Court battle for Vermont Yankee

13 September 2011

The trial of Entergy Corporation versus the state of Vermont to determine the fate of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant began on 12 September. Entergy is claiming that the state's decision to not issue a certificate of public good, necessary to allow the continued operation of the plant beyond March next year, is pre-empted by the Atomic Energy Act that states only the federal government has the right to rule on nuclear safety. However, the state contends that it is trying to shut down the plant for reasons other than safety, such as economics and the right to promote its own energy mix. In March the 39-year-old boiling water reactor received its 20-year licence extension from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The three-day trial is set to end on 14 September but it is unknown when presiding Judge J Garvan Murtha might rule. The case is being heard in the US district court in Brattleboro, Vermont.