State officials lament nuclear panel member’s death

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Vermont state officials are lamenting the death of a recently appointed member of a panel set up to oversee a special review of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Dr. Lawrence Hochreiter, a nuclear scientist who taught at Pennsylvania State University, was appointed recently by Gov. Jim Douglas to join the three-member panel overseeing the nuclear plant review.

Officials say Hochreiter died yesterday in Pennsylvania as he was about to teach a class at the university.

The panel is overseeing a comprehensive audit of Vermont Yankee as lawmakers prepare to vote in the upcoming session whether the plant should get a 20-year extension on its operating license. That license is currently set to expire in 2012.

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