Sparse crowd weighs in on Vermont Yankee

MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Citizens Awareness Network’s public discussion on decommissioning the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant drew only three members of the public to the basement conference room of Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury Tuesday evening.
Organizer Chris Williams and lobbyist Bob Stannard, both of VCAN, led the panel discussion. They gave an overview of the state of regulation of the Vernon plant, and talked about their organization’s efforts to close it down.
“This is not the most exciting time to be fighting this battle,” Williams said, acknowledging the near-empty room. “The case is in front of federal judges. The company has done everything to wear down its opponents.  But 40 years is enough. We have gotten this far without a major accident. It’s time to call it quits.”
One audience member shared his view that Vermont and the United States needed cheap power sources, like nuclear power, to compete with China.
While federal regulators last year certified Vermont Yankee to operate for another 20 years, the state appealed that decision.
The Vermont Public Service Board will hold two public hearings on the Vermont Yankee petition to renew its Certificate of Public Good in November. The first, on Nov. 7, will be held at the gymnasium at Vernon Elementary School. The second, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, will take place through satellite conferences around the state via the Vermont Interactive Technologies network — Addison County’s location will be the Hannaford Career Center at 51 Charles Ave. in Middlebury.

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