Thursday October 4, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- A federal judge has granted a request for expedited oral arguments in the appeal of Entergy’s lawsuit against Vermont.

According to court documents filed Oct. 3, the case "will be heard as early as the week of Nov. 26, subject to the approval of the presiding judge."

Vermont is appealing the January decision of Judge J. Garvan Murtha, in which he ruled that laws passed by the state infringed upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s authority to regulate the radiological safety of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Entergy, which owns and operates the nuclear reactor in Vernon, sued Vermont in April 2011, a month after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a 20-year license extension.

Lawyers for Entergy opposed Vermont’s motion for an expedited schedule, stating it was "in stark contrast" to taking nearly all of the allowable time to file the appeal.

In its motion for expedited oral arguments, the state contended a hastened resolution is necessary to allow Vermont "to move away from nuclear energy toward renewable, environmentally sustainable energy sources."

The state also argued that an expedited resolution is necessary to determine what will be done about the storage of spent nuclear fuel produced by the plant.

Entergy argued the state’s claim "is implausible" because the storage of nuclear waste is within the sole purview of the NRC.


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