Federal regulators say the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon is fit to be open for another 20 years. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to extend the license after rejecting an objection filed by an anti-nuclear group.
The New England Coalition hoped the NRC would take more time before issuing the 20-year license renewal.
But the NRC said Yankee passed an extensive safety and technical review which federal inspectors started back in 2006.
This comes despite a series of problems at the plant recently, from a collapsed water cooling tower to ongoing issues with radioactive tritium leaks.
"As with any facility we regulate, we monitor on a daily basis the performance of these facilities. Whether it's in one year or 41 years if there's an issue that causes concerns for a plant to operate safely we would take appropriate action to shut down that plant," said Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the NRC.
The NRC has never denied a nuclear plant a license extension.
The NRC says it will formally issue Vermont Yankee's new license in a matter of days. But under Vermont law, the state Public Service Board and the Vt. Legislature must also approve the license extension. The Vt. Senate has already voted against Yankee and legislative leaders say they have no intention of reconsidering the issue this year.
Late Thursday, Vermont's congressional delegation released a statement that said, "We believe that Entergy should respect and abide by Vermont's laws, which require approval from the Vermont Legislature, and then the Vermont Public Service Board, for the plant to continue to operate beyond 2012."
Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement, "Today's vote from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not unexpected, and does not change the fact that Vermont Yankee still needs approval from the state to continue operating beyond its 2012 license expiration. I am pleased that the NRC is reaffirming Vermont's authority to determine the plant's future. Given the serious radioactive tritium leaks and the recent tritium test results, the source of which has yet to be determined, and other almost weekly problems occurring at this facility, I remain convinced that it is not in the public good for the plant to remain open beyond its scheduled closing in 2012."
Monday, March 10 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-03-10 16:24:42 GMT
Vermont police and policy-makers are gathering Monday to discuss the problem of drugged driving.Under current Vermont law it's easier to convict a driver accused of being drunk behind the wheel than stoned.More >>
For those under the influence of drugs, there is no simple standard or field test like the common blood-alcohol content measure.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-03-10 16:12:31 GMT
Authorities in northern New York are reminding the public about a missing teenager two years after his disappearance.Eighteen year-old Colin Gillis vanished on March 11, 2012. He was last seen walkingMore >>
Authorities in northern New York are reminding the public about a missing teenager two years after his disappearance.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:39:37 GMT
Students at Dartmouth College say the school needs to do more to embrace diversity on campus. The group of students sent administrators what they call a "freedom budget," decrying racism, classism andMore >>
Students at Dartmouth College say the school needs to do more to embrace diversity on campus.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:30:05 GMT
A Plattsburgh man is facing a slew of charges in connection with a car accident last fall.The crash happened October 24th on Mason Street in Schuyler Falls. Investigators say 31-year-old Brad Rovito wasMore >>
A Plattsburgh man is facing a slew of charges in connection with a car accident last fall.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-03-10 15:22:31 GMT
For nearly four years family and friends of a murdered Northeast Kingdom woman have wondered if the culprits would ever be caught. Monday afternoon two of the three men accused of the crime -- will beMore >>
Richard Fletcher, 27, and his brother Keith Baird, 33, are scheduled to appear Monday afternoon at the Caledonia Superior Court in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:31:26 GMT
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Stories include getting your pet adjusted to a new baby, advice on keeping pets safe during golf season and Vermont's first Dog and Pony Show.More >>
The spring issue of "4 Legs & a Tail" has hit news stands. Editor Tim Hoehn visited the Morning Show to share a few of the cover stories that might interest pet lovers.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:26:50 GMT
A well-known Vermont judge has passed away.According to the Vermont Standard Judge Franklin Billings Jr., died Sunday morning. Billings was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960, quicklyMore >>
Franklin Billings Jr., an iconic political and judicial leader and the son of a former Vermont governor, has died at the Woodstock home where he was born. He was 91.More >>