Grid Manager Says Yankee Power Provides Value

07/26/11 6:06AM By Ross Sneyd

(Host) Entergy intends to buy a new supply of nuclear fuel to power Vermont Yankee.

The company's board of directors voted to spend the $60 million needed to refuel the plant, even though its future is uncertain.

Chris Dutton of the Vermont Electric Power Company says Yankee is an important part of the statewide power grid that his company manages.

(Dutton) "By and large if the plant continues to operate, grid stability is enhanced. So, strictly from the perspective of VELCO, the plant provides value. It's not indispensable, but it provides some value."

(Host) Yankee is in the middle of a federal lawsuit against the state that will determine the future of the plant.

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved extending Yankee's license to operate until 2032.

But the state wants it to shut down next March, as originally scheduled.

Entergy says it's confident it will win the lawsuit to overturn the state's authority over the plant, so it decided to order the fuel.

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