Vermont Yankee – A Stunning Rebuke

Sandy Levine | @CLFLevine

In a sharply worded decision, the Vermont Public Service Board made clear yesterday that it intends to holds Entergy to its commitments.

The Board stated that the provision of Vermont law that allows licenses to continue while a new proceeding is underway “does not provide authority for Vermont Yankee to continue operating, and storing spent nuclear fuel derived from such operation, while Entergy VY’s petition for a new or amended CPG remains pending.” (p.25).

The decision makes it clear that Entergy’s current license includes obligations that preclude storing fuel generated after March 21, 2012. (p.19) It also recognized that the Board order approving the sale to Entergy back in 2002 relied on Entergy’s promise not to operate after 2012 unless it had approval from the Board. (p.18)

The Board further chastised Entergy and its multi-million dollar legal team noting it expected them “to provide better organized and more cogent briefing.” (p.9 fn. 19).

The Board’s decision was made “in full recognition of the federal District Court’s decision” and does not cross purposes with it. It clarifies Entergy’s commitments and obligations. Entergy should be held to their promises. Entergy cannot simply pick and choose which obligations it will follow.

It is not clear what’s next. The ball is in Entergy’s court. It can and should comply with its obligations and keep its promises.

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