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Allies gather at gates to support VY and its workers

VERNON—For an institution that is seemingly under siege, the mood at Saturday afternoon’s rally in support of Vermont Yankee was upbeat.

Holding a rally on St. Patrick’s Day under a sunny mid-March sky didn’t hurt, but spirits were high as about 80 people gathered outside of the plant’s gate during its shift change to wave at incoming workers and express their confidence that Vermont Yankee will keep running for another 20 years.

“Only 7300 More Days,” read a hand-lettered sign by plant employee Carla Heath, referring to the 20-year license extension that was granted last year to the plant’s owner, Entergy, by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The plant’s original 40-year license from the NRC expires on March 21. While the question of whether the state of Vermont can require the plant to shut down after that date is now tied up in federal court, the rallygoers showed little concern.

Like the previous two pro-VY rallies last fall, Saturday’s event was organized by the Vermont Pilot Project of the American Nuclear Society, headed by Howard Shaffer, and the Energy Education Project of the Ethan Allen Institute, headed by Meredith Angwin.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #144 (Wednesday, March 21, 2012).

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