Entergy appeals PSB decision
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | January 30,2013
MONTPELIER — Entergy Nuclear is appealing to the Vermont Supreme Court the Public Service Board’s decision earlier this month dismissing the company’s original 2008 re-licensing case.
In a so-called docketing statement filed with the high court on Friday, Entergy took issue with the recent PSB decision that said Entergy was operating without a valid state permit, and had been since March 21, 2012.
“This is an appeal from a contested case before the PSB that involves complicated and novel legal issues under Vermont law and will impact whether the VY Station, which employs more than 600 people and which provides an important source of electrical power to the New England region, should be shut down immediately even though its petition for a new or amended CPG remains pending before the PSB,” Entergy’s attorneys said in a summary filed Friday with the Vermont Supreme Court.
Entergy Nuclear spokesman James Sinclair declined comment.
Entergy has long claimed that as long as it had applied — in 2008 — for a new certificate of public good in a timely manner, until it had a decision from the PSB it could operate Vermont Yankee. Its original 40-year certificate of public good expired March 21, 2012.
The board opened a new docket last year in the re-licensing case, and technical hearings are expected to start in a couple of weeks. The board said it was opening a new docket because there were many and significant changes since it held hearings and took testimony on Yankee’s effort to keep operating for another 20 years.
The Public Service Board ruled last year that the state law did not apply to Vermont Yankee.
The outline of the appeal reiterated its stand that the PSB should have granted it a new certificate of public good last year, based on the existing record and after U.S. Judge J. Garvan Murtha ruled that state law overstepped federal jurisdiction in regards to nuclear safety at the Vernon reactor.
Entergy said it would contest the rulings in further court filings, including an appeals brief.
Last month, the anti-nuclear group New England Coalition had filed a request with the Vermont Supreme Court to shut down Vermont Yankee, saying it didn’t have a valid state certificate of public good. A hearing earlier this month has not resulted in a decision.
In a decision dated Jan. 9, the Public Service Board has said it was “unpersuaded by Entergy VY’s arguments” to keep the original re-licensing case open.
The PSB said in the Jan. 9 decision that by issuing a final order in the original re-licensing case, “thus potentially triggering an appeal,” that it “might actually facilitate resolution of the other dockets by allowing the Vermont Supreme Court to directly rule on the state law question underlying the other litigation.”