Vt. nuclear plant gets closer to licensing defeat

From the Brattleboro Reformer:

A former nuclear engineer told lawmakers Thursday that the Vermont Yankee reactor should be shut down and a whistleblower raised new questions about what plant officials knew when about leaking radioactivity, as chances for the plant's relicensing weakened.

Vermont's troubled nuclear plant -- tied up in controversy over radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater and allegations that it misled regulators about whether it had pipes that carried tritium -- had another tough day at the Statehouse.

It culminated in the Senate Finance Committee's 7-0 vote to send to the floor a bill that would authorize the state Public Service Board to approve the plant's operation past the 2012 expiration of its current license. The committee did so without endorsing the bill, and it is expected to be defeated easily when it comes up for a vote Wednesday.

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