In a 26-4 vote, the Vermont legislature voted yesterday to deny the relicensing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when it expires in 2012. A clear victory for our environment and the people of Vermont against this toxic energy source only a week after Obama made loan guarantees to build more of them in Georgia.
The Vermont Senate voted Wednesday to block the state's only nuclear plant from operating after its license expires in 2012, at least a temporary setback for nuclear power only a week after President Barack Obama announced loan guarantees for building two reactors in Georgia.
Vermont is the only state in the country with a law giving its legislature a say over a nuclear plant's relicensing. The Senate's 26-4 vote against a 20-year extension of Vermont Yankee's license marks the first time lawmakers have formally weighed in on the question.
With the Vernon reactor leaking radioactive tritium into groundwater and its owners accused of misleading state regulators about underground piping at the plant, even senators who might have supported the license extension said they would have a difficult time doing so now.
"If the board of directors and management were infiltrated by anti-nuclear activists, I do not believe they could have done a better job destroying their own case," said Sen. Randy Brock, R-Franklin, who had supported an amendment calling for building a new reactor in Vernon before he voted against the extension.
Wednesday's vote came after 3 1/2 hours of debate in a Senate chamber whose edges and balcony — along with two large hearing rooms equipped with live links — were jammed mostly with anti-nuclear activists hungry for a victory at a time when President Barack Obama has called for a resurgence of fission reactors as a source of electric power for the country.
Obama announced last week he was making about $8 billion in federal loan guarantees available for a facility envisioned for Burke County, Ga., which would be the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades. He said investing in nuclear energy is a "necessary step" toward reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Vermont Yankee and its owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., were defiant after Wednesday's the vote.
And if they are allowed to build more plants, we will see the same poisonong of our groundwater. You must truly be a heartless bastard to be defiant after knowing the reason why this was done and not care.