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While there are similarities between Maine Yankee and Vermont Yankee, there are also many differences.

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One of its closest neighbors was the Chewonki Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group that started as a summer camp for boys in 1915. The organization is named after Chewonki Neck, a 400 acre peninsula on Montsweag Bay.

A case study on decommissioning

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which is seeking to extend its license to operate past 2012 as it faces a wave of controversy over the plant's age, management and a leak of radioactive tritium, it is instructive to look at what happened to nuclear power in Maine.

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When Maine Yankee powered down on Dec. 6, 1996, it would be the last day the plant operated.

Shadis wasn't always an anti nuclear activist. He grew up in a family of engineers who helped design missiles for the federal government. Even when he moved to Maine, he only casually Nike Running Jacket White

First wave of reactors

Both were in the first wave of reactors built in the United States during the early 1970s, and both began producing electricity in 1972.

The future of Maine Yankee all came crashing down in late 1995 when an anonymous whistleblower in the company alleged that it falsified safety information to the federal government that allowed the plant to boost its power production by 10 percent.

Thirteen years ago there was a whole lot more to see than a grassy field. Maine Yankee was a pressurized water reactor built along the shore of the Bailey Point peninsula in 1972 and for two and a half decades produced electricity for the state, totaling nearly 120,000 gigawatt hours of power.

Shadis began organizing other locals worried about nuclear power. A meeting in April 1979 at the local Town Hall attracted nearly 1,500 people.

Then came the near meltdown at the Three Mile Island reactor in New York state in 1979.

Maine Yankee always failed but the margins were slim, including one year when 44.5 percent of voters wanted to shut it down.

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the Feb. 14, 2010, edition of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus. Daniel Barlow, then a reporter for the Vermont Press Bureau, traveled to Maine to investigate what happened when Maine shut down and decommissioned its nuclear plant in Wiscasset. In light of Entergy's decision to close Vermont Yankee, we are rerunning this article to give people an idea of what decommissioning looked like in another state.

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Nike Jackets For Men Black

"That's it," said Eric Howes, the public relations official for Maine Yankee, pointing at the dry cask storage units more than 100 yards away. "There's not really much to see."

WISCASSET, Maine All that remains of Maine Yankee now is a series of large concrete structures in the middle of a grassy field 64 giant dry cask storage units holding the radioactive waste from the plant's 24 years of operation.

Maine didn't exactly welcome the nuclear plant with open arms.

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Other than those details, the road looks like any other in small towns across New England.

"That was just devastating for the company," said Ray Shadis, an anti nuclear activist who lives Nike Jackets For Men Black in Maine. "They never recovered from that."

But the plant owned by a corporation formed by 10 utilities, including one from Vermont won strong political support over the years, notably for the property taxes it paid to the tiny town of Wiscasset and the more than 500 people it employed.

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Signs along the rural road in Wiscasset notify travelers of serious security ahead and issue stern warnings: Guards can use force to stop you if you go any farther down the road.

"We won all the surrounding towns in the evacuation area except for Wiscasset," remembered Shadis, a resident of Edgecomb, who worked with Maine's Friends of the Coast and Vermont's New England Coalition, two anti nuclear groups.

As Vermonters ponder the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Nike Tracksuit Womens Grey

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission stepped in during the following summer, citing Maine Yankee on 16 safety violations. The owners shut down the plant but had ambitious plans to fix the problems which included cracks in the steam generator tubes and reopen soon.

Maine residents tried three times to shut down the nuclear plant in their state. Unlike Vermont, Maine has a law allowing for binding statewide referendums. The votes to close Nike Sports Jackets Online

knew about Maine Yankee.

The two plants are different types of nuclear reactors, however. Maine Yankee, which produced about 900 megawatts of power, is what is known as a pressurized water reactor; Vermont Yankee is the slightly less common boiling water reactor. The major difference between those two types of plants is how the reactor is cooled.

"The danger of nuclear power became clear to me and a whole lotta other people then," Shadis said.

By Daniel Barlow

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