Anti-nuclear activists gathered outside the Vermont Statehouse Tuesday-- in both celebration and protest.
About two dozen members of the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance cheered the decision by Entergy to close Vermont's only nuclear power plant at the end of next year. But the group is concerned about the shutdown process. Entergy plans to seal up the plant and put off cleanup and deconstruction until a later date. Federal rules allow the plant 60 years to complete the cleanup. But activists want the dismantling to begin right away.
"Now is no time to be less vigilant. We have to be sure that our leaders and bureaucrats understand that we want that site returned to a greenfield status as soon as possible," said Chris Williams of the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance.
State officials also want to see the site return to greenfields as soon as is can be done safely. But whenever the plant is finally dismantled, all of the spent fuel will be stored in dry casks at the Vernon plant. There is nowhere to ship it. The federal government still has not created a site for storing high level radioactive waste.