An excellent article in today’s Burlington Free Press clearly describes the battle lines being drawn over the re-licensing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

The 39-year-old facility in Vernon, Ct., in the southwest corner of the state near New Hampshire and Massachusetts, has had a troubled history with one problem after another, most recently with a series of leaks of radioactive water. The plant’s operating license expires next year, and the owners, Entergy Corp, would like an extension.

In the face of all the problems, there’s not a lot of support for it. About the only supporters are the people who work there and a business organization, the Associated Industries of Vermont, repeating the usual mantra of lost jobs (650 people work there)and loss of power (it produces 605 megawatts of power – less than one per employee, and a fraction of what the state uses – and that’s on a good day.

The governor-elect is against it. The legislature voted not to relicense. And public opinion seems to be against it. But the plant’s supporters have a lot of money.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

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