Douglas signs Yankee reliability assessment bill

06/09/08 7:04AM

Governor Jim Douglas has signed into law a bill calling for a comprehensive reliability assessment at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant before lawmakers vote next year on whether the plant's license should be extended for 20 years beyond 2012.

Douglas initially had been cool to the idea of an extra inspection at the Vernon reactor beyond the review normally conducted by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission at reactors around the country when they seek license extensions.

But that changed after problems at the plant last year, including the collapse of a cooling tower. Vermont officials say they will be able to craft a special review that does not interfere with the NRC process.

The NRC issued a statement saying it would try to answer the state's requests for information about Vermont Yankee within its normal inspection process.

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