SHUT DOWN VERMONT YANKEE REQUEST IS BEFORE VERMONT SUPREME
By William Boardman Email address removed"> Email address removed
Vermont Yankee on the Connecticut River by nukeworker.org
For the better part of a year, Vermont's only nuclear power plant, owned by the Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, has operated unlawfully, without the necessary "certificate of public good" it needs from the state's Public Service Board (PSB).
On December 4, the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution (NEC) filed a complaint with the Vermont Supreme Court, asking the court to issue an injunction that would shut down with Vermont Yankee immediately and keep it shut down until such time as Entergy complies with PSB orders and acquires a valid certificate of public good.
Both Entergy and the State of Vermont filed responses to the NEC motion, seeking its dismissal. On Wednesday, January 16, the Supreme Court has scheduled a half-hour hearing on the motions to dismiss. The docket lists two attorneys for the NEC and 17 for the other side.
If the court dismisses the NEC complaint, that will be the end of this case, although there are other Vermont Yankee cases pending before the PSB, as well and state and federal court. If the court does not dismiss the complaint, it will schedule a hearing on the merits of the NEC claim, and could then shut down Vermont Yankee.
Undisputed: Vermont Yankee Operates Unlawfully
The basis for the shut down, as presented by NEC attorneys Jared Margolis and Brice Simon, is relatively simple and direct in summary:
- In June 2002, the PSB issued an order in connection with the sale of Vermont Yankee to the Entergy Corporation (PSB docket 6545). This order is referred to in the pleading as the "Sale Order."
- Condition 7 of the Sale Order gives Vermont Yankee a certificate of public good "to expire on March 21, 2012."
- Condition 8 of the sale order says that Vermont Yankee is "prohibited from operating" after March 21, 2012, without either a new or renewed certificate of public good.
- To date, Vermont Yankee does not have either a new or renewed certificate of public good.
Based on these undisputed facts, the NEC argues, Vermont Yankee should be shut down.
Seeing this problem coming, Entergy had asked the PSB to amend the Sale Order to provide a certificate of public good that would allow it to keep Vermont Yankee running lawfully after March 21, 2012. On November 29, 2012, the PSB) handed down a 30-page decision that denied Entergy's request to modify the 2002 Sale Order, pointing out that any hardship Entergy was suffering was of its own making.
Five days later, the NEC filed for an injunction to shut Yankee down.