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Celebrating Victories on Independence Day

Over the last two weeks, VNRC has been embroiled in intense and demanding Public Service Board (PSB) hearings over the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. These are the culmination of months of work and trial preparation since the first two weeks of hearings in February.

We’re glad to say that our hard work has paid off, at least for now. Even though the final decision on plant re-licensing is months away, as we enter the week of Independence Day, we are celebrating several critical victories in this high-profile case.

Entergy, the owner of the plant, is seeking a state license to continue operating for another 20 years. The case before the PSB is classic David v. Goliath. It pits the national energy giant Entergy against the state of Vermont and several regional and local environmental groups.

VNRC and the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) have been arguing that the plant should not be allowed to continue to discharge heated water into the Connecticut River due to serious concern over its impacts to fish and the aquatic ecosystem.

So, here is what we are celebrating today:

  • Despite vigorous opposition from Entergy, the PSB sided with VNRC and the CRWC and allowed the issue of thermal discharge and water quality impacts to be considered in the proceeding.
  • Also amid protests from Entergy, the PSB allowed our two witnesses, Dr. Shannahan, a hydrothermal engineer, and David Deen, River Steward for the CRWC, to testify in the hearings as expert witnesses.
  • And finally, after another lengthy fight, we were able to force Entergy to disclose new data about the plant’s heated water and corresponding temperature increases in the Connecticut River.

You can read recent VPR news stories about the case here and here.

VNRC has beaten back Entergy’s efforts to silence our witnesses and overwhelm our lawyers with a blizzard of paper, and we are bringing important, new information about the thermal discharge to the Board’s attention. Please help us keep up the momentum as we continue work this summer and fall on the final briefs in the case.  Please consider supporting this cause by donating to VNRC. Every contribution counts!