Preparations Begin For Vermont Yankee Lawsuit

07/21/11 7:34AM By Ric Cengeri

(Host) Lawyers for Entergy and the attorney general are preparing for a federal lawsuit next month that will determine the state's role in the future operation of Vermont Yankee.

Earlier this week, Judge Garvan Murtha rejected Entergy's request for an injunction that would allow Yankee to operate past next March without state permission.

Judge Murtha rejected Entergy's assertion that it would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction wasn't granted.

The decision sets the stage for a trial in September. At issue is whether Vermont has the legal right to decide the future of Vermont Yankee. 

Michael Dworkin is a professor at Vermont Law School and former chair of the state's Public Service Board:

(Dworkin) "I think the issue will be, was the state legitimately trying to act on issues other than radiological safety and was any trace of radiological safety concerns so terrible that it impaired the otherwise legitimate state action." 

(Host) Attorney General Bill Sorrell believes, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming trial, an appeal is inevitable.

(Sorrell) "I would be very surprised if Vermont, if we lose at any level if we wouldn't go just as far as Entergy will likely go to get this thing ultimately resolved by the highest court." 

(Host) Sorrell predicts that the case will eventually be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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