No, it was the way Entergy phrased the announcement. Take it away, Vermont Yankee Security Manager Patrick Ryan:

“… it is important to reinforce that one of our top priorities continues to be the safety and security of our facility.”

Okay… wait.

One of our top priorities”?

The chief of security says that security is “one of” their top priorities. How reassuring.

What are the others? Donut procurement? Kiddie pool acquisition?

And that wasn’t just a one-off.

“… we are confident that safety will continue to be a top VY priority and decommissioning of the facility will be done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Pardon me: A top priority?

As opposed to “the top priority”?

The contractor taking over VY security is Securitas, a firm that has a lot of experience in guarding nuclear facilities. All right, fine. But there’s something else that bothers me.

Go back to the line about saving “millions of dollars” over the next four years. Elsewhere in the story, Ryan says that “all current VY security employees are expected to be retained by [Securitas].”

But if they’ll keep — ahem, they’re “expected to” keep — the entire VY security staff, where will the “millions” in savings come from?

Ryan says the move “will greatly reduce administrative burden.” But it’s hard to imagine how, unless Entergy’s security operation was severely featherbedded. My question: how does Securitas’ wage and benefits package compare to Entergy’s?

Those VY workers might be in for a pay cut.

Note: I saw this story in the April 4 Times Argus. The story does not seem to be accessible on the T-A’s website; it originally appeared in the T-A’s sister paper, the Rutland Herald. (It was written by Herald reporter Susan Smallheer.) My subscription to the T-A does not include access to Herald content, so I can’t provide a link.  but frequent correspondent (and candidate) H. Brooke Paige has provided a link to the Herald story. Thanks!

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