Douglas says Yankee uprate must benefit state

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says the state won’t support an upgrade of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, unless there’s a clear and definite benefit for the ratepayers of the state. The owners of the plant, the Entergy Corporation, have proposed a plan to increase the output of the facility by roughly 20%.

But there are no assurances that any of the new power will flow into Vermont, and the project will require the plant to be shut down for a period of time, forcing Vermont utilities to purchase more expensive power on the open market.

Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Douglas said his administration is standing firm on this issue, as the state Public Service Board reviews the upgrade proposal:

(Douglas) “Unless there’s a benefit to the people of Vermont, my administration will not support the uprate proposal pending before the board now. We’re part of a New England power pool as I’m sure you know, but it seems to me if we’re going to approve that kind of increase in generating capacity in our state, there ought to be a direct benefit to the ratepayers and residents of Vermont. So until and unless we have that evidence in this case, we’re not going to support it.”

(Host) The Public Service Board’s review of this proposal will continue later Wednesday.

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