MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont and representatives of the state’s closing nuclear plant said Monday they had reached a deal that will provide a path to decommissioning and resolve pending federal lawsuits over the operation of the Vernon facility, the officials said.
In exchange, the state of Vermont will support efforts by plant owner Entergy Nuclear to get the required state permit to operate the 600 megawatt reactor through the end of 2014.
Under the agreement between the state and Entergy Nuclear, the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, Entergy will determine within a year the process that will be needed and the estimated cost of dismantling the plant, which will begin 120 days after officials determine there is enough money in its decommissioning fund to pay for it.
The agreement also ends all federal litigation between the state and Entergy, including cases that many felt could have ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court, and requires Entergy to pay an additional $25 million to help restore the plant site to a “greenfield” once it has been completely dismantled. Entergy will pay $10 million for economic development in Windham County to help counteract the loss of some of the 620 jobs at the plant and $5.2 million to support clean energy projects in the county and elsewhere.
The state of Vermont and Entergy have been at odds for years about the continued operation of the plant.