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.