Thursday December 13, 2012

In January, Federal District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha ruled the Vermont Senate's decision to prohibit the Vermont Public Service Board from issuing a certificate of public good for Yankee's continued operation past March 2012 was based on safety, which is under the purview of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

But in his decision he also affirmed the PSB's role in determining whether the power plant should receive a certificate of public good, based on issues under the state's authority, such as economics, the orderly development of the region, the environmental impact of long-term storage of nuclear waste at the facility and the state's energy policy.

Vermont has appealed Murtha's decision to a federal appellate court which is set to take oral arguments in January.

On Jan. 31, Entergy officials filed a motion with the PSB to immediately grant the pending CPG to authorize Vermont Yankee to continue to operate after March 21 stating that the record was "fully sufficient."

But the PSB disagreed, saying too much time had elapsed and that in effect the record was stale and needed to be refreshed in light of new developments that had occurred following the closure of the initial CPG hearings. Filings and arguments in the PSB's hearings are expected to continue into August of 2013.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently issued a new 20-year operating license for Yankee, which has been generating power since 1972, allowing it to operate until 2032.