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Follow VPR's coverage of Vermont Yankee, from the archive and continuing through the plant's planned closure in 2014.Most Recent Reporting | From The Archive

Vt. Yankee Opponents Say Deal Doesn't Protect Region's Interests

A deal is being finalized that would resolve financial issues related to the cleanup of the closed Vermont Yankee  nuclear plant.
Jason R. Henske
Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

A proposed agreement between the state of Vermont and Entergy Vermont Yankee came in for criticism  Tuesday at a hearing before the state Public Service Board.

The hearing took place in locations around the state over Vermont Interactive Television.

Among other provisions, the agreement calls for Entergy to pay $10 million to help the Windham County Economy adjust to the plant’s shutdown.

In return, the Public Service Board would issue a permit for the plant to operate for a year before it closes in December 2014.

Supporters of the deal cited its economic benefits.  But opponents, who dominated the hearing, said it didn’t do enough to protect the region’s interests.

Brooke Decker of Andover said Entergy reneged on promises it made when it bought the plant in 2002.

“Entergy has proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted,” Decker said. “From the untruths about leaking pipes and the lawsuits against the state, how can we trust that this new MOU will be adhered to? How can we trust that decommissioning will be carried out in a safe and timely manner? How can trust that Entergy will fund the decommissioning? I believe that now is the time to cover all the issues.”

Anne Ferguson of Leverett, Massachusetts, questioned Entergy’s commitment to clean the site up promptly -- a priority for the state.

“I think this Memo of Understanding is too vague,” Ferguson told the board. “We don’t have anyone saying how much this is going to cost and when they are obligated to start decommissioning.”

The Public Service Board is also accepting written testimony on the proposed agreement and Entergy’s bid for a one-year permit.

Susan Keese was VPR's southern Vermont reporter, based at the VPR studio in Manchester at Burr & Burton Academy. After many years as a print journalist and magazine writer, Susan started producing stories for VPR in 2002. From 2007-2009, she worked as a producer, helping to launch the noontime show Vermont Edition. Susan has won numerous journalism awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting on VPR. She wrote a column for the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. Her work has appeared in Vermont Life, the Boston Globe Magazine, The New York Times and other publications, as well as on NPR.
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