The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will shut down by the end of next year, according to an announcement on Tuesday by Entergy Corp., the Louisiana company that has battled the state to keep operating the problem-plagued, aging reactor. “I am delighted that Entergy will shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant which has had so many problems in recent years. There is a strong desire on the part of the people of the state of Vermont to close the plant that was scheduled to operate for only 40 years,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said.
“The closure will allow Vermont to focus on leading the nation toward safer and more economical sources of sustainable and renewable energy like solar, wind, geothermal and biomass,” added Sanders, a member of the Senate energy and environment committees.
While welcoming news of the shutdown, Sanders said the jobs of Vermont Yankee employees must be preserved while the plant is safely decommissioned.
“Entergy must go through a decommissioning process as soon as possible, a process which will require many workers,” Sanders said. “Clearly there are no people who know the Vermont Yankee plant better than those who are currently employed and they should be given top priority for those new jobs.”
The company has indicated it favors a decommissioning method that could result in decades of delay. As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Sanders said he will work aggressively to make sure the decommissioning process starts as soon as possible.