Nuclear activist protest Vermont Yankee

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(Host) Several hundred nuclear activists came to Montpelier yesterday to voice their concerns about the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Vermont Yankee wants permission to operate for another 20 years, after its license expires in 2012. State law gives the legislature the power to approve the license extension.

The crowd gathered on the Statehouse lawn want lawmakers to vote "No." They found a receptive audience with Senate President Peter Shumlin. The Windham County Democrat told the crowd that Yankee’s owner, the Entergy Corporation, has broken its promise to pay to decommission the plant after 2012.

(Shumlin) Let me say something about Vermont‘s future and what our biggest struggle is in this debate. The House has passed an extraordinary decommissioning bill this year that requires Entergy to keep their promise. And the Senate is about to about to act on that bill, and we’re about to pass the bill and send it to the governor that tells Entergy to keep their promise, to full fund the decommissioning fund so we don’t get stuck with the bill.  

(Host) Inside the Statehouse, the activists sought out lawmakers to lobby. Paul Meyers came to Montpelier from Peru.

(Meyers) There are two aspects of it. First of all, we are in a big jam economically, and we have a golden opportunity to make a big change, to switch over to alternatives. And we can do that and if we do that, then the nuclear industry becomes moot.

(Host) The Legislature will not vote until next year on Yankee’s license extension. Meanwhile, the state Public Service Board is holding hearings on the issue, including one tonight at Marlboro College in Windham County.

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