Entergy Says Yankee Vote Is A Setback

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(Host) Entergy Corporation says today’s Senate vote was a setback. But the company is still determined to operate Vermont Yankee until 2032.

Spokesman Jim Steets says Entergy will ask the state again for permission to extend its license.

(Steets) "If we can demonstrate over time that we’ve taken the issues seriously that concern them, and we can focus on this great asset Vermont Yankee is for Vermonters, I think we could have a different outcome. We’re determined to continue to operate that plant."

(Host) Steets says Entergy understands that its reputation has been damaged by a number of disclosures in recent months.

That includes the ongoing leak of radioactive tritium into groundwater – apparently from underground pipes that Entergy officials previously told the state didn’t exist.

But Steets says Entergy is determined to turn around the public’s perception of the company.

(Steets) "We think it’s something that we can turn around, given the time and recognizing the time it will take to accomplish that. … I think there’s an opportunity here for Entergy to demonstrate its commitment to operate that plant and convey to Vermonters the advantages to them in continuing operation. So we intend to do that and we’re optimistic that the legislature some time down the road might feel differently about it."

(Host) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission underlined the issues that Vermont Yankee faces.

The NRC chairman issued a statement a few hours after the Senate voted, saying Entergy will have to provide an explanation, under oath, about what it told the state about the underground pipes.

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