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Vermont Yankee NPP gets 20-year license extension

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has reviewed the operating license for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, and next week will extend it by a further 20 years, despite the state Senate blocking the license extension back in February 2010. The NRC voted to deny a petition lodged by an anti-nuclear group, for the dismissal of Entergy’s request for a license extension.

The plant’s future is still in doubt, given that the Vermont senate has previously voted to shut the plant and the full legislature has yet to vote on the issue. Without state approval the facility would have to close in 2012. Entergy, the current owner and operator of the power plant is considering selling the plant, which is valued at US$670m. It has a generating capacity of 605MW and started producing power in 1972. In 2010, Entergy discovered that radioactive tritium was leaking from an underground pipe at the plant’s reactor.

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