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Vermont Yankee End Date Comes, And Goes

03/21/12 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP/Jason R. Henske
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on the banks of the Connecticut River in Vernon. The plant's 40-year operating license expires Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012, is the date that Vermont Yankee's original 40-year operating license ends. Supporters and opponents of the nuclear power plant are enmeshed in legal and regulatory proceedings about extending the license, and meanwhile the plant continues to produce electricity -- but none of it is going to Vermont customers. How did we get here?


Vermont Edition looks at the recent history of Vermont Yankee, beginning with Entergy's purchase of the plant in 2002, and the events that unfolded in the following decade that changed public perception of the plant. Our guest is UVM researcher Richard Watts, who chronicles that period in his new book, "Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant."

AP/U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
In this undated photo released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, damage to the cooling tower at the Vermont Yankee power plant in Vernon is seen. Anti-nuclear activists consider the 2007 incident a turning point in public opinion.
Then we talk with Pat Parenteau, a Vermont Law School professor who has followed Vermont Yankee's regulatory proceedings carefully. We look at the decision in the federal court case Entergy filed against the state, that Vermont is now appealing. And we discuss the status of Vermont Yankee's effort to win a new Certificate of Public Good from the state Public Service Board.

Also in the program, the perspective from Vernon, the plant's home. Select board chair and former state representative Patty O'Donnell describes the support people in Vernon have for the plant, and the anti-nuclear protests that residents are expecting this week.


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