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WAMC News

NRC Requires Decommissioning Payment by Vermont Yankee Owner

By Pat Bradley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-981489.mp3

Vernon, VT – Entergy had filed a notice to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it planned to cancel a guarantee payment of 40-million dollars to the decommissioning fund for the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. In it's notice, Entergy stated that because the federal agency had extended its license for 20 years, there was no need for the guarantee funds, and sufficient money could be earned on current investments over the 20 year renewal period. But on Wednesday, Entergy was informed that it must make the payment. The NRC says it would be premature to cancel the payment because the Vernon plant might not be able to operate after next March. In its letter to Entergy, the NRC the decision is "...based on the ongoing civil court case Entergy Nuclear Vermont vs. Schumlin..." New England Coalition Advisor Ray Shadis believes it is the first federal acknowledgement that the plant is on track to shutdown next March.

Ray Shadis believes Entergy must now make the payment.

Entergy Vermont Yankee Spokesman Larry Smith would not comment on why the notice was originally filed nor the financial implications for Entergy. Smith said he can provide only limited comment due to the ongoing litigation between the company and the state.

Vermont Law School Assistant Professor of Energy and Regulatory Law Don Kreis says the NRC decision is neither surprising nor significant.

Calls to the NRC were not returned in time for this broadcast.