Regulators call for ratepayer protection

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(Host) State utility regulators say the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant must take steps to protect ratepayers in case a key component fails.

The Public Service Board says the plant’s steam dryer is potentially more prone to failure now that the plant is producing more power. The steam dryer removes moisture from the super-heated steam before it is sent through turbines to generate electricity.

The board told the Entergy Corporation, Yankee’s owners, to work with the state on ways to protect ratepayers if the plant runs into trouble.

Steve Wark is a spokesman for the Department of Public Service, which represents utility customers.

(Wark) “So we think overall this is a good decision. We think it’s fair. We stand by the position that we want to make sure that reliability is one of the important issues. But overall we think this provides ample protection for the ratepayer, while not placing an undue burden on Entergy.”

(Host) The board said it based its decision on new information that has come to light about steam dryer failures at plants similar to Vermont Yankee.

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