NRC says Vermont Yankee safe to operate after 2012

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon can operate safely for 20 years after its current license expires in 2012.

But that’s not the final word on whether its license will be extended.

NRC spokeswoman Diane Screnci says a safety report issued June 4th found the Vernon nuclear power plant is safe to continue operating past its scheduled expiration date.

The report was written before officials with plant owner Entergy Nuclear reported more cracks in the plant’s steam dryer. Screnci says that issue doesn’t appear to be cause for shutting the plant down.

State officials are concerned that the new cracks in the steam dryer are due to the plant’s recent 20 percent power increase.

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