SEE UPDATE BELOW - Vermont Yankee spokesman takes exception to the hiring of Arnie Gunderse, deeming it "unwarranted."
With the dust barely settled from the recently concluded legislative session, at least one lawmaker is already looking toward the next session.
Yesterday, Senate President Peter Shumlin (D-Windham) announced to the Douglas administration that the legislature was hiring nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen to keep watch on the aging Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Gundersen was selected last year by Shumlin to sit on the Public Oversight Panel, which is charged with overseeing a reliability assessment of Vermont Yankee.
Lawmakers are likely to take an up or down vote on whether to give Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee and Entergy Nuclear Operations the OK to keep operating VY beyond its scheduled March 12, 2012, shutdown date.
In his letter to Gundersen, Shumlin noted the nuke expert's skills were needed because, "With the Public Oversight Panel having completed its work, there is currently no one monitoring whether or not ENVY is making any progress toward meeting the requirements established by the NSA and the Oversight Panel."