Thursday marks a year from the date when Governor Peter Shumlin hoped the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant would shut down.
Instead, the reactor is still operating and the state is locked in a legal battle in federal court with Yankee’s owner, the Entergy Corporation.
But Shumlin says he’s still optimistic the plant will close. At his weekly news conference, the governor cited the economic pressures facing Entergy, including competition from low cost natural gas that fuels power plants in New England.
"The industry is looking at the sustainability of the assumptions they made just a few years ago about the economic viability of old, aging nuclear power plants," Shumlin said. "I just continue to hope the economics work in our favor. If not, I hope the Second Circuit and the Public Service Board work in our favor.
Yankee’s state license to operate expired on March 21st, 2012. The Legislature denied Entergy permission to run the plant beyond that date.
But Entergy challenged the state law that gave lawmakers a say in its continued operation.
The state lost the case in federal court, and then appealed that decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City.