Wednesday, March 21, 2012, is the date that Vermont Yankee’s original 40-year operating license ends. Supporters and opponents of the nuclear power plant are enmeshed in legal and regulatory proceedings about extending the license, and meanwhile the plant continues to produce electricity — but none of it is going to Vermont customers. How did we get here?
Vermont Edition looks at the recent history of Vermont Yankee, beginning with Entergy’s purchase of the plant in 2002, and the events that unfolded in the following decade that changed public perception of the plant. Our guest is UVM researcher Richard Watts, who chronicles that period in his new book, "Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant."
Then we talk with Pat Parenteau, a Vermont Law School professor who has followed Vermont Yankee’s regulatory proceedings carefully. We look at the decision in the federal court case Entergy filed against the state, that Vermont is now appealing. And we discuss the status of Vermont Yankee’s effort to win a new Certificate of Public Good from the state Public Service Board.
Also in the program, the perspective from Vernon, the plant’s home. Select board chair and former state representative Patty O’Donnell describes the support people in Vernon have for the plant, and the anti-nuclear protests that residents are expecting this week.