New England group seeks injunction against Vermont Yankee

The New England Coalition (NEC) has asked the Vermont Supreme Court to issue an injunction against Entergy (NYSE: ETR) to force the company to cease operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant until the state issues the plant a certificate of public good.

In a complaint filed Dec. 4, NEC said Entergy and its relevant subsidiaries have shown “disobedience and noncompliance” with the Vermont Public Service Board’s final order in Docket No. 6545.

The NEC is asking for an expedited review of its suit. The board has not yet ruled on Entergy’s application for a new or amended certificate to continue to operate beyond March 12, 2012.

Entergy does have a 20-year license extension from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission along with a federal district court ruling that said only NRC, and not the state, has the authority to regulate nuclear safety.

“Vermont Yankee is evaluating the NEC filing and will be responding in accordance with legal rules and procedures,” an Entergy spokesperson said by email Dec. 7. “Our focus is on the continued safe and reliable operation of Vermont Yankee, which is consistent with the favorable federal court decision we received earlier this year,” the spokesperson said.

NEC and other Vermont Yankee critics have said that Entergy effectively agreed to Vermont PSB oversight when it purchased the 600-MW nuclear plant from a group of regional utilities in 2002.

Entergy continues to run Vermont Yankee without a certificate of public good, NEC said in its complaint. The New England Coalition said that Entergy is in violation of the sale order issued by the board in Docket 6545.

The complaint was filed by NEC attorneys Jared Margolis and Brice Simon. The New England Coalition describes itself as “the people’s advocate for safe energy since 1971.”

As for Entergy, in a Dec. 4 statement posted on its website, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Site Vice President Chris Wamser thanked local supporters who recently showed up at a public meeting of the Vermont PSB to urge approval of a new certificate of public good.

Wamser said most of the roughly 280 people at the hearing wore buttons expressing support of the nuclear power plant.

 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.