Governor Hopes Yankee Will Still Be Part Of Vermont’s Energy Future

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Governor Jim Douglas says he hopes the current problems at Vermont Yankee can be straightened out, so the plant can play a part in the state’s energy future.

For that to happen, Douglas says Entergy Corporation will have to change its attitude about the seriousness of the situation at Vermont Yankee.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) The governor says he’s angry and upset that Vermont Yankee officials have misled the state concerning the existence of underground pipes that are leaking radioactive water, but he also says he thinks the plant can be a key component of Vermont’s energy future for the next two decades:

(Douglas) "I would like to believe that it can be a part of Vermont’s energy future as well but we need answers we need issues resolved we need to know about what happened we need to see some changes made at the plant I still believe there’s a good possibility that this will be apart of our energy future but we need answers first."

(Kinzel) Douglas says he’s taking a harder stand on the issues at Vermont Yankee because he doesn’t think top management officials at Entergy are taking this situation very seriously:

(Douglas) "I’m not sure they get it I’m not sure they understand they great concern that Vermonters have those of us in public office and the people of our state all around Vermont about the situation at Yankee both with respect to tritium leak but even more importantly the breach of trust that’s occurred between the company and our state.

(Kinzel) Douglas says he needs to see major changes in the Entergy management team in Vermont and at the company’s home office in Louisiana in order to support the plant in the future:

(Douglas) "When I talk about management changes I should be clear that may not be just in Vermont that’s a decision that the company has to make they need to restore our confidence they need to restore our trust and they have to make the decisions that will ensure that that happens."

(Kinzel) Vermont Yankee also faces tougher scrutiny from state regulators. The Vermont Public Service Board has called for a comprehensive review of the plant’s operations. This is an investigation that could take months to complete.

For VPR News I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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