So far, 20 municipalities have passed a resolution demanding that the legislature refuse to approve continued operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant beyond its scheduled end date of 2012.
The nonbinding resolution that petitioners placed on town meeting day warnings in about 40 towns around the state also required that lawmakers hold Entergy Corporation, the owner of the plant, fully responsible for the cost of shutting down Vermont Yankee.
The Vernon-based plant has been plagued with safety problems (including the dramatic collapse of a cooling tower several years ago). The 38-year-old facility’s license to operate expires in 2012. The plant supplies 30 percent of Vermont’s power, according to VY officials. Entergy, which purchased the VY in 2002, is seeking a new license to continue operating the plant until 2032.
These towns have passed the resolution so far: Brookline, Calais, Charleston, Charlotte, Corinth, Dummerston, East Montpelier, Greensboro, Hinesburg, Holland, Newfane, Plainfield, Putney, Richmond, Townshend, Warren, Westfield, Westminster, Woodbury and Worcester.
In most towns, the resolution was presented in three parts: The first asks the legislature to recognize that Vermont Yankee accounts for 2 percent of New England’s power supply and that the electricity the plant generates can be replaced with renewable energy sources, energy conservation and excess power already available in the regional market; the second asks lawmakers to deny approval of the plant’s continued operation beyond March 2012; and the third holds Entergy responsible for the clean up of VY after it is shut down.
The town of Bolton rejected the first two portions of the resolution, but passed the third unanimously, according to Dan Dewalt the organizer for Replace VY, the group behind the grassroots petition drive.
Full town meeting day results and a more in-depth look at what Vermonters said about the resolution at town meeting will be posted later tonight.
-- Anne Galloway