Sanders: Close VT Yankee On Economic Grounds

Aug 21, 2013

Senator Bernie Sanders says he’s disappointed a federal appeals court ruled against the state’s attempt to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Sanders was reacting to last week's decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that said federal law trumped two state laws that would have forced Yankee to close. The court said Vermont lawmakers were improperly motivated by safety concerns, and that safety is the sole province of the federal government.

"I think there is a strong desire on the part of the people of the state of Vermont to shut that plant down." - Bernie Sanders

But Sanders says Vermont can still close the plant on economic grounds. And he says that’s what the majority of Vermonters want.

"We have a nuclear power plant which is antiquated, which is of the same design as the plant in Fukashima. I think there is a strong desire on the part of  the people of the state of Vermont to shut that plant down. It was originally supposed to last for 40 years. And I think that’s what the people want. If you’re asking me do I think states have the clear authority for economic reasons to shut a nuclear plant, I think they do. And I was disappointed in the court’s ruling," said Sanders.

The Public Service Board has wrapped up its review of Yankee’s request for a new 20-year license from the state. The board’s review has focused on economic and environmental issues.
 
A decision in the PSB case is expected by the end of the year.