Alan Panebaker

Federal appeals court hands NRC a victory

Says state should’ve raised VY water quality certificate issue earlier

A federal court handed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) a win on June 26 in a case where the state challenged the federal agency's permit for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) and the New England Coalition (NEC) - a group that has worked to shutter Vermont Yankee - had argued that the federal permit issued in 2011 was invalid because Entergy Corp., the plant's owner, failed to obtain certification from the state that the plant's operation would not affect water quality in Vermont.

But a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to address the issue.

The plant's original owner, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp., received the water quality certification under the Clean Water Act in 1970, but Entergy, the plant's owner since 2002, did not get a new certification when it applied for its current federal permit in 2006.

Read More

Vermont Yankee investigates electrical failure

Plant reduces power after motor generator malfunctions

Technicians at Vermont Yankee are removing a motor generator in the nuclear plant's reactor building to determine the cause of an electrical failure that produced smoke Monday afternoon. Rob Williams, a spokesman for Vermont Yankee, said the plant was operating at 38 percent power Tuesday morning. It reduced its...

Read More

Vermont files brief in appeal of VY decision

Sorrell: Murtha ‘cherry-picked’ legislative record

According to Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, the federal judge who ruled that the state legislature doesn't have the authority to shutter the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant took some lawmakers' comments out of context. “The district court's cherry-picking from the incomplete legislative record for favorable snippets was erroneous,

Read More


Entergy fails to make quarterly payment to state

The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) is not convinced that the company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station will live up to its obligations. The plant, which is owned by Entergy Corp., is currently operating on an expired state permit while the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) considers approving a new license for it. Meanwhile both the state and Entergy have appealed a federal court decision finding a law requiring legislative approval before the plant could get...

Read More

PSB denies Entergy’s request for CPG renewal

It's back to the drawing board for Entergy Corp. in its quest for a new Certificate of Public Good (CPG) for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In an order issued late last Thursday, the Vermont Public Service Board said the company needs to file an amended petition asking for a new CPG, and the board will open a new docket in the proceeding. The order provides some clarity for Entergy and intervenors in the case who have pushed for...

Read More

CVPS, GMP sue Entergy for losses during 2007 cooling tower collapse

The state's two largest utilities have sued Entergy, the corporation that operates the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, for a breach of contract based on two cooling tower failures in 2007 and 2008. A complaint filed by Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service in state court Monday accuses Entergy of failing to follow “Good Utility Practice.” The complaint states that the company's failure to maintain, repair, and improve the cooling towers caused them to fail in 2007 and...

Read More

Minter to replace Lunderville for Irene recovery post

Four months after Tropical Storm Irene battered the state, Vermont reopened the last stretch of highway destroyed by flooding and appointed a new head for the recovery effort. Sue Minter, deputy secretary of the Agency of Transportation, will replace Neale Lunderville as the state's Irene Recovery Officer. Minter, a former state representative from Waterbury, will work on a three-month basis starting Jan. 6. Her job is to engage communities, individuals and businesses in the effort to rebound from the damage...

Read More

Fracking in Vermont? Probably not

Several lawmakers are floating proposals to ban a technique for extracting natural gas through hydrofracking in Vermont. In a curious sequence, Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham, issued a press release announcing he would introduce legislation that would ban the practice in the state; then Representatives Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, and Peter Peltz, D-Woodbury, submitted proposed legislation that would amend state law to disallow the Agency of Natural Resources from issuing a permit for the practice. So what is all the fracking...

Read More