University of Vermont

College of
Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

UVM Researchers Featured in Electricity Journal

Release Date: 05-18-2010

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

A research article by Drs. Paul Hines, Richard Watts and Jonathan Dowds entitled, "The Debate over Re-Licensing the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant" is featured in the May 2010 Electricity Journal published by Elsevier.

Hines is an Assistant Professor in the University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and is a Commissioner at the Burlington Electric Department. Dowds is a graduate student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at UVM. Watts is a researcher at the UVM Transportation Research Center and an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont.

This research article examines state and federal licensing documents, regional electricity markets, and news media articles covering Vermont Yankee.

"Because media discourse analysis provides a deeper understanding of the issue than other types of analysis taken alone, examining narratives provides a valuable window into the policymaking process," says Hines.

"The decision by the Vermont Senate to reject the Vermont nuclear power plant was a critical turning point for Vermont. To understand this decision we examined five years of media coverage to identify trends in coverage and how the plant was framed," said Watts.

How did a plant seen as likely to be re-licensed in 2008 and early 2009 become the first nuclear power plant rejected in a public vote in 20 years? Is the political and policy debate unique to Vermont or does this case foreshadow future re-licensing debates? This paper reflects how media discourse can provide clues to policy outcomes.

To read the article visit:

For more information contact Paul Hines: