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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
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Nuke Plant Demands Action From USA

WASHINGTON (CN) - The operator of a much-criticized nuclear plant in Vermont sued the United States to try to force it to accept spent fuel rods from the Vermont Yankee power plant.

Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee sued the United States of America in Federal Court. It claims Uncle Sam is obligated to "accept spent nuclear fuel and high level waste ... generated by the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station."

Vermont Yankee, in extreme southeastern Vermont, across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire and a few miles from Massachusetts, has been a center of controversy in environmentally conscious Vermont.

Several accidents occurred at the plant, including a cooling tower collapse and radioactive water leaks. Entergy was caught in a series of lies after the water leaks, first claiming that they never happened, then minimizing the extent, then claiming that the water could not have reached the river, which flows through four New England states after passing through Vermont Yankee. Entergy tried to sell the aging plant during the string of accidents, but there were no takers. The plant also spurred litigation that went to the 2nd Circuit, contesting whether Vermont has the legal right to regulate safety at the plant.

In the newest complaint, Entergy says it "brings this lawsuit to recover damages incurred after April 30, 2008, caused by the government's partial material breach of its unconditional obligation to begin disposing of SNF [spent nuclear fuel] generated and the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station."

It claims the Department of Energy still has not given it a date certain at which it will remove the spent, but still radioactive, fuel rods.

Entergy seeks damages for breach of contract.

It is represented by Brad Fagg with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, of Washington, D.C.

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