After 40 years of producing power, today is the last day of Vermont Yankee's original operating license. But the plant will not be shutting down anytime soon. It has a new 20-year federal license, its state permit application is still under review and a legal challenge is unresolved.
UVM research professor Richard Watts has just written a new book on the history of the nuclear plant called "Public Meltdown." He used media coverage over the years to piece together the story of how the state's relationship with Vermont Yankee has changed.
"Today is a really important day because for 40 years, a third of the electricity in the state has come from this nuclear power plant. What happened really between 2002 and when this company bought the power plant and when the Senate voted to reject it, and leading up to today, what happened that this big part of our infrastructure became something that was rejected by political leaders," Watts said.
Yankee was once owned by Vermont's utilities, but as of today, CVPS and GMP no longer even buy power from the plant. Both utilities have contracts with new generators and Yankee is now selling its power to the New England market.