Massachusetts Joins VT Fight Against Federal Pre-emption

06/14/11 6:06AM

Massachusetts backs Vermont's assertion that it is not pre-empted by federal law from closing the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The Commonwealth says it wants to defend its own laws regulating reactors, and Vermont's should stand as well.

Vermont is the only state in the country with a law saying that before a nuclear plant within its borders gets to extend its initial 40-year operating license, it must get approval from both houses of the Legislature. Vermont Yankee's initial license expires next March, and it has failed to win legislative approval for continued operation.

Entergy has sued in U.S. District Court, saying federal laws governing nuclear power pre-empt state ones. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted Vermont Yankee a license extension in March.

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