Vermont Senate votes to shut state's only nuclear plant

By an overwhelming 26 to 4 vote, the Vermont Senate voted to deny a request by Entergy Corp., the operator of Vermont's sole nuclear plant, to extend its forty-year lifespan by an additional twenty years, forcing a shutdown of the aging reactor by 2012. The vote marks the first time a state has moved to shut down an operating reactor, and deals a severe blow to the troubled nuclear industry, which had hoped for a revival after President Obama made massive federal loan guarantees to promote construction of new nuclear plants a centerpiece of his proposed energy policy. Pictured:  Collapsed cooling tower, 2007

 

Just days before the vote, the Nuclear Regulator Commission confirmed the Vermont Yankee plant has had several leaks of radioactive tritium dating back to 2005. An investigation later established that the plant’s owners had lied about the extent of contamination to the local water supply. They claimed the facility did not have underground pipes that could carry tritium, when it did. Read more...