Vermont Yankee

Vermont and three other states have asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a more expansive environmental review of storing highly radioactive waste at nuclear power plants.

The petition follows a federal court ruling last summer that found the NRC’s environmental review of onsite waste storage was inadequate.

The NRC staff has since launched a more limited review process. Attorney General Bill Sorrell says the petition asks the commission to overrule its staff.

Jason R. Henske / AP

  A federal court judge has set a hearing date for early June in Entergy Vermont Yankee’s latest legal challenge against the state of Vermont.

The owner of Vermont’s only nuclear plant sued the state last month, charging that state regulators have delayed approval of a back-up emergency diesel generator.

Yankee is under orders from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to install a back-up power source by September. The generator is supposed to be available if the plant is disabled and loses electricity from the transmission grid.

Jason R. Henske / AP

Federal regulators say they’re confident the public is not in danger from the tons of radioactive spent fuel stored in an above-ground pool at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

The comments by Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials came after a nuclear critic told Vermont lawmakers that the fuel rods should be moved because of the potential threat.

The NRC releases an annual safety report card on Vermont Yankee. The agency says Yankee’s grades this year were good.

Jason R. Henske / AP

A nuclear engineer is warning the Legislature that Vermont Yankee could close before its federal license expires and leave the state with a huge clean-up bill.

But that testimony was disputed by another nuclear expert who said the federal government would step in to help the state.

The House Natural Resources and Energy Committee is considering a bill to require Vermont Yankee to reserve $40 million to restore the Vernon site to its pre-industrial condition.

Entergy Vermont Yankee has sued the state again in federal court, claiming the state has delayed approval of a back-up emergency generator.

Entergy has brought a familiar claim to the latest court action. It says federal law trumps state law on issues of safety.

In 2012, Entergy won a similar federal preemption case in a suit that challenged two Vermont laws that required legislative approval to operate the plant after its state license expired.

VPR/John Dillon

A former U.S. Department of Energy official has warned lawmakers that spent nuclear fuel stored in a waste pool at Vermont Yankee poses an unacceptable risk.

The Statehouse testimony came as some lawmakers want to impose a new tax on radioactive waste at the Vernon reactor.

Robert Alvarez worked at the Department of Energy in the 1990s as a senior policy advisor. He’s now a scholar at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington.

The Shumlin Administration wants Vermont Yankee to pay more to help emergency officials respond to a nuclear accident.

The request for increased funds draws on lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene and the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan. 

The administration added $770,000 last week to the proposed budget now under review in the Senate Appropriations Committee. But the state requires that Yankee reimburse the funds. 

Hundreds Protest Vermont Yankee

Apr 1, 2013

Hundreds of people who rallied in protest of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant over the weekend, and they say it's time for the 41-year-old reactor to shut down.

More than 500 people marched through downtown Brattleboro Saturday carrying banners and chanting shut it down. Organizers claim the plant, owned by Entergy, has been operating illegally.

The march came five days after the Vermont Supreme Court denied a petition from the anti-nuclear New England Coalition to shut down the plant.