Federal Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

Should the feds really be able to force Vermonters to accept proven radiation leaks in their state? Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times:

A federal judge on Thursday blocked Vermont from forcing the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor to shut down when its license expires in March, saying that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which only the federal government can do.

The judge, J. Garvan Murtha of United States District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., also held that the state cannot force the plant’s owner, Entergy, to sell electricity from the reactor to in-state utilities at reduced rates as a condition of continued operation, as Entergy asserts it is now doing.

The nuclear operator filed a lawsuit last year challenging the constitutionality of a state law giving the Vermont Legislature veto power over operation of the reactor when its original 40-year license expires.

In an extensive review of the legislative record, Judge Murtha pointed out in his ruling that in remarks “too numerous to recount here,” state lawmakers and witnesses made clear that their effort to close the plant was “grounded in radiological safety concerns” — the province of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The commission has already granted Vermont Yankee a 20-year license extension.

The ruling is almost certain to be appealed by the state and an array of private groups that want the plant shut down because of leaks of radioactive tritium and other issues…

[continues in the New York Times]


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13 Comments on "Federal Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant"

  1. I live 7 miles from this aging reactor, in Brattleboro, VT.  What is the point of having contracts and licenses if they can be broken at a corporations whim?? It was a 40 year license, there have been multiple problems with the reactor… And, the people of Vermont have OVERWHELMINGLY rejected it’s continued operation.  
    http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/89039/vpr-poll-finds-vermonters-favor-shutting-down-verm/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_Yankee_Nuclear_Power_Plant#Controversy_and_operations

    …BIG sigh.

  2. Anarchy Pony | Jan 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    Wow, this is pretty ridiculous. VT “Hey yeah, we don’t want this aged and dangerous nuclear reactor to continue operation near us.” US “Well too fucking bad because we are in the pocket of the company operating it and say you can just deal with the cancer and whatnot.”

    Hope these people get that thing shut down.

  3. Another instance of Corporations>People

  4. Mamagriff50 | Jan 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

    I really hope Vermonts appeals work. The U.S. government is telling the stats more and more to handle sh*t for themselves, (programs for the needy etc…), But when they do and it’s in the peoples best interest not the corporations, they step back into the picture….They can’t have it both ways. Appeal…appeal….appeal!!! Petitions too, maybe.

  5. Vi0let_femme | Jan 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm |


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