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Shumlin: Vt. Yankee Should Pay $60 Million

Montpelier — Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration is recommending that the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant be allowed to continue operating through next year but must set aside at least $60 million to restore the site after it closes.

Those recommendations came in a filing Friday to the state Public Service Board, which is deciding whether to grant the plant a certificate of public good, or CPG. The plant is scheduled to close next year.

Before announcing in August that it planned to close Vermont Yankee, plant owner Entergy Corp. had intended to operate the plant through 2032, taking advantage of a federal license extension that began in 2012. The state had opposed granting the plant a certificate for that continued operation.

“We think based on the evidence it’s in the public interest to grant a CPG for one year, whereas it was not in the public interest to grant a CPG for 20 years,” Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia said.

Entergy Corp. agrees that the plant should be allowed to operate through 2014. “The only pertinent question is whether continued operation until December 2014 would be better than an immediate shutdown for the state’s economy. The answer is clearly yes, because it is undisputed that the VY station currently provides substantial economic benefits to the state and will continue to provide them until it ceases operating,” Entergy said Friday.

It’s unclear if Entergy’s filing addressed the state’s request that it be required to provide the $60 million to restore the site of the reactor to unrestricted use.

A separate decommissioning fund will pay to dismantle the reactor.